Yesterday (20th August 2015) was the sort of day where you wonder whether to fly because the forecast is changeable. I am staying at our caravan in Anglesey where there are some reasonable slopes round Holyhead mountain, and Church Bay, but nothing to compare to the Orme, which is a 1 hour drive. Often the weather hits Holyhead before it arrives at the Orme when there is a South Westerly blowing. The forecast had been for 3/4mph and variable direction, but in the morning changed to 10 to 13mph varying from South to South West – the best wind, so I took a chance, packed the car, and set off.
In the morning, I was debating whether to sand yacht on the beach, but again there was not enough wind – needs 20mph really to make it worthwhile – but rain was in the air. I was rewarded with different weather at Llandudno, sun, and what appeared from the bottom to be 10 to 12mph.
When I got to the top of the Orme, the wind was South and practically non-existent, so I donned my rucksack, Top Model Ideal with motor upfront, importantly as we will see later, and my PSS under 2lb weighted Vulcan Bomber. The Southerly slope is shown in the diagram, but is quite a hike over the top from the tank track car park. When I arrived, the wind was less than 3mph. I decided to launch the Ideal with the comfort of knowing I had a motor just in case there was a problem – just as well – the plane just descended. It is quite heavy with a 4S 3300mah LIPO to power the motor for hotlining. I was thinking that if I didn’t have the motor, I would have lost the model to the Irish Sea below. I kicked it in and the model rose out of trouble to the height needed. It came down but then found some thermals, which were everywhere and soared effortlessly. I landed to adjust the thermal trim on the flaps and took off again.
It is August and there are many walkers to avoid. A family came into view just as I was landing. “Missed you”, I joked. They replied with a touch of seriousness, “You’ll have to try harder next time.” Touchy these ramblers!
I had a drink, and the wind got up, so I flew the Vulcan, which needs a little more wind. Lots of lift, and I thought the direction had moved round to the South West. It had, so I packed up, and decamped back to the favourite slope near the tank track car park. When I arrived however, it had not moved round as far as I thought, so instead of launching the Merlin F3F, I flew the Ideal again, and discovered that all the lift was on the top of the hill, so it had moved round a little but not fully to the South West.
I put the Merlin F3F together and launched off the top. The lift was awesome but not as strong as it can be when further round. Enough to have an enjoyable flight at speed with 6 slugs of ballast. I had not flown from up top before and found the landing easier in that it is below you in some easier to judge soft grass and heather. I had always been too lazy before to climb the hill. Note to self – make more effort next time.
After answering some more intelligent questions from walkers – why are they more interested in crashing than flying in good lift? Must be the same reason the women loved watching guillotining during the French Revolution – I kitted up the Voltij and chucked it off, only to find that the wind had once again moved round to the South, so decided to land and call it a day.
So, all in all, a much more successful day than I had envisaged when I set off. Just goes to show that it is worth making the effort.