Showing posts from 2015

FrSky Horus X12S officially released today !

Official message from FrSky:

"We are excited to announce FrSky Horus Radio is officially released at the last day of 2015.
FrSky is continuously adding features and improvements to our radio systems at past years; we are convinced that the Horus X12S is one of main representative product in FrSky radio series product, which built-in new FrTX operation system and integrated many wonderful features.
More information about Horus X12S can be found on: "

[Video] Needle 100 DSL

My latest video filmed the 28th of December and the last for 2015, as the weather is now wet and some snow is finally expected in the next days. October to December have been crazy with plenty of nice flights at col de faisses in very good conditions, so I could do lot's of nice pictures and video.

[Video] Weasel Trek

I have missed this video posted few weeks ago, showing the Weasel Trek in flight. Watching this video, it seems this new version of the Weasel has better aerobatic capabilities and is lighter than the previous EPP version, the one I have. The bad news is that we will need to wait as the release date has shifted to the 1st quarter of 2016.

Last slope flight of 2015

Global Warming ?
The 28th of December, at 1700m of altitude, no snow and 12 degrees ! We could reach the slope easily and had an exceptional flying session with 10 to 15m/s of wind. I flew and enjoyed a lot my old and brave Needle 100 DSL (triple carbon version of the Needle 100), recently upgraded with HV servos (MKS HBL 6625). A great day to end the 2015 slope season !

Christmas time !

Ok, ok ...the picture I chose is maybe not very representative as there is no snow on the french alps at the moment. Anyway, I wanted to wish you all and your family a Merry Christmas !

[Breaking news] New Dynamic Soaring world record !

Spencer Lisenby established a New Dynamic Soaring world record 513 mph flying his Kinetic 130 at Weldon, with a wind up to 60 mph. 513 mph is 825,6 km/h, an impressive 229 m/s. This is just insane !
Congratulation to Spenser for this achievement !

[RC Soaring Digest] Rreview of the Vagabond XL from Hacker Model

My review of the Vagabond XL  from Hacker Model has been published in the January issue of RC Soaring digest. In this issue, there is also a nice report about the slope meeting at Monte Cucco 2015 and last bu not least, the report about the Typhoon Race 2015 in Korea, by Stanley Chan, photos by Pang Yong Wee. You can download the magazine here:

[update] BQ Hephestos 2

I'm still learning, between temperatures, speed, and other settings in Slic3r to generate the GCode. But I'm progressing and made a  good production today :  Ballast spacers, Mobius supports, servo frames. 3M BlueTape is providing good results and can be reused several time if you don't damage it when removing printed parts.  At the moment, the ideal temperature for my Orange PLA is now 215°C. Speed is at 50 mm/s.

[Essai] Mini-Epsilon de Staufenbiel


Comme la plupart des grand distributeurs, Staufenbiel a, depuis quelques années déjà, développé sa gamme propre de planeur et moto-planeur. Les kits proposés sont fabriqués en chine, ce qui permet de proposer un prix compétitif quel que soit la version. Le mini Epsilon de Staubenfiel est le petit dernier de la large gamme Epsilon qui va jusqu'à une envergure de 4m pour la version XL. Il s'agit d'un planeur de 2.5m d'envergure, ni trop petit ni trop grand donc, à mi-chemin entre un hotliner et un planeur voilier plus grand, équipé d'un RG15, profil assez ancien mais toujours performant. Planeur à tout faire par excellence, disponible en version ARF ou PNP, c'est cette deuxième version que je vous propose à l'essai aujourd'hui.

Le Kit PNP

Le kit PNP (pour «Plug and Play») est livré avec moteur et servos mais il ne s'agit pas pour autant d'un modèle prêt à voler car il manque le contrôleur et la batterie de propulsion, et il reste quelq…

May the force be with you !

Picture of the day... 

3D printer: BQ Hephestos 2

Christmas is earlier this year ! I bought the very new and just released spanish 3D printer BQ Hephestos 2. It is a RepPrap Prusa I3 type printer. According to the specs, print dimension is (x)210 mm x (y)297 mm x (z)220 mm. Packaging is very nice and everything is made for an easy assembly.


The advertising says that it can be completed in less 2 hours. Well, to be honest, they must be super-humans, because it took me around 4 hours non-stop. I would say that the mechanic part is well thought and assembly went well. Wiring is another story. It could be better I think. Overall I'm satisfied with the kit. I switched it on and it said "hello world", and it speaks several languages. Below are all the detailed pictures I took during the assembly.

