Monday, April 30, 2012

Phoenix 11th Place in the US OLC

We were very pleased to see the Phoenix flight scoring 11th place in the US OLC on Saturday!  OLC stands for On Line Contest, and is open to pilots around the world.  All you have to do is sign up, and fly with a flight data recorder which records the flight.  Most recorders come with an engine noise monitor, which shows when the engine was run during the flight, and can validate a soaring flight without the engine.  My Nano is an IGC recorder which monitors engine noise.  It is very small, and easy to use.
80 pilots in the US submitted flights on Saturday, so 11th place is pretty darn good - hope you don't mind a little horn tooting here.
We get asked over and over "how good a glider is the Phoenix"?  This flight shows that the Phoenix is capable of pretty respectable flights.  Since this flight occured in Florida with low cloud bases and comparatively weak lift, think what is possible out west!

Points  name  km fai-km  km/h  Takeoff location  Club  Aircraft

1 498.28 Tim Taylor 451.52 388.4 100.51 Logan-Cache (US / 9) NUTSO Ventus 2
2 490.03 Bruno Vassel  438.06 385.6 96.63 Logan-Cache (US / 9) NUTSO ASW 27
3 487.91 Bob Faris  445.22 256.1 134.42 Boulder CO (US / 9) Soaring Society of B... LS 3
4 486.81 Nicolas Bennet  511.97 240.7 102.78 Seminole Lake  Antares 20m
5 453.86 Greg Shugg  355.12 314.0 68.48 Pierson FL  Eagle Sport Aviation... Std. Cirrus
6 444.49 Robert Caldwell 465.04 198.2 116.77 Boulder CO  Ventus 2cT/1

7 438.47 Robin Clark  408.42 261.0 82.38 Herlong FL  North Florida Soarin... LS 6
8 434.16 Colin J Barry 416.53 174.6 100.36 Boulder CO   Society of B... Discus 2
9 418.15 Ken Sorenson  403.53 243.9 79.71 Soaring Club Houston... Ventus 2ax
10 415.99 Mike Ziaskas  399.45 152.2 89.32 Warner Springs Glide... Discus
11 409.69 James Lee  277.29 4.3 56.11 Seminole Lake  Seminole Lakes... Phoenix

Sunday, April 29, 2012

165 Mile Soaring Flight

Yesterday I flew over to Seminole Lake Gliderport.  All of the usual suspects were gearing up for a pretty good soaring day.  I declared a Diamond Goal distance flight to Valdosta, GA, a distance of 186 miles.  After motoring up and then engine shut down for a start at 2400', we (Phoenix and I) headed north.  The anticipated winds never materialized, so the flight plodded north at a slow pace.  Clouds started off at 3000' and then slowly rose to over 6000' by the day's end.  The nice clouds ended south of Lake City, and I struggled to stay aloft for another 40 miles or so without their help.  The soaring flight ended 10 miles short of the Georgia border, and has been posted on the OLC, which you can see here:

 Nice clouds for most of the flight.  The Nano IGC flight recorder is seen here taped to the compass.

After the clouds ended, the only course was using the "blind man in the forest" technique.  (A blind man walking through a forest will eventually run into a tree).  Once I got lower, flying over brown fields worked a little. 

When the lift ran out and my altitude dropped to 1500' it was time to restart the engine since I was not near an airport at the time.  Since I had been soaring for 5 hours, I switched to the other battery for the engine start.  This is a shot of the Integra during the flight home to Melbourne using the autopilot to relax and eat on the way home.

Monday, April 2, 2012