|Cross Country Soaring
Author: Frank Paynter
(TA) ("TA" is the competition number on Frank's sailplane.)
Book, Paperback, 119 pages, dozens of black and white
images, Companion CD with Condor files and color images
Dimensions: 8.2 x 10.9 x 0.31 inches
(208 x 277 x 8 mm)
Soaring with Condor describes how to use the
Condor soaring simulator to develop and improve your real life
cross country soaring skills. The basics of getting started with
Condor are explained in detail, along with a wealth of information that
will help you progress much faster up the cross country learning curve.
If you are not
familiar with the Condor "The Competition Soaring Simulator" you can see
details here: Condor. It is a great
soaring flight simulator. Some glider pilots use Condor to improve
their basic glider flying skills, or to teach others the basics of
flying gliders safely. Scott Manley has been very successful at
using Condor in that way. It is a great (and popular) use for
Condor, but that is not what Frank Paynter uses Condor for. Frank
uses Condor to improve his cross-country racing skills.
About the Author
Dr. Frank (TA) Paynter has a PhD in Electrical Engineering with a
software engineering focus, and is currently semi-retired from a
research position at The Ohio State University. He co-authors (along
with Scott Manley) the popular Condor Corner column for ‘Soaring’
magazine and is a regular contributor to the Condor section at
SoaringCafe.com. Along with Mark Hawkins, he is part owner of Hawke
Tracking LLC, the company that provides SPOT tracking services for
contests and clubs. Before soaring came along, Frank was a national
champion skydiver and still holds the record for the most number of
consecutive dead-centers in skydiving competition. Frank started soaring
in the mid-1990’s at Caesar’s Creek Soaring Club near Waynesville, Ohio
and instantly fell in love with cross-country racing. Now he goes to as
many contests as his wife of over 30 years will allow, and spends his
winter months racing in Condor.
A companion CD is included - FREE. It contains flight files
and additional graphics keyed to the relevant chapters. For each example
flight discussed in the book, a Condor Flight Plan (.FPR) and Condor
Replay (.RPY) file is provided on the CD so the reader can fly the same
flight themselves and/or watch the flight progress.
To keep the cost of the book low, all the
images in the book are black and white. However, every image used
in the book is also included on the companion CD in full-color and
full-resolution. The CD also includes 2 Condor training videos:
"Mifflin Transitions" and "Thermal Helper". Those videos are also
available on YouTube in lower resolution:
Review by Paul
The goal of the book is to teach sailplane pilots how to use Condor to
become better (faster, safer) cross-country soaring pilots. If you
are not a pilot of full-size gliders, you can use the book to
improve your skills and speeds when competing with other Condor pilots
online. Frank is a very experienced cross-country soaring pilot.
In recent years he has been flying in many soaring contests each year -
and doing well in them. During the off season (when his glider is
put away for the winter) he flies Condor - a lot! He spends many
dozens of hours racing in Condor - with the goal of gaining experience
that he can apply in the cockpit - to help him win races. It seems
to be working for him. He's good, and he does a very good job of
passing on many speed and safety related tips in a clear and concise
gives you a good idea of what to expect from the book - as does the
Introduction. The book starts with the basics of how to use
Condor, and moves on to advanced cross-country soaring tips and detailed
instructions for getting into online racing with glider pilots around
the world with Condor.
Anyone interested in using Condor to improve their cross-country soaring
or sailplane racing skills should get this book.
Note: To keep the cost of the book low,
all the images in the book are black and white. However, every
image in the book is included on the companion CD in full-color and
The image above is from the section about
how to make upwind ridge transitions.
The 2 images above show how Oxford Peak near
Logan, Utah looks in Condor, and in "RL" (real life).