Easter and more

Sorry for the lack of updates, the Italian GSM networks still suck, so I could not connect to the internet easily. I’ve talked to Lolita at Tilly’s, and volunteered to help her set up a wireless internet zone in the hotel next year, that will make it much easier to get on the net.

This Easter has been the worst I’ve had since 1998, the weather was really bad with snowstorms while we waited in Germany, and in Bassano it was raining a lot. Most of the pilots went home early because of the bad weather, but the last few days were better.

We got 3 tasks in the competition, one 65km task on Thursday that was quite good, then it rained until Sunday, when we got a 92km task under a low cloudbase. On Monday Nils Åge and I decided to go home early, while Olav and Arnt went up to fly the last task. It was gray and windy in the morning with an occluded front coming in. Olav later said it was marginal, but he got to 2000 meters, only one pilot made goal. I checked the forecast and decided not to stay on for the comp in Feltre because of the bad weather.

Olav did really well in the comp, with 5. place the first day, and overall 8. place after 2 days. The results are not on the internet as far as I can see. I did not even try to fly the first task, and got min distance points. I flew one test flight late the first day, after adjusting the glider for the right spiral turn. The glider was better, but still not very good. The second task I still had problems flying the glider, lost the other pilots I was flying with, and made a mistake going to the second TP where I did not cross the valley where I should, guess I flew around 50 km.

All in all I got 4.5 hours flying and 4500 km driving. Still it is good to have some hours in thermal conditions again. At the end of the last flight my body was warming up and getting back into at least semi-automatic flying mode.

My new glider is the revised 2004 model of the Litespeed S. The outer leading edge tube is carbon, and the fiberglass tips have a carbon layer to increase strength and reduce weight. The sail have a reduced S shape compared to the “old S”, and the profile of the glider is very flat. The carbon sprogs were not ready, so the glider has normal aluminum sprogs until I get the carbon ones. I do not have a picture of it yet, it’s white red and blue.

The glider looks really good, the sail cut and tension around the tips is the best I’ve seen in any serial glider. It feels very different from my old glider, but I’ve not been flying in thermals since the Worlds so I need more hours in the air to feel comfortable again. At least I found out the glider is much faster than before, and the climb rate seems to be much improved.

I also got a Skyline Zero Drag Racer harness, instead of the Moyes Matrix Race that was not ready to be delivered with the glider. Some other new stuff is a Brauniger mini vario to mount inside the helmet, a Skyline flight suit, an Icom IC-E90 radio to replace my old Alinco that was too big to fit easily in the harness. The Icom have LI-Ion batteries that can be charged without thinking about discharging first. It’s a triple-band radio, so I can use it on the UHF channels in Australia during the worlds. I also got a pod for the Brauniger Compeo from Skyline, very nice fit and carbon mount, but needs a longer pitot tube to get the correct speed. I extended it with a drinking straw from the bar at Tilly’s which seemed to do the job perfectly.

Weather forecast for the weekend looks bad, but I’ll try to get some flights as I need to work on my glider. Next weekend we have a towing meet at Kongsvinger.