Schlagwort-Archive: Glider

Prievidza: Glider Collision

26th of April, in the afternoon, two gliders collided near the village of Trebostovo above the Končiar hill. Both gliders fell down into the forest in the difficult terrain. Based on a report from the Fire and Rescue Corps, we were told that both pilots were dead. All other competitors returned to the airport in Prievidza or outlanded in the field. The organizers of the competition express their sincere condolences to the families and the entire Polish and Lithuanian team. Source: ‘FCC Gliding (Event organiser)’.

New motor glider from Warsaw University of Technology

A team from the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering has developed PW-X10 – an experimental, flying electric powered 2-seat platform. The machine is brought into service by the WUT Aviation Research Centre “OBLOT”, located at the airport in Sieraków, near Przasnysz. The design is just another result of works related to electromobility in aviation carried out at WUT. The motor glider has been developed for the purpose of researching new low-emission aviation power units. – We want to use the PW-X10 platform for testing complete electric power units and their components, such as engines, propellers, control systems, power supply systems obtained from electrochemical cells, fuel cells, photovoltaic cells or energy flow management systems – says Wojciech Frączek from the Institute of Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics at the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering, the designer conducting the design works. The new motor glider is also to serve other research, planned in the “ODLOT” centre in Przasnysz. It concerns, among others, the study of composite structures in conditions of natural exploitation or the spectrum of loads on the airframe structure in terms of service life tests.

PW-X10 structure
The PW-X10 platform is made of hybrid polymer composites. The creators diversified the structure of the materials, taking into account the weight, strength, rigidity or durability of the structure, as well as the safety of the crew inside. In the front part of the fuselage with the cockpit, a composite reinforced with glass fibres was used, which provides, among others, better protection for the crew, in the remaining part, where high rigidity is desirable, carbon fibres dominate. The motor glider is equipped with an FES (Front Electric Sustainer), which is launched during flight, and placed in the hull bow. It provides a climb of 1.7 m/s with the maximum weight of the platform, while during the flight of only one person it reaches 2.5 m/s. – These are very good values, especially since the use of such a propulsion system in a two-seat glider is a novelty – emphasizes Wojciech Frączek.

The batteries supplying the drive unit were made using lithium-polymer technology. The creators of PW-X10 chose the best batteries available on the market that meet the requirements for this design. The system has a built-in BMS surveillance system and is located in a special chamber isolated from the cockpit, placed at the rear of the fuselage. All of this to ensure an adequate level of safety. Various types of test equipment will be installed on the PW-X10. Therefore, the hull in the central part has been supplemented with external attachment points for additional equipment. – In the future, as part of the reconfiguration of the platform, we expect to install, among others, an external power generator with a capacity of approx. 30 kW, which will be used to test the hybrid power supply system – explains Wojciech Frączek.

Many years of experience
The design of the new glider is the work of the team of Prof. Piotr Czarnocki from the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering. The work was divided into two stages: design and testing of new wings (2018-2019) and design and testing of a new hull, tail units and control systems (2020-2021). It would not have been possible to create such a structure without many years of experience and fruitful cooperation with specialists from outside the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering and the “OBLOT” centre.

PW-X10 is another fruit of the ULS Program implemented for over 40 years at the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering, consisting of the construction and research of innovative aircraft. At that time, one-seater ULS-PW and PW-2 Gapa gliders were created, two-seater PW-3 Bakcyl and PW-6 gliders, two-seater PW-4 motor glider or one-seater PW-5 Smyk – the winner of the world competition for the Olympic glider monotype. The last designs before PW-X10 are a two-seat motor glider with electric drive AOS-71 (the effect of the work of the team of Prof. Krzysztof Arczewski) and an experimental motor glider with AOS-H2 hybrid hydrogen propulsion (developed by the team of Prof. Piotr Czarnocki in consortium cooperation with, among others, the team of Prof. Grzegorz Iwański from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at WUT). PW-X10 was built by the “Jeżów” Glider Plant in Jeżów Sudecki, with which the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering has already successfully cooperated in the work on previous structures.

