Waaaaaaaaaaaave!

Tonight, we fly in wave! Nick Oakley (OWN), a young New Zealand pilot set up a wave task in New Zealand 0.8; really exciting!

Condor 2 does a pretty good job modeling wave. It sets up rotor-lines and lenticular clouds, both which will apply tonight.

For folks who haven’t flown wave, this will be a really cool experience! Note that wave soaring is very different from thermal flying; the lift remains stationary and goes HIGH! The big challenge is connecting with the wave and getting in that gorgeous silky smooth air.

While neither Nick or I flew the task, I tested the conditions briefly in the start area and found there is indeed wave. Since many folks do not have wave experience, I figured it would be best to make a briefing so folks have a reasonable chance of connecting in it.

After you enter the game, head NW into the start sector. Find a thermal and climb up to cloudbase.

Note that these are “rotor thermals”. They are strong, violent and disorgnized. It’s no fun being in the boundary layer on a wave day. You will have to work hard to climb in these buggers. If you’re a beginner, you may find it easier to dump the water to have a smaller circle and a faster climb rate.

Climb right up to cloudbase. And I mean *right* up to cloudbase, into the wispies. If Condor momentarily says, “D.Sazhin entered cloud”, that’s a good thing for the transition!

Turn into the wind and slow down to best glide speed. Wait until the variometer goes up to 2 knots. Then turn 90 degrees.

Remember wave lift is stationary, like a ridge. You will beat back and forth in the lift; don’t drift downwind because it will get weaker! Look at the PDA… see the thermal trace on the right side. And see when I connected with the lift how I am doing laps?

When you connect with the lift, stay with it for a while. Plan to climb to 10-12,000ft so you’re comfortably established in the lift.

At that point, head along courseline. Stay on the upwind side of the lenticular clouds… the NW side is where the lift is building.

For a more extensive briefing on wave theory, see here and Clemens’ resources.

Good luck and see you tonight!

  • Teamspeak: channel: ts3.virtualsoaring.eu:9982 | password: ask13 | Channel- MNS/USNS. (Note, please go to Settings and set up “Push-to-talk” for your mic.)
  • Register (for free) here to receive briefings one hour before the race and to submit your log for scoring.
  • Scenery Download: Use Condor Updater. (Best to subscribe for more bandwidth!)
  • Find “US Nightly Soaring” at 9pm Eastern (0100 UTC) here or here.

_____________

Next week, we will add Arc Alpin 2, Southern Norway 4, [4.01] Cascade Range [2.0] to our suite of MNS/USNS sceneries. Be sure to download them in advance of the races!

All the best,
Daniel

Oh My Omarama!

Hey Guys,

Yesterday we had a blast in Nephi, with 34 of us racing in spectacular conditions. The wind was strong enough for the ridges to work somewhat, along with 7-10 knot thermals to 15,000ft. Conrado, the Brazilian ER doc won the day in style, averaging a little over 100 knots in a ASG-29.

Today we are going off to New Zealand! Nick Oakley, a young successful New Zealand soaring pilot has helped make several tasks, applying his extensive local knowledge. Today is a mix of thermal and ridge. He has laid down the gauntlet, claiming it could be done without turning! We will see!

We made several tasks together. One that we’re really excited about is an upcoming wave adventure….

NOTE: Condor released an update. Download the free patch here. You must download and install the patch to be on the server.

See you guys at 9pm Eastern (0100 UTC) on US Nightly Soaring!

  • Teamspeak: channel: ts3.virtualsoaring.eu:9982 | password: ask13
  • Register (for free) here to receive briefings one hour before the race and to submit your log for ranking.
  • Scenery Download: Use Condor Updater. (Best to subscribe for more bandwidth!)
  • Find “US Nightly Soaring” server here

Gangbusters Conditions Today in Nephi!

Today looks like today is banner day in Nephi! Cloudbase at 16,000ft, 8 knot thermals, solid westerly wind setting up good air over the Wasatch plateau. Grid time at 12pm, first launch at 1pm, expected gate open at 2pm.

April fools! We’re still stuck in quarantine!

But of course we could just set this up in Condor and have the next best thing…

See you guys at 9pm Eastern (0100 UTC) on US Nightly Soaring!

  • Teamspeak: channel: ts3.virtualsoaring.eu:9982 | password: ask13
  • Register (for free) here to receive briefings one hour before the race and to submit your log for ranking.
  • Scenery Download: Use Condor Updater. (Best to subscribe for more bandwidth!)
  • Find “US Nightly Soaring” server here

Left or Right? | Ridge Racing in Condor!

