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Cumulus Soaring, Inc. Newsletter

In This Issue


Bill Elliott Wins U.S. 18m Nationals in Jonker JS-1

Vacation - Out of the Office

Funny - Remde Kids Help with New Tow Rope

The Inspiring Story of Logan Flood

The Boy Who Flew With Condors - DVD

FAI World Gliding Championships in Lüsse, Germany

Jaxida Covers

FAI World Gliding Championships in Rieti, Italy

"Friends of CSI" Update - Please Join the Club

NK ClearNav Update

Cambridge Aero Instruments Update

NK Supporting Legacy Cambridge Products

Review of "The Leading Edge - An Adventure Story"

Condor Update

EW microRecorder Update

SALE Items

Mercury 13

ADS-B in the USA - Your Comments Needed

New Products

Steve Fossett Update

Payment By Check Strongly Preferred

StrePla Update

ILEC Update

New Soaring Classifieds Web Site

Gary Osoba's World Record Flight in a Woodstock

IGC Flight Replay Update

Winch Launching in Faribault, Minnesota

News From Schempp-Hirth

Vintage Sailplane Association e-mail News Group

Barograph Calibration by Carl Herold

SeeYou Mobile Tip

Remembering Dick Johnson

Fun and Interesting Links

Coming Next Month

Wrap Up


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Quick Links



Issue: 6

October 6, 2008

Dear Soaring Enthusiast,

Life has been good here in Minnesota this summer.  I've had a lot of fun with my family - swimming at local beaches and pools, and canoeing on Minnesota's beautiful lakes and rivers.  I've had some fun soaring flights, but unfortunately my days off have not coincided with great cross-country soaring days. 

Thank you for taking the time to read the newsletter.  There is a lot to report this month since my last edition was published back in May.   I hope you will enjoy it.

Good Soaring,

Paul Remde

Bill Elliott Wins U.S. 18m Nationals in Jonker JS-1

by Paul Remde
Photos by Leo Benetti-Longhini, Tom Gehman, and Bob Epp
(click on the images to view larger versions)

The new Jonker Sailplanes JS-1 Revelation is a lovely 18m sailplane from South Africa.  It has been fun following the development and early successes of the glider.  It has won the South African National Gliding Championships 2 years in a row and recently Bill Elliott flew it to 1st Place in the U.S. 18m Nationals at the Mifflin County Airport in Pennsylvania, USA.  Since then I have been looking forward to talking with Bill about the contest and the sailplane.  Bill generously answered my many questions in a recent e-mail exchange.  Below are the questions and answers.  [PR] is me (Paul Remde) and [WE] is William (Bill) Elliott.

[PR] What is your overall impression of the glider?

[WE] The JS-1 Revelation is an awesome new ship that is as beautiful in the air as it is on the ground.  The workmanship is excellent, the ship assembles easily, all the controls are well thought out, comfort is superb, handling qualities outstanding, and visibility excellent.

[PR] How did the climb rate compare with your competitors?

[WE] There were a few times that the JS-1 simply out climbed everyone else; especially in rough thermals.  After the first day, several competitors expressed to me their absolute surprise as I came up through them in thermals.

[PR] How did the cruise performance compare?

[WE] The cruise is certainly comparable to the other 18-m ships. There were clearly times that the JS-1 out cruised others but it is not clear if it was completely the ship or just better air.  I had several long legs with 8H and his ASG-29 and we were certainly head-to-head.

[PR] Is the cockpit detail up to the standards of the gliders from Germany?  In other words, did it look like an elegant glider, or a “function-first” glider?

[WE] The cockpit is absolutely as good as the German ships.  The Jonker brothers have paid very close attention to ensure that the cockpit is nicely appointed and that all the controls, latches, gear mechanism, flaps, etc. work smoothly and easily.  If you were not told that this was ship number 2 out of the factory, you would not believe it as it could easily be ship 200!

[PR] Is it pleasant to fly in thermals?

[WE] She thermals very well with ample aileron authority and a reasonable quick roll-rate for an 18-m ship.  The control harmonies while thermaling are quite good and I found that the JS-1 grooved nicely at high back angles.

[PR] Is it easy to fly during take-off and landing?

[WE] Both are rock steady.  There was plenty of crosswind capability and I had no trouble landing at Mifflin on the howling ridge days.

[PR] Would you recommend the JS-1 to top level competition pilots?

[WE] Absolutely! Especially for larger (heavier) pilots as the cockpit is quite roomy and comfortable.  The JS-1 has beaten the best ships on the market and I believe will continue to do so.  The factory has orders with deliveries well into next year so they are off and running and the market for the JS-1 is developing nicely.

[PR] Would you recommend the JS-1 to relatively low-time pilots?

[WE] Yes, I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone with experience in glass.  She is quite docile and exhibits no unusual flight characteristics.

[PR] Is it a comfortable glider?

[WE] Yes, very.  The seating position is slightly reclined and quite adjustable.  The factory adds Temperfoam to the seat cushion adding even more comfort.

[PR] Do you plan to buy a JS-1 in the future?

[WE] Not sure at this time.  I will continue to compete in the 15-m Class for the foreseeable future so buying a 2nd glider is simply not in the cards for me at this time.  If I were in the market for an 18-m ship, the JS-1 would certainly be high on my list.

[PR] Would you fly it again in a National contest if given the opportunity?

[WE] I certainly hope so.  Leo and I have discussed me flying it again next year and Ephrata and I am planning on going.

[PR] Is there anything else you would add to a review of the glider?

[WE] Yes, dealing with Leo Benetti-Longhini, the US dealer for Jonker Sailplanes, has been a real pleasure.  He goes above and beyond when providing service for the ships he sells.  I have experienced this both first hand and listening to him on the phone work with other customers while he was crewing for me.  Also, the Jonker brothers are delightful and working hard to make their new ship a success—I believe they will.

[PR] Congratulations on your big US 18m Nationals win!!! You were victorious over some of the world’s best glider pilots.  I very much enjoyed following the contest from my desk here in Minnesota.  What were a few of the most memorable events or highlights for you at the contest?

[WE] There were several; but the most memorable was the last day which had miserable weather—ridge, thermal and lots of rain.  Here is an excerpt from my journal that picks up after making the first turnpoint at Potomac and heading back to the NE,

“…As I head northeast, I see rain everywhere.  By Orbisonia, I can see a huge deluge crossing the ridge that I’m on and sweeping across the task area towards the third turn.  I note where the last clouds are and head for the rain—I can’t just stop and wait.  I decide that I’ll slow down, get a few hundred feet above the ridge; and, if the vario keeps singing, and the leaves keep moving, and the visibility doesn’t get less than a mile I’ll press on.  Ten miles cruising in the rain and I pop out the other side in the Mifflintown Turn Area and about 4 miles to the far side.  (Attie had stated in his presentation at the SSA Convention that he believed the airfoil would be tolerant to rain—it is!)  I press on along the ridge to the far edge of the Turn Area to give the rain more time to clear. Several competitors are with me as I make the turn but I don’t see DJ (Doug Jacobs).  Man, I’m running slow!  However, my average speed has moved up to 104 mph.

