January 19, 2010
Dear Soaring Enthusiast,
cold Minnesota. We have had more than our
share of snow and cold weather this winter, but the
soaring season is only a few short months away.
We usually start flying in early to mid April.
I can't wait!
Since the last newsletter our family had a wonderful
1 week vacation at my parents' place in Florida.
We all enjoyed the beach and pool and even an
airboat ride in the Everglades - that was a hit with
the entire family!
Other Family Fun
Since our daughter Sara was adopted from Ethiopia, we have strived to get
her connected to her Ethiopian culture as much as possible. Recently,
a local group called the Ethiopian Kids Community offered Ethiopian Dance classes which all 3
kids enjoyed. They rehearsed for 10 weeks (1 day a week) and performed
at the Ethiopian Kids Community Genna (Christmas) Celebration. You can
see photos and videos of their performances using the links below.
Video 3 |
I am really
looking forward to some great soaring events in
2010. The SSA Convention will be fun (I really
enjoy catching up with my soaring friends) and I'm
very excited to be flying in the Sports Class
Nationals in Parowan in June. I'll be flying
with Dick Andrews and Fred Hewitt in their DG-1000S.
I have enjoyed flying in a few regional soaring
contests over the years, and I have been Contest
Manager and Competition Director for a few soaring
contests, but this will be my first chance to fly in
a national contest. It will also be my first
chance to fly at Parowan. I have heard a lot
about Parowan - I can't wait!
Thank you for
taking the time to read the
newsletter. There is a lot of interesting
soaring news to report from around the world, and I
have been very busy adding new products to my web
site. I hope you will enjoy it. If
you do, please tell your soaring friends about it by
forwarding the following link to them:
believe that over 3400 glider pilots from around the
world read this newsletter?! I am amazed and
flattered. I will do my best to keep it
interesting and worthy of the time you spend reading
it and clicking through the links.
If this is your
first newsletter - Welcome! If you missed any
of the previous issues of this newsletter, they are
all available here:
Note: Click on
the small images on this page to view much larger
versions of the images.
Society of America Convention for 2010 will be held
in Little Rock, Arkansas from Thursday, January
28th through Saturday, January 30th. There
will also be some special training sessions on
Wednesday (see the schedule at:
January 27th and a CFI Revalidation Clinic on
Tuesday, January 26th and Wednesday, January 27th. Since the
SSA opted not to have a convention in 2009, I am
really looking forward to seeing everyone! The
soaring community is a neat group of people.
What will be the highlight of the convention this
year? - definitely the wonderful people!
On the business
side - I have expanded my display booth up to 4 10x10 spaces.
I am looking forward to hosting Uli Schwenk and
Daniela Schwenk from Jaxida Cover and Condor fan
Scott Manley. I had fun following Uli in the
Chile Soaring Grand Prix last week where he finished
in 4th place (only 1 point behind 3rd place).
It will be fun to get to know him and Daniela.
Scott Manley is a big promoter of using the Condor
soaring flight simulator as a flight training tool.
It will be cool to have Condor running in the booth
- Thanks Scott! Southeast Aerospace will also
be sending someone to help demo and answer questions
on the new Trig TT21
and TT22 Mode S
At the last convention I was extremely grateful to
the many volunteers that helped me get my booth
setup, broken down at the end, and helped gather
books for customer orders. You people really
helped me serve the soaring community. I am
looking for a few good volunteers again this year.
I will be offering some form of "thank you" for all
volunteers - such as $10 store credit for every hour
worked in the booth. I especially need help setting
up on Wednesday, January 27th from 10 AM to about 5
let me know ASAP if you can help.
Since the setup takes place before most people will
arrive at the convention, any help from local
soaring pilots would be greatly appreciated. We will have a lot of work to do, but it will be fun
watching the convention hall come together - and
greeting soaring friends I haven't seen since the
last convention 2 years ago. I will also need
a lot of help taking everything down on Saturday,
January 30th at 5 PM. I will also need
help during the show. I will have a sign-up
sheet in the booth for volunteers to help fulfill
customer orders during the show. Please stop
by and sign-up for an hour or 2, or 3. I realize that
I'm asking a lot when I ask for your help. But
I really can't afford to pay to hire people to work
in my booth. By helping me, you will be
helping me serve the soaring community, and helping
me support my family.
I am extremely
thankful that both my father Richard and my lovely wife Renee
have agreed to help me in the booth at the show. I couldn't
do this without their support.
I will be doing 2 formal presentations at the
convention. I hope you will be able to join
- NK ClearNav
Demo and Q & A Session
When: Wednesday, January 27, 4 to 5 PM
Where: Convention Center, Carway II
Chip Garner (ClearNav software programmer) will
join me for this overview and question and
answer session the NK ClearNav. We may
also discuss NK's plans for a new speed-to-fly
variometer. Note that this presentation is
on Wednesday, the day before the convention
Soaring Product News
When: Friday, January 29, 2:30 PM
Where: Convention Center-Ballroom C
I look forward to giving this talk at every SSA
Convention. It is an overview of what is
new in the soaring market. I will mention
new soaring instruments, books, videos, etc.
I will also give insights into the interesting
features and pros and cons of each product.
This talk is always very well attended, so
arrive early to get a good seat.
presentations below will be done by Scott
Manley. They both sound fascinating to
Glider Flight Simulation-Including
When: Saturday, January 30, 3 PM
Where: Convention Center, Ballroom B
Overview by Scott Manley
At the SSA 2008 Convention in Albuquerque, Trace
Lewis and I did a pair of presentations on using
flight simulation to improve glider flight
instruction, to maintain your glider flying
proficiency in the off-season, and to
develop/polish your cross-country and
We also hosted the simulator in the convention
exhibit hall to provide attendees with an
opportunity to get some hands on experience
“flying” the sim.
At the time, the idea that flight simulation
could be applied to glider flight instruction
was largely untested. No one was actually doing
it. That is no longer the case.
This presentation will begin with a quick
overview of the educational applications of
flight simulation to the sport of soaring,
• Primary Flight Instruction
• Proficiency / Recurrency Training
• Acquisition of New Soaring Skills
• Promotion of the Sport of Soaring
An Instruction Update will follow including:
• The Challenges of Glider Flight Instruction
• Why Flight Simulation is the Answer
• A 20-minute Flight Simulation Demonstration
• Some Eye-Opening Case Studies
The presentation concludes with:
• Question & Answer
• A Special Guest Appearance by The Blue Angels
If you are someone who provides glider flight
instruction, or someone who has ever received
it, you won’t want to miss this presentation.
Introduction/Demonstration of Networked Flying
Including Team Cross-Country Flying
When: Saturday, January 30, 4 PM
Where: Convention Center-Ballroom B
Overview by Scott Manley:
If you think flying a glider flight simulator
solo is fun, imagine sharing the experience with
31 of your closest friends or maybe even some
fellow glider pilots in France, Germany, or
This presentation will provide you with an
introduction to networked/multi-pilot glider
flight simulation, including:
• An Overview of the Under-lying Technology
• A Group High-Speed Ridge Run in Ajdovscina,
• Question / Answer
• A Repeat Performance by The Blue Angels
If your idea of fun is flying a fully-ballasted
ASW-27 while racing your friends down a 25 KM
ridge in Europe, all in the comfort of your home
and at a fraction of the actual cost, you won’t
want to miss this presentation.
at the SSA Convention
There may be some interesting announcements at
the SSA Convention regarding the availability of
FLARM in the USA. Below are details on 2
related talks. I look forward to learning
Collision Avoidance with FLARM, Six Years of
Experience and Outlook
Who: Urs Rothacher of FLARM
When: Friday, January 29th, 10 AM
Where: Convention Center-Ballroom B
and Buddy Flying Using PDAs and FLARM
Who: Lee Kuhlke
When: Friday, January 29th, 1 PM
Where: Convention Center-Ballroom C
Where: Cumulus Soaring, Inc. Display
Booth, Convention Hall
When: 11 AM and 4 PM, Thursday, Friday and
I told SPOT I would be promoting the SPOT-2 at the
SSA Convention and they kindly offered me 6 free
SPOT-2 units to give away during the convention.