Last night we had *40* folks sign on and enjoy racing in the Slovenian landscape. This time we did a full on ridge task; the winners did not turn a single time around the whole task! However, don’t take this suggesting that the task is *easy*. Far from it; unlike the Appalachian ridges that I am accustomed to, here we are flying broken up mountains, with many bowls, spurs, saddles and changing elevations. Every second you are juking to and fro, following the snaking band of lift. Are you going to go around or over the next saddle? Slow down a bit or speed up and stay with the others that are higher than you? You don’t get a second of respite.

The trick was you had to get to ridge top and stay at ridge top. This is especially the case with a northerly wind, which forces the contestants to fly in the shaded side of the mountains. The wind was strong enough to make the ridge work, but below crest the lift was pitiful. Only around the corners that were more exposed to the sun was there solid lift.

On the first leg I made a mistake. I started with Mark Rebuck and we came to a fork in the road: left or right? I took the right line and it wasn’t as good. By the time we made it to the turnpoint I was 800ft below him, limping along. And there was Timo, our ace German pilot who had snuck up on both of us. He took another, even better route and was enjoying his commanding position above everyone!

Rounded the turn, I was looking uphill. Bad news! There were a bunch of other gliders to fly with and I was working every bit of lift as best as I could to stay connected.

Slowly, I managed to minimize the separation. Approaching the second turn, I saw Mark and Timo take a direct route. Left and follow them or go right, the long way around, but in ridge lift? Let’s go Right!

Punching through a bunch of sink, I found good energy around the corner. This got me higher and higher while maintaining a good speed. Rounded the turnpoint and stuck with the lift for a while longer. By the time I made the transition over to the next ridge, I was catching up to Timo and Mark.

Now we transitioned to the high mountains and the lift got real solid. My markers are slowing down; gotta keep my speed up, wait for the solid surge! And there it was, 12 knots and yank back to milk the lift for 15 seconds. We almost got ’em!

Now we’re at the third turn. What’s the next line? Those guys are indecisive. I yanked it around the turnpoint perfectly. Now we’re passed them!

Keep the speed up. I see the line to the fourth turn; I’ve got the next saddle made. Coming through the box canyon, I clear the terrain at 90 knots right down on the deck. Now we’re home free.

Keep the pedal to the metal, I pulled around the turn and flew at 120 knots along the final ridge. No need to slow down, the ridge got us to a MC 9.7 final glide 200ft over.

And screaming across the finish line, I managed to recover to a second place for the day!

Condor ridge races are awesome!

Great job Conrado winning the day! Conrado is a long-time Condor pilot and our friend from Brazil. He is an ER doctor by trade. We asked him about the epidemic and he said that they are starting to get quite busy too.

See results here.

We also had a great contingent of young pilots today: Matthew Scutter, a former JWGC world champion and member of the Australian team, Thomas Greenhill, Collin Shea, and Wyll Soll, Nick Oakley (NZ JWGC pilot!), Luis Saut (Brazilian 26 year old!) and of course Timo, our 22 year old German wunderkind.

It’s a lot of fun racing with such an awesome crew!

________________

Reminder that while the Sunday and Monday races will still be in Slovenia, starting Tuesday we will be moving to other places around the world! Starting with Ridge North 2 (Mifflin), followed by Nephi, and the New Zealand 0.8. Be sure to download those sceneries!

See you guys tonight at 9pm Eastern (0100 UTC) on US Nightly Soaring here!

Life is Good in Condor-land!

US Nightly Soaring had *36 pilots* last night! Folks represented Brazil, Germany, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Pilots from Colorado, Michigan, Virginia, California, Pennsylvania, Florida and on and on. All at 9pm, from the comfort of your own home! How awesome is that!

Our pilots are getting very well acquainted with the Slovenian landscape this week. Yesterday we flew from Celje and worked our way into the mountains. The ridge lift was much better, although it took some finesse to connect with it. The low ridges were just good enough to give “good air”, but at 5000ft the lift was rockin’ solid. By the time we were connected with the mountains near the first turnpoint, folks had no trouble driving at 100 knots plus in their Standard Class gliders.

The rest of the race was a no-turning, blazing fast run for the second turnpoint, while keeping a close eye on the final glide. Folks who got high enough for a comfortable final at the second turnpoint had no trouble clearing the high terrain for the third turnpoint whereas folks who failed to downshift paid dearly. Several landed out on the upwind leg, unable to find a thermal.

The winner of the day was Luis, a 26 year old from Brazil. He has been doing great in the Brazilian contest scene and is a professional pilot by trade. He has been a regular on US Nightly Soaring for many years and it show; he is a competitor to be reckoned with and had a very good night. Timo, our new 22 year old German wunderkind was breathing down his neck, only seconds behind.

Honorable mentions go to Sean Fidler, Todd Hahn, and Clemens Ceipek, who all had great nights.

Many young pilots joined us last night, including my teammate JP Stewart, Collin Shea, Wyll Soll, Len Martkowski, and Valentin Mayamsin. Broadening to our friends around the world, Nick Oakley, Alex McCaw, Luis and Timo! No better way to get connected with other young soaring folks all around the country and the world than to fly Condor!

See the results here.

Competition details here.

Find the competition under US Nightly Soaring at 9pm here.

While Slovenia has been treating us very well, next week we will start flying in other places all around the world. Be sure to download Nephi, New Zealand, and Ridge North-2.

No easier to way to fly from Mifflin, Omarama, and Nephi than to go on Condor-Club and download the Condor Updater!

See you guys at 9pm Eastern tonight!

Post-task fun with JP. Yes, you can land a 1-26 in a postage stamp field!

Record Numbers Fly US Nightly Soaring!

33 pilots flew on US Nightly Soaring last night! We haven’t seen this many participants in many years and boy was it a blast to fly with everyone.

The task was very fun, involving dynamic conditions. The first leg involved slowly lumbering along with weaker thermals. The lift was blue or marked with little wisps, forming a large gaggle along the course line. The latter half of the second leg got us into the mountains, with improving thermals and some ridge lift.

The pilots who worked the gaggle the best on the first leg and then efficiently made the transition into the mountains were highly rewarded. Lots of gear-shifting!

The final leg had quite a bit of ridge lift, although with some high ground to contend with. Some folks got stuck trying to get high enough for final glide. But most made a blazing fast leg to get home.

Mark Rebuck, a Condor regular won the day. Honorable mentions go to Clemens Ceipek, Mike Abell and Sean Fidler who had very good days.

See results and competition details here.

There was a large junior contingent last night. Noah Reitter, Jacob Fairbairn, and Collin Shea all flew. Timo, a 22 year old real-life German gliderpilot is routinely cleaning up the field every night, joined us at 3am his time.

Come and fly with us tonight at US Nightly Soaring at 9pm Eastern! Find the serverlist here!

Last night we had 6 folks using Teamspeak to communicate using voice. Download it for free and find us on the USNS/MNS channel. The server is ts3.virtualsoaring.eu:9982 Password: ask13.

For the next several days we will still fly in Slovenia. But stay tuned… we will be heading to other wonderful places all around the world! Think Mifflin, New Zealand, Blairstown, Nephi, Alps, and more!

Condor: The Ultimate Racing Experience

More and more folks are getting back online all around the world. US Nightly Soaring had 22 pilots flying last night. We haven’t had this many folks in many years. About five years ago we used to max out the servers with 32 occasionally, but that was a long time ago.

A lot of new people are getting on and joining the fun. Folks from New Zealand, Germany, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and all over the US are registering for the competition. I am getting emails every day from new folks who haven’t flown in USNS asking for guidance how to sign up. Feel free to contact me, or refer to the previous post for help!

I would not be surprised if we get over 30 participants tonight.

I’ve forgotten how awesome Condor is. Condor does a million things well, but it captures the essence of racing spectacularly. We do straight up assigned tasks. The old style start gates with a redline start. Half km beer-can turnpoints. Finish on the deck. You see the other pilots pull in the thermals and you can make a perfect entry if you pay attention. Keep a close eye on the terrain to run the better energy lines.

Condor even does wave and you can run little lines of rotor and wave lift if you keep an eye on the markers.

You are right with the other pilots. You can see how one decision or another gets you plus or minus several hundred feet. You race head to head on final glide and cross the line abreast with the others. Last night the winner won by three seconds! You’re totally absorbed by in it when you’re doing it.

Condor is fun, but racing is a whole other level of awesome. Come and join us at 9pm Eastern at US Nightly Soaring!

Condor: The Corona Cure? (For Boredom)

With COVID-19 clamping down on flying activities and keeping us home, it looks like many will only be able to get their flying fix in the virtual skies. Here is a guide to some options for individuals and clubs to use Condor for soaring the next couple of months.

  1. Check out existing competitions on Condor Club.

I run Monday Night Soaring (7 and 10pm Mondays) and US Nightly Soaring (9pm daily). Each day uses a different task and scenery. To find out the scenery, take a look at the contest page and it is listed for the night. After you register (for free), there will also be a task briefing sent to your email.

Here is the URL for US Nightly Soaring: http://www.condor-club.eu/comp/show/0/?id=361

Here is the URL for Monday Night Soaring: http://www.condor-club.eu/comp/show/0/?org=true&id=371

To register, first become a Condor Club member. Then go to: http://www.condor-club.eu/comp/competitions/202/ and select the competition you would like to attend. Press “Your Registration” and click Submit!

