Monday, April 20, 2015

Great Soaring Combination Activities

This past Saturday was the first of the scheduled monthly soaring events for a group I am in. As luck would have it Friday had been near perfect thermal soaring weather but Saturday had a forecast of high wind. We met at our normal thermal soaring location and caught up on some of the great sailplane talk we had missed over the winter. We also talked about what future options might be when flying from the current field is not possible. It appeared there are options but none are perfect.

Wayne holding Sailaire Fuselage

Vertical Fin Held Together with Tape 

I thought the wind as of yet really wasn't that strong and I wanted to test out my Hyper DLG glider after repairing a broken vertical fin from the day before. There is no covering on the balsa tail surfaces and it breaks very easily if you do not land perfectly straight. Wouldn't you know it I landed a little off again and broke the fin loose. I made a temporary repair with filament tape and it held fine for the rest of my flying.  On several occasions the glider was able to climb in lift to a pretty good height. Problems was about the time the glider was at a good height it was also over a wooded area, I didn't want to risk landing in the trees so brought the glider down, still it was very fun.

Sailaire Stab Half

When I got back by the other pilots it had become a show and tell session also. Wayne had brought out his Sailaire sailplane that he is refurbishing. The fuselage was very heavy but the stabilizer halves which have this intricate wood structure appeared stiff and light. As heavy as this glider is, Wayne said some people will add up to a pound of lead in it to penetrate strong wind, the nickname that people have for this sailplane is the "Whaleaire".

For my afternoon fun, Paul that is a sailplane pilot from an hour away came to my city to fly from an earth dam that faces east-west. It had been awhile since I had flown with Paul and it was good to catch up. He was trying to make the DS work on the side of the dam which was next to the water, a brave pilot I thought. My flying was just on the front side and I tried to keep my glider away from the top of the ridge.

Paul was able to make some DS circuits with the foam gliders he had brought. I picked up a couple of tips from him that I will try another time. The wind was starting to shift so we were going to try another site but then something came up for Paul and I decided I would rather not fly alone, it had been a great day of sailplane fun even if the conditions were never ideal.

Bill Kuhl

Short Video Clip of DS 

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