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Cumulus Soaring, Inc. Newsletter

In This Issue


Nimeta First Flight

Memories of Great Soaring Adventures

Prize for Human-Powered Rotary Flight Up to $250,000

News from ILEC

NK ClearNav Update

New Sailplane & Towplane Model Kits

Make Your Glider's Wings Look New in a Few Hours

EW microRecorder News

AOPA - Mastering Radio Communications Training Course

New Becker AR6201 - April, 2010

Bendix King AV8OR and AV8OR ACE

BatteryMINDer - Extend the Life of Your Glider Battery

Bruno Vassel's HD Soaring Videos

Beyond Gliding Distance

"Friends of CSI" Update

SALE Items

Competing In Gliders - 2nd Edition

Ray Lynskey has Died

New Cables for HP iPAQ 310

Trig TT21 Transponder

SPOT-2 Satellite Messenger

Rope Splicing Fids

News from DG

Anderson Powerpole Connectors

Sailplane Design Posters

New Printable Catalogs

Schempp-Hirth Arcus - First Flight

International Vintage Sailplane Meet

SSA Convention 2010

Solar Impulse - Around the World Without Fuel or Pollution

News from Naviter

New "Speed OLC" Contest

New "Services" Page

Weiss Glider Centenary Celebration

2010 U.S. Nationals Soaring Contest Sites and Dates

Jaxida Cover - News

2010 ASA Test Prep Books and Prepware Software

LX 8000 Firmware Update

Why I Want to Be A Pilot - by a Fifth Grader

Fun and Interesting Links

Coming Next Month

Wrap Up


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Popular Items



NK ClearNav

SPOT-2 Satellite Messenger

EW microRecorder

Cambridge Aero Instruments
302, & 303

LX Navigation Colibri

Nimbus iPAQ Cradles

Mountain High Oxygen Systems

Tasman V1000 Variometer

Borgelt B400 & B500

Glide Navigator II


SeeYou Mobile

Bowlus Maxi Gap Seal Tape

Softie Parachutes from Para-Phernalia 

Quick Links



Issue: 8

September 6, 2009

Dear Soaring Enthusiast,

It is nice to finally be able to make time to work on this newsletter.  My last newsletter was in December!  It is good to be busy with work, but I do really enjoy pulling together these newsletters.  I will work hard to get them out more often in the future.

I hope you are having a good year.  I have been busy enjoying the summer with my family.  Sara has been busy playing soccer this summer.  She's a real athlete!  Elle has enjoyed her tennis lessons and Adam enjoyed a week long Lego Animation class.  Renee has been extremely busy - she recently increased her work hours as a public health nurse.  She is now working full time.  We have all enjoyed the Minnesota summer. We have been canoeing a few times, sailing a few times, to the beach on a nearby lake a few times...  Not bad for a less hot than normal Minnesota summer.  Did you know that Minnesota is called the "land of 10,000 lakes"?  I have heard that there are actually more than 11,000 lakes in MN.

The sailing has been especially fun.  When I was 16 my father bought a used Laser sailboat which both he and I raced for many years.  We also raced MC scows.  When I started soaring in 1990 I didn't use the laser anymore so my dad gave it to some friends of the family who gave it a good home on a lake in western Minnesota.  Recently the owners mentioned that they weren't using it much anymore and asked if we would we want it?  Of course!!!  So a few weeks ago we collected it and made a home for it in our garage.  It is an old laser (sail number 7000, made in 1972) and the hull shows its age.  But everything on it still works great.  Elle and Adam especially loved sailing it with me.  Adam and I even did our first "death roll" on it recently.  A death roll is a sudden tip-over to one side when going down wind.  It is easy to right the boat afterward.  I think it is kind of fun!  Elle loves "hiking out" and looking over backwards - watching the world go by upside down.

Unfortunately, I haven't had many opportunities to go soaring this season.  However, I did have one very fun short cross-country flight.  Fred Hewitt kindly took me soaring in his lovely DG-1000.  I love flying with Fred.  We always set off with some goal in mind.  A few days before the flight we had dreams of the weather allowing a 500 km triangle.  As the day arrived the soaring weather was only mediocre, so we declared a 100+ km triangle.  The lift was OK but (as is often the case) many of the great looking clouds did not provide good lift.  We had an easy, but not especially fast flight around the declared task.  In the end we were not fast enough to break the Minnesota state soaring record for Sports Class speed around a 100 km triangular course, but we did set a new record in the General - Open - Multi-place category with a speed of 46.8 mph.  We never got low during the flight.  I enjoyed the flight immensely!  Thanks Fred!

Thank you for taking the time to read the newsletter.  There is a lot of interesting soaring news to report from around the world, and I have been very busy adding new products to my web site.   I hope you will enjoy it.  If you do, please tell your soaring friends about it by forwarding the following link to them:

Would you believe that over 3300 glider pilots from around the world read this newsletter?!  I am amazed and flattered.  I will do my best to keep it interesting and worthy of your time. 

If this is your first newsletter - Welcome!

Note: Click on the small images on this page to view much larger versions of the images.

Good Soaring,

Paul Remde

Nimeta First Flight
Bruno Gatenbrink's new "Nimeta" was flown for the first time on July 21, 2009.  It has the very long 30.84 m (101.18 feet) span wings from an Eta and the fuselage of a Nimbus 4.  Below is information from the Glasfaser Flugzueg-Service web site.

"After 2 years development and construction the time has come: The maiden flight of the currently largest single-seated motor glider took place on 21 July 2009.

The ordering party Bruno Gantenbrink (YY) insisted to make the first flight of this project initiated and financed by his own.

Nimeta is a motor glider with a strongly modified fuselage and elevator Nimbus 4 as well as Eta wings.

With this project we realized Bruno Gantenbrink’s dream of a single-seated Eta. The challenge of this project consisted in uniting the two motor glider types due to the entirely different mechanics of wings and fuselage. Furthermore, we have redesigned the fillet wing fuselage and enlarged the fin by 20 percent.

The engine system has been completely adopted from Ventus/Nimbus and has been set by SHK.

After the today’s two hours maiden flight Bruno Gantenbrink was highly pleased with the quality of his new airplane.

We wish Bruno many successful flights!"

Memories of Great Soaring Adventures
I recently sold a glider model kit of a Pratt-Read LNE-1 to Debra Connelly.  She is the daughter of soaring legend Larry Edgar.  She was very excited to find a model kit of this glider because her dad had some amazing adventures in one.  Below are some notes she sent me regarding his adventures.  The photos are from my model kit page. 

"In 1952, project pilots Larry Edgar and Harold Klieforth soared to 44,255 feet in a Pratt-Read, setting a new world altitude record for two-place gliders. The record endured for an incredible 54 years.

In 1951 and 1952 a small group, including such soaring legends as Bob Symons and John Robinson, modified two Pratt-Read gliders and routinely exceeded 40,000 feet as part of the project. They literally gave meaning to the words applied science. The pilots flew in a frigid, unpressurized environment in meteorological conditions that were not fully understood.

But in a follow-up popularly called the Jet Stream Project, where glider pilots studied the jet stream with the assistance of B-29 and B-47 bombers, Larry Edgar found out what rotor can do. On April 25, 1955, his glider quickly disintegrated around him at 17,000 feet as he tried to avoid a swelling roll cloud. Then things became quiet. All he heard was wind noise, and he felt as if he were suspended in space, but he couldn't see because of the G forces, he wrote in Soaring magazine shortly after the experience.

He pulled the ripcord and started to worry about being pulled back up. He had lost his helmet, boots, gloves, and oxygen mask, and the hose was broken off of his bailout oxygen bottle. As his vision slowly came back in one eye, he saw pieces of fabric and plywood from the Pratt-Read being carried up past him, disappearing in the roll cloud.

Miraculously, he survived the parachute landing without breaking any bones and fully recovered. As Whelan pointed out in his book, doctors determined that Edgar experienced a force of 20 negative Gs for 0.4 seconds in order to induce the damage to his eyes. While this event punctuated the power of rotor and raised awareness, it also gave scientists data to further explain the way waves function. They later determined that Edgar had experienced a rare kind of rotor where the wave dissipates all of its energy in one horrific oscillation.

