Since Condor Version 2 came out over a year ago, I’ve barely tried it since I’ve been busy with X-Plane. I practiced only a little bit before the race start at 2:15pm today, Monday, October 1st. The race was the first of a series taking place in New Zealand. It’s called the
Sky Championships 2019 – New Zealand
(Oct. 1st, 2019 – Oct. 31st, 2019)
I had a lot to deal with and I only practiced a little bit before the race. My biggest challenge was getting all the various tools to work, such as XCSoar, and a new tool called CoTaV2. It is used to convert a Condor2 task for use with XCSoar. I got every thing working just in time to start the race. Actually, I was still working on it while flying before the race start. Fortunately the start window was 1 hour so I was able to finally get things working properly.
So far I’m 14th out of 15 that finished, one who landed out and two who crashed.
I can’t believe I missed its release by about a month but, yes, Condor version 2 was released last February 21st! I deliberately curbed myself from repeatedly checking due to lack of optimisim that it would be released any time soon!
I have not yet spent $60 to buy it. One of the reasons is that, from what I have seen so far, those who have purchased it are not praising it wildly. In fact, there seems to be a lot of disappointment. I have tried to go back and read forum messages that give impressions. I still have a lot to read but most messages seem to be of the variety–this isn’t working or, does it have this, or when will this be ready, etc.
From images and videos I have seen so far, the clouds look ridiculous, like cotton balls, and there are many complaints that it is difficult or impossible to tell whether a cloud is building or dying!
Over all, my impression is that the new model represented by this version makes improvements much easier and the developers have promised that improvements will be coming soon.
The other reason I haven’t bought it yet, is that I am very into X-Plane now. I’m having a great time trying to master the ASDG Super Cub at the moment.
I re-installed Condor yesterday using my original installation directory on D:\Condor. Condor is pretty slow to open in a task from large HD sceneries like Arc Alpin (AA). I didn’t want to install on my C:\ drive (which is the Samsung NVMe SSD drive) because of potential space problems. Today, I tried to join a task from one of the public servers. When I clicked on the join button I received this error:
I searched the web for a solution and the simplest one was the one that worked. That was to simply open “Turn Windows Features On or Off” from the control panel; scroll down to the Legacy Components setting and click DirectPlay:
Before trying this fix I uninstalled Condor from the D:\ drive and installed it on C:\Condor.
The next problem was that, since I had moved the Condor directory from c:\ to d:\, the goodies downloads stopped working. I tried several things, including using MS Edge instead of Chrome, none of which worked. Finally I decided to search the registry for an instance of CTDB. I found one that showed the goodies location at d:\condor\goodies. I changed the ‘d’ to a ‘c’ and that fixed the problem!
And, by the way, Condor and tasks don’t seem to load much, if any faster, from the SSD!
I came across this question that I had asked in a Condor forum back in 2009. Not only was this question answered but several other tips were offered and it’s a good review of contest strategy:
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Postby korkiley » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:54 pm
I raced in one of the Saint Auban Challenge races and am preparing to race the last one. In reviewing the results, it is obvious that the Schleicher ASW 27 is the most popular sailplane, especially among the winners! I am interested to know why that is. I look forward to a discussion on this subject!
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Postby eisenhans » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:57 pm
in most cases we have better weather conditions than in real life.
The result of this is a faster speed concerning to real life.
There are also constructed ridge tasks like the tasks in my ridge race league.
The asw27 is a 15m plane. Very nice handling and a high top speed.
Take a look @ the polars with full water ballast and set speed via MC to 200kmh
Now compare with all the other gliders.
Above 200kmh asw27 has a better glide ratio than every other plane existing in Condor.
So @ tasks with higher speeds its always a good choice.
Another point is its index. If u fly together with all classes in a high speed race all the guys
with LS10, ASG29 and Ventus2cx have to fly much faster to get an equal score.
So try to get a feeling for task speed by checking its settings before.
If you are sure that it is a highspeed task asw27 is the best choice.