Calibration and first print:

Calibration started badly until I understood that I shifted the 3 end course switch connectors. After fixing this the calibration went OK and is quite simple. I interrupted the first print attempt…

[Review] Swift from Hacker Model, Fly EPP with style !


At the last toy fair 2015 in Nuremberg, and following the success of the Vagabond, Hacker Model had plenty of new gliders to display. This is actually a original proposal where the same aerodynamic concept is available in 4 different semi-scale models (Blanik, Swift Fox, Lunak) and available in various colors to suit all tastes ! I propose you today the review of the Swift from this SKG product range.

Kit Overview

The Hacker Model Kit is without doubt what is the best in the world of hot wired cutted EPP models. Carefully packed, we discover firstly the wings, decorated covered wings with a laminate film, pine spar and plywood root rib already in place. Servo prints are done and the servo wires tunnel also.

The fuselage is also decorated but not covered with laminate film. Various cuts are already made, either for the fin or the tailplane, for the wing root print and the radio housing. The tailplane and fin are delivered articulated but uncovered.
The complete hardware inc…

[Video] Silence Model

For french speakers: Une video sympa présentant Silence Model et son créateur Pascal Cepeda.

Baudis ASW 22

Last week-end, my mobius action cam and its pod jumped on another plane today ! We went to the col de Faisses and met with Martial Faure who flew his Baudis ASW22. It is a 1/5 scale glider, with the following characteristics:
Wingspan5300 mmWing area68 dm2Aspect ratio41,3Length1600 mmWing loadingaprox. 74g / dm2AirfoilHQ 2,5/13 - 1,5/10 Conditions where smooth, but very nice, and especially warm for november. Here is my photo album on this plane that I could pilot few minute: very different from my usual F3F plane, believe me !

And the video made from the 8 minutes of rushes I got before the Mobius battery dies.

[Video] Vagabond XL from Hacker Model

Second video of the Vagabond XL, at col de Faisses, with some onboard video sequences. Overall, I have prefered the XL version compared to the standard version. I found it more polyvalent, with a wider flying envelop.

[Video] A Sky Full Of Alulas

A short video clip, a slow motion exercice, while playing with Alulas (both EVO or TREK) with friends !

[Video] MPX Cockpit SX 7/9

Video only in german for the moment.

[Scoop] Multiplex new SX 7/9 middle class transmitter

Breaking news !  Next friday, Multiplex is going to announce/release a new 2.4 GHz M-LINK middle class transmitter COCKPIT SX 7/9 for thumbs flyers. With a weight of 846g, it features a 3.5 inches large TFT color touch screen with telemetry display and day / night switching, allowing easy programming like on a smartphone.

Some other features:

Intelligent Speech (D, E, F) via speaker or earphone jackModel Wizard: Predefined templates for nearly all common wing and helicopter modelsIOAT antenna - integrated emission optimized antenna technology with extremely high rangeHigh precision stick units from the PROFI TX, 4 ballracesMSB / SRXL DVR technology BUS integration of sensors and servoslong battery lifeFuture-proof thanks to an upgradable software!Prices:
Cockpit SX 7 Sender only - EUR 379,90Cockpit SX 7 Set / TX + Receiver RX 7 DR - EUR 399,90Cockpit SX 9 Sender Only EUR - 439,90Cockpit SX 9 Set / TX + Receiver RX 9 DR - EUR 479,90 Now let's wait Faszination Modellbau :) !!!

[Video] Font d'Urle 2015

Probably the best video I did this season. It was at Font D'urle, during the french league contest. I used my GoPro in rotating timelaspe and my Lumix FZ 1000 Bridge which has 120 images/seconds 1080p slowmotion capabilities. Few hours of editing and this is the result. Hope you will like it !

Angle of incidence calculation

This spreadsheet developped by Attila Laczko in 2003 is on planet-soaring server for a while. I have translated it in english so everybody can use it. It allows to calculate the angle of incidence between the wing and the tail. You just need a ruler !

