Pilots setting up their gliders for the competition.
Both Ernie and Ron Gleason told me how to get my FTP program running properly. For all you geeks out there you have to set the program for PASV (passive) transfer.
I got a lot done last night, setting up my camp, but I may move again. The other pilots I am flying with, Mark Stump and Oliver are camping at the other end of Quest. I will see how it goes tonight. If it's quiet enough I may just stay here, and I can get enough of a signal I can connect my computer to the network from here.
I removed my glider from it's crate today and set it up. Everything looked great with no damage during shipping. It is a little windy today with the winds between 10 and 15 mph out of the north, northwest. I got everything ready for a practice flight. It sure was a lot easier when Nancy was here. I would carry my glider over to the flight line and she would always mysteriously appear with the car and all my gear. Today I had to stage my glider and gear because we were towing from the south end which is away from where the glider usually tie down. I may not have enough time to write a decent report once the competition starts. I'll have to wait and see.
I had always had what I thought was a lot of bar pressure on my gliders when trying to fly fast. I read on the rigid wing list that the trailing edge can have something to do with this. I decided to try something today to see if it made a difference. I set the trailing edge so the ends were about 1/4" different than I usually have it. This caused a slight bending of the trailing edge downward. Usually it bends up very slightly. Well, now I know what some pilots are talking about when they talk of negative bar pressure. It's hard to believe it could make such a difference. I was able to fly very fast with very little bar pressure. It also felt very unsettling when flying at normal thermaling speeds. I think I would rather have the bar pressure. I am going to change it back for tomorrows flight. With all the talk of the effect little changes to the Atos have on handling, it now seems that they can be tuned much like a standard flexwing.
As for the flying today, it was very rough. I would guess that my hang strap went slack more than 15 times in my 45 minute flight. The lift was very good for Florida. I was seeing 600 to 800 fpm in the cores. The lift was good right up to 4,500' where it hit the inversion. There were little bubbles of lift above 4,500 that took me almost to 5,000'. The wind was very strong at altitude, probably close to 20 mph. It was very rough coming in for a landing with lots of lift over the trees on approach. I did manage an ok landing. Jim Yocom said it got much smoother later in the day, such that he was having a pleasant flight. He flew for 2 hours, staying in the air long enough for conditions to smooth out.
Bruce Barmakian was not able to make it to Florida this year. He is staying home and setting new site records. He emailed me that he set a new record from Blackhawk (southern California) of 165 miles, landing east of Parker, Arizona. Way to go Bruce.
Ron Gleason tells me that AIR is having some problems with the new competition tip wands breaking. You can tell if you have one if they are white fiberglass on the outside and are black carbon fiber on the inside.
I used the outdoor showers here at Quest today. It was rather nice. It's a little strange though looking up at the blue sky watching hang glider flying overhead while showering. There was plenty of hot water. The only down side is the showers are located 3' away from the port-a-potties. If someone is processing last nights chili, it can get a little gamy.
Many of the top US pilots are not here, Rich Sauer, Paris, Jerz and a few others. It looks like some of the pilots who are down in the rankings have a chance to move up a bit. There are plenty of good pilots here anyway, with a larger than usual foreign contingent.
I am going to post this before the pilots meeting so I don't have to worry about it later. The meeting has been moved back to 7:00pm. After the meeting I have to get the waypoints downloaded into my GPS and then into my computer so I will be busy.
Camp Vince (for now)