Cool! The only possible issue is that SPOT-2
units are temporarily unavailable. Hopefully I
will receive the units in time for the convention.
Assuming that they arrive in time, I will have
raffle tickets available in my booth. Stop by
any time and get your ticket (one per person) and we
will put the matching ticket into the drawing
bucket. Important: You must be present to win. We will have
only the numbered tickets - not names. If we
draw your number and you are present, you will win.
If we draw a number and the holder of the matching
ticket is not present, we will draw again until we
find a winner that is present.
Pre-Order High Value Items for Delivery at the
Let me know in advance if you are planning to
purchase any high value items from me at the
convention. I will bring as much of my
inventory as possible, but I can't bring everything,
and I have a limited supply of all items. By
ordering in advance you will avoid shipping charges. I would be glad to hand deliver any soaring item you
10% off all
This discount is in effect already. Order
immediately and I will pay for the shipping to
my office and hand deliver the items to you at
the convention. However, you don't need to
be at the convention to get this discount.
It applies to all orders of "EDS systems"
(systems which include an EDS O2D1 or O2D2) from
now through February 15th.
760 Radio Packages
The special package prices below are only
valid during the convention. Wiring
connectors included. Pre-made wiring
on single-seat glider package
including XCOM 760 Panel Mount Radio, XCOM
Boom Microphone and XCOM Speaker.
Total price after discount: $1251
on two-seat glider package including XCOM
760 Panel Mount Radio, XCOM Remote Head, 2
XCOM Boom Microphones and an XCOM Speaker.
Total price after discount: $1849
Minnesota Soaring Club Youth Program
Phil Schacht Memorial Youth Scholarship got off to a
great start in 2009! Offered by the Minnesota
Soaring Club to support young soaring pilots working
towards FAA glider pilot certification, two
scholarships were awarded to young student pilots
for the 2009 soaring season, 16 year-old Tyler
Hastings and 14 year-old Andrew Walt. Both students
made excellent progress in their training and have a
growing passion for the sport. The scholarship
covers membership in the Minnesota Soaring Club for
one season for the purpose of flight training plus
an SSA membership for the period of the scholarship.
Recipients are responsible for tow plane charges and
glider rental. The scholarship is for one soaring
season and an awardee has the option to reapply for
the scholarship for the next year. Club member Deb
Smith was key in developing the program and getting
it up and running. In years past two club members
have donated their club memberships back to the club
– Harry Meline at the time of his death and Mike
Willey when his job responsibilities made it
necessary for him to move out of Minnesota. A key
was donated back to the club by Sue Schacht, widow
of Phil Schacht, a long time club member and
enthusiastic instructor in the club as well as a
talented aerobatic power pilot. Phil was killed in
an aviation accident in 2008. The club also raised
additional funds through donations and a raffle so
that each scholarship recipient received $300 toward
flight expenses for the 2009 season. Having eager
young student pilots active in the club has brought
new life to our instructional program and given us
the satisfaction of sharing our love of soaring with
others. Send me an email if you have any questions.
Minnesota Soaring Club -
Chief Flight Instructor
SSA Master Cross Country Instructor
Barograph & GPS Flight Recorder Calibration
Barograph and GPS Flight
Recorder Calibration -
by the SSA
January 15, 2010 Cumulus Soaring, Inc. received
approval from the Soaring Society of America as an
approved GPS flight recorder and barograph
Send your unit to me and I will
calibrate it quickly and accurately.
calibration lab meets all the requirements put
forward by the SSA for Category 2 Calibration Labs.
You can see details on the SSA web site here:
SSA Calibration Lab
I also follow all the procedures and requirements
set forward by the FAI in the Sporting Code Section
3 (Gliding), Annex C, Appendix 8 "Calibration of
Barographs" (and Electronic Flight Recorders) which
is available here:
I should be able to calibrate all brands and types of barographs and
flight recorders. I definitely can calibrate and re-seal the
brands listed below.
- Replogle Barographs
- EW microRecorder
- LX Colibri, LX7000, LX7007, LX8000
- Cambridge 302, GPS-NAV
- Garrecht Volkslogger
I realize that there are times when calibrations are needed urgently.
1 day service is standard.
Barographs must be calibrated every year
and GPS Flight Recorders must be calibrated every 2 years.
Calibration is necessary if you are using the unit as flight evidence
for badge or record flights.
Please include a check for $75 plus the estimated return shipping cost.
UPS Ground is usually about $20 (with insurance). If you
overpay I will include a refund check in the box with the unit.
The shipping address is on the bottom of every page on this web site.
Please include a note in the box with the
information listed below. I can't send it back to you
if I don't have your name and address. I can't contact you with
questions if you don't include your phone number or e-mail address.
- Phone Number
- Barograph or Flight Recorder Type
and Serial Number
- Desired return shipping method (UPS
Ground is standard)
- Calibration Table
- Calibration Graph
The included Calibration Graph makes it easy to convert measured
altitudes to calibrated altitudes. Most other calibration labs
do not include this graph.
Details are available
Naviter Oudie PNA
Oudie is a PNA that is nearly perfect for use in
gliders. Many current model PDAs and PNAs suffer
from some "gotcha" issue such as the lack of a
serial port, or low resolution, screen too small or
too large, etc. The Oudie is the perfect size for
use in a glider and offers a built-in GPS and
built-in RS-232 serial port - so it can talk to
soaring flight computers and flight recorders. The
5" diagonal screen is a little larger than a PDA,
but the overall footprint is much smaller than the
existing "high end" soaring navigation displays. The
display offers the same brightness as existing PDAs - which
is not as bright as we would prefer, but is
acceptable for many pilots. It is not as bright and
does not offer the same screen resolution as the NK
ClearNav, but it has a much smaller footprint and
costs much less. The screen resolution is 480 x 272
pixels. That is more than an iPAQ h3900, the same as
the Bendix King AV8OR and less than iPAQ 310 or
ClearNav. I played with an AV8OR and was very
satisfied with its screen resolution. The price is
not set yet, but it will be more than a PDA, but
much less than an NK ClearNav. Click on the image
above to view a larger version. I predict that the
Oudie (with its built-in GPS) will be popular both
for pilots looking for a portable system in club and
rental gliders, and pilots looking for a
semi-portable mounted system wired into a glider's
electrical system and connected to a soaring GPS or
It is a
Personal Navigation Device (PND) which runs SeeYou
Mobile natively. What makes it different than any
other device on the market is the ability to perform
all of the most important tasks for glider pilots
right out of the box. It features:
5" screen (same brightness as all other PNA
Landscape and Portrait screen orientations
Integrated GPS for stand-alone operation
communication cable (doubles up as charger)
Bluetooth serial communication
Preinstalled SeeYou Mobile
Preinstalled worldwide Vector maps
Screen Size: 5" diagonal
Screen Resolution: 480 x 272 pixels
Overall Size: 135 x 86 x 14 mm (5.3 x 3.4 x 0.55
Memory Expansion: microSD card, It accepts either
standard or high-density (greater than 2 GB) cards .