Dr. Klieforth's knowledge of the airflow over the Sierra Nevada is unequalled, both from a lifetime of research and from personal experience as principal meteorologist for the USAF/UCLA Sierra Wave Project in the 1950s. Alongside project scientist Dr. Joachim Kuettner and pilots Larry Edgar, John Robinson and Ray Parker, Klieforth explored the frontier above the range in unpressurized Pratt-Read sailplanes. In setting the altitude record (44,255 feet) for a two-man glider on March 19, 1952, Klieforth and Edgar became the first men to soar through the tropopause and into the stratosphere on the powerful updraft generated by the mountains below.

Larry also was a flight test engineer with Lockheed's 'skunk works' and worked on the YF-12A & the SR-71. Quite a leap from the biplanes he flew in his youth. Also, his original pilot's license was signed by one of the Wright brothers.

As you can imagine, he has some amazing stories..."

Thank you Debra for sending me those notes!  Little bits of history like that make my day!  Stories like his need to be retold - often.

You can see details on the Pratt-Read sailplane on the SailplaneDirector.com web site here

More information can be found on the museumofflight.org web site here.

You can see details on the 1:72 scale resin model kit here.

Prize for Human-Powered Rotary Flight Up to $250,000
Sikorsky Aircraft announced a prize nearly 30 years ago for the first human-powered rotary flight to hover at over 10 feet for 60 seconds.  The original prize was for $20,000.  It has not been claimed and now the prize has grown to $250,000.
 - Details at AvWeb.com

 - Video of Japanese Attempt on YouTube
News from ILEC
New ILEC USB Adapter
PC no longer required at the gliderport!!!
Transferring data from a PC to an SN10 has been awkward in the past. Most new PCs don't have a serial port, so a USB to serial adapter is required, but only specific USB to serial adapters seem to work with the SN10. Also, file transfer software must be downloaded and installed on the PC. And PCs have never been easy to use near a glider, or read in bright sunlight.

The great news is that the new SN10 USB Adapter eliminates all those problems. After you have installed the SN10 USB Adapter in your glider you can use a standard USB Flash Drive to transfer data to and from the SN10. It can be used to upload waypoint and airspace files to the SN10, download flight logs from the SN10, and even update the firmware in the SN10. Therefore there is no longer any need to bring a laptop computer to the gliderport. Just plug the USB Flash Drive into the new panel-mounted SN10 USB Adapter and use the control knobs on the SN10 to transfer the desired data.

The SN10 USB adapter attaches to the panel connector on the SN10 Panel Cable. The SN10 USB Adapter then connects to the instrument panel in the same location that the panel connector from the SN10 Panel Cable had been. The panel connector still includes a DB-9 connector for connection to an SN10 remote or PC, but it also includes a USB connector.

The SN10 USB Adapter is a little wider than the panel connector, so some panel modifications may be necessary.

Note: USB Flash Drive not included - You can buy a USB Flash drive at Radio Shack, Best Buy, Target, Walgreens, etc. They are not expensive. You don't need to buy one with much memory. A 16 MB USB Flash Drive would be plenty for use with the SN10, but it would be tough to find one with that little memory. Any memory size will do.

This is destined to be a very poplar option for SN10 owners.  Units will be arriving in October.  You can pre-order now.

 - Details

New Software Version 2.34 for ILEC SN-10 - FREE Upgrade
There is a new version of the SN-10 software which will be available soon - free of charge. The new version includes the new features listed below. All new SN-10 units shipped from Cumulus Soaring, Inc. will include this latest software version.

  • Many optimizations for speed and code-size (room for next feature)
  • USB-adapter support for log file save, NDB file load, and softwareload
  • BugFix: serial port now properly initialized on cold-start
  • Prevent accidental creation of database points with blank names
  • Memory map changes for diagnostics (OS stack pool at fixed location)
  • Maximum AAT areas increased to 6
  • NMEA baud rate selectable (4800 or 19200) for FLARM/PDA support
  • 19.2kb NMEA support in SL (software load) and PClink
  • "Software Load..." on screen during software update

Important Note: Version 2.33 software was made available in July.  In early September, ILEC found a bug in that version which caused the LCD display to be too dark.  They have now fixed that problem in version 2.34 but have not finished testing it.  It will be made available on the ILEC web site very soon.  Be sure to use version 2.34.  Do not use version 2.33.

The software will be available here:

NK ClearNav Update

NK has been busy working on the ClearNav this year. 

IGC Approval Received
On May 25th the NK ClearNav received IGC approval for use as a secure GPS flight recorder for all flights types (badges, records, etc.) at all levels (National, World) for both gliders and motorgliders. ClearNav owners will need to send their units back to NK for hardware and software upgrades. In the future, all software upgrades can be done using a downloaded file and USB Flash Drive.

New VGA Version of ClearNav Now Shipping
A new VGA (480 x 640 pixel) version of the ClearNav is now available. I have them in stock. The original version of the ClearNav had a 1/4 VGA (240 x 320 pixel) display. The new display is just as bright as the original one, but it is much sharper. Lines and text look much more crisp. Text is easier to read. You can see the difference for yourself by clicking on the images below. Power use remains the same.  Display updating is a little slower, but this is barely noticeable when the improvements are considered.  Upgrades are available for customers with the 1/4 VGA version. Please contact NK directly for upgrades.   The photo above is a VGA ClearNav on a RAM arm in Phil Jones' sailplane.

VGA Version
(480 x 640 pixels)
Click on image to see larger version.


1/4 VGA Version
(240 x 320 pixels)
Click on image to see larger version.


Coming Soon

  • CAI 302 Winds Support
    It has always been our goal to allow ClearNav users to display wind strength and direction computed by the excellent wind algorithm used in the CAI 302. Implementing dependable communications between CN and the 302 has turned out to be harder than expected but we will shortly release a new software version which deals with this and other communication issues with CAI products. It is currently being tested in the field and is working well.
  • Synchronizing CAI302 MC, Bugs and Ballast Values
    The new software will force these parameters to be equal to the selected value of the corresponding parameter on the CN when (and only when) the CN values are changed. The CAI 302 MC value can however be set to a different value (often desirable) by using the 302 control knob.
  • CAI S-NAV/L-NAV/GPSNAV Winds Support
    We will be able to have CN display winds computed by these excellent and still widely used products.
  • Synchronizing CAI S-NAV/L-NAV/GPSNAV MC, Bugs and Ballast Values
    This is still under construction, but it is our expectation than within a few weeks we will be able to make CN work with these instruments also.
  • CAI302 Secure flight logs
    CN can now transfer 302 logs to a USB memory stick inserted in the CN. This feature will be useful in the unlikely event of a failure in the CN log.
  • New Team Members
    Frank Paynter and Mark Hawkins have joined the CN software development team. Both bring a great deal of experience, in gliding, in software development in general, and in Mark’s case, in glider SW development. They will work with Chip Garner to help us make sure CN remains simple to use, intuitive, and able at all times to provide complete situational awareness. You can check out Frank’s and Mark’s resume on the NK website.
  • User Manual
    We are working on a simplified manual, and even simpler cheat-sheets to supplement the work already done by Paul Remde.

Latest ClearNav Brochure available: here

Order Today
I have units in stock.  You can see details and order here: Details

NK Variometer Update
I recently talked with Alix at NK about their future products.  As they have said all along, they plan to offer a complete line of soaring instruments.  However, they have not made much progress yet on their variometer.  The new variometer will not be available in 2009.  I look forward to it becoming available - hopefully in 2010.  I'm convinced that any variometer they produce will be very popular.

New Sailplane & Towplane Model Kits
I have continued to add sailplane model kits to my web site and inventory.  I now have 63 different sailplane model kits available.  Recent additions are listed below. Click on the photos to see details about the kits.

Coming Soon - Pre-Built Model Kits
Would you like to have a nice glider model sitting on or handing over your desk - but you lack the time and/or skills to build one of the model kits I offer?  No problem!  I will soon offer pre-built model kits.  You pick any model kit from my web site, select the desired paint scheme from the instruction sheets, and the kit will be assembled and painted for you.  You will receive a finished and ready-to-display scale model.  I'm not sure of the pricing and lead-times yet.    It may even be possible to have the model painted and detailed with a custom paint scheme to match photos of your glider.  Please send me an e-mail if you are interested in this new service.  Likewise, let me know if you are a model builder that may be interested in building glider model kits for glider pilots around the world.

