Home > Newsletters > October 17, 2009
Newsletter Header

Cumulus Soaring, Inc. Newsletter

In This Issue


Winning the 2009 U.S. National Glider Aerobatic Championship

New 2010 Soaring Photo Calendars

New EB 29 from Binder

SSA Sailplane Tracker Page

NK ClearNav Flight Log Validation Program

VSA Rally in Wichita, Kansas

Trig TT21 Transponder Update

LET Ceases Production of Blaniks

New ILEC SN10 Software Available

Winter Instrument Manuals Available as FREE Downloads

"Gliding Needs Airspace" Facebook Fan Page

Soaring Links - Sailplane Repairs

Students Soar into Naval future

AOPA - Do The Right Thing - Decision Making for Pilots - Training Course

Soaring Comic Strip

CG-4A Military Glider Restoration

Duster BJ-1B - For Sale

NK ClearNav Remote Sticks

David Nadler and the Lange Antares at Oskosh

Van's Article - "The Year of the Electric Airplane"

WASPs to Get Congressional Medal of Honor

New Employee!

"Friends of CSI" Update - Please Join the Club

"Soaring Eagle" Music CD by Chris Comet

Chinese Human-Powered Aircraft

Jessica Cox Interview Video

SALE Items

Badge & Record News


Revell Duo Discus Model Update

SSA Convention 2010

Jaxida Cover Update

SoaringNV is Recruiting Soaring Instructors

Dale Masters Returns to Soaring California Soaring Academy

Barograph & GPS Flight Recorder Calibration

BatteryMINDer Update

Kind Words Regarding Technical Support

Argentina - Gliding in the 5th Dimension

Holiday Gift Ideas

New Condor Scenery from Post Frontal

New HpH 304TS Twin Shark

2010 FAR/AIM In Stock

FAA Aviation News

Historic Langley Wind Tunnel Shut Down

Fun and Interesting Links

Coming Next Month

Wrap Up


Subscribe to This Newsletter

Join Our Mailing List

Popular Items

Trig TT21

Mountain High Oxygen Systems

SPOT-2 Satellite Messenger

Canopy Cap

Condor Soaring Competition Simulator

EW microRecorder



NK ClearNav

Cambridge Aero Instruments
302, & 303

LX Navigation Colibri

Nimbus iPAQ Cradles

Tasman V1000 Variometer

Glide Navigator II


SeeYou Mobile

Bowlus Maxi Gap Seal Tape

Softie Parachutes from Para-Phernalia 

Quick Links



Issue: 9

October 17, 2009

Dear Soaring Enthusiast,

My kids have gone back to school so the house is much more quiet during the day lately.  Adam is now in his second year of Junior High School (7th grade) and is getting into the rhythm of it.  Elle is enjoying 4th grade and Sara is thriving in 2nd grade.  Adam is also starting his first year of confirmation classes at church and Elle and Sara are happy that their church choirs have started up again.  I continue to enjoy singing in the church choir and volunteering as a small group leader in confirmation class. 

I enjoyed a romantic date with my lovely wife Renee last weekend.  We are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary this month.  We had a lovely evening at a nice Italian restaurant and we stayed at the same bed and breakfast we stayed at on our wedding night.  God has blessed me richly with Renee and our kids.

I am envious of the glider pilots reading this in South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand as their soaring seasons are just getting started.  The soaring season is gradually coming to a close here in Minnesota.  The weather is getting colder and the good soaring days are fewer and farther between.  On Monday, October 12th we had a very early snowfall.  The leaves haven't yet fallen off most trees here.  The photo at right was taken out my home office window.  The snow didn't last long.  I hope the weather allows some more glider flying before winter really sets in.  I am scheduled to act as the Field Operations Officer (running the soaring operation) for the Minnesota Soaring Club at Stanton Airfield on October 24th.  I'm looking forward to it.

It is now time to start thinking about any upgrades you may want to do to your glider this winter.  Is this the year you will install a transponder in your glider, or upgrade your flight computer or radio?

It is also time to start making a list of items you want to receive as gifts during the holiday season.  You may want to start dropping hints or printing out product web pages for the soaring calendars, books and videos you would like to receive from your friends and family. 

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 the time you spend reading it and clicking through the links. 

If this is your first newsletter - Welcome!  If you missed any of the previous issues of this newsletter, they are all available here:

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

Good Soaring,

Paul Remde

Winning the 2009 U.S. National Glider Aerobatic Championship
by Paul Jennings

It’s Saturday morning, you’re at home and see streets of Puffy Cumulus clouds in rows as far as you can see! What to do next is to drop everything and head to the airport for what looks to be a great day of soaring. You’ve checked Dr. Jack, Blipmap, Satellite, and Radar Data and know the conditions are ripe for that perfect cross-country flight. This is what gets the juices flowing in most glider pilots.

Ok, now consider the weather to be blue skies, no wind, no thermals, but otherwise a nice day. Do you drop everything and dash to the airport? Probably not, unless you’re a student or Aerobatic Pilot. We’ve all been student pilots but what about aerobatics. Most of us have experienced glider aerobatics during primary training including stalls, steep turns, and maybe some spin training. Do you ever want to do more than stalls, steep turns, steep pull ups, and the occasional spin?

Some flight schools have created Unusual Attitude Recovery Courses and I highly recommend them for every pilot. If you get flipped upside down, the natural reaction is to pull. A Split-S at that speed would most likely have you screaming way past red line, a pucker factor of epic proportion, and possible aircraft damage or destruction. Did you remember your chute? Learning what to do and when is what helps makes us better and safer pilots. Practicing these maneuvers with an experienced aerobatic instructor in an aircraft built for that purpose will build your confidence and maybe just spark a desire to do more. Those who want to explore the possibilities of aerobatics can expect an assault on their physical and mental limits. Flying the aerobatic maneuvers well is difficult and requires plenty of practice.