It also has 4 GB or internal memory (of which 2GB
will be used by pre-installed world wide vector
there will be no more empty batteries, lost data,
re-installations and re-registrations. All the data
is kept in flash memory so even if the battery goes
dead all you have to do is refill the battery and
everything is there. No setup, no installation,
nothing. Since it comes with SeeYou Mobile and
worldwide Vector Maps installed, initial setup is
greatly reduced. You still need to transfer waypoint
and airspace files to the device through the microSD
card, but that is about it.
Can I run WinPilot or StrePla or Glide Navigator II
on the Oudie?
Answer: No. Those software products have not been
upgraded to run on devices like this one.
I imagine that the internal battery will power the unit for only an hour or
2. Therefore it will probably be necessary to power the unit either with an
external portable battery such as the
Socket Mobile Power Pack,
or to power it with 12V using its supplied 12V to 5V power converter.
I will design power and data cables when the units are available. The
Oudie works great with the
Socket Mobile Power Pack
and that standard USB to mini-USB cable (included
with the Oudie) can be used to connect them
together. I will do battery life tests when I
receive my first Oudie, but I expect the combination
to run for over 12 hours on a single charge.
The unit includes a suction cup mount designed for
use in a car. Since it has a mechanism for pulling a
strong suction (ideal for use on a glass window in a
car) it may or may not be idea for use on an
expensive and flexible glider canopy. I don't
recommend using similar devices in gliders because
they "dimple" the canopy when in use and may cause
crazing over time.
You may therefore want to
cradle with a
suction cup mount or
B-size mounting arm, or
week I very much enjoyed following the 3rd FAI World
Sailplane Grand Prix in Chile! It was neat to
be able to view the positions of the sailplanes over
Google 3D maps - in real time. The commentary
Congratulations to Sebastian Kawa on another big
win. He seems to be unstopable! He
finished far ahead of everyone else in points.
It was nice to see local (to Chile) pilot Carlos
Rocca Vidal finish in 2nd place.
the top 6 finishers:
Sebastian Kawa, Poland, Diana 2, 69 points
Rocca Vidal, Chile, Ventus 2b, 55 points
Kiessling, Germany, Ventus 2ax, 47 points
Schwenk, Germany, Ventus 2, 46 points
Gostner, Italy, Diana 2, 43 points
Holighaus, Germany, Ventus 2, 24 points
especially fun because I sort of know 2 of the
competitors. I don't know Uli Schwenk yet
(other than from watching soaring videos such as
Gladiators of the Sky
Champions of the Wave)
but I look forward to getting to know him at the SSA
Convention. He will be representing his
company Jaxida Cover in my booth at the convention.
He finished the contest in 4th place - only 1 point
behind the 3rd place finisher.
I know Tilo
Holighaus a little from meeting him at many SSA
Convention in the past. I have always been
impressed by him. He is in a similar place in
life as me - with young kids. You probably
know that he and his mother run Schempp-Hirth -
maker of some of the best sailplanes in the world.
He finished in 6th place - flying a glider from his
factory of course.
(the photos and videos are nice)
TrackLog App for iPhone
is a very cool FREE app for iPhones. It
essentially turns your iPhone into a GPS tracker.
You install a small app on the iPhone and enable it.
It then sends your GPS position and altitude to the
TrackLog web site through the phone network
(assuming you are in range of cell towers).
You can then track the phone (as long as the app is
running) on the TrackLog web site.
I can't say
for certain how well it will work while flying in a
glider, but it may make it possible for your friends
to track you in real-time while you fly.
Unlike SPOT tracking, the position updates multiple
times a minute. You can setup secure tracking
pages and pages for displaying all the gliders in
your local soaring club or soaring contest.
rec.aviation.soaring technical gurus stated that
iPhones won't connect to the network when above 3000
feet or so. I look forward to testing it
some reason the tracking web site can't display all
the information when using Internet Explorer.
It works great with Apple's Safari - which was used
for the screen capture above.
I don't sell
this or support it and I can't say I'm an expert at
it yet, but it looks cool to me so far!
Bad News for Owners of Older DG Sailplanes
has announced that they can no longer afford to
offer free support to owners of gliders built before
the current owner (Friedel Weber) acquired the
company. They clearly state all the reasons on
their web site (see link below).
As a small
business owner who gets a lot of phone call and
e-mails from customers expecting free support, I can
understand (to a certain extent) where Mr. Weber is
coming from. He needs to pay employees and
fees to government agencies to keep those sailplanes
plan to improve the business situation is very
controversial. It requires all owners of older
DG gliders to pay an annual fee of 245€ (~$368 U.S.)
to have access to support, and to keep their
sailplane legal to fly.
been extremely strong negative reactions to this
news from around the world.
If you are
interested, please read the text of the page in the
link below completely through. Many of the
questions and complaints posted in newsgroups are
answered on the web page. Really... read it
all the way through before reacting.
I don't have
a strong opinion on this. I can understand the
business situation, but I fear that not enough
glider owners will sign up for the service agreement
to make it work. I hope a solution can be
found that will improve the business situation, keep
the company going, and minimize the impact on all
owners of DG sailplanes. I agree that the past
situation is unacceptable for the company.
have been extremely impressed with the way Mr. Weber
has run the company since he bought it. The
photo at right shows Mr. Weber. He seems
genuinely interested in doing a first class job of
supporting the gliding community. The web site
is excellent and I have heard only good things about
the quality of their products and the support they
offer. Their e-mail newsletter is also
extremely nice. I very much enjoy flying in a
DG-1000S often. It is a fantastic and high
does not directly affect owners of sailplanes
manufactured by the current company. However,
if the plan fails and the company continues to lose
money, there has been much speculation about how the
company will continue. It would be a huge
shame if they became forced to stop supporting the
older DG sailplanes, or they go out of business.
Latest Newsletter -
Includes: Ursula Hänle's
Petite Plastic Plane Patch Primer, Free photo
calendar, 3 videos showing a simple yarn stall
Soaring World Record Claims
On December 13,
2009 Terry Delore and co-pilot John Kokshoorn have
set a new world soaring record for distance using up
to 3 turnpoints (yet to be ratified) flying an
ASH-25 in New Zealand. The distance achieved
was 2499.2 km. Wow! Congratulations!
Details on the
FAI web site
amazing German pilot Klaus Ohlmann has also been
targeting the same record category and has also made
some extremely impressive flights in his Nimbus 4DM
flying in Argentina. Also on December 13th,
2009, Klaus and co-pilot Christoph Ritter (also from
Germany) flew 2511.1 km.
Details on FAI web site
December 28th he flew 2643.2 km with his wife
Sidonie Ohlmann as co-pilot.
Details on FAI web site
Note: Some of the links above include flight logs!
just a few of the many interesting new world record
claims. You can see all the latest world
record claims here:
announced that there is a problem with some (most)
SPOT 2 units shipped before December 14, 2009. The
battery indicator light is defective and indicates
that the battery is low when it is not yet low. I
have also had 2 customers report that pressing one
button caused messages related to other button
presses. For example, pressing the “Help” button
sent a 911 message. SPOT states: "During recent
testing, we discovered that some of the new SPOT 2
devices might not meet battery and messaging
The good news is that they
will replace any SPOT 2 units free of charge. They
pay for shipping in both directions and even include
a free month of service. You can see details here:
Due to the
issue, I have sent back all the units in my stock
and expect new (better) units to arrive in late
January of 2010.
unfortunate that there is an issue, but I'm very
happy with the pro-active response and free
replacement units from SPOT.
Please do not
send your SPOT 2 unit(s) back to me. I’m sorry, but
I can’t help you. Use the link above to get them
replaced for free by SPOT.
The text below
is copied from the SPOT 2 Exchange web page.
Spot LLC is
dedicated to providing the highest quality and
best performance products to our customers,
therefore, Spot LLC will be conducting a
voluntary return on any new model SPOT Satellite
GPS Messenger™ (SPOT 2) purchased since October
1, 2009. During recent testing, we discovered
that some of the new SPOT 2 devices might not
meet battery and messaging operating
Units: SPOT 2 (not SPOT-1)
To see if
your SPOT-2 unit is affected by this issue,
please do the following:
If you have activated
your SPOT-2 unit, login to your account at
, click on the My GPS Locations tab and a
message will display indicating if you have an
affected SPOT-2 unit.
have not activated your SPOT-2 unit, do not
activate. We highly recommend you return
your product for replacement at your earliest
Replacement units are anticipated to be
available in early 2010. More details to follow.
exchange your eligible unit, you will also
receive 1 additional month of your current SPOT
service plan and associated services.
exchanged, you will receive a new SPOT-2 unit.
follow this process to receive your return
shipping materials. These will be sent you upon
completion of the form.
your SPOT-2 unit and take out batteries prior to
This does not affect SPOT Satellite Personal
Tracker (SPOT-1) nor is it an upgrade program to
transition from SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker
(SPOT-1) to the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger
Please call toll-free 1 (866) 727-7733
for being a SPOT customer and we sincerely
apologize for any inconvenience. SPOT LLC is
dedicated to providing the highest quality and
best performance products to our customers.
Advanced Soaring Made Easy - New 2nd Edition
New 2nd Edition
This is an awesome book!
The new 2nd edition has almost twice the number of pages of the 1st
edition and is printed in full color. A chapter on technical issues has
been added and Bernard delves much deeper into such issues as flight
analysis, psychological issues, competition flying, meteorological
matters, wave flying etc. All graphics are in color and many additional
spectacular and high-quality photos have been added.
Gliding is a fascinating sport and without a doubt the most peaceful,
most affordable and by far the quietest form of aviation. To soar
effortlessly like an eagle has been one of man's age-old yearnings and
many thousands of pilots around the world today regularly experiences
exactly this and enjoy the beauty, challenges and delights of this
Gliding means flying modern machines of
great beauty and elegance for hundreds of miles in total comfort and
without resorting to engines. Success depends on the skill of extracting
the necessary energy from the atmosphere around them. Real determination
to succeed is a good starting point but good progress and full enjoyment
requires some study as well. A basic theoretical knowledge is essential
for success and that's what this book is all about. It not only covers
all sources of energy for soaring, but it also deals with weather
analysis, flight preparation, mental aspects, safety matters and
competitive flying. In short, it is a first class training aid to guide
pilots from local soaring to advanced cross-country flying and beyond.
Fast and exciting cross country flights are what most glider pilot
dreams are made of. Others aim for high altitude lee wave flights or
aspire to doing well in competitions. Sadly even to this day there is
precious little literature available focusing on real practical help and
assistance to the ambitious glider pilot.
Bernard Eckey, a German born record pilot, instructor and head coach of
the South Australian Gliding Association (now living in Australia) has
closed the gap with his new book: "Advanced Soaring Made Easy". He is
encouraging pilots to move out beyond the circuit area and experience
the exciting world of advanced soaring. His comprehensive work is
clearly written and presented in a very attractive format.
Making the difficult transition from a
solo pilot to a confident soaring pilot is what the first chapter is all
about. Rather than floating around, learning very little the aspiring
aviator can use the information provided and turn valuable background
knowledge into essential thermalling skills. A beginner adopting this
approach is likely to get on a steep learning curve and will soon enjoy
the sport to the fullest. He will find a fascinating aerial world
awaiting further exploration.
The second chapter deals with the
important issue of soaring weather, and especially the prediction for
soaring conditions for the day ahead. By using practical examples the
author makes this difficult subject easily understandable and even
explains numerous other relevant weather related issues such as sea
breezes, convergence lines, etc.
Other chapters deal with such important
topics as flight preparation, safety, off field landings, mental
preparation, ridge soaring, wave flying, flying competitively and
advanced cross country flying with guidelines for proven flying tactics
and methods for speed improvement. The advanced cross country pilot gets
advice on reducing the workload in the cockpit and even learns about
aerotow retrieves, effective use of flaps, etc.
A total of 134 drawings and graphics and
over 163 very attractive photos help to shed light on the various
subjects. Glider pilots will find it hard not to try the many practical
hints and suggestions on their next flight and further their enjoyment
from this fascinating sport.
Because the author has refrained from
using any jargon even pilots with a rather basic command of the English
language will find the book easy reading. Pilots with an ambition to
practice gliding in different parts of the world will find this book an
extremely valuable source of information and a first class introduction
to gliding terminology.
A dicount of 20% is available for batch purchases of
15 or more books at a time. You may want to go
together with a group of soaring club buddies and
order this book to use as the basis of a
cross-country soaring study course. Or, if you
if run a glider operation, this book looks great out
on display in your office/hangar. It is a
great extra purchase for your students or glider
Dr. Richard Q. Agnew of Australia
R Agnew's ASME Review.pdf
Review by Paul Remde
This is one of my very favorite
soaring books. In addition to the many wonderful and high-quality
soaring photographs it contains many well written explanations of
countless subtle aspects of soaring. It is easy to read and
Bernard does an excellent job of explaining complex and detailed
subjects. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the 1st edition. I
can't wait to read the 2nd edition!
Below are few
new products available from Cumulus Soaring, Inc.
Cable, 1 m (3.281 feet), For connecting a Goddard PS-5a to
an LX8000's round PC connector. Round,
female, 5-pin Binder connector for LX8000 "PC"
connector, This cable provides 2-way RS-232
serial connections. It does not include power
connections. There is a DB-9f connector at the
PS-5a end and a round, female, 5-pin Binder
connector for connection to the LX8000's "PC
Connector" - on the LX8000 wiring harness.
LET L-33 Solo
Ka-4 Rhönlerche Model Kit
Sun Ship Game - DVD
DVD release is from a new video
master made from a film print, so it looks super. As you can see
in the photos at right, the new version of the film is much sharper and
more vivid. And yes, it
does include the Bee Gees music - as in the original film.
menu has 9 chapters, a photo gallery and closed captioning. On the
DVD box itself is an essay by Robert Drew on "Why and How The Sun Ship
Game" (see DVD case images at right) and a review Doug Jacobs (see
DVD case back cover at right, and review text below).
Doug Jacobs - Former
World and 8 time U.S. National Soaring Champion
If you're like me, The Sun Ship Game
serves as the standard against which to measure all attempts to
convey soaring in motion pictures. Centered on a remarkably
determined George Moffat's pursuit of a National Championship on the
way to multiple World Championships, it captures like none other the
majesty of the slender wing and graceful vulnerability of glider
against the big, big sky and heartstopping terrain of Marfa Texas.
