GLIDER CHRONICLES 2011 – May 21st : From Wood to Glass.

No, not wedding anniversaries, but converting from flying wooden gliders to flying a glassfibre glider.

Sat 21st May: Conditions: Strong south westerly.

Instructor notes:

  • K21 conversion OK.
  • The K21 is a fibreglass glider and so is slippier in the air and needs a few adjustments to how it is flown compared to the wooden K13. It is used to get pilots ready for converting to flying the single seater Grob102 which is even slippier (apparently since as at this writing I have not flown it) and more “frisky”, shall we say.

    Since the wind was too gusty during the day, my instructor didn’t want me to fly it in the day, however the evening instructor was happy to allow it since the wind had died right down to calm.

    Personal notes:

  • Evening solo hangar flying the K21. Calm. Still found a little lift over the woods. Duration 8mins.
  • Interesting how the woods give off lift at the end of the day. Not much, but enough to scratch at for a short while, You don’t go up, but it is enough to stop the glider from descending in some areas.

    I am still getting used to this glider since it has a lot more what we call “adverse yaw” than the K13.

    Explanation of Adverse Yaw
    To explain adverse yaw I offer you this chance to exercise your inner child.

  • Put your arms out to the side like young children do when playing aeroplanes.
  • Then bank to the left.
  • At the same time turn your head to the left, towards your lower arm.
  • Yaw is what is happening with your head, and in this case is in the normal direction you would expect. Now assuming your inner child still has their arms out…

  • Bank to the left again.
  • This time turn your head to the RIGHT, towards your UPPER arm.
  • This is “adverse” yaw and with an aircraft only happens for a short while at the beginning of the turn. It happens because the wing which is going up, in this case your right hand, is asking for more lift than the left-hand. That is why the aircraft banks to the left. But asking for more lift from the wing produces more drag. So because the right wing has more drag than the left it goes more slowly, in this case twisting the aircraft to the right.

    When flying, to counteract this you have to put in more left hand rudder than normal, but only at the beginning of the turn.

    So… Now you, and your inner child, know about adverse yaw!

    OK. You can now give your inner child a rest.

    For those other thinkers out there, you will notice that the inner child’s experiential knowledge is different to the adult’s “head” knowledge. To properly experience this difference you must let your inner child play the game in reality. Go on, you can do it. so what if your family and/or friends and colleagues think you are crazy. It’s not you, it’s your inner child. 🙂

    The K21 in question.

    A reminder of the K13 wooden glider.

    Coming soon:

  • Thermalling above a fire…
  • Lasham Regionals Gliding competition, with more photos…
  • Comments welcome. Let me know what you think...

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