Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Windyty: A super forecast App/software for our hobby !

During last week F3F world championship, I tried an App, which also exists as a web site (, and which is a great tool for our hobby.

We usually use Windfinder or equivalent weather forecast App giving the wind speed and direction, with sometimes the exact direction in degree, or rain forecast, temperature, etc ...

But what is missing is the mapping of the wind direction forecast applied on a map or satellite photo.
And this is exactly what Windyty proposes. This free App/Web include weather forecasts provided by meteoblue (meteogram, airgram, etc ...), but the best part is really the animation of the wind on a satellite photo, where you can see the evolution during the day, or the next days. Graphics are really nice, and nothing is missing as you can select the altitude, rain accumulation, temperature. The App is also very intuitive.

I greatly recommend this App if you have a smartphone, so you can see if the wind direction is correctly oriented to you local slope, or select the right slope among several slope.

The example below with one of my favourite slope "La Muela" in Spain, where you can see in purple the lines indicating the wind direction. The speed of the animation indicates the wind speed. the bar at the bottom allows to see the evolution of the wind speed/direction over a period of time.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Invite from the Two Ocean Slope Soarers Committee (South Africa)

The Two Ocean Slope Soarers Committee would like to extend an open invitation to all French Pilots to our annual slope aerobatics competition, our next event will be hosted on the 27th to the 29th of January 2017. This would be an excellent opportunity to experience a holiday in Cape Town, South Africa while enjoying
your sport of slope soaring and precision aerobatics during the course of your stay.
Competition format:

  • 2 days (Sat & Sun) + practice day (Fri)
  • Total of 3 rounds flown, weather permitting
  • 3+ judges
  • 2 classes, Expert Class and Open Class
  • Manoeuvres are performed individually but in sequence
  • 2 pilots in the air at a time
  • K-factors apply across all manoeuvres
  • Callers to announce manoeuvre, start and finish of sequence
  • Assigned Flying Box

All details can be found here:

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Du 19 au 25 septembre, le CRAM RHÔNE-ALPES organise un grand concours vidéo lors de la coupe Icare 2016 à LUMBIN (38).

Alors, à vos caméras ! Et soyez imaginatifs !

Les vidéos HD, d’une durée de 2 minutes maximum, seront visibles sur le site Icare Model Show et projetées sur un écran géant extérieur sur le stand du CRAM Rhône Alpes pendant les deux jours de présentation à la coupe Icare.

Les thèmes

Le sujet principal doit être l’aéromodélisme, qu’il soit avion, planeur, hélicoptère,etc… de vol libre, de vol circulaire ou de vol radiocommandé. Le thème est libre, il peut s’agir d’un modèle en particulier, un club d'aéromodélisme, la FFAM, les différentes catégories de l'aéromodélisme, ou une catégorie en particulier, un modéliste ou l’aéromodélisme en général.

Quand ?

La date limite de proposition d'une vidéo pour le concours est fixée au 18 septembre à minuit.

Le début des votes commencera le 19 septembre à minuit. La clôture des votes se fera le dimanche 25 septembre à 16h lors de la coupe Icare.

Pour qui ?

Tout modéliste ou cinéaste amateur.

Comment participer ?

Le candidat devra s'enregistrer sur le site Icare Model Show et fournir à cette occasion une adresse mail et une adresse postale (pour l'envoi des lots et la communication des résultats).La présentation d'une vidéo se fera en envoyant le lien de la vidéo sur une plateforme de streaming. Les plateformes supportées sont Youtube, Vimeo et Dailymotion. Pour participer au concours, envoyer un mail à

Le candidat devra être en mesure de prouver qu'il est bien l'auteur de la vidéo en cas de réclamation.

Le jury

La désignation des gagnants se fera par un vote sur le site Icare Model Show. Le public présent à la coupe Icare pourra voter en utilisant son smartphone.Un jury composé de deux membres de l’organisation supervisera le bon déroulement du concours.

Droits d'auteur :

En participant à ce concours, l'auteur de la vidéo autorise le CRAM Rhône Alpes et la FFAM à utiliser sa vidéo de quelque façon que ce soit (utilisation telle quelle ou montage).

Le règlement complet

Les participants à ce concours vidéo acceptent l’intégralité du règlement qui est consultable sur le site

ATTENTION :Les prises de vue embarquées sur un modèle ne sont autorisées que si le modèle est piloté à vue et que ce fait soit visible et explicite dans la vidéo.
Les films réalisés en pilotage FPV ne sont pas autorisés que si elle est réalisée selon la législation en vigueur (le fpv racing peut participer mais le fpv en ville ou à la plage n’est pas autorisé) (Les images de paysage ne sont autorisé que si elles mettent en valeur l’aéromodélisme et pas le vol hors de porté visuel).

