iPhone Weather Apps for Slope Soaring Pilots

There are, at my last count, 62 applications in the Apps section of the iTunes store for the iPhone that have something to do with weather. 40 of them cost something. While I think some of the paid apps have merit, I figured that I would work through the free apps first to see if I could find one that does what I need so all listed here are either free from the App Store or websites with iPhone specific formatting.

Some of the offerings below are applications that you download and install on the iPhone and some are simply websites with iPhone specific formatting. Either way, getting the current weather is one of the things I do most with my iPhone. As you probably already know, slope soaring is very weather dependent and knowing the current conditions means I can enjoy the hobby more. In a way, slope soaring is a lot like surfing. You gotta go when the conditions are right!

Wunderground (Weather Underground)

I end up using this site most as I am normally looking for real time wind conditions in my local area and the network of observers in the Wunderground family provide a lot of locations to sample from. In the Milwaukee area I can select a personal weather station (PWS) that is only about a mile from one of our main slopes and where I need to know the wind direction. IN addition it is right on the Lake Michigan Bluff. With Lake Michigan exerting a significant effect on the weather around here, the conditions can vary significantly from the shore to just a few miles inland. The only real downside to using Wunderground is that it is not an app and that I would need to store multiple web pointers to easily access the spots I regularly look at. Be sure to enable use PWS (Personal Weather Stations) for the most choices on where to get observations from.

Here is the URL for direct access from your iPhone:

Weather Underground Details
Picking a PWS in Weather Underground

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Great Planes Precision Z-Bend Pliers

Great Planes Precision Z-Bend Pliers

Part # GPMR8025

Every rc slope plane builder will need a good Z-Bend pliers in their tools arsenal. The Great Planes version, called “Precision Z-Bend Pliers, is my favorite mostly for the alignment pin. It helps you put the bend right where you want it every time. You simply put the pin in the servo horn hole you are using, insert your push rod and clamp down on the pliers. Voilà, a perfect bend at the right length.

Get the Great Planes Precision Z-Bend Pliers at your local hobby shop or go to to find where to get them.

Perecman Router Base And Templates

I’m a sucker for tools and gadgets. I’ll admit that up front. I buy a lot of stuff that looks good in the ad but when I finally get it and use it I am often disappointed. When I saw a write up about the Perecman router base and template set a bell went off and I placed my order. Everything arrived  from SkyKing RC Products ( about four days after I placed my order. That was a good start.

The first thing you need to know before rushing out to buy this tool is that you will need to own a Dremel Router base. You will be using some of the parts from the Dremel base along with the Perecman items. Here’s what the $29.99 kit consists of. A clear Plexiglass base that replaces the base that comes with a Dremel router attachment, a router bit and five clear Plexiglass servo templates.
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Dremel 8000-01 10.8 Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Rotary Tool

I bought this model while I was attending Soar Utah 2004. I left my trusty 7.2 volt Multipro at home and REALLY needed a Dremel to finish up the installation of the radio gear in my RaceM. I bought the tool at Lowe’s but you can get this model a lot of places.

This Dremel is a 10.8V rotary tool with variable speeds from 5,000 – 35,000 rpm. This is the first Dremel with a Lithium-Ion battery. If you are into electric models you know this means more voltage and longer run times in a nice, compact package. Lithium-Ion batteries hold a charge up to six times longer in storage than Ni-Cad batteries, so it’s ready when you are. The manufacturer says the new Lithium-Ion Cordless is the strongest, fastest, highest performing cordless rotary tool on the market. From my experience I don’t doubt it!
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Dremel 7700-01 MultiPro Cordless Tool Kit

Posted by Greg Smith on Nov 18, 2004

Dremel 7700-01 MultiPro Cordless Tool Kit

dremel 7700The 7700-01 is an update of one of my most used Dremel tools, my original red and black, 7.2 volt MultiPro model 770. In fact, when I went to buy this new tool I thought I was just getting another one like I already owned. I wanted a second unit and there was a good sale at the local Ace store. I travel to different flying spots in different states quite often and previously had forgotten my Dremel while hastily packing the flight box. No more, I wanted a tool for the road and this is the one!
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