Sailplane & Gliding
April - May 2007
If you’re interested in the latest 18-metre racing sailplanes, in becoming an instructor, or in trying aerobatics – if you’re inspired by beautiful local soaring over the Yorkshire Dales or a rip-roaring 1,000km in South Africa – or if you simply want to refresh your airspace knowledge before heading off on a UK cross-country – then the April-May S&G is what you need.
We start with not one but two flight tests of new-to-the-air 18-Metre Class racing sailplanes. During the European winter, Jochen Ewald tried out the HpH 304s “Shark” with its distinctive and perhaps slightly menacing-looking upturned wingtips (well, where else did you think its name came from?). A potential winner to watch, he says. In the sun of South Africa, meanwhile, twice World Champion Andy Davis took the JS1 Revelation for a test flight – of 500km. (As you do…) He shares his impressions of this glider – which has won the South African Nationals – exclusively with S&G readers.
If competing’s not your first or only love, what about instructing? Adrian Lyth of East Sussex GC describes in clear and entertaining prose the path he took to becoming a full-rated instructor – and what he finds rewarding about it. Or have you considered another way of competing: glider aerobatics? Charles Baker of Lasham explains why it’s not as daunting as it might sound.
This is also the issue where we report on the British Gliding Association’s annual general meeting and the presentation of awards for the best flights of 2006. Put faces to names for BGA trophy winners, learn more about the new BGA Executive Committee or just appreciate Paul Morrison’s gallery of excellent photos from the BGA weekend. Other features include all you need to get your gliding going in the UK this year, whether you want to extend your cross-country horizons (we’ve a review by John Wright of free NOTAM software as well as Carr Withall’s annual airspace brief) or simply try out a different site (why not pull out the map in the centre spread and keep it in your car so you can find your nearest club wherever you happen to be?). And on a serious note, make sure you read the important BGA information about task finishes and approaching to land, on page 63 of this issue. It’s a must.
Last but by no means least come two very different articles, both of which I love. Polly Whitehead of Clevelands GC took a launch into an unpromising February sky – to find herself soaring blue wave, marked only by thin ribbons of heather-fire smoke from the Pennines and, at the end of the day, a glorious sunset. Her text is the stuff of poetry. At the other end of the scale, Kim Tipple and Iain Baker roared round a 1,000km out-and-return in South Africa: an unusual and fun flight with an unusual and fun write-up.
Enjoy your flying and your S&G and remember: when you have a special flight, we’d love to hear about it.
Editor, Sailplane & Gliding
Watch out for the shark
The 18-Metre Class HpH 304s Shark is worth a closer look, says Jochen Ewald – and check out how it places when it races
The JS1 Revelation first flew last December. In January, it won the South Africa Nationals. Now twice World Champion Andy Davis has taken it for a test flight – of 500km
You never stop learning
Adrian Lyth, in the third article in our series about instructing, explains why he wanted to become a Full-rated Instructor
I wish you’d been here
Ignoring a February Sunday forecast for fog in the Vale of York, Polly Whitehead enjoyed a flight that’s the stuff of poetry
How to find a gliding club in the UK
If you want to try a new site, this list and map can help
Only 500km to the TP...
Kim Tipple and Iain Baker talk us through their 1,000km out-and-return in South Africa last January, a flight Iain says he still regards with disbelief – and that made Dick Bradley laugh out loud when it was proposed
Try aeros this year
Charles Baker explains why starting your aerobatics career by competing isn’t as daunting as it might sound
Carr Withall, chairman of the BGA Airspace Committee, provides a brief assessment of 2006 and the annual reminder on airspace information and recommended procedures for cross-country flights
Trying out NOTAM software
John Wright evaluates four free software programmes that display UK NOTAMs
Task finishes and approaching to land
Please make sure you read and understand this important information from the BGA about approaching to land at the end of your task
Also in this issue: BGA news; your letters; BGA Executive News; BGA AGM and Awards; BGA Development News; Gliding Gallery – BGA AGM and Conference; club focus (Deeside); club news; obituaries; BGA Badges; incident and accident summaries; AAIB update
Tailfeathers: Plat considers the hardships of gliding and embarks on the fifth of his unmissable series: Stupid things I now confess