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Auction to support the village of Arquata del Tronto after the earthquake in the area of Monte Vettore

Following the huge earthquake in the area of Monte Vettore (a very popular and well know slope flying site) that took so many lifes, FrSky offered a production X12S customized for an auction to help the village of Arquata del Tronto.

The auction is published on an italian forum, at the following url :

Rules are pretty simple:
  1.  Bids end on 11th of September
  2. The Winner pays directly on the bank account of Arquata del Tronto municipality.
  3. The radio is shipped after receiving a copy of the money transfer.
You can also simply do a donation to this account:

Intesa San Paolo - Filiale di Arquata del Tronto
causale:"Solidarietà Terremoto"
CODICE IBAN: IT33W0306969370100000000246

Thanks in advance for your support and generosity !

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Col de Tende FAI World Cup & Eurotour

Back from the Col de Tende FAI with 2 new trophies, world cup and eurotour. First of all, a huge thank you to the organisers Allan and Paul Eytan, the CD, the base judges, the helpers. Without all these people the contest would not happen, so again "MERCI" ! Even if the weather was less cooperative this year, it is still a super competition in a atomishing landscape !

37 pilots coming from 9 different countries (Germany, Norway, Czech republic, Switzerland, Netherland, Spain, Poland, Austria, France), what a nice contest !

On friday, it was cold with the breeze coming from the north. After a quick welcome and registration, we moved to the north slope and, after a breafing, observed a minute of silence for the victims of the horrible terrorist attack in Nice during the bastille day.
Then the contest started in this north slope, close to the fortress and we managed 5 rounds in good but not strong conditions. The slope is particular, not straight, and without real edge, so the flying technic must be adapted, with a difficult anticipation, especially on the left turn. We finished around 6pm so could get some sport flying after.

On Saturday, the wind was supposed to turn to the south, so the organiser prepared the course on the nice south slope, before the north breeze starts to blow again. Instead to return to the fortress, we decided to install the bases on the back of the south slope, and honetly, it was a good surprise, the slope is more convenient and work the same than the other north slope. We did 3 rounds before the wind drops at the end of the afternoon.

It was a black saturday for me as after my run of round 7, while walking to the landing area, I totally lost the radio link on my neon orange Shinto which started to circle, out of control and crashed on a car. Hopefully nobody was injured, this is the essential. The car has light damages, the plane is heavily damaged, but this is secondary. I will post more on this later.

Sunday started badly to, when Tobias Reik, on behalf Thorsten Folkers, put a protest to ask the organiser to count my round 7 flight at 0 because the plane crashed outside the landing zone. Considering that the landing zone was indicative, not marked on the ground by a line and not checked by a dedicated judge, the protest was hard from my point of view, but ultimately was true, so the jury put me a zero score, too bad ! Curiously the same day, Siegfried Schedel didn't get a zero when loosing his plane from sight and crashing it down the valley far from the landing zone indicated. Selective rules you said ...? Anyway, This is really not a great sportmanship from the guys behind this protest as I was already hitted hard by the lost of an expensive model that was in addition my A-model. But ... lesson is learned !

At the end, the protest was ineffective as I had still a little margin, but no more joker, so no more right to make a mistake. Finally, this protest had the opposite effect on me, reinforced my determination and fight spirit and I managed to take more advance in the 2 rounds we have flown on Sunday ... sorry guys !

The conditions on Sunday were extremely variable with variations between 42s and 73s in few minutes, average being above 50s. We were expecting the wind to grow, but it didn't happen before the end of the comp. After 10 rounds, the constest ended and Espen Torp finished Third with consistent flying during all the contest with his Jedi, behind Thorsten Folkers flying a FS5. I ended the contest in first position flying the Jedi the 4 first rounds, then the Shinto the 3 last rounds before the crash it and finally the Stribog the 3 last rounds. The Stribog desmontrated that it was very competitive against the references on the market. Armin Hortzitz finishes 4th. Matthieu Mervelet did a good climb in the ranking to finish 5th. In the team ranking, the french team named "Kousoku Shinkou" (Matthieu Mervelet, Julien Honor, Pierre Rondel) finishes first in front of the German team "Schwaben" (Thorsten Folkers, Siegfried Schedel, Tobias Reik) and another french team "Al Lanes team" (Philippe Lanes, Sébastien Lanes, Allan Cohen). Best speed of the contest goes to Thorsten Folkers with a 37.61s

To put some pictures on this short report, please find my photo album below:

Pictures from Thomas Winkler are here.

Full results on F3X vault.

See you next year at Col de Tende !

Saturday, June 25, 2016

HV6130 and HV6130H: A concentrate of power and technology in a small package !

