With such gorgeous weather available who wouldn’t want to get their newly completed sailplane in the air ASAP? Rick has been keen for a week now to get some lift under the wings of his immaculately finished White and red trim Xplorer. Seems like Xplorers are flavor of the month with Ed White getting one too and both the Miller brothers equipped with one of these machines as well. They sure are a fine flying airplane as we found out with a couple of handtosses of Ricks’s ship. Right off the bench with a CG at 108mm the Xplorer flew like it was trimmed out. A couple of clicks of up trim and a couple more tosses saw Rick ready for the winch. Ricks comment after the first launch was “wow!” He found the Xplorer a lot smoother than the Supra and the bigger wing area really signalling lift well.
For a cool evening lift was plentiful. Jody, with his Xplorer and I with the High End flew a series of 7 min tasks “man on man” and managed to get our times fairly easily. I even managed a 7 min when I was last to launch and lifted the turnaround out of the ground for a very low launch but got away in some nice air right over the field. Finished thermalling about 500 yards downwind and low over the western trees at about 4:30 minutes but still made it back with the High End to get an improbable 7 min. Jody shot some landings and added 3 landings to his LSF Level 2 sheet. Rick was extremely pleased with his Xplorer’s first sorties and is lookijng forward to the weekend. Jamie also came out to fly and put his Icon up late in the evening as the full moon rose. Jamie Buckland also practiced some landings with some Icon launches into the evening dusk before we called it a night and packed up the winch.
Congrats to Rick and Jody with their new ships and also great to see you out practicing Jamie. I can see that with the skills these young guys have – us oldies will have to sharpen our skills a lot to keep them from hogging the wood at each contest. You guys are going to help make this year a really good contest series.