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Feb 10, 2019, 02:23 AM
Tragic case
davidleitch's Avatar
Thread OP
Discussion

Would training with a vario make me a better F5J pilot?


I donít use a vario. They are legal in f5b which Iíve been flying less but I didnít personally find them that useful.

My thought is if you use them in practice firstly you wonít learn how recognize rising or sinking air and secondly when it gets to a comp and you canít use it you will be disadvantaged.

But maybe Iím looking at it the wrong way?
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Feb 10, 2019, 03:09 AM
Registered User
Aaro's Avatar
Hi,
My brief experience says "no".
I have used vario-capable telemetry altimeter (Jeti MVario ex) sometimes when measuring F3J launch heights. Few times I activated the vario-feature and flew with it. I found no practical scenario where it would have helped:
  • in low altitudes / small bubbles the delay of the signal is such that when the beeping starts, you have passed the thermal
  • to avoid continuous irritating beeping due to turbulence or different trimming /flight mode you need to set the treshold ("zero area") so wide that you will not get any signals from slow thermals
  • when hitting the strong thermal, you anyway notice it with your eyes and the vario beep has no real value, behaviour of the glider tells you everything you need to know.

You probably would have it better with energy compensated system (with pitot tube).

Aaro

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidleitch
I don’t use a vario. They are legal in f5b which I’ve been flying less but I didn’t personally find them that useful.

My thought is if you use them in practice firstly you won’t learn how recognize rising or sinking air and secondly when it gets to a comp and you can’t use it you will be disadvantaged.

But maybe I’m looking at it the wrong way?
Feb 10, 2019, 06:26 AM
turn, turn, turn.
I I have used the Eagle Tree vario with a pitot tube, and it is always slower than my perception.

I can see the use if you are very very high and cannot tell whether the plane is going up or down, or unable to properly judge the speed of the plane.
Feb 10, 2019, 06:51 AM
Tragic case
davidleitch's Avatar
Thread OP
Kenny

I think your point about speed is very valid. The good pilots I know make up their mind very quickly about good or bad air. I can be 20 metres away from a someone and then 30 seconds later they are 100 metros downwind and 70 metres higher while I am still trying to find the aileron stick.
Feb 10, 2019, 08:31 AM
Registered User
They are useful for the very beginner trying to get the hang of thermalling . But with a little experience they become dead weight.
Feb 10, 2019, 10:16 AM
Registered User
I have a Multiplex radio and it can use the Altis as source for telemetry. Occasionally I connect the telemetry-cable to the receiver and get the current height, the F5J start-height and vario sent down to my transmitter. On the transmitter I have switch to activate/disable readout of the height and another switch to activate the sound of the vario.

On a normal summer weekend I fly from, say, 10am to 8pm and during that time i might (on average) use the height-readout 5-10 times and the vario twice, mostly to "calibrate" my eye-measurement to establish if I rise or sink when in a weak thermal.

My experience is, like most previous comments, that when flying along the eyes are a better tool than a vario, but there are some situations where it might be of some (limited) help. But if you can't disable it by a switch you're gonna get crazy from the irritating sound
Feb 10, 2019, 10:37 AM
Red Merle ALES VII SJ
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Fly DLG or a 1.0 or 1.5m electric for practice.
That will help more than a Vario.

Curtis
Feb 10, 2019, 10:59 AM
Registered User
Crutches never make you stronger, only weaker, especially if you don't need one.
Cary
Feb 10, 2019, 12:22 PM
Registered User
Tuomo's Avatar
1) Flying in competitions make one a better pilot

2) When practicing, fly 5 min flights from 50m max (lower better). Take risk and try the impossible

3) Also practice your landing until you feel super competent. In F5J full points should be no issue.

4)Go out flying any weather. Learn how to use ballast

5) Focus on systematic long term trimming. Be patient and technical. Try to make your plane fly better

6) Arrange small local competitions between with buddies. Fly the 5 min task was over and over again

Just a few ideas
Feb 10, 2019, 01:15 PM
mostly gliders
liukku's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuomo
1) Flying in competitions make one a better pilot

2) When practicing, fly 5 min flights from 50m max (lower better). Take risk and try the impossible

3) Also practice your landing until you feel super competent. In F5J full points should be no issue.