MKS is releasing 2 new servos for the glider enthusiasts we are, the HV6130 and HV6130H (upright mounting tab for fuselage use) ! They use the same form factor than the DS6100 / HV6100 / HV6110 but use all metal case, and feature an upside-down high quality HV coreless motor installing, to reduce space. This servos will therefore easily fit in the smallest wing servo bay, used with RDS or LDS, or fuselage, and provide an incredible torque between 6kg under 6V to 8.1kg under 8.2V !!!

They are positionned between the 6125 and 6625 family, but are smaller than both. You will find the spec drawing below. They integrate 2 new interresting features with in addition to 3 ball bearings, 2 additional jewel bearings to strengthen the structure, and a Built-in Safe
System, which works as a protection against voltage draw when servo overloading and allow to land the plane safely.

Please note that the HV6130 will be available within 1 or 2 months, and HV6130H will come a bit later.


  • Torque: 6.0 kg-cm(6.0V) / 7.6 kg-cm(7.4V) / 8.1 kg-cm (8.2V)
  • Speed: 0.14 s (6.0V) / 0.11 s (7.4V) / 0.10 s (8.2V)
  • Weight: 22.5 g
  • Dimension:30 x 10 x 29.8 mm 
  • Working Voltage:3.5~8.4 V DC Volt
  • Working frequency:1520μs / 333Hz
  • Current draw: 1.2A @ 6.0V 1.4A @ 7.4V 1.6A @ 8.2V
  • Dead Band:0.001 ms (Default)
  • Bearing : 3* ball bearing + 2*Jewel bearing
  • Motor:Coreless Motor
  • Gear:Metal alloy gear


  • Torque: 6.0 kg-cm (6.0V) / 7.6 kg-cm(7.4V) / 8.1 kg-cm (8.2V)
  • Speed: 0.14 s (6.0V) / 0.11 s (7.4V) / 0.10 s (8.2V)
  • Weight: 23 g
  • Dimension:30 x 10 x 29.8 mm 
  • Working Voltage:3.5~8.4 V DC Volt
  • Working frequency:1520μs / 333Hz
  • Current draw: 1.2A @ 6.0V 1.4A @ 7.4V 1.6A @ 8.2V
  • Dead Band:0.001 ms (Default)
  • Bearing : 3* ball bearing + 2*Jewel bearing
  • Motor:Coreless Motor
  • Gear:Metal alloy gear

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Stribog F3F from RTGModel

RTGModel (Milan Demčišák) recently released his brand new flagship the STRIBOG. This is the successor of the Rotmilan Midi and the latest F3F glider of a family that started with the Extreme, then the Rotmilan follow by a smaller version with the Rotmilan Midi and it features some nice evolutions that I will detail.

Stribog (Stribozh, Strzybóg, Стрибог) is the god and spirit of the winds, sky and air; he is said to be the ancestor (grandfather) of the winds of the eight directions. The Stribog has a 2.86 m wingspan which is ideally suited for F3F and slope soaring. Wing section is a HN airfoil (Norbert Habe) and different from the Rotmilan from I heard but I don't have much details on this one. The tail section is thinner.

The fuselage uses the same convenient layout than previously and features a canopy, a moulded servo tray, a fuselage ballast tube. The front of the fuselage till the end of the elevator servos is fiberglass and kevlar, then we can see the carbon fabric from this point.

The wing bring some new things like the double carbon layup, or the smaller flap chord at the root.  The servos location is very different. Both flap and aileron servos are now very close to each other at the middle of the wing with a single servo cover. Mine arrived already with the servo frames installed for MKS HBL6625. They are using nice LDS with counter bearing for a slop free control. This will reduce the assembly time, good point.

  • Left Wing (with servo frames in place): 619gr
  • Right Wing (with servo frames in place): 614gr
  • Fuselage with Canopy: 371 gr
  • Left Tail including joiner: 41gr
  • Right Tail including joiner: 41gr
  • Joiner: 84gr
  • TOTAL: 1770gr
  • Ballast: 895 gr

Moulding quality is as usual with Milan Demčišák awesome, with perfect fit of all elements together, very thin join lines, nice paint, etc ... A very nice plane and kit. I will start the assembly soon and post photos of it, as usual. Stay tuned !

Monday, May 23, 2016

Flying the Weasel TREK !