Full readiness
The motor glider is beyond the test stage. The flight and test flights took place at the airport in Jelenia Góra. Jerzy Kędzierski – a graduate of the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering, an experimental pilot of the first class, sat at the helm of the machine. – The platform launches took place in the lobby behind the “immortal” Jak-12 aircraft – says Wojciech Frączek. – After towing to a height of approx. 2500 m and after disconnection, the pilot carried out a flight program that included checking the behaviour of the platform in sliding flights and with the power unit switched on. The tests were a success. Now PW-X10 is waiting in the hangar of the “OBLOT” centre in Przasnysz. As soon as the weather permits, it will perform experimental flights. Source: ‘Warsaw University of Technology‘.

Best Of Soaring in New Zealand

See just how amazing New Zealand is, one of the world’s most spectacular places to fly gliders and sailplanes. Glide amongst mountains, sunsets. Soar with the birds. Source ‘Youtube / PureGlide‘.

Soaring can do miracles

Alex and Morgan Chery were on an early summer vacation with their dad and stepmom. Driving along Highway 79 in the desert from their home in Newport Beach, California, the family passed a long, dusty airstrip with an unassuming faded-pink ranch house, windsock, and half a mile’s worth of sailplanes in their hangars. Alex said, “stop”—he wanted a ride in a sailplane. And his dad, Anthony, a pilot, wanted him to have that ride.

At 12, Alex has flown more than most kids his age. His dad owns and flies a Piper Malibu and the family takes flying vacations all over the country. Alex has a mild form of cerebral palsy, which affects his motor skills. “He is an adventure-seeker at heart,” says his stepmom, Erika Houser. “Which is why he has defied what his doctors said at his birth—that he would never be able to walk. Flying is a treat for him because he is equal in the air.”

Anthony pulled the SUV into the parking lot and the family of four headed for the porch of the old ranch house. There sat a guy who could relate; 66-year-old Bret Willat (his birthday would be the next day) struggles to move in his body, too. An accident burst his vertebrae and doctors told him he’d never walk again. But, like Alex, he didn’t give up. Although he often looks like he’s struggling and hurting, he gets around well and, with his wife and sons, has been running Sky Sailing in Warner Springs, California, since 1979. Taking kids like Alex for a soaring experience in a Grob G–103A is exactly why Willat is in this business.

A colourful history
Bret Willat is a character. He loves to tell stories—and he has a bunch. Probably the most surprising are those about his father. It’s clear where he gets his flair for the dramatic. Irvin Willat adopted Bret when he was a baby. Bret claims his father “collected people.” A wealthy Hollywood filmmaker, Irvin Willat directed 39 silent films, including the first all-colour western—Wanderer of the Wasteland by Zane Grey. He directed Harry Houdini in films, had his offices in the Spadena House—also known as The Witch’s House—in Beverly Hills, and reportedly was paid $325,000 by Howard Hughes to divorce his then-wife, actress Billie Dove, whom Hughes desired but never married.

The older Willat was famous for action films as well as westerns, and it was on a set for a movie with his father that Bret was first introduced to flying. He soloed in a glider at 15 and later attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. But he was injured and was discharged just as his older half-brother A.J. Allee came home from Vietnam. A.J. encouraged his brother to continue flying and Bret earned ratings at Flabob Airport in Riverside, California. While at Flabob, Bret became chief pilot at Art Scholl Aviation. He flew with Scholl the day before the Hollywood stunt pilot was killed while filming the movie Top Gun.

After moving to the San Francisco Bay area, Willat worked for famed CFI Amelia Reid. Under her tutelage, he began to believe strongly that “when learning to fly in a powered aircraft, one must, to do it best, learn in a taildragger. The best overall way to learn to fly, however, is in a sailplane.” In 1979, Willat began instructing in Fremont, California, at Sky Sailing Airport and eventually bought the company. In 1980 he married another sailplane instructor; Karen and he flew the first sailplane formation wedding ceremony. Five sailplanes flew in formation with five tow planes—the minister officiated from the lead airplane.