My passion for flying and improving my skills has progressed over the years to Competition Aerobatics. The aircraft I fly is a Swift S-1 that is specially built for aerobatics and stressed to 10 positive G’s and 7.5 Negative G’s. After flying fun aerobatics for many years, I decided to start competing 3 years ago and with a lot of practice I have been able to win the top spot for glider aerobatics in the United States. Other than continuing lots of practice to defend my title, I will start training for the World Championship which is held every 2 years in Europe.

The Best Power and Glider Aerobatic pilots in the United States gather once a year at Denison, TX for the National Championships. 81 Power pilots and 20 Glider pilots competed at the weeklong event in hopes of winning the Championship in their Category. The Power Categories are Primary, Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced, and Unlimited. The Glider Categories are Sportsman, Intermediate, and Unlimited. The categories are progressively more difficult with the Unlimited Category the most difficult of all. The winner of the Unlimited Category is crowned the U.S. National Champion. I flew 4 flights during the week of which 3 were scored for the Championship. These flights were the Known, Free, and Unknown. The Known flight is a sequence of aerobatic maneuvers published each January and can be practiced as much as you like. The Free flight is a sequence of aerobatic maneuvers developed by each pilot within very specific rules that can be flown as much as you like. The Unknown flight is developed at the contest and given to the pilot the day before and is not allowed to be practiced. Each aerobatic maneuver is scored by several Judges with a degree of difficulty, like diving and figure skating, and the pilot with the highest score wins. Flights must be flown in the “BOX”. This is an imaginary box measuring 3300ft on each side with a top of 4000ft agl and a floor of 600ft agl for the unlimited gliders. Pilots are penalized by having points removed each time they fly outside the box.

The weather was less than ideal with strong winds from the south later shifting from the north when the slow moving cold front crept through. I was competing for the U.S. National Title against 3 time U.S. National Champion Jason Stevens. Jason is a really nice guy and an amazing pilot, he runs Arizona Soaring, a glider flight school in Phoenix. If you want a glider rating or some glider aerobatic training, call Jason.

Flight 1, the Known, was difficult to keep in the box due to 20+knot winds from the south. I flew better then Jason on this flight and won the Gold Medal.

Flight 2, the Free, was extremely close where I edged out Jason for the Gold Medal.

Flight 3, the Unknown, was close but Jason flew better than me and he won the Gold Medal this time. The many years of experience Jason has greatly helps in the Unknown Flight.
The Overall Points Standing gave me the lead winning the Title of U.S. National Glider Aerobatic Champion.

I must say Jason and I are closely matched and you can bet next year he will be a lot better. I expect I will as well. This is the best form of competition, where we will push each other to constantly be the best we can be. This will show it’s colors at the World Championships where I hope we will each finish well in the standings.

The last day of the competition was my 4th flight called the 4-Minute Freestyle, a Trophy event flown with smoke and music and looks like an Air Show. Gliders compete directly with powered aircraft in this event. I was the only glider with 6 powered aircraft to compete against. I was extremely pleased to have placed 4th.  This flight can be seen on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugfqli83K2w  or Search “Paul Jennings 4 Min Free US Nationals”.

In closing I have to say that success is seldom accomplished by yourself. I may be flying the glider but without the help of my wife Suzanne, my good friend Bob Thrasher, the Tulsa Skyhawks, and many others, my success would not be possible.

I will start training for the World Championships soon. The more I train, the better I will be. If anyone would like to assist with training expenses, It would be my pleasure to display your name or company logo on my Glider, Trailer, and Press Releases. Contact me at cfigok@juno.com

Have Fun and Fly Safe,

Paul Jennings
Hulbert, OK


Congratulation Paul!!! (from Paul Remde)

New 2010 Soaring Photo Calendars

I just love photographs of sailplanes.  As an amateur photographer with several images published in the Soaring Society of America Soaring Calendar in the past, and images used in Soaring magazine and sailplane ads, I really appreciate good soaring photographs.  You can see some of my soaring photographs here: Paul's Soaring Photos.  Sailplanes are extremely elegant machines.  Their long slender wings and smooth lines are graceful and beautiful to behold.  My passion for soaring photos has led me to offer several of the world's best soaring photo calendars for your pleasure. 

Use These Calendars to Promote Soaring
Not only can you appreciate the photos on the walls of your home or office, but they also can be a great way to promote soaring.  When displayed in a public place such as your office, you are likely to get questions about soaring - which is great.  In fact, the display of the SSA Soaring Calendars at my first place of employment is what got me to start flying sailplanes at age 22.  Afterwards I found out that a wonderful soaring promoter here in Minnesota named Harry Meline used the SSA Soaring
Calendars to promote both soaring and his small company.  Every year he brought in batches of the calendars with his company information displayed on a simple mailing label on the front cover of the calendar.  He laid them out for anyone to take.  Many employees at that company had the lovely soaring calendars on the walls of their offices and cubicles.  I had always wanted to try soaring - someday.  But finally one day I decided that the time was right, so I flipped the calendar on my wall over and found the phone number for the Soaring Society of America.  I called them and they told me about the local soaring clubs and commercial operations.  Harry Meline is no longer soaring in this world, but perhaps others will follow his example and use soaring calendars to promote soaring in their workplaces.  ...Years later I distributed soaring calendars to my customers in the industrial automation industry.  They all displayed them on their office walls and asked many questions about soaring.

Calendar Comparison
The images in this article are approximately to scale - showing the relative size of each available calendar.  As you can see, the Claus-Dieter Zink calendar is the largest (it's huge!), the Segelflug-Bildkalendar is next largest, and the SSA calendar is the smallest.  All 3 calendars offer exceptional soaring photos.  The Segelflug-Bildkalendar offers the most interesting articles on the backs of the photos.  The SSA calendar is the only one with a large calendar grid which can be used to enter upcoming events, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  The "Junior" Segelflug-Bildkalender is a nice, small desktop calendar that also makes a great gift.

 - Details

New EB 29 from Binder

Binder Flugmotoren & Flugzeugbau has recently announced their new single-seat EB 29 auxiliary-powered sailplane.  It has a wing span of 28.3 or 29.3 m (92.9 or 96.1 feet)! 

 - Details

 - Flight Review by Uli Schwenk (automatic web site translation from German to English)

SSA Sailplane Tracker Page
The Soaring Society of America has just announced a fantastic new page on their web site that makes it easy to access web pages setup to allow tracking of particular sailplanes.  I am very impressed.  What a great idea!  Thank you SSA!  Below is the text from the SSA web site. 

SSA Promotes Soaring Safety with New Sailplane Tracker List

It’s late in the day, and one of your sailplane pilots has not returned – what to do? If he or she is one of the growing numbers of pilots equipped with a SPOT™ satellite tracking device, an APRS (ham-radio only) or other personal locator beacon (PLB), and has updated his or her SSA profile with the information, then you may be able to quickly access the latest tracking information on the pilot through the SSA’s new Sailplane Tracker List.

In recognition of its leading role in promoting soaring safety, the SSA has created the SSA Sailplane Tracker List. The repository is a list of internet links to satellite tracker data, such as SPOT™,s ‘Shared Tracking’ page or other web-based tracking devices. Simply click on the ‘Locator URL’ link for a listed member, and the most recent tracking data is shown superimposed on a map.

Click on the SAILPLANE TRACKER icon on the SSA home page to go directly to the Sailplane Tracker List. For additional information or feedback please contact a member of the sailplane tracking team here.

NK ClearNav Flight Log Validation Program
The link below is to a utility program which can be used to check the security of flight logs generated by NK ClearNav's.

 - Details

VSA Rally in Wichita, Kansas - Sept. 26, 2009
Tony Condon (Cherokee II owner) uploaded some very nice photos from the Vintage Soaring Association Rally in Wichita, Kansas on September 26th.

 - Photos

Trig TT21 Transponder Update
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!  Also, the TT21 uses half the power used by the Becker ATC4401 - which is very impressive. 

Transponder Comparison Table
I have created a detailed transponder comparison table with generous help from Darryl Ramm and Eric Greenwell.  Thank you Darryl and Eric for all your help!!!

- Transponder Comparison Table

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 now have units in stock.  They have already been extremely popular!  I have sold many of them.

Close Call - Glider and 737
A customer of mine called me recently and ordered a Trig TT21 after having a very scary close call with a 737 while flying his glider in the western USA.  The incident really scared him.  He is convinced (and I agree) that the 737 probably wouldn't have been anywhere near him if he had had a transponder in the glider at the time.

A Transponder in Every Sailplane
I strongly believe that every sailplane should have a working transponder in it. I'm sure you will think that is because I sell them. But the main reason is that I fear that in the future a collision will occur between a glider (without a transponder) and a commercial airliner.  In addition to the tragic loss of life, we soaring pilots may lose access to airspace.  It is my sincere hope that this transponder will break down many of the barriers which have kept glider pilots from installing transponders in their gliders.  The units small size and low power consumption make it very attractive. 

Wiring harness for connecting TT21 to TC20 and 12V power - $145 (0.5 m) or $155 (3 m)
The basic system includes all the required connectors, but they are not wired together.  This is a pre-wired wiring harness which makes installation faster and trouble-free.  It may also save you delays and repair bills should you accidentally connect something incorrectly.  This wiring harness is assembled and tested using a cable tester by Larry Goddard.  It has a DB-9f connector at the TC20 end and a DB-25m connector at the TT21 end.  It also includes power leads for 10 to 30 VDC. There are 2 cable length options: 0.5 m (19.7 inches) and 3 m (9.84 feet).  The 0.5 m length is perfect for installations where the TT21 Transponder Unit will be mounted near the TC20 Control Unit (such as in front of the instrument panel in the nose of a glider) and the 3 m version should be long enough for mounting the TT21 unit behind the pilot, near where the antenna is installed.

 - Details

LET Ceases Production of Blaniks

Below is a note of from Vitek Siroky of Blanik America, Inc.

"Recently there have been rumors that the Blanik gliders are no longer made. While it is true that the LET factory has halted manufacturing them, the factory has been searching for a buyer to take over the production of gliders. The LET factory is concentrating on manufacturing turboprop airliners instead. If there is enough demand from the soaring public, the LET factory - or some other one - might continue making Blaniks. They are remarkable gliders, and still very much wanted and loved worldwide. Blanik America, the North American importer has not been distributing any new Blanik gliders recently. However, Blanik America does support the L13, L23, L13AC and L33 already delivered, with parts and service."

 - LET Web Site

 - Blanik America, Inc. web site

 - Video of Blanix aerobatic team:

 - Video of people having fun with a Blanik:


New ILEC SN10 Software Available
There is a new version of the SN-10 software which is available now - 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.

Notable features in version 2.34 (September, 2009):

  • Dark LCD bug fixed (temperature-contrast adjust bug of Jan 2009)
  • USB adapter bug fixes and improvements (progress messages etc)
  • Suppress diagnostics which could interfere with PDA/FLARM (USB, NSP)

Notable features in version 2.33 (June, 2009):

  • 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 June.  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.  Be sure to use version 2.34.  Do not use version 2.33.

