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Any Slopers Here? Raise Your Hand

Old 12-28-2010, 12:00 AM
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Murocflyer
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Default Any Slopers Here? Raise Your Hand

Just wondering if we have any Sloper fans here on WF? I've been thinking on giving this a try. Looks like a lot of fun and no engines or motors to worry about or expensive batteries.

Feel free to chime in and let me know what your favorite Slope plane is and where you fly. Perhaps we can even drum up some more interest in this area of RC.

Frank
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:55 AM
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O yea, but a warning.....it is HIGHLY addictive!

Hard to find a good slope here in flat north Texas. But we have two spots that are working good. A dump site and and dam. Both man made.

I use several models, a Skimmer 400 for very light conditions and it has the motor to get you out of trouble (cheating I know). An Easy Star works well for trianing too!

Radian is another hot ticket item too. Again the motor helps for our light conditions here.

Two really fun planes but excellent to start with are the Alula and Weasel from Dream-Flight in California. They rock! Both fly well in light wind conditions and I have had the Weasel up in 30+ MPH winds, an upper limit even with 4oz of ballast.

I think of 7 years of living in Salt Lake City 10 miles away from point of the mountain one of the best sloping sites in the world, and I never went. Took someone in TX to show me the joy of sloping.....

Here are some pics of my Weasel.....

Mike
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Old 12-28-2010, 04:52 AM
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Just finishing up a WingWarrior Raider, have a Zagi that a buddy gave me I haven't started yet. Fortunately there's a nice cliff facing the Pacific just west of my "office" - I should be able to sneak over at lunch once or twice a week.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:48 PM
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Cool! Glad to see we have a couple folks here on WF that enjoy sloping. It sounds like it is as much fun as I hoped it would be. I'll look into those plane suggestions and thanks for posting those photos.

I think the whole idea of not have a motor or engine and only relying on the wind is a pretty cool thing. I had a DLG once and that was fun, but in places where the wind blows all the time, this sloping thing looks like a blast. Normally you would hate for the wind to be blowing, but now it's just the opposite.

Thanks again and looking to here if there are any other slopers here on WF.

I'll keep you posted on a plane that I pick out for my first.

Frank
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Old 12-28-2010, 04:02 PM
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I used to do a lot of slope soaring, great fun if you have a good site to fly from. i've not done any in recent years because i moved to a new area and the good flying sites are now a long drive away. Some of the best sites I used to fly have also been lost to paragliders and hang-gliders.

What is a 'good slope soarer' depends on what conditions you fly in and what you want to do. If you have a good site with strong lift then (bearing in mind I'm way out of date with the latest models) the Chris Foss Phase 6 is a great aerobatic/pylon racing design. I've got the 'professional' version which has a symmetrical wing section. This needs a strong lift to stay in the air. The 'sport' with the semi symmetrical airfoil is probably better for all round use. In light wind conditions then thermal soaring gliders fly great off a slope.

You can fly almost any type of plane off a slope if the conditions are right.

Steve
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Old 12-28-2010, 04:27 PM
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As Steve says - depends on conditions.
That said you want your initial sloper to be TOUGH. Not having that motor leads to a whole new rash of crashes no matter your previous skill with the sticks. You have to learn a new power medium, the wind and slope, and they can be tricky.

In my Seattle area sloping I have essentially 1 tiny hill near by and need a small, high lift acrobatic sloper to stay in the lift and try to stay up. The one time I've been to the BIG slopes in E. WA that same kind of sloper can be easily just blown away and is kind of small for the scale.

The Weasel is a wonderful first all rounder. The Alula if you have super light lift or want to try some DLG action. The Easy Star works amazingly well and can have that motor option to get you out of trouble. Depending on your slope that could be a major consideration, or merely a convenience.
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Old 12-28-2010, 04:40 PM
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Picking up on Flydivers comments.. I think slope soaring really is a great way to hone your flying skills. It teaches you how to fly efficiently and how to trade altitude for speed and vice versa like no power model ever can. Having no motor to get you out of trouble keeps you sharp!
You can have as much fun 'scratching' in marginal lift conditions as you can in a howling gale where you can barely stand.

Makes me want to dust off a slope soarer now!

