First glider flight today

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by Inverted Vantage, Nov 8, 2009.

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  1. Nov 8, 2009 #1

    Inverted Vantage

    Inverted Vantage

    Inverted Vantage

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    Hey everyone, thought I'd share this :) As part of the club I started, we got a discount at a local glider club (Dansville Soaring Club, Dansville, NY). Went up today on my first flight in a glider. First of all, that tow takeoff is a BLAST! It's like being on a catapult on an aircraft carrier; and the tandem bubble cockpit is awesome, felt like a jet fighter :). We get up and with the bright yellow towplane in front of us, bobbing up and down as the instructor talks to me (no headsets!) - was completely picturesque. He released us at 2,000 feet and we spent about 40 minutes searching for lift, gliding up and down the ridge near the field. Even got to fly it myself! Those things are really rudder sensitive, I was stomping on the pedals to get the nose over and centered into the turn. Got a little queesy from all the hard turns too, trying to stay in the lift columns. Was a blast though, and the landing was also amazing - those air brakes sure can slow a plane down fast!

    Some pictures :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Nov 8, 2009 #2

    bmcj

    bmcj

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    Alright! Another convert. It's like a drug... you'll be back for more.
     
  3. Nov 8, 2009 #3

    Topaz

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    Awesome! Welcome to soaring! :)

    Yeah, the view is incredible, isn't it? You'll never be happy sitting behind the engine, ever again. It's like you've been blind and can finally see!

    Aero-tows are great. Formation flying with a 200' rope between the airplanes to keep you honest. ;) I'm looking forward to a winch-launch. Same thing the R/C guys do, only the scale is 1:1:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2Qh95I_YM0

    Heh. Yeah, now you know what a rudder is for. And the yaw string is right there in your face, tattling on you when you get the least bit sloppy. Adverse yaw is never an abstraction to someone who's flown a sailplane. Did you feel yourself using opposite aileron once you got into a circle around a thermal? That's another thing that freaks power pilots out initially - "Hey, you can't fly with crossed controls like that!!" Ummm, yeah, you can. You fly the airplane, not some arbitrary set of gentleman's-convention rules.

    Yep. I love 'spoilers' as we commonly call them. Drag brakes are very effective and very easy to modulate precisely. There's no 'throttle lag' at all. And tell me something - was landing on one wheel any big deal at all? No-brainer, right?

    Beautiful pictures! What kind of glider was it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  4. Nov 8, 2009 #4

    PTAirco

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    I forgot how nice it was not to have to wear headsets in a glider - no matter how expensive they are, they get damned uncomfortable after half an hour.
     
  5. Nov 8, 2009 #5

    Dan Thomas

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    The winch tow makes the towplane operation seem pretty tame. The glider rockets upward at an alarming angle, with the stick right back. Shoots up like a kite released in a strong wind. Never forgot the experience, and never forgot, as a towplane pilot flying a glider for the first time, how long you have to make the downwind and how frighteningly far away from the runway you get before turning base. Even then, we had to use the spoilers and slip some to get it down soon enough. 25:1 is tough to get used to after flying an Auster that, with full flap, would descend at an impressive rate.


    Dan
     
  6. Nov 9, 2009 #6

    Dana

    Dana

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    Not to put sailplanes down, but the view from my Kolb ain't too shabby, either...

    [​IMG]

    ... or a pre-1945 taildragger! (occasionally missing my 1941 T-Craft)

    -Dana (who has no place to fly sailplanes within a reasonable drive, and otherwise might feel differently)

    The Definition of an Upgrade: Take old bugs out, put new ones in.
     
  7. Nov 9, 2009 #7

    vortilon

    vortilon

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    If you ever get the chance try slope soaring, I really enjoy it more than thermal. Being in close formation with a hawk or eagle while hovering above a ridge is an experience that can't be beat. Watching their feathers open like spoilers across their wings is cool. I even had one mimic my series of stalls once. Makes me want to move back to the coast just thinking about it.
     
  8. Nov 9, 2009 #8

    Topaz

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    No doubt, Dana. I'm never going to be completely happy sitting behind the engine ever again, and you know why! ;-)
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  9. Nov 9, 2009 #9

    autoreply

    autoreply

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    That's definitely true. I've done quite a lot of gliding in the Alps and zooming along a ridge climbing with a good 2000 fpm is heaven.

