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https://youtu.be/0w_87NRe2fk

If you ever wondered how some pilots seem to be able to find a thermal in almost any conditions then watch this talk and demonstration by a very young Joe Wurts . Obviously made before the days of DLG and when facial hair and bell bottom jeans were in fashion.

Then go and practise, practise and more practise!

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I learnt heaps about reading air from this video.  

 

Edited by Skip
Learned v learnt...
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  • 8 months later...
StraightEdge

Excellent - will watch on the big screen this evening....!

In the meantime, can someone 'enlighten' me as to the exact technical reasons why when a model enters a thermal:

  • the tail goes up (rather than the wings)?
  • the control response goes from relatively sluggish to much tighter?

What is happening to the way a model flies in a body of rising air that is different to neutral air?

Jon

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isoaritfirst

Flies faster

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mikef
1 hour ago, StraightEdge said:

.....In the meantime, can someone 'enlighten' me as to the exact technical reasons why when a model enters a thermal:

  • the tail goes up (rather than the wings)?
  • the control response goes from relatively sluggish to much tighter?

What is happening to the way a model flies in a body of rising air that is different to neutral air?

Jon

The way I see it...

You  are describing transitional effects, once you are in a patch of steadily rising air they will disappear.  In reality, the average thermal will have variations in upward velocity so you will keep experiencing transitions.

As the model enters a patch of relatively rising air, the whole aircraft will see the relative airstream alter to a greater angle of attack.  The aircraft will produce more lift and if it doesn't get its nose down, it will slow down and lose lift.  So down goes the nose and it speeds up as isoaritfirst says - this is pitch stability at work.  Control response is increased by the extra speed.


In a full-size glider you can feel the extra lift as a 'g' force as you enter a thermal.

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StraightEdge

Thank you Mike, that explanation makes sense, and explains (one reason at least) why in my earlier days with the Elf I was constantly stalling and falling out of thermals.

Also went through your DLG presentation which added to my understanding.  (The answer as to which was to turn is more efficient in terms of energy is surely to go with the initial bank as the thermal kicks up the wing-tip and keep turning  until you're back into it...?)

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cirrusRC

if the model suddenly speeds up,   you are typically getting pulled towards a thermal (keep going in that direction until you hit it).     Once in the thermal and you get yourself correctly aligned around the core, then you can use the increase in speed to pull the elevator and gain more height.

If you are travelling too slow and fly right through a low down thermal where the core is small,  you will either get bumped out or stall.    The art of thermalling is to read the signs and work out how to wrap yourself round the core and stay there as it moves.     Made more complicated by the fact not every thermal does what you might think it should :)

Higher up, things are a different matter,  the thermal is much wider and thus makes things a whole lot easier.

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pete beadle

Hi all

I, like a lot of you BARCS members who fly, or flew competitions, have tried to read the signs that present when you could be entering a thermal, and there are many of them, some of the real experts relied on trimming their 'planes so that they always reacted the same way when they entered a thermal.

Combined with good eyesight and total concentration on the "sit" of their planes, they watched for ANY change in the way their 'planes were flying and acted FAST when they saw the change(s) they were looking and waiting for...…..and, the more they practised the better they got at hooking thermals high or low.....it's an art and a pleasure when you get good at it:thumbsup::D I admit, I'm still learning after all these years....

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702 

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mikef

I have worked hard to be like Joe Wurts.  Here we are in Croatia for the 2015 F3K World Champs.  Joe's the one on the left.

B563CC74-EA59-41B3-ABC6-96A6475B0CC1.jpeg

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