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Sailplanes and soaring birds require mother nature to
in the air. One of the many sources of lift are thