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Old Jul 12, 2013, 01:41 PM
dare to thermal
Mannheim, Germany
Joined May 2004
592 Posts
Discussion
Slope soaring stories

i don´t know where you are flying, and at what kind of slope. Over here in germany we often have a hilly countryside or in best case uplands, where slope flying is often a mix of thermal and the beloved slope lift.
I know the "true" slope flying from the danish coast, and i love it. But flying in these uplands or even in alpine regions is always good for some stories.

I will start share my experience from one of the last weekends at the Wasserkuppe, and i hope to read more slopesoaring stories here.

In all the time i´m flying sailplanes - now for more than three decades - i have to outland in total for three times. But far more often i have to fight for looong minutes to find lift and to work it out to come back. I´m a purist when flying sailplanes - no motors

Two weeks ago we went for a day to the wasserkuppe. Light Wind from N/NE, so we have to fly at the Abtsroader Kuppe - which is my favorite slope there. My son lent a gopro camera from a friend which he want to fix on my X21. We attached the camera with a lot of tape directly over the CG, so the effects to the flight behavior should be small. After waiting and watching, flying our Merlin, we gave it a try and tossed the X21. My first impression was: oh sh*t - the X21 was flying different, but after i changed the elevator trim it seems to be ok. The next few minutes i was soaring around to get some nice pictures. The conditions where changing a bit and the lift died. What i completely forgot was, that it is also possible to land uphill.
What i did, and what i´m always try, is to find lift far away over the valley in front of the slope. Far away not only sounds far away, it is far away if the plane is more than 800m (~2400ft) away from you, and it´s also very small and because its also 300ft below, the colour of the upside of the wing becomes important.
During this flight i was flying for nearly one and a half minutes just straight away and there was nothing: no lift. I could feel the adrenalin in my body and i begun to look for a place to outland, when the right wing was moved up. Yeah! Lift. Full rudder an a bit aileron, flap down and i start circling. And yes. up we go. With 6 to 8ft per minute the x21 was climbing and some minutes later i was flying again above the horizon. I did it again...
During this day we made three more flights with the x21 and all four flights where like this one! This was something very special for me and nothing what i like to repeat!

and now: enjoy the video

Bernd

a slope soaring story / ein besonderes Hangflugerlebnis (5 min 35 sec)
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Last edited by Bernd Brunner; Jul 12, 2013 at 01:49 PM.
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Old Jul 12, 2013, 02:14 PM
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Woodstock 1's Avatar
Ireland, County Kerry, Kerry
Joined Dec 2005
6,935 Posts
Great story and video! There's nothing quite like that feeling of finding lift and recovering from waaaaaaay down...

My story was a month or two ago at a glide-in at the mountain above Killaloe, Co. Clare, Ireland. I happened to be the only one flying (my Alpina Magic in 4.4m mode) in very weak conditions in the afternoon, when they decided it was time for the "traditional" group photo shot with us all holding our gliders. I didn't want to keep the rest waiting, so I turned for the slope in order to land. Not a good idea: I hit massive sink ! I shouted "oh sh*t!", but stuck it out, turning away and going further and further out to search for lift. By now every single person on the mountain top was watching and holding their breath! I eventually found lift (very similar story to the one above) and brought her home to land at my feet. Everyone drew in breath again, and there was much applause from the audience !

Chris
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Old Jul 12, 2013, 02:16 PM
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Woodstock 1's Avatar
Ireland, County Kerry, Kerry
Joined Dec 2005
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(ps: If I may offer my - hopefully - constructive criticism of the video, there's just a tiny bit too much on-board camera footage IMO).
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Old Jul 12, 2013, 02:28 PM
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wakumann's Avatar
Canada
Joined Jul 2003
2,477 Posts
I have some more interesting slope stories as just getting out of big sink and far away, which mostly everyone here experienced over the years.
But I'm not sure if it would be appropriate to post these?

Cheers
Thomas
Cheers
Thomas
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Old Jul 12, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Pacific Palisades, CA
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Wow, that chart just about says it all, huh?
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Old Jul 13, 2013, 12:43 AM
dare to thermal
Mannheim, Germany
Joined May 2004
592 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakumann View Post
I have some more interesting slope stories as just getting out of big sink and far away, which mostly everyone here experienced over the years.
But I'm not sure if it would be appropriate to post these?
Sure! Tell us your stories!

BTW: i´m not sure that everyone has made this experience. May be if they are old enough and don´t use motors at the slope. But today?

Bernd
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