DuoDiscus (Available soon - pre-order now)
by Revell
1:32 Scale Plastic Injection Molded Kit
I am very excited about this model.  It will look great hanging over my desk.  It will be the largest wingspan model kit I offer.  The wingspan of this kit is 24.6 inches (635 mm).

Piper PA-18 Super Cub - 2 versions
by Revell
1:32 Scale Plastic Injection Molded Kit
This would be a great gift for your favorite towpilot!

Blanik L-13
by Planet Models
1:32 Scale Resin Kit
This is the largest Blanik L-13 model kit if offer.

Stummel Habicht (trainer for ME-163 Rocket Fighter)
by Planet Models
1:48 Scale Resin Kit

Blanik L-13 and L-13a
by Profiline
1:72 Scale Plastic Injection Molded Kit
This is a small scale kite, but it is the only plastic injection molded (not a resin kit) Blanik L-13 kit I offer. 

Blanik L-13
Czech Master Resin 
1:72 Scale Resin Kit
This is a very detailed (if small in size) kit with neat marking schemes and decals.


Make Your Glider's Wings Look New in a Few Hours
Below is a link to a great article by Leo Montejo from the Minden Soaring Club web site.  It explains how Al MacDonald made his old glider wings look new in one afternoon of work.  Very interesting!

 - Link to Article
EW microRecorder News
The EW microRecorder has been an extremely popular GPS flight recorder.   Its small size, built-in battery, extremely simple operation and low price have guaranteed its success.  However, as with all new high-tech soaring instruments, there have been a few quality issues and bugs which are being worked out over time.  Below is a list of recent improvements to the product.
  • The latest code has removed a minor bug in the writing of declarations.
  • The GPS engine is now much more sensitive, will fix in a matter of seconds and maintain a fix even under adverse conditions.
  • Extra protection has been added to the board to reduce possible interference from external sources.
  • Batteries are of a higher capacity, giving even longer life. (Still, for safety, we use NiMh batteries, rather than Lithium)
  • Circuit has been modified to function normally up to much higher temperatures.

Replacement Batteries Now in Stock
The EW microRecorder is delivered with a built-in rechargeable battery. After a few years the battery will need replacing. This battery is identical to the battery that is built into the EW microRecorder. Also, if you leave the microRecorder outside over the winter in cold climates, the battery may need replacing in the spring.

 - Details

AOPA - Mastering Radio Communications Training Course
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has just announced a FREE new online training course.  It is called "Say it Right - Mastering Radio Communications".  Every pilot should make the time to take the course.  It may save your life.  I just completed the course and it is very well done.  Every pilot will benefit from this.
New Becker AR6201 - April, 2010
Becker has just announced their new AR6201 panel-mounted radio.  It will replace the AR4201 radio.  However, it is not expected to be available until April of 2010.  The big new feature is the AR6201's "dual monitor mode" which allows the scanning of two different frequencies.  Also, the unit requires very little current when in standby mode (85 mA) and operates on input voltages from 9 to 36 VDC.  Also note that the battery voltage is displayed on the main display screen - nice!  The wiring connections are identical to its predecessor the AR4201 - making it easy to replace an AR4201 with an AR6201.   - Details

The AR4201 which it replaces has been an extremely successful product - with over 18,000 sold, the AR4201 has been a trustworthy companion fro thousands of pilots flying millions of flight-hours. 

The Becker AR4201 will continue to be available until the new AR6201 is ready. 

Also, Becker Germany has announced plans to build a manufacturing plant in Florida for many of their products.

Bendix King AV8OR and AV8OR ACE

This is an interesting product for several reasons. 

It is capable of running SeeYou Mobile for PNA!  It automatically rotates the screen to portrait mode (vertical orientation) which is nice.  Just unzip the SeeYou Mobile for PNA install files into the root directory of an SD card (NOT the SD card with aviation maps that comes with the unit), put it into the unit and reset it by putting the stylus into the small hole on the back of the unit.  Mobile looks great on it!

It has an RS-232 serial port, so it can connect to any soaring GPS, flight recorder or flight computer using the AV8OR-PS-5a-1 cable and a Goddard PS-5a power converter.

It comes with street mapping software and general aviation moving map software.

It has a built-in 20 channel GPS!  That makes it great for use as a portable system to be used in club or rental gliders.

The screen is similar in size as the iPAQ 310 (4.3 inches), but it has a much lower screen resolution at 480 x 272 pixels than the iPAQ 310 (800 x 480) or even an iPAQ hx4700 or 210 (480 x 640), but higher resolution than the older iPAQ h3000, h5000 and hx2000 series Pocket PCs (240 x 320).  The screen is noticeably brighter than an iPAQ 310 indoors and in sunlight.  In fact,
it is the brightest PDA/PNA screen I've ever seen.  But of course it is not as bright as a ClearNav or LX8000.  The relatively low resolution of screen actually does not seem to be an issue.  The unit looks very good to me.

The price (in the $650 to $799) is quite a bit higher than the iPAQ 310 ($249), but it does have an RS-232 serial port and built-in general aviation moving map software, and a brighter screen than any other portable device I've tested.  Also, I like that this unit can be connected to a Socket Mobile Power Pack using a standard USB cable (the iPAQ 310 needs a custom cable).  I don't currently sell this product, but I do sell SeeYou Mobile for PNA and cradles and mounts and data/power cables for it.

Details on power input and data cables, battery life, and cradle and mounting options, and a few tips are available on the PDA/PNA Comparison Page.

This is an interesting product.  I have not done any testing with one yet.  Please let me know if you get a chance to try one with SeeYou Mobile.  I'd be glad to do a free SeeYou Mobile install ($50 value, SeeYou Mobile for PNA key extra) for anyone that wants to send one to me.

It should be capable of running SeeYou Mobile for PNAI have not tested this unit with SeeYou Mobile yet.

Interesting AV8OR ACE product review video by AvWeb:

It has an RS-232 serial port, so it should connect to any soaring GPS, flight recorder or flight computer using the AV8ORACE-PS-5a-1 cable and a Goddard PS-5a power converter.

It comes with street mapping software and general aviation moving map software.

It has a built-in 20 channel GPS!  That makes it great for use as a portable system to be used in club or rental gliders.  However, it may well be too large to use as a portable device.

The screen is very large.  In fact, it may be difficult to fit into most gliders.  The screen resolution is excellent at 480 x 800 pixels.  I have not tested one in sunlight, but the available information indicates that it will be brighter than any other PDA or PNA - just like the standard AV8OR.  However, I doubt it is as bright as the ClearNav.  This is a very large unit.  The unit is 4.80" W x 7.58" H x 1.07" D and weighs 1.25 lbs.  Before buying one, I recommend making a paper model of it and holding it up to your glider's instrument panel.

The price (in the $1799 to $1999) is a bit high, but it does have an RS-232 serial port and built-in general aviation moving map software, and very bright screen.  I don't currently sell this product, but I do sell SeeYou Mobile for PNA and mounts and data/power cables for it.

Details on power input and data cables, battery life, and cradle and mounting options, and a few tips are available on the PDA/PNA Comparison Page.

BatteryMINDer - Extend the Life of Your Glider Battery
About BatteryMINDers
BatteryMINDers® are the new generation of SMART, pulse type "computer-on-a-chip" chargers, that safely charge and maintain all size / type / brands of batteries including starter, deep cycle and sealed types including AGM “dry” made by OPTIMA, ODYSSEY, EXIDE, INTERSTATE, et al. They do all of this without ever overcharging, no matter how long they are left on charge – days-weeks-or even months. Dubbed the chargers with "brains," they are the first to fully-automatically reverse the primary cause of early battery failure known as "sulfation". Sulfated batteries once considered beyond recovery can now be brought back to long-term useful condition. Certain models of BatteryMINDers® can more than double the useful life of new batteries.

What is Sulfation (sul-fay-shun) and How Does It Affect Batteries?

