Archive for 'Slope Soaring'

MidWest Weasel (Whatever) Fest Shaping Up Nicely

We are getting a really good response for the Midwest Weasel (Whatever) Fest that will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 25th and 26th, 2009 at the AstroWings Slope Site, Omega Hills, in Germantown, WI.

Not only are we getting a bunch of pilots responding and planning to come but we have had a bunch of super-generous doantions for the pilots raffle.

Keep up with all the latest MidWest Weasel (Whatever) Fest news on the AstroWings site or on the RCGroups MidWest Weasel (Whatever) Fest thread.

I Chose Joomla for

This was somewhat of an agonizing decision. The Joomla vs WordPress debate. With all the work that is involved either way, making the right choice was important. While I am sure it will be more work initially, I chose Joomla mostly because I am convinced it can do the job and I need to learn more about how it works. I am confident that I could have used WordPress and the results would have been great but I already have a pretty good handle on that tool having done numerous sites with it. WordPress and Joomla approach site building differently and while I had a good picture in my mind of what I could accomplish with WordPress I really have no idea how I will structure the Joomla site and what the end result will look like.

You can see the new site in progress here.

Schwanke-Kasten Donates a Tag-Heuer Watch to Astrowings Raffle!

Wow! Thanks to Steve and Tom at Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers for the generous donation to the Astrowings Fun Fly Raffle. The Tag-Heuer Aquaracer watch is valued at $1,600! You can’t win unless you buy a raffle ticket. Let me know if you need tickets. A buck each or 6 for $5.

The Astrowings Fun Fly has been a tradition for years with the proceeds from the event benefiting Special Olympics of Ozaukee County. To date our RC Flying Club has donated over $80,000 to this worthy cause!

Great Deal on 2600mAh Rechargeable NiMh AA Batteries

I am always looking for a good deal on rechargeable AA batteries. I use them in about half a dozen RC car transmitters and also build flight packs for my RC airplanes from them. When I see a deal like has I jump on it! They are offering AA 2600mAh High Capacity NiMH Rechargeable Batteries in a 20-Pack with a Compact Travel Charger for $19.99 with free shipping. That’s $1 per battery and FREE SHIPPING! It is among the best unit price I’ve paid for any AA rechargeable let alone the high capacity 2600mAh AA rechargeable batteries.

Leading Edge Gliders Slopefest 2007

I got back late Monday from the LEG Slopefest in Kansas. What a great time. if you are a slope soaring enthusiast I’d get ready for the 2009 version (2008 will be the bi-annual Soar Utah event and Jack is running opposite it.)

We had great weather but a bit light on the wind. That was no big deal if you were prepared and brought several different types of RC planes to fly. RC slope soaring is kind o like fishing. You need the right equipment for the conditions and type of game you are going for. It gives us an excuse to have multiple planes so that we can fly in winds from 3mph all the way up to 70mph. No wind? Make your own with a prop!

I already posted a gallery of photos at:

Words to follow at in the next day or two.

On the first day of my summer vacation I…

Well, on the first day I drove, to Virginia, then to the Carlisle, PA for the Polecat Aero Challenge.

So, on the second day of my summer vacation, I woke up. I went down to the flying field to fly my DLG. Then I landed out. Well, not too often and the Polecat Aero Challenge was a really fun event.

In the past I tried Hand Launch a few times and have owned a few HLGs and DLGs that mostly got flown at the slope, either in light winds, or on days when there was no wind at all but this was my first contest and it was a lot more fun than I was expecting. The tasks were varied, challenging and fun and the guys, several of whom are among the best in the world, are excellent resources for an on the flats sloper.

In the end I’ll always be a sloper first but I see a few more hand launch contests in my future.

A common question at the slope

I wrote a little blurb about a question we get asked often at the slope when we are flying our slope gliders, “do those things have motors?”. It seems to be a great way to get the conversation going about how slope soaring works. Check it out if you are interested.

New site for Milwaukee RC Soaring enthusiasts

The Soar Milwaukee site is up and running. I am still working on some features but mostly gathering content. Soar Milwaukee is the website for the Milwaukee Soaring Group, an AMA chartered model aircraft flying club.

As part of getting the club going again I set up a Flickr Group for posting photos of RC soaring activity in and around Milwaukee, WI.

Soar Milwaukee Flickr GroupĀ 

My Latest Column is in the February 2007 Model Aviation Magazine

I did a guest column for Dave Garwood’s Slope Soaring section of the February 2007 AMA Magazine Model Aviation. It is mostly about the trip Dave Kramer and I made to Soar Utah 2006 over the Labor Day weekend. In true Slope Safari from we explored along the way and found several flying spots to revisit on future trips.

The Soar Utah event is a biannual gathering of slope soaring pilots from all over the US who converge on Salt Lake City and the slopes in the surrounding area.

LEG EPP Building Clinic DVD Set is Finally Done!

I’ve been working on the editing and getting this project ready for distribution for about a year and a half! Jack Cooper of Leading Edge Gliders and I shot the original footage during the Summer of 2005 I believe. I had to cull over 30 hours of footage from 2 cameras into the finished product that ended up being 7-plus hours and 4 DVDs! The 4-DVD set covers EVERYTHING about building a Leading Edge Gliders PSS slope plane. We take it from right out of the box through building, taping, covering, painting, weathering and even test fly it at the slope with plenty of great general rc slope soaring type info thrown in as well, so don’t think this is just for PSS guys. While this video concentrates on the building of one of Jack’s 60-inch PSS Warbirds, many of the tips and techniques are applicable to other EPP planes as well as model building in general.

On March 1st the price will be $54.95 plus $5.00 shipping and handling.

If you get crackin’, and you order before March 1st, you can pick up an introductory set of the LEG EPP Building Clinic 4-Disc DVD Set for only $49.95 plus $5.00 shipping and handling.

See more about the LEG EPP Building Clinic DVD Set at Podcast #6 Posted

I still like the idea of a slopeflyer pocast so I did a brief version that is now posted at:

Posting quick blurbs like this one are sure quicker to do than a more produced version like #5!

I need a schedule to stick to.

Arthur’s LS-4 at Soar Utah

Arthur’s LS-4

Originally uploaded by gasmith.

Just to get me in the mood for Soar Utah 2006, coming up over the Labor Day Weekend, I found a few photos from the 2004 event. Soar Utah is a bi-annual event and one of the best slope soaring get togethers in the US.