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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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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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.




Adding New Scenery Files to Condor2Nav

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:

  1. Go to the MapGen page on the XCSoar site.
  2. 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
  3. Fill in your emails address if you want to be notified when the map generation has been completed.
  4. The only option I changed was “Add waypoint file and compute map bounds automatically.”
  5. 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
  6. Click “Generate”. The screen changes to AA: Creating terrain files.
  7. The generation can take ten or fifteen minutes for a large scenery. When it is done, there will be a Download push button.
  8. You can download it directly to …\condor2nav\Maps\Maps.
  9. Rename the file from AA.xcm to AA_1.0.xcm. The scenery appears in Condor as AA[1.0].
  10. Copy this file to the file that you downloaded from the condor2nav site. I do this for safe keeping.
  11. 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 when you were setting up XCSoar to use condor2nav.
  12. 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.
  13. 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’m taking a vacation from Condor

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.

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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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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US Nightly Soaring Day 7 (Offline)

Some US pilots started up a new race series on, the site that hosts the Monday Night Soaring Series.  The U.S. race is held every night at 9pm.  That’s usually too late for me, but you can download the flight plan after the race and do it offline.  I did that this morning.  The race was an AAT with a distance of 150 km and a minimum time to complete of 1 hour.

Below you can see the task with the two large 12 km areas at TP1 and TP2.  The object is to fly as far as possible within the designated area in a time of one hour or greater.  Your competition speed is calculated by dividing your time on course by the distance made good between the start, TP1, TP2 and the finish.  In the graphic below, the solid red line shows my actual track around the course.  The dotted red line shows the straight line distance between the extremes of my track. On TP2 I went outside the area for a few kilometers.  That distance doesn’t count, so you can see that the dotted line stops at a point intersecting my track and the outer perimeter of the TP2 area before turning back to the finish.  From this I can see that I would have been better off continuing south before turning toward the finish on final glide.


Here was my strategy and mistakes that I apparently made. The wind was from 316 degrees so I was flying directly into the wind on the first leg (TP1 is the upper left circle).  Because of this, I wanted to make this leg as short as possible.  Ideally, I would fly only to the nearest edge of TP1 (You have made the “turn” wherever you cross the perimeter of the turn point.)  I didn’t do this because I needed to average 20 minutes or more per leg so that my total time would be equal to or greater than one hour. My time to the perimeter of TP1 was about 19 minutes but, because of flying upwind, this leg should take more time to fly a given distance then the next two legs.  It’s OK to fly longer than the minimum time as long as you can maintain or increase your average speed.  What you want to avoid is flying a shorter duration than the minimum time.  If you fly less than the minimum time. your average speed will be calculated by dividing your time en-route by the minimum time, rather than your actual time.  To avoid this scenario, I extended leg one a bit beyond 20 minutes and planned to fly deep into the TP2 area to extend my distance before turning on final glide for the finish. If I could have continued leg two straight to intersect the perimeter further south, I think I could have had a little better average speed.  I would like to have been able to turn on final glide a bit sooner.  I had almost enough altitude at the point that I turned East and caught my last thermal a bit outside of the perimeter.  The problem is that I would have arrived early at the finish.

This was a fun task with strong and plentiful thermals.  It allowed me to concentrate on my AAT strategy rather than survival.