The software is available here:

Winter Instrument Manuals Available as FREE Downloads
Winter has made the installation and maintenance manuals for all their soaring instruments available as PDF files on their web site.  I have added links to them on my Winter web page.

 - Winter Installation and Maintenance Manuals

"Gliding Needs Airspace" Facebook Fan Page
A glider pilot named Javier Castrillón in Madrid has created a Facebook "Fan" page called "Gliding Needs Airspace".  It currently has over 1,350 fans.  you may want to become a fan.  It is an interesting idea and I wish him the best.  Below is information from the page.


Gliding, silent and graceful way of flying without an engine, probably one of the closest possibilities that a human being has to feel like a bird, is critically threatened by airspace decision makers, those who define how, when and who can use the air for flying.

Everybody might think the space as a common place, somewhere that everyone should be allowed to make use of, just under some kind of rules and organization for avoiding collisions. This should be the situation.

But, what really happens today is that commercial aviation stakeholders, mainly for airlines transporting people and goods, besides military aviation, acting as a lobby, have the control hand in hand with politicians, and they get almost the exclusive use of any chunk of space they want to, by just claiming for it. For sure, they need to have some space granted for their operations being safe; but, what about the rest of aviation? What about the use of that same airspace for private, non-commercial flying, just for leisure and fun? Do they also have some rights?

If something similar would happen for road traffic, let's imagine for example, if only buses and trucks would be allowed to make use of our roads, and private cars and motorbikes would almost be excluded. Unbelievable, isn't it? And unacceptable, of course.

Right, that is what is going on above our heads. Leisure aviation is more and more restricted in favor of commercial aviation, which implies a significant and progressive reduction of people flying small aircraft, gliders or any other kind of planes. But among all of them, gliding is the aerial activity that is most seriously affected and impacted because of this trend, and it is quite simple to explain. There is no self-propulsion in gliders (or sailplanes as they are sometimes called), so they need altitude as the only source of energy, and when they are forced to fly very close to ground, it is definitely impossible for sailplanes to go any distance from their take-off place.

So, let's make our claim for the room necessary to keep on playing this really magical and interesting sport, before we turn into "the last of the glider pilots".

Become a fan to support the initiative.

Thanks, and happy landings.

Javier Castrillón

 - Become a Fan (or just learn more about it)

Soaring Links - Sailplane Repairs

Sometime in the mid 1990s I created my www.soaring-links.com web site.  It includes thousands of links to soaring web sites around the world.  It is designed to be completely unbiased - it includes links to products I don't sell and even my competitors.  I use is often to find answers to customer questions about products, soaring data, sailplane manufacturers, etc.

Recently I have updated the Repairs page with help from feedback on the rec.aviation.soaring newsgroup.  The page includes links to glider repair facilities in the USA.  I haven't found similar lists anywhere.  Please let me know if there are any repair facilities which are missing or need updating. 

Students Soar into Naval future
The AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) is a great organization.  If you are not already a member - please join.  They do so much for pilots in Washington, D.C., create excellent free training courses like the one below, and have published quite a few articles about soaring in the AOPA magazine and on their web site. 

The U.S. Naval Academy’s Summer Training Soaring Program introduced 150 midshipmen to flying this summer using gliders at the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Center Airport.

Below is additional information from Janine Acee from State College, PA.  Janine is the SSA Governor for PA-East (PA Region 2) where Fairfield is located.

"M-ASA members Mike Higgins, Bob Jackson, Dave Pixton, and George Simms have been instrumental in working with the Naval Academy, Brian Randall, and Sean Noronha to get this program up and running and it has been very successful. Additionally, the middies have helped out at the last two Region 4N contests, providing additional exposure to our sport. It's a win-win!"

AOPA - Do The Right Thing - Decision Making for Pilots - Training Course

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has recently made a FREE new online training course available.  It is called "Do the Right Thing - Decision Making for Pilots".  Every pilot should make the time to take the course.  It may save your life. 

Soaring Comic Strip
I created the soaring comic strip below for a soaring newsletter I published in 1991 called "Soar Minnesota".  The idea came from a Gary Larsen "Far Side" comic strip which showed aliens getting out of a spinning UFO and falling down because they were dizzy from all the spinning. 


CG-4A Military Glider Restoration
Minnesota Soaring Club member Dale Johnson is known to be a fantastic craftsman.  He has built several aircraft including museum display versions (full scale) of a Curtis Jenny, and a Wright Flyer and a beautiful flying Pietenpol Air Camper. 

Lately he has been working with the Minnesota Herritage Foundation to rebuild a CG-4A WWII military combat glider.  During WWII the U.S. government contracted several companies to build these gliders.  One interesting fact about this restoration is that the work is being done in factory space at the same company (Villaume) in which wood assemblies for CG-4A gliders were built during WWII.  The photos below show the state of the project as of May, 2009.

I will be visiting the project next week and will have photos and details for the next newsletter.

Thank you Paul Randall for providing the photos and captions.

Click on the images below to view larger versions.

CG4A Fuselage Frame

Cockpit – note lack of protection for pilots legs!

Nose wood – “Built by Dale Johnson 2009”

Wing Ribs – probably also Dale’s handiwork

Top center of cockpit with trim cranks, tow release, etc.

Suspension parts – ‘needs some TLC’

I look forward to visiting the project first hand very soon and will include updates in future editions of this newsletter.

If WWII combat glider history is of interest to you, you may also find the items below interesting.  I found them fascinating.

