Schlagwort-Archive: sailplane

God’s Magic Carpet

Guido and I launched, experiencing the strong wind blowing us toward the ridge. At 1500ft above the airport, we popped off tow, right over the mountain. We nestled right into the ridge lift, which pushed the glider higher and higher, such that we were maintaining 60 knots at 2100ft MSL. The clouds were at all sorts of different levels, with some wisps even forming below ridge top on the downwind side of the ridge. But on the upwind side, the clouds were rapidly rising, the sun was shining, and the day was looking beautiful. I called Philip back at the airport to let the folks know that the surf was up and it was time to fly!

After a couple of beats back and forth the local ridge in the high band of the local ridge, I finally couldn’t take it anymore. By the Upper Reservoir, I asked if I could take the controls. Guido let out a long-excited gasp as I made a very steep turn, peeled over and dropped onto the trees cruising at 100 mph. The lift was rock solid, so I gave it back to him with instructions to slow down and float up a bit higher. I was going to give him a taste of ridge cross country soaring was like, so we kept going southwest bound.

The big challenge was locating the narrow ridge band. The sweet spot in the lift band was very elusive with such a steep mountain face that is constantly changing shape, bending around and rising and falling in elevation. I find that going a fair distance in a straight line is both fun for the student, but also instructive in really learning how to find that best part of the lift. So Guido and I cruised past the Bangor Offset and had to bear with my coaxing and admonitions geared at making minuscule corrections in pitch, roll, and yaw, constantly adjusting for the slight gusts on one side or the other of the glider that hinted at the best lift. Guido did a wonderful job and we were at Lehigh Gap in what felt like a heartbeat. Looking over our wing, I pointed out that Slatington Airport is a Silver Distance away from Blairstown. Guido was shocked and amazed at how fast we made so many miles!

As we turned, I glanced at my watch and saw it was 1:35 pm. I texted Jen that we’re 30 miles out and we will land at 2 pm. By all accounts it should work exactly as so, but what an amazing thought that one could be in a glider and expect to time an arrival like so. Sure enough, Guido and I flew on back, made our landing pattern for Runway 7, landing long on the clear runway in the perfect position to launch for the next flight. Jen came on out and sure enough, it was exactly 2 pm. I grinned as I announced that Aero Club Albatross Airlines was ready for the next customer.

We launched straight to the ridge and sure enough, it was still working perfectly. We hung a left on the Appalachian super-highway and had no trouble floating along at 70 knots 400-500ft above the ridge. The air was smooth and the glider felt like it was on rails. Jen marvelled at the glorious array of colours all around us, as far as the eye can see. The sun shined through patches of clouds in the distance in a radiant and delightful glow. Even the trees beneath looked like they were celebrating, gently dancing to and fro to a steady beat as the breeze kneaded through the forest below, the amber coloured leaves shimmered in the sunlight.

Jen remarked that the ridge looked like God’s carpet, with the gentle rolling colours mimicking a plush carpet beneath us.

The radio was turned down, along with the usually noisy variometer. No need to listen to the crazed manic-depressive beeps and boops that are symphonious only to the ears of the equally crazed soaring pilot. The glider quietly hummed in the breeze.

Silence.

We kept floating along peacefully until Jen giddily exclaimed that she saw bald eagles ahead! Sure enough, there was a group of three of them thermalling together. Seeing that Jen was so excited to go play with them, I made a hard reversal and joined these glorious birds. I circled with them and we made a couple passes less than a wingspan below. Jen couldn’t contain her wonder and joy, grinning from ear to ear. I saw that they were heading northbound, and figuring I’d give her a break from all the unexpected circling and manoeuvring, I levelled off and kept heading along the ridge. When she expressed disappointment that she wanted to soar with our companions some more, I said, “Don’t worry, we’ll see them again soon on our return trip!”

After turning back at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Tunnel, sure enough, we spotted the bald eagles again! This time they were a little below us, so we made a couple of closer passes. Once we had one just off our wingtip. It felt like my arm was extended, my hand reaching out and inviting our feathered friend to join us in a dance.

Sometime around this time, Jen remarked that I delivered on everything I promised that day. Beautiful foliage, ridge soaring, and even bald eagles too!

