Paulo Iscold's Nixus put air under its wings for the first time March 4 at Castle Airport (formerly Air Force Base) in Merced, California. The goal of the Nixus project was to to push the limits of the soaring sport, as well as bring innovation to general aviation. Continue reading "Paulo Iscold's Nixus Fly by Wire Sailplane Project"
The Silent Electro2 is a self-launching single seat, 40:1 sailplane with an electric motor to get you into the air with little effort. Sold as a complete aircraft, well equipped for about $130K, it is available in quick-build kit form for about $12-15K less - that's with a trailer and complete instrument package. Continue reading "Why yes - it IS a kit!"
Meet Chad Sanders - Chad took an inexpensive (and ubiquitous) Schweitzer 1-26 sailplane and built a beautiful mount for a pair turbojets - and now he has a jet-powered, self-launching sailplane that can get him from the flatlands of the California Central Valley up to the hills where he can find lift to go soaring - and then back to his home base when he's had enough fun! Continue reading "More Soaring"
At the 2018 Soaring Society of America convention this week, I attended a session on "Safety Considerations for Soaring in Northern Nevada," which covered a lot of good ground on thunderstorms, wave, and the like - but also on the realities of "landing out" if you can't make an airport. Interestingly enough, the presenter had similar thoughts to mine, in that you can fairly easily find a place to land - but that doesn't mean that you'll have good communications for pick-up, and you might be waiting in the desert for awhile. So - survival equipment is important, as is some sort of satellite tracker. A very good point he made is that for us GA pilots, don't forget that there are "low altitude relay satellites," otherwise known as airliners, and most of those crews are monitoring 121.5. You can add a little excitement to their day by asking them to relay a call to someone who can come pick you up - so don't feel you're alone, so long as you've got a VHF radio! Continue reading "Soaring Tidbits"
It was my good fortune to attend the 2012 Soaring Society of America convention at the Reno/Sparks Convention Hall in Reno, Nevada, February 1-5.
Besides a display hall filled with mostly white, gleaming, streamlined shapes, three large lecture halls hosted world leaders in aerodynamics, sailplane flight, launching methods, safety and meteorology. Continue reading "Report from the 2012 SSA Convention"