Completed First Race with Condor2!

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.


Finally Condor version 2 has been released–well last month actually!

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.

Condor reinstallation and UB DirectPlay8 Error

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!

Why is the ASW 27 the most popular Condor sailplane?

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:

Why is the ASW 27 the most popular Condor sailplane?

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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:25 pm
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Why is the ASW 27 the most popular Condor sailplane?

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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Re: Why is the ASW 27 the most popular Condor sailplane?

Postby eisenhans » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:57 pm

Hey Kor,

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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Re: Why is the ASW 27 the most popular Condor sailplane?

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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Location: cologne

Re: Why is the ASW 27 the most popular Condor sailplane?

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.




Excellent results for race 5 of the Sky Battle Cup glider competition

Taken from the road to Mt Cook village.

I’m quite excited, with most pilots in, I’m third out of about 180 competitors in day 5 of the SBC 2014!  I keep checking to see if I get moved down. I was in first place for quite a while.

This race was in New Zealand. The takeoff was Glentanner airport just down the road from the Mount Cook center where Tui and I stayed when we were in New Zealand several years ago. In fact we took a plane from Glentanner to land on a nearby glacier.

Aoraki/Mount Cook as seen from SSW flying at a...
Aoraki/Mount Cook as seen from SSW flying at altitude 4000m in a glider from Omarama, a commercial gliding site 100km from the mountain. Deutsch: Der Mount Cook aus etwa 4.000 Metern Höhe gesehen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Aoraki/Mount Cook area from LandSat. This ...

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Rules for flying ridges

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]

Puddie’s Adventures at SoaringNV

All photos by Aaron Kiley

My brother Aaron (Puddie), just returned from a week of soaring at Minden, Nevada with SoaringNV.  For his first day he flew with an instructor in a Duo Discus, a high performance 2 place sailplane.  Gabe, his instructor,  is a lovely, french canadian from the North East Kingdom of Vermont.  His job was to check Aaron out in the Duo Discus and show him the thermal and ridge hot spots in the area.

Yes, on the Duo.  The Duo is higher performance than the LS4, but 2ce the hourly rate.  Probably NO thermals this time of the year.  Maybe ridge, or wave though.  Wave more common after a low passes which I don’t see in the near future.

The photo you ASKed about was tyken just north of the pass. (Kingsburrys Grade)  Aboot two minor peaks north pf the ski area.
I drove 3/4 up the pass and did a 45 minute hike at 7000 feet.  I was amazed to NOT be shot at by a hunter as you were in Colorado. But it was beautiful.  I took my ipad that has USGS maps and track logging which is nothing crack logging which Im sure you know about.


The sun is like a torch here.  Haven’t been cold on ground or in the air.  It was 50 yesterday afternoon, but in gets very cold at night.  I wore a t shirt with a polar fleece over it, and no gloves.


I did two solos in the Duo today.  The light winds were favoring the Carson range.  Both were tows to 10,500.  1st flight I got a little ridge and was up an hour.  But the second flight I went farther south and found a good lift spot.  It was unbelievable!  Just like Condor heading into a ridge and getting spots where the vario spiked, then sink in the turns.  The scenery and sensation was beyond belief.  I was fairly close to the ridge like Condor, but I gave myself extra airspeed,  and alway a huge “out” in case I suddenly got a ton of sink.  But getting a huge surge of lift then watching the mountain peak drop below and lake Tahoe come quickly into sight was indescribable.
I was amazed at how much it was like Condor.  Besides the seat of the pants sensation, you really feel the turbulence in a few spots.  It didn’t feel, bad and then would get glassy smooth.  On the good ridge, the lift suddenly got glassy smooth when I got higher.  It was almost as if I was in wave from the adjacent peek.  Thelat flight was 2 hours and I think I gained 1500 feet above tow release.
I just leftthe SoaringNV so I’ll send photos later.

