Word of advice on making use of thermals?

Discussion related to the Condor...

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payt
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Postby payt » Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:01 am

If i may contribute with a little tip on corntrols.. i'm using a gamebird, which is an RC controller that comes with an RC simulator called easyfly. It's easy to configure in the windows game controllers adjustment thingy, and i don't think i'd trade it for anything else.

One of the great things is that every axis comes with it's own hardware trim.. within split seconds you can adjust your trim for any situation.

So i would wholeheartedly recommend considering it as a solution.. and you get an RC sim to boot ;)

http://www.gamebird.de/gb/index.html

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And no, i'm not affiliated to the company that produces it ;)

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Tom'ash
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Postby Tom'ash » Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:19 am

Here I publicate some pictures. I think, they can help you to understand how to center the thermals.
If somebody can, plase discribe this pictures, becouse my english isn't good :wink:

I hope, that I help You :)
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Tom'ash
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Postby Tom'ash » Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:20 am

And some more..
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Cynic
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Postby Cynic » Sat Apr 08, 2006 5:32 pm

I would suggest learning without the lift helpers as you can rely on them too much. The beeping variometer is already a brilliant and easy way to find thermals :P.

Also, for the first few flights get the towplane to take you up as high as the simulator will allow. This will give you more than enough time to find a good strong thermal and gain height. A good way to find thermals and lift is to look for newly forming clouds, flying along the edge of ridges and mountains, etc. Keep with the thermal as long as you can to practise. This is what I did at first and worked my way up to 12,000ft quite easily, that makes finding and climbing in thermals much easier later on.

This is probably already explained much better in this thread but i didn't read it all.

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Adam
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Postby Adam » Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:34 pm

How I do it in real life is like this:

When I have trouble finding lift I always fly in to wind and wait for the thermals to come to me. I also head for the dark part of a cloud. When not flying in to wind take note of the wind direction and speed as this will affect where the thermal is compared to the cloud.

1. When the vario starts rising start counting, usually 3 seconds, and fly straight.
2. If the vario start falling before the 3 seconds then turn in the direction of the lift. Sometimes you can detect the direction as one wing may rise. 3. Whilst in the turn when the vario increases I flatten the turn, when the vario increases I tighten the turn.
4. After two or three full circles I've usually found a good position
5. During the thermalling I make slight adjustments with the changing shape and strength of the thermal.
6. If I find there is a large variation in the lift I often tighten up the turn, sometimes very tight.

By using the diagrams above you can see how this theory can work.

Always make sure you are keeping a good attitude and controlling your speed, but remember that thermals can increase your speed. Ensure you don't go too fast to fly out of the thermal but make sure you don't go too slow that you spin in to the glider below you. If you are flying with other gliders (make sure you are flying around the thermal in the same direction firstly), check their height against you, as you can often see where the thermal is most strong by how other gliders are falling and rising compared to yourself.

I hope this helps,
Adam
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Simicro
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Postby Simicro » Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:52 pm

Hi I would be interested by the translation of the diagram, its very interesting, thanks Tom'ash

EA
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Postby EA » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:34 pm

Simicro, you'll find many interresting things about thermaling in Helmut's Reichmann's book "La Course en Planeur", translated in french by Lise Henry, Rudolf Brözel, and François-Louis Henry (Seidec Edition). Original title is "Streckensegelflug".

Seb

Simicro
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Postby Simicro » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:53 pm

All right Seb, I'll see to get that book ! thanks.

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TheSoarer151
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Postby TheSoarer151 » Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:53 pm

After finding the thermal and turning in it, the most important thing to use a thermal efficiently is speed control, try keep your speed a steady 50-55 kts (assuming you are using imperial measurements). If your nose is going up and down (and the speed is changing as a result), you will quickly move away from the centre of the lift (where it is strongest). As a rough general guide, you should fly at around the same speed whilst thermalling as your aircrafts best glide in level flight, so in a Discus 2 about 54kts and you can check this in the technical details for each aircraft. Using the trim can help enormously here...


Not completly true... It depends on the actual day of thermals. If the thermals are narrow, you circle more in and faster, if the day has very strong and wide thermals, you go minimum sink and not as steep. If you get 10 up going 55 knots in the center or 8 going up 40, you willl obviously go up faster at 40. So it really depends

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TheSoarer151
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Postby TheSoarer151 » Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:56 pm

also, with the pictures, in real life you turn the direction the wing came down on. The wing comes down becasue there is sink from lift. It then pull you into lift and wala! In condor it doesn't usually simulate that so it is harder to circle thermals in condor

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OXO
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Postby OXO » Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:59 pm

TheSoarer151 wrote: If you get 10 up going 55 knots in the center or 8 going up 40, you willl obviously go up faster at 40. So it really depends


I'm sure I misunderstand you, but going up at 10 must be better than going up at 8. :?
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TheSoarer151
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Postby TheSoarer151 » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:00 pm

[/quote]1. When the vario starts rising start counting, usually 3 seconds, and fly straight.
2. If the vario start falling before the 3 seconds then turn in the direction of the lift. Sometimes you can detect the direction as one wing may rise. 3. Whilst in the turn

You can't always do that. Say you are in a strong headwind abt 20 mph. I am going 60 mph because I am expecting a thermal. You go 3 seconds in, you turn and you are out... I wonder why? Beginners can rely on that but u can't always because it really depends on the conditions.

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TheSoarer151
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Postby TheSoarer151 » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:01 pm

I'm sure I misunderstand you, but going up at 10 must be better than going up at 8. Confused


Well think going up at 8 ft per second at 40 mph or going up 10 at 60. When u go slower you go up faster, but as a consequence you have to do shallower turns

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OXO
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Postby OXO » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:07 pm

TheSoarer151 wrote:
I'm sure I misunderstand you, but going up at 10 must be better than going up at 8. Confused


Well think going up at 8 ft per second at 40 mph or going up 10 at 60. When u go slower you go up faster, but as a consequence you have to do shallower turns


Climbing 10 ft/sec at 60mph is definitely better than climbing 8 ft/sec at 40mph. After 1 minute you will be at 10 x 60 = 600 ft instead of 8 x 60 = 480ft.

Anyway, who uses ft/sec in gliders?
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mac
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Postby mac » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:12 pm

TheSoarer151 wrote:Well think going up at 8 ft per second at 40 mph or going up 10 at 60. When u go slower you go up faster, but as a consequence you have to do shallower turns


I join OXO in declaring myself confused... AFAIK, Condor vario already compensate for sink due to L/D at a given speed. So, for me if I get up quicker at 60... I will go at 60 rather than at 40!

...unless I am dolphining... but this is another story...
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