Yet even more compelling is its captivating story of eyeball to
eyeball struggle between pilots to win, to excel against one
another, to accept the tribulations, sacrifices and danger of this
beautiful but little known sport despite its meager prizes.
Bob Drew, noted documentarian, pulled
this triumph together in the early 1970's, capturing on film the
amazing aerial footage never before seen of gliding competitions and
blending it with an up close and personal window into the
personalities and aspirations the pilot contenders, their families
and friends, strengths and flaws, into an all-too-human montage of
the soaring scene. The result was a classic that has inspired
and motivated hundreds of soaring pilots of my generation.
However, inspired as we were, we were
equally annoyed that well traveled films in the possession of the
SSA were often scratched, patched and in generally poor quality.
An attempt to save the work through converting it to VHS was only
partially successful, but nonetheless cassettes were snapped up by
collectors eager to have their own copy of this remarkable story.
Now comes deliverance - Bob has taken
the original masters and professionally converted them to DVD
format. Back is the amazing clarity and color quality of the
original film and terrific sound (especially if you're a BeeGee's
fan - break out the paisley!) of the original for you to savor
without the distractions of failing media.
The chance to own and view this work
should not be missed by any serious soaring pilot, and studied
intensely by those who chose to compete. A masterful story,
one that belongs in the collection of everyone that shares our
devotion to this compelling and amazing sport.
Review by Paul Remde
I'm very happy that this classic soaring film is available on DVD.
It is a fun and interesting trip back in time. It is more than a
soaring documentary, it is a film which digs deep into the skills and
philosophies of 2 very different soaring contest pilots: George Moffatt
(contest number XX) and Gleb Derujinsky (contest number CI). The
action begins at the 1969 Sugarbush Regional Soaring Contest and ends at
the 1969 U.S. Nationals Soaring Contest in Marfa, TX. Toward the
end of the film the battle ends up being between George Moffatt and
Wally Scott. This is a time when a "flight computer" was a
circular paper glide calculator - and they were not adopted as necessary
"technology" by all glider pilots. The film documents many
interesting off-airport landings. Some of these pilots were
willing to risk landing straight ahead (on course) in order to use every
bit of altitude to get a few additional point for the day. One of
my favorite scenes shows George using a saw to cut off the tip of his
sailplane's wing and attach longer tips. It is hard to watch the sawing,
but neat to see what was done to improve the performance of the
sailplane. It is also interesting that during this era every
contest pilot had a dedicated crew that followed them around the course
with the glider trailer in tow. There is high-drama near the end
of the film as George makes a bold move on the last long leg of the
final task in the U.S. Nationals. I love this film!
George Moffat's reaction to the DVD
version - as printed in the January 2010 edition of
"The Sun Ship Game, Bob Drew's
remarkable film of the 1969 Nationals in Marfa, Texas, has long been
the best-ever film of what competition soaring is all about.
In it he captures not only the beauty of soaring but also the
dramatic aspects of the competition and the tensions between the
leaders, their differing philosophies, and their wives, families and
crews. Now Bob Drew has taken the original master and
professionally converted it to DVD. I recently saw the result,
and it is breathtaking as to color, sound and clarity. I did
the flying for most of the thunderstorm scenes, and the sharp color
and clarity brought them vividly back to life. Nothing in this
film was staged. Everything you see was filmed as it happened.
This new DVD version is surprisingly vivid and new despite having
been filmed forty years ago."
Below is an excellent overview found on
the rec.aviation.soaring newsgroup. It was posted by Aldo Cernezzi.
He states that it was provided to him by "a close friend of the
"Some words on the film: As far as I
know, The Sun Ship Game is the only real movie, not a documentary,
dedicated to soaring competitions. It has was filmed at great
expense (about 300-400,000 U.S. dollars in 1969, equivalent to at
least 10 million Dollars today), privately financed without any
perspective of reasonable revenues -- by the Director and producer
Robert Drew, for one of its great passions, soaring.
I consider Bob an exceptional person,
and his movie, which in 20 years I have probably watched and shown
over 20 times, is a true masterpiece dedicated to soaring
competitions. Its beauty is revealed gradually, when, through
repeated viewing, one understands the untold in the conversations
between the pilots. I recall in particular a confession: "…soaring
pilots - a champion is speaking -we become aware that our talent,
when we win a contest, is inexplicable; and we live therefore with
the fear of losing it…"
I suggest a visit here:
http://www.drewassociates.net/ to see how much and what Robert
Drew, as one of the prominent figures of the "cinema verité", has
filmed in its professional life. This movie is a wonderful "gift"
that this director-soaring pilot has given to the world of soaring.
The plot of the narration is based on
the major difference in the personalities of the two protagonists,
Gleb Derujinsky, CI (an advertizing director, the first one to
appear in the film, on a bicycle in New York) and George Moffat, XX
(a professor, who appears in a classroom teaching English
literature). Gleb, an instinctive pilot, is described as "unbeatable
when he's in top condition", but he's also sometimes inconsistent.
Moffat, on the other hand, is a cold "analytical-numerical" pilot
flying a modified Cirrus with longer wings, but we finally see that
he's also "human after all" through his flying and the suffering
against Wally Scott who had a new ASW-12.
George will win (at least) two World Championships, Marfa 1970 and
Waikerie 1974. Gleb, instead, will drive form Marfa to Mexico in
order to get a divorce, always followed by Bob's movie cameras.
The movie features a gallery of prominent figures of soaring,
including, Klaus Holighaus, Stouffs Sr., and Hal "The Judge"
Lattimore, contest director."
Soaring Waypoint and Airspace Resources
In the soaring
community we owe so very much to a few very smart
and resourceful people who make soaring waypoint and
airspace information for us. To name a few
Leibacher's Worldwide Soaring Turnpoint Exchange
For many years
we enjoyed the awesome
Worldwide Soaring Turnpoint
Exchange web site by John Leibacher.
He makes soaring waypoint and airspace data files
available for just about every soaring site in the
world - formatted for use with just about very type
of soaring flight computer and flight logger.
Thank you John!
Wagner's Just Soar site
A few years ago Ted Wagner brought his
Just Soar site
online. It is also a great resource for U.S.
airspace information. I use it often to
generate airspace files for use in Glide Navigator
II, SeeYou, etc. Thank you Ted!
Alley's US Aviation Information site
A year or 2 ago, Lynn Alley created his
US Aviation Information
site. It can be used to create waypoint and
airspace files for any location in the U.S. It is
also a fantastic resource.
added to the site the ability to generate airport
data files in the .stx format - as used by the NK
ClearNav. You can ask the site to generate
a waypoint file centered around your favorite
gliding site, and it will create a file that works
great in your ClearNav. The site also
generates waypoint files in .cup (SeeYou), .ndb
(ILEC SN10), .dat (Cambridge and Glide Navigator II
and others) file formats. This is fantastic
news for NK ClearNav owners! Thank you Lynn!
The NK Soaring Team has been very
busy, quietly working on the design of a variometer that will be the perfect
mate for the ClearNav Display and a state-of-the-art stand-alone
speed-to-fly instrument. The design team, corralled by Richard Kellerman,
includes Dave Ellis, Phil Schlosser and Chip Garner, with plenty of input
from volunteers including Rick Scheppe, John Cochrane, Frank Paynter, John
Good, Peter Purdie and Paul Remde.
Our goal is to bring to soaring a completely new variometer unmatched in
performance, features, and price.