4)Go out flying any weather. Learn how to use ballast

5) Focus on systematic long term trimming. Be patient and technical. Try to make your plane fly better

6) Arrange small local competitions between with buddies. Fly the 5 min task was over and over again

Just a few ideas
Six very good points to take hold of. Well summed up Tuomo. I'm far too lazy for training, but then I never get better than that hateful 4: th place.
Feb 10, 2019, 02:17 PM
SBSS, SVSS, SCCMAS, EBRC
Don McCullough's Avatar

Altimeter


I donít use a vario but do use an altimeter a lot in practice. Mainly to learn visually how high the sailplane is during launch. After awile you can guess the height within 10 or so meters without the altimeter. Also useful in practicing hitting 150 or 200 meters in 30 seconds for ALES.

For TD/F3J, helps to maximize launch height by trying different launch techniques.

Don
Feb 10, 2019, 04:19 PM
launch low, fly high
David,

Training with a vario is not likely to be of much assistance in becoming a better F5J pilot. Training with an altimeter may provide some assistance, particularly in providing real-time feedback in height estimation. This is very important for early morning dead air flights, as well as for windy conditions without strong lift.

I prefer to not use an altimeter in training myself as I would likely become somewhat dependent on it. My training has me estimating the launch altitude on every flight at the time of motor cutoff, and comparing this estimate to the AMRT display on landing. I do this every flight, whether it is competition or practice. I'm usually within a few meters. The hardest estimation is directly overhead or very far away. Directly overhead, you always think you are lower than reality. Way off in the distance you always think that you are higher.
Feb 10, 2019, 05:37 PM
Aka... Chris Graham
NutBag's Avatar
Hi David,

As Curtis said... Get a DLG and just take only that flying for a while mate.
I cannot believe how much it improved my thermal flying and the ability to read the air a lot faster after only flying F3K for 6-7 last months.

Garth Halton is a perfect example of that, Although he's been flying powered RC for a long time he hadn't flown a decent glider before mid last year when we both got right into DLG.
He only got his Infinity 2 weeks before Armidale and came in 5th with 1 weekends practice

I'm sure you could also practice Low launches with an F5J rig, But it's far less stressful practicing with a DLG.
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Feb 10, 2019, 11:16 PM
Just plain ridiculous. Sir.
rdwoebke's Avatar
I haven't (yet anyway) flown F5J so perhaps I am thinking about this incorrectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidleitch
My thought is if you use them in practice firstly you wonít learn how recognize rising or sinking air and secondly when it gets to a comp and you canít use it you will be disadvantaged.

But maybe Iím looking at it the wrong way?
My understanding is that a useful skill of F5J is reading a model while on throttle. Making a decision at 20 seconds into the climb if you think you can safely work the air you are near to make the flight time from a fairly low starting altitude or if you are going to increase the throttle and climb the model to a higher altitude to give you more margin to try and make the flight time. I have always struggled with reading lift by observing a model that is lowish in allude while the motor is running (and I have been flying electric sailplanes since 2001). I wonder if a person could use the vario to kind of tune in climb rates for an electric sailplane with the throttle on a multi position switch (say off, low, and high) such that you could first use it to tune the "low" to make the model climb at some predictable rate (maybe ~0 FPS). Having a vario might be helpful for multiple models of different types/setups because you could kind of tune them all to have that same "low" setting at a similar predictable climb rate. And then after you have finished that tuning then use the vario to help train yourself how to read the model while the motor is running at "low".

Could be wrong on all of the above. Haven't tried it yet. May never get to trying it.



Ryan
Feb 11, 2019, 02:47 AM
Registered User
Tuomo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NutBag

I'm sure you could also practice Low launches with an F5J rig, But it's far less stressful practicing with a DLG.
Maybe the point is that practicing has to be stressful I also find that it is important to practice with the plane, you intend to use in competition.

If you change planes all the time, you might become a better overall pilot, but that kind of practice is not ideal for honing F5J skills. A very important aspect of practice is to improve your communication with your plane. You will get to learn your planes performance a little better, plane trim can be incrementally improved, your skills in flying that very plane improves, you will lear how adapt to different conditions etc.

Light version F5J planes are very easy to fly even at hand laugh altitude. Actually hand launching them to a thermal is not difficult if the weather is good - just try it! Go to a field where you can follow thermals and (in needed) land out without damaging your plane. When walking to pick up the plane, you have good time to think over what you did right and what could have been done differently.

It is important to try things that you think are close to impossible for you. Each success will give a both skills and self confidence!
Last edited by Tuomo; Feb 11, 2019 at 02:54 AM.


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