I replied that would be true, only once I safely brought her back to the airport. So, we headed back home along the ridge. As we returned to the local ridge, Jen reported that she still felt wonderful and fresh, so I figured I’d end this flight with some excitement. Upon crossing the Delaware Water Gap, I pushed the nose over and dropped the glider down on the trees. The airspeed was just over 100 mph, the glider was now in the rough and tumble of the gusty air right above the ridge. You had to take care not to focus on the crisp individual branches whizzing by as your head would snap around to keep them in view. The glider was jostled a couple of times by thermals rolling over the ridge. Jen asked if this was what a violent ridge felt like. Nope, trust me this is light! A violent ridge feels like you’re inside a laundry machine, set on the high spin!

Now abeam of the airport, I pulled up to gain a little extra height for our return trip. Jen was really surprised that we had been flying over an hour and fifteen minutes, her longest flight to date. After we landed, she remarked that it felt like the flight went by in a flash!

With the ridge still working, I felt up for one more flight. Operations were winding down and Tommy had put away the tow plane. With no one around the flight line, I was wondering who I could take for a ride. At this time, I saw Tommy’s truck heading toward us and he felt like a great victim. When I offered to fly with him, he eagerly accepted, saying it was his first time flying the ridge in a glider and his first flight in the Grob. We quickly strapped him in and Aaron gave us a quick tow in the Pawnee to the ridge.

Sure enough, the ridge was still working! Nonetheless, the conditions were softening up, now becoming difficult to float above 1900ft. As we crossed the Water Gap, I saw the trees more in the slow dance phase of the afternoon, and we settled down to 1800ft. The ridge was still consistent and smooth, though we turned at the hang glider launch as it was prudent to stay closer to home.

I gave the controls to Tommy, who was delighted to feel what riding the ridge was like. He was smooth and solid on the controls and had no trouble staying in the lift. We flew up to Catfish Tower and then looped back to the local ridge. The wind kept weakening and weakening, with the leaves hardly moving at all. I took the controls again and we kept floating along the weak ridge, with every beat getting a little lower. We were finally level at ridge top, with Tommy exclaiming amazement at how little wind it took to sustain the glider in the air. After a little over an hour, with the wind giving its dying breath, we headed back to the airport, landing just shy of 5 pm.

We were the last ones down. After Jonathan and Bobby stopped by to announce that they were heading on a retrieve for Chip, who had fallen off the ridge near the Bangor Offset, the airport became completely deserted. We cleaned the glider and tucked it away for the evening, watching the mostly overcast sky with crepuscular rays in the distance shining through holes in the clouds like a shower of gold. Right as we had everything tidied up, Ron and Betty Schwartz stopped by to invite Jen and me for dinner. After we all enjoyed the beautiful sunset, we had a delightful dinner together in the town. Unlike Ron, Betty had plenty of answers when I asked her, “What lessons have you learned after 58 years of marriage?” We spent a whole evening trading story, watching Ron shrug helplessly as Betty gleefully shared stories when they were dating back in Iowa (including one scandalous story about how Ron dared to wear jeans – Levi’s, no less! – when they were in college).

The only other person I know that radiates joy and happiness like Ron is Jen. I don’t know how people earn that ineffable quality, and there is nothing more delightful than surrounding yourself with such wonderful people. I felt the tingling warmth in my heart the whole way home, warming both my bones and soul. Source: ‘Soaring Economist‘.

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‘.

Australian pilots disqualified

Lake Keepit in northern New South Wales hosted the 10th Women’s World Championships in the period 3-17 January 2020. A total of 45 pilots from 10 countries participated in the club, standard and 18-meter classes. The Australian Women’s World Cup was surrounded by controversy over the Australian team’s use of live tracking. Now the international tribunal – led by Swedish Reno Filla – has handed down its verdict in the case. All Australian pilots have been completely disqualified. The tribunal considers their competition results during the Women’s World Cup to be invalid because they were obtained under conditions that were not fair. It was decided to give a minus of 225 points to all Australian pilots for the 9-day flight. A decision that had dramatic results for the Australian participants. Jo Davis was reduced from 1st to 4th place in the club class, and Lisa Trotter lost 3rd place in the Standard class. Now the international tribunal – led by Swedish Reno Filla – has handed down its verdict in the case. All Australian pilots have been completely disqualified. The tribunal considers their competition results during the Women’s World Cup to be invalid because they were obtained under conditions that were not fair. During the process, the National Australian Aeroclub has complained about the 225-point reduction, while Germany and England have coordinated a unanimous appeal to disqualify all Australian pilots and declare their results in the Women’s World Cup invalid. The tribunal considers having access to live tracking data to be unsportsmanlike and against fair play rules, and the Australian pilots are criticized by the tribunal for not reporting these irregularities to the competition management. However, the tribunal does not recommend FAI punish the pilots individually. On the other hand, the tribunal considers it appropriate for the FAI to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Australian Team Captain Terry Cubley and Team Coach Matthew Gage for breach of 1.12.5 of the FAI Rules. When the Australian pilots were penalized with a minus of 225 points, none of them got medals. Thus, the current disqualification of the tribunal does not lead to any redistribution of the medals. Source: ‘Nordic Gliding’.

