soaring international May/June 24

The latest issue with top articles for all those who want to be well informed about this wonderful sport: Our new series on powered gliders highlights all aspects of the trendy aircraft, we introduce the new, perfect co-pilot, the brand new app from WeGlide, take a look at the weather situation, flight options, wave flying and flight safety at the Porta and the gravity waves in the low mountain range, get to the bottom of a quick day at the World Championships in Australia, take a look at lightning over the Namib from the cockpit and find out how dangerous a lightning strike can be for a glider, how to protect yourself and what is go and no-go in the vicinity of thunderstorms. However, safety starts before the flight. This is where we find out whether we are really well prepared for the start, whether we are fit and whether we have set up our glider with full concentration and carried out all safety checks conscientiously. To ensure that we get into the air safely, we take a closer look at the take-off dynamics during the winch launch. If you want to fly 1,000 km with an old standard class glider, you can‘t rely on the glide ratio alone: you also need to add some positive energy as our report on the Spanish energy lines shows. Our summer trip to Sweden and our story from the cockpit show why it’s worth sticking to your goals and not giving up so quickly. And now, enjoy reading! Order here.

And here’s a look at the current magazine:

In our new series in the „Flight Safety“ section, we are devoting ourselves to the topic of „motor gliders“. We cover everything from training to the various phases of flight (preparation, take-off, cruising, landing, post-processing) and avoidable emergencies. We will highlight the subtle, but also the clear differences to pure gliding, which can lead to typical accidents in powered glider operations.

With power in the air
Powered gliders are aircraft with one or more engines that can also have the characteristics of a glider when their engines are switched off – this is the official definition. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, they belong to a separate aircraft category and have specific registrations such as D-Kxxx, OE-9yyy, or HB-2zzz.
The desire to be able to glide well with light aircraft existed early on. After numerous experiments and smaller series, the first „Scheibe Falke SF25“ were launched at the beginning of the 1960s. Of the more than 2000 units built, many are still in use today to acquire numerous class ratings and to extend gliding licenses with TMG approvals or self-launching authorisations.
It goes without saying that the requirements for a self-launch authorisation on a modern high-performance glider are completely different from those on a classic that has been tried and tested for decades. Not only the pure gliding performance plays a role, but also the aircraft geometry and size make different demands. Nevertheless, the engines of the most modern aircraft are sometimes surprisingly similar to the antiquated models from the middle of the last century, which are still powered by the (lawnmower) technology of the time. But more on that later!
An important difference that plays a significant role in training and obtaining ratings is the distinction between „touring motor gliders“ (TMG) and „sailplanes with self-sustainer“.
A touring motor glider (TMG) with a permanently mounted, non-retractable engine and non-retractable propeller must be able to take off and climb under its own power. As a rule, the focus here is on the powered flight characteristics. The Stemme S10/12 with its folding propeller is a major exception. Despite its good cruising characteristics in motorized flight, it also offers excellent gliding characteristics with a glide ratio of more than 50. This unique combination has made the Stemme famous on expeditions far off the beaten track – and stands for a spirit of adventure and boundless passion, as its own advertising says, with certain compromises in the pure gliding characteristics, of course.
Gliders with an auxiliary engine sometimes offer even better gliding characteristics with (almost) no risk of landing. While not all have the capability to self-launch, they may have a glide ratio of 60 or more and are supposedly completely independent. This combination has made them extremely popular over the last three to four decades. Nowadays, almost all current gliders are also available with a wide variety of engines – with all their advantages and disadvantages, as we shall see!

The whole article can be found in the current issue of soaring international

soaring international March/April

Here we go with our exciting, informative and entertaining reports! We start the season in northern Italy, where numerous airfields offer top conditions for great flights in spring, show you the way from the Arlberg towards Mont Blanc in the “foehn”-wind and reveal a few secrets for perfect slope flying at Porta Westfalica. There we take a look at the lee of the Harz mountains, where waves sometimes are bent and there are climbing areas where you wouldn’t expect them. another surprise is Regtherm: the thermal forecast model will be discontinued by the DWD at the end of March and continued by XC-Therm with 1000 new forecast regions all over Europe. Then we introduce you to ASASys (anti-stall assistance system): The idea is a system that not only warns the pilot better of a stall, but can then also intervene to give the pilot a few seconds to end a potentially dangerous flight condition. Some other pilots see their hobby in danger simply because of their age, but how old is too old? A report by the British Gliding Association answers this question. Another question, whether assembly aids are helpful or risky, is answered by our deputy editor-in-chief. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, here are 13 steps for rigging and de-rigging. It should then also remain relaxed in the air, a sticking point here can be the correct and safe power supply. We show you how to do this using a two-seater. In short, there are a few tips on buying used trailers before we look back 100 years to the „discovery“ of thermals. And finally (or perhaps first?), our column invites you to smile and dream a little about the most beautiful hobby in the world. We hope you enjoy reading it! Order here.

And here’s a look at the current magazine:


The following article deals with considerations based on my own observations during wave flights in south-westerly wind conditions in the lee of the Harz Mountains. What might be the reasons for wave crests that do not run parallel to the edge of the Harz, but at a certain angle to it?
My observations of wave soaring in the Harz over the last few years show what the title and the lee waves in the Harz are all about. Since the early 2000s, I have been taking off from the „Große Wiese“ gliding site on the southern edge of Wolfenbüttel in south-westerly winds in the direction of the northern edge of the Harz in order to enter the waves there.(…)

The shortest route from Wolfenbüttel to the edge of the Harz Mountains near Bad Harzburg is 26 km, the shortest route to the most reliable entry point in Brockenlee is approx. 33 km. In take-off direction 25, the flight path generally leads east of the Oderwald forest towards the south. Here, from the southern end of the Oderwald, it is important to keep an eye on the vario and any clouds, as sometimes usable secondary to tertiary waves form in this area between the Harly mountain range and the direction from Osterwieck to Halberstadt. I always make it my goal to use these waves in gliding and to fly from there to the primary wave at the edge of the Harz.
During a flight on 12.10.2019 with cumulus clouds, I managed to enter the wave at an altitude of approx. 1000 m south of Hornburg after first flying under and then, by flying upwind of the cloud, into a laminar flow on the windward side, which took me above the condensation level. Strangely, the cumulus cloud edges lined up from there did not run parallel to the resin edge (110°/290° orientation), but at an angle of approx. 30° (140°/320°) to it in the direction of Brockenlee. I was thus able to work my way there while maintaining altitude along the cloud lines. On subsequent flights I deliberately tried to repeat this flight path even when there were no cloud indications, which I sometimes succeeded in doing in sections.

If you look at these supporting lines on the chart of the logger, the area deviating from the edge of the resin at a certain angle is clearly noticeable.
But how can this „anomaly“, the deviation from the classic wave updrafts running more or less along the resin edge, come about? I remembered satellite images of islands under cloud cover in the sea, behind which more or less V-shaped cloud formations also form. These wave structures are known as ship waves. The diffraction of the waves changes from a rectilinear V to arc shapes.
The whole article can be found in the current issue of soaring international

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