Rory Duncan announced the new Sting 4 Race from Airborne at the Corryong Cup, where the most popular glider seemed to be the Sting 3.
The winds calmed down and a number of pilots (but not all) flew on Monday. Much calmer winds Tuesday and Wednesday for good flight. Half in goal on Tuesday. Looks like the winds stayed light at least through Thursday.
The Corryong Cup takes place on Mt. Elliot, which is a foot launch site right above the small tourist (Man from Snowy River) and logging (plantations) town of Corryong. I got to watch the launches on Wednesday. Three launches were excellent: Scott Barrett's, Blaino's, and Steve Blenkisop's, and none of them are in the competition.
Words of advice to a launch director:
1) Get the pilot's surname for your check off list before they get to launch. No need to stop them when they get to launch to get their name.
2) Let the pilot assess the situation without adding to the dialog already going on in their head.
3) Don't ask them if they have done a cross wind launch, especially when everyone actually launches straight down hill with the glider pointed straight down hill.
4) The pilot can see the streamers also and doesn't need to be told which direction they are pointing.
5) There is no need for the pilot to put the glider down first on the launch.
Following these simple suggestions would have reduced the three hour launch time for 60-70 pilots by an hour. The situation at the launch indicates to me that foot launch sites with with restricted launch access (unlike, say, Montecucco with three launches and very reliable launch conditions) are not appropriate for high level competition. Aerotowing looks a lot better compared to being stuck fully dressed in a line for two hours.
It was great to see so many pilot on Mt. Elliot and all setup behind launch:
Walking toward launch:
Launch with the town of Corryong in the distance:
Flying with a tablet:
Rory Duncan, a light weight pilot on a Wills Wing T2C 136. No small Airborne glider:
The edge of the Wills Wing T2C 136:
From the FAI:
Type of record : Speed over a triangular course of 300 km
Course/location : Burgsdorf (Namibia)
Performance : 48.3 km/h
Pilot : Jochen Zeyer (Germany)
Aircraft : Atos VR / AIR
Current record : 45.8 km/h (12.05.2008 - Walter Geppert, Austria)
Type of record : Distance over a triangular course
Course/location : Burgsdorf (Namibia)
Performance : 406 km
Pilot : Jochen Zeyer (Germany)
Aircraft : Atos VR / AIR
Current record : 402.8 km (12.05.2008 - Walter Geppert, Austria)
Curt, Louise, and off spring:
Paris flying the Aeros Combat:
Mike flying the Moyes RX 3.5:
A higher resolution version is available by clicking on above.
Mike and Paris flew together the whole way. Paris is the red line. Mike appears to be just above Paris for the whole way (but they are actually at about the same altitude) until near the end where he gets 1,200' lower but soon makes it up. Animating both tracklogs in SeeYou demonstrates how close they flew together.
First, I think the altitude readings on our track logs are a bit off (I'm probably 120 feet higher than it shows, because during those last glides, we were dead even on altitude). But my recollection of what happened matches these track logs very well:
Mike and I had been flying closely together from about the 100km point, and at about 45 km out, we were fanned out on glide. At this point, Mike hit a climb first--I came in beneath him by a couple of hundred feet, and much to my chagrin, I couldn't find anything nearly as strong as what he was in, though not for a lack of looking (hence my 264fpm and his 370fpm and his gaining nearly a thousand feet on me)--a classic "pinching," I think.
We then glided more or less together about 6-8 km to the next climb on a ridge (though he was quite a bit higher than me now)--Jonas was already at the ridge climbing, and I came in just below him, with Mike arriving a few hundred feet above Jonas. At first I had something fairly weak just beneath Mike and Jonas, but then I shifted over about a km to the end of the ridge and caught a much better climb (I don't recall how strong it was exactly--5-600 fmp average(?) With some stronger surges).
Len soon joined me at my altitude here and we topped it out together. Mike had already topped out his climb and gone ahead on glide by the time I found this thermal (and so had Jonas, though he was a fair bit lower than Mike). Mike and Jonas then stopped about 5km further on in a weak climb over the next ridge crossing.
Because I had just climbed out in a thermal quite a bit stronger than what Jonas and Mike had just climbed in, I (with Len) was able to come into the next thermal a few hundred feet higher than Mike, and maybe a thousand feet above Jonas (who apparently came into this area a little too low and wasn't doing very well). Lucas also joined us in this thermal at the same altitude as me at this point (I'm not sure where he came from).