Series 11 of Sailplane Grand Prix Announced

The FAI International Gliding Commission has announced the venues and dates for the 11th series of the FAI Sailplane Grand Prix (SGP) national qualifying events and the 11th SGP World final. The 2021 10th series final at St Auban in France was the 72nd contest in the FAI/SGP series, which has been running since 2005. Four national events were scheduled for 2020 but were cancelled due to Covid restrictions. The four host countries were offered the first choice to host an event in 2022, although only Sweden was able to benefit from this offer.

There will be 10 National contests in the 11th series with the World final being held at Pavullo in Italy, which was also the venue for the first E-Glide and 13.5m World championships. The series includes three events in the southern hemisphere that will take place in January and February 2023, while the other seven qualifiers will be held in Europe in 2022. The final is scheduled for August 2023.

Five new locations for national events have been chosen. Vinon in France is situated in the French Alps and is well known to many pilots. Lithuania will host their first FAI SGP at Vilnius, with novel participation restricted to a previous generation of 15m sailplanes. It could be a very interesting development and open opportunities for more small country participation in future SGP series.

In South Africa, the venue will be Douglas. Located in the flat heartland of the great South African soaring country, this location benefits from excellent soaring conditions throughout the season. The late date of February should allow many overseas pilots a chance to find a suitable sailplane and enjoy racing in the big skies of South Africa. The club at Eisenhuttenstadt is a new host for the German national qualifying event, a great location ideally situated for many of the competition pilots from Eastern European countries. The return of an international event to Gawler in Australia will be welcomed by many of the pilots who retain memories of the great flying during the World Club Class Championships held there. The well-proven and experienced venues of Varese in Italy, Viticura in Chile and Boras in Sweden will once again provide an exciting racing environment and be very attractive to follow with their contrasting landscapes. The return of Livno in Bosnia and Herzegovina is especially exciting. Their first FAI SGP event in 2019 was the first opportunity to see this really interesting soaring area. Also, since the last FAI SGP event at Zar in Poland was held in 2015, it has been too long since we have had the opportunity to watch racing in the beautiful mountain region around Zar. Source: ‘FAI‘.

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’.

Sailplane Grand-Prix: Sebastian Kawa erneut Weltmeister

Nach einem wegen ungeeigneter Wetterverhältnisse eingeschobenen Ruhetages ging am Samstag, 11. September 2021 der Sailplane Grand-Prix in Saint Auban mit sechs spannenden Wertungstagen zu Ende.

In einem spannenden Rennen über 333 km entschied sich vor der Wende bei der Skistation Reallon mit kleinen Höhendifferenzen und wenigen Kilometern Rückstand, wer am Ende die WM gewann. Mario Kissling fiel anfangs unscheinbar aus der Spitzengruppe, verlor aber auf dem Weg zur nächsten Wende Greoux in der Region Morgon komplett den Anschluss ans Rennen. Tilo Holighaus, der gleichzeitig in ähnlichen Schwierigkeiten steckte, gewann am Ende das Rennen. Schauerzellen spülten jene Piloten im Endanflug zu Boden, die sich für einen Kurs westlich der Durance entschieden. Darunter war auch Sebastian Kawa, nachdem er kurz zuvor noch gut auf Endanflugkurs gelegen hatte. Er schrieb am Ende ebenso einen Nuller wie zuvor sein direkter Verfolger Mario Kiessling. Knapper kann ein WM-Finale kaum entschieden werden, Mario Kiessling wurde mit einem Punkt Rückstand erneut Vize-Weltmeister.

