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In This Issue
Grand Prix in New Zealand
Sugarbush Soaring Seeking Chief Glider Pilot
Preview of LX8000
SSA Convention
Outstanding Support
Marfa Dedication as National Landmark of Soaring
Leo & Ricky Brigliadori To Speak at SSA Convention
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SSA Convention 
SSA Convention 
Issue: 3 December/2007
Dear Paul,

 
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family!  I'm really looking forward to spending time playing with my kids and their new toys!
 
Let me know if you have any suggestions for ways I can make this newsletter better, or if you have information to include in future versions.
FAI World Gliding Grand Prix in New Zealand
Grand PrixExciting Soaring Racing
The 2007 FAI World Grand Prix Gliding Championship has just concluded in New Zealand. 
 
The Bad News
I am very sad to report that there was a fatal crash during the event.  Below is a well written quote from Tim McAllister's blog.  Tim is representing the USA in the contest.
"The facts are as follows: While coming out of the 2nd turnpoint, 075 Siberia, Herbert (Weiss), in his ASG-29 impacted terrain with high energy on a spine about 300 meters from the top of the northern ridge. The winds were out of the Northwest at 5-15 mph, with mild turbulence in the area. The loss of live telemetry enabled Gavin Wills, with Steve Jones (GBR) analysis, to go directly to the crash site once the last competitor was home. Gavin saw the wreckage and Herbert's body thrown some meters from the aircraft. It was immediately apparent that it was probably not survivable. Gavin landed at the Makaroa Airstrip and waited for the SAR helicopter from Queenstown to pick him up. On arrival a the crash site, the -29 was inverted with serious damage to the underside of the cockpit, ground debris on the undersides of the wings, and the perspex and contents of the cockpit strewn in a fan shaped pattern up to 100 meters from the initial impact site. Everything points to a a high energy impact with terrain. These are the facts as we know them. How this happened we will never know and have no right to speculate on."
More information on Herbert is available on the contest web site here: http://www.gpgliding.com/ 
 
The Good News
The contest has been exciting to follow - even from here in Minnesota.  A company called AirSportsLive has made live coverage available over the Internet.  Access to the coverage cost $24.99 US for the entire event.  I found that to be a great bargain.  For the first few days of the contest the coverage included live video coverage and live tracking of the competitors.  Gavin Wills, Gillian Spreckley, Kirk Davis and Annie Kiehn hosted the show and gave live commentary in front of computer graphic screens showing live tracking of the competitors.  It was nicely done.  On the last 2 days the coverage also included live video footage from 2 helicopters and cameras mounted in the cockpits of the leading competitors. 
 
Highlights
The highlight for me was on day 4.  Uli Schwenk from Germany had jumped far out in front of the others but was not finding lift for quite a long time.  He ended up very low but found ridge lift at low altitude and got back up in time to finish in 2nd place.  It was exciting and a bit scary watching him scratch for lift at low altitude.  We watched the flight trace update in real time on the computer display and also saw video footage from his cockpit.  As he was low and struggling Bruce Taylor of Australia flew past him at altitude and won the day.  It was also fun watching the post-flight interviews of the pilots.  One great aspect of the Grand Prix racing format was that they know how everyone had done as they finished and even knew their cumulative standings as they landed.
 
Final Results (Preliminary)
  1. Sebastien Kawa (Poland) -  30 points
  2. Uli Schwenk (Germany) - 25 points (and a day win)
  3. Ben Flewett (New Zealand) - 25 points (no day win)
  4. Steve Jones (UK) - 24 points
  5. Petr Krejcirik (Czech Rep.) - 17 points

I've dreamed of watching soaring contests with live coverage - this was even better than I imagined.  After a cold day of snow sledding with my kids I logged on and watched exciting soaring racing in real time from half way around the world.  Very Cool!  Congratulations to the winners and the organizers!

Sugarbush Soaring Seeking Chief Glider Pilot

Sugarbush SoaringSugarbush Soaring Association is seeking a Chief Glider Pilot.  This is a full-time hourly position.  CFIG rating and experience is required. Additional consideration will be given to individuals with glider towing, CFI, or A&P ratings. Compensation will be based on the applicant's qualifications and demonstrated management skills.

