South Cotswold Soaring Association


SCSA Beginners Advice
 So you've decided you want to take up flying model gliders, but where do you start?

Step 1 (and probably the most important step)
Get in touch with your local model club. Either, ask anyone you see flying models, ask at the local model shops or look on the BMFA website for your local club. Your local club will be able to give you advice on the models that are suitable for the local conditions. There's no point buying a heavy slope soaring model if you live miles away from any hills! (although sea cliff's can make good soaring sites)
Members of the SCSA fly at various times during the week, but probably the best time to come along as a beginner is on a Sunday morning (please note that on some Sundays a club competition will be taking place). Look on the home page of this web site to check the wind direction, and then come along to the appropriate slope. The club has a number of people who can help you get started, plus buddy box leads to connect certain types of radio control sets so that they act in a similar way to dual controls when learning to drive.
Do not attempt to learn to fly on your'll just end up crashing every time and get fed up very quickly.

2 - Insurance  It's highly advisable to take out 3rd party insurance before you go out flying. You can usually do this by joining your local club, or by joining the BMFA (British Model Flying Association.

Categories of model gliders
There are generally (very generally!) 2 categories of gliders.

  • Flat field (or thermal soaring gliders)
    These are intended for flying off flat fields and are launched either by a "bungee" (a great big elastic band), a towline (a man or woman running with a long length of fishing line attached to your model)  or self launching using an electric motor fitted to the model, the motor runs for a short while and the pilot then looks for thermal lift. They tend to be 2 metres or greater in wingspan.
  • Slope soaring gliders
    A slope soaring glider is one which you take to the top of a suitable hill and chuck it off over the side. The model then "soars" (flies) in the lift generated by the wind hitting the hill, then being forced up and over the hill (slope). Hence the term "slope soaring".

What's the best model to learn to fly on?

What the best radio control set to buy and how does it work?