View Full Version : Magic Soaring Flight

12-20-2006, 03:20 AM
Last weekend I experienced a longtime dream- to soar up from a low altitude to as high as I could see! It was like a Spring day- so I took the Bird Of Time camera ship and the Aspire 2 meter conversion I had recently repaired after straining it thru some trees on a very windy day in the Summer.

After flying the VBOT and shooting some video while playing in the lift I realized the lift was abundant. Looking at the video later I saw
a pilot's eye view of the ground falling away as it rose in the thermal while circling! Now THAT's SOARING- and a nice discovery after an amazing day of flying!!

The magic began when I launched the Aspire. It was her second flying day since becoming airworthy again and I could tell she missed it as much as I did from the way she climbed out. 30 seconds of run from the Phasor 4 on 7 1700ma Nicads and it was time to explore at a good height.

I had to spin it down after 20 minutes of very high flying so I could take a break- but a funny thing happened on aproach- it glided smoothly over the field down to 30 ft (below the gym roof height) and hit this tiny spot of lift, gaining 10 feet in a second or 2 then punched out the other side of it.. so I turned back...

I found the spot and set a steep turn within its boundaries and up we went, with plenty of backstick in the turns, each turn higher than the last. It was the kind of flight I've dreamed of for many years and my jaw was on the ground as I marvelled at the soaring conditions this day!

Usually soaring is a subtle thing, hints of visual clues, the rocking of the wings in lift- but today it was RODEO- and right in my face at low level in a silent tornado!

The blob drifted over to the school in the cycling light wind and seemed anchored to its windward face as we screwed our way into the sky above it in wider circles now to the point where I had to once again spin it down after another 30 minutes from speck height, being careful not to overspeed it by using too much 'down' rudder.

After landing I got that drink of water and sat in the shade for awhile replaying that climb in my mind and said 'WOW' a lot and wished I had the camera and AVTX aboard the Aspire instead!

That fine day I feel I could have possibly done it from a hand launch with some luck- with the pure glider version of the Aspire, one of my favorite 2 meter ships.

I would not have dared to maneuver the Bird back into the burble of lift that low with the tight field and lots of obstacles nearby but the Aspire flies slowly and turns tighter I didn't give it a second thought till later.

Before I powered the Aspire I had a sweet 30 minute soaring flight off a hi-start with her. The extra weight does affect the slow flight capabilities a bit but electric is a zillion times easier than anything else for getting airtime. With a light choice of power this ship will astound you!

Whatever you fly- fly well.


12-20-2006, 03:39 AM
Wow, sounds like a great flight. I see by the yaw string that the thumbnail on the right is not from a scale glider. Are those your knees?

Sky Sharkster
12-20-2006, 12:42 PM
Hi TW, great post! That's the kind of flying day glider pilots dream about. You've captured the feeling we get when the "hunt" is sucessful, and there's a bond between the pilot, airplane and air conditions that is amazing!
Thanks for making my day!

Don Sims
12-20-2006, 02:04 PM
Great story TW! Lift conditions like that are few and far between, sounds like the flight was one to tresure.

12-23-2006, 05:57 AM
Made my day too, Ron! :D I wouldn't want to start any rumours of Global Warming or anything but its been a bouyant season! I've had some of the best soaring ever- maybe thats just ME!

No, Rabbit, found it on a soaring site and loved it. Did my real thermal soaring in a hang glider back when I still bounced! :D

Yeah, guys. One for the logbook!

12-26-2006, 11:32 AM
Great soaring post. Thanks for sharing it.

Brought me back to an October afternoon on Long Island when the temperatures were in the 60s. I had my 3M thermal dancer with me but put my 2m spirit up first becase I had just repaired it.

Lift was around and I was getting some nice flights.

I was on my way in for a landing at about 30 feet but when I turned into the wind to make my approach, the plane started to rise. I automatically made the turn and up it went till I had it way up there. I came done about 10 minutes later and came on the same approach and don't you know that bubble generator was still there. Hit is again and up it went again.

What a blast! I flew the Spirit the rest of the day and the larger plane never came out. ;) That was fun!

12-26-2006, 02:45 PM
That is what makes addicts :p

I still remember the first time I flew my Dandy in to lift, back in 1976. What a rush! Since then sailplanes have been a large part of my hangar.

A year ago I installed Picolario for the first time in one of my gliders (MPX Schampus), and on the first tow I caught thermals and at last had to land because the need for a cup of coffee become too strong. The last summer, thanks to Picolario, I had flights reaching 1000 meters (over 3000`) nearly every weekend when we met for towing. Problem: I need larger planes to be able too see them when cloudbase is at 3000 meters ;)
2007 I have planned to go for every tow-meeting if I possibly can! Only disadvantage is that I have spent too much money on this year on large sailplanes...

And still I have a lot of fun just throwing a DLG on my local football-field in the afternoon, or bungeeing an EasyGlider. Sailplanes are just the best.

12-27-2006, 09:46 PM
quote=jooNorway;129150]Problem: I need larger planes to be able too see them when cloudbase is at 3000 meters ;)

Yeah, I'd agree- like a FULL SIZE ship converted to RC for us old sky watchers! :D squint squint! I'd be flying solely "under the hood" by video/audio downlink at that height, listening to the vario aware there is a limit to the radio range.

Do you use a standard range RC radio?

And still I have a lot of fun just throwing a DLG on my local football-field in the afternoon, or bungeeing an EasyGlider. Sailplanes are just the best.

DLGs look like a lot of fun, sounds worth a try. I had a Candy HLG I added a towhook to and hi-started it a lot but never got 'lucky' with it. :o

The Picolario looks like a good system with some vital monitoring functions but since I already have video and audio aboard (and if I flew at 3000M around here it would be my very last one...:eek:) all I need is a small audio vario like a tiny one I saw for hang gliders yrs ago that was smaller than the 9V battery it was attached to. I'll have to look that one up- would love to find the circuit and build it myself.

Hearing the wind by downlinked audio as it glides, along with a small onboard audio vario would satisfy me just fine... for awhile...