The course now turns southeast and heads 25 miles straight across the path where the rain is moving now.  I decide to back track along the ridge 20 miles to where I last saw good Cu.  Backtracking through much lighter rain, I manage a poor crossing where the river cuts through the ridge jumping too soon and getting caught in the downwash with wet wings and still some light rain.  It is a short jump but I must slow again and crawl back up the side of the ridge.

I make it to the Cu and there are nice streets running back to the Turn Area.  W3 (Tim Welles) is with me and we both start searching for lift.  I find a nice 3 kt thermal and start up.  W3 starts up in another.  Where is DJ?  I tell myself not to worry about that, fly safely, finish the task and do not give up 1st and 2nd place.  W3 and I work our way back to Honey Grove where I climb again while he keeps getting lower bouncing back, back, back to the turn.  “What is he doing?”  More gliders start to show up behind me on the huge deviation and I feel like I have made a good choice.  I get the turn and start working my way home, 25 miles and the cloudstreet we are working is 45 degrees off course line with rain between us and home.

I see two gliders circling nicely ahead—5 kts!  I am with MD (Corey Sullivan) and 1 (Roy McMaster).  We cruise on and I decide to break off and head for home I have 500 feet over Mifflin and 300 feet my marked point on the ridge.  The air looks positive ahead so I start final glide.  Two more good bumps and I have the ridge made easily.  A quick dash home and JS-1 is first to announce “4 miles”.

A winner’s swoop over the field streaming water and I setup for my landing and finish at the mid-runway taxiway turnoff.  My crew catches my wing and I am spun around and pushed clear of the runway.  John Good heads over to me as I open the canopy and asks, “Did you complete the course?”  I answer “Yes!”  Then John says, ‘Well congratulations, you’re the winner, DJ has landed out!’”

[PR] Do you think you would have won the contest in an ASG-29 or Ventus 2cx?  I realize that is a tough question.

[WE] Who knows?  I do know that I don’t dare question the JS-1’s performance or capabilities after winning my first Nationals!

[PR] Did anything about the glider make you change your contest strategy at any point?

[WE] No, I flew it like I fly my ASW-27.  That is, I ran hard on the ridge, down low at the speed of heat and I thermalled aggressively working hard to stay in the thermal cores.

[PR] As a contest pilot, did you learn anything new in terms of strategy or flying skills at the contest?

[WE] Yes, I did.  First, preparation is key for flying at a place like Mifflin—probably at any site.  I had spent an enormous amount of time preparing charts and my flight computer database to be ready.  That leads to my second observation that you can work out a number of problems ahead of time and have the answer; for example, just what is the best way to get over Seven Mountains from the NE?  Third, when starting from start cylinder height on a ridge day, the best speed to fly to the ridge is ... well, I’m not going to tell everything I’ve learned.

[PR] Is there anything else that stands out about the contest?

[WE] Well sure, the people and the organization.  If you have never been to Mifflin than it is a must fly contest.  Iris and Karl Striedieck run one of the best contests I’ve ever been to and all of the rest of the folks that help out there (too many to mention) are exceptional.  The contest atmosphere is pleasant and we have a great time both when we are flying and when we are just hanging out in the rain.

[PR] Thank you Bill for the wonderful insights into the glider and your fantastic 18m Nationals win!  Well done!

Link to Jonker Sailplanes Web Site

Bill Elliott's First Impressions of the JS-1 on the Jonker Sailplanes web site

Vacation - Out of the Office
I will be on vacation with my family starting Friday, October 10th.  I am really looking forward to some relaxing days with my family on the beaches near Naples, FL.  It is wonderful to be able to earn free airline tickets using my business credit card and to stay at my parents' wonderful place for free!  My kids are extremely excited about the trip and are counting down the days until we leave.  Thank you Mom and Dad for the wonderful chance to enjoy some time in the Florida sun with you!

I will have my computer with me so I can check my e-mail, but I probably won't have time to respond to all e-mails (chasing kids at the beach is exhausting!), but I'll do my best to keep up.  I will also do my best to return urgent phone messages and will have my office phone forwarded to my cell phone.  I will catch up on e-mails and shipping orders upon my return to the office on Monday, October 20th.  Thank you for your patience and understanding during my absence.

Funny - Remde Kids Help with New Tow Rope
The photo at right shows my kids Adam, Elle and Sara and our cat Floyd helping me fix a 1000 foot spool of rope. The spool arrived with the spool broken in the middle. I certainly couldn't ship it to a customer that way. I thought it would be a fun family project to roll the rope off the broken spool, fix the spool and rewind it back onto the spool. I assumed it would be a 1/2 hour fun job for the kids and I.  I was wrong - it took many hours of hard work to complete.  Since the spool was broken in the middle it was very difficult to get the rope off the spool and near the end of the unwind process it became a tangled mess. The photo was taken after we succeeded in getting the rope un-tangled and started back onto the repaired spool. Sara was a real sport! 1000 feet of rope is a lot of rope to be coiled around you. She volunteered for the job and had fun with it for a while, but was very glad when the job was done. Unrolling the rope off of Sara and back onto the spool would seem to be an easy job, but a short way into the process the rope on the floor around her feet became very tangled. At one point she became tired and fell gently over onto her back on the rug. I offered her a cookie to go with a rest break. She looked extremely cute lying on her back, wrapped in rope, eating a cookie and laughing. We all had a good laugh. At that point I decided that the original plan was not working so I slipped Sara out from the center of the coil of rope. After many hours of pulling and untangling rope, we finally got it all back onto the repaired spool. It was a family adventure that we won't soon forget.  In the end I had the manufacturer replace the spool anyway.  I wouldn't want the same thing to happen to the customer if my duct tape repair didn't hold.  But don't tell my kids I sent it back...

I now offer a variety of ropes which you can see here: Rope

The Inspiring Story of Logan Flood
Logan Flood's story is very inspiring and compelling.  After a tragic aviation accident left him with visible scars and only partial use of his right hand, he became determined to earn back his wings and attempt to get a job with the airlines. 

“I knew that one day, I’d have to explain to my son why I gave up on becoming a professional pilot,” he said. “I wanted to be able to honestly tell him that I had done everything I possibly could do to accomplish my goal.”

AOPA Online has the complete story.  You can even listen to audio files of Logan telling his story in his own words. 


The story isn't directly related to soaring, but we are all passionate about flying.  I think that Logan's story can apply to all glider pilots.  I would like to think that I would continue to fly in 2-seat gliders as a passenger even if physical or other limitations made it impossible for me to fly solo.  One day each of us will get too old to fly gliders safely.  When that day comes for me, don't expect me to stop going to the gliderport.  I'll be there, trying to get a ride and go cross-country soaring in a 2-seat glider, and generally helping out at the gliderport.  Until that day comes, it would be my privilege to take a "retired glider pilot" or "soaring pilot wanna be" up for a soaring flight.

Interesting Blog Related to Logan's Story

The Boy Who Flew With Condors - DVD
At last...the best of Sunday night TV is back! It's the legendary TV show that's been popular with audiences for decades, and the longest running weekly prime-time series in television history. The winner of numerous awards, including seven Emmys, it's The Wonderful World of Disney!