Mike was climbing quite a bit better than us below (he was evidently in a surge that hadn't reached us yet), so he eventually climbed up to us. Given my standing in the comp, I was happy to stay in the weak lift waiting for him, knowing that my best strategy at this point was to simply fly in to goal with Mike and be as conservative as Mike was willing to be (which fortunately was quite conservative).
Then when Mike reached our altitude, the surge came with him, and Lucas and I continued climbing with him, all of us remaining together for probably another thousand feet or so until our instruments said we had final glide.
So from the moment Mike climbed up to us, we all three flew the remainder of the flight pretty much wingtip to wingtip together (this is the point where our track logs converge--the track log makes it look like I'm below Mike here, but we're actually right next to each other for the remainder of the flight). We got into a sinky line on final so had to stop for one more relatively weak short climb before making it in.
Lucas, Mike and I all left this last thermal together at the same altitude, but I seemed to be gliding a little better than Mike on the high speed final, so I came in a few seconds ahead of him. Lucas must have been a little more conservative on his final, so he came in about 10 seconds or so behind us.
Len and Jonas were both flying more aggressively than Mike, Lucas and I at this point--Len kept pressing on during these last 23 km and made goal about 10 seconds ahead of us. Jonas was much lower than us and unfortunately landed a few km short of goal. I imagine I would have been as aggressive as Jonas if I was in his position (3rd overall with only about 50 points behind first), so I completely sympathize with his risky strategy.
Mitchell Shipley <<elektratow>> writes on Facebook:
My apologies up front for the long FB post, but its my page and these words are important for me to share with my friends, as my relationship with Quest Air has changed over the last several months.
I owe Quest a lot. It was my paradise. Every time I greeted a customer at Quest, I always said Welcome to paradise! and meant it. Quest is where many aspects of my recent life came into being. The many shenanigans with my three sons at Quest are some of my most precious memories. Epic flights with buddies. Cutting my teeth as a tow pilot, tandem pilot and flight instructor. Honing my skills for competition. Designing, building, testing and refining the Elektra Tow system. This is what happens if you were lucky enough to hang around for a while Where the Champions Fly.
My experience is not unique. Robert "Bo" Hagewood, Paris Williams, Dustin Martin all previous Quest guys and then hang gliding champions. Most recently David Prentice and Jon Thompson aerotowed a paraglider in a controlled ascent to over 2000 feet. The recognition I received last year in hang gliding (being part of the silver medal US team that stood on the podium at the World Championships in Forbes Australia and getting USHPAs 2013 Instructor of the Year award) was in no small part due to the support and experiences I have enjoyed at Quest Air.
With all that being true, it made me sad to see the new Quest Air web site with no mention of me or ET. I am no longer on the Quest staff and aerotowing has replaced ET-ing for landing clinics done at Quest. These were not changes I wanted, but these things are managements decisions to make, not mine. I wish the best to the new staff. I still plan to fly at Quest when Im home in Florida. I am also still available for all levels of hang gliding instruction (and Ill use ET where appropriate), but it will likely be done increasingly at sites other than Quest. I am looking forward to filling up my dance card for 2014 with travels to cool flying sites and am passport ready. PM me if you or your club is interested in setting something up.
Each of the pictures below is linked to much higher resolution photos. Click each picture to see much greater detail.
The pilot is ready to go. The angle of the glider seems okay but there is reason to think that it is too low:
This is the keel cradle:
Notice that the cradle is raised up. I flew off this cart numerous times. Every time I had the launch crew adjust the keel cradle and bring it all the way down. I never had the glider try to stick to the cart. The next photo:
The glider on the right side begins to rise. The pilot is still holding on to the hoses.
The back of the glider is out of the keel cradle.
The glider may be completely out of the cart. It is turned to the left. The right wheel may be turned slightly to the left. The pilot is no longer holding onto the right hose. The glider may be in front of the base bar cradles. The rear wheel is off the ground (bouncing?).
The base bar on the left has broken the back of the cradle lip. The pilot appears to be reaching for the release. The right wheel is now 90 degrees to the direction of travel (stopping the cart). The right corner of the base tube is on the ground. The glider is pointing thirty degrees to the line of travel. The wind is blowing sideways.
The pilot impacts the leading edge tube breaking it. The pilot suffers minor injuries.
Please review the linked high resolution pictures and tell us what you think.
