GLIDER CHRONICLES 2011 – June : More Competition Pictures

One of the youth flyers, Alex, has made available some photos which complement my earlier post. He flew with Colin and G (yep, just ‘G’) in the Duo Discus 775. They did really well with Alex doing half of the flying, ending by coming 3rd overall by the end of the Lasham Regionals week.

So here we are. First pic with me looking like a wally. My normal state when on the airfield:

Me taking a picture of Alex taking a picture of Me taking a picture of Alex taking...

Alex taking a picture of Me taking a picture of Alex taking a picture of Me taking...

Val and Sophie (I believe) in the K21 778.

Shot of gliders already airborne and thermalling, while Alex waits...

Thermalling with another glider.

This proves they at least got to Shoreham.

Sometimes you have to find the lift where you can. Didcot power station.

Final glide to Lasham. Main runway 09/27 is just visible centre of picture.

Final glide again, but note the speed: 110kts, 125mph.

Explanation : Final Glide
The simple idea of a glider competition is to get around a specific route, the Task, as quickly as possible. You have to fly your glider, which has an on board GPS logger, around the run turnpoints of the task. Once you have got to your last turnpoint you are ready for the Final Glide home. This all needs to be done as fast as possible and it is possible to compute what your speed should be.

It depends upon a number of factors:

* Performance of the glider.
* Wind speed and direction.
* Distance to destination airfield.
* Planned arrival height at destination airfield.

Glide ratio for the Duo Discus 775 is 46 to 1, and the K21 33 to 1. So if you plug all those numbers in, you get your best ‘speed to fly’. The trouble is that real world atmosphere is not that simple and you will encounter sink and lift on the way which will affect the calculation. And that is where you find the art of it all. How do you make sure you get back home as fast as possible, yet without having to land out in a field.

Gliding is a life’s study.

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