    [video=youtube;4ZF6yCL4rAE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZF6yCL4rAE[/video]

    The only pitty about the video is that the filming helicopters couldn't keep up with the gliders they were following :roll:
     
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  10. Nov 9, 2009 #10

    Nickathome

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    Brings me back to my first ever ride in a sailplane. I bought a ticket for a ride at the vansant airport in Bucks county Pa. Took my sister up in a three seat glider. Was more like a two seater with us Sardined in the back seat. I remember the old guy pilot like it was yesterday. Was the spitting image ofthe old actor Robert Mitchum. I got sick as a dog and almost ralphed all over the guy's neck. I had to ask him to bring us down. I felt bad, not only getting sick, but asking the man to end the flight early, as he was enjoying the heck out of being up there. Was never so glad to be back on the ground. Only went up in a sailplane one other time, and for some reason I didn't get sick at all the second time. Just isn't my cup of tea though. I gotta have an engine humming away in front of me.

    Glad you enjoyed your flight though. I do like watching sailplanes in flight. very graceful to watch.
     
  11. Nov 9, 2009 #11

    addaon

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    Well, when you all are getting annoyed with your obstructed views, let me know and I'll get you into a paraglider. BananAlbum
     
  12. Nov 9, 2009 #12

    bmcj

    bmcj

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    The North Shore of Oahu at Bill Starr's place is an excellent location to sample slope soaring.
     
  13. Nov 9, 2009 #13

    Nickathome

    Nickathome

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    No thanks.....I'll take the obstructed view over the 30MPH top speed any day. No offense, but I can taxi faster than them things fly.
     
  14. Nov 9, 2009 #14

    bmcj

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    OUCH!!! :roll:
     
  15. Nov 9, 2009 #15

    Dana

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    Yeah, but I can land my PPG in places that you can't even park your plane!

    But seriously, I don't plan to give up either my PPG or my plane. Different machines, different purposes.

    See especially the second half of this video:



    -Dana

    When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced...
    Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
    -- Cherokee saying
     
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  16. Nov 9, 2009 #16

    bmcj

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    What most people don't realize about winch launches (or even auto-tows) is that the elevator takes on a reverse relationship with airspeed. When you pull up, the airspeed increases. To drop your airspeed, lower the nose a bit. This seems counter intuitive to pilots until you stop to realize that pulling up means that you are flying a steeper arc which covers more distance in the same time (because the tow cable is being pulled at a constant rate).

    Bruce :)
     
  17. Nov 10, 2009 #17

    Nozzlejocky

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    Cool pics and write up of the gliding experience. It's something I've been thinking about doing for some time, but haven't had the joy of experiencing yet. Maybe someday.
     
  18. Nov 10, 2009 #18

    vortilon

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    The low turns are amazing, my skydiving career taught us low turns were taboo. Of course different unpowered equipment. How much HP and do you carry a reserve?
     
  19. Nov 10, 2009 #19

    bmcj

    bmcj

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    The trap in the turns has got to be the chance of making a wide, sweeping turn only to learn that you are a little too low as you start to "pendulum" through from one side to the other. I can see where an unexperienced pilot might slam themself into the ground very hard due to misjudging the ground clearance.

    As for a reserve (just guessing here), I doubt if you need one because 1) you start from the ground with your main wing already inflated, and 2) most of your flying is probably too low to successfully deploy a reserve.

    Looks like a blast!

    Bruce :)
     
  20. Nov 10, 2009 #20

    Dana

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    The machine I was flying that day was 15HP; my other one is 25HP and that's pretty much the range. I don't have a reserve; most PPGers don't since we generally fly fairly low and in fairly mellow conditions. Unpowered PGers who look for thermic conditions nearly always carry a reserve... wing collapse is the biggest danger there.

    Steep low turns can be a risk and are never recommended for novice pilots; more than a few PPGers have died that way. The biggest part of the risk is that your body at the outside of the arc is moving quite a lot faster than the normal, relatively slow, wing's airspeed. It's all about energy management; you can't just roll out of a turn into level flight since you have no pitch control and all that built up energy will make you climb... then dive as you pendulum back, then the wing leading edge collapses. Not a danger if you plan for it, but you have to plan for it. Some pilots will actually brush their wingtip on the ground or in the water in a steep low turn. Not me... that's an unnecessary level of risk, IMO.

    But yeah, it is a blast!

    -Dana

    If it were truly the thought that counted, more women would be pregnant.
     

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