The maiden flight happened on a south slope by a sunny weather, but when I arrived at the top, the wind was more from west, and very weak. I moved to the west side of the slope where the slope angle is almost flat. Anyway, I could test the Weasel in pure thermal flight conditions and have been very positively suprised. From the first launch, she flew like a charm, no trim needed, recommended settings are perfect. Despite the light weight of 290gr, she has a better lift-to-drag ratio and penetrates better thanks to the combination of the light weight and lower camber of the airfoil, so I could fly very far, transition from one thermal to another very easily, cover lot of distance, like I was piloting a larger sailplane. During the afternoon, I did some very good gain of altitude starting from very low and finishing at 100 to 150m few minutes after. It is true that weasel is desmontrative and indicate clearly the lift which make the thermal hunting easier. In addition, the finger hole at the bottom of the skid provides a very good grip and allow to launch very strongly which help in small conditions. The lift-to-drag ratio is very noticeable with the ground effect when you land and can surprisingly cover a longer distance than expected.

In higher wind condition, the Weasel TREK shows her DNA and wilder temperament. Here again the low camber section provides a better speed range, in all situations. Nose and control surface weight reduction improve the pitch response, so give more manoeuvrability. Same on the roll axis with a crisper response. As you can guess from this, aerobatic capabilities are therefore very good, with much easier and effortless inverted flight, more axial rolls and step rolls, loopings , reversal. But also all these improvements make the Weasel TREK easier to fly VTRP (aerobatics close to the ground), helped with her compact size. In top of this, I found her to have a much better energy retention, in turn and also for vertical manoeuvers, despite her light weight. This is a very good characteristic, which is not easy to obtain ! She carries the 50gr ballast easily but could carry much more weight when the wind is above 10+ m/s.

Finally this new Weasel TREK is a "boosted" and "over vitamined" Weasel version with a wider flying envelop from low conditions to medium breeze, more agile, faster, more aerobatic and provide the same amount of fun and adrenalin whatever the lift ! The Weasel remains definitively one of my favorite slope glider !

and a video filmed the same day:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Weasel TREK: Light speed assembly !

In fact we cannot really talk about assembly as it takes 25 minutes to have it ready, no glue is needed. This is faster than some RTF kit.

The work consists mainly in

  • installing the 2 servos in their location, servo arm at the neutral position. I use some UHU glue to secure, but this is not necessary, there are 2 transparent tape pieces to cover and maintain in place the servos.
  • route the servo wires to the radio compartiment
  • tape the velcro on the nose and on the battery to secure it
  • install the plastic clevises on the control rods.
  • install the 2 screws on the joiner lock system (same as the Alula TREK)
  • No lead needed in the nose for the CG balancing, I even had to move back the battery by 5mm.

If you want some colors, acrylic paint in spray will do it easily. I used some masking paper tape. This is clearly longer than the assembly itself, but she deserves it !

On the balance, she weights 290grs vs the 330grs of the Weasel Black Edition. Additional ballast is about 50gr, perfectly centered on the recommended CoG.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Weasel TREK: Kit Overview

I just received one of the very first kit of the Weasel TREK. She arrived in a very nice orange box, that will be much more convenient to carry it.
This new weasel seems very similar in term of planform, but probably has different airfoils. The visible differences are:

  • Elevons are moulded, not balsa. they seems stiff enough when I manipulate them.
  • Like the Alula TREK, she has a canopy giving a full access to the radio compartiment and a plastic landing skid to protect the underside of the nose. the canopy is maintained in place by several magnets.
  • The spar is no more integrated during the moulding, but added/glued after.
  • The locking system is the same than the Alula TREK, and the joiner too.
  • The skid integrate a ballast compartiment able to receive 50g of lead. It also keep the finger recess for better launching
  • The fin is secured with a magnet.

In term of construction, spars, control horns, magnets, skid are all in place, which means a speedy assembly, around 30 minutes like the Alula TREK. The longer will be once again to decide about the color scheme and the painting :) ! I have few hours to think about it before to start the assembly.

Quality of the moulding and fit is as good as the Alula TREK, with a nice surface finish.

As option I received also the 750mAh NiMh battery and the 2 metal gears servos (12gr class servos), and the lead extension between the receiver and the battery.

The weight of the frame + radio equipment is 280grs, compared to the 360grs of my Weasel EVO (made from EPP). Light flying weight means better capabilities in light conditions, and better agility. I anticipate the Weasel TREK to be a nice aerobat, VTPR capable.

  • Wingspan: 900 mm (35.4 in)
  • Wing Area: 23.42 dm2 (363 in2)
  • Weight: 312-395 gm (11.5-14 oz)
  • Wing Loading: 13.3-16.9 gm/dm2 (4.6-5.6 oz/ft2)
  • Controls : 2 Channels (elevons)
  • Assembly: Under an hour (I would say 30 minutes)
  • Flight Style: Slope thruster
  • Wind Speed: 3-12 m/s (7-25 mph)
I'm very exited to test this new Weasel TREK as I really loved the previous versions. I had one Weasel EVO EPP in 2009, and I still have my Weasel Black Edition, so it will be an opportunity to test them side by side. Stay tuned for the assembly and the maiden that should happen this week-end !