No beautiful footage of today's sunset flight, as the need to take-off before sundown ensured that only the essential safety prep could be done. Nonetheless, a preternaturally smooth "flight simulator" circuit around Rufforth was achieved, and a successful check ride for solo...
A good example of how a careful glider pilot learns what is safely achievable while soaring in the Alps.
Careful study with an instructor, analysis of weather, terrain, and route...allow one to fly what appears to be an impossible route back to an airfield that is initially out of sight behind multiple ridges and valleys.
For both academic and creative work, I've been organising a season's worth of tracking data from nearly every gliding flight I've done. It really emphasises the unique "signature" of each flight, as shaped by wind, weather, and my own sense of the atmosphere around.
Meanwhile, over southern New Mexico today....
Graphic depiction of vertical lift in air...for soaring/glider pilots.
Left side of display is a plan view (you're high above the terrain, looking down). A small red line shows the location of the vertical slice that is depicted on the right side.
The model shows that one area has wave lift, not too far above the surface. A glider could get towed to this location, find rising air, release, and soar.
But how to transition from that region of lift to another larger band of lift that extends much higher? There is a 'dead zone' of little to no lift in between. Hmmmmm, the challenges that glider pilots face.
Note that today's model for forecast wave lift is unusual. First, because of the movement of the air from east to west, and secondly because the 'bars' of wave lift are not oriented verticalliy, but instead are leaned way over, almost horizontal.
Launching in the next hour or two, towing up to around 50K feet (higher than typical airliners fly), then hopefully #soaring in mountain wave to a new world record, at altitudes similar to the service ceiling of the (powered...) U2 spy plane.
Watch online in real time!
The Perlan Project is back in Argentina this (southern hemisphere) winter, preparing to launch as soon as weather is good for soaring to the edge of space. Possibly as soon as tomorrow! And you can sign up to be notified when they start flying.
They have updated their telemetry this year, so their virtual cockpit will be within seconds of up to date, if you'd like to watch as they attempt another world record. This time with fewer flight-testing restrictions than in past years. 🎉
How to check calibration of an airspeed indicator in the garage.
An airspeed indicator (ASI) is a differential air pressure gauge.
Today I checked my ASI versus known standards.
Good results, well behaved data. I get agreement within 2 knots.
No need for me to make a calibration correction curve.
Soaring over York - Today's flight marked the completion of my annual piloting checks, so that I can once-again go solo (*officially*, this time), and, moreover, I will now be able to fly the single seat gliders (at long last) in time for the soaring season proper.
Plot of weather model for this afternoon, emphasizing zones of converging air bodies where lift is present.
Red is rising air. Blue is sinking air.
Note the right half of the map. This is eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle. The air mass is more humid, and there is less convergence activity.
The left half is western New Mexico and eastern Arizona.
A red line extends, almost continuously, north/south.
This is a highway in the sky for sailplane pilots. In theory one could launch from southern New Mexico and work the convergence zone to the Colorado border...then turn around and make it home before sunset.
On traditional weather maps this is often portrayed as a 'dry line' where two different air masses meet.
This dry line feature will be present most days until monsoonal flow is established in late June/early July. Some days it'll be farther west, some days it'll be shifted east.
Earth/Sky - Personal record flight today, 2 hours and 10 minutes in the air, flying over the whole of York, including directly over the Minster and the University. Kept aloft solely by thermals so strong that even my rudimentary flying skills could keep things going. Delighted.
Forget #PeakOil #Demand: A Thirst for Barrels Puts $100 in View. #China’s# consumption is #soaring as #CovidRestrictions ease. #Global #OilDemand heads for a record despite energy transition #FossilFuels #ClimateCrisis #GlobalHeating https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-05/oil-prices-threaten-to-hit-100-a-barrel-with-chinese-demand-soaring
La trovo una definizione magari un po' troppo semplice, ma decisamente efficace.
Soaring Penguin Press Engages to Publish Marriage Guide
I Do I Don’t: How To Build A Better Marriage is a graphic novel guide to improving your relationships
The first in a series of relationship books by Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist Chandrama Anderson MA LFMT, I Do I Don’t has been created as an easy-to-read graphic novel.
Says publisher John Anderson, “This is a bit of a departure from the normal kind of graphic novel. But I found, as I read the pitch,...
Pyrocumulus cloud, seen from the glider. Eastern, Nevada, 2020. The smoke from the forest fire rises only to the well-defined boundary layer where the warm-ish air heated by the desert floor peters out rising. But the superheated air from the fire punches right through that layer and continues up thousands feet more, condensing as it cools and creating a cumulus cloud. Photo taken around 16000 feet. #soaring #aviation
@katherined my favorite undermaintained project is #XCSoar https://xcsoar.org
Its a GPL2 FOSS tactical glide computer that many #paraglider and #soaring pilots rely on for making 500+km flights just with wind and sun. The appstore download has 100'000 users and very few contributers: https://github.com/XCSoar/XCSoar/graphs/contributors
#artadventcalendar Day 2 "Sky Day 1 (framed)"
Pastel on Canson Touch paper - 7x20 in
Another plein air done at Air Sailing Gliderport in Reno, NV. This is the second one. I have to choose the extreme-landscape format because it's basically a 360-panoramic. The earth is spherical. #mastoart #artist #soaring #pastelpainting #pastelartist