You are itching to fly your foamy, whether it is an Easy Star, an Easy Glider, a Supr Cub, an F27 Stryker, T-28 or some other form of flying beer cooler. You love how they fly, how the look and how they stand up to rough landings.
Your flying day is coming up and you look at the weather report and there it is ... the wind forecast ... too windy for flying your foamy. How depressing!
Well maybe not!
Have you ever heard of slope soaring?
Slope soaring is a flying techniques that LOVES wind. And slope soaring can give you super long flights on one battery because you can leave the motor off most of the time. Most people associate slope soaring with gliders but most electric airplanes can be used for slope soaring too, especially the foamies.
I have gone slope soaring with Aerobirds, Easy Stars, Easy Gliders, Super Cubs, Radian's and other foamies. Slope soaring was my joy when the wind came up and it was too windy to fly at the flying field. I actually started to look for windy days so I could go slope soaring.
Here is how slope soaring works.
Click on the link to see a great diagram of how slope soaring works.
As wind hits a hill it has to turn to go up over the hill. This creates a pressure zone, a lift zone that your foamy can ride. Think of this as model airplane surfing. Riding the curl for as long as you like.
If 10 mph sounds like too much wind at your flying field, you may find it is right were excellent slope soaring begins. Now you need a hill.
The taller the hill, the higher the wind speed, the greater the lift and the larger and heavier the aircraft you can fly. The clearer it is in front of the hill the smoother the air will be. Buildings create bumps, like rocks in a stream. Ocean and lake shores are wonderful slope sites. Mountain areas and high ridges that have open space in front of them are fantastic. Dams can be fantastic slope sites.
You can even slope soar large buildings that have big open parking lots. The wind still has to hit and go over that building. This creates great lift zones. And since you have a motor on your foamy you can climb up to get into that lift.
I live on Long Island, NY. We are surrounded by beaches. During the summer they are crowded with people but in the winter, our windy season, they are empty. There is all this beautiful water, then a beach then sand dunes or cliffs that the wind hits. I can fly an Easy Start hours on one battery pack.
The key is the wind direction and speed. The wind has to be blowing nearly straight into the hill. If it is more than 10 degrees left or right and the lift drops off fast.
You take your foamy, turn on the motor for about 5-10 seconds and fly out over the edge of the cliff. Gain a little altitude, maybe 20 feet, now turn the motor off and see if the lift will support your plane. If it does not you can always turn the motor back on.
I have gone slope soaring on dunes as low as 4 feet high and cliffs that are 100 feet high. I have flown my hand launched gliders, slow sticks and even a Vapor, in wind as low as 2 mph and have had to add weight to my Aerobird and Easy Glider so I could fly in 20 mph winds.
If wind has been ruining your flying day, you have to try slope soaring. You may discover you go looking for those windy days and start to grumble when the wind speeds are under 10 mph .
Try it, you'll like it!
If you want to check out slope soaring, these might be interesting
introductions. There are also photo and video links.
Photos of an inland slope site with some nice planes
Slope soaring Tips for Beginners
Videos of slope soaring - hope you have high speed line
Yes, they are trying to hit each other - This is slope combat!
Non-Combat slope videos
This is a thread that gives a good view of some slope sites.
Slope Soaring - over the rainbow - may favorite slope video ever
If you made it this far and are interested, ask your questions and let me help you discover this wonderful form of flying. You can fly fast! You can fly aerobatics! Or you can just float and relax.
Did you know the fastest RC Airplanes are slope gliders? Over 400 mph!
Come on, ask your questions, give it a try. You are going to LOVE this!