I'm thinking that the pilot got pulled out of the cart because first their keel was set too low and second they didn't hold on tight to the hoses.
Thanks to Oli Barthelmes for the photos.
Very detailed and extensive so I won't try to summarize here.
According to a report published by CIVL in 2013 a fully-fledged, two-week Cat 1 competition costs well over 100,000 to put on.
The report, co-authored by 2009 Hang Gliding World Championships organiser Louise Joselyn, states that running a Cat 1 event is a three year task. CIVLs timetable says it should start with a bid three years before the event, a test event the year before and then the final competition.
Fundraising is a big part of that three-year process. Your Cat 1 comp will cost 125,000? Or thereabouts, explains the report. Of that you can expect to raise a maximum of 70,000 from pilot fees (assuming 120 pilots), leaving you with 55,000 to find from sponsorship and fundraising, says the report.
It is this lack of funding and subsequent lack of organisation personnel that led to the plug being pulled on the 2014 Europeans, CIVL say.
After flying the Moyes RX 3.5 all week all I can say is that the glider performs well and is easy to fly. What more do you want? Oh, and it seems easy to land, but there has been a lot of wind here.
I was able to keep up with other pilots on other Moyes, Wills Wing and Aeros gliders. I never had any problems in gaggles with gliders streaming through me (they weren't). And the wheels are still on my base bar (hopefully they can take them off at the Moyes factory).
I came with slight prejudges against the RS from previous experience flying it here in Australia. It was a lot of working flying the bloody thing, for me any way (call me a wimp or a pussy or an old man, if you care to).
The back story, as I heard it from a knowledgeable person, is that the RX was originally designed as a more relaxed competition glider that would be seen by the majority of the competition pilots as a better handling glider and still have enough performance to remain competitive.
Is it competitive enough to win the Worlds, which Jonny has proclaimed as a mandate, http://ozreport.com/17.253#8? Should he be flying the RS in Mexico? Should he be looking for even more glide performance? Does it matter?
See here at: http://moyes.com.au/products/hang-gliders/litrx/testimonials, the top of the page comments by Jochen Zeischka:
I've now flown a season with the Litespeed RX4 after changing from the Combat and I love flying it, so it was about time to write about the glider. Where to start?
Well, the obvious bit: the RX is quite different from the Combat. Less span, less aspect ratio, less sail tension, less weight. It's all screaming 'great handling' at you. And that's the way it is and that's also why I love flying it so much. Of course, there's always a compromise to be made. And it's definitely trading in handling for a bit of glide ratio and minimum sink. But for me, it for sure is a change for the better.
On Picasa here.
Fly Moyes gallery here. Many Zhenshi photos.
Blown out here today in Forbes two days after the competition. Stiff bike ride into wind with Steve Blenkisop, 36 kmh downwind, 18 kmh upwind. Only Steve, Carl, and I still here relaxing.
The forecast was for 16 knots southwest winds, strong lift, but a low top of lift at between 6,000' and 7,000'. Quite cool on the ground at 28 degrees Celsius and six to eight degrees at the top of the lift. I told everyone to bundle up as it would be the coldest yet.
With the strong winds there was nervousness from some pilots and crew on launch as the thermal gusts came through. Numerous pilots chose not to fly. I was on the safety committee and said it was a go, just don't launch in the gusts.
I launched early and climbed to 5,500'. After flying around for almost an hour I headed west with a gaggle and just fell out of the sky and landed. Took a tow to 1,000' and pinned off and it didn't turn out to be lift. Did it again and pinned off at 1,500', this time in real lift.
It was ten minutes before the first clock at 2 PM and the second and last clock was at 2:30. It looked to me like I was lost and completely alone. I was circling up well but wondering if I should just take the first clock by myself behind the rest of the field. Then Paris came in way below me.
I looked to the northeast and there were nine or ten pilots racing toward my thermal with three landing downwind of the tow paddock. It was Lucas and Mike Bilyk, Conrad, and Flocky, Carl, and a few others.
Together we were able to stay inside the ten kilometer start cylinder despite the high winds and scattered semi weak lift. At 2:30 we all left together and hung together for the next almost 100 km of the 204 km task. With the strong tail wind we were moving very fast averaging 70 km/h.
The lift was strong and rowdy at about 350 fpm with some thermals averaging almost 600 fpm as we approached the diving range between Parkes and Yeoval. I lead out a couple of times just trying to stay out of the gaggles and not hit any one. We got to 6,500', the highest all day for me at least. There was a feast of rowdy thermals and we had to be sure to stay 2 km away from the Parkes radio telescope.
