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Cross-Country Soaring - A Handbook for Performance and Competition Soaring
Author:  Helmut Reichmann
Paperback, many 3-color illustrations and black and white photos, 172 pages, 7th Edition, First published in 1975, updated in 1993, Copyright 1993, English edition of "Streckensegelflug"
Dimensions: 8.46 x 10.75 x 0.63 inches (215 x 273 x16 mm)

Helmut Reichmann was a very competitive sailplane racer and a strong mathematician.  This book explains the complicated speed-to-fly theories and backs them with many equations that can be used to model cross-country soaring flight.  I especially like the sections on how and where thermals form, competition tactics, and speed-to-fly theory.

What's new in this 7th Edition
The 7th edition was first published in 1993 - so it is not exactly new, but you will want to "upgrade" to this version if you have a previous edition.  New sections include the great "30 Training Tasks" section  - which gives 30 suggestions for ways to practice and improve your cross-country soaring and thermalling skills.

Favorite Quote - From Foreword

"Surely, man's age-old dream of flying has found its purest and most beautiful expression in soaring.  Nature opens up to the soaring pilot a world that would have been thought unreachable only a few years ago - a world of mighty forces, gentle or wild, majestic and mysterious.  The pilot enters this realm, flies in it, makes use of its dynamics, and tries to explore and fathom its mysteries.  The burden of everyday life is left on the ground and becomes inconsequential compared to the freedom that the wings of a sailplane can provide."

Part I: Flying Practice and Techniques contains the information the pilot should have in order to participate successfully in distance soaring for badges or competition.  In addition to practical suggestions a certain amount of basic theory is included when unavoidable for complete understanding, and when it can be presented in a relatively simple and compact form. 

Part II: Theoretical Section provides the basis for Part I and can serve to increase the depth of comprehension of the material altogether.  It also includes individual points which are considered essential to a complete understanding of the problems of modern soaring.  The division of this part into individual sections is based largely on that of Part I, so that direct correlations can be made between theory and practice even when they are not specifically pointed out in Part II.


Part I

  • Flight in Lift
  • Navigation
  • Landing Out
  • Speed-to-Fly
  • Physical Conditioning
  • Competition Tactics
  • Training and Conditioning
  • Equipment

Part II

  • Meteorology
  • Speed-to-Fly
  • Equipment

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