The act
Willat believed the best way to showcase sailplane flying was to perform in airshows. He began performing a sailplane routine in 1979. As their business grew, so did Karen and Bret’s family. First Garret—who as a little boy rode a tiny biplane on the ground during the airshow—and then Boyd joined the act. Karen was the tow plane pilot. “The Flying Willats: Sailplane Magic Airshow Team” uses a Grob G–103A sailplane that soars to music and trails smoke from the pyrotechnics on the wings and tail. The sailplane is towed to 4,000 feet AGL and once released, the pilot (Bret, Garret, or Boyd) talks to the audience about the sport of soaring and performs smooth, graceful loops and rolls and other aerobatic manoeuvres. “It’s a peaceful aerobatic routine, a contrast to acts like Sean D. Tucker,” said Boyd. “It’s almost romantic.”

Both Garret and Boyd are integral parts of the family business. Garret set records—and created a media event—when he soloed 18 different gliders on his fourteenth birthday. Boyd, not to be outdone, soloed 23 gliders on his fourteenth birthday. All were documented by news and media outlets.

The business had moved to Warner Springs from Fremont in the 1980s and the school there is a mecca for soaring enthusiasts. Surrounded by the California Peninsular Range—a north/south mountain range that includes Palomar Mountain—the area is ideal for soaring. At almost 3,000 feet MSL, Warner Springs sits nestled in a range that climbs to 10,000 feet. These mountain ranges help create the lift for the sailplanes. “Location, location, location. Between the Pacific marine influence and the desert influence, we can soar almost every day of the year,” said Bret.

Although Boyd now works offsite for FedEx, Garret lives on the property with his parents and his two children. Garret is a chief flight instructor and runs Yankee Composites, a sailplane repair centre. Sky Sailing is open seven days a week and is busiest on weekends when reservations are recommended. About 100 soaring pilots base their gliders at Warner Springs Airport. Lessons and rides are offered, including a Stemme motorglider flight for $275 for a 45-minute soar that takes the pilot and passenger over the Palomar Observatory, one of the oldest active astronomical observatories in the world, with several telescopes, including the 200-inch Hale Telescope. The school prides itself on its safety record. While all members of the family encourage visitors to experience soaring, they are also well aware that the experience may not be for everyone. “The glider rating is an add-on, according to the FAA,” said Garret. “When we teach powered pilots, we have a lot of unteaching to do. They learn to fly, not just drive in the sky.”

The accident
For Bret Willat, soaring is next to breathing. So when the Call-Air A–9A he was flying as a tow plane pilot crashed at 20 Gs after a carbon monoxide leak incapacitated him in 1985, he was first grateful to be alive—and second, ready to walk and fly again. The doctors didn’t think that possible. He is an “incomplete paraplegic” as his L-1 and L-2 vertebrae exploded on impact. Karen was at home with Garret when the accident happened. The doctors told her Bret would never walk again. But he was in a wheelchair heading up the Watsonville Fly-In just three weeks later and flew in the Reno Air Races three months after that. “It made me appreciate things in my life, but it never made me think about leaving aviation,” Bret said.

“The business had to go on,” Karen said. “We just kept going.”
He has a crumbling way of walking and looks like he has just gotten up from sleeping in a bad position. His feet hurt but you’d never know it from his 1,000-watt smile. While his sons perform his original sailplane airshow, Bret still performs the night show—with 120 different pyrotechnics strapped on the aircraft. And with more than 20,000 flight hours, he doesn’t show signs of quitting. “There’s nothing more important than family,” he says, driving an ATV around the airstrip with his dog. The wind hums in the background and an occasional truck rumbles down Highway 79. A tow plane roars off the 3,500-foot runway pulling a sailplane into the sky, its occupants all smile. As for the Chery family from Newport Beach, both Alex and Morgan flew with Garret in the Grob with Alex handling the controls “three-quarters of the flight; he was a natural,” Garret said. Morgan had a blast. Their stepmother said both boys can’t wait to soar again. Source: ‘AOPA‘.

