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Jason T
06-12-2006, 07:05 PM
Thermal duration is another style of sailplane flying where the main concept is to find and ride thermals with the model. Taking it a step further, there are competitions that test a pilot’s skills in locating and using thermals to keep his or her sailplane up for a specified amount of time (duration) and then land at a specified time. There are contests that cover all types of sailplane models from electric motor powered to winch and hand-launched models.

Thermals can be very elusive when you are new to this type of flying and even when you have more experience. This is also part of the fun. Here are a few sites that just are meant to be the “tip of the iceberg” in thermal info.
http://f4bscale.worldonline.co.uk/Thermals.htm

This is another good site talking about thermals and how they form.
http://www.apogeerockets.com/education/detecting_thermals.asp


Electric sailplane competition info:
This site talks about electric powered sailplane competitions that are affiliated with the AMA. It discusses some of the rules of the competitions.
http://electric-aircraft.org/

A note on batteries and AMA events for sailplanes. Currently for AMA sanctioned events NiCD batteries are the only battery chemistry allowed in the sailplane competitions. However, there is a submission in place to change the rules to allow any battery chemistry and just limit the voltages based on each event. Many local events will allow for NiMH battery types.

AEAJR
07-04-2006, 05:13 AM
Good post. Thanks!

AEAJR
10-03-2006, 11:17 PM
Thermal pilots may find useful information at this location which is full of articles on TD glider and flying.

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