Climb aboard and soar skyward towards everyone's dream to fly. The Boy Who Flew With Condors is the true-life adventure of Chris Jury, a California teenager who goes from admiring the endangered condors' flight to sailing sky-high with them. Inspired by his new friends, a sailplane instructor, a NASA test pilot and a budding glider pilot, he risks it all for airborne thrills. But to earn his wings, he'll have to navigate a dangerous storm. Will he come through with flying colors? Find out in an exciting story sure to bring out the spirit of adventure in the entire family!

Review by Paul Remde
The story follows a teenage boy as he gets into soaring and progresses through his Gold and Diamond badges. There are many memorable scenes (see the many screen captures on the web site). It is fun to watch Chris learn to fly and dive into cross-country flight and badge flying while being mentored by his flight instructor. I especially enjoyed the 2-22 landing in a duck pond, and the auto-launch behind an old jalopy. It was also interesting watching the winch launches, ridge running and beach landings at Torrey Pines. I also enjoyed having Walt Disney introduce soaring and hear Leslie Nielsen as the narrator. This was filmed in 1967 when a Schweizer 1-26 was a "high performance model". It sure looks like fun to me! I remember watching this film when young. It sparked my first interest in soaring. It is great to see it again. I have recently had many soaring pilots tell me that "this film got me started in soaring". The film appeals to so many different types of people. It is good for kids to watch, it is great for Schweizer 1-26 enthusiasts, and for those that love watching classic gliders soaring over the cliffs at Torrey Pines.

This has been an extremely popular DVD.  I have many in stock.



FAI World Gliding Championships in Lüsse, Germany
The FAI World Gliding Championships were held in Lüsse Germany in August for the Open, 18m and 15m classes.  The final results are available here:

Overall Results - Open Class
Place Pilot Country Sailplane
1st Michael Sommer Germany ASW 22 BLE
2nd Tassilo Bode Germany ASW 22 BLE
3rd Laurens Goudriaan Republic of South Africa ASW 22 BLE
Overall Results - 18m Class
Place Pilot Country Sailplane
1st Olivier Darroze France ASG 29
2nd Ronald Termaat Netherlands Ventus 2cxa
3rd Karol Staryszak Poland ASG 29
Overall Results - 15m Class
Place Pilot Country Sailplane
1st György Gulyas Hungary Ventus 2a
2nd Janusz Centka Poland Diana 2
3rd Mark Leeuwenburgh Netherlands Ventus 2a

Team USA did respectably.  I followed the event from my desk here in Minnesota as best I could.  The U.S. Team's blog site was a great resource.  The highlight for me was reading about how Heinz Weissenbuehler won a day in his Nimbus 4T - his first time in a world championships.  Congratulations Heinz!  By the end of the contest he had won 2 days and ended up in 14th place overall.  You can read more about it on the US Team's Blog here:

U.S. Team Results - Open
Place Pilot Sailplane
14 Heinz Weissenbuehler Nimbus 4T
27 Garret Willat ASH 25E
U.S. Team Results - 18m Class
Place Pilot Sailplane
12 Doug Jacobs Ventus 2cxa
27 Richard Walters LS 10
U.S. Team Results - 15m Class
Place Pilot Sailplane
29 Gary Ittner Ventus 2ax
41 Karl Striedieck ASW 27

Congratulations to everyone on Team USA for a job well done.

Jaxida Covers
I have long heard reports of the quality of Jaxida All-Weather Covers, so I recently added them to my web site.   However, I had no idea just how popular they are.  They have delivered over 5000 covers to aircraft owners around the world.  They have a push-pin map on their web site showing where their covers have been delivered around the world.  It is extremely impressive!

Also, did you know that Jaxida makes more than All-Weather Covers?  They also make Dust Covers that sell for 1/2 the cost of the All-Weather Covers, and nice looking Cockpit Covers as well.  You can see details and estimated pricing here:

News from Jaxida
"We have constantly been looking for the best suited materials in order to adapt them to our concept "JAXIDA condensation free Covers". In co-operation with a manufacturer and the Technological Institute in Denmark we have now produced a fabric, which is suitable for the purpose. The fabric is light, strong and smooth. And it can resist the weather conditions that our covers are exposed to - and which we have experienced from the more than 5000 covers supplied all over the world. This fabric also gives us the possibility of keeping down the prices for the rest of the 2008 season - in spite of heavily increasing costs in Denmark. We are looking forward to presenting this fabric to new and returning customers."

FAI World Gliding Championships in Rieti, Italy
The FAI World Gliding Championships were held in Rieti, Italy in July for the Standard, World, and Club classes.  The final results are available here:



Overall Results - Standard Class
Place Pilot Country Sailplane
1st Michael BUCHTHAL Germany Discus IIa
2nd Mario KIEßLING Germany Discus 2ax
3rd Peter HARTMANN Austria Discus 2
Overall Results - World Class
Place Pilot Country Sailplane
1st Laurent COUTURE France PW5
2nd Mario SCHUPFER Austria PW5
3rd Gilles NAVAS France PW5
Overall Results - Club Class
Place Pilot Country Sailplane
1st Matthias STURM Germany Hornet
2nd Killian WALBROU France Std. Cirrus 75
3rd Peter TEMPLE Australia Std. Cirrus

Team USA did respectably.  Again, it was fun to follow the contest on the U.S. Team's blog site here:

U.S. Team Results - Standard Class
Place Pilot Sailplane
15 Mark Keene Discus 2B
43 Chip Garner Discus 2a
U.S. Team Results - World Class
Place Pilot Sailplane
7 Francois PIN PW5
11 Patrick TUCKEY PW5
U.S. Team Results - Club Class
Place Pilot Sailplane
34 Manfred FRANKE LS 3
36 Jonathan GERE DG 300

Congratulations to everyone on Team USA for a job well done.

"Friends of CSI" Update - Please Join the Club
In May of this year I announced the new "Friends of Cumulus Soaring, Inc." club.  It is truly a win-win arrangement in which discounts, free shipping, free phone support, and interest are given in exchange for loans to my company.  I am extremely grateful to the generous soaring pilots that have joined the club since then.  The map shows that members come from all over the U.S. and even Australia! 

It has been very gratifying to have so many people express their faith and support for my company in such a tangible way.  Many of them have already saved a lot on major purchases and free shipping, and received hours of free phone support and web conferencing. 

I am still hoping that many more glider pilots will show their support by joining the "Friends of Cumulus Soaring, Inc." club.  The loans received so far have been a great help, but I still have a long way to go in regard to reducing my high interest rate bank debt.  Please consider joining the club. There are many good reasons to join.  Below are some quotes from current members when asked why they decided to join the club.