Staufenbiel Mini Epsilon review in Modèle Magazine

My review of the Mini epsilon from Staufenbiel has been published in the November issue of Modèle Magazine. As a guest star in this article, my friend Alfio Origlio, a famous jazz pianist ( who love Slope Soaring during his free time. He is an excellent pilot and it has been a pleasure to give him my transmitter while I was shooting with my DSLR.

and at the same time, one of my pictures taken this summer has been published in Aufwind in the Pictorial pages:

[Video] Flying the EPP Swift from Hacker Model

Video of the Swift from Hacker Model, filmed last Saturday at the col de Faisses, with excellent conditions :

Flying with vultures !

Yesterday, while flying at Col de Faisses, some vultures came to visit us. They arrived from the other side of the valley, and using thermals and wind transited to the Obiou summit. I was flying with my Jedi, using the Mobius on the excellent mount/pod printed by Thomas Delarbre. I suceeded to fly very close and got these 3 pictures.

Too close ?!!!

Maybe a bit too close with the Vagabond XL .... Well, the truth is that I've been destabilized, I falled on the grass, but kept piloting and recovered hopefully ! Lot's of fun for this picture and video session with the Vagabon XL and the Swift from Hacker Model. More to come !

My Eurotour F3F 2015

This is now official and published, I'm the happy and proud winner of the Eurotour F3F 2015 ! It was my secret objective of the year, because it was the first time I was participating to 4 eurotour contests in the season, giving me the possibility to have a Joker. But there is always a part of chance, unexpected event, etc ...
But this year, everything went well: After winning the 20th edition of La Muela (Spain), I finished third at Col de Tende, then won the first RC-Network open of Vosgen and ended the season with again a third place at the Pyrénées's cup, taking the lead. I couldn't participate to the last Eurotour contest in Denmark, so followed it on F3Xvault with the worry that my friend Inaki Elizondo or Radovan Plch who were both still in position to win the Eurotour could make enough points and beat me at the very last contest. Hopefully for me, it didn't happen. My teammates Philippe Lanes finished 6th and Matthieu Mervelet 8th, so we are 3 frenchies in the…

Innovation: Flexing wing trailing edge

Jaro Muller, the weel known manufacturer of the Ellipse family is currently experimenting a new technology of flexing trailing edges replacing the traditional control surface with hinges. A first video has been released. We cannot see well in details, but it seems to work.

Does it use a kind of Fish Bone Active Camber Morphing Concept (…) ?
No idea.

Vagabond XL update

And as we are in the updates, I maidened the Vagabond XL yesterday afternoon. Being alone on the slope I couldn't do any pictures despite the weather was OK and the scenery great. So, instead, I used a tripod, my Gopro and my Lumix FZ1000 to film my maiden flight.

Update on the Swift from Hacker Model

I apology for being late on my reviews. I have maiden the Swift first this summer. A gentle glider, capable of aerobatics, with a great presence in the air. To wait the complete review, here are the pictures of the maiden flight session. We had lot of fun, despite it was a bit too breezy for the Swift.

A nice pod for the mobius cam

Thomas Delarbre created this nice 3D printed Mobius pod with the objective to tape it at a wing tip or at the middle of the fuselage and provide nice view angle video. The overall weight including the cam is about 60g. The cam can be secured with a strap, and the cam head can rotate horizontally to ajust the angle. It is designed for a 8mm carbone tube. thomas will make available the file online for those having a 3D printer, but for others, will propose the lower and upper support, including the 2 screws for 8 euros only (shipping excluded), a very good deal.

For a better fixation, I recommend to glue a very thin and larger epoxy plate that will increase the contact surface of the lower support, and will also take the shape of the airfoil when taped. I know that Thomas is doing some attempt to create a larger base, and more flexible to suppress the need of this epoxy plate.

Finnaly, I use duct tape for the fixation on the wing, whatever the material used, composite or elapor/EPP, it …

Weasel TREK in approach !!!

After releasing the Alula TREK, Dreamflight (Michael Richter and George Rodriguez) is currently evaluating the very first prototype of the new and awaited Weasel TREK. From the pictures we can see, the shape is very similar and it use the same skid than the Alula TREK, so we can guess it will feature a canopy for quick and easy access to the radio.

The Weasel EVO has been like a revelation for me few years ago because of its wide flying enveloppe from thermal flying to strong wind flying thanks to the possibility to ballast in the joiner. Its agility, stability is a joy for slope flyers. I still enjoy my Weasel Black Edition !

If the improvement between the Weasel EVO and TREK is about the same than between the Alula EVO and TREK, we can expect something brillant !

Release Countdown started !