We encourage all of you to stop by our booth at the upcoming SSA Convention
in Little Rock, AK and share your ideas so we can go back to PA, digest all
of your thoughts, and next summer introduce a vario that will one day be
considered the “standard”.
New ClearNav Online Manual
NK has created a new "online" manual for the ClearNav. It is available
ClearNav Online Manual
It can also be downloaded and unzipped and viewed on your computer.
New ClearNav Quick Reference Cards
The new Quick Reference cards are available here:
New ClearNav Software and Firmware
You can download the latest ClearNav software and firmware here:
New in ClearNav version 126.96.36.199
Below is a list of enhancements in the ClearNav
software. One point that is not highlighted as
much as it should be is that the ClearNav can now
connect to and work with an L-NAV (or S-NAV) and
of waypoints on Task Edit and Destination pages
is now much faster.
Improved icons in several areas.
Improved debug/performance logging added, with
automatic log rollover
Improved communications with CAI-302/LNAV
and FLARM devices
Enhanced leader line for better course line
tracking after making a manual turn in an area.
Now a short blue leader line continues to point
along the best track line for further area
penetration even after selecting 'Turn Here' in
an area. This helps to minimize off-course
pre-start support with more visible annunciation
of below-start-height and time-below-
last area turn support with a very visible 'time
to finish' enunciator
A more complete list of bug fixes
and enhancements is available here:
ClearNav - What's New
NK has created a PC ClearNav Simulator which makes it possible to try out
the ClearNav on your computer. It is also a great way to "brush up" on
the ClearNav software over the winter - or before a flight. However,
although the PC ClearNav Simulator is very handy, it is much easier to use
the ClearNav's handheld remote (connected to a ClearNav) than it is to use
your PC keyboard and the PC ClearNav Simulator. The buttons on the
handheld remote are easy to identify and use with your thumb. I
recommend printing the image above to use as a reference when using the
simulator. To print it: right click on it and select "Print Picture".
You can download the PC Simulator here:
ClearNav PC Simulator
It was never quite finished, but the ClearNav Manual I wrote is still
available. I recommend that you download it and print it - and read
it! It is a very large document, but it is a handy reference and good
ClearNav Printable Manual.pdf
Free Online Resource for Generating
ClearNav .stx Waypoint Files
A year or 2 ago, Lynn Alley created his
Aviation Information site. It
can be used to create waypoint and airspace files for any location in the
U.S. It is also a fantastic resource. He recently added to the site
the ability to generate airport data files in the .stx format - as used by
the NK ClearNav. You can ask the site to generate a waypoint file
centered around your favorite gliding site, and it will create a file that
works great in your ClearNav. The site also generates waypoint files
in .cup (SeeYou), .ndb (ILEC SN10), .dat (Cambridge and Glide Navigator II
and others) file formats. This is fantastic news for NK ClearNav
owners! Thank you Lynn! -
Country Soaring - Winch Launching in Florida - Now
you be in Florida between now and February 28th?
If so, you will want to go to
Immokalee Regional Airport
and get a
winch launch with Don Ingraham of
Cross Country Soaring.
Don usually operates his glider business from
Faribault Airport in south-central Minnesota, but he
has relocated to Florida for a few weeks this
winter. If enough people come fly with him
this year he will be more likely to go back next
year. If you've ever met Don and his lovely
wife Kathy, you know that they are a lot fun to be
around. The entire family has relocated to
Florida for this wonderful work/vacation getaway.
You can see
check out his flight schedule and sign-up for a ride
or instructional flight here:
I must admit that this is a shameless plug for a
very good friend. Don is a great guy.
But you won't get to meet just Don, another of my
best friends, Dick Andrews (and his charming wife
Pam), will be down in Florida to help out and hang
out with Don and gang. So go join the fun!!!
Below is a note
from a satisfied customer - posted today on the
"I had a
great time trying a few winch launches with Don
at Immokalee Airport (KIMM) today. Honest 2000'
launches. If you have never tried a winch
launch, you have missed a great thrill in
He will be there a few more weeks and still has
gaps in his schedule. Don't let them go to
guy who hopes this will turn into an annual
/ Cross Country Soaring winch video
With a boom out in front of a Grob 103 Twin II
sailplane and a video camera out there shooting back
at the glider, we winch launched, flew a few wiffer-dills
and then landed. Cool angle! Makes me want to go
again just watching it.
The LXNAV company is a spin-off company from LX
Navigation. It is run by Erazem Polutnik and
Uroš Krašovic, both having years of experience in
designing firmware and hardware for glider
instrumentation. Erazem is the author of the
SeeYou program, a very well known flight planning
and analysis tool for glider pilots. Their
main product is the LX8000. The LX8000 is a
high end vario navigation system with extremely
bright color display. - Details:
New firmware version 2.2 is the result of continuous
development of the LX8000 software. Among some bug
fixes and speed ups, there has been a lot of new
functionality added for leisure pilots as well as
for top competition pilots:
• Customization of navigational pages with LXStyler
• Flarm update firmware and obstacles with SD card
• Load/save profile to SD card or USB reader
• Increased size of second line in message box
• Additional airplane types
• Wind vector around airplane
• Reduce warnings for FLARMs with options.
• Warning can be relative or absolute bearing to
• Final glide with cross wind and colored MacCready
• Minimum MacCready setting as a function of wind
The LXStyler is a powerful new customization
tool for the LX8000. Using it, you will be able to
modify existing navigational pages or add new
navigational pages. It allows you to choose from 80
different data symbols to suit your needs. You can
also change the shape and size of an airplane or
remove unnecessary elements. With this
powerful tool you can make your LX8000 display
exactly the information you want to display, and
organize the screens the way you desire, so that you
can quickly access the information that you want at
The LX8000 simulator is a fully functional
simulator of the LX8000 which works on the Windows
operating system. You can select and replay any
flight stored in the IGC file format.
If you don't
already own an LX800 - the simulator is a great way
to "play with" or "test fly" the LX8000 at home to
decide whether it is the right product for you.
However, please keep in mind that it is much easier
to twist the 4 knobs and press the 6 buttons with
your fingers than it is with a mouse.
already own an LX8000 the simulator is a great way
to get to know it better while safely on the ground.
Its perfect for refreshing your LX8000 skills in
Ctrl+Enter to enter full screen mode.
on the SD card to insert or remove SD card.
Glide Navigator II Users - Your Feedback Needed
you fly with Glide Navigator II in your cockpit?
Would you like to see enhancements to it?
Recently there have been new connections make with
programmers interested in moving GN II forward.
However, getting them motivated to work on GN II
requires that we have a good understanding of the
number of pilots flying with GN II, and the devices
they are running GN II on. I have a list of
people who purchased Glide Navigator II, but many of
the e-mail addresses are out of date, and some of
the former GN II users have moved on to other
software programs. l need to know how many
people are using it currently.
enhancements that have been highly requested
- Make it
possible to use OpenAir airspace files in GN II
the use of large waypoint and airspace files
- Fix the
memory issues which cause GN II to crash after 4
to 8 hours when it is run on an iPAQ hx4700 or
the display of simple maps with rivers, lakes,
the display of vector maps (which are easy to
disable when not needed.)
the display of altitude AGL by supporting a
ground elevation database.