Die Zusammenfassung der Wettbewerbstage finden Sie hier. Und hier ist die Bilder-Galerie. Ebenso wie die Webseite der FAI, die Resultate, die facebook-Seite und der youtube-Kanal mit der Live-Übertragung des Rennens.

Sailplane GP: 4. Flugtag krempelt Rangliste um

Nach drei Flugtagen und Mario Kiessling als alleinigen Tagessieger stellt der vierte Renntag am Sailplane-Grand-Prix alles auf den Kopf. Bostjan Pristavec holt sich in einer JS-1 den Tagessieg vor Sebastian Kawa in der AS 33 ES und Sylvain Gerbaud ebenfalls in einer JS-1. Mario Kiessling schreibt einen Nuller, womit er in der Gesamt-Rangliste mit 30 Zählern noch einen einzigen Punkt vor Sebastian Kawa mit 29 und Maximilian Seis mit 22 Punkten liegt.

Der Sailplane-Grand-Prix ist absolut sehenswert und auch dank der Punkte-Verteilung während des ganzen Wettbewerbes spannend. Aude Untersee und Eric Napoléon begleiten das Rennen jeweils mit versierten Fachkommentaren und brillieren mit ihren Gebiets-Kenntnissen. Es ist spannend, die unterschiedlichen Flug-Taktiken der Teilnehmer/in mitzuverfolgen.

Die Zusammenfassung der Wettbewerbstage finden Sie hier. Und hier ist die Bilder-Galerie. Ebenso wie die Webseite der FAI, die Resultate, die facebook-Seite und der youtube-Kanal mit der Live-Übertragung des Rennens.

3. Wertung am Sailplane-Grand-Prix

Mario Kiessling lässt sich in seinem Ventus 3 auch am dritten Wertungstag des Sailplane-Grand-Prix-Finals im Südfranzösischen Saint-Auban nicht aufhalten und gewinnt bisher alle drei Wertungen hintereinander. Sebastian Kawa hat mit 21 Punkten bereits einen deutlichen Rückstand eingefangen, Maximilian Seis liegt mit 16 Punkten auf dem dritten Zwischenrang. Der Anlass wird durch interessante Fach-Kommentare und Live-Tracking-Übertragung begleitet.

Die Zusammenfassung der Wettbewerbstage finden Sie hier. Und hier ist die Bilder-Galerie. Ebenso wie die Webseite der FAI, die Resultate, die facebook-Seite und der youtube-Kanal mit der Live-Übertragung des Rennens.

Sailplane Grand Prix. 2. Flugtag.

In den Französischen Südalpen ist inzwischen vom Startort Saint-Auban aus bereits der zweite Flugtag abgeschlossen worden. Mario Kissling führt mit zwei Tagessiegen souverän das Weltklasse-Feld an. Der Anlass wird mit interessanten Kommentaren und Live-Tracking-Übertragung begleitet. Ein Blick auf das Rennen lohnt sich. Spannender war ein Segelflug-Wettbewerb noch nie.

Die Zusammenfassung der Wettbewerbstage finden Sie hier. Und hier ist die Bilder-Galerie. Ebenso wie die Webseite der FAI, die Resultate, die facebook-Seite und der youtube-Kanal mit der Live-Übertragung des Rennens.

Sailplane Grand-Prix-Finale in St.-Auban

Vom 2. bis 11. September findet im Südfranzösischen Segelflug-Zentrum der Final der “Sailplane-Grand-Prix-Serie X” statt. Für die Teilnahme haben sich folgende Pilot/innen qualifiziert: Gintas Zube, Melanie Gadoulet, Oscar Goudriaan, Louis Bouderlique, Sebastian Kawa, Tilo Holighaus, Gilles Navas, Marius Pluscauskas, Thomas Gostner, Bostjan Pristavec, Christophe Abadie, Sylvain Gerbaud, Mario Kissling, Uli Schwenk, Sean Fidler, Mike Young, Philippe de Pechy, Petr Panek, Dmitry Timoshenko und Maximilian Seis. Hier finden Sie die Webseite der FAI, Resultate auf Soaring Spot, die facebook-Seite und den youtube-Kanal.

