Forbes 2020, day 4 task 1

Windy conditions make it hard for the safety committee to make a final call, and we postponed first briefings and then the towing was delayed several times. In the end we got off, but way to late to finish the 160km task. Nobody made goal, I was not on top of my game and landed quite early. But we finally got to fly, Wohoo!

Outlanding on task 1.

Forbes 2020, day 2, smoke and wind

No task today, the winds are bringing a lot of smoke here, giving us low visibility and there are high winds forcasted for the areas around Forbes, making it difficult to have a task.

Some pilots will fly locally before the winds hit later in the afternoon, it’s a nice and relatively cool 35 degrees outside now.

Forbes 2020, training day.

Awesome late evening flight, towed up at 18:30, found a few nice smooth thermals and floated around for an hour. Glider goes great, and most of the gear worked fine, need to adjust the vario a little to get the sound right.

Some smoke in the air here, but not too bad today.

From idea to reality

2 years ago I made a new instrument pod and panel for my Dragonfly ultralight plane, the original one was from 1994 and was falling apart after many modifications. I bought a ready made fiberglass pod, and did some rough cutouts to make a panel for the existing instruments. Originally I thought I had to replace both the EMS, altimeter, and VSI, as they had started to fail, so I planned to get a digital EFIS to replace everything but the radio. But I took the altimiter and VSI apart, cleaned them, and they worked fine again, so I only needed to replace the EMS. (Engine monitoring system) This saved me around $3000 so it was well worth it. I flew 2 years with it, but it was ugly with the rough temporary panel, and the EMS was failing all the time.

I finally got around to ordering a new MGL Avionics EMS-1, which was just released to the marked this winter, I like the light weight and bright screen. I think it will be a good solution.

I designed the new panel in a CAD program, and had it produced in Germany. The design process took some time as I’ve never done any CAD work before, but it turned out OK in the end. The panel was cut perfectly, and I just had 1 minute of light dremel work to round the edges around the extra cutout for the altimeter where it was a little tight.

The final installed panel was cut from black anodized 2mm aluminium, total cost including shipping of around €100. I glued the new panel over the old fibreglass panel after cutting away the overlap. I am just waiting for new M3 titanium plated screws for the radio, the old ones were made of Chinesium that started to rust instantly.

I enjoyed the process of making the parts in CAD, trying to visualize the end result and how to avoid interference behind the panel, with all the instruments having different sizes and the extra space needed for power cables, pitot-tubes, signal-cables, and so on. In the end it was only one tight area between the fuse and radio that I had to insulate a bit extra to avoid unwanted contact, everything else fit tightly and as I had planned.

Now we just need spring to get started so I can get the plane back in the air and towing hanggliders again.

Dalby Big Air 2018, day 5, 6, 7

I woke up to heavy rain on the roof this morning, and it stayed wet all morning so unfortunately we will not fly the final task today.

Yesterday was a great day flying, nice clouds, smooth lift and not much wind. We got a 150km task, towards the south, 4 turnpoints. I had a slow start and ended up a few km behind the lead gaggle for the first thermals, but I pushed hard and caught up with the leaders at the first TP.

On the third leg I made a mistake coming in just under Rory that was thermalling just upwind of the track, but I hit massive sink and did not see him leaving, and lost a lot of height detouring back 90 degrees downwind to where Atilla and Olli were thermalling. I lost 20 minutes getting up there in a very weak thermal, and finally got to the last TP and to goal.  The final glide was 17km into 15 km/h winds, and I had good numbers for the first half of the glide, but had to stop to take a few turns in a thermal to be safe.

My teammate Len Paton got sick on day 3 and has been flat out in bed for 4 days since then. I probably caught it as well, as I had to spend day 5 at the house running to and from the toilet instead of flying. It was a bummer as the day was really nice for flying.

Great looking sky at goal day 6

Results at

Dalby Big Air 2018, day 3 and 4

Task 4 is cancelled due to too strong winds.

Yesterday we had a triangle-ish task, with a short final glide straight into wind. I had a OK start taking the first start gate with almost everyone else (20 minute gates). Trent and me flew together towards the second TP pushing upwind finding a very good lift taking us ahead of the main gaggle towards the TP. We pushed into wind going back on the 3. leg, and it was hard going with up to 40km/h cross/head winds.

I managed to find a few very good lines pushing into the wind, and got ahead again but had to push alone towards the goal to not fall behind by joining the gaggle that was 2-3km downwind and lower. I suffered the same fate as most pilots by not finding enough strong lift to gain glide towards goal and decked it a few km short.

Packing up on a lonely road
Packing up on a lonely road

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