Type of glider: Ventus 3 T,

Takeoff location: Rennes Saint-Sulpice (FR)

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Flight details

Points for the flight 1067.55
Distance
Points for the flight 1,062.43
scoring distance 1,264.3
Speed 112.8 km/h
Duration 11:12:35
Triangle
Points for the flight 5.12
scoring distance 20.3 km
Speed 7.3 km/h
Duration 02:46:03
Scoring class 18m
Scoring start 08:15:10
Scoring end 19:27:54
Index: 119.0
Club AC Balen-Keiheuvel LSV Viersen
Date of claim 29.06.2020 20:29:52
state IGC-File: Flight:

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Comment

After many years of planning and waiting for the right weather constellation, the stars and cloudstreets aligned.

If the paperwork works out, this will be 1250km Diploma nr. 32, and the 7th flown in Europe.

The original plan was even a bit bigger (3TP 1301km, needing a 102km/h avg speed), with potentially 2x110km extra OLC legs on the slopes (6leg 1522km, needing a high, but possible 120km/h avg speed, with 130km/h on the downwind leg and 100km/h on the slopes and 12:45 hours of flight time), and 2 Belgian records. However, the early morning satellite pictures showed a high moisture plate coming in from the ocean, which wasn’t forecasted by any of the weather models. This meant a 45 minute delay, and moving the start point 55km to the east. So sadly, no startpoint over the Atlantic Ocean. This required a quick change of plans and stretching the turnpoints to the limits of the weather and airspace window (and it turned out to be very tight). Additionally, in the evening at the slopes, the wind at ground level was in the last model runs only predicted to be 20-25km/h (compared to 45km/h at 450m AGL), coming from the west with little southern component, so quite parallel to the slopes. :-/

After a takeoff and tow under 8 octas altocu, I made it narrowly to the first cumulus clouds, which gave a choppy 0.5m/s. After the connection to the cu was made, things quickly improved. The altocu field transformed into wide cloudstreets. From Le Mans towards the South East of Paris, everything went on rails with XC-speeds of above 150km/h. The Champagne area, the Ardennes, and the Eiffel were all equally brilliant with few difficulties. The Sauerland, as usual with this type of weather, was not as good, but cloudbase was luckily 2000m. The turnpoint was reached with an average speed of 128km/h, in the middle of the 123 km/h (thermal) and 137 km/h (rolls) forecast. I then had to choose to either go for 1250km diploma, or use the altitude to just glide 35km towards the north east for the Belgian free straight distance record. I decided to take a risk and try for the diploma. After taking the turnpoint, I carefully maneuvered to the slopes. Unfortunately, the wind forecast turned out to be quite correct, and against the headwind still with the heavy glider, it was hardly possible to retain altitude ridge running. So it was necessary to continue using thermals on this leg. This took a large amount of time. A bit South-East of Porta was the last thermal, and ahead were only dark grey skies. I could just reach the last turnpoint, and immediately opened the water valves. Then the empty Ventus 3 showed his efficiency and excellent feel for the airmass. The vario didn’t move above 0.5m/s on the slopes, but the tailwind pushed in direction of the goal. Only at Bisperode, where the wind fully hit the slope, climb rates were a bit better and I could make some altitude. From the last good slope near Ithwiesen, a glide ratio of 75 was needed to reach the goal. On the last stretch, the rarely used low and shallow slopes towards Northeim and the airfield Sultmer Berg made it possible to complete the task with a small but sufficient margin. What a fantastic experience!

A million thanks to Philippe, Gerard, Anton and Clement de Pechy and the aeroclub Planeurs d’Ille-et-Vilaine, at the airfield Rennes Saint-Sulpice-des-Landes for their hospitality and help on such short notice. You have a wonderful enthusiastic group there, and very nice facilities and surroundings to fly. Merci beaucoup!

As always, this could not have been done without my parents who as usual enthusiastically participated in this adventure!

And thanks for all the nice comments you all sent!

Powered by: Brillen Kueppers, LX Nav, Naviter, Topmeteo, Skysight, DWD, and Schempp-Hirth. You all make brilliant equipment making dreams possible.

The story with pictures will follow in a few days on aboutgliding.com

Pilot

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