When batteries are improperly maintained (over-under charged or left uncharged for extended periods) small crystals of sulfuric acid from the battery’s electrolyte (liquid or paste) form on the battery’s charge plates. They act as a resistor (barrier) preventing the battery from ever again accepting a full charge, no matter how long a charging source may be connected. Once this occurs, the cranking power of the battery is severely reduced, as well as its life. Aviation batteries are affected the most because they have been designed for maximum performance in the smallest-lightest case possible.

VDC Electronics has developed simple, but highly effective circuitry, able to safely dissolve sulfation, restoring much, if not all, of the lost power, providing the battery’s cells are not shorted or structurally damaged. This U.S. Patented approach is believed to be the most effective method for eliminating even the oldest hardened sulfate. By generating safe, wide-band, random frequency electronic pulses, we are able to cover the full range of sulfate crystals sizes, in the shortest possible time. Depending on the amount of sulfate and its age, complete de-sulfation can occur within several days to several weeks. De-sulfation takes place automatically, while the battery is being bulk or maintenance level charged.

BatteryMINDer Products

  • BatteryMINDer Plus - Model: 12117
    For Smaller Batteries - up to about 7 AHr
    Max Output Current: 1.33 A
  • BatteryMINDer - Model 12248
    For any battery
    Max. Output Current: 2, 4 or 8 A

  • BatteryMINDer® Solar Charger-Controller-Desulfator 12 Volt with 5 Watt Panel
    Model: SCC005
    Max Output Current: 0.33 A

  • BatteryMINDer® Solar Charger-Controller-Desulfator 12 Volt with 15 Watt Panel
    Model: SCC015
    Max Output Current: 1 A


Excellent Video on RVEducation101 about Batteries and the BatteryMINDer
I highly recommend viewing this entire video before using your BatteryMINDer.  It is great at describing the benefits of BatteryMINDers and is a good training video on how to use them.

Review of BatteryMINDer Products by Paul Remde of Cumulus Soaring, Inc.
I think the BatteryMINDers are great products and I recommend them.  However, it is very important to know before you buy that the BatteryMINDer Plus Model 12117 will not work on your battery if the battery voltage at rest (not connected to a load such as glider instruments) is less than 10.5 V.  The BatteryMINDer Plus Model 121117's circuitry won't function if the battery voltage is less than 10.5 V at rest.  If you drain a battery to less than 10.5 V then you will need to charge it with another charger to at least 10.5 V before connecting it to the BatteryMINDer Plus Model 12117.  It does not hurt the battery or the BatteryMINDer Plus Model 12117 to connect a battery with less than 11 V, but the BatteryMINDer Plus Model 12117 won't work at all with it.  I really don't think the 10.5 V (at rest) minimum will be a problem for most glider power applications. Your battery's voltage may sometimes measure less than 10.5 V at the end of the day when in your glider and being drained by your soaring instruments, but it will probably indicate a higher voltage when connected only to a voltage meter.  Note: The BatteryMINDer Model 12248 will charge batteries with voltages as low as 3 V.  The paragraph above applies only to the BatteryMINDer Plus Model 12117.

I recommend the BatteryMINDer Plus Model 12117 for glider batteries up to about 7 AHr (as long as it will not be drained to below 10.5 volts - see note above) and the BatteryMINDer Model 12248 for all battery sizes.  Although the BatteryMINDer Model 12248 is somewhat expensive, it can be used for a wide variety of batteries at home and at the gliderport.  I use mine to charge my glider batteries, lawnmower battery, car batteries, etc.

The small 5 Watt solar charging system would be great for use on a glider trailer or near a hangar for maintaining your glider battery when there is a several day delay between flights.  The 15 Watt solar charging system would be good when there is only a day or 2 between flights.

 - Details

Bruno Vassel's HD Soaring Videos
Bruno Vassel has been experimenting with low cost HD video recording systems.  He has taken some very nice soaring videos and made them available on YouTube.  He also created a web page explaining how he does it.  Keep up the good work Bruno!

 - Bruno's "How to" Page
 - Bruno's Videos on YouTube

Beyond Gliding Distance
This is a great and already very popular new book by Flavio Formosa from Italy. 

Introduction by the Author
I can’t help being surprised, time and again, by the considerable number of gliding enthusiasts who end up leaving the sport, after having invested large amounts of time and energy learning to fly. Most of them quit without an apparent reason, while still declaring their love for flying. I strongly suspect that this happens because they fail, more or less consciously, to make the transition from glider to soaring pilots, something which mostly comes through the practice of cross-country flight. This book doesn’t pretend to introduce any revolutionary technique, nor will it unveil the great and jealously hidden secret of accomplished cross-country pilots, simply because it doesn’t exist. It aims rather to be a collection, as logical, complete and up to date as possible, of the many small tricks which form the knowledge base of pilots who practice soaring flight with utter satisfaction. It deliberately addresses pilots who are still building on their experience, and therefore covers at length a few subjects which are normally part of the basic flying course. This is done with the explicit goal of helping newcomers to develop the self-trust which plays a very important role in stimulating the first steps into the big unknown. Your first personal achievements in cross-country flight, and a good deal of fun, are closer than you might believe. If these pages will ever help readers make their transition towards being competent and safe soaring pilots, their goal will be more than fulfilled.

About the Author
Flavio Formosa, born in 1962, has been a Sail Designer for more than twenty-five years. His first glider flight was in 1992, and since then he has clocked about 1200 hours, and earned all FAI badges. A flight instructor since 2000, he is a member of the Instructors' and Safety boards of the Italian Soaring Federation.

Overview by Paul Remde
The Table of Contents gives a very good overview of the topics covered in the book. It has many sections which are unique to this book. The target audience is soaring pilots that are just beginning to do cross-country flights, but the book includes many insights that any soaring pilot will find useful.

Note: I'm very flattered that the
cover photo used for the book was taken by myself (Paul Remde). It is of Tom Kelley's Schleicher ASG 29. The photo was taken as Tom crossed the finish line at the 2007 U.S. 18 m Nationals in Albert Lea, Minnesota.

 - Details

"Friends of CSI" Update - Please Join the Club
In May of this 2008 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. 

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. 

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

SALE Items
Used "Competing in Gliders" Book (1st Edition)  - SOLD
This is my copy of the 1st edition of the book.  It is in very good condition. I am currently reading the 2nd edition.  $32 (half of the price of the 2nd edition)

 - Order

Used ILEC SN10-2 2nd-Seat Repeater: $620 
This unit had the screen replaced at ILEC in Germany in the spring of 2008 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:

 - Order

Winter MacCready Ring for Pik 20b - SOLD
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 does not include a bezel ring, but they are available if necessary.  Most Winter variometers made in recent years already include the necessary grooved bezel ring.  A set like this one normally sells for $83. I am selling it for $45.

Winter MacCready Ring for 304 CZ - 17m
I'm not sure how I ended up with this extra ring, but I don't need it. It is designed for use on a standard 57 mm Winter W-5453 variometer in knots.  It does not include a bezel ring, but they are available if necessary.  Most Winter variometers made in recent years already include the necessary grooved bezel ring. A set like this one normally sells for $83. I am selling it for $45.
 - Details

Competing In Gliders - 2nd Edition

This book has been extremely popular.  In my opinion, it ranks in the top 5 soaring books and has much in common with (but goes beyond) the great "Cross-Country Soaring" book by Helmut Reichmann

Great Photos
In addition to the excellent text, this book contains more than 100 very nice soaring photos - reproduced in high quality.  I think it is worth the price just for the photos.

2nd Edition

Why a second edition?
by Leo and Ricky, February, 2009

This handbook of sport gliding was born in 2004.  Since then, several significant things have changed on the international competition scene.  We thus took advantage of the two foreign language editions, in German and the most recently 2nd Italian edition, to bring in the updated, improvements and inclusions that have become necessary. 

So the need arose to make sure that the English speaking glider pilots were not denied access to these significant updates.  We set about revisiting the various topics, including and most especially the part regarding psychological aspects and the training in making winning decisions.  We have tried to explore new frontiers of the competition pilot's brain and mind and feel confident that we have finally completed the necessary in-depth study of the subject. 