Silent Wings - The American Glider Pilots of WWII (DVD)

Silent Wings at War - Combat Gliders in World War II (Book - new)

Silent Wings - The Saga of the U.S. Army and Marine Combat Glider Pilots During World War II (Book - Used)

Soaring History books


Duster BJ-1B - For Sale
I don't normally include classified ads in this newsletter because they are already available on my www.soaring-classifieds.com web site.  However, I have decided to list this one as a favor to the owner.  Dale Johnson has been a huge asset to the Minnesota Soaring Club over many years.  Also, next week he is taking me to see the CG-4A glider restoration project he is involved with.   Thank you Dale for everything you do and have done for the soaring club, soaring in general, and helping restore vintage aircraft.

Thor Duster BJ-1B
This is a classic wooden sailplane in excellent condition.  It was built by Minnesota glider pilot Jim Wood in 1981.  It has an L/D of 28:1 and includes 2 variometers.  It is very easy to fly.  This may be the nicest Duster in the country.  It includes a full set of plans, and an enclosed trailer with three new tires.  A Strong parachute is also included.
Price: $7,000.
Contact: Dale Johnson
Phone: 952-890-3905
Location: Minnesota

Details and additional photos and links to more information about Duster sailplanes are available here:

NK ClearNav Remote Sticks
NK now has very nice wooden remote sticks available in stock for the NK ClearNav. 

These are extremely elegant stick-mounted remote control units for use with the ClearNav. They are made of precision carved mahogany, or cherry, or American walnut, or European walnut. The finish is a natural hard wax which feels good in the hand, and is easy to refinish after “lots of sweating”. The 10-button remote control panel is mounted in top of handle for comfortable, ergonomic control of the ClearNav with the 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. The hole for the stick is customized to the stick diameter.

NK Stocks a variety of wood types and hole diameters.  Please call for available units.

Available Wood Types

  • Mahogany
  • Cherry
  • American walnut
  • European walnut

Hole Sizes

  • DG (18 mm)
  • Schleicher (18mm stick diameter, Schleicher installs a special stick handle with the usual 24mm coming up until the trim, but then it slopes down to 18mm for the top part that goes into the wooden handle. This solution is very elegant, since now the handle fairs into the 24mm tube without any change in diameter.)
  • Schempp-Hirth (19mm stick diameter)
  • Glasflügel, LS (20mm stick diameter)

 - Details

David Nadler and the Lange Antares at Oskosh
David Nadler was invited to be part of the "Electric Aircraft" theme at the EAA's Airventure at Oshkosh this year.  He kindly agreed to bring his Lange Antares and display it and fly it at the largest airshow in the world.  In addition to promoting the Antares he also worked hard to promote soaring and the Soaring Society of America.  His blog about the event is very interesting and well done.  It includes a link to a YouTube Video of him flying the Antares at Oshkosh.

 - Dave's Blog "Participating in Oshkosh 2009 - EAA AirVenture"

Van's Article - "The Year of the Electric Airplane"
I'm sure that nearly every aviation enthusiast has heard of the popular "RV" line of home-built airplanes.  Over 6,357 RV aircraft have been completed - ranging from the RV-3 through the RV-12 models.  The man behind the highly respected Van's Aircraft company is Richard "Van" VanGrunsven.  What an amazing man he is.  In addition to his many contributions to the home-built aircraft industry, he is also a glider pilot that loves to compete in soaring contests.  He recently took delivery of his new Lange Antares electric auxiliary-powered sailplane. 

As mentioned above, electric aircraft were featured at the EAA Airventure this year.  Below is a link to Van's thoughts on his new Antares, and the state of electric airplanes.

 - The Year of the Electric Airplane - by Richard VanGrunsven
  (The article starts on page 3.)

WASPs to Get Congressional Medal of Honor
Soon, the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) will receive a Congressional Medal of Honor.  I'm sure everyone will agree that it is about time.  The WASPs were a group of women pilots formed during WW II to do flying work (such as ferrying fighters and bombers) so that men would be free for combat missions.  They served our country well.  Unfortunately, they were never formally thanked.  As the war was winding down they were all dismissed and had to pay their own way home.

David Nadler has forwarded two very interesting news articles to me about the WASPs.  Links to them are below.  The photo at right is of David preparing to give a glider ride to WASP June Bent in the Duo Discus he owns with several partners.

 - Fame finally takes wing for the WASPs
 - Aviatrix takes a ride

New Employee!
For more than 5 years I have been running Cumulus Soaring, Inc. as a 1-person operation.  As the business has grown I have become more and more busy - to the point that I have not had time to work on value added projects such as product overview videos, this newsletter, etc.  Therefore I have recently hired my 2nd employee, Lynn Anderson.  Good help is hard to find.  Luckily I didn't have to search very far - Lynn is the mother of my wife Renee.  Lynn is working 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.   Her primary role is packaging and shipping customer orders.  She has also been very helpful with improving the organization of my inventory and filing systems.  Having her here has allowed me to find time to create September and October newsletters and I will soon be creating some new product overview videos.  It is wonderful having help with the shipping.  She's doing a great job!  I look forward to using the extra time to create more value-added resources on the web site. 
"Friends of CSI" Update - Please Join the Club
In May of 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:

"Soaring Eagle" Music CD by Chris Comet
"Soaring Eagle" is a new music CD from soaring pilot and CFIG/MG Jean-Pierre Ducos.  His stage name is Chris Comet.  Below are some notes and photos he sent regarding the CD.

Chris Comet is a composer, producer, arranger, keyboard player. He also engineered his album project in his Texas based studio “Soaring Eagle” After a successful musician/producer/session man career over Europe, Chris Comet came to the US 22 years ago, in Hollywood and started playing and producing in famous studios such as Westlake, A&M, Record Plant, Fantasy, Jackson family private studio and so on… He worked with musicians such as Lenny Castro, Vinny Colaiuta (Drummer for Sting, Madonna, Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa…), Michael Landau, Freddie Washington, Manu Katche (drummer for Peter Gabriel and sting), Sam Riney on Sax to name a few.

Chris also collaborated with Enid Jackson of the Jackson family on several R&B projects (at the Jackson family studios in Encino California) His latest album is inspired by Native American Indian philosophy of life, culture and spirituality. He also cares very much about the initial first non-immigrant Native American Indians that are “the People” and the social injustice that they are still suffering today. The Album “Soaring Eagle is a musical tribute to them, their resilience, philosophy, spirituality and wisdom.

On another note Jean-Pierre Ducos aka Chris Comet has been a longtime member and flight instructor of the Soaring Society of America as well as a CFIG/MG, tow pilot.  He has created in 2004 Hill Country Motorgliding one of  the rare commercial flight instruction outfits in Texas, specializing in glider, self-launch motorglider, commercial instruction,  www.learn2soar.net.

The album Soaring Eagle CD Album merges his love of music creation and his passion for soaring.  You can get all music samples and videos and pictures at www.chriscomet.com as well as watching music videos on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/chriscometmusic

For every album sold a one dollar donation will go to the Youth Foundation of the SSA  for promoting and developing the sport of soaring with future young enthusiastic pilots. Happy soaring, and let the eagle soar!

Jean-Pierre Ducos (a.k.a. Chris Comet)

Chinese Human-Powered Aircraft
Below are photos and links to details on an interesting Chinese human-powered aircraft.  It appears to be the accomplishment of a single person - which is impressive.  The 25 m span is also very impressive!

 - Article and Photos
 - Another article

Jessica Cox Interview Video
I just can't get enough of Jessica Cox.  I've mentioned her in previous newsletters.  I guess I'm a fan.  She is a young woman pilot - without arms.  I find her story very motivating.  This "Timeless Voices of Aviation" video from the EAA is an excellent interview of Jessica.

 - Video

 - Jessica Cox's web site: http://www.rightfooted.com/

SALE Items

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 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

Badge & Record News
from "The Badge Lady" Judy Ruprecht
I received the news below from the SSA badge and record lady Judy Ruprecht.  The new edition of the FAI Sporting Code, Section 3, is available here:


In May, SSA's online badge & record materials were updated to prepare pilots and Official Observers for Sporting Code changes to be effective October 1 this year. This mailing is prompted by a much more recent IGC finding and re-written declaration requirements. In summary, effective 1 October:

-     A pre-flight declaration is required for all badge and record flights using an IGC approved Flight Recorder (“FR”), and it must include the glider’s registration or serial number, not an SSA-assigned contest number

 This does NOT affect FR users whose procedures ensure the correct pilot name, aircraft Type and aircraft registration ("N") number are included in all IGC files. Solutions for other FR users depend on the FR, how it’s used and who’s using it...

1.   For ANY FR and any flight other than a World Record attempt, SSA recommends the following for new FR users, an FR used in multiple aircraft and in any case when pilot, aircraft or task data entered in an FR cannot be verified for accuracy and changed if necessary before take off:

a.   The pilot prepares a written declaration ready for an OO’s signature


b.   On the intended flight date, the OO performs a pre-flight FR installation check and the FR is turned on; a task may be entered if desired


c.    The OO waits a few minutes, then adds his/her signature, date & time to the written declaration


d.   No further tinkering with FR task entry, and make sure the FR remains ON until after landing 

2.   When an electronic declaration is used, the pilot is responsible for making sure the correct pilot name, flight crew name (if any), aircraft information and task are entered in the FR before flight. Please note -

-     Almost all IGC Approved FRs accept the 6 characters permitted for US registration numbers; use FR “set up” software to enter the glider’s registration (“N”) number in the “Glider ID” data field.

-     Cambridge model 10, 20 and 25 FRs have a 3-character limit on “Glider ID” data entry; use FR “set up” software and in the “Glider ID” data field, enter the last 3 digits of the glider’s serial number, as shown in US registration records online at  http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/

-     For multiplace records, use FR “set up” software to enter at least first initial & last name for both pilot and flight crew in the same data field; use complete names on record forms. FRs approved in the future will include separate data fields for pilot & flight crew names.

-     Using a PDA or after-market software? These may over-write data in FR memory and/or limit the number of characters transferred to any FR data field. Test to make sure all required data is correctly transferred to the FR and contact software vendor(s) for guidance if needed.

 Please advise if you have any questions!

 Judy Ruprecht

If you are a member of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) as I am, you may want to check out their free new member benefit "Oshkosh 365" at www.oskosh365.org.

The site includes links to current aviation news, videos, blogs, podcasts, user communities, etc.  The feature that impresses me was the weather overview page (shown at right).  It is an excellent graphical overview of weather numbers for the next few days.  It even includes cloud base altitude numbers and temperature dewpoint spread numbers.  Click on the small image at right to view a full size image. 

Tip: At first I was frustrated that I needed to select my local airport every time I went to "My Weather" page.  However, I noticed that it did remember my local airport after selecting it on the "My Flight Bag" page.

Well done EAA!

Revell Duo Discus Model Update
The Revell Duo Discus model kits should be arriving very soon.  I can't wait to build one to hang in my office!  Today I noticed that they have updated the Revell Germany web site with assembly instructions and many photos of a completed model.  I have added all the photos and links to the assembly instructions on my Revell web page.   I also learned from someone at Schempp-Hirth that hte model is best described as a Duo Discus X model because the wings show the landing flaps that were introduced with the "X" version.  The kit includes wingtips for both the original Duo (without winglets) and the later versions such as the "X" with the winglets.  Therefore it is possible to build it to look like an original Duo Discus, or the later Duo Discus X.

 - Assembly Instructions
 - 360° View
 - Details


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 have expanded my booth from 2 to 3 10x10 spaces.  The 3rd space will be shared with Uli Schwenk and Daniela Schwenk from Jaxida Cover.  I am looking forward to getting to know them both.  I have enjoyed following Uli's adventures in international soaring competitions and Grand Prix soaring events.

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.

Jaxida Cover Update

I have recently updated my Jaxida Cover web page with a lot of new information.  I hadn't realized just how many different types of sailplanes, motorgliders, ultralight aircraft and powered aircraft they have made covers for.  You can see lists of the many makes and models of supported aircraft by clicking on the links below.

Sailplane Covers

Motorglider Covers

Powered Aircraft Covers

Ultralight Aircraft Covers

 - Details

SoaringNV is Recruiting Soaring Instructors
SoaringNV in Minden, Nevada is recruiting two instructors with extensive (five years) cross country experience over desert and mountain terrain for our thermal cross-country season, May through September, 2010. Our fleet consists of two Duo Discus gliders with the possibility of a third on leaseback. Instructors should have experience in similar high-performance two-place gliders flying over mountains and desert. Position pays $120 per day, five days a week.

Tow pilot experience is a plus but not necessary. Call or email Fred
LaSor at flasor - AT - frognet.net or send mail resume to

1140B Airport Rd.
Minden, NV 89423.

Come join the best cross country team in the world's best soaring site!

Fred LaSor
flasor-AT-frognet.net (replace "-AT-" with "@")

Dale Masters Returns to Soaring California Soaring Academy
Dale Masters, CFIG and author, will be available for instruction at the Southern California Soaring Academy at Crystal Glider Port (formerly Great Western Soaring School) starting in early November. He is returning to SCSA after spending two seasons away - soaring in Idaho.

Dale is the author of the book "Soaring Beyond the Basics" and has logged over 12,000 hrs in gliders, mostly as an instructor. His many years of experience flying and instructing in the mountains and high desert of Southern California, especially the San Gabriel Mountains, makes his instructional flights second to none, and a whole lot of fun as well!
(661) 944-1090

Barograph & GPS Flight Recorder Calibration
I have been working hard to get approval from the SSA to be an SSA approved calibration lab for barographs and GPS flight recorders.  I now have a system and process that works great.  I have demonstrated the system and process to the satisfaction of local technical expert Brian Utley.  He has recommended to the local SSA Regional Director Ron McLaughlin that my calibration lab be approved by the SSA.  Ron will soon forward that information to the SSA and hopefully they will quickly approve my calibration services. 

The process of setting up a precise and accurate calibration system has been kind or fun.  I am extremely grateful for the help provided by both Rick Sheppe and Brian Utley.  What a wonderful community of soaring pilots who are so willing to help out other soaring pilots!  Rick recommended all the parts to purchase (he even sent me links to places where I could buy the pump and altitude chamber) and offered endless advice via e-mail and over the phone.  It is obvious that he just loves soaring and wants to help me support the soaring community.  What a great guy!  Thank you Rick!!! 

Brian Utley has also been a great help.  In addition to checking-out and approving my calibration hardware and process, he also went above and beyond by creating a very slick Excel macro that automatically searches through flight log data and extracts the calibration points and inserts them into the calibration table - very cool!  It will save me a lot of time when doing calibrations.  Thank you Brian!!!

I am hoping to be approved the the SSA very soon.  I look forward to being able to provide this service to the soaring community.

Details are available on the Services page.

BatteryMINDer Update
In last month's newsletter I introduced the cool new BatteryMINDer battery chargers.  However, I made a mis-statement about how they work with batteries that are discharged to a low voltage.  I incorrectly stated that both versions of the batteryMINDer will not "turn-on" if the battery voltage is less than 10.5 volts.  It is true for the low-cost BatteryMINDer-Plus 12117, but not true for its big brother the BatteryMINDer 12248.  The 12248 will work great with batteries that are discharged down to as low as 3 volts.
  • BatteryMINDer Plus - Model: 12117
    For Smaller Batteries - up to about 7 AHr
    Max Output Current: 1.33 A
    Won't work if the battery voltage is less than 10.5 Volts.
  • BatteryMINDer - Model 12248
    For any battery
    Max. Output Current: 2, 4 or 8 A
    Works on batteries discharged to as low as 3V

It is my belief that the 10.5 V minimum voltage required by the 12117 will not be a problem for most glider batteries.  Although the 12148 is a bit more expensive, I highly recommend it for all glider batteries.  It will also charge your lawnmower, motorcycle, and car batteries.

 - Details

Kind Words Regarding Technical Support
I have been doing quite a bit of phone support with web conferencing this year.  Customers call me to get help using their soaring software or hardware and I walk them through technical tasks over the phone while viewing their computer screen using web conferencing.  It can be a huge time-saver as the customer gets up-to-speed in a very short time.  Below is a kind note from a happy customer.

"Paul, Now that the soaring season is over, I wanted to thank you for another wonderful year of support from you in connection with my soaring activities. It's been wonderful knowing that you are there to help with technical problems, and I love the opportunity to have remote tutoring sessions with you. Thanks again, very much." - Mitch Polinsky

Thank you very much for the kind words Mitch, and for allowing me to share them.  Notes like that really make my day!  I do enjoy serving the soaring community.