Baudis Jedi onboard video

Onboard video with the Baudis Jedi, at Puy de Manse near Gap:

Pioupiou, a fully autonomous and connected anemometer

A very smart and fully autonomous anemometer that can be useful for our hobby. It features a compass and GPS, and connects automatically to a global cellular signalling network dedicated for the internet of things. This technology is developped by a french company located in Toulouse and called Sigfox ( 
It uses UNB (Ultra Narrow Band) based radio technology and requires a very low energy consumption. The SigFox network currently covers France and Spain, but I understand that some new countries are developping the network. The "Pioupiou", name of this connected anemometer (, has been designed and developped in Grenoble by a paraglider pilot. It costs 325 Euros and includes the life subscription (40 euros) to the signalling network. Once installed, it calibrates and then connect to the network and start to talk over the network. Its battery can last 3 to 4 years before to be replaced. From any internet browser, it is easy to reach its dedic…

Vagabond XL & Swift S1 from Hacker Model

2 new kits for review arrived yesterday from Hacker (Czech Republic) ! The Vagabond XL , and a Swift S1. Both have 2 meters wingspan and feature a laminated film covering.

More info here

Assembly will start in the coming days, Stay tuned !

F3F French League: Col de Tende

This week-end was the french league contest of Col de tende at the border between Italy and France. We got light conditions on saturday, but managed 4 rounds on the south slopes. Unfortunately on Sunday, the wind stayed too light and from the north so we couldn't resume the contest. Best time of the comp in 38s by Frédéric Hours. Stay and camping on the slope would have been perfect without an army of flies and mosquitos which just eated us ! A big thanks to Sébastien and Philippe Lanes, the organisers !
More pictures here:

Below is an aerial Footage of the Central Fortress of Tende (Alps) between Italy and France.
Remnant of the 1st world war. Altitude 2000m/6000fts. Thanks to Aubry Gabanon:

F3F league contest in Ardèche

This week-end was a F3F league contest in Ardèche. Unfortunately, the stormy weather that is on the south of France fro few days didn't allow to valideta the contest. Saturday afternoon, with warm temperatur and low wind, we did 1 round and half before the end of the day. Strong storm and heavy rains arrived in the evening and didn't stop during the night. Today, same scenario with no wind and wet air, and again storm tonight. We couldn't add new rounds. With 1.5 rounds the contest is therefore not valid. Next contest is in 2 weeks.

F3F French league: Vosgen

End of May was the french league contest in Vosgen. Nice conditions, with plenty of wind, 15 rounds flown over 2 days with 20 pilots. I've flown my Shinto and Jedi and got the fastest time of the comp in 36s with the Jedi (1.2kg of ballast). I won the contest, followed by my friend and MKS team mate Reto Blumer. Jacques Marczak finished third. A big thanks to the organisers Renaud and Stéphane !

More pictures here:

The evolutive ranking:

[Essai] Héron de Multiplex, Les volets font la différence !

Deux ans après la sortie du populaire et réussi Solius, Multiplex récidive avec une nouveauté présentée à Nuremberg, dans la parfaite lignée du Solius avec ce planeur de 2.40m d’envergure baptisé Héron (Nom de l’échassier), équipé de volets. Disponible en version kit à construire ou en version RR prêt à voler, c’est cette deuxième version dont je vous propose l’essai aujourd’hui.
Un Solius en à peine plus grand

En fait en y regardant de plus près, à part 24 cm de plus en envergure et l’ajout de volets, il faut bien le reconnaitre, rien de diffère si ce n’est le stab un poil plus grand. Même longueur de fuselage, même motorisation, même batterie recommandé, un poids en ordre de vol à peine plus élevé, ainsi que la charge alaire. D’ailleurs le Héron ne s’en cache pas car en dehors de saumon de l’aile lui donnant plus d’allongement et d’effilement, l’esthétique est la même. Donc la grande nouveauté, ce sont ces fameux volets qui vont permettre, combinés aux ailerons, vont permettre d’éla…

F3F French league: Séderon

French F3F league, contest of Séderon in the south alps. On Saturday, we went to the north west slope, but wind was blowing north. Conditions were hyper variable. We managed to do 5 rounds with some reflights. Sunday, the wind didn't start to blow before we ended the contest so we couldn't do more rounds. Philippe Lanes won this competition with very nice flights, followed by Fréderic Hours and Arnaud Léger.