We have taken the opportunity to replace the lower-quality photographs and have added some new and highly-spectacular ones to make reading this book more enjoyable since it could, otherwise, be considered quite hard work!  In addition, as authors, we wanted the book to reflect what we consider to be the real essence of gliding: to give the excitement of conquest, freedom and contemplation that perhaps no other sport is able to give.

The new 2nd edition became available in 2009.  A lot has been updated and improved in this edition.  Many errors and typos were corrected and new photos added.  There are new chapters and updates to many existing sections.  Below is a list of the new sections.

New Sections

  • Part 1: Technique
    • Chapter 6: Flying as an individual or as a team?
      • Strengths and weaknesses of pair flying
      • What's important for generating and maintaining flow in the pair?
      • The alignment of performance in pair flying
    • Chapter 8: New forms of competition
      • The Grand Prix
      • The match race
  • Part 4: Human Factors
    • Chapter 5: The mental and decision making process
      • The opportunities
      • Is rationality always enough?
      • Intuition and state of flow
      • Beyond state of flow?
    • Chapter 6: The training process
      • Strategies and objectives
      • Excellence
      • Learning
      • How to train pilots safely

Examples of new photos are the three from Chile (Aconcagua at 7500 m, Diana and Ande chain with cloud street); then there are 12 other new nice photos including those from the last 30 WGC (World Gliding Cup) in Rieti, Italy.

Should owners of the 1st Edition buy the 2nd edition?
Those that enjoyed the first edition will definitely appreciate the updates (throughout the book), new sections (see list above) and new photos.  You may want to buy the 2nd edition and donate your 1st edition copy to some young glider pilot or someone just diving into cross-country soaring and/or racing.

 - Details

Ray Lynskey has Died
Ray Lynskey was known for his amazing soaring achievements.  He was an expert wave soaring pilot with many world records to his name - including the first 2000 km soaring flight.   He died recently after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor just a few months ago.  Ray lived and flew (mainly) in New Zealand.  He was also the open class champion of the World Gliding Championships held in New Zealand in the late 1900's and documented in the film "Champions of the Wave".   He can also be seen giving wave soaring tips to Lucy Wills in the film "Windborn - A Jouney Into Flight (Lucy Learns to Fly)".  I enjoyed following his soaring adventures over the years and will miss him.

Notes from the Gliding Federation of Australia web site

"Ray will also be remembered for his exploits in Nevada and Utah.. One 14 day spell there, he flew six 1000 klm flights."


  • News Article
  • Short Video Clip - Note: Ray is being sarcastic (in a dry humor sort of way) about the "terrible" soaring weather in Ely, NV after doing several 1000 km soaring flights.
New Cables for HP iPAQ 310
The iPAQ 310 has been an extremely popular option this year for pilots wanting a PNA with a high resolution display and relatively bright  screen.  It works great with SeeYou Mobile.  If you want a portable system you can use its built-in GPS.  If you want to connect it to a soaring instrument - we have found a way to make that happen - for some soaring instruments. 

RS-232 Serial Communications Possible
After much research and testing we have confirmed that the iPAQ 310 does have an undocumented serial port which can be used to connect directly to some soaring instruments.  An inline RS-232 voltage level converter is required to make it work, but it works great.  However, we have found that it works only at baud rates of 9600 or higher.  It does not work at 4800 baud

Below is a list of soaring Instruments that can send GPS data at a baud rate that is higher than 4800 baud (9600 or 19200 baud).  These devices can be connected to the iPAQ 310 using a serial data cable.

  • EW microRecorder
  • ILEC SN10 (firmware version 2.33 or higher)
  • LX Navigation LX1600 (firmware version 2.10 or later)
  • LX Navigation LX7007
  • LX Navigation LX8000

Below is a list of soaring instruments which can send GPS data only at 4800 baud, and therefore cannot be connected to the iPAQ 310 with a serial cable (BlueTooth connection is possible using a K6 BT BlueTooth Adapter).

  • Cambridge 302, 302A, GPS-NAV
  • Garrecht Volklogger
  • LX Navigation Colibri
  • LX Navigation LX7000

A direct cable connection is preferable to a BlueTooth connection for devices that can communicate at 9600 baud because it is possible to upload task declarations and download flight logs over the direct cable connection - not so with a BlueTooth connection (depending on the combination of hardware and software). 

An I310-PS5a-1 cable can be used to connect the 310 to a Goddard PS-5a power converter.  From there a cable can be used to connect to a variety of soaring instruments.  An I310-LX1600-1 cable can be used to connect directly to an LX1600.  The LX1600 powers the iPAQ 310.  An I310-PS5a-1 and EWmicroRec-DB9f-x cable can be used to connect to an EW microRecorder.  The EW microRecorder provides both GPS data and 5V power for the iPAQ 310.

External Power
The unit's internal battery will power the unit with the backlight on full power and the GPS running for just over 2 hours.  I therefore recommend powering it with external power.  The Socket Mobile Power Pack works great with it, but only if you use the special Cable-USBA-mini-USB-Pwr-1 power cable.  A standard USB cable did not seem to allow the Socket Mobile Power Pack to charge the iPAQ 310 - it was indicating that it was receiving external power, but the battery level was slowly decreasing because the unit was not switched to high current charge mode.  The Cable-USBA-mini-USB-Pwr-1 solves that problem.  Another option is to power the 310 with a Goddard PS-5a power converter.  An I310-PS5a-1 cable can be used to connect the Goddard PS-5a to the iPAQ 310. 

PDA/PNA Setup Service
If you are new to PNAs, it can be a little intimidating getting the soaring software installed, installing maps, waypoints and airspace, etc.  I offer a PDA/PNA setup service which has been very popular.  You send the PDA or PNA to me and I will use a checklist to set it up with soaring flight software, maps, waypoints and airspace for your area, etc.  When you receive it back it is ready to go soaring.  You can see details on the Services page.

 - Example Portable System with iPAQ 310

Trig TT21 Transponder
The TT21 is a very interesting new transponder.  It is a Mode S transponder with a built-in altitude encoder, and a remote head - at a great price! 

F.A.A. Approval Received
The Trig TT21 has received approval for use in Europe, and received FAA TSO approval in early September, 2009.  I will have units in stock in mid to late September.  Pre-order now.

Key Features
With a front panel controller smaller than a standard instrument, and a remote transponder that is not much bigger than a pack of cards, the TT21 can fit into the smallest of aircraft – and yet it is fully certified and compliant with all the transponder requirements.
  • Low Weight - less than 500 grams!
  • Minimal Panel Space
  • Low Power Consumption
  • 130 Watts Nominal Output
  • Integrated Altitude Encoder
  • Simple Installation
  • Easy to use rotary knobs
  • Support for 1090ES ADS-B Out

TT21 Specifications


Class 2 Mode S Level 2 Datalink


ETSO 2C112b, C88a, TSO C112, C88b


ED73B, DO160E, DO178B level B, DO254, DO181C, DO260A

Supply Voltage (DC):

10 – 33 V

Typical Current Consumption:

Idle: 0.15 A

(at 14V)

Active: 0.28 A

Transmitter Power:

130W nominal at connector

Operating Temperature:

-40 to +70 C

Cooling Requirement:

No fan required


1.0 lb (450 g)


Controller: 64 x 45 x 45 mm
Transponder: 62 x 45 x 141 mm

TT21 Brochure
TT21 Installation and Operation Manual

 - Details

SPOT-2 Satellite Messenger
New - Available October 20th - Pre-Order Now

A new version of the SPOT hardware will be available October 20th, 2009. It will use the same service as the existing SPOT units but offers some very nice new features.  It is 30% smaller, 30% lighter, has a better GPS engine, and an improved user interface.  To me the best feature is the new Track button and light.  In the first version it was sometimes not easy to get tracking working and there was no indication whether or not the unit was in track mode.  That is solved in this new SPOT 2 version. The other major improvement is called "Tracking Message Queuing".  SPOT 2 now sends the current tracking location and the previous two locations in every tracking data burst (three bursts every 10 minutes). Thus, if the system doesn’t receive a few of those tracking data bursts, for whatever reasons, it can recover to a degree. You can see details on my SPOT web page.


