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david b.
Topic Author
Posts: 2894
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Sailplane

Fri Feb 20, 2004 2:11 am

Anyone here ever fly a sailplane before?

What is the differences in experience between a sail plane and a powered aircraft?

Which is harder to fly in your opinion?

Also, when landing, since a GA is not possible in a sailplane, how much training does on need to successfully land?

Teenage-know-it-alls should be shot on sight
 
Georg
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 3:03 am

RE: Sailplane

Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:51 am

I have been flying a sailplane many times. It is different from a motorplane, because it doesn't have loud engine sound, only whining of air. Its pretty much like a fighter without noise  Smile. Ofcourse it feels a lot easier to handle and more userfriendly. Anyways, I prefer motorplanes.
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FredT
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RE: Sailplane

Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:29 am

Gliders tend to demand more in the way of pure stick & rudder skills than powered. First off, there's significant adverse yaw in many gliders with the long wings.

Second, you're flying them much more actively. You're always manoeuvering. Straight and level isn't doable, straight is not something you do a lot of. In fact, the only thing more boring than flying straight with a noise generator up front is a day with glassy smooth air and no turbulence.  Big grin

Most gliders have powerful airbrakes, so landing is not all that difficult. The main thing is that you'll find a steep glideslope. Pop the boards, push the speed up a bit, and down you go at quite an angle.

Tricycle gear pilots might find it a bit strange, as most gliders are essentially tail draggers.

But it is so much fun! How often will you get to pull 60 degrees of bank for extended periods of time in a C172? How often do you get to do that close to other aircraft?

Cheers,
Fred
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
 
Guest

RE: Sailplane

Fri Feb 20, 2004 8:53 am

David,
Flying gliders is in many ways easier than flying powered aircraft. The FAA allows 14 year-old kids to solo gliders and you can get your PPL-Glider at 16. The ages are 16 and 17 respectively for powered aircraft. (That ought to tell you something.) The cost is comparatively inexpensive and the time counts towards some of the requirements of a powered license.

If I were king of the universe I would make it a requirement for all pilots to have glider experience. The "feel" that you develop for the flying machine will help you in all of the fixed-wing flying that you do. The confidence that you develop in the ability to handle an engine failure will be in valuable.

Soaring is like a lot of other things, it's pretty easy to be able to get by at it, but it takes a lot of work and skill to be really good at it. Kind of like golf. It's amazing watching skilled competition soaring pilots doing their thing.

Jetguy
 
schreiner
Posts: 909
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2001 7:50 am

RE: Sailplane

Fri Feb 20, 2004 11:54 pm

I love soaring, Im doing it since my 14th birthday. Ive been doing some engined lessons, in my opinion:

Gliders are the cabriolets or motorcycle (fighters) under the aircraft. If you are flying just for fun I'll choose gliding. If you fly because you want to move yourself from point a to b, then i recommend a engined plane. Because you are so manoeuvrable in a glider landing is not that hard, you can yaw steeply and use your airbrakes for loosing alt and speed. The most difficult is getting the best out of a thermal. For real; it's something where you will fall in love for.

Cheers,
Schreiner

Soaring the internet...
 
FredT
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RE: Sailplane

Sat Feb 21, 2004 5:42 am

Schreiner,
I rarely post "me toos", but that was spot on!

Cheers,
Fred
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
 
MD-90
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RE: Sailplane

Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:32 am

If wishes were horses we'd all be riding and my fine steed would be a Stemme S10-VT.

I give them credit, Europe builds the best motorglider that has ever been built.

MSU has a glider club that was recently reactivated when an alumnus donated two brand new sailplanes to the school. My grandfather flew gliders (they weren't really sailplanes back then) at Mississippi A&M back in the early 30's. In fact, it was August Raspet's research into the slower end of flying that put the aerophysics department at MSU on the map.


MSU’s Raspet Flight Lab director David Lawrence (seated) with former director George Bennett.
 
BMAbound
Posts: 654
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RE: Sailplane

Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:42 am

To you glider people,

I once spoke with a man saying that he usually put some flaps out when circling in thermals. Yes, it adds lift and all that, but what about increased drag? I guess a couple of degrees of flaps don't hurt, but could someone be a little more technical?

regards,

johan
Altitude is Insurance - Get Insured
 
Guest

RE: Sailplane

Sat Feb 21, 2004 1:04 pm

Adding flaps while thermaling...

Sounds like he was flying a Blanick. I've given a lot of dual in them. Yes, the flaps would cause some added drag, but so what? You're trying to stay centered in a column of rising air. The advantage is that the flaps increase lift, allowing you to fly slower. Remember, your turning radius is a function of your airspeed. Slowing down will allow you to fly smaller diameter circles while trying to keep centered in the thermal.

Cliff, I second your vote for the Stemme. Some day, I'm going to have me one of those.

Jet... Oops, Gliderguy

[Edited 2004-02-21 05:31:41]
 
FredT
Posts: 2166
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RE: Sailplane

Sat Feb 21, 2004 8:15 pm

Drag is only significant when you care about your glideslope or climb gradient.

In a thermal, those aren't your main concerns. You want two things. As Jetg... Gliderguy stated, the smallest radius, to remain centered as close to the core of the thermal as possible, and the minimum sink rate. Flying slower with flaps out can indeed be very beneficial and most flapped gliders will go to thermalling flaps.

Cheers,
Fred
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
 
BMAbound
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RE: Sailplane

Sat Feb 21, 2004 9:27 pm

Jetguy, you got it, it was a Blanick L-13.

Thanks for the explanation!

FredT, how much instruction is needed (it's probably quite difficult to say) to get the glider rating with some previous PPL experience in Sweden? Costs?