Details are available on the Services page.

Argentina - Gliding in the 5th Dimension - 3000 km in a Glider
This is an excellent documentary of Klaus Ohlmann's amazing world record 3,008 km (1,869 mile) soaring flight in wave over the Andes in Argentina in a Nimbus 4DM.   I recently re-ordered a batch of these DVDs and found that the price had been reduced.  It is now available at the new low price of $37.50.

Review by Paul Remde
I love this film. The scenery and cinematography are awesome. The views of clouds flowing around mountain peaks are spectacular. I like how he shows water flowing over a rock and compares it with the wind and clouds flowing over and around the mountain peaks. The effect is very well done. The flight is truly an amazing one and you get to relive it as he describes his thought process as the flight unfolds. The film also includes a great interview with Klaus about the flight and future flights. He talks about many topics including how sleep deprivation is a major factor in flights like this because late night weather analysis and early morning preparations don't leave much time for sleep before the flight. At the end are more breathtaking views of volcanic craters, impressive lenticular clouds, etc.  It is a beautiful, inspirational and motivational film.  Why does he call it "Gliding in the 5th Dimension"?... You'll have to watch the film to find out.

 - Details

Holiday Gift Ideas
Below are a few holiday gift ideas.  You may want to buy something for a soaring instructor or mentor or a towpilot that deserves a "thank you" gift.  Or you may want to give some of these ideas to your friends as ideas for gifts to buy for you.



Model Kits
Piper Supercub from Revell

Piper Pawnee from Heritage Aviation Models Ltd.

Minimoa from Planet Models

Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus from Revell



Gift Certificates
Gift certificates are the perfect gift for a loved one or someone you want to say "Thank You" to.  Or the perfect gift for a loved one to give to you - so you can put it toward any item you desire. A colorful certificate is mailed either to the purchaser or the recipient. - Details

You may want to print one of catalogs below and circle or otherwise highlight gifts that you would like to receive from those that love you.

Printable Catalogs
 - Videos-And-Books-Printable.pdf

 - CatalogByManufacturer.pdf

Detailed Online Catalogs
 - Catalog by Manufacturer

 - Catalog by Category

New Condor Scenery from Post Frontal
The Condor Competition Soaring Simulator is extremely popular for glider pilots interested in soaring contest simulation, cross-country soaring simulation, and soaring flight instruction.  Condor comes with some very nice scenery, but you haven't seen anything until you have tried Condor with the scenery packages from Post Frontal.  I don't sell them (I do sell Condor), but I highly recommend them.  I own the Alpi 3 scenery and it is truly awesome!  Their more recent Central Italy and West Alpi scenery packages look even more impressive.  You can see some impressive screen captures and order the software by clicking on the images below.


New HpH 304TS Twin Shark
I have just learned of a new 2-seat sailplane from HpH call the 304TS Twin Shark.  It has a 21 m wingspan and impressive specifications.  It looks lovely to me.  It does seem strange to me that they would design it with a 21 m span.  That, of course, means it can't compete in the 20 m span 2-seater class which has become popular around the world.  I wonder whether they will offer optional tips for 20 m span.  The maiden flight is scheduled for 2011.

 - Brochure


2010 FAR/AIM In Stock
The 2010 edition of the FAR/AIM is now available in stock.  This is an excellent reference book.  Every glider pilot, student pilot, instructor, gliding club, etc. should own a recent copy.

 - Details

FAA Aviation News
You may find this hard to believe, but the F.A.A. puts out an extremely nice FREE newsletter!  The September/October edition has several nice articles on the Reno Air Races. 

 - FAA Aviation News

Historic Langley Wind Tunnel Shut Down
The Langley Full Scale Tunnel built in 1930 will be shut down.  The last test was of the X-48C shown at right.

 - Test of Futuristic X-48C is Historic Wind Tunnel's Swan Song

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

Excellent videos from the Junior Worlds soaring competition in Finland. 

Another Excellent Video by Kempton Izuno
Kempton has made some great HD soaring videos.  This one was filmed at the first ever U.S. Libelle Gathering at Air Sailing gliderport in July.  Well done Kempton!
 - Libelle Gathering: Pilots and Their Panels

Great Cloud Animation Video from the San Francisco, USA bay area
I just love the scenes showing clouds rolling over a ridge and down into the valley.


Videos - Ridge soaring in SE Oklahoma
 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c29qKHZpwjE
 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyYqZnuIe90

"Goofy's Glider" Disney Cartoon

Hang Glider Soaring Along an Morning Glory Cloud in Australia - WOW!
 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMdyT-rIXao

DG-1001M Self-Launch Video
 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZCfueWxefU

Peugeot 3008 (front-wheel drive) Auto-launch
 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boqxZ3BOzlY

14-year-old Youth Flying Solo - Newspaper Article
 -  Link

Awesome Recent Hubble Telescope Images
 - http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/photos/2009/09/hubble-telescopes-latest-image.html#more

International Space Station Coming Together - Animation

 - http://i.usatoday.net/tech/graphics/iss_timeline/flash.htm

5,000 foot Roller Coaster Run Down Mt. Whitney
by Christian Mackin

 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjTmNJmJXbk

America the Beautiful Through the Eyes of AOPA Members
 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmMIZX6YQYU

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

Save $5

Newsletter Subscribers
Special Coupon - Just for you!

Save $5

Enter coupon code 091117NL at checkout when ordering through the web site and receive $5.00 off any order of $99 or more.

Offer Expires: November 17, 2009
This coupon code can be used only once per customer.
You must be subscribed to this newsletter to receive the discount.
Only one coupon can be used per order. 

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