  • "Supporting Cumulus Soaring is a big "win" in many different ways. First, the Friends of Cumulus Soaring receive a very fair interest rate on the dollars invested. Second, the discount offered, phone support and free shipping provided to the Friends is truly outstanding! Finally, this investment provides real support to Cumulus Soaring which has been a key supplier to the soaring community. It will help Paul to continue to supply the very best offering of specialized products needed by soaring enthusiasts around the world! The investment in Cumulus Soaring really helps all of us and supports the overall sport of soaring." - Renny Rozzoni - Albuquerque, NM
  • "I know a win-win when I see one, so I was eager to join “Friends of Cumulus.“ I am more than pleased with the outcome. A risk free loan with a good return, discounts and free shipping. How can you go wrong?" - Ron Gregg, Houston, TX
  • "My reasons for becoming a financial supporter of Cumulus Soaring are many. For one, you provide us with personal services regarding our soaring equipment that we cannot get elsewhere. And, you can supply the equipment that we need. I am pleased to be part of the group that helps you continue to assist the gliding community in these ways." - Jim Hard, St. Paul Park, MN
  • "Paul, You have been a huge help to me in mastering -- well, grappling with -- the latest soaring hardware and software. It has enhanced my flying enjoyment a great deal, and I'm very happy to be able to help you in return." - Mitch Polinsky, Stanford, CA
  • "Paul's program makes sense to me as I expect to spend several thousand dollars for additional instrumentation in the coming months.  In addition, the return is better than I am able to get on a similar term CD." - Frank DeBacker, Highlands Ranch, CO

You can learn more about the "Friends of Cumulus Soaring, Inc." club here:

NK ClearNav Update

I can honestly say that I am certain that the new NK ClearNav is going to be a huge success!  In June the first batch of "First Flight" pre-release units sold very quickly.  Each dealer was given an allotment of 5 units - I wish I had access to 50, because I think they would have sold.  A few months later each dealer was given 3 more "First Flight" units.  I sent out a quick newsletter to my e-mail list and the 3 units sold within 5 hours.  Again, I wished I had many more. 

I have been busy working on the manual since May.  It is not yet complete, but it is probably  at the 70% point.  I have really enjoyed working on the manual.  I find the ClearNav to be extremely easy-to-use and have received positive feedback from several customers.  You can download it here:

The latest word from NK is that production units will be shipping the 2nd half of November.  The production versions will include a few very nice hardware and software upgrades.  More details will be announced on my web site as they become available.

The preliminary list of software improvements is below.

  • 302 flight log download
  • User settable logging interval
  • NIA revamp
  • Major rework of task management and editing schemes
  • Pop-up split screen when approaching a waypoint
  • Add task pop-up buttons: turn, undo here, resume task
  • Allow SUA warnings to be deactivated by type
  • Add mark lift
  • Add delete point in waypoint file
  • Add delete file from CN
  • Recall previous MC setting when unit is powered up
  • Automatically shut down display and backlight when battery is low—logger will continue to run
  • .wav file (voice) warnings instead of beeps

A new PC Simulator of the ClearNav software is now available for ClearNav owners.  It is a great way to spend time playing with the ClearNav when it is inaccessible.  However, I don't really recommend the PC Simulator to people interested in buying one because the simulator's awkward keyboard commands are no where near as easy to use as the actual ClearNav remote control.  I find the remote control very clear, intuitive, and easy to use without looking at it, but the PC Simulator keys are not easy to use.  I think the PC Simulator is a fantastic tool, and I use it often when writing the manual, but it is not easy to use.

If you want to buy one of the first production units I highly recommend that you place an order ASAP.  There will be a long waiting list as soon as they become available.  The only way to get on my waiting list is to place a firm order.  You don't send to send payment until the unit ships.  You can see the latest details and place your order here:

New ClearNav Remote Control Stick Module
This module is designed for use by customers that want to build their own stick mounted remote. The control stick is not included. It includes leads for the push-to-talk button and the CANbus cable for connection to the ClearNav Nexus Board. 10-button remote control panel designed for comfortable, ergonomic control of ClearNav with flying hand. It includes all the same buttons in the same locations as on the standard handheld remote. It includes a PTT (push-to-talk) button and wiring. - Details

New Photo of Soon to Be Released
NK ClearNav Stick Mounted Remote Control
 - Details


Cambridge Aero Instruments Update
There have been several interesting developments in regard to Cambridge Aero Instruments over the last few months - all of it good news!

303 Navigation Display Update
All new 303 Navigation Display units have a nice new feature.  They have added a contrast adjustment to the back of the unit.  It can be used to fine-tune the contrast to match the desired viewing angle.  All units in my stock are being upgraded so all new units shipped from my office will have this new feature - at no extra cost.  If you have a 303 unit and would like it upgraded, please contact Cambridge directly.

302 and 302A Flash Memory Upgrade
The factory has recently upgraded the flash memory in 302 and 302A units using a faster and higher capacity flash memory chip.  The chip is intended to eliminate the very rare, but (when it occurred) aggravating "security fail" error.  I think this is a great improvement.  But I must admit that I'm not certain whether or not it will solve all the (rare but extremely frustrating) flight log memory issues.  I hope it will. 

Some believe that there is also a software bug related to when the memory wraps around when full.  However, it is believed that the theorized software issue is easy to avoid by clearing the flight log memory every spring.  Details on how to do that were posted in a previous newsletter which is available here:
Clearing the Flight Log Memory in a 302 or 302A

It is my impression that there were 2 causes for the few flight log security failures I had witnessed over the years.  The upgraded memory should solve one problem and clearing the memory should solve the other problem.  So I feel that the 302 can once again be relied upon - when used properly.  This is wonderful news! 

All new 302 units will have the new flash memory.  If you own a 302 or 302A, I highly recommend contacting Cambridge to get it upgraded ASAP.


NK Supporting Legacy Cambridge Products
If you own a Cambridge L-NAV, S-NAV or GPS-NAV then you will be very happy to learn that Gary Kammerer (formerly at Cambridge) is now working at NK and supporting those products. He has a collection of parts from those units which can be used to repair and upgrade them.  You can see details here:
Review of "The Leading Edge - An Adventure Story"
I am currently enjoying reading the book "The Leading Edge - An Adventure Story" about the life and adventures of Dick Georgeson.  Dick has lived an amazing life exploring the amazing wave, ridge and thermal soaring conditions in New Zealand and setting many world records in the process.  I have found the book to be exhilarating and motivating.  He has been blessed with a wonderful life, and he knows it.  He is quick to give much of the credit for his amazing flights to his family, crew and radio operators that cheered him on during his many difficult flights.  Like all of us, he struggled to find the motivation to press on during difficult flights, and often regretted turning back on days that weren't going as well as he hoped.  But he often found amazing stamina and courage - as his many records attest to.  He was a true expert in New Zealand wave flying.  He also does a great job of expressing the beauty of the world around him as viewed from the isolation of his glider's cockpit.  Below is one of my favorite quotes from the book.  It refers to a wave camp near Mount Cook.

"The fierce mountain weather notwithstanding, the mountain-soaring at this camp was a magical discovery. The experience of sailplane flying is incomplete unless it includes mountain flying, which has a peculiar thrill all of its own, and transcends nearly all other aspects of the sport. To see from the ground on a clear day the snow-covered peaks towering thousands of feet above; to climb into a sailplane and quietly work your way up from low altitude, passing jagged rocks, the snow-line, ice falls, deeply snow-covered faces; and finally to soaring above the mountain peaks themselves, and look down on them spread out below, is an enthralling experience: a privilege for which one is forever grateful."

I have only a few dozen pages left until I finish the book.  I'm sure I will enjoy every page.

 I think that all great soaring pilots are great adventurers.  Dick has enjoyed many great adventures.



Condor Update
U.S. users of the Condor Competition Soaring Simulator may want to check out the Monday Night Soaring Contest races. 

