31 August 2008

southerly sunday

nuclear winter (not such a bad thing over Maidstone)

Deryck's been starved of all slope related action for what seems like an age. Even the threat of rain and a 'take your pick' wind forecast doesn't keep him away from Thurnham today. Paul's up for offering some moral assistance, as Deryck's keen to try his new F3 acquisition (complete with Louis 14th french polished, walnut veneered wings)

pre-flight inspection of the mirror like finish,
don't worry Deryck if you scratch it on the maiden

T'other Paul and Mrs T'other Paul are just leaving, and by heck is it southerly! DLG and floaters just about do the job and good thermals are to be had far over the castle despite overcast conditions. The rain pays a visit for a good twenty minutes, after which Deryck rigs up the super soarer.

just the ticket

it's a winner!

it really wasn't this summery for very long at all

The sky ranges from 100% gloom, to bright, hot sun. Though there's far more of the former than the latter. Steve, Ray and Eric take a chance and join the happy throng. The cold soon bites us all again so it's off home for pipe, slippers and Sunday roast!

29 August 2008

quarter scale combat!

It's a bit westerly, but the hill's working if you're prepared to scratch it. There's a few folk up for the challenge, Ray, Mr Fisher, Alan, A.N. Other, T'other Paul and Paul also get to enjoy a bit of sun!!

T'other Paul's not up for a scratch, so he's armed with a bit of lecky, but is it a boat? is it a plane? is it a strange Rusky ground effect thing? and why's he holding it like it's just spot landed in dog poo?

Ballistic soaring capability is what is required, Alan lobs off his 5m 1/4 scale ASW 17, Paul chucks the 4m flying wing off. With two behemoths working a tight slope and even tighter thermals they eventually clatter into one another, luckily without damage!

It's a interesting opportunity to compare the performance of the two layouts. The ASW has more span but a higher loading, while the wing can turn tighter but has a boot full of washout. In the tight conditions, the wing has the advantage in lift, it climbs out quicker and can work the small thermals closer to the deck. In terms of hang time, the ASW can't be beat and sustains when the wing is getting mullered in the sink.

It's even stevens really, and despite several times when they're both down near the deck, over an hour of satisfying air milking is enjoyed!

look... the sun's out!!

26 August 2008


Jeeeeez! it's been a mirky back end of the summer, we've all got the miseries in this gloom. Today, in an attempt to cheer us all up, Alan turns up with his Pat Teakle 5m span ASW17. Paul's never seen so much aspect ratio in one hit and has to take a lie down. Luckily (despite the hat) Alan's not in a Broke Back Mountain mood, so doesn't take advantage.

instead, he does a quick Irish jig to try and coax out the sun

feel that width boys!

After much fettling and misalignment, the crew decides on a re-rig which results in a left hand wing leaving a servo cable behind in Alan's hand. The beast returns to its bubble wrap cave 'til next time!

25 August 2008

meanwhile, back at base...

Been a funny (funny strange, not funny ha-ha) weekend, with a smattering of visitors in the strong winds, with good smooth lift. Lot of the usual chaps aren't present, but those who do turn up have a good time. Here's some fotos from Dave and Paul.....

banana ready for action

spot the difference

men look at sky

more men look at more sky

the chaps have a good laugh at Paul with a fly stuck in his eye, which results in....

.....best not to pull up when inverted!!

clinging onto summer

'ello moy luuuver!

Report from Steve, our correspondent in the West Country...

'This is our first attempt at digital photography and slope soaring at Cox Tor in Devon!

Cox Tor is the first lump of rock on the Cornish side of Dartmoor. The slope works for all but Easterly winds. We found four very welcoming gentlemen from the local club with superb large scale models of 1930s ?? gliders.

See their web site at: http://www.fraquet.co.uk/coxtor/gliders.htm Also search on 'Cox Tor Gliders' for some very pretty footage on YouTube. Considering many modern ships look much the same, these scale models are a welcome treat for the eye. They looked very good indeed and they weren't just pretty either, the guys put them through some impressive low passes, loops and stall turns. One might imagine they were very heavy but I was encouraged to pick one up and it was surprisingly light. All built up from balsa wood of course. Not a bit of fibreglass in sight. The on-board pilots (larger than Action Man) were caricatures of their owners and as you can imagine there was plenty of slopeside ribbing about the accuracy of the rendition!

