A couple of weeks ago I did a presentation on radio control models for my wife’s 2nd grade class. All 26 of them! Her class was reading the book Mr. Putter and Tabby Fly the Plane in which Mr. Putter gets a radio control plane and flies it. Wendy reads the book to her class every year and though the kids would enjoy seeing a real R/C plane in action.
I met her class on the playground of their school. I had about 30 minutes to do the presentation so I started out with a brief overview of radio control models and the different types like sailplanes, power planes and helicopters as well as other vehicles like cars. I told them that my particular interest is sailplanes and explained a bit about how they stay in the air.
I brought a few planes to show including the RaceM which I used to show how the control surfaces work and because the size of the plane is impressive. There were lots of Oohs and Aahs when I stood the RaceM on its wingtip since the span is over 10 feet. I showed the MiniSR and explained that it is made to go fast. A lot of the kids were surprised that a sailplane could look like a jet. I also had my CombatWings XE electric wing that I brought so I could show how durable a beginning RC plane can be. I also brought it to fly because the school does not have a big field and the wind was blowing 20 to 25mph!
Before my recent slope flying trip to South Dakota, my slope flying was rather limited. The slopes I had flown on either were so hard to stay up consistently on, or I was worried about flying out over trees. Besides I could thermal fly a couple of miles from my house. Lucky for me, I was open-minded and gave slope flying a real chance. The following are a few of the reasons that I have a new interest in slope flying.
Trying different slopes; the scenery, the lift conditions, the challenge of the landing zone provided new variety for me. I am the type of person that likes to explore, I try new trout streams, bike trails, or web sites on the Internet, it is what makes life interesting. Thermal and power fields are pretty much the same, but it looks like there can be a wide variety in slopes.
What is Slope Flying?
Slope soaring offers a unique brand of flying excitement not found in other types of RC model flying. From flying lazily along with a floater, to breath taking high speed beach runs, slope racing, and aerobatics, there is something for every skill level of pilot. Besides being a lot of fun, how many other model pilots do you know who want the wind to blow?
It is easy to see why slope soaring is fast becoming one of the most popular parts of RC soaring. Slope soaring is no longer limited to just the east and west coasts. As the popularity of slope soaring grows, more flying sites are turning up throughout the country.
|Mike Goldston launches an Omega at a slope near Star, ID
Photo: Greg Smith