If it is a slower task maybe you have better chance with a glider wich has higher performance
@ lower speeds. Like the 18m class gliders.
@ ridge tasks u have to fly very close to ridge in condor. Cause of its 15m it is easy to handle near the ridge.
This is my opinion. I think in real life where the tasks are not that fast the ventus2 gets better results.
(in the comps i’ve checked)
Look @ the results of my league for example this here:
I decided to take ls10 cause there are slower parts u have to glide without help of ridge
if u stay on course.
Other guys took asw27 and took different ways. One did a longer way back on a big ridge
other guy took same way than me. Both are far in front cause of their index.
We’re talking of a 250km task flown with round about 200kmh.
Hope this was correct and will help you a bit.
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Postby korkiley » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:07 pm
Thank you so much for your detailed reply. I knew the top racers must have some good reason for choosing the ASW 27b. I like to fly the open class birds because my computer is over six years old with a crappy video card so a slow reacting plane is more forgiving for my very low frame rates (5 to 15 fps!). But I’ve been choosing a 15 meter plane when I have to wind around in the mountains to take advantage of the ridge lift. I also looked for the glider with the highest top speed for ridge running in the Eastern Alps where you can push top speed almost all of the time and can easily shed a wing if you’re not fully alert.
Do you also take on as much water ballast as you can if you think the conditions are going to be very reliable? I haven’t seen much discussion about ballast. It seems like ballast gains a lot in most situations, and if I’m correct, is only a disadvantage in narrow thermals where you have to fly very slowly. Is that correct or are there other considerations?
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Postby eisenhans » Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:34 pm
No prob. Hope i am right.
OK framerate is another topic.
I dont know mine. Playin on a notebook.
The open class birds glide like hell if u fly them slow.
If u push them to the limit they loose their advantages.
I always start full with max startalt and speed near flutter.
U can still drop water if the conditions are too weak.
I try to hold it all race long and with asw27 i stay above 130 for sure.
Below you dont need no water. I use MC in cloudtasks.
With good condition i work with 2.5 to 3.5 (in thermal tasks with 27 again)
In ridge task i just use MC for final glide and look for good route in PDA
and task information. I try to stay above 200 and make some dolpihn jumps
@ monster lift passages.
I try to fly not faster than 250 @ ridge during my travel.
I start FG early and push it to red dot staying closte to ridge.
Just leave my water when theres sth in my way and i shoul climb above fast.
Afterwards i should be so high that i dont need no water anymore to do FG with max speed.
I avoid circling during ridge tasks.
In thermal tasks u have to find your own style with full water.
I do it bit faster and narrow. PDA helps a lot to center.
I try to avoid bad clouds as a dolphin again and use the better ones.
Better get that speed ring for correct flap setting from condor-club
to avoid wrong flap positions.
There good threads on thermaling.
Condor2Nav, a utility that will translate a Condor flight plan to use with XCSoar, hasn’t been supported since 2012 and there have been no new maps added since 2010. I was very frustrated by this since there have been a lot of new Condor sceneries added since then, and you won’t be able to translate a flight plan using a scenery that doesn’t have a .xcm file. I searched the Condor forums as well as the sourceforge condor2nav page, looking for instructions on how to do this. I didn’t find an easy answer but was able to piece together several different facts to figure out how to do it. Here are my steps:
- Go to the MapGen page on the XCSoar site.
- Enter the Map name. It should be the same name as the Condor scenery file. We can use AA (ArcAlps) as an example. The name of the scenery is AA which is the name of the Condor scenery directory for this scenery, i.e. …\condor\landscape\AA
- Fill in your emails address if you want to be notified when the map generation has been completed.
- The only option I changed was “Add waypoint file and compute map bounds automatically.”
- Choose the waypoint file that is located in …\condor\landscape\AA. It is the file with a .cup extension. In the case of AA it is called AA.cup
- Click “Generate”. The screen changes to AA: Creating terrain files.