News from PostFrontal
Central Italy v2.0
After the big success of Alpi 3, PostFrontal is proud to distribute the new photoreal scenery by Bluangel56 for Condor also used for WGC Rieti 2008 races visualization: Central Italy v2.0.
Size of the new scenery: 460 x 420 KMs, for a total area of 193 thousands square KMs, (142 thousands not considering the sea area). The calibration of the scenery is as perfect as possible, with just 1 KM error on a 1000 KMs task. 100% high resolution photoreal textures. A total of 41 airports are featured in the scenery.
Orders, image gallery and further info on www.postfrontal.com/CentralItaly/ENG

Alpi 3.1 free patch
Alpi is a fantastic soaring scenery package for Condor.  It is available for purchase directly from PostFrontal using the link below.  I bought it and I love it.
The 3.1 patch is now available! Many bugs fixed and new airports: Aosta, Bex, Venezia Tessera, Venezia S.Nico, Rivoli di Osoppo, Toblach, Cortina, Shanis, Neuchatel, Eplateures, Grenchen. The patch can be downloaded here: www.postfrontal.com/Alpi3/ENG/alpi31.php

EW microRecorder Update
The EW microRecorder was previously available in 4 versions - with and without a built-in SD card reader and with and without the Engine Noise Level recording enabled.  EW has recently made the version with built-in SD card reader and the Engine Noise Level Recording standard - and it is available at the price that the non-SD card version without Engine Noise Level recording sold for previously.  The current price is $895.


SALE Items
Used ILEC SN10-2 2nd-Seat Repeater: $620 
This unit had the screen replaced at ILEC in Germany last spring and was lost in transit for many months.  It is in perfect working condition.  This is a fantastic deal for someone that wants a spare backup unit, or has a 2-seat glider that needs a 2nd seat repeater to go with an existing SN10B in the front seat.  The RAZ vario meter is not included but is available for $175.  The required wiring harness is not included but is available for $80.  For a total of $620 + $175 + 80 = $875 you get a complete system.  That is $620 off the $1495 price of a new system.  Note: This is not an independent SN10 system.  It is the 2nd-seat "slave" to an SN10B.  Please send me an e-mail if you are interested in buying it.  You can see details on the SN10-2 here:

Winter MacCready Ring for Pik 20b
This ring was ordered in the wrong size. It is designed for use on a standard 57 mm Winter W-5453 variometer in knots. It includes a bezel ring which may or may not be necessary. Most Winter variometers made in recent years already include the necessary grooved bezel ring. A set like this one normally sells for $95. I am selling the ring and bezel ring for $45.
 - Details

Winter Flap Rings for Ventus 2cx in 15m & 18m Configurations
These rings were ordered in the wrong size. They were designed to work with a standard 57 mm Winter W-7423 airspeed indicator. They will work with that airspeed indicator only. The set includes 2 flap rings - one for use with 15 m tips and one for use with 18 m tips. Also included are 2 bezel rings which replace the standard beveled bezel rings on the front of the airspeed indicator. These normally sell for $149 each. I am selling them for $100 for the 4 parts. I will sell them only as a complete set. - Details - SOLD

Mercury 13
Have you ever heard of the "Mercury 13"?  Many of you have probably heard of the "Mercury Seven" - the 7 male astronauts selected to be the first U.S. astronauts in space as members of the Project Mercury space program.  But I had never heard of the "Mercury 13" until it was mentioned recently in AOPA magazine.  "Mercury 13" refers to 13 U.S. women who underwent many of the same astronaut screening tests as the Mercury 7.  They never got their chance to fly in space, and then never met as a group.  But they say they could have allowed the U.S. to get the "First Woman in Space".  Details are available at the links below.


ADS-B in the USA - Your Comments Needed
It is my hope that in a year or two there will be low cost ADS-B transceivers that will work well in gliders.  There are several companies working on them.  My hope is that they will make transponders obsolete in the near future.  The AOPA is pushing the FAA so that it will not be required to have both an ADS-B device and a transponder in general aviation aircraft in the future.  ADS-B should provide much more accurate traffic information at lower cost.  Hopefully, we can convince the FAA that the extreme certification requirements for certified GPS units and certified ADS-B transmitters are not necessary for aircraft flying outside Class B airspace.

The good news is that the FAA is asking for comments on certain recommendations related to ADS-B.  Please follow the link below and follow the directions for sending the FAA your comments before November 3rd.  Together, we can make our needs and concerns known.



New Products
The products below have recently been added to my web site and inventory.

I have added quite a few new antenna product lines.  You can see an overview of all the available antennas, and my new Antenna Selection Guide here: Antenna Selection Guide.

Advanced Aircraft Electronics, Inc. (AAE)
AAE offers some very nice communication, navigation and transponder antennas for use in composite aircraft.  - Details

Larsen Antenna
Larsen offers several very nice magnet base antennas and base station antennas. - Details

Sportcraft Antennas
Sportcraft offers several unique communication and transponder antennas for use in composite aircraft. - Details

Pre-Made Antenna Cables
I now offer some very nice pre-made antenna cable options from Goddard.  They come in a variety of lengths and can be used to connect your radio or transponder to the antenna.  - Details


Real Men Land Out - 200 Hours in a 1-26
by Dan Bryan
This book is about rebuilding and flying a sailplane that is deeply rooted in the history of American soaring. Simple and safe to fly, the Schweizer 1-26 is the source of many pleasant and unforgettable memories, not only for the author, the members of the 1.-26 Association but to a higher percentage of newly licensed soaring pilots. - Details

Log Book, Pilot, Hard Cover
In he past I sold a hard cover pilot logbook for glider pilots from the Soaring Society of America. It is no longer available.  This is a general aviation pilot log book that will work great for glider pilots as well. - Details

2009 FAR/AIM, Test Prep and Prepware
The 2009 editions of the popular FAR/AIM and Test Prep books and Prepware software are now available.  Click on the images below to see details.


Bowlus Maxi Wing Tape
I now offer many additional wing tape options.  The Bowlus Maxi Wing Tape is extremely popular and is now available in both white and clear in 1", 1.5" and 2" widths.  Discounts are offered when purchasing 5 or more roles at once. - Details

Weight Bag - 20 Pound
This weight bag is perfect for holding the wingtip of your glider down while on the ground. It is filled with 20 lbs of steel shot. The bag can be laid on top of the wingtip, or for gliders with winglets, one of the handles can be looped around the winglet. They are made of 1000 denier Black Textured Nylon with a water resistant polyurethane coating on the inside, triple sewn with a safety strip at the bottom. The steel shot is encapsulated in a 6 mil poly inner bag, which is heat sealed. They include both a carry handle and a butterfly handle of polypropylene webbing. - Details

Weight Bag - Empty - Holds 15 to 20 Lbs
This weight bag is perfect for holding the wingtip of your glider down while on the ground. The bag can be laid on top of the wingtip, or for gliders with winglets, one of the handles can be looped around the winglet. It is small and lightweight when empty so it can be easily stowed in the glider for use in the event of an off-airport landing. It is delivered empty. - Details

I found a good source for quality rope.  I sell it in several sizes on spools of 1000 feet of rope.  - Details