- Add support for contest
- Add total task time
calculations based on MacCready setting
me a quick e-mail with answers to the questions
below. Please copy and paste the questions
into the e-mail and add your comments below each
question. Please e-mail your responses to me
Only reply if you are currently using Glide
Navigator II. If you have already moved on to
another product and don't plan to use GN II in the
future, there is no need to reply.
for Current Glide Navigator II Users - Please reply
Approximately how many glider pilots at your
gliderport are flying with Glide Navigator II?
what Pocket PC type (Compaq Aero 1550, iPAQ 3800,
etc.) are you running Glide Navigator II?
what PDA or PNA would you like to run Glide
you could pick 3 enhancements that you would like to
see in Glide Navigator II in the short term, what
would they be?
course, new features will cost money in terms of
paying programmers. If we charge $50 for an
upgrade (depending on the features) how likely are
you to buy an upgrade in the short term (0% (not
likely) to 100% (very likely))?
Lilienthal Medal - Awarded to Hana Zejdová -
This is a very interesting little book - in many ways. It starts with a
nice history of Otto Lilienthal's contributions to aviation and goes on
to describe the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) award
bearing his name. It then describes the first time the medal was
awarded to someone in the Czech Republic - to Hana Zejdová. The
reason I stated that the book was interesting in many ways is that many
aspects of the book make it interesting to just about any pilot -
especially any glider pilot. I learned a lot from the book, and I
was inspired by the book. I learned a lot about Otto Lilienthal
and other award winning legends of aviation. I learned much about
the many amazing accomplishments of Hana Zejdová. The book was
more about Hana than Otto or the Medal - which is
fine. I was inspired
by how Hana has overcome many challenges and discrimination and earned
more world records than anyone
else in aviation history (man or woman) -
a total of
57 world records to date. I enjoyed reading about Hana's
success as a soaring contest pilot, and her amazing record setting
adventures in Australia. I also found here plans for the future
equally intriguing. The ICADA Project has among its goals to fly a
glider across the Atlantic Ocean and even around the world.
This book should be
appealing to every glider pilot, young and old, male and female.
It should be especially appealing to women. It is a story of a
woman overcoming many obstacles and achieving greatness.
Along with her obvious drive to set world records in sailplanes, Hana
has a passion for photography. The book is filled with many
wonderful photos taken on her soaring adventures. These are very
high quality images! You can see a few examples at right.
All the photos at right are in the book (without the copyright
watermarks). As someone who enjoys taking photos of sailplanes, I
have become a fan of her soaring photos. You can see a collection
of her glider photos here:
About the Author
The book was written by Hana's father, Vladislav Zejda. He
obviously loves his daughter very much and has done much to support her
love of aviation. He is also a soaring world record holder and
accomplished soaring contest pilot. Below is the text from the "A
word about the author" page of the book.
Zejda (1934) began to fly in Brno at Medlánky airfield in 1951,
first Czechoslovak World record holder in gliding, Champion of
Czechoslovakia and France from 1957, successful member of the
national team in the 50's. During the period of
"normalization" after 1968 was not admitted to the national team.
As an instructor, he trained dozens of pilots who became successful
sportsmen, transport and military pilots. After 1989, as an
old-pensioner, organizes trips to Australia and takes part in
preparation of gliding expeditions that have broken many gliding
records for the Czech Republic. Thanks to him, Kangaroo
expeditions and the Icada project have international significance.
Kathleen Winters - Sailplane Pilot and Author of
Anne Morrow Lindbergh -
First Lady of the Air
enjoyed reading this book, an inspiring and entertaining account of
Hana Zejdova’s stellar achievements in soaring -- she holds 57 world
records to date! --and the hardships she overcame on her path to
greatness. Readers will learn of her struggles and sacrifices along
the way, and her ongoing dedication to the sport of soaring.
Accompanying the narrative are many scenic photographs taken by
Soaring Magazine Archive
Soaring Society of America has recently announced a
very nice member benefit. They are in the
process of putting every issue of Soaring magazine
up on the SSA web site. So far, they have
every issue from 1999 to 2008 available. What
a great resource!!! The web site is easy to
use and the scans displayed on the web page are of
best way to view the magazines is to click the
"Download PDF" link in the top-right corner of the
screen. That downloads a very high quality
version of the magazine.
SSA for making this available! Nicely done.
I can't wait for more years or magazine scans to be
Soaring Magazine Archive Site
A 3rd party (not SSA endorsed) Soaring archive is
also available. It is much more complete (30
years), and the hard work should be applauded.
Thank you John Leibacher, Kathleen K. Taylor and
Bertha Ryan for your hard work in making this
excellent resource available. However, I find
the user-interface on the SSA site to be more
intuitive - but I imagine that this site can be
improved over time. The data is awesome.
Soaring Gifts Web Site - By Tom Rent
Rent is a glider pilot here in Minnesota. He
flies a Schweizer 1-35. He has put together an
interesting web site with a wide assortment of
soaring gifts for pilots of full-size and RC
gliders. There are hundreds of items to choose
from - including: soaring hats, shirts, mugs, ties,
bags, mouse pads, magnets, greeting cards, buttons,
stickers, postage stamps, and even sneakers and
skateboards! The list of available items is
ever expanding. Many items are customizable.
2061 KM in the
Sierra Wave - HD Video Download
is a fantastic new High-Definition video from
Kempton Izuno and Gordon Boettger. It
documents Gordon's amazing 2061 km wave flight on
May 10, 2005 in his Kestrel 17. If you click
on the small images you can see full resolution
images - showing how high the quality of the video
film is available as a paid download for $8 for
QuickTime or Windows Media Player or $4 for an iPod
version. You order it using the link below.
enjoyed the film! There isn't any in-cockpit
video, it consists mainly of narration and
high-resolution photographic images. The
in-cockpit photos really take you along for the
journey. He starts out with the items he
brings along in the cockpit and finishes with flight
statistics. In between you learn about the
very large crab angles required to stay in the best
part of the wave when flying with very strong
cross-winds - and many other interesting points.
it worth $8? - YES! It is worth much more than
that. I highly recommend it. Download it
to your computer and share it with your soaring
friends. Try to get them all to buy it - which
is the best way to encourage Kempton to make many
other HD soaring films.
I have long
enjoyed reading Kempton's write-ups of his big
soaring flights in the Sierras in his Libelle and
other gliders. In recent months I have enjoyed
the HD soaring videos he has made available at:
YouTube (not at full HD resolution):
(also includes nature photos by Gordon)
Antares DLR-H2 Fuel-Cell Powered Airplane Flies
July of 2009 the Lange Antares DLR-H2 Fuel-Cell
Powered sailplane flew for the first time. It
is an interesting design study and the first piloted
fuel-cell airplane to fly.
has just announced the new TT22. It is
identical to the TT21 - except that it is more
powerful (250 Watts vs. 125 Watts). The TT21
is a Class 2 Mode S transponder. The TT22 is a
Class 1 Mode S transponder. If you want to fly
at altitudes over 15,000 feet, you may want the
TT22. However, the TT22 uses more power.
My guess is that most glider pilots will opt for the
TT21 since it uses less power and functions fine up
to 35,000 feet, and costs $500 less. However,
it is my understanding that the TT21 isn't rated
(legal?) for use
over 15,000 feet.
The TT22 is
expected to be available in February of 2010.
The price will be $2395.
The TT21 has
been extremely popular. I have had zero
quality issues with TT21 units so far.
GPS-NAV Model 10 - $595
The GPS-NAV Model 10 was the first IGC Approved GPS Flight Recorder.