- The generation can take ten or fifteen minutes for a large scenery. When it is done, there will be a Download push button.
- You can download it directly to …\condor2nav\Maps\Maps.
- Rename the file from AA.xcm to AA_1.0.xcm. The scenery appears in Condor as AA[1.0].
- Copy this file to the maps.zip file that you downloaded from the condor2nav site. I do this for safe keeping.
- Attach the device you are using XCSoar on and copy this xcm file to …\XCSoarData\Condor2NavDataSubDir. You will have copied all of the files that were in Maps.zip when you were setting up XCSoar to use condor2nav.
- Edit D:\CondorUtils\condor2nav\condor2nav\data\XCSoar\SceneryData.csv and add the new scenery information in the same csv format that you see in the file. You should also place it in the correct alphabetical order. In my case, AA was the first entry in the file. I simply added the line: AA,AA_1.0.xcm,, Be sure to add the two commas to the end of the line.
- There is one additional file that I added but am not sure it was necessary. Also, I didn’t know all the information that is provided in that file. The location is …\condor2nav\data\Landscapes and the file should have the name of the scenery file–in this case AA_1.0.TXT. You can look at the contents of one of the other files to see what is included. In my case, since I allowed mapgen to generate the xcm file based on the AA.cup (waypoint) file, I had no idea what the values for
were so I deleted those lines and left the rest of the lines the same as for other files.
This should be all that is necessary! If I learn more in the future I will amend my instructions.
I haven’t flown Condor since last December! After about four years, I finally got burned out and needed more time for other projects. I do hope to get back to it though! What would really give me an incentive would be version 2 of Condor, something I never really expect to see but will be very pleasantly surprised if I do!
For the northern hemisphere this is soaring season which means that real world pilots are very busy with their real world flights. I don’t know what the percentage of real world Condor glider pilots is, but I think it is pretty high, probably well over half. I’ll try to resume my Condor activities in the fall when the RW (Real World) glider pilots start to come back to Condor and new competitions begin.
Although I haven’t been flying Condor I’ve been flying X-Plane a bit. I purchased the Boeing 777 pro for X-Plane 10. It just got an update which fixed a lot of bugs but there are quite a few more to go before it is really stable and reliable.
I got busted on this day because I got disconnected shortly before the join time ended. Normally, if disconnected, you just continue as though nothing had happened but I panicked because didn’t see the join time that normally displays in the upper left corner. It might just have been that the countdown to race start would have displayed a few minutes after the join time ended but I tried to rejoin and was too late. I raced offline anyway and tried to submit my flight track but because it was lacking the server information that would normally be there when racing online.
I was very disappointed because mostly those who had crashed or landed out had submited their flight tracks so I though I must have done really well but when everyone had finished and the times were published, I would have tied for 61st so I’m no longer so upset.
The task was in Provence, France and was a rugged alpine ridge race that required 2500 meters or more of altitude for most of the distance. The person that one flew west of Mont Blanc and all the others gained altitude on Mont Blanc after rounding the turnpoint, which was a great distance from there. I did neither which is probably one of the reasons I did poorly. The white mass just south of the turn point is Mont Blanc.
Description: SBC2014 – Day08
||PUIMOISSON LFTP (765 m.)
||Barreme N85XN202 (731 m.)
Heading: 59° for 18.6 km,
Coords: 43.57.132N / 6.21.950E
min. height: 0 m., max.: 1,700 m.
angle: 180°, radius: 5,000 m.
||Orsieres Gare (904 m.)
Heading: 21° for 238.6 km,
Coords: 46.1.650N / 7.8.632E
min. height: 0 m., max.: 5,000 m.
angle: 360°, radius: 500 m.
||ANNECY MEYTHET L (459 m.)
Heading: 261° for 81.6 km,
Coords: 45.55.708N / 6.6.20E
min. height: 0 m., max.: 5,000 m.
angle: 180°, radius: 1,000 m.
I just finished day 7 of the so-called Condor World Championship. It was a ridge race with a favorable 30 kph wind from the southeast. Preparation was a bit hectic because the map of the preliminary race details was pretty hard to be sure of the turn points. I made my best guess though and created a waypoint file with SeeYou and set the race up in XCSoar. It was a standard class race with a regatta start once again. I usually fly the LS-8-b, 15 meter ship for standard class. Standard class races aren’t very common so I tried a dive for the line at 300 meters above max start altitude and 1 km from the line. This seemed to work fine but I wasn’t able to time it. I’m playing these starts a bit on the safe side so I wouldn’t start my dive any sooner than 10 or 12 seconds before the start opened, anyway.
The preliminary details are available two hours before the start join time so this give ample opportunity to do some experimentation and get things squared away. My biggest worry was that my turn points would be wrong and I would have to re-work the task in XCSoar.
Fifteen minutes before join time, the turn points and most information that you need is made available. To my surprise, the only point I guessed wrong was the finish. I accidentally chose a turnpoint by Aigen airport called Aigen Mil. It only took me a few minutes to jump into the task that I had created in condor again after correcting the finish, saving it and opening the IGC in SeeYou. From there all I had to do was create the one waypoint, save only the one to a new CUP file, copy it to my Gallaxy Note 2 with XCSoar on it, then add the additional CUP file to the “More waypoints” line in the Site Files configuration of XCSoar.
This race started with a winch launch but it was pretty easy to gain altitude at a downwind ridge, downwind of the start line. The ridge wasn’t that high though. I gained about 1600 meters then flew upwind and gained the rest of the altitude I needed in a blue thermal and a really strong thermal under a big Cu. The max start height was 1800 meters so I needed to start 1 km before the line at 2100 meters. The last thermal gave me almost 2500 meters so I flew upwind about 1.5 km from the line, made a ninety degree turn to the right until I was opposite the center of the start, opened up the air brakes to full while making a descending right turn just above stall speed. I was just above 2100 meters at the 1 km to go point with 20 seconds to go. This was cutting it closer than I wanted by a good five seconds but I went for it anyway. As the line approached I looked to be too high so really dove for the line. I didn’t know it at the time, but as I crossed the line my vertical descent was 58 meters/second and the countdown to race start was exactly 0 and I was 6 meters above the maximum start altitude. I guess there must be a little leeway here because my start was good and I was very lucky!
The race was an easy one for the most part. I just wasn’t sure how fast I could fly. I must have been doing everything exactly right though because about half way down the final leg of the task I saw LS (Sandor Laurinyecz) in front of me and several hundred feet below. I couldn’t believe my luck and made the most of the situation by following one of the top competitors in glider simulation competition. I was worried that he would outsmart me and leave me behind but I held my own for a while and finally passed him by a bit. Later he passed me and at one point was 1.1 Km ahead. Not too far before the finish there was a big vertical cliff. I don’t know how I managed it, but I managed to gain more altitude there without losing any distance behind him. Finally, three or four minutes from the finish I was able to pass him. I think we were both worried about last minute terrain obstacles and he was a bit more cautious than I. I raced him to the line at red line and surprisingly he didn’t gain on me. I managed to beat him by 12 seconds! Oddly enough he crashed at the airport. It could be that he was deliberately trying to collide with one of his Hungary team mates.
I couldn’t be happier with my results. The next closes pilot to Sandor and I was about two and a half minutes slower. We were in the first of four time slots though, so there may be quite a few pilots yet to race. Norbert Kiss usually races the first time slot tomorrow (Friday) and he is always a huge threat but I expect to stay in the top five places at the worst.
Note: I was unable to use the Condor2Nav utility with the Austria scenery. It is not in the database that the utility uses for the scenery.
