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Timotheous46
02-08-2004, 06:49
Iíve always been interested in this particular aspect of flying. Iím thinking of getting that rating instead of my bi-annual this year. Has anyone any experience or words of wisdom about gliders and or sailplanes. Iím particularly interested in self launching (powered) sailplanes. Since Iím 6ft 1in and weigh 1.4 people (235 pounds) Iím also wondering about room and payload.

Thanks

Tim

FB3
02-08-2004, 10:02
I used to do a lot of soaring. Had a high performance 15 meter ship that was just absolutely fantastic to fly. Your size should not be a problem. I am 6'2" and 215. As far as payload goes, the high performance sailplanes carry water ballast to improve penetration and increase the L/D when the thermals are strong.

You can take soaring to any level that you choose, from just recreational to serious competition. If there is a good school available to you, I highly recomment it.

glockatlanta
02-16-2004, 22:13
I'll second what FB3 has said...soaring is fantastic! Watch out or you'll get hooked!
Where are you in the world? Most soaring sites will be happy to take you on a tour and/or a demo flight. Check out the Soaring Society of America's website for more info.
http://www.ssa.org/

Timotheous46
02-17-2004, 06:09
I'm in Michigan. No mountain waves here, just a few gusts from some hills.
I've located a couple of places were I can get lessons. I just have to get going and get in contact with them.
Most of my flying is just around the neighborhood and I'm way over plained for that kind of flying. I currently have a c-182 that I may be able to sell to the local flying club if I do like soaring. I'm at the point of gathering information and learning just how much I don't know about soaring.

I was particularly interested in water ballast. All of my powered flights were concerned with reducing weight.
Tim

Timotheous46
02-17-2004, 06:16
I'm in Michigan. No mountain waves here, just a few gusts from some hills.
I've located a couple of places were I can get lessons. I just have to get going and get in contact with them.
Most of my flying is just around the neighborhood and I'm way over plained for that kind of flying. I currently have a c-182 that I may be able to sell to the local flying club if I do like soaring. I'm at the point of gathering information and learning just how much I don't know about soaring.

I was particularly interested in water ballast. All of my powered flights were concerned with reducing weight.
Tim

glockatlanta
02-17-2004, 23:14
Tim,
Water ballast is used (mostly) by people who are racing or flying a ridge for speed. When loaded with water, the L/D ratio doesn't change but occurs at a higher speed. The cost for this is a heavier plane which needs stronger thermals to stay up. If thermals are not strong enough, the ballast is dumped and the (lighter) plane has an easier time climbing but the best L/D occurs now at a lower speed.
Obviously,if you're in a race against the clock, you'd want to get your 40:1 glide (or whatever) at 75kts as opposed to 55kts.
The great thing about soaring, IMHO, is that it can be as relaxing or as competitive as you care to make it. Also, one can enjoy it relatively inexpensively or go whole hog and spend a fortune on a modern plane with an incredible glide ratio and/or an engine. Almost everyone I've met in the sport is supportive of newbies and willing to help. It's a very "social" sport. Again, be careful or you'll get hooked! ;f