To download sceneries easily and quickly, download the Condor updater. Simply click on a scenery you want and it will even install it for you!

To log on to the tasks, go to https://condor.hitziger.net/serverlist/ at the designated time (7/10pm Eastern Time for MNS, 9pm for USNS). You could join these respective competitions for 10 minutes.

  1. Set up Condor night for your club!

For club members who are not experienced with Condor, still learning the basics, or simply looking for a place to virtually hang-out, set up your own server! Make a task in the Flight Planner, possibly even at your home airport! Then go to Multiplayer, click Host, and select a Host Name. Select your task in the flightplanner and your friends will be able to join the server!

I set up a Condor night for Aero Club Albatross at 7pm on Wednesday. Check out the server and join us!

  1. Condor Coaching

I have been contacted by several people who would like to receive paid one-on-one coaching with me. If you would like to schedule a time to work on advanced soaring concepts in Condor (thermal selection, racing, centering, racing strategies, speed-to-fly, landouts, spins, risk-management, ridge soaring, wave soaring, etc. etc.), feel free to contact me through the Soaring Economist contact.

__________________

Feel free to follow up with me if you have questions about how to get Condor set up, for you or your club.

All the best,
Daniel

Condor 03/25/2020 – Three Tower Triangle

The weather forecast at Blairstown for next Wednesday is moderate SE ridge and 6000ft thermals with cumulus clouds… in Condor.

It’s nice being God in the virtual world!

For next week I developed a simple task to get the Condor group set up for future weeks. The objective for Wednesday 7pm is simply to get set up. Mission accomplished if we get everyone on the server and have a fun time! I set up a task, but you don’t have to race around it… you could simply join the server and fly locally near the airport if you so choose!

Here are the steps for folks who have Condor experience.

Each of these steps has many other steps to it if you are not familiar with how to do it. Email me directly and I’ll walk you through it.

Using Condor to Judge Glide Angles

One of the most important skills to internalize as a glider pilot is intuitively judging glide angles. Beginners often have trouble with this and fly by using calculations or by rote to compensate (X altitude over the barn, Y altitude over the lake, etc.)
 
Condor is actually quite good at teaching this skill. I came up with the following exercise for a fellow who is having trouble with this skill and figured others who have Condor 2 might also have a little fun with it.
 
Blairstown Scenery can be found here:

________________________________________

With more experience, you will get better and better at judging glide angles. When we are making glides, all that matters is whether we are making it or not. If it’s a low performance ship and you’re in good air, if you’re in a high performance ship in sink, or you have a tailwind or a headwind, in the end it all outputs to an achieved glide angle.
 
The way you judge it is by looking ahead and picking a point in the horizon and you watch its change. If it is rising in the canopy, you are coming up short. If it is falling, then you are making it.
 
In this way, glider pilots are able to judge their glides without any need for instruments or doing any calculation.
 
You can use Condor to learn this skill. Take a look at the picture attached below.
 
Look at the top of the yawstring from the first frame to the second. Notice how the horizon has risen in the second frame… we are coming up short.
 
As a gliderpilot, you will learn to be very sensitive to these changes. You should be able to look out front and within several seconds be able to judge if the point is rising or falling. Of course in reality it rarely remains static… if you hit some sink you’ll see it rising, lift, it falling. But with even more experience you’ll be able to precisely track the rolling average too.
________________________
 
You can use Condor to practice this skill.
 
I have attached the FPL file to use.
 
To be clear, this is an exercise to teach a skill. It’s just easier to learn how to do it with a mountain in front of you since it is harder to judge a flat glide to a point in the valley. In case it’s not obvious, in real life you should not be doing a dead glide over to the other side of the ridge for a while as this puts you out of gliding distance of Blairstown airport.
 
(Note: DO NOT use Screen 3 on the glider computer for this exercise.)
 
– Start with a K-21
– Point at the Upper Reservoir (the turnpoint is in the PDA)
– Make a prediction within three seconds. Is the terrain rising or falling in relation to the yawstring? Am I going to make it?
– Execute the glide. Did you make it?
 
Next, put in 10 knots of wind from 315. Increase Airborne Start to 3000ft. Repeat.
 
Next, take a 1-26. Make wind 5 knots from 290. Repeat.
 
Next, take the Genesis. Airborne start at 2300ft. Wind 15 knots from 340. Repeat instructions.
 
Practice until you can take any glider in the Hangar in any wind condition and immediately judge if you can make it to the other side of the ridge.
 
To change things up, move the turnpoint at the upper reservoir to another point along the ridge (more to the North or South). Repeat the game.