Pocket for SPOT
This is a very nice pocket for the SPOT Satellite Messenger. It is designed to be strapped to a parachute - below the cross-strap. Snaps are used to secure the straps and to close the top of the pouch. - Details

Wing Tie Down Straps and Kits
Very nice padded straps that work great with the CLAW aircraft anchors.
 - Details
3 x + +

Winter Watch by Renée Gerove
This nice watch is a great conversation starter.  It features the Winter logo and a nice image of a glider.  I wear mine often. It is neat to be able to point to the glider image when describing to my friends what I do for fun. - Details

LX Cable, iPAQ 3800 (or similar) to LX Panel Connector
Cable from round panel connector to iPAQ h3800, h3900, h5000, hx4700 or hx2000.  This cable connects a PDA to the small, round, panel mounted "PC connector" found on the LX7000 and LX7007 wiring harness. It has a small round 5-pin female connector for connecting to the panel mounted "PC connector" and an iPAQ connector for connecting to iPAQ h3800, h3900, h5000, hx4700 or hx2000 Pocket PCs. - Details

Confor Foam Seat Cushions
I recently added many more photos to my Confor Foam seat cushion web page. - Details

Gadringer Seat Belt Page Updated
I recently added a lot more detail to my Gadringer seat belt page.
 - Details

Goddard SW-1 Configurable GPS Switching Unit
The SW-1 Switching Unit makes it possible to select between 2 GPS data sources using a panel mounted toggle switch. Many glider pilots have multiple GPS units in the cockpit, but only a single PDA or flight computer. But they don't usually have a convenient way to switch between the 2 GPS data sources. The SW-1 allows you to connect up to 2 GPS input sources (such as Cambridge 302, GPS-NAV, Colibri, EW MicroRecorder, FLARM, etc.). The switch is used to select which source is supplying data to the PDA or flight computer. For example, if you have 2 Cambridge 302 units in your glider, the SW-1 will allow you to instantly which 302 you want to use to supply both GPS data (transmit and receive) and 5V power and ground to the PDA.  - Details

ACK E-04 ELT - Coming Soon
Up until now, aircraft mounted ELTs had two major drawbacks: they could not receive and broadcast GPS information, and they were extremely expensive at around $1000.  That is all changing - thanks to the new ACK E-04 ELT.  They will still be somewhat expensive, but $599 sounds a lot better than $1000.  The product has not received approval from the FAA yet, but that is expected late this year.  The unit is able to receive GPS data from an external GPS and broadcast the position over the ELT bands.  That feature has been built-into PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) for some time, but not in units installed in aircraft - until now.  When the manual and wiring information become available I will offer a GPS kit which will include a Garmin GPS with connections for the E-04 and leads for 12V power input.   - Details

There is a similar ELT product coming from AmeriKing called the AK-451.  It will also offer GPS data input, but initial pricing data indicates that it will sell for around $1000.  When it becomes available don't be confused by low cost versions of this unit.  There is a "personal" version of this unit on the market now at a low price, but it is not for use in aircraft and I don't think it supports GPS data input.

Steve Fossett Update
I imagine the you have all heard the latest news regarding Steve Fossett.  For about a year it was not known what happened to Steve Fossett.  But now he and the airplane he was flying have been found.  I am very glad to finally have some resolution to this mystery.  I had been convinced that his plane had crashed and he had been killed, and yet now that it has been confirmed, I am mourning his loss all over again.  I enjoyed following his adventures. 

Did you know that Steve Fossett had been funding a deep sea exploration "winged submersible" vehicle called the Deep Flight Challenger?  It was designed to fly down to the bottom of the Mariana's Trench - the deepest spot in the world.
Video on CNN.com (you must wait through an ad first)

The latest Fossett news is available using the links below.



Payment By Check Strongly Preferred
I recently calculated the cost of credit card fees and I was devastated to learn that I spend tens of thousands of dollars every year on credit card fees.  That really stings!  I want to make it very easy and convenient for customers to order from me, but I can think of many better ways to use that money.  Therefore, I am now kindly asking that all U.S. customers pay for all orders by check - even small orders - because they really add up.  I realize that it is a bit of a pain to write and mail a check, but you will be helping me support my family.  I hope you will understand. 

I'm sorry, but the agreements I signed with my credit card merchant accounts do not allow me to offer any discounts for payment by check. 

Payment by credit card is still the only option for customers outside the USA.

StrePla Update
StrePla version 5.1 features a very cool new view. A Google Earth view is opened within StrePla. It is very interesting flying through your flights over the extremely detailed maps available in Google Earth. You can't view the glider from outside the cockpit, but it is extremely cool to be able to see the runway, airport buildings and other details. It really "takes you back" and makes re-living the flight a 3D reality.  Click on the image above to view a much larger version.

ILEC Update
New SN10 Software - Free
There is a new version of the SN-10 software available now - free of charge. The new version includes the new features listed below. All SN10 units shipped from Cumulus Soaring, Inc. since May of 2008 have been upgraded with this new software.
  • Added DBC32 (supports long file names, unlike DBC
  • airparse+dbc sparc versions for John Leibacher (gcc, byte-flips, etc), for better world-wide turnpoint exchange support of ILEC SN10.
  • airparse updates to accept TNP format changes
  • AAT: Stop annoying repetitive "You have entered AAT area" message when you drag the current turnpoint after flying into an AAT area.
  • Deprecate support for Rudi#4, add experimental#5 support (Hobbs 2006)
  • Additional Polars: Antares 20E, Antares 18, and ASG-29/18
  • BugFix: Task statistics are now correct when you "Go Direct" to an alternate during a task and later resume your task.
  • SL/SL32 now auto-starts software load for SN10s running v2.32 or later
  • improved internal diagnostics, ParLoc60

The software upgrade is available here:

Interesting Total Energy Probe Article
This article is not new, but it is very interesting.
Total Energy Compensation in Practice
by Rudolph Brozel, ILEC GmbH

New Soaring Classifieds Web Site
I have maintained a free soaring classified ads web page for several years.  However, I found that I was not able to find the time to add new items in a timely fashion.  I have therefore made it possible for soaring pilots to add their own items to the web site at any time.  It remains free.  It is a great place to list your used instruments, PDAs, sailplanes, etc.  I have found that there is a very active market for used soaring instruments.  Let me know if you need to password for adding your items.


Gary Osoba's World Record Flight in a Woodstock
Congratulations to Gary Osoba for his ultralight glider world record flight in his Woodstock on July 19th, 2008.  It was a straight line flight of more than 800 km!  Awesome!  You can see details here: Details

You can view the flight on the OLC web site here:

His most recent record is not yet listed on the FAI web site, but the link below is to a list of World Records held by Gary.

IGC Flight Replay Update
IGC Flight Replay is a neat little application for PC that makes it possible to replay IGC flight log files in Google Earth.  It is a free download, but donations are accepted.  A new version became available in July of 2008.  It is available here:
Winch Launching in Faribault, Minnesota
Cross-Country Soaring, Inc. held their first winch clinic in May of 2008.  It was a huge success thanks to the help of winch experts Bill Daniels and Frank Whitely.  Thank you John Ward for sending your notes.