Steve
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:26 PM
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I just found out about slopin last summer.I have to say Im pretty stoked about it.Me & my buddy andy(helinut) just got are 1st true slopers.He went with the leg1d from leading edge gliders & I got a salto from nitroplanes.I have to say I think he got the better plane cuz its foam & mines balsa
Right now Ive been flying my scratchbuilt foamy & hes been sloping a stryker.Not slope planes I know but just about any plane can be sloped it seems
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:25 PM
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Thanks for the input fellas! Reading about this is getting me stoked as well. I'm gonna check out what the local guys are flying around here after the Holidays. That would give me a good indication of what to get. I do like the offerings by LEG http://www.leadingedgegliders.com/ep...rs/catalog.php I appreciate the advice of getting something "tough." That's a good input.

Speaking of Sloping anything, I saw a photo of a huge A-10 getting ready to be thrown off a cliff. It had three of four guys holding it. If I come across it again, I'll post a photo. There are definitely some great looking planes used for sloping.

Frank
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:34 PM
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Not much slope opps in IL, but I am jealous of the dam dump flyin' in TX :-) With my luck I'd have to learn how to repel to get my slope plane after every flight!
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:59 PM
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Possibly an interesting story.. As a young lad used to go slope soaring with my father in the early 1970's. The guy who taught us to fly was Jim Ozborne who is credited with inventing R/C slope soaring in the UK in the early 1960's (I'm sure people were doing it in the US too)..
Jim was an amazing guy, superb pilot and a pioneer of glass fibre models in the days when everything was balsa. He grew to be a good friend of my fathers and told me many stories of his exploits flying Fairy Swordfish Torpedo bomber biplanes in WWII.

He designed all his own models and had published what i think was the first ever (in the UK) slope soarer R/C glider plan. the Model was called the 'Wizard of Oz'. he still used to fly a version of this plane sometimes when we flew with him. i just googled it and people are still building them: http://www.rc-soar.com/tech/wizofoz/index.htm

You could do a lot worse if you wanted a simple, robust, easy to fly sloper... with a unique history!

Steve
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:25 AM
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Hey now
Nothing quite like sloping. Light lift can be exciting and will surely test your skills. Slope combat will teach you more about flight in one season than power flight can teach in six seasons.

I live thirty miles from some of the best slope sites in the world. The Nor-Cal coast. I'll take a good selection of sailplanes out because I can. Ever be sure of the conditions. So I bring a floater, an old Olly II (4oz per sq. Wing loading). A combat Zagi for bashing, a moderate lift sloper at ten or do oz. Per sq ft. And my lead sleds at thirty or fourty oz per for the big lift. I'll also bring ballast to heavy them up when the lift gets big.
Slope is surfing the air and I never get tired of it. I may get too cold or wet to move the sticks but I don't tire of it.
If you get into sloping and have decent places to fly you'll find you need a variety of models from light to effing heavy ballast only goes so far.
RobII
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:27 PM
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Slope soaring is a special kind of flying. Even though a good wind may be blowing, the air is very smooth out in the lift zone away from the slope.

Here is a popular site in Wellfleet, in the National Seashore, where I did most of my flying before getting into electrics. I flew a Gentle Lady and Katie II there. I am getting a Talon ready to fly there in the spring. Access can be tricky depending on current erosion control measures which can block the best access routes and restrict close parking. Usually, a ten minute hike is necessary to get to the bluff.

As mentioned above, conditions can vary a lot. Usually, just a breeze will do if the wind direction is right and the plane is light enough. With a brisk wind, the lift is incredible, and it helps to launch the plane a little below the horizon to get it penetrating. You must be on your toes while landing behind the bluff and ready to react to the turbulence that builds up there.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:00 PM
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On a good day the flying can be quite easy. Depending on terrain the landing can be far and away the biggest challenge. My little local hill has lousy lift but easy landing as a groomed park.
E. WA has incredible lift but often poor landing with lots of volcanic rocks and nasty sage. This becomes a bigger issue with the larger, faster planes that aren't so good at slowing down with lots of ballast on board.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:21 PM
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Hi! I'm new to WF. I no longer fly slope, but that's where I started about 10+ years ago. I started with a Zagi and kept progressing to some of the "true lead sleds" built from scratch. The hill I learned and flew on was only about a 6 min. drive from my house. the lift on the cliff overlooking the ocean was so good, I could toss my 60" 128oz scratch built X-plane off the approx. 175' cliff, and it would virtually float.

