View Full Version : Artificial Thermal- 440V 3 Phase Tornado Generator!

08-14-2006, 04:24 AM
As I was readying my E converted Aspire 2 meter glider for flight, the cooling tower fan next to the school cycled on with a screech of its V-belts that made me look to see what the noise was. Noting it's large motor and vertical exhaust, I got an idea!

I powered up to 50 ft, shut down and trimmed for Best Glide Speed and steered for it. I caught a tip in it on the first pass but after reversing the roll, I explored just a bit further downwind and there was no mistaking where the lift column was, bent by the slight breeze!

Equal parts turbulence and lift, I got popped up 10 ft or more every time I crossed the core, nearly looping the plane at lower altitude close to the 'tornado generator'- which quickly got too scary while very low with pitch and roll excursions nearly 90 degrees +- at any given moment! Not my kinda fun near the ground!

Hang Glider pilots have a term for being thrown out of a strong thermal in a delta with the severe downpitch that can result from the nose leaving the lift first- called going "Over the Falls" that will really get your attention if you ever get to experience it! One such event at very low level nearly slammed my bird to the roof of the school- so I backed off on the low level stuff near this monster! I like to get years of use from my big gliders and this bodes poorly towards that end! You wanna fly like a cowboy? Get a Unicorn!

Circling- (ahem)... spiralling upward while being thrown all over was outrageous! Staying in that tiny turbulent aperture was rodeo flying at ridiculous bank angles aproaching circular knife-edge flight (theres a new one!) and 12 ft or less diameter circles in the worst turbulence by far I've flown in lately (if EVER)- was wild! Good thing the battery is well velcroed in place and 4 fresh #64 gummibands (I love that German word...) were holding the wing on!

The Aspire twitches its light minimally LE-sheeted wings alluringly upon sensing the kind of bubbling, upwelling turbulence that accompanies a thermal- but it was flapping and flailing wildly in this maelstrom like a butterfly soaring an H-Bomb!

The lift topped out around 80 feet or less but I could have stayed up as long as the tower was running! For all my frantic aerobatic soaring turns trying to center in the core, all I really had to do was to keep crossing the core in part a much larger circle and pop it up each time when it was low near the stronger, more ragged lift to sustain for as long as I could stand it!

Not my usual relaxing skyfishing for lift- LATTERGO! YEEEHAW! Where's a clown when ya need one?


Don Sims
08-14-2006, 04:42 AM
Sounds like a blast!