Applicants are invited to send their resume in confidence to: Dave Ellis at dellis@gmavt.net

Preview of the LX Navigation LX8000
LX8000Hot New Product
In February of 2008 LX Navigation will start shipping the new LX8000 flight computer system.  I have not had the opportunity to play with one yet, but I will have one in my booth at the SSA Convention in early February.  The manual is not yet available, so the data found here and on my web site was taken from the information on the LX Navigation web site.
 
Background
The LX7007 Pro IGC has been a popular soaring flight computer that is used in sailplanes around the world.  Its grey-scale LCD display is extremely easy to read in sunlight and its graphics capabilities allowed it to graphically show airspace, airports and other data.  It was preceded by the LX4000, LX5000 and LX7000 product families.  The LX7007 Pro IGC will remain in production for customers that don't want to pay the extra money for the color display found in the LX8000.  The LX7007 Pro IGC could not display topographical information.  The LX8000 will sell for $5595 in the USA and the LX7007 Pro IGC will sell for around $4495.
 
The LX7007 Pro IGC was a good option for pilots that did not want to fly with a PDA in the cockpit.  I have long been a fan of the awesome graphical display of information that has (until now) only been available on PDAs.  However, PDAs are quite difficult to read in sunlight.  PDAs are also notorious for losing their setup information if the battery dies and data cable issues can lead to problems getting GPS data to the PDA .  The LX7007 is able to do most of what a PDA can do, but it lacked the color display required for showing topographical information.  Interestingly, many LX7007 and ILEC SN10 users also use a PDA in the cockpit.   However, the new LX8000 will change that trend - because it will do everything a PDA can do.
 
LX8000
The LX8000 is an impressive new product.  My favorite new features include:
  • Bright (sunlight readable) color display (320 x 240 pixels)
  • SD card reader that is accessible from the front of the unit.
  • The moving map can display in "North Up" or "Track Up" modes. (The LX7007 can display in "North Up" mode only.)
  • It is preloaded with worldwide terrain maps, airspace and airports.

Like the LX7007 Pro IGC, the LX8000 will be IGC Approved (I believe this is pending) for use for all levels of badges and records.  It is designed to be mounted in the instrument panel and includes the same small LCD variometer readout used with the LX7007.  The LX8000 fits into a cutout that measures 93.5 mm x 81.5 mm.  The LCD screen is 3.5 inches measured on the diagonal (the same as iPAQ h2200 and hx2000 series Pocket PCs) and has the same screen resolution as most Pocket PCs.  Two major differences between the LX8000 and a Pocket PC are:

  • The LX8000 screen is much brighter than any Pocket PC
  • The LX8000 uses the Linux operating system (not Windows CE) to ensure fast and reliable operation.

LX8000 Screen1

The screen capture above shows several interesting features.  First, the topographical maps look great!  Second, if you look closely at the lower left corner of the screen you will see a graphic which looks exactly like the "Thermal Assistant" feature in SeeYou Mobile.  The size of the dots indicate the strength of the lift during the last circle and the colors indicate how the lift compares to the MacCready setting.  The arrow points to the location of the maximum lift - suggesting that you may want to move your circle in that direction.  The new Thermal Assistant feature is not mentioned on the LX Navigation web site, so I hope that it is a "real" feature and not a "future feature". 
 
Like the LX7007 Pro IGC the LX8000 will be available with or without built-in FLARM capability.
 
LX8000 Screen 2
 
As you can see in the screen capture above, the LX8000 will be able to display flight and task statistics and even a thermal history bar graph.  It looks very similar to the statistics screen found in SeeYou Mobile.  The number over the bars indicate the average climb in the thermal.  The vertical height indicates the range of altitudes climbed through.  I imagine that it will display bars for the last 4 thermals.
 
At this time a color 2nd seat repeater version is not available, so the LX7007D with grey-scale display will be the only option for use in 2-seat gliders.  I sincerely hope that a color version will be made available eventually.
 
I am really excited about this new product.  The data available so far indicates that it will be the most powerful and graphical "in panel" flight computer available.  I can't wait to play with it, and fly with it!  I'm confident that it will be a popular system, so order now if you want one for the 2008 soaring season. 
 
SSA Convention
SSA ConventionJoin the Fun
I'm really looking forward to going to the SSA Convention in Albuquerque in 2008.  The convention floor is open from Thursday, February 14th through Saturday, February 16th.  There won't be an SSA convention in 2009 - so be sure not to miss the one in 2008.  It is a great time to catch-up with friends in the soaring community, learn about interesting new products and sailplanes, listen to interesting speakers on a wide variety of soaring topics, and much more.
 
Training Sessions
The details aren't are worked out yet, but I do plan to offer one-on-one training and support on Wednesday, February 13th - the day before the start of the convention.  The SSA has graciously made several rooms available in the convention center and I'm sure that representatives from SeeYou, StrePla, LX and others will take advantage of them.  Let me know if you would like to schedule one-on-one training or if you would like to recommend a topic for a large group training session.
 
FLARM or ADS-B in USA? Meeting Scheduled
I will be hosting a brainstorming session on Wednesday, February 13th from 4 to 5 PM (perhaps longer) in a convention center meeting room in regard to getting FLARM or low cost ADS-B into our gliders in the USA.  The exact location will be announced in this newsletter in the January and/or February issues.  FLARM is a traffic advisory system that has been extremely successful in Europe, New Zealand and Australia (8000+ units in use!).  ADS-B is the system of the future here in the USA and in other countries.  Some hope that low cost ADS-B units can be produced which work like FLARM does - but would be installed general aviation aircraft as well as gliders.  Please join us for this informal overview and brainstorming session.  A representative from FLARM will be giving a talk during the convention but will probably not be able to attend this meeting.  Bernald Smith is extremely knowledgeable on this topic and has agreed to attend the meeting as well.  Mike Schumann has been working hard to get representatives from AOPA and the F.A.A. at the meeting as well.  Please let me know if you are planning to attend the meeting.

Help Needed
I am looking for volunteers to help me at the SSA Convention.  I have found someone to drive to the convention with me, but I need soaring pilots for the tasks listed below.
  • 4 to 5 people to help with setting up and tearing down my tradeshow booth.  Setup will be on Wednesday, February 13th and teardown is after the convention hall closes on Saturday, February 16th.  Setup takes a few hours and teardown usually takes about 1 hour.
  • Multiple people to work in the tradeshow booth with me during the convention.  You can sign-up for 2 hour time slots before or at the event.  The work consists of processing orders and pulling together the desired items from inventory.  It is a great way to meet glider pilots from around the world and often you get to meet soaring legends.
I will be offering significant incentives to make it worth your while - such as store credits ($100 for every 4 hours worked in the booth), free phone support/training (in the future - not during the convention) and perhaps free meals.  Please contact me for details.
Outstanding Support
My goal is to serve you and provide advice you can trust.
 
 
Allow me to help you select, and get the most from, your soaring instruments and software.
 
Looking for help selecting the right soaring instruments or software for your needs? 
 
Overwhelmed by the many options?
  • Review my free and comprehensive online product comparisons and selection guides.
  • Call me and we'll walk through the many options.
  • I'll explain the subtle differences that matter to you.
  • Let me clarify confusing terminology or technology.
Need help using your new instrument or software?
  • Call me and I'll patiently talk you through it.
  • Web conferencing brings us "into the same room".

Paul Remde

Marfa Dedication as National Landmark of Soaring
MarfaNews from Burt Compton

April 4 & 5, 2008:  The National Soaring Museum in Elmira, NY, has designated Marfa Airport as the 15th "National Landmark of Soaring" for the gliding activity that has occurred here since 1962.   The dedication and unveiling of the plaque on Marfa Airport will be on Saturday, April 5th following a week of soaring during our annual spring "Thermal & Wave Camp".  

 

George Moffat, winner of the 1969 US Nationals (as seen in the film "Sun Ship Game") and the 1970 World Soaring Championships held at Marfa (and first ever held in the USA), will be the guest speaker at a formal banquet at the recently restored Paisano Hotel ballroom in Marfa. 

 

Information on flying at the Soaring Camp (March 29 - April 5, 2008), room reservations in Marfa, RSVP details for the Camp and the banquet can be found at www.flygliders.com Click on the "Landmark" button.

 
RSVP for the banquet and reserve your room soon, as space is limited.  The toll-free telephone to the Paisano Hotel is 866-729-3669.  The Marfa Chamber of Commerce website is www.marfacc.com for more information on activities around the Big Bend of west Texas.
Leo & Ricky Brigliadori To Speak at SSA Convention
Leo and Ricky Brigliadori2008 SSA Convention - Banquet Keynote Speakers
 
The article below was submitted by Leo Benetti-Longhini.  Leo is organizing the speakers for the 2008 SSA Convention in Albuquerque. Leo also provided the photos at right and below. 
 
Leonardo and Riccardo Brigliadori, co-authors of the recent book "Competing in gliders (winning with your mind)", will be the keynote speakers during the Saturday evening Awards Banquet at the 2008 SSA convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 16th. The book, by the father and son collaborators, was originally published in their native Italian ("La competizione in aliante: vincere con la mente") in 2004 and subsequently translated into English in 2006. Over 2,200 copies of the English edition have been printed, with more than 1,500 sold in the first year. A German edition is soon to be released.

 

Competing In GlidersLeonardo (or Leo for short) obtained his license at the age of 14 with his older brother Riccardo providing the flight instruction. The early age was possible because there was no minimum age requirement at that time, a regulatory loophole that his older sibling was quite aware of. The year was 1954 and it was the first time that an Italian license was obtained using a two-seat glider; up until that time only single-seat primary gliders were used, with incremental instruction from the ground. Riccardo (Ricky) obtained his license in 1985 at the legal age of 16; by then of course regulatory minimum age requirements were in effect.

 

Competing In Gliders - GermanThe father and son duo share an impressive list of competition achievements. Leo has competed in the Italian nationals 21 times (in Standard, 15m, Open, Two-seater, and motorglider classes) winning a total of 16 times. In 1978 he placed second in the WGC at Chateauroux (the same year that Baer won); in 1982 he became European Champion at the first EGC held in Rieti; in 1985 he became World Champion in the Standard Class; in 1996 he received a Bronze medal at the EGC in Finland; and in 2001 received a Silver medal at the first 18m WGC in Spain. He has placed 4th twice and 5th once in other World Gliding Championships. In 1992 he flew the entire length of the Italian peninsula from Como to Taranto, achieving a challenging distance of about 900km. Ricky has competed in the Italian nationals multiple times, earning the national title five times (in Standard, Club, and 18m classes). In 1991 he competed in the Junior EGC in Sweden and claimed second place. He has competed several times in the EGC with two 2nd place finishes (Hungary and Lithuania in 1992 and 2004) and two 3rd place finishes (Germany and France in 2000 and 2007). Ricky has flown in the World Gliding Championships in Germany (1999), South Africa (2001), and Poland (2003), achieving 8th, 6th, and 5th positions respectively.

 

Competing In Gliders - ItalianBoth pilots have contributed notably to our sport. Leonardo instructed actively until 2001 and then held the position of President of the CSA, the Italian Confederation of Air Sports, from 2001 to 2003. In 1992 he founded the Lariano Soaring Aeroclub (AVL) and was club president for 10 years. Leo has been team captain and coach of the Italian Gliding Team multiple times. He was the contest director of the European and World Military Gliding Championships held at Rieti in both 2003 and 2004. More recently he was contest director of the 5th JWGC held in August of this year where US team pilots Kathy Fosha and Mike Westbrook competed with the support of team captain Richard Maleady. For the last three years Leonardo has held the position of FAI Vice President for Italy. Riccardo became an instructor in 1991 and actively taught for six years. Ricky is presently the general manager of Glasfaser Italiana Srl., a major glider and general aviation maintenance and composite repair facility at the base of the Orobie Alps in northern Italy.

 

During the awards banquet, the veteran competition pilots will share some of their unique flying experiences, discuss executive decision making, and present anecdotes of interest to fellow soaring enthusiasts. During the day on Saturday they will also be on hand at the SSA booth in the exhibit hall to meet with individuals. The co-authors have graciously offered to provide book signings for anyone who brings their copy or purchases from an exhibit hall vendor.

Coming Next Month
  • Glide Navigator II Update - New Version Coming Soon!
  • Update on the JS-1 Revelation 18 m sailplane from South Africa
  • Why the new EW microRecorder is so popular
  • Favorite soaring magazines from around the world
 
Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter.  I hope you have found it interesting.  If you did, please forward it to your soaring friends using the link at the bottom of the page. 
 
I consider myself a servant.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you find the right soaring instruments for your needs, or help you learn how to use an instrument or software product.  Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for products or services to add to my web site, or ways that I can serve you better.
 
I feel blessed because I love my job.  I enjoy serving the soaring community.  Like you, I am passionate about soaring.  Thank you for your business, I sincerely appreciate it.
 
Sincerely,

Paul Remde
Cumulus Soaring, Inc.

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