Thread: Discussion What is cross country soaring?
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Old Sep 29, 2011, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by fizzer82 View Post
Is it that hard to explain? I've never heard of it until now, just browsing through the forums here on RCG. Can you explain the timeline of a flight?

It sounds like, you launch a glider, hop in the back of a truck, and see how far you can fly the thing. Is that about it? I'm sure there's more details and It would be interesting to hear about them. Sounds like fun, but not some magical mystery experience that defies explanation.
Experienced thermal fliers can sometimes "feel" the glider and what its doing, sort of like a 6th sense. I've flown full scale sailplanes and its all about the accelerations on your body, a completely different experience than flying RC standing on the ground. Flying RC and watching the model you can see the small movements and get a "feel" as if you are part of the plane. XC is similar except we use the vario tone in addition to visual clues. Flying from a moving vehicle is a lot different than standing on the ground. Also there are the birds, other teams planes, hills, mountains, cliffs, dust devils, sink areas, known thermal generators, best time of day for lift and decisions on when to make an all out run, thermalling in wind, slope soaring, wave riding, inversion and shear lines, the fear you experience in real strong thermals flying at the edge of visibility, the fear when you lose sight of the glider and what to do to find it again, flying into and around clouds, landing out, speed to fly and especially the "sled run" or final glide which can go for 5-10 miles to the finish, that great feeling when you complete the course and make it back to the field after 40+ miles of all of the above. Maybe someone can explain it better than me.
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