Introduction to Slope Soaring

by Dave Garwood

Here is a brief primer about how to get started in Slope Soaring, or “How to throw an RC model off of a cliff and have fun with it all afternoon.” I have included links for more extensive resources in the “Sources” list.

In Slope Soaring, a sailplane is kept airborne when wind blows into the face of a hill or a cliff and the airstream is deflected upward, creating the lift in which our unpowered models are flown. A flight can last an hour or much longer—the aircraft can fly for as long as the wind blows.

The League of Silent Flight (LSF) website has documented pilots who have flown eight-hour flights.

To participate in this seemingly magical form of RC flight, you need the following:

1. A suitable hill, dune, or ridge.

2. Wind blowing into the face of the hill.

3. A suitable sailplane.

4. Slope-flying techniques.