Why you should avoid too large winglets

The image shows a flow field around a wingtip without a #winglet. More precisely, it shows the extent of positive inflow angles at the tip region. The addition of a winglet would utilize this flow field and increase performance, only if it is inside the boundary of positive inflow angles. At higher flight speeds, the positive-inflow-angle flow field becomes smaller and areas of the winglet outside would have little benefit and creates additional drag. So that is why folks, you should avoid too large winglets! Source: Johan Bosman, chief engineer at Jonkers Sailplanes.

What’s a sailplane?

A sailplane or glider is an airworthy vehicle that flies without an engine, manned by a pilot. To make that possible, the secret is in the takeoff. If you’re flying a kite, and you have a tight string and pull on it, (the kite) goes up. If you pull on that line really quickly, it will go up really quickly. It’s the same thing for the gliders. Without an engine, the flight of a sailplane is silent. A glider has no motor, so it’s always falling. If you have wind that’s going up, you can keep flying. Good pilots know where to find that. To someone who doesn’t know, it looks like magic, but if you know, as long as you can find that current, you stay up. Most days in San Diego, we have the ocean next to us, which remains cool, cooling the air above it, while the desert to the east is heating the air. That combination creates a sea breeze from 1 to 4 p.m. almost every afternoon traveling west to east. When it hits the tall and almost perpendicular Torrey Pines cliffs, it has to go up and then goes over the cliff, and that upward current extends very high over the cliffs, and further than you might think. Source: ‘lajollalight.com‘.

JS-MD 3 ist ‘EASA Approved’

Die meisten Demonstrationstests wurden 2017 abgeschlossen. Der wahrscheinlich interessanteste Teil der Zertifizierung und auch der beängstigendste ist aber die Flugerprobung. Die Flugtests bestehen aus Leistungstests (wie Überziehgeschwindigkeiten, Rollgeschwindigkeiten und Sinkgeschwindigkeiten), Fahreigenschaften (Längsstabilität, Winden-/Aerotowverhalten, Steuerkrafteinwirkung) und dann natürlich den Hochrisikotests, bei denen der Pilot in der Regel seinen Fallschirm vor dem Start doppelt überprüft. Diese kritischen Tests umfassten den Spin-Test, den High-Speed-Test und den High-Speed-Airbrake-Entwicklungstest. Nachdem alle Demonstrationstests abgeschlossen waren, begann der Prozess zur Überprüfung der Dokumentation. JS/M&D hat alles daran gesetzt, Piloten-Handbücher auf hohem Niveau zu erstellen. Insbesondere mit dem Wartungshandbuch wurde viel Aufwand und Zeit investiert, um dem Kunden ein benutzerfreundliches, detailliertes und umfassendes Dokument zur Verfügung zu stellen. Quelle: ‘Jonkers-Newsletter Juli 2019’.

Aus Tilo Holighaus’ Weltmeister-Tagebuch

“Jetzt nicht die Nerven verlieren!” – Tilo Holighaus hat den FAI Sailplane World Grand Prix deutlich für sich entscheiden können. Welche Gedanken ihm am letzten Wertungstag in La Cerdanya (Spanien) durch den Kopf gingen und wie er am finalen Wettkampftag ein wahres Wechselbad der Gefühle erlebt hat, schildert der Weltmeister hier: Wir stehen heute vor einer Aufgabe, die zunächst nach Südosten an den fast 3.000 Meter hohen Cambre d’Aze geht. Man muss also gleich nach dem Abflug nach rechts weg und unbedingt Höhe machen. Vor dem Abflug nutzte ich die Zeit und schaute mir das mal an – und finde stlich des Skigebiets Molina gar nichts – ja sogar heftiges Fallen über dem Höhenzug. Schnell wieder zurück an den Hausberg, der „untenraus“ zwar gut geht, mich aber nicht ganz auf die erforderliche Abflughöhe bringt. Schon bin ich etwas aufgeregt, da nur noch wenige Minuten zum Countdown der Linienöffnung bleiben und auch der nächste Hang nichts bringt. Zum Glück schaffe ich dann am Ausklinkpunkt gerade noch rechtzeitig die Höhe. Mist – einen Teil meiner Nerven habe ich nun schon vor dem Abflug liegen gelassen… Ob der Rest reicht, um den WM-Titel in trockene Tücher zu fliegen, sehen Sie im spannenden Originalbericht des DAeC.