Notes from Faribault Winch Workshop
by John Ward

I just spent a couple very interesting days trying out Don Ingraham's newly-acquired winch down at Faribault.  Bill Daniels and Frank Whitely were in town to fly and drive, respectively, while they got Don checked out.  Along the way, about a dozen of us got in a launch or two and a whole lot of discussion.  Wow!  Bill and Frank are definitely winch evangelists, but we were all very impressed.

The following are first impressions only. I know there are many strong opinions out there regarding winches, so I'm just reflecting on the experience, not advocating.  This is definitely NOT something we could drop into our operations Stanton without major adjustments (like leasing the field north of us for starters), but it's obvious why some clubs in the U.S. will be giving greater consideration to the idea.


  • Launch is definitely an E-ticket ride. Rapid acceleration, off the ground in a couple seconds, rounding up to a 45-degree climb and reaching 1500-1800 AGL in less than a minute.  Surprisingly, there's very little sensation from the pitch-up. The neck and head notice the acceleration G's, but the stomach feels almost nothing.  There were a whole lot of big grins from passengers and spectators alike.  Don's response (caught on video) during his first steep climb was an enthusiastic "Holy Crap!" 
  • Quick turnaround (mostly): We had a couple snags that slowed down the operation on Tuesday, but lift was good enough that Bill just cruised around until he saw the rope heading back to the launch point. Starting about noon, we managed at least two dozen launches (over 30, I believe) in about 5.5 hours, all but three launches using a single Grob 103. We learned that a good crew is critical to efficiency, especially the retrieve driver. Bill reports an experienced operation doing over 100 ops in a day with a single-drum winch.
  • Cheap: We stayed close to the 4 launches per gallon estimate on the winch. Of course there's also the retrieve vehicle to cost out, but Bill and Frank were estimating launch costs under $5. We paid $15 per launch happily. Price could be quite a draw for students needing lots of launches.
  • Quiet: The winch was running a 350 cubic inch, 330 HP Corvette engine. We couldn't even hear it at the launch point.
  • Technology. Apparently there's a bucket-load of research going into newer designs and materials. This non-engineer was getting overwhelmed, but there was talk of biofuel-driven or electric multi-drum winches with computer-controlled rope tension, and so on. Holding line tension with minimal cause for oscillation apparently greatly improves pilot control.

What's different?

  • The winch is almost a mile away, so starts rely on voice communications. (The winch can see wings-level, but not much more.) We used handhelds. Apparently the Germans actually bury a telephone line. Retrieve vehicle shows up with rope/weak-link/parachute combination, then heads back up the field. Connect, clear traffic and folks on the ground, then level wings. Call to take up slack, then either "go-go-go" or "stop-stop-stop". The glider is off very quickly. After release, rope comes down on parachute, grabbed by retrieve vehicle. Repeat.
  • You're not going to 3000' AGL. Theoretical limit is half the rope length, 2000' in our case. Lowest launch was the first one at probably 1200', but we were reliably getting 1400' or 1500' with no wind on Monday, and 1500' to 1800' on Tuesday with moderate winds. We weren't using the entire runway, so with a somewhat longer (and perhaps thinner) rope, 2000' launches should be achievable. Don plans to add 1000 FT of Spectra. Would you take a cheap 2000' with good expectation of quick relight?


  • Things happen quickly, so responses are vigorous. This is not for the casual or inattentive.
    • If a wing even threatens to drop on take-off roll, you release. (A winch-assisted ground loop could be very ugly.)
    • On a rope break, it's push-over, wait for speed, then recover. Rule of thumb is point the nose down as much as it was pointed up, then wait for safe and increasing airspeed.
    • Folks on the ground need to be very wary of the cable. Assume that it may jerk forward at any moment. Some operations have apparently launched the occasional wing-runner, and somewhere a retrieve vehicle pulled around behind a launch grid not realizing the cable was still attached. Not pretty.
  • On the good side, there's almost nothing the winch driver can do to kill an alert and experienced pilot, and (assuming the new Spectra rope as opposed to the older steel cable) not much you can do to the winch driver. Regardless of phase of launch, you should be able to land on the airport. Below 300' AGL you can generally land straight ahead, and above that take a downwind(!) 180, either continued into a 360 or extended into a pattern.
  • We saw simulated rope breaks and winch failures, with vigorous response but results never seriously in doubt. Granted, we had a very good pilot instructor, but Don was also doing quite well on recovery in short order. We had two actual rope breaks. One occurred at about 50 feet and finished in a straight-ahead landing with little excitement and runway to spare. The other was more dramatic, since the glider was at 45 degrees, but that also meant it was higher and proceeded into an easy pattern.

Coexistence with other aircraft operations is critical. In addition to concern for safety and convenience for other aircraft, we wanted to avoid even the appearance of sloppiness so that Don would be permitted to repeat the exercise. My understanding is that Don had an initial conversation with flight services to explain what the heck a winch launch was, then the airport manager actually arranged NOTAMs to advise of the operations. Don't know exactly what the NOTAM said.

In addition, we announced on CTAF – something like skydivers do – as each winch launch was about to commence. The only response we got was one pilot's "You're doing WHAT???", so subsequent announcements indicated that a glider would be performing a very rapid climb with about 2000' of cable in the air during the next minute or two (after which we're just glider traffic). A couple planes stuck around north of the pattern to watch.

This would NOT be an easy job on a busy weekend. In our case, we saw less than a dozen other operations in two days.

We staged on the main runway due to winds and topography, but considered both grass and the taxiway. The rope was paid out on the grass just off the side of the runway, and no one was using the grass cross-strip. Typically, the glider was able to stop at the launch point with the cable waiting. Even with a change of pilots we could be off again in two or three minutes. Thirty seconds without pilot change is probably doable. Allow maybe two more minutes for launch, parachute on the ground and runway clear.

If there was traffic or if we were delayed, we pushed off the runway and waited. We blocked the first exit on 30, which power traffic typically wouldn't make anyway. We could also have pushed back to the grass. We usually had at least three pushers handy and pushed with pilot and passenger strapped in, but with one wing runner could have unstrapped them to help.

I'm guessing the biggest issues – other than general acceptance – would be cross runway use or a rope break that could leave the parachute and a chunk of rope on the departure end of the runway until someone gets to it.

What next?
It sounds like Don is planning to get in some solo practice before he starts official operations and rates aren't set yet, but bug him later in the summer if you're interested. Expect weekday flying when the power traffic is quieter. It's definitely a hoot to watch and a thrill to experience.

John Ward

P.S. We also saw the Condor simulator in action. Very realistic and cool. Paul Remde would love to sell you a copy.
Photos and details on the Cross-Country Soaring, Inc. web site


News From Schempp-Hirth
I received the news items below from Schempp-Hirth on May 26, 2008.

Much has been happening at Schempp-Hirth and we would herewith like to inform you about our latest activities and projects.

New extended fuselage on our two seaters.
The Duo Discus XL series production is now running at full speed. The feedback from customers and dealers so far is very positive and the improved comfort is clearly noticed by each pilot. In addition the effectiveness of the modified air brakes and the good view on the rear seat (caused by the extension of the rear canopy frame) improves safety and is confirmed through numerous feedbacks. The first

Nimbus-4DM with the new, longer cockpit was flown at the Hahnweide on 23.4.2008 and we delivered this open class glider in the last week in April to the proud owners. The second Nimbus-4DM was completed shortly afterwards and now flies in Kufstein. This longer Nimbus-4D cockpit does not differ from the Duo Discus XL fuselage in principle, except the original Nimbus-4DM undercarriage remains due the small space inside the fuselage.

