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Well, the soaring season has kicked off over here in West Oz.  The weather hasn't been as spectacular as it was this time last year, but it's definitely possible to soar cross country on almost any day.  Given that I had a fantastic season last year, my first XC season, I've set myself some tougher goals this year - getting at least one 750km flight under my belt, and having a crack at top spot in the national sub-200 hour rankings.


 


I've also been given the opportunity to step up into a better aircraft...


 


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This is a Glasflugel Mosquito B, rego VH-FQO.  The Mozzie is a glass-fibre sailplane manufactured in Germany in the late 70's, built to the 15m racing class specifications.  It is a very sleek and VERY responsive glider that has a unique interconnected flap and trailing edge spoiler system.  While I like flying the Jantar's that I learned to fly XC in last season, this is a step up in performance, and in comfort.


 


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The cockpit is much roomier than the Jantar Std 2 that I'm used to, especially given my 6'4" frame.  A lot more comfortable, and also better laid out ergonomically.  The control column linkage is of a parallelogram configuration that means it slides forward and back rather than tilting for pitch control, kind of like the motion of a yoke.  This has the advantage of helping to damp out the effects of wind gusts, and pilot-induced oscillations.  The electronic instruments are fairly old but definitely useable, and are largely supplanted by my own soaring computer that you can see stuck on the canopy to the right of the cowling.


 


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This particular Mosquito has been modified with winglets, and also has an oxygen system fitted behind the wing spar.  The canopy is tinted, which is a comfort in the harsh sun here.  FQO belongs to a friend of mine, who also owns a magnificent ASG-29e 18m high performance glider, so this is surplus to his needs and he has graciously offered to lease it to me for the next couple of years - a LOT cheaper than buying my own and worth the extra cost to me as it means I don't have to queue up for allocation of a club glider.


 


I had my first short test flight on Saturday afternoon and was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful handling characteristics and the thermalling ability.  I was comfortable enough after a single test flight that I took it out flying cross country on Sunday, and managed 310km in very difficult conditions... https://www.skylines.aero/flights/41908/# The thermals, while strong at times, were very inconsistent and difficult to work and I came close to landing out three times.  I got a fairly good look at a paddock near Koorda that I had pegged to land in before finding a weak thermal at 1,500ft AGL, then got an even better look at Kununoppin Airfield before stumbling into another weak thermal at 1,500ft, then had a REALLY good look at the paddocks near Yorkrakine Rock and was preparing to enter circuit when I stumbled into a reasonably good thermal at 1,000ft AGL and was able to make it home.  The Mozzie's ability to slow down and climb in even weak lift, assisted by the very effective flaps, has me very keen to log some more mileage in it.


 


Wish me luck for this weekend!  Will take some video next time  8)


 


Cheers,


Derek


 


 


 


 


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Wish you well in your endevours Dereck . Sounds like you are well on the way .


 


Do you have ASN in your sim ? If so, does it replicate the thermals in the same fashion as you experience them ?

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Wish you well in your endevours Dereck . Sounds like you are well on the way .

 

Do you have ASN in your sim ? If so, does it replicate the thermals in the same fashion as you experience them ?

 

Thank you for sharing that wonderful flight ! I've a question similar to Alan's. We know the limitations of the FS power fligh, would you say that FSX/P3D glider flying somewhat "believable" ? 

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Thanks everyone!

 

Wish you well in your endevours Dereck . Sounds like you are well on the way .

 

Do you have ASN in your sim ? If so, does it replicate the thermals in the same fashion as you experience them ?

Thank you for sharing that wonderful flight ! I've a question similar to Alan's. We know the limitations of the FS power fligh, would you say that FSX/P3D glider flying somewhat "believable" ? 

 

Soaring in stock FSX is very basic.  The thermals don't really act like they do in real life - they're much wider for one thing, and they are consistently strong throughout.  Ridge lift is not modelled at all.  I have no experience with ASN, although I don't seem to recall it offering any improvements to soaring weather.  CumulusX is what you want if you are interested in soaring - it adds a complete soaring weather model with more accurately modelled thermals based on ground temperatures and trigger points, and also models ridge lift based on ground terrain and wind speed/direction.  The DG808 in FSX is a pretty glider but doesn't really behave in a realistic way.  Aerosoft's Discus is better but it suffers from poor frame rates (in my experience).  There are, however, some great freeware gliders out there if you look - Wolfgang Piper's are the best I've found, they are in many ways better than the payware Discus.  For a more "realistic" sim soaring experience, you need to try a specialised sim like Condor - although it is pretty old and clunky now (DirectX 7!!) in comparison to FSX or P3D, it still has the most realistic modelling for soaring flight.  Even with the best software however, sim gliding pales in comparison to the real thing, the physical sensations that go along with the visual, the "seat of the pants" sensations that tell you you've just flown into a boomer of a thermal, so I've pretty much given it away.  Go and have a trial flight at your local gliding club!!

 

Cheers,

Derek


Now let's get some photos of that puppy in flight! Have fun up there.

Todd

 

I'd love to Todd!!  I've tried in the past, but it's hard work  :wacko:   Matching speed, altitude and sink rate in a pair of gliders is bloody hard lol.  Not much room in the cockpit to manoeuvre a decent camera either - easier to do in a 2 seater, might hit up a friend to do some filming from one of our trainers or towplanes.

 

Cheers,

Derek

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I had a good few days of flying the Mozzie from Thursday to Sunday just gone, got some Cross Country flights in although the conditions were far from ideal.  It behaved impeccably, I'm very happy with it  8)


 


While up flying Friday, a band of Thunderstorm activity moved into the area.  Enroute to my first turnpoint (Bonnie Rock) I saw some towering Cumulonimbus building dead ahead on track and as I got to within 40km I saw massive red dust clouds being kicked up by the downburst.  Time to turn around I thought, so I headed further south.  While themalling North of Merredin, I took the opportunity to grab a pic...


 


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The weather was clear with beautiful scattered Cu's south of here so I continued my XC task.  After taking a boomer of a thermal over my next turnpoint, Corrigin airfield, I had final glide back to Cunderdin.  Unfortunately, when I got to Quairading I could see a massive lightning storm directly between me and the airfield.  No chance of getting home - couldn't got through it, was too wide to go around - so I elected to land at Beverley airfield, where there is another Gliding Club.  This is what it looked like from the ground, looking straight up to Cunderdin...


 


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Caught up with a few people from the Beverley club, and had a nice cold beer while waiting for my mate James to come and pick me up with the glider trailer.  All in all though, it was a good day  :)


 


Cheers,


Derek


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