Today I had my best flight yet and I felt inspired to write it up. I looked at the forecast on Monday and predicted today would be a good day. This morning the forecast was the best I’ve ever seen. Cool for summer with a 35 degree dew point spread, 700 fpm thermal strength, 8,000 bases, 10,000 mixing height and only slight risk of over development.
It ended up being spot on. I left work at 11 and made it to the airport by 11:45. I got the ship down and launched at 12:17. I found lift right off ground break and then a barn burner while engine was running. I shut down much higher than normal at 3500 (2.7k agl). It’s tricky to stay in the thermal while you align the prop blade and stow the engine, you can see the obvious notch where I was messing with the engine.
Then it was off to the races. I didn’t get as far as I wanted on the first thermal. I spent the first hour just getting a feel for the day (like a competion) then I got another barn burner of a thermal that brought me to cloud base and I was off to the races…
My tasking was 93km triangle with a 10nm cylinder around Vinlands and a 15nm around Ottawa and home. I set out for vinlands from cloud base at 8000. I worked the clouds that aligned in that direction and made it most of the way there without losing too much altitude. The 12m Silent _IS_NOT_ a performer. It’s one level worse than a ka6, but the engine makes up.
I found a gap near vinland I had to cross to get to more clouds. I made that gap but dropped out from under the clouds. On the other side, I hooked up to a good thermal and got ride back to cloud base and worked a connected chain of clouds deep into the cylinder.
Then I turned south following another chain of clouds. When I got to Ottawa city (airport is to the south) I saw that the air mass was not the same, so I popped out to make the turn point. When I advanced my turn point I saw that I was 1000′ above my final glide… So I started it.
Unfortunately I hit a _TON_ of monster sink and courage. I had to find a low-ish save. I made that save much slower than I wanted, but eventually I found lift and got home.
From there I spent the next half of my flight just messing around. So everything after I had Gardner made was just for fun.
Great flight and by far my most confident flight yet.
I did setup the blueflyvario for this flight and it mostly worked. Obviously not as consistent as the installed Borgelt total energy I have in the Silent. I was concerned by XCSoar having some odd negative 30sec averages that were definitely well positive. I’ll need to figure out what that’s about.