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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:40 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
11,622 Posts
Hey, it was still a thermal. You either missed the core by some amount or it was a small "pre lifter" that came along before the big one. I've seen that from time to time as well.

But you also now have a little more knowledge of what it feels like in the battle field instead of just the theory.

Things you can also do when it's warmer is to watch for insects coming up out of the grass. The warm air encourages them to fly and then they are lifted up. Also small groups of swallows or other small birds darting around in a "furball" is a sign of a thermal as they are eating the bugs that got lifted out of the grass.

Finally there's the "cheater's way".... When they are in season find a few ripe cat tail flowers that are just shy of exploding into clouds of seed fluff. Wrap the "hot dogs" tightly in newspaper and crimp the ends for storage. To use them at the field simply peel back a bit of the paper and tease out a few seeds with your free hand and blow the loose seeds into the air. Watch them as they move around. Wait for the lull and give it a few seconds. If you blow seeds up into the air just a little before the "fill" blows in you'll see them begin to mix around like they are in a washing machine. THAT is your core and aiming point for a low altitude thermal that is still attached to the ground. When you find that sort of effect you don't even need to throw high and hard. You can actually just loft your model up into this maelstrom so it recovers at around 20 to 25 feet and watch it circle away to Never Never Land.

Since cat tails aren't really in season at the moment another option is fine wood sanding dust. Get a small bag full from a sander and you can just throw small pinches of it into the air and watch the particles for the same signs.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 04:23 PM
C'mon more Energy
Swoopdown's Avatar
Melbourne, Australia
Joined Mar 2005
3,267 Posts
That's gold Bruce.
I will defiantly be trying those methods.
Thanks so much.
Wind and rain predicted for the next 7 days so Im going to have to wait my turn.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:36 AM
C'mon more Energy
Swoopdown's Avatar
Melbourne, Australia
Joined Mar 2005
3,267 Posts
Happy days guys. I had a couple of great flights today with one of the smaller chuckes.
Not quite a fly away but close. I had a couple of test chucks to get the trim worked out then I could feel a good thermal building.
I threw it and it trasitioned pretty well and started to circle pretty well.
She was not loosing or gaining heigh it just kind of circled there for ages. At one stage she rose a bit and gained some height. I thought she was away but alas the thermal didnt pop off the ground or maybe I was just a bit to early or late.
I was confident that given another few goes i would have poped a thermal but I was at a local park and was amongs a group of happy R/C flyers. Me running around the middle of there field was entertaining for them but I didnt want to make a PITA of myself.
Definantly going to make another few smaller ones as my big DLG job is just too big for the parks I fly.
Thanks for everyones help.
Mick
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 03:49 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
11,622 Posts
Mick, did you use the tricks along with feeling the wind and temperature or just the wind and temperature? If you managed to nail it unaided then GOOD ON YA! ! ! ! The one you felt was the sort of smaller one that peters out without breaking connection with the ground. Or perhaps you simply missed the core. In addition to watching the wind speed and temp watch for the DIRECTION as well. A sizeable shift in the wind direction along with a speed change can indicate a thermal over to one side of your location. If the winds are stronger then you can just adapt to the new direction and launch and hopefully it gets pulled over to the core that is anywhere up to 50 meters over to the side.

You're also well on your way to having the others consider you as a practitioner of the Dark Arts....
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 06:35 AM
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Yak 52's Avatar
UK
Joined Jan 2009
1,248 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews View Post
There's other signs as well but it would mean writing a pretty tidy book.
I'd buy it Bruce!
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 11:56 AM
Gasbags & Gussets
jswain's Avatar
Riverside, Ca
Joined Feb 2009
1,233 Posts
great info

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews View Post
Since cat tails aren't really in season at the moment another option is fine wood sanding dust. Get a small bag full from a sander and you can just throw small pinches of it into the air and watch the particles for the same signs.
I had never considered using fine sawdust, a great idea , thank you!

js
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 06:41 PM
C'mon more Energy
Swoopdown's Avatar
Melbourne, Australia
Joined Mar 2005
3,267 Posts
Thanks Bruce. I was at the field for 10 minutes chatting, all the time noting direction and speed of the wind. So when I walked out on the field I had a pretty good idea there was one brewing to the right of me.
I do have a paper sausage of balsa dust in the car for the occasion when I get a nice park to myself.
Bruce thanks for the tips, they have been very handy. It's a privilege to get generous advise and tips from a free fighter of your knowledge and experience.
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Old Oct 18, 2013, 06:38 AM
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India, GJ, Bhavnagar
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B2 balasa chuck glider 20131013 183454 (0 min 8 sec)
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