I attempted the discuss launch with the Fling and although it was a modest lob my adjustment on the elevator to bring it to level flight caused some drastic changes in attitude. I realised the new elevator throw was lots! However, I got out from the edge and discovered that such a light plane (16 1/4 ozs) can get a rough ride from the gusts at low altitude. In truth the windspeed was more suited to the Stargazer or the ill-fated Sterngucker. Once I had settled down with the conditions and adjusted to flying with three mammoth birds in a fairly limited arc of flyable slope, I began to enjoy things!

The top of the Tor presented a nice grassy flat surface without rocks and it was nice to land on. However, just one puff of wind on finals and the featherlight Fling was off from 12 inches to 6 feet off the ground in a flash. I managed 4-5 flights and landings without incident before the ice-cream van beckoned and we called it a day. Thanks to Raymondo for the loan of the car!'

Thanks Steve!

hill's that-a-way!


natives speak our language

fling gets flung


pilot's looking for something to grip

Steve savours the air

could be a full size!

20 August 2008

full on wind, changeable lift

T'other Paul, LGRA Den, Paul, other man (with foamy F20 harrased by kestrel) Colin, Ray, Eric, lots of wind, a hill and changeable lift....

just in case you weren't sure which direction is was blasting in from

LGRA solo

comin' at ya!

the shite hawks show us how it's done

some stuff

comin' back at ya

17 August 2008

it's coming

Autumn's coming...wrap up and look out! In the mean time enjoy a selection from the windy hill side this afternoon...

corsair gets away

Duke's coming in!

Kirk sprouts a large composite fin like appendage from his skull

happy helpers

in search of Duke's car keys

16 August 2008

fabulous friday

Saint Slacker, the patron saint of slope soarers, put in a good word for us today....the sun shone and the wind was good. The paragliders were up as well, but things went swimmingly! Good turnout, won't even bother to name names, you know who you are!

Ray's expecting a visitor, Mr Thai bride makes do with a divot from a
previous hard arrival

The conditions are so smooth Alan gets to fly his 1/10th scale rc paraglider

'let out' for the day, they've waited long enough for their 99 flake

Alpina Alan arrives

joining us for a cuppa?

The lift is heavily influenced by the thermal conditions, Vaughn and Mr Thai are well suited for the conditions with a bit of electric assist. The paragliders are grounded for a while, so Paul chucks off, grovels around at just under/over the horizon for about five minutes, then the mother of all thermals come roaring through and we're all up to to speck height in less that a minute. Paul discovers his VNE, and loses a tiplet but the wings continues on unflustered, so why curtail such a great flight.

missing something?

successful maiden by Steve with his 'fling'

The boys persuade Paul to give his big wing ago, and he adds to the ragwort eradication programme for the expected cows. Lots of good karma, though there's damp in the air once the sun goes down, can I smell Autumn coming?

thoroughly fine thursday

Forecast is saying good things, Colin and his mate, Paul, Duke and Eric can't resist the allure of the slope and head up to Thurnham to enjoy the sun and the lift.

Conditions are very light, but by about five pm, there is a constant, light wind and the air is glassy smooth. The lift isn't epic, but it's constant now and there is gentle thermal activity. If you've got a floater and a keen thumb, you're in heaven!

Amazingly only one paraglider puts in an appearance, and he has a superb flight, works a thermal downwind and lands next to the showground. Looks like Friday could be much the same!!

this gives you an idea of how well he works it


thoroughly fine!

11 August 2008

new signage

new sign on the board, we get a mention....have a look!

good blow!

It's a blooming windy Sunday. After an hour and a half sat on the M2 going nowhere, Goodwind finally makes it up the hill to find Paul, Dave, Kirk, Paul and Alan leaning into the stiff breeze.

Dave takes a foto of Kirk taking a foto of Paul

Dave launches for Paul

Successful flight, despite flying like a paper bag in a gale, the wee beastie doesn't end up 'landing' 3 miles downwind.

Alan likes to think of his Wildthing as more of a Black Mamba

Kirk's not shy of loading up, and show's us how to handle the conditions with style..