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HTL - Gordon Browne : Bill Vos Memorial - Dennis Bird : Postals - Jan Sime : F3B - Nigel Wilkinson/Jan Sime : F3J - Ian Sime : F3K - Brett Lewis : F5J - Mike Vos : 2 Meter/New Commers - We need a rep please :
Slope - Izak Theron(Gauteng) Rus Conradt (KZN) Kevin Farr(WC) : Scale/Cross Country/GPS Racing - Chris Adrian

Calendar: Jan Sime & Gordon Browne

17 June 2009

Podium finish for SA at inaugral 2009 WAG

The citizens of Turin were treated to the unrivalled spectacle of the FAI's World Air Games during June 2009. Particularly exciting is that Alan Smith of South Africa flew his DLG RC glider into 2nd place overall, following an intensely contested event that culminated in a second fly-off round to decide the positions. He unfortunately landed just 3 seconds earlier than the eventual winner, Massimiliano Sacchi from Italy to clinch his podium position. Mark Stockton and Stephane du Ponsel also represented South Africa proudly, all being invitated by the FAI organisers following almost a year of qualifications in South Africa.

Hand Launch Gliders (HLG), are small radio-controlled model-gliders with a maximum wing-span allowed by the F6D rules of 1.5 metres. Thanks to their relatively small weight and dimensions, these models can be launched by hand. To get a good flight, competitors must throw the glider as high as possible. Some years ago the competitors have thrown their models like a javelin, but today they prefer a discus-like throw (DLS) with which the skilled and trained competitors can reach a starting height above sixty metres.

The aim of the competitor is to keep his glider in the air longer than his competitor using the rising air contained in tshermals. These thermals are in fact bubbles or columns of warm air rising in the surrounding colder air. Finding these bubbles may not be easy, but the skilled pilots can use them to maximise their model's flight time. On sunny days the thermals can be very intense and good pilots are able to fly for several hours in these conditions.

In the F6D competition as hosted at the inaugral World Air Games, the flight time is limited; five minutes at qualification and three minutes at semi-final and final. A series of elimination rounds decide the finalists; in each round the pilot which lands first goes out. Sometimes the thermals are extended and easy to find, then if all competitors are able to stay in the air full three minutes the round must be repeated. At the beginning of the final round, eight pilots start at the same time within a window of three seconds. The pilot who flies for the shortest time is eliminated and the next round is contested by the remaining seven competitors. This knock-out system is repeated until only two are left. The winner of this head-to-head final round is then declared the World Air Games Champion.

Fly safely

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