If there is one skill that demands more practice than any other to be proficient at Thermal Duration soaring it would be “mastering thermal soaring techniques.” The art of effectively identifying the location of a thermal and then utilizing it to keep their craft aloft is a skill that often evades many would-be thermal pilots. Yet it is a skill that can be learned, understood and then practised, so the joy of thermal soaring can be experienced everytime we fly. There is so much to learn but if we are receptive and attentive to the skills of others, we can quickly become skilled ourselves. I have collected together a series of great articles here which is a stepping stone towards learning the skills. The most important ingredient is air time to put the ideas into practice. My best advice is to treat every single flight like a contest flight and always look for lift BEFORE launching and attempt to engage that lift to confirm your pre-launch belief and then after thermalling land to a contest type landing zone using a talking timer. The result is that significant air reading skills are engaged every launch and your thermal soaring ability will improve at a remarkable pace. Try it.
Start by reading these articles by some legends in RC Soaring. Let an experienced pilot know that you want to improve your skills when you are at the field and they will help you personally.
The Art of R/C Soaring in Thermals
Using the Rudder in Thermal Flying
Thermals – Part 1 (A paraglider’s perspective)
Thermals – Part 2 (A paraglider’s perspective)