A new sustainer system in use
On 23.4.2008 Swen Lehner flew Werner Meuser's Ventus-2cxa for the first time with a jet-sustainer-unit.  He began the first tests regarding air starting characteristics and climb values. The uncompromisingly optimised for performance designed A-fuselage has been extended in the cockpit area in such a way that now also pilots up to 1,90m body length are able to fit in. The 2 cm more width and the increased leg space are very effective. The result and the impressions of numerous pilots who have sat in the cockpit displayed a positive result. However the place inside the fuselage behind the seat is still small and the only reasonable solution for an engine was the small Olympus Jet from the company AMT. The additional weight of the Jet system in the fuselage is only approx. 8kg, the additional 10 kg weight is caused by the wing tanks. The jet has a fuel consumption of approx. 0,6 to 0.8 litres per minute. Therefore is it necessary to install larger capacity fuel cells. For this reason we equipped the prototype airplane with three tanks. One fuselage tank with 8 litres and two wing tanks (each 10 litres capacity), so that we presumably reach a somewhat shorter engine running time as compared with the conventional turbo-system. The jet control unit is designed by Martin Käppeler and is very easy to operate. The first flights confirmed our expectations and we achieved a climb rate of 0,6 to 0,7m/sec with full power setting. However we are now beginning the testing of this system and surely there will be more tests and modifications necessary to get the production stage for every day use. By the way we like to mention that our new automatic turbo control unit is successful in use since the end of last year in all gliders with turbo engine

Increased performance through care and maintenance

It has been confirmed that the additional teflon sealing and the gap covering with a pre curved Mylar seal on the lower surface of the wing positively affect the glide performance of the Ventus-2cx. Since the beginning of this year, all new aircraft are equipped with this modified sealing system. Fortunately it is no problem to retrofit this modification to all Ventus-2cx delivered prior to 2008. We recommend implementing this modification before the next important competition.

Duo Discus
We have discovered that the Duo Discus return spring on the outside ailerons loose their retention force after a while and it can occur that this outside aileron is sucked upwards in the flight. Unfortunately, this affects gliding performance and therefore we recommend to exchange the spring with a new improved spring which holds its retention strength for a much longer period. Our recommendation here is to also to implement this modification before the next important competition.

The very good performance potential as well as the harmonious handling makes the Duo Discus absolutely suitable for beginner training, big distance flights and competition flights. We recommend the interview with Walter Eisele at our homepage.

Since the beginning of April, all of our aircraft are exclusively equipped with cushions made from energy absorbing foam. This foam absorbs the shock energy through its deformation characteristics. In the event of a crash this cushion substantially aids in the protection of the spinal column from injury. The cushion feels somewhat more firm and is a few millimetres thicker. Nobody notices the difference of the seat cushion from the outside, though we think this safety gain is important and we should inform the customer about this new feature.

The NOAH emergency exit system is a further aspect, which increases the safety of our sailplanes, and we are of the opinion that we have to inform our customers more about the possibility to equip our single seaters with this NOAH emergency exit system. This is another possibility to further enhance safety of our sport.

If you have further questions with regard to any of these items, you are always welcome to contact me for more information.

Bernd Weber
Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau GmbH

Vintage Sailplane Association e-mail News Group
I recently signed-up for the e-mail news group of the Vintage Sailplane Association (VSA).  It has been fun receiving an interesting photo of a vintage glider in my Inbox nearly every week.  If you are interested in joining their news group, please contact Josh Knerr at VSANEWS@GMAIL.com.
Barograph Calibration by Carl Herold
A few years ago I had the good fortune to spend a few days with Carl Herold, flying with him in his Nimbus 3DM in Minden, NV.  He is an very interesting person.  He is a former president of the SSA, and an extremely intelligent person with an interesting work history.  He has offered barogram and flight recorder calibrations since 1989.  I highly recommend his services.  You can learn about his services in the document below.
SeeYou Mobile Tip
SeeYou Mobile has a very cool feature that makes it easy to fly an FAI triangle that meets the 28% rule.  Simply fly the first leg of a triangle and turn toward the 2nd leg and it displays an FAI turn area to turn in to meet the 28% rule. That is an awesome feature for the FAI-OLC contest.  I love flying for the FAI-OLC because it is easier to rank higher - due to lower participation. : ) 

However, a customer was frustrated because if you touch the FAI area on the map it switches over to the other side of the first leg - after which it is difficult to get it back.  Andrej Kolar at SeeYou quickly provided a simple way to get around the problem. 

"There is a switch. You can assign it to either hardware buttons, command bar or menu. You can do that through Menu > Settings > Commands or Menu > Settings > Menu. The commands available are:

  • Toggle FAI area (toggles the are on/off – this switch is already in the Display settings dialog, second page)
  • Rotate FAI area (does exactly what you were looking for)."

I setup a menu button to "Rotate FAI area".  It works great!  Thanks for the tip Andrej!

Remembering Dick Johnson
Like everyone, I was sadenned by the passing of Dick Johnson.  He was a great man, and a gentle man.  I believe that every soaring pilot that knew him, liked him. 

Perhaps the best way to remember him is the wonderful video interview filmed by Kempton Izuno during the 2008 SSA Convention.  The video shows his sharp mind and low-key personality very well.  Thank you Kempton for doing the interview and making it available for us all!

Fun and Interesting Links
Below is a collection of fun and interesting soaring links.

Vintage Glider Photos

Pedal-Powered Airship Fails Attempted English Channel Crossing

Human Jet Yves Rossy Crosses English Channel

Last Second Gear Down - Video - The pilot gets the landing gear down an instant before touch-down.  Forward to 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Fun, Free Aviation Related Computer Games
 - Dogfight
 - Dogfight 2

 - Stunt Pilot
 - Stunt Pilot Trainer

Virgin Galactic Ride Preview Video
(Click on the "videos" link near the top of the page, then click on the "PLAY" button for the "Let the Journey Begin" video)

A Glider Cross Country Flight - video - A very nice introduction to soaring and cross-country soaring.

Nicely Done Gear-Up Landing in King Air - Video

John DeRosa in his DG-100 following Greg Palmer's glider in for a landing, near Chicago - Video

U.S. F.A.A. Aviation News - Nice newsletter

New Castle Rookie Report
by Evan Ludeman

GE E.A.A. Airventure Video

DG Newsletters - Excellent Newsletters

DG Mandl Air Extractor
Remarkable Drag Reduction from a Simple Air Vent

Bungey - Irene Films - Great Video of Bungey Launching in the U.K.

Lenticular Cloud Photos


Coming Next Month
  • xcskies.com Weather Service
Wrap Up
Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. I hope you have found it interesting. If you did, please tell your friends about it.  Please mention it in your local soaring newsletter.  Please direct them to:

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.

Fly Safe,

Paul Remde

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Cumulus Soaring, Inc.
8661 Connelly Place | Savage | MN | 55378 | USA
1-952-445-9033 | paul@remde.us