How do Gliders Land in the Mountains?

How do gliders not crash in the mountains? Do we always have somewhere to land? It might look like we can’t land make an outlanding, but there is almost always somewhere safe to land the glider. Source: ‘PureGliding / Youtube‘.

Father-daughter duo to set record flying

In what they believe is a world first, father and daughter glider pilots are flying from one end of New Zealand to the other. Terry and Abbey Delore set off from Omarama in the South Island on Monday morning, down to Bluff, then up to Auckland. On Tuesday, they plan to finish their journey to Cape Rēinga at the top of the North Island. Abbey Delore, from Christchurch, said it was the first time a glider would fly the straight length of New Zealand. The pair were in the air before 5.30 am on Monday in an ASH 25 glider, which has two seats and a 25-metre wingspan and arrived at Auckland Gliding Club in Drury about 7 pm. In that time they travelled about 1500 kilometres. Abbey Delore said the pair had been planning to try and fly the length of New Zealand for a long time, mainly because they wanted to do something that “hadn’t been done before”. In 1994, Terry Delore set a world record for the longest flight (2000 km) ever done in a glider without an engine.

“Terry’s been gliding his whole life and holds multiple world records for gliding, so I think we’re both always trying to push the boundaries,” Abbey Delore said. “I was brought up in the sport and have been gliding for about 15 years now. I like the adventure side of it. “Aviation definitely runs in our family.” Abbey Delore said they had been lucky with how good the weather conditions had been on Monday, as often it could be “hit-and-miss”, and the sky had to be read constantly while flying. The pair had been “wave soaring”, where the glider flies along vertical waves of wind that form. Abbey Delore described it as being similar to surfing in the sky. The waves meant at times, the pair would reach altitudes where they would need to put on oxygen masks as the glider didn’t have a pressurised cockpit. “We had a feeling we’d end up stopping in Auckland and carrying on the next day, just because of how long it took to get here and the changing conditions.” While the pair weren’t able to make it to Cape Rēinga in one day, Abbey Delore was still happy with what they had achieved. “It’s all about the adventure,” she said. Source and some more pics: ‘Stuff‘.

Slingsby 1939 Petrel Glider Flight

A flight of the recently restored 1939 Slingsby Petrel glider, piloted by Scott Gifford, at the 2021 International Vintage Sailplane Meet at Harris Hill, New York. With Scott at the controls, he joined the museum’s classic Minimoa glider in a big thermal in the first days of the vintage glider meet. The Petrel glider is part of the collection of the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum in Hood River, Oregon. Source: ‘Paul Naton / Youtube’.

Glider pilot flies around tornado

Oklahoma City native David Evans has been a pilot for about 30 years, but few things compare with what he encountered while flying his glider Sunday. Evans came face to face with a bona fide tornado — and decided to hitch a ride on the upward-moving air around it. Weather wasn’t conducive for strong thunderstorm activity or tornadoes in the Sooner State on Sunday, but Evans found a landspout, a borderline tornado that forms in a way similar to many waterspouts or dust devils. That meant it wasn’t born from a thunderstorm or cloud-based rotation, but rather developed from the ground up. It also couldn’t be spotted on radar, and there were no obvious large-scale weather features that would have clued meteorologists in to the chance for tornadoes. How do tornadoes form? This drone-based project seeks to unravel the secrets of spinning storms. “Realistically, it was more of a landspout, but we sort of have no justification as to why it occurred,” said Ryan Bunker, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Norman, Okla. “We didn’t have any answers.” Source: ‘David Evans/ Washinghton Post’.

Stefan Langer: 5 Crazy Flights in a Glider

Watch the TOP 5 glider flights captured on camera from Stefan Langer. From flying into a funnel cloud in Germany to making a lowpass at the beach of New Zealand and … landing a glider like a fighter jet in Italy?