How to glide somewhere really hot. Part three.

Posted 6 years, 8 months ago by Tim B for the Tasman Trophy    0 comments

Day 5. The glider arrives.

Temp for today: 44 degrees. I've never quite experienced such heat. I thought the heatwave in New York in July was bad, but this is another step up.

Ian turned up with the Ventus after briefing. We found an empty hangar to rig it in, as it was already getting pretty hot. We went over the trailer, and rigged the glider. The Ventus C has recently been refinished, so is in immaculate condition. It has a great panel, featuring a large screen LX9000.

One interesting feature is the air extractor mod. This helps with ventilation in the cockpit, and is also meant to give a performance increase. Key point: ventilation.

The cockpit and rigging is very similar to the Discus B, the only major difference being the Flaps. So rigging was easy, it has typical clamshell trailer.

I decided to get the glider weighing done today, as we rigged the glider right next to the weighing station, and it wasn't busy. All gliders have to be weighed to ensure we're not over all up max weight. We're also weighed with the car hitched up and no pilot, so that spot checks can be done during the contest to ensure we haven't loaded up too much. I put 84 litres on each side, and it came up to 1.5Kg under all up max weight.

By the time we were ready to fly it was 3:30. This was my first flight in a flapped glider.

We towed up to 2000 feet and found a thermal over town. Only problem was no vario noise which we soon figured out. It didn't take long to get to 8000 feet, and we headed north.

Being new to flaps, I have to say they are awesome. It's like an effortless turbo boost mode for the glider. Pretty much every time I'd normally have to change the trim, I instead change to a different flap setting eg. entering a thermal. The trim doesn't actually get used a huge amount.

We flew north, then south east to touch the "mountains". It was a lot of firsts. First time I'd flown from 2000 feet to 8000 feet in one thermal. First time thermalling up to 10,000 (No oxygen system setup yet, that comes tomorrow). First time with flaps. 

We landed safetly and enjoyed a restaurant quality meal at the clubhouse.

A rather tidy Ventus C Panel, featuring the LX9000
A rather tidy Ventus C Panel, featuring the LX9000

Getting a good weighing. Ian the owner with the drink bottle.
Getting a good weighing. Ian the owner with the drink bottle.

The trough line I should have jumped into
The trough line I should have jumped into

Flying towards the mountains. It was raining, so didn't get too close.
Flying towards the mountains. It was raining, so didn't get too close.

Day 6. Pre practice day practice day.

Yesterday a number of pilots flew big tasks. Brian Hayhow flew hist first 750km flight. A number of guys starting from nearby Tocumwal flew 1000km. All in a trough line that had setup a line of 12-15,000 feet cloudbase and strong thermals, all in a line. Amazing stuff! Read more here:

soaringcafe.com/2013/01/several-1000-km-flights-and-records-from-tocumwal-what-a-day/

Today we sorted out the Oxygen system on board the aircraft, fixed the water valves to not leak, and bought a container to fill the tail more easily. That's pretty much everything sorted.

I went for a fly with some birds, however it was a local flight between thermals, simply to get used to flying with water on board. Only a few other brave souls flew, as it was just too stable looking.

I have never flown a thermal with a *flock* of birds. We don't get that in NZ.
I have never flown a thermal with a *flock* of birds. We don't get that in NZ.

Tomorrow practice day... (actually already flown, results are here http://www.soaringspot.com/ausmulti13/results/15-meter/daily/day-1.html)



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