As mentioned before, which I completely agree with, glider pilots are probably among the best. The feel they develop is hard for any "powered" pilot to beat, that's why I consider to start flying gliders. Also, you guys probably have more fun...  Big thumbs up

regards,

johan



Altitude is Insurance - Get Insured
 
SlamClick
Posts: 9576
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:09 am

RE: Sailplane

Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:40 am

I guess my only gliding experiences were less than ideal. Something about having a cold, quiet O-470 or R-985 bolted onto the front end and maybe leaking oil on my windshield that I didn't like much.

I agree that the well rounded aviator should have sailplane experience. No more than may actually be applicable to his life plans, but some for certain.

Beyond that, sailplanes have to do all the things I don't care much for.

Sit in direct sunlight with no air conditioner.
Look for turbulent air that will be full of other gliders.
Fly along mountain ridges.
then
Make an emergency landing.

Give me motors. Lots of them.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
Guest

RE: Sailplane

Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:53 am

Jeeze SlamClick, you've got me thinking. Maybe I wasn't having as much fun in a sailplane as I thought I was.  Confused

However, sitting under a full canopy in direct sun wasn't a big problem - I still have the floppy brimmed hat and the electric socks that I used to wear to keep my toes warm.

Jetguy
 
schreiner
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RE: Sailplane

Sun Feb 22, 2004 3:30 am

There are no such things like "emergency landings" in the world of gliding. All landings are planned at about 600 meters alt.  Smile We are trained to land outside an airstrip, more than engined fella's. Usually we use few meters of grass for the airstip.

There are no mountain ridges here in the Netherlands..  Smile

crowded thermals are nice, but you can pick for yourself a few hundred meters further.

Not only we use flaps, but we even take lots of litres of water with us in our wings... how about that!  Smile

Best glider i've flown: DG-1000

Cheers,
Schreiner
Soaring the internet...
 
SlamClick
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:09 am

RE: Sailplane

Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:06 am

Schreiner

I might have agreed with you when I was young and bulletproof. But as I get older I begin to expand my concept of what might be called an emergency.

My first forced landing, I thought was really cool. A couple more and I did not like them so much. So no engine is an emergency to me. (but only if I am aloft)

Then I think maybe just one engine is not so good. Maybe two are better. Well, to save a little bandwidth here, anything less than four engines is certainly in the caution range.

Then we get into whether or not the aircraft has a lav. Of course I used to fly a plane that had the lav all the way at the back of the cabin. I had to walk past all those passengers to get to it. So now, no lav up front is getting pretty scary.

Then we could consider whether there are enough flight attendants so that I don't have to come back and get my own coffee . . .

I tell you, it never ends.

But hey! I'm glad you guys think you are having a good time.

oh, come on out to Minden some time! World class mountain wave soaring. There is a legend out here that a guy once got a P-38 up into the low 30s with both engines feathered. A good friend of mine hovered a DeHavilland Beaver for an hour in one spot with the engine idling. (in the air, not on the ground) Did I mention the good wave action here?

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
schreiner
Posts: 909
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2001 7:50 am

RE: Sailplane

Sun Feb 22, 2004 11:53 pm

I really don't know where you are talking about. What are you trying to prove here? I prefer ditching a glider than a C172!

The Lightning story; I find that hard to believe.

Happy thermal!
Cheers,
Schreiner
Soaring the internet...
 
Guest

RE: Sailplane

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:22 am

Schreiner...

Actually, I don't discount the P-38 story. I've done some ridge soaring in both a Turbo Commander and a Cessna Citation and was able to maintain altitude quite well. (Of course, I didn't shut down the engines - just played around at flight idle.)

We've got to cut SlamClick some slack. One of these days, when he's bored and has nothing better to do (Airline pilots have way too much time on their hands you know.) he might just wander over to Minden and go for a ride. Then we'll see what he has to say. (Note to SlamClick - Take a good pair of warm socks. It gets cold in the Flight Levels without a heater.)

Jetguy
 
BMAbound
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RE: Sailplane

Mon Feb 23, 2004 3:15 am

In the 60's I believe, a pilot remained airborne for nearly 4 hrs over the swedish mountains with his engine shut off. Sorry, don't remember what type of plane it was, but it was not a powered glider.

johan
Altitude is Insurance - Get Insured
 
bragi
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun May 27, 2001 5:17 am

RE: Sailplane

Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:20 am

I will hopefully try glider flying this summer, but I have one question;
How are glider hours counted towards a ATP license?
Muhammad Ali: "Superman don’t need no seat belt." Flight Attendant: "Superman don’t need no airplane, either."
 
schreiner
Posts: 909
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2001 7:50 am

RE: Sailplane

Mon Feb 23, 2004 5:33 am

They don't count for the ATP license here in the Netherlands.

Jetboy, this summer I'll try to get a ridge-training in France. Then I will experience the vario-meter readings that are normal there, they got to be high for keeping a P38 in the air!

Cheers,
Schreiner
Soaring the internet...
 
bragi
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun May 27, 2001 5:17 am

RE: Sailplane

Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:12 am

I checked my JAR Theoretical knowledge manual, and it doesn´t mention anything about counting sailplane hours towards an ATPL.

50% of hours logged as a Flight Engineer or a helicopter pilot account towards an ATP license, and I thought a similar rule applied regarding sailplanes. (That´s too bad because I was hoping to log very inexpensive flight hours Big grin)
But regardless, I will start flying sailplanes this summer.
Muhammad Ali: "Superman don’t need no seat belt." Flight Attendant: "Superman don’t need no airplane, either."

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