My name is Stéphane Combet, I'm 37 years old and I live in Toulouse, South of France. What really fascinates me about RC sailplanes is aerobatics, air sliding and drifting sensations, unique style of old school gliders, and amazing landscapes.
My way with RC gliders
I learnt about RC planes with my dad when I was a child, then when I was a teenager I built and flew a lot (fuel airplaines and gliders, and also 4 meters scale gliders with towing and so on...). Then I stopped for a while (lot of time in mountains, skiing and walking). In 2008, I came back to RC gliders and I was very surprised to see that in a few years, a lot of things had changed! Equipments had become lighter and better. But mainly, glider performances had greatly improved! I bought a Minij (from Aeromod) and enjoyed flying in a 4 axis way, with a glider keeping good energy whereas it is quite light...
Then I discovered the wonderful Weasel... And started to try aerobatics without worrying about crashing! Missing the rudder, I built The Poisson, inspired from Le Fish and from Monkey Swinger. Later I built the SnowflaK, a 2,5m wingspan wood scratchbuilt glider inspired by the Lunak.
Snowflak (2011 version) at Pic de Céciré
From that period I feel like there is no limit to what we could do with aerobatics. Not only about figures, but also about landscapes and weather. I love so much trying to "participate to the landscape" in many beautiful spots, studying the weather, trying to improve my gliders... I also had the opportunity to know François Cahour thanks to RC-SlopeS (he discovered my website a few years ago) and 'till this time I have learnt a lot from him, and I am lucky to pilot one of its amazing gliders, the Troll.
The slope of the video below partially answers the question. When the wind comes from South at the Port de Balès, one can try numerous flight points along the ridge before finding THE good spot. And in this case the difference is huge. All other flight points are medium to poor, while the latter is excellent, both for the lift and for the landing zone. A map, where you can locate flight points as accurately as possible, is a valuable tool to fly RC gliders in good conditions.
Troll aerobatics at Port de Balès
"Sharing my secret spot?...
...But everybody will know it!" It is true, but you will also know everybody's spots, and that's much more! Also, if everybody has access to precise informations about many spots, it means less people on the only know spot of a region. Last, sharing informations about the need to participate in the local club, the presence or prohibition of paragliders, allows everyone (even paragliders ;)) to plan activities without disappointment when arriving at the flight point.
Sunset Troll at Capelette de Dourgne. This slope is little frequented by RC gliders, many by paragliders on weekends. But it is not incompatible with a little solitude, as that evening: the paragliders were on the next ridge ...
The show must go on!
This wilderness activity can be a form of artistic expression. "Participating in the landscape " by flying his glider on a natural site, it is to draw trajectories in splendid places with very varied colors and shapes. The evolution of the equipment pushes the limits well beyond our capacities of pilots (in terms of possible figures in aerobatics for example, the area that is dear to me). A wealth of the internet is to share this between passionate people to the 4 corners of the world, via points on a map, photos, stories, videos. The goal of RC-SlopeS is to participate in this sharing.