A nice preview of the SPOT 2 is available here: http://www.equipped.com/blog/

 - Details

Rope Splicing Fids
In addition to tow rings and towrope, I now offer rope splicing fids.  Fids are used to help run the end of a rope back through the rope when splicing or attaching tow rings to the end of a rope. 3 sizes of metal fids and one size of plastic fid are available.

 - Details

News from DG
DG-1001M - First Flight

On July 9th, 2009 the maiden flight of the new DG-1001M took place.  Congratulations DG!

 - Details

DG-1001TE - How to get home - quietly and safely!

The DG-1001TE is a new "Turbo Electric" sailplane with an electric "sustainer" motor.  It cannot self-launch, but the electric motor can be used to make it home or to the next thermal.  This new model has not flown yet, but they are taking orders.

 - Details

Anderson Powerpole Connectors
Anderson Power Products' Powerpole connectors are elegantly designed little connectors.  They are designed so that they are color-coded (Red for +, Black for -) and they are symmetrical in such a way that the same connector type can be used on both sides of the connection.  There really is no "male" or "female" connector.  Only one connector does it all.  Also, it is impossible to connect them incorrectly. They only connect one way.  And they are inexpensive - which is nice!

 - Details

Sailplane Design Posters

These posters look great on your wall at home, at work, or at the local gliderport. They also make great gifts.  Click on the images below to view larger versions. 

  • 50 Meilensteine Des Segelflugs
    (50 Milestones in Sailplane Design)

    This fantastic poster includes top view drawings of 50 sailplanes from around the world (including the United States) - each selected for their unique contribution to the evolution of sailplane design.  It is a virtual journey through time.  The journey begins at the top left of the poster with the 1920 Schwatze Düvel and ends at the bottom right with the 2000 Eta.
  • Milestones of US Sailplane Design

    This fantastic poster includes top view drawings of 32 sailplanes from the United States - each selected for their unique contribution to the evolution of sailplane design in the U.S.  The journey through time begins near the top of the poster with the 1933 Bowlus Albatross and ends at the bottom with the 1994 Genesis.

 - Details

New Printable Catalogs
Catalog - Sorted by Manufacturer
This new 10 page catalog lists most of the products I sell - sorted by manufacturer.  It doesn't show every product I sell, but it shows all the most popular products and manufacturers.  Please do me a favor - Print it out and look through it.  You just may find something that you didn't know was available.

Book & Video Catalog
Sometimes it is nice to be able to print a complete list of the available soaring books and videos. The 4 page PDF file at right is just such a list. You can use it to highlight books and videos to be purchased by friends and family members as gifts.

Other Catalogs
Complete catalogs of all the products I sell are available as web pages.  Due to the large number of products and manufacturers, printing them would take many, many pages.  But they work great as online documents with links to details on every product.  The Catalog by Category is nice because it allows you to see complete lists of similar products.  For example, all the variometers or all the GPS Flight Recorders.

 - Catalog by Manufacturer
 - Catalog by Category

I bet you will see several products that you didn't know were available from Cumulus Soaring, Inc. 

Schempp-Hirth Arcus - First Flight

On 7 April 2009 Tilo Holighaus and Christoph Wannenmacher made the maiden flight of the new Arcus sailplane from Hahnweide airfield.  Afterwards some other pilots convinced themselves of the outstanding flight characteristics of the new design in good thermal conditions. This two-seater is as agile as a single-seater – a perfect flight feeling! Schempp-Hirth is convinced that this flapped sailplane will set a new standard. 

It looks lovely to me!

 - Details

Arcus Wins 2009 German Double-seat Nationals
A few weeks later the new Arcus went on to win the 2009 German Double-seat Nationals!

Note the triple-panel airbrakes in the photo above.

First Flight Review of the Arcus
by Andreas Maurer

Yesterday we had a visit from Schempp Hirth, having the brand-new Arcus prototype in their luggage.

A couple of pilots from my club had the occasion for a flight - first impressions were enthusiastic to say the least.

Assembly is similar to the Duo Discus. The wings are significantly lighter than the Duo's ones, but the wing tips need to be raised to nearly 7 ft (due to the huge dihedral), so they feel as heavy as the wings of any other double seater. Apart from that, the assembly is quick and simple, identical to the Duo Discus.
My own flight was only twewnty minutes with little lift - but to sum up my impressions: If you think the Duo Discus flies well - the Arcus is at least one league better.
The fuselage is the same as the Duo XL and the Nimbus 4DL. Compared to the old Janus/Duo cockpit, it's grown significanly in length. To sum it up: I measure 6' 7" and fit very well into both seats - in my opinion it's by far the best double seater cockpit out there.

Aerotow is done the standard way: At the beginning flaps negative, lift off with flaps at +2. Very good aileron authority from the beginning.

New for a Schempp-Hirth glider, the flap lever is mounted high in the cockpit (in the same position as in Schleicher gliders). Gone is the need to look down into the cockpit in order to see the current flap setting. The flap lever needs very, very little force to move (the movement is assisted by springs) - in my opinion it feels very intuitive (much better than, say, an ASW-27).
Roll rate is *extremely* fast - the roll rate is comparable to the ASW-27 and much better than even the Duo Discus. Very, very low stick forces. Pretty amazing. All pilots compared the agility to the ASW-27.
The airbrakes are huge (nearly twice as high as the ones of the Duo Discus!), allowing extremely steep approaches and making excessive speed bleed off very quickly during the flare. Compared to the Duo, precision landings are incredibly easy to perform.
The wing of the Arcus is significantly smaller than the one of the Duo, allowing a maximum wing loading of 51 kg/m^2. Yet you can comfortably thermal it at below 90 kph (!) at a wing loading of 43 kg/m^2. The "feeling" for the thermal is, as far as I could judge with the little thermals I had, superb.
I'm not going to talk about performance since Schempp-Hirth hasn't published numbers yet - but I dare to predict that the sales value of used ASH-25's is going to drop a lot because many open class glider owners are going to trade their glider for an Arcus.

We all agreed that the Arcus is going to have a performance that is very, very close to the open class (if not even better).

Rob a bank and invest at least 150.000 Euros in a really, really nice toy.


International Vintage Sailplane Meet
The 2009 International Vintage Sailplane Meet (IVSM) was held from June 27th to July 4th at historic Harris Hill Gliderport in Elmira, NY.  I wish I could have been there.  I would love to see and photograph all those lovely vintage gliders.  Below are a few photos made available by a few vintage glider fans that attended the event.  Thank you Tony and Peter for posting links to these photos on the rec.aviation.soaring newsgroup.

Photos by Tony Condon - Owner of a Cherokee II


 - More Photos by Tony Condon

Photos by Peter (I'm sorry, but I don't know Peter's last name.)

Interesting Rhönbussard disassembly rig! - Photo #1

Interesting Rhönbussard disassembly rig! - Photo #2

Condor IV

Burt Compton getting ready to fly Leon Zeug's lovely Schleicher Ka-6E

 - More Photos by Peter

 - Photos at www.Soaringpics.com

SSA Convention 2010

The Soaring Society of America Convention for 2010 will be held in Little Rock, Arkansas from Wednesday, January 27th through Saturday, January 30th.  I am really looking forward to it for many reasons.  Since there was no SSA Convention this year, I really missed seeing all my soaring friends.  We are fortunate to have a very neat group of people in the soaring community.

Also, not having the SSA Convention this year (a year which was already slow due to the slow down in the world economy) was a bummer for me in terms of sales.  I often do well in terms of sales at the SSA Conventions - both at the convention and afterward.  I am not a fan of the SSA's decision to change the convention to every other year.  I hope they will re-consider that decision in the future.  If you would also like to see the SSA go back to having a convention every year, please send an e-mail to SSA management and to your SSA Regional Directors.  We need to get "the tribe" together more often than every other year.

I will have a display booth at the convention this year and will again be looking for people who would be willing to help out in my booth.  My father will be helping out again.  At the last convention I was extremely grateful to the many volunteers that helped me get my booth setup, broken down at the end, and helped gather books for customer orders.  You people really helped me serve the soaring community.  I will be offering some form of "thank you" for all volunteers - such as $10 credit for every hour worked in the booth.  Let me know if you are interested in helping out.