F3F national championship not validated

Last week in Panat (Rodez), the French F3F national championship finished with 2 rounds over 3 days so is unfortunately not validated. Even the 2 rounds flown were a super lottery with times from 53s (best time) and 80s, from one flight to another . This is the first time in 11 years of existence we don't have a valid championship, but this can happen. Anyway, we still had a great week-end with friendly atmosphere and good food, lot's or FPC quad, lots of Alulas, while waiting for the wind. A big thanks to the organisers who tried everything they could to make it and also the club who hosted the event for their kindness and sense of hospitality !

F3F in Auvergne

French league stopped in the country of volcanos (Auvergne). New slope for our F3F category, good wind, nice landscape. 9 rounds flown in the afternoon with 18 pilots on Saturday. On sunday, we had only a light wind from south so couldn't resume the competition. Consequenctly it was sport flying for everybody and exploration of new F3F spot around. In a 1 to 2km distance we now have a west slope, 3 south slopes, 1 south east to east, one superb north to north east slope. All slopes are within 30 minutes easy walking distance. A great place with a awesome scenery all around as you will see on the picture below.

Video: Flying the Alula TREK

A first video about the Alula TREK from Dream flight:

New Magnet Holder from Zepsus

Zepsus, the manufacturer of the now very popular magnetic switch, released a new magnet holder with a stronger magnet, attached to a 75cm line from a auto roll up unit.
You attach this magnet holder to your pant or jacket. The new magnet extends the activation range by 3 times which is good for large scale gliders, but also for F3X planes where there is no more need to locate the magnet very accurately to swithc on and off. A simple pass is enough, and this changes your life ! Personnaly, I use the Zepsus magnetic switch on all my competition plane. They work flawlessly for few years already, are very tiny, accept high current draw and are HV ready.

F3F French league, Esculliens

First competition of the french league 2015, 29 pilots, a new slope, replacing Laurac, 7 rounds in an afternoon, no round on sunday because of the rain. Frederic Hours won the competition with 3 or 4x 1000. I missed the podium after a buzzerman forgot to beep the end of my flight that was in 36 or 37 and a 1000. I got a reflight but did only a 44s. Very nice slope, and good day with friends.

Evolutive ranking and final result below:

Some pictures here where you can have an idea of this new slope, from the bottom included:

and a video of a run of JB Deguelle with hisTyphoon+ from RCRCM:

MPX Heron review

You can read my 5 pages review of the MPX Heron in the april issue of RC-Pilot International:

The Baudis Jedi in flight

Some pictures of the Baudis Jedi in flight:

And a video:

La Muela 2015, 20th Anniversary

20 years ago, I discovered for the first time this curious hill, flat at the top, accessible by car, with all wind orientation slopes. It was also my first international competition. I was flying an Ellipse 1 at that time. I won this 1995 edition so I won't forget.  It was also the opportunity to visit some part of this beautiful country, Toledo, Cordoba, Madrid, Aruanjuez, the Sierra Nevada. In 2015, it was therefore impossible to miss the 20th edition !
52 pilots engaged, from Germany, Norway, Switzerland, England, France and of course Spain. As it was early april, we could expect some low temperature and why not some some like in 2012 for example. But weather has been very good this time with some worries regarding the low wind predicted.
I arrived on Wednesday, driving from Barcelone. On the slope, the wind was blowing around 13m/s and already lots of competitors were practicing intensively. But with the rotation, it was possible to fly. The wind was from North so we were fly…

Alula TREK ... same recipe but tastier !

When I first saw the picture of the Alula TREK, I found she looked like the Alula EVO, especially because the specs are very close if not similar. But in fact the Alula TREK is different on every aspect as we will discover:
AerodynamicContruction / AssemblyFlying capabilities
What changed in the design ?

According to Michael Richter, DF (Dream Flight) worked on the following things with the new Alula TREK:
1) New airfoil: DF took what they learned from the EVO series and applied this to the new TREK series. They wanted to achieve trimmed flight with the elevons close to neutral position, at best glide. Both the evo designs always required a little trim to get it right. Basically, they took the best characteristics of the EVO airfoils and attempted to merge them, and at the same time thickness was reduced for the alula-TREK and camber was adjusted lightly as getting closer to the wingtip. This is very visible when comparing side by side the wing tip of the alula Evo and TREK, Alula TREK…