The amazing thing about soaring here is that you can safely fly close to terrain.  When you think about, of all my flying, I have never flown close to terrain except during landing and takeoff.  To be right next to these mountains is incredible and this is what I like about ridge soaring in Condor.
In a place like State College you have ridge lift, but no out is the lift doesn’t work.  At minden the airport is very reachable even half way down the ridge.
I’m really glad I didn’t go to Williams now.  Save that for summer thermal.
Eating a slab o salmon at a restaurant.
There is a Tai restaurant the has very high reviews in tone.  I wouldn’t know what to order though.  What should order if I go soon?

The vario was all over.  I would get a spike that was probably 15 KTS, then smooth lift at 1 to 2 knots.  I’m guessing the wind was only 8 knots, but it got channelled in only a few hot spots that I was lucy to find.

Oh, the Carson range is just the Sierras 5 miles west of Minden, where we did the wave.  Gabe told me California didn’t want Nevada to claim any Sierras, so they called it the Carson range.

I got my good lift at Freel peak on the S/E side.  It’s between Jobs and Jobes sister peaks and the Jobes canyon is you look at a USGS.  Basically the first or second peak south on the ski area at the SE edge of lake Tahoe.  Remember we got Condor loft at that ski area mountain? (called Heavenly).  I worked Heavenly too, and was just able to hold altitude.  I could look down at skiers and was close enough that I wondered if they felt I was buzzing.  Probably 4 to 500 feet above them.

Thanks for the Tai info.  I’m a moron.  Rex at Williams told me I would probably be fogged out, so Minden was my second choice.  It had good gliders, scenery and OK daytime high temps.  I consulted historical weather data for both places.

I haven’t seen Minden yet.  It’s south of the airport maybe 4 miles.  I’m staying in Nevadas capital Carson City about a 20 minute drive north.  Minden is tiny with only a few restaurants.


Drive back to hotel, I flew that peak, but no lift



On the good ridge at Freel heading SW, but looking NW at Largo De Tahoe


Looking NNE Carson City on left, far right is Thermal hill just 3 N of Minden Airport KMEV



Freel Peak


Heavenly at summit wide lens makes mountains seem flat and low

Did you know the newest CU can imbed photos if the cameras clock is set accurately.  How did you get the laterst CU without paying for it.  Just a one month demo?

Join Sullivan said I’m going to love the LS4.  The Duo has great performance, but it’s large.  You feel the mass of any two place glider.  Single place gliders are super light and nimble feeling.

I have IGC reader on my iPad, is that bad?  The iPad is great, but some things are sorely missed.  One is there is no damn search within a page with Safari.  I wonder if other web browsers work well on the iPad?


January 13, 2012—Third day

Aaron: About to fly LS4. Tail number 402K going line nuts!


I got your message rather late but I see your track–not a very detailed one but it looks like you headed over to the Pine Nut range.  Is that right.  The present fix shows you north of Minden airport.

Now looks like you got a tow and are headed back to the Carson Range.  You must be having a gooda time!

Aha!  Your next fix is right near your last one so you must be working that same ridge near Freel Peak.  You did all this in the time that it took me to type out my Tiramisu recipe!


Both flights for 45 minutes I think.  Yes first to pine nuts second 1 to sierras.
No lift today.  It was amazing to soar mt Siegel.

I’ll email a little later. Driving for a hike before the sunsets.


Aaron with LS4 that he flew today


The Wood northbound on the Carson range with 5 MC back to Minden at Kingsberry Grade

“I took my first tow to Mt. Siegal.  We got there right at 10,500 which put me just above the peak.  I couldn’t lock onto the very small places that had just a little lift.  But this is expected this time of year.
Looks like wave might happen Sunday. Not for sure but wind is predicted.  I’m a little nervous about flying wave.  I think I like ridge the best.  Wood”

Oh boy! Little did he know!

Wood looking tubby these days

Wood looking tubby these days


The LS4 was a nice ship, light and lively like the Cirrus but probably more docile!

Today was not a disappointing day. It was really fun trying a different ship and also seeing the Pine Nuts.  On the Sierra side today, there were a few places I circled in that seemed promising, but didn’t pan out.

