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Old 05-29-2018, 07:13 PM
Community Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 5,850
Cool Any e-glider contest pilots here?

I have been flying gliders since 2003, both pure gliders and electric gliders. One of the things I enjoy is contest flying. If you have not tried contest soaring you should. It is a lot of fun, easy to set-up and can be run on a moment's notice among a few guys at the field.

Soaring and landing -

Both pure and electric glider contests are typically based on soaring capabilities, completing a task time, and then landing on or within a target zone for landing points.

For electrics this is typically an agreed to motor run time, a designated launch altitude or some other agreed to way of launching the gliders.

Once the launch is complete then the pilot needs to find thermals to keep the glider aloft. If you restart the motor you take a zero for that round.

Typical time for a round is 10 to 15 minutes. So, if the time is 10 minutes, you have to stay in the air for EXACTLY 10 minutes. Every second over or under is a loss of score.

Precision Landing. - For e-gliders you can set up a landing zone, usually a circle, where you get points for landing inside the circle. You can set up multiple circles for lower and higher landing points.

I have a set of tapes set up that are 10 meters long, a little over 33 feet. So the landing zone is a circle 66 feet across. Top score is to land within 1 meter/39" of the center of the circle. 50 points. Every meter farther out from the center and the landing score decreases by 5 points. So if you land in the 1 meter circle, measured by the tape, you get 50 points.

You can fly 1 round or as many as you like. Typically 3 rounds can be a contest but I have flown contests with 10 or more rounds.

Usually you fly with a pilot and a timer. The timer has a stopwatch and records the time of the flight, advising the pilot about the time flown and the time remaining till landing. Then he records the time of the flight on the score sheet and the landing points.

Scoring can be via computer program but it can also be as simple as seconds flown up to the target time, then you deduct points for every second over.

Say you fly 8 minutes 23 seconds. So your score would be 8X60 = 480 +23 for 503 points. Then you add the landing, say 25 points for a total of 528 points.

If you have 4 pilots then you usually team up. I time for you while you fly and you time for me while I fly. When everyone has flown, the round is complete.

It is a simple contest. What I really enjoy about it is that you get to see how you fly compared to other pilots under similar weather conditions.

Say there are 4 pilots. So two guys are flying and two are timing.

I stay up for 7:36 but the other guy stayed up 9:40. Where did he fly and how did he identify the better air as compared to what I was flying? I might ask him after the round. We are always happy to share our skills and help others become better pilots.

I land and get 45 points for landing precision. He misses the landing are and gets no landing points. So my landing was more accurate than his. He may ask me about my landing strategy, how I time it and how I line it up. I am happy to show or explain what I do.

The timer is allowed to help the pilot, so he can point out that there are birds circling over there or that he feels a thermal rolling through. Or he can let the pilot know that one of the other pilots has found lift. Now the pilot decides whether to continue to work his air or go join the other guy in the thermal he found.

Friendly competition is fun, at least I find it fun. But more importantly it helped me improve my soaring skills as I learned from the timers and from watching the other pilots.

I fly my Radan (original) and an electric version of my Supra in e-glider contests. Lots of fun.

In my experience everyone has fun. And pilots are happy to help one another. We are not there to beat each other, except for bragging rights. But flying with a purpose makes the flying more fun. And pushing yourself to stay away from that motor focuses you more on learning to spot and work thermals.

One of the benefits of e-gliders in this contest format is that if you get into trouble, or if you get too far down wind and are going to land off field or in the trees, you can always hit the throttle to save the plane. When flying pure gliders in this kind of format I have, on more occasions than I would care to admit, landed out or on the top of some tall trees. But e-gliders pretty much eliminate this as an issue.

Try it! Your'll Like it!

Last edited by AEAJR; 05-29-2018 at 07:32 PM.
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