These rules for flying ridges are from the Glider Pilots Handbook
Slope soaring comes with several procedures to enable
safe flying and to allow many gliders on the same
ridge. The rules are:
1. make all turns away from the ridge;
2. do not fly directly above or below another glider;
3. pass another glider on the ridge side, anticipating
that the other pilot will make a turn away from
the ridge; and
4. the glider with its right side to the ridge has the
right of way. [Figure 10-15]
||On the right side of the weather panel in Condor, there is a depiction of a cloud which graphically indicates the height of the cloud base, cloud top, air temperature and dew point. If you hover over the number on the right, the label, inversion height will appear to the left of the number. I wonder, what exactly is this number and is there any scientific basis for the name, “inversion height?” From preliminary research I’ve done, I find that inversion refers to the air temperature increasing with altitude so I’m not sure that the term is correctly used or if it even exists.
On the Condor forums, the user Vertigo believes that
- Increasing inversion height allows more and denser CUs.
- Lowering inversion height below cloud base results in blue thermals and no CUs
- The lower the inversion height the better the wave if there is enough wind
- The higher the cloud base, the few the CUs but thermals will be stronger
TimKuijpers observes that, in real life thermals diminish toward the end of the afternoon. In Condor, there is less fall off at the end of the day so start time is not as critical as in real life.
Here are some comments from Glider Flying Handbook, an FAA publication for glider pilots, on the subject of blue thermals:
- Convective Condensation Level ( CCL )
- On some days, when only a few thermals are reaching the CCL, the initial wisps may be the only cloud markers around. The trick is to get to the wisp when it first forms, in order to catch the thermal underneath. (Glider Flying Handbook, 10-2)
- Lack of Cu does not necessarily mean lack of thermals. If the air aloft is cool enough and the surface temperature warms sufficiently, thermals will form whether or not enough moisture exists for cumulus formation. These blue or dry thermals, as they are called, can be just as strong as their Cu-topped counterparts. Glider pilots can find blue thermals, without Cu markers, by gliding along until stumbling upon a thermal. With any luck, other blue thermal indicators exist, making the search less random. (Glider Flying Handbook, 10-2)
- When a thermal rises to an inversion it disturbs the stable air above it and spreads out horizontally, thus depositing some of the aerosols at that level. Depending on the sun angle and the pilot’s sunglasses, haze domes can indicate dry thermals. If the air contains enough moisture, haze domes often form just before the first wisp of Cu.
- Usually upon entering a thermal, the glider is in lift for part of the circle and sink for the other part. It is rare to roll into a thermal and immediately be perfectly centered. The goal of centering the thermal is to determine where the best lift is and move the glider into it for the most consistent climb. One centering technique is known as the “270° correction.” [Figure 10-8] In this case, the pilot rolls into a thermal and almost immediately encounters sink, an indication of turning the wrong way. Complete a 270° turn, straighten out for a few seconds, and if lift is encountered again, turn back into it in the same direction. Avoid reversing the direction of turn. The distance flown while reversing turns is more than seems possible and can lead away from the lift completely. [Figure 10-9]
- Often stronger lift exists on one side of the thermal than on the other, or perhaps the thermal is small enough that lift exists on one side and sink on the other, thereby preventing a climb. There are several techniques and variations to centering. One method involves paying close attention to where the thermal is strongest, for instance, toward the northeast or toward some feature on the ground. To help judge this, note what is under the high wing when in the best lift. On the next turn, adjust the circle by either straightening or shallowing the turn toward the stronger lift. Anticipate things a bit and begin rolling out about 30° before actually heading towards the strongest part. This allows rolling back toward the strongest part of the thermal rather than flying through the strongest lift and again turning away from the thermal center. Gusts within the thermal can cause airspeed indicator variations; therefore, avoid “chasing the ASI.” Paying attention to the nose attitude helps pilots keep their focus outside the cockpit. How long a glider remains shallow or straight depends on the size of the thermal. [Figure 10-10] Other variations include the following. [Figure 10-11]
- 1. Shallow the turn slightly (by maybe 5° or 10°) when encountering the weaker lift, then as stronger lift is encountered again (feel the positive g, variometer swings up, audio variometer starts to beep) resume the original bank angle. If shallowing the turn too much, it is possible to fly completely away from the lift.