Going Sloping

or

“You should have been here yesterday!”

By Emil Weiler, MRCSS Slope Coordinator

Imagine, you are standing looking out over the edge of a hill or ridge on a beautiful clear day. Wind in you face, plants and trees gently swaying in the breeze. The view alone is terrific. Hawks are gliding by looking down at you. Does an afternoon get any better than this?

You bet it does! Now imagine you are in control of a sleek R/C slope ship riding the invisible soaring wave just out in front of you. You can fly as long, as far, and as high as you want. You pilot your plane along silently then take off in a run of rolls, loops and inverted maneuvers. Your very own Maverick and Goose in an F-16 moment. Another pilot arrives and it is time for a dogfight. The slope lift is present at eye level anytime you need a boost of altitude. After a while you take a break and catch your plane without moving a step. This is possible 12 months a year within an hour’s drive of the Twin Cities, right here in Minnesota.

You always hear about the great flying the next day, true slopers tend to check the wind conditions each day to see if the lift is working. Check our weather links. South winds generally are best for our local slope sites, but we do fly almost any wind direction. 8 to10 mph is a good starting wind velocity to think about flying.

Slope flying is low cost and relatively easy to master R/C activity with the proper instruction. We generally use EPP foam and tape construction that insures a tough and durable plane. An elevon or aileron configuration is best for our MN small slopes, glitch air, and constricted landing areas. The new lines of inexpensive FM R/C transmitters with dual conversion receivers work just fine. A $200 budget and a few nights in the shop will have you ready to fly. A Dave’s Aircraft Works Schweitzer 1-26, Zagi, Boomerang or Combat Wings (see links page) all make excellent first time easy to assemble slope ships.

Slope flying is not difficult and in some cases easier than tow line soaring, but can be extremely frustrating if you try it solo on your own. Having an hour of MRCSS club buddy box training will make a world of difference and much more enjoyable start to your slope training. Contact the MRCSS to make arrangements for an experience pilot to help you.

Check out the beginners section on the Slopeflyer website (www.slopeflyer.com) for additional information, terrific photos, transmitter reviews, etc.

Many of our members have flown the classic slope sites around the country and attended national events. Our knowledge base is widespread and willing to help. The club organizes 2 or 3 slope trip weekends to South Dakota each year.

Hope this encourages you to try this exciting R/C activity.