Solar Impulse - Around the World Without Fuel or Pollution
In a world depending on fossil energies, the Solar Impulse project is a paradox, almost a provocation: it aims to have an airplane take off and fly autonomously, day and night, propelled uniquely by solar energy, right round the world without fuel or pollution. An unachievable goal without pushing back the current technological limits in all fields...

 - Details

News from Naviter
Naviter has released version 3.94 of SeeYou (for the PC).  Upgrades are free for users of version 3.0 or higher.  The new features implemented since version 3.9 include:

Major Upgrades: (reverse order of implementation)
Version 3.9

  • Automatic upload to Soaring Spot

Minor Upgrades: (reverse order of implementation)
Version 3.9

  • fixed problem with LX Navigation and Volkslogger DLL
  • minor bug fixes
  • miscellaneous other bug fixes
  • Wrong handing of SUA airspace fixed
  • UTC offset Bug fixed
  • miscellaneous other bug fixes

Naviter has released version 3.12 of SeeYou Mobile (for the PDA/PNA).  The new features implemented since version 3.0 include:
Major Upgrades: (reverse order of implementation)
Version 3.1

  • Natively supports Bendix-King AV8OR*
  • Works on selected devices with Windows CE operating system*
  • Supports any screen resolution, high or low*
  • Full screen QWERTY keyboard
  • Automatic selection of COM port and Baud rates for known devices*
  • Supports Landscape format*
  • Stores registration to a file to prevent loss of key after hard reset
  • Uploading tasks to Flarm
  • New buttons in Menu - Save Settings and Switch Profile
  • Danish translation
  • Battery low warning

Minor Upgrades: (reverse order of implementation)
Version 3.12

  • Corrected problem with keyboard on VGA devices (HX4700, Axim X51)
  • Changes to the communication DLLs for improved stability
  • Dedicated Bluetooth button in the menu on the HP 314
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes

Version 3.1

  • Flarm info alert when a new Flarm comes in range
  • Automatically rotates the device in portrait mode if supported
  • New set of Actions for navboxes. Click on a Navbox performs a certain action
  • Autohides the Windows task bar while SeeYou Mobile for PNA is running*
  • Supports two way communication through K6 Bluetooth dongle (in progress)
  • Supports the NMEA sentence
  • Task button in Command bar replaced with Next page button
  • Wind symbol visible in Thermal assistant
  • Option to prevent the device to turn off during flight (overrides system settings)
  • New XML engine
  • Help keys replaced with Keyboard keys
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes

SeeYou Mobile for PNA now supports the PNAs listed below.

Hewlett Packard iPaq Travel Companion
Models: 310, 312, 314, 316
Special notes: Can be connected to external devices by cable. The device is already out of production, but can be obtained on a used market or even new.
Web: http://tinyurl.com/dd52nf

Bendix King AV8OR
Model: AV8OR
Special notes: After soft reset a menu is shown. Select GoFly for SeeYou Mobile, GoDrive for ConnectMe. AV8OR can be connected to external devices by optional serial interface cable sold as accessory.
Web: https://www.bendixking.com/AV8OR/

Supported devices: 2100 max, 2110 max, 2150 max, 7210, 8110, 8310
Not tested: 3300 max, 3310 max, 4310 max, 4350 max, 7310
Special note: Excellent car navigation software.
Web: http://www.navigon.com/site/int/en/

Supported device: TA7928
Not tested on all other devices, however there is good chance that it works on many if not most.
Web: http://www.mybecker.com/

Supported device: Altina G8010
Does not have serial communication, just internal GPS as source.
Web: http://www.citynavigation.co.za/altina-g8010-ndrive.htm http://www.pjaviation.co.za/

Craggy Aero
Supported device: Ultimate
Note: Device comes preinstalled with SeeYou Mobile
Web: http://www.craggyaero.com/ultimate.htm

The list above will change over time.  To see the current list, go here: List of Officially Supported PNA Devices

New "Speed OLC" Contest
Have you noticed that there are new "Speed-OLC" results automatically generated on the OLC (Online Contest) web site at www.onlinecontest.org.   I don't see any information about the speed contest on the OLC rules page, but the speed points seem to be calculated using the same method used for speeds in the "OLC League" weekend club speed contest.  In the OLC-League, each weekend the three best speeds from pilots in each soaring club are compared.  In the new Speed-OLC contest each individual pilot gets speed points for each day.  The Champion is selected by adding up speed points for the 6 best flights for each pilot.  What a great idea!  Currently the U.S. champions are Bill Hill, Jim Payne and James (Chip) Garner, but the OLC season isn't over yet.  So go fly - and fly fast.  The world leaders are currently Jim Payne, Klaus Ohlman, Bill Hill, and Chip Garner.

 - Speed OLC World Champions - (contest season not complete)
 - Speed OLC USA Champions - (contest season not complete)

Also new on the OLC gliding web site are links to the "OLC Alps" and "OLC Junior Challenge".  I don't know much about those contests yet, but they sound pretty self explanatory and interesting - and fun!

 - Details

New "Services" Page
I offer more than just soaring instruments, books and software. I have become an expert at using many soaring instrument and software products. I often help customers install their soaring software on their PC or PDA. I also have customers send their PDAs and PNAs to me so that I can install soaring software, waypoints, airspace, maps, etc. on their device for them. In addition, I will soon offer barograph and flight recorder calibration.  I can also replace backup batteries and reset the electronic security seal on flight recorders that have become "un-sealed".  Below is a list of the services offered.

Details are available on the Services page.

Weiss Glider Centenary Celebration
Submitted by Dave Clews
PR Officer
Southdown Gliding Club, Parham, Sussex, U.K.: www.sgc1.org

100 Years of Soaring – UK Celebration
“It was the best day of my life!” - a fitting moment and one that nearly brought a tear to my eye as one of our youngest members, 14 year-old James, summed up the Centenary Day that Southdown Gliding Club organized to celebrate 100 years of gliding in the UK.

Figure 1: A DG505 and T13 Petrel side-by-side in formation aerotow over Southdown's airfield in Southern England

On a perfect summer’s day on 27th June 2009, the club celebrated the world’s first recorded soaring flight when a young 17-year old Eric Gordon-England successfully soared a glider designed by José Weiss. In 1909 on exactly the same date, the rickety, tailless glider was launched from atop Amberley Mount, a 500ft hill that forms part of the South Downs range of hills in Southern England. The glider gained 50ft in height and soared for 59 seconds – miniscule by today’s standards but a huge kick-start for the sport in those pioneering days.

Figure 2 - Slingsby T13 Petrel over Southdown's Airfield

The Southdown Gliding Club at Parham Airfield in West Sussex, Southern England is only 2 miles from where it all happened 100 years ago and its 200 members decided to celebrate in style. We invited the Vintage Gliding Club to bring a few gliders and they responded by bringing along and soaring some beautiful examples of 1930s sailplanes including a Slingsby Petrel, a Minimoa and a Rhönsperber. Local members rigged their own vintage gliders and we saw the likes of Slingsby T21s, Ka6’s and Skylarks grace our airfield and the skies above us.

Figure 3 - A P51 Mustang drops in

We were delighted to be honoured with the presence of Mrs Daphne Slade, the 92-year-old daughter of Eric Gordon-England, who still lives a few miles away. She and her grand-daughter Phillipa, together with our chairman Craig Lowrie, unveiled a special memorial plaque. Other gliding celebrities attending included Patrick Naegli (chairman of the British Gliding Association) and Chris Wills, president of the Vintage Gliding Club.

Figure 4 - Daphne Slade, 92 and daughter of Eric Gordon-England unveils a commemorative plaque

The day was a quintessential, English summer’s day with beautiful, stately gliders soaring the skies above whilst members, their friends and familes watched in awe whilst indulging themselves with Cream Teas, strawberries and Pimms! We were treated to displays by the internationally-renowned Swift Gilder Aerobatic Team featuring club member Guy Westgate and Rob Davies’s P51 Mustang. Local member, Jon Gowdy, also gave us a superb display in his Tiger Moth with silver streamers trailing from his struts.