There was good lift over the range and I kept heading out as much in front as I could to try to get ahead of Lenny, who was pulling like crazy. The lift significantly slowed down on the leeward side and at about 90 kilometers out most of us scattered and got low with only a few hanging higher.
I was along down to 900' AGl in a 21 mph wind unzipped and looking at safe landing fields when I found a weak bit of lift. I figured everyone else was high and happy and couldn't see where they were. I was quickly passing Yeoval on its western side.
That lift averaged 44 fpm at first then turned on to 250 fpm. I stayed in it for 10 km and 20 minutes climbing to 5,900'. Paris, Mike, Lucas, and Lenny were gaggled up east of me. Conrad and Flocky would soon be landing.
The lift was much smoother after the low save and varied between 180 to 350 fpm. I wasn't getting high any more, not above 6,000'. I also didn't get too low. The lift was strongly streeted, so whenever I found 600 or 700 fpm down I turned north, cross wind to get to the next lift line. I almost always found the line again and then turned to go downwind. I went north to try to stay upwind of the course line.
I could see a large patch of forest ahead and had been watching it for a while. There was a finger of cleared pasture land through the forest, but not all the way. It was on the course line and I was heading for it to give me the best chance of getting back up.
I didn't find any lift on this fifteen kilometer glide and came to the end of the finger over a 250' cliff. I was 700 feet above the ground and 450' above the cliff. I didn't feel that I had enough altitude to go over the back and make it to the next clearing.
I started soaring and gained 500' hitting bits of 400 fpm but was too scared to got back over the trees with the thermal worried about not being able to get back out if I fell over the back and then not sure I could make it to the clear area to the north. I went back upwind over the cliff to look for more thermals, but only got ridge lift and I was getting lower.
I could see kangaroos hopping into the woods below me. Then there were two guys riding motorbikes below me as I finally descended and landed. Turned out the wind was along the cliff face and not directly into it.
The two motorbike guys helped me pack up and gave me a ride back to the farmer's house to the north. The road I had flown along to the south was behind a locked gate on the 10,000 acre parcel. It was open from the north past the farmer's house.
Brett the driver already had the car to my southeast and missed the locked gate, but the farmer took me out to it and we waited on the bitumen road for Brett to find us.
Meanwhile Mike and Paris were flying near each other back and forth in the lead but no one gaining any advantage on the other. At twenty five kilometers from goal Mike found 600 fpm and started coring out. Paris came in under him and didn't seem to be able to find the lift. Mike left from about 6,000' with Paris below still in search mode.
Closer to goal he had to stop for 350 fpm and get high enough to make it in and as soon as he got up there was Paris right above him. They came into goal together with Paris just ahead. Mike found out that Paris's search had paid off and he found 800 fpm.
Jonny won the day taking the first start time, but pilots who took the one half an hour later were faster. I never saw any pilots from the first clock and none at all after Yeoval.# Name Glider Time Total 1 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 03:07:19 948 2 Len Paton Moyes RS 03:01:22 929 3 Paris Williams Aeros Combat GT 03:01:28 926 4 Michael Bilyk Moyes RX 03:01:32 924 5 Lukas Bader Moyes RS 03:01:47 920 6 Carl Wallbank Moyes RX 03:10:29 919 7 Yasuhiro Noma Moyes RX 03:04:09 893 8 Attila Bertok Moyes RX 03:14:19 888 9 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T2C 03:14:32 886 10 Christian Voiblet Wills Wing T2C 03:14:38 885 11 Anton Struganov Moyes RX 03:14:49 884 12 Geoff Robertson Moyes RX 03:16:04 875 13 Glen Mcfarlane Moyes RX 03:16:23 872 14 Gavin Myers Moyes LSS 03:08:50 855 15 Trent Brown Moyes RX 03:28:07 752 16 Mark Russell moyes RS 528 17 Jonas Lobitz Moyes RX 527 18 Davis Straub Moyes RX 491
Paris wins as Mike and Paris cross goal together:
Glen is top Australian:
Belinda has asked Jim Little, the airport manager at Big Spring, for an extra day at the Nationals for practice towing. For the first time he has approved and now pilots can come a day earlier and fly on August 2nd to prepare for the competition.
Restoring pride to an empire that is crumbling beneath our feet of clay.
Preliminary report late after a long ride back from goal.