How we fly
Rather than racing, our main goal is to fly cooperatively to share XC skills and experiences and have fun. We mostly use OLC+ scoring. So here are our habits when flying TeamXC-hosted sessions.
- Condor: Fly wherever you want, but share your ideas and good lift with others.
- Condor: If you crash or collide or have to land exit Condor you can rejoin. The join time is about 4 hours.
- Condor: When you connect on Discord, join the Lobby voice server, and the host guy might assign you a team if we have a lot of pilots on. When we're ready to take off, change to your team audio on Discord. We go by first names on Discord, or tail number if we see you in the sky and don't know you yet.
- Condor realism: We want to fly with safety habits on the realistic side to train for real flight. In our scoring you may lose points if you don't end at an airport or in glide range to an airport.
- Below 1500 ft AGL, look for landing sites. Below 1000 AGL choose a landing site. Unless you have an escape route to lower terrain, no thermalling below 500 ft AGL. Leave your team and land.
- Keep safe height margins to cross ridges or escape mountain canyons.
- Unless we specify a different kind of flight, keep an airport or strip within glide distance. Because Condor PDA doesn't show all the airports, it's good to fly with your own device to show your height above glide to nearby real airports. You need to load a map, waypoints and a glider polar. Go to www.teamxc.us/files. Then tweak your device safety margins: (polar degradation 50% is conservative, arrival height 800 ft typical, terrain height 500 ft typical). You can fly with your own style but keep your team together so that your tracks aren't hugely different.
We generally don't use start or finish gates on Condor and ignore start times.
In OLC-style flying, you choose your path and try to maximize distances in the 2 hours we fly.
We have our own program to do OLC+ scoring for .igc files. We're into cooperative flying, not scores, but OLC-style scoring (see www.onlinecontest.org) is nice because it scores any flight track. It's fun to use it to track your progress and as a flight book, and see how you did compared to others who flew in the same area that day.
Here's a flight analyzed with the OLC+ scoring method:
The track is multicolored to indicate altitude. The program searches your track for 5 "turnpoints" that would give you the most distance possible along straight lines between your release and finish (red segments above). If your path makes some kind of loop, the program tries to find a triangle (purple) from your track that is symmetric enough that the smallest side is at least 28% of the total. Your score is the 5-TP distance + 0.3*triangle distance, in km. Then it adjusts based on your glider's performance index.
Five-Turnpoint scored dist (d1): 176 km
FAI triangle distance (d2): 150 km
Score (d1 + 0.3*d2)/index: 190 pts
When you're done with your flight, post your igc track on our Discord text-chat or email to email@example.com. A few minutes after the flight we'll post everyone's scored flight and the results.
- To get the igc, in Condor go to Flight Analysis, and select IGC Export at the bottom, and give it a file name. If you didn't save your flight track, load 'LastTrack.ftr', then export to igc. On Discord, hit the + sign on the text entry box in text-chat and upload your file from documents/Condor/flighttracks/IGC. We can talk you through this.
One-line OLC+ flights
We made a variation that has a single blue line segment drawn from the takeoff airport. In the example the takeoff airport is at the bottom. The scoring is still OLC+ (optimize distance and triangle), you can fly any path but your distances (scores) are scaled down if you don't cross a "goal line" that is at the end of the blue line segment. The white goal line is a perpendicular at the end of the blue line. It extends across the entire map. The red track didn't cross the goal line but is credited 80% of its track's distance. The purple track passes it just before landing. On the Condor PDA only the blue line and a finish gate are shown, so in your mind you have to replace the finish gate with a goal line like the white one
This is our most frequent type of flight.
We use mostly random weather to keep things interesting and more realistic.
Condor weather presets (I toss a 20-sided digital die to choose the number and then use the preset from this list):
- Low clouds
Wind random assignments:
speed: 0-20 knots at the surface from 20-sided die. Higher winds 1.5x to 2x of surface wind
Direction: 100-sided die x 3.6 degrees.
Condor plane groups
We want standard and flapped ships available on most of our flights, because some of us own standard, and some flapped, and we want to practice. But we don't want vastly different performance so it's easy to fly together. Here's a typical group of gliders that we can use often, and some others.
Typical (8% max difference)
- Diana2: 116, Flaps
- DuoDiscus: 111
- Genesis2: 107
- LS8neo: 108
- Ventus3-15: 116, Flaps
- StdCirrus, 99
- StdLibelle, 98
- Blanik: 78, Flaps
- SwiftS1: 77, Aerobatic
Lower (13% max difference)
- GrunauBaby: 54
- SGS1-26: 62
- SC38: 22