The scene on the ground was beautifully set with vintage cars (Austin Sevens) and an old Austin Seven-based racing car from 1924 (nicknamed ‘Mrs JoJo’). This racing car was set next to a 5/8 scale replica of the Jose Weiss designed glider. The connection here was that Gordon-England went on to become a racing car designer for the Austin Car manufacturer. We were so lucky to find an example of his car thanks to the UK’s Austin Seven Owners Club.

Figure 5 - The Weiss Replica built by Andrew Jarvis (left) of the Vintage Glider Club

The crowning glory for the day was an attempted flight (remotely) of the replica Weiss glider which local member and orthopedic surgeon, Andrew Jarvis, had built from rough plans. Chris Foss, well-known for his RC model aircraft, had installed radio gear into the replica. The general opinion was that it wouldn’t fly and would end up in a heap of twisted wood and fabric at the end of the airfield. However, by way of some skilful driving of the tow-vehicle (a quad bike) and Chris Foss’s nimble controls on his transmitter, the replica eventually hopped of the ground accompanied by a huge cheer from the expectant crowd. It flew about 50 metres at a height of about 20 feet before landing with little damage. It was a fitting end to the day and a huge tribute to the design skills of Jose Weiss. Jose and Eric must have been looking down on us with huge smiles!

Figure 6 - a Schweyer Rhönsperber

Videos of the event:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yZAMjsoxfM
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkbRRYve3Kg
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwBfqGLA5fU

 - The flight of the Weiss replica is near the end of Part 3.

You can find out more about Southdown Gliding Club and its chequered history at www.sgc1.org.

Video of the Swift Glider Aerobatic team can be seen on:

2010 U.S. Nationals Soaring Contest Sites and Dates
The data below is from Tom Kelley's (contest #711) excellent Blog

Sports Class Nationals
Parowan, UT
Practice days June 13 & 14.
Contest days June 15 through June 24

18 Meter Nationals
Waynesville, OH
Practice days June 13 & 14.
Contest days June 15 through June 24

Open/Standard Class Nationals
Hobbs, NM
Practice days June 27 & 28.
Contest days June 29 through July 8

15 Meter Nationals
Uvalde, TX
Practice days Aug.1 & 2.
Contest days Aug. 3 through Aug. 12
Jaxida Cover - News
Jaxida Cover produces a range of state-of-the-art covers for small aircraft designed to protect from the weather, UV exposure, dust, moisture and hanger damage.

Jaxida covers are seen as the benchmark for cover performance and have become famous throughout the global gliding community. Jaxida covers are seen on more gliders by far than any other make.

At the 2006 World Championship in Eskildstuna, Sweden JAXIDA Covers were represented on 53 of the 120 participating gliders!

New Ownership
In July of 2009 Jaxida Cover was purchased by the Schwenk family, a well known gliding family. They are proud to further develop Jaxi’s ideas and to produce Jaxida Covers in their home town of Münsingen, Germany.

The Schwenk family have been cutting cloth and selling clothes since 1843 so they know the trade! Uli, a German National Gliding Champion, regularly travels the world competing in International Gliding Grand Prix and World Championships. He knows how important a glider's cover can be, particularly in harsh environments like Nevada, Europe, New Zealand, Southern Africa and Chile. Before buying the company in 2009 Uli was the German Jaxida agent so he knows the product inside out.

Uli's daughter Daniela, brought up in both gliding and the “rag trade”, understands production, fabric development and above all the personalized service that pilots demand.

Uli and Daniela look forward to the future of Jaxida Cover.

Open House at Jaxida Factory - October 3, 2009
Invitation from the factory:

"We are opening our new production centre to the public. If you are near Münsingen on the 3rd October 2009 please feel free to drop in and take a look around. We would be happy to see you there and show you our new facility.

Our doors will be open between 10am and 4pm."

 - Details

2010 ASA Test Prep Books and Prepware Software

The new 2010 ASA Test Prep books and Prepware test preperation software is available.  Click on the images above for details.

Note: For some reason, ASA did not publish a new Sport Pilot version of the Test Prep book for 2010.  Let me know if you can offer any insight into why that is.  I will continue to stock the 2009 version. 

LX 8000 Firmware Update

LX Navigation has released new features for the LX8000 and LX8000D (2nd seat repeater for 2-seat gliders).  The new software is version 2.1 and offers the features listed below. 
  • User interface is now available in the French and Czech languages

  • Position report on information page

  • Satellite sky view on information page

  • Improvement of task navigation to finish

  • Moving task point with two different methods

  • Temperatures are written with decimal point

  • Enhanced user interface

  • All warnings can be closed with CLOSE button

As with all LX8000 upgrades, it is a free download which can be installed easily by copying the upgrade file to an SD memory card and plugging it into the front of the LX8000.

 - Details

Why I Want to Be A Pilot - by a Fifth Grader (Funny!)

I received the note below from Scott Fletcher. 

Our Glider Club club was asked to help a local Boy Scout Troop with their aviation merit badges. The following was part of the presentation to us. - Scott

I Want to Be a Pilot
I want to be a pilot when I grow up because it’s fun and easy to do.  Pilots don’t need much school, they just have to learn numbers so they can read the instruments.  I guess they should be able to read maps so they can find their way if they get lost.  Pilots should be brave so they won’t get scarred if it’s foggy and they can’t see or if a wing or motor falls off they should stay calm so they’ll know what to do.  Pilots have to have good eyes so they can see through clouds and they can’t be afraid of lighting or thunder because they are closer to them then we are.  The salary pilots make is another thing that I like.  They make more money than they can spend.  This is because most people think airplane flying is dangerous except pilots don’t because they know how easy it is.  There isn’t much I don’t like, except girls like pilots and all the stewardesses want to marry them so they always have to chase them away so they won’t bother them.  I hope I don’t get airsick because if I do I couldn’t be a pilot and would have to go to work.

A Fifth Grader

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

New Kempton Izuno Cross Country Soaring video, "Tall Clouds & Big Mountains" - Excellent!
The link below is to the short "trailer" for this film.  The full high-definition film was previously available for purchase for a small fee ($5?).  I purchased it and enjoyed it very much.  I'm sure it will be available again soon.
 - http://hdsoaring.blogspot.com/2009/06/tall-clouds-big-mountains_27.html

In Flight - The Big Picture - Boston.com
Very interesting aviation photo collection


Excellent soaring photos by Remolcando

These photos make fantastic screen savers or desktop backgrounds.

A Group of Soaring Pilots Doing a Charity Fund Raiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)

The Sunship Game Film on YouTube (in 8 segments)

This is an awesome film!  Some of the audio was deleted during the transfer to YouTube due to royalty issues with the Bee Gees songs.  I am still hoping that someday the director will be able to make it available on DVD.

Videos from the Pre-WGC in Slovakia
 - http://www.wgc2010.sk/index.php/en/video

Interesting Soaring Overview and Training Videos on iTunes
If you have iTunes installed on your computer, you may find these free video downloads interesting - I did.  There are two groups of videos under the headings "Soaring Achievements" and "Soaring by Design".  They include some very nice vintage soaring footage and footage showing the construction methods used in creating sailplanes, aerodynamic theory, etc.  The films were made available by the Open University.  I believe the Open University is located in the U.K. 

To access the videos:

  • Run iTunes

  • Go to the iTunes Store

  • Use the search box to search for "Soaring Achievements"

  • Click the "Get Movie" button to download the desired videos to iTunes on your computer.

  • Use the search box to search for "Soaring by Design"

  • Click the "Get Movie" button to download the desired videos to iTunes on your computer.

Gliding Nimbus 4DM in the Alps, Vinon, Nimbus 4DM - Video - Very good!!!

Vintage Gliding Photo Collections: http://www.lakesgc.co.uk/mainwebpages/Photo Albums.htm

Great video showing the fun of Oshkosh Airventure 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKU0uQki5Dc

James May's Ride in U2 Spy Plane:

Vintage Sailplane Photos

Woodstock flyby, Gary Osaba

Apollo 11 Audio and HD Video from NASA Archives
 - Audio
 - High-Definition Video
Excellent Article about Apollo 11
 - Link to Article

Nice Article about Soaring on www.vansairforce.net
 - http://www.vansairforce.com/community/showthread.php?t=45291

Coming Next Month
  • More fun links and soaring news from around the world
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