We have so many different kinds of hills, cliffs, and mountains here in So-Cal, that I have trried just about style/type of sloping. It is nice to just go to the flying site...read the conditions...turn on your TX...switch on your plane...and just fly. Not being concerned about when you need to land...well...you don't really land a sloper...it's more of a controlled crash...at least the PSS's.

There are alot of good gliders to be had for not alot of coin. The trick may be to find the right one for how you want to fly (relaxed or on the edge) and your lift conditions.

Don't even get me started on Dynamic Soaring

The new guy here, Bill
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:00 PM
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Slope pilot present and accounted for SIR! I fly the north shore of Long Island mostly.

On the slope I fly TD gliders, slope gliders, DLGs, e-gliders and electric airplanes. If it has a wing and controls it can be tossed off the cliff. If there is enough wind, it might even fly.

I would bet a 25 mph wind on a 100 foot cliff would support most glow planes.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post

Speaking of Sloping anything, I saw a photo of a huge A-10 getting ready to be thrown off a cliff. It had three of four guys holding it. If I come across it again, I'll post a photo. There are definitely some great looking planes used for sloping.

Frank
A little more steady wind and we would have thrown it!! Good thing we didn't tho, the wind died within minutes of taking that pic.
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by A10FLYR View Post
A little more steady wind and we would have thrown it!! Good thing we didn't tho, the wind died within minutes of taking that pic.
You got real lucky! How heavy is that A-10 and is it really a sloper?

Frank
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:06 PM
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Good to see a fair number of Slopers here on WF. I'm looking forward to learning all about this new discipline. Hoping to get my first sloper real soon. Although I haven't decided what to get yet.

Frank
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:12 PM
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It started out as a ducted fan powered plane. Was converted to turbine later. I was going to power it with "E" power but couldn't find anything that would give me enough power *OR* that I could afford so I just hung it in the basement for years. When I got into sloping a few years back I got to thinking what a great final flight! So, it WILL happen someday. Striped out it is around 30 pounds. But it has a little over 2000 square inches of wing area.
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
Good to see a fair number of Slopers here on WF. I'm looking forward to learning all about this new discipline. Hoping to get my first sloper real soon. Although I haven't decided what to get yet.

Frank
Frank,

Before you decide, figure out what you are looking for in a plane, and what your slope conditions are. Even though I haven't sloped for awhile, I have had, and flown a great number of gliders of just about any type you can think of, and may be able to help with your choice.

Consider....

Flight conditions including landing zone
type of flying
versatillity
cost
durability
size
ARF or scratch built
....and anything else you can think of.

Bill
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:31 PM
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Bill,

You bring up a goo point -landings. Since there are no runways, are all landings just controlled crashes or how does this work?


Thanks,

Frank
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by A10FLYR View Post
It started out as a ducted fan powered plane. Was converted to turbine later. I was going to power it with "E" power but couldn't find anything that would give me enough power *OR* that I could afford so I just hung it in the basement for years. When I got into sloping a few years back I got to thinking what a great final flight! So, it WILL happen someday. Striped out it is around 30 pounds. But it has a little over 2000 square inches of wing area.
Wow, 30 pounds! Not much sloping with that huh?. Pretty much a one way flight?

Frank
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
Bill,

You bring up a goo point -landings. Since there are no runways, are all landings just controlled crashes or how does this work?


Thanks,

Frank
Depends entirely on the plane type, landing zone (many are in the rotor of the hill).

No, they are not "all" just controlled crashes. Mostly on the heavier Power sloper's (not to be confused with having a power system). Plus, since you have no motor to bail out, you don't get "do overs". Don't let that scare you though
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
Bill,

You bring up a goo point -landings. Since there are no runways, are all landings just controlled crashes or how does this work?


Thanks,

Frank
Providing you have a reasonably smooth and flat bit of land on the top of the hill then you land just like any ordinary plane. The headwind helps to slow landing speed down so it's not normally a big issue

If landing on the top of the hill is out due to trees/fences/rocks/roads etc then you might have to land on the slope face.. which can be a bit tricky!
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