I'm Rod Buck, Wendy's creator.
Twenty-odd years ago I decided that Hang Gliders and Paragliders needed to know what the winds were on the hills before we left home, so I created Wendy Windblows.
Wendy is a chain of real-time weather stations on the actual flying sites. (Or, at least, as close to them as we can get).
You can look at all the free 'forecast' sites you like, but, you still need to know what it's actually blowing on the hills before you set off - if you're to avoid wasting time and petrol...
Wendy tells you the ACTUAL conditions at your favourite site! Many of the best pilots have subscribed to Wendy for 15 years or longer!
They Wouldn't Keep Paying If It Wasn't Good, Would They?
Wendy Depends on Support from Pilots
I raise the money to build and maintain the stations (and it's expensive to keep it all going) by subscription from pilots - who tell me that the time and petrol they save easily covers the cost. The more of you that join, and support Wendy, the better I can make her! More sites, better services...
How Much Is It?
You can choose from 3 types of subscription, depending on how long you want to use it for. The longer you join for, the cheaper it is!
All subscriptions are paid by Credit or Debit Card, and auto-renew. In other words, your subscription carries on until you tell me you want to stop. More details about this here. The benefit goes both ways, though... in return for continuous subscription, Wendy's policy is:
I believe that loyalty should be rewarded. So, as long as you stay subscribed, your rate is fixed - and never goes up. Any price rises only affect new members. I have many people on Wendy who have been members since 1996 or so, and are still paying the rate they joined at then (£24!)
If you leave, and come back later, you pay whatever the rate is then. Stay with us, and your rate is fixed.
You can see all the subscription terms, and the full list of benefits here
Access to the Wendy website, where you can easily see the real-time weather patterns over the country, and check the individual sites you're interested in.
Wendy has a phone service - you can call our number 0114 287 4464 and select the weather station you require, and it will read out to you the up-to-the-minute wind and sky report for your chosen site. You can call it from your home landline or mobile number - useful if you don't have a PC or a smartphone. Or if you don't have enough signal for a web connection on your mobile. The number is a normal landline number, so should be free to call from most calling plans.
You can set up, on the website, the conditions you like at your favourite site, and Wendy will email you or text you when those conditions occur - never miss a good flying day again! (there is a small charge per text for text delivery).
You can text in any flying-site name to Wendy's text server 07786 200 431 and it will send you back, within a few seconds, the weather for that site.
You can text, say Dyke? to 07786 200 431 to get back the report for Devils Dyke, near Brighton.
It's the same info as the phone service, above - but more convenient in many ways. You can read it as many times as you like, at leisure - and you can get a text report when there isn't enough signal for a phone call!
Wendy has a text-reporting service. In other words, if you arrive on your local flying site, and wish to post a comment to Wendy, you can text it in to us, and it will be echoed out to all the other members looking at the weather for that site today. Something like:Ian Currer is at Wether Fell, and people are going XC right now! 11:47 30/9/2010
Major changes are under way at Wendy - I am designing and installing a much-improved set of equipment that will bring major benefits.
There will be weather updates every minute or so to the website (currently it updates every half hour).
It's not easy to get web cam images from remote hilltop locations, but improvements in mobile broadband means it's now possible, and I think I've cracked it, so Wendy will include webcam sky shots.
There will be a members forum (sort of Facebook for pilots) where you can post and discuss anything you like to do with free flying. XC retrieval messages, warnings about site problems, anything you like. As it will be limited to Wendy members, who pay to join,. I'm pretty sure that the idiots that flame other forums and spoil things will be excluded. I will bar postings from anyone who abuses it, anyway.
And we also plan to deliver a Free Ads Service for members - like Ebay, only free, where you can sell your spare equipment - or pick up a bargain.
There will be a suggestions page, where you can leave your feedback about the service.
All this, for as little as £2.50 a month equivalent... got to be a bargain!