Although they are no longer approved for world or national records, they
still work great for badges, state records and soaring contests - or
just-for-fun flights. These units are in high demand because there
are many L-NAV and S-NAV owners who would love to have a GPS-NAV to
"complete" their Cambridge flight computer system. The L-NAV and
S-NAV do not connect directly to a PDA - the GPS-NAV acts as a bridge -
sending L-NAV or S-NAV vario and airspeed data up to the PDA along with
GPS data from the GPS-NAV.
This unit is serial number C0QD. It
has been upgraded to version 6.0 (the latest firmware version). It
is "Palm-NAV Ready". That means that it works great with Glide
Navigator II, SeeYou Mobile (or just about any soaring flight software)
on a PDA. I believe the hardware is also the latest version.
That is required to be "Palm-NAV Ready".
I tested the unit and it seems to
function fine. I connected it to Cambridge Aero Explorer on my PC.
The screen capture at right shows the diagnostic data for this unit.
The unit is complete with mounting base
and wall charger.
The internal 12V battery has
been replaced with a brand new battery.
Note: GPS-NAV LCD Navigation Display
not included. New LCD Navigation Display Units are still
available for $410 here:
Links to more details on the GPS-NAV
Cambridge Aero Explorer Plus Version (4MB), May 12, 2004
This unit has not been calibrated recently. The IGC requires
calibration every 2 years if the unit is to be used for badge and record
flight verification. I can calibrate the unit here for $75.
I will also replace the backup battery for an additional $10. For
You can see details here:
Dittel Battery Box -
Used - $220
This is a used item. It has some scratches but looks like it will
work perfectly. A DIN connector and mounting base are included.
The new price is $320.
This is an extremely nice battery box. This box offers stainless steel
construction, a very useful battery voltage level indicator and a
circuit breaker for battery protection. Mounting plate included. Designed to hold a 7.2 Ah battery like the
Includes a battery indicator which allows a quick check of the battery
status at the press of a button. One LED on indicates 11V, each
additional LED indicates 1 additional volt.
Maximum Battery Dimension: Length: 6", Width, 2.5", Height: 4"
Connector: 2-pin DIN connector with locking ring, The battery box
comes with a single connector which is generally used to connect to the
glider electrical system. I recommend a 2nd
DIN-2m connector for connecting to a battery charger.
Note: Battery not included.
You can see the new version here:
Used ILEC SN10-2 2nd-Seat Repeater: $620
This unit had the screen replaced at ILEC in Germany
in the spring of 2008 and was lost in transit for many months.
It is in perfect working condition. This is a
fantastic deal for someone that wants a spare backup
unit, or has a 2-seat glider that needs a 2nd seat
repeater to go with an existing SN10B in the front
seat. The RAZ vario meter is not included but
is available for $175. The required wiring harness
is not included but is available
for $80. For a total of $620 + $175 + 80 =
$875 you get a complete system. That is
$620 off the $1495 price of a new system.
Note: This is not an independent SN10 system.
It is the 2nd-seat "slave" to an SN10B.
Please send me an e-mail if you are interested in
buying it. You can see details on the SN10-2 here:
MacCready Ring for
304 CZ - 17m
I'm not sure how I ended up with this extra ring,
but I don't need it. It is
designed for use on a standard 57 mm Winter W-5453
variometer in knots. It does not include a
bezel ring, but they are available if necessary. Most Winter variometers
made in recent years already include the necessary
grooved bezel ring. A set like this one normally
sells for $83. I am selling it
of the Month
feature - Photo of the month
Please send me your favorite soaring photos and I'll
include my favorites here. I just love soaring
The photo above was sent to me by Tom Bjork.
It is titled "November over Tahoe".
That is Lake Tahoe in the background near Minden, Nevada, USA.
Tom is flying his PIK-20D and the photo was taken
from the towplane by Fred Lasor of
Nice shot Fred! Click on the image above to view a
much larger version. Thanks for
sending it to me Tom! You should definitely
send it to the SSA for use in Soaring magazine and
the SSA Calendar.
and Interesting Links
Below is a
collection of fun and interesting soaring links.
with Klaus Holighaus by Martin Simons
Klaus Holighaus flew hors concourse in the
Australian National Gliding Championships, held at
Cunderdin, West Australia, in January. The following
is an account of two tape-recorded interviews with
him on 6th and 7th January 1979. The discussions
took place on the runway under the shade of the wing
of Klaus' Nimbus 2C while awaiting take off.
Jacobs' collection of soaring presentations.
Corner by John Cochrane - New Articles
Interesting U2 spy plane night landing in Cortez, CO
by Chinese pilot
This is a very interesting story, told by the pilot.
It gets good after a short introduction.
British Gliding Association Safety Flash - Tug
Central Indiana Soaring Society - 2009 - Smiles
Video - Clever!
Bruno B4, Ridge soaring in ASW-20
from Logan, UT to Pocatello, ID
Logan, UT wave
YouTube page of
Sergio Lins Andrade of Brazil
Tony Smolder and the Tucson Soaring Club, by local
Condon's Cherokee II Blog
(1/2 scale?) model ASW-15b sailplane
Grand Prix video from 2009 (not the recent 2010
Used iPAQ Store
I have not used this store, but it looks
American flag decals for your glider tail.
These just crack me up. I've seen many
versions of this video on YouTube. They take a
scene from a film with people talking in a different
language and put completely unrelated subtitles over
it. This one is hysterical! It shows
Hitler yelling at his terrified staff because the
local airport wants the soaring club to move to a
Distance Record in a Blanik
by Rand Baldwin and Bill Elliott
Launch Video - To 1450 meters in 2 minutes
Animated rendering of
Flight 1549 Hudson Landing Flight
Puchacz Aerobatics at Sunset
Landing on Tow
TG-6 Takes Flight Video
1/4 Scale (165" wingspan) Model of Schweizer TG-3
Scottish Antares 20E in Argentina?
from Grégoire Vuissoz
Here is a new video I made with some of the best
shots I took during the 2009 season (flying in the
alps over Switzerland), hope you enjoy!
(you can download it in HD if you log in)
Mustang and Friends
Interesting kids video - A great effort to get
kids interested in aviation.
of FAA Aviation News - A very nice newsletter
rocket test firing photos and video
First Flight - "Front
Electric Sustainer" System for Sailplanes
by Luka Znidarsic of Slovenia
Newsletter - "Everything Depends on the Side String"
View From Inside Test Chamber
View from Outside Test Chamber
2009 - ASW-27B
Fly with the
video from Luke Szczepaniak
With the cross country season coming to a close in
the flatland's of the northern hemisphere I thought
that some of you may enjoy my video compilation from
the 2009 gliding season. I normally fly out of
SOSA Gliding Club, (www.sosaglidingclub.com)
in Ontario, Canada. I fly a SZD-55.
interview video on EAA web site
Ion Tiger 23
Photos and highlights from the SSA Convention in
Little Rock, Arkansas
Photo of a local CG-4a military glider
restoration in progress
More fun links and soaring news from around the
Thank you for
taking the time to read this newsletter. I hope you
have found it interesting. If you did, please tell
your friends about it. Please mention it in
your local soaring newsletter. Please direct
I consider myself a servant. Please let me know if
there is anything I can do to help you find the
right soaring instruments for your needs, or help
you learn how to use an instrument or software
product. Also, let me know if you have any
suggestions for products or services to add to my
web site, or ways that I can serve you better.
I feel blessed because I love my job. I enjoy
serving the soaring community. Like you, I am
passionate about soaring. Thank you for your
business, I sincerely appreciate it.