After the soaring, I did an hour hike in the rolling hills west of Carson City.


P.S. but its hard to beat yesterday!

Saturday, January 14, 2012—Day 5

I didn’t hear from Aaron all morning.  He flew the LS4 yesterday and this ship was on SoaringNV’s Spot system so I kept checking in case he was flying.  I had checked the weather and the winds aloft for the day and it seemed like there could be more wind today.  Tomorrow would definitely be windy—scary windy, and I suspected for someone with no experience with wave, it would probably be too much.  I really hoped that he would at least get a little better ridge soaring today.

Finally about 5pm (2pm Nevada time), I saw that 1R had laid down a point West of the airport.  Up until this time it had been reporting the same position at the airport.  I had no way of knowing if this was my brother but I assumed it was because I think that he was their primary customer at the time.


The position where I first spotted the LS4 (1R)

Kor: If that’s you, I can see that you are on west side of the ridge!  Wow!  That must be exciting.  It looks like you have been there for about 40 minutes so far so something must be happening!

Kor: If this is really you, you’re starting to scare me.  From Slide Mountain to Thornburg Peak where 1R is now is almost 50 miles as the crow flies.  From there back to Minden is about 20 miles and it is almost 4pm


That WAS me Tort!  I think I got 82 km straight line.  Up to over 17,000’.  3 hours and 12 minutes.
More later, they are having a Chili cookoff party here.

Kor: Fantoostic! I did a rough measurement with GE and you covered about 100 miles not counting the zigs and zags!  Must have been mighty cold at 17000 feet!


I’m at a Sushi restaurant now.
I was hot on the ground waiting for the tow plane to return.  On climb-out, I opened the vent to cool off.  Didn’t wear gloves and was warm the entire flight.  My toes got a tad cold toward the end.
I was told afterwards that I should have flown east at Alpine to pick up the east (?) when I got to lake Topaz.


This phone is maddening.  If what you are typing scolds (sic) out of sight, you can’t get it back and can not continue typing.
Anyway, my soaring day was amazing beyond belief!


Hi Tort, Sorry about all the abridged emails.  Attached is the IGC from
today.  What a flight!  I had a ton of altitude the entire flight.  At my
farthest southern point, I still had about 13 MC back to the airport with a
2000 foot safety buffer, PLUS there was light to moderate wave most of the
way back and a few spots with big lift.  So I could have gone farther south,
but it was getting late.

There was a guy at the club who was from a glider port near Puimoisson in
France.  He said that alps flying is much more complex than Condor.  There are
areas of convergence, upslope wind from the sunny side of the mountains is
as strong as the ridge lift on the other side.  He has flown 1000K flights
in his Nimbus 2–I think it was.

Also the guy who holds the wave height record for Minden was in yesterday.
40K feet, about!  He had to breath pure Ox on the ground for an hour before
he flew.

Tomorrow looks frightening.  Today was a perfect wave day for a little
feller like me.  Tomorrow it’s supposed to be a powerful wave day with high
winds on the surface.  Today the winds were a bit rough on landing at 18
gusting to 23 I think about 45 degrees off the runway heading.  Tomorrow is
supposed to be SW at 30!
I might just bow out.

In wave looking North just north of Heavenly 4 miles

In wave looking North just north of Heavenly 4 miles


End of amazing day, LS4 tied down with linticulars


BTW, the tow was quite hairy going through the rotor turbulence. A few spots I considered releasing.  I can’t imagine what tomorrow will bring.
BTW2 the photos seem to flatten the mountains and make the altitude seem lower.  Probably because it’s a wide lens.

Looking SE at Highland peak 9 miles south of Alpine

Looking SE at Highland peak 9 miles south of Alpine


Kor: I’m watching your IGC and it is incredible.  To think that this little bump of mountain could set air rising way above like that!  Condor must do a very poor job of modeling the wave.  You got marginal lift on the windward side but once you got into the wave you started climbing like crazy (especially when viewed 10x in SeeYou : ))  I’m still watching.  You are still in the vicinity where you crossed over.

Aaron: It seems ridiculous to me too!  Condor isn’t too bad, but it doesn’t model the rotor.  I’ll email the SoaringNV wave chart and you can see how the rotor causes lift on one side and sink on the other.  It was amazing when suddenly the turbulent lift switched to dead smooth lift almost instantly. I have video of all this too.  At that point I turned the video towards my face and said ” Kor, I’m in wave”.  After I landed the little French Canadian Gabe rushed up to me and said “are you going to tell Kor about dis flyyyt? He’s is going to be really jealous.  You caught the wave at turteen towzen, or about dayer?”

Kor: Was crossing from the leeward side scary?  Did they tell you how much altitude you would have to be at to catch the wave?  Did they even know that there would be a wave for sure?

Aaron: No, it didn’t sink bad as I recall.  No, they thought the wave might not happen, especially after looking at the official wave report from the weather service which showed almost no gradient as in no increase of winds aloft with altitude.  I first suspected they could be wrong when passing the critical area on tow.  There were spots of huge, but rough lift and sink.  That made me suspect a rotor where more smooth sink would not.  The tow was really pretty wicked!  I basically fought to stay behind the tow.  It wasn’t really beyond my limit because I never got much out of position.

LS4 left sideLS4 panel with notes

Looking SE at Highland peak 9 miles south of Alpinelenticular clouds near Minden, NVJust hanging around SoaringNV. They keep the tow plane right in the office which is a hangerLenticular shadow over RenoThe-Wood-northbound-on-the-Carson-range-with-5-MC-back-to-Minden-at-Kingsberry-GradeLooking-NNE-Carson-City-on-left-far-right-is-Thermal-hill-just-3-N-of-Minden-Airport-KMEV



















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Diving for Race Starting Line

iPad-Thailand Trip 2633

Here is Santiago Lopez’s formula for diving for the start:

I recommend climbing 300 m ( 1000 ft) above the maximum altitude at a distance of 1 km (0.55 nm) from the start and then dive to a speed close to redline, and watch out for flutter, especially when the start altitude is above 2000 m. For standard class planes and others with a lower redline speed, reduce the height of your dive 10-15%.

Centering Thermals


Image via Wikipedia

I registered for the Soaring on Heaven races yesterday but received an email today saying that my account had been suspended because they couldn’t verify my information.  I started looking back at competitions that I had flown in order to give them more information.  One of the great competitions that I entered and will always remember is the 2010 World Gliding Competition in Szeged Slovakia.  I thought it was an excellent competition and as like the real contest as possible.  However the organizer got a lot of criticism from some very immature acting pilots and there was a lot of controversy over the winner who several pilots accused of cheating.  They said his name was made up and I must say that I don’t recall seeing his name anywhere since.  A couple of competitors, including myself, flew his flight track and observed an uncanny ability of the pilot to fly straight for the best thermals.  This is all documented in this thread on the Condor Forums.  I was reading some of that thread and came across these comments about the difficulty of doing that and some comments on centering thermals in general.

Here are the main points:

  • The biggest difficulty centering thermals occurs with a combination of windy conditions and narrow thermals.
  • In these conditions, it’s important to stay closer to cloud base where the target will be bigger and there is more room for error.
  • Test several thermals before race start observing the wind and sun direction.  Once you establish the center for on thermal, others should be similar.  You can use external view to determine your position under the cloud.
  • A few tricks distilled from these threads:
    • When you pull up in a thermal, start a slight turn to the right.  If the lift begins to decrease, immediately turn to the left and you should be bang in the center—in theory!
    • If there is no wind, turn 20 or 30 degrees in one direction while pulling up, then turn in the other direction—I’ll really have to test this one!
    • In windy conditions, fly toward the center of the cloud, then leave the center toward the wind direction.  If you fly where you think the center will be, you are taking a gamble.
    • In windy conditions, alter your course so that you enter directly upwind or downwind.
    • I the wind direction and strength vary with altitude, thermals can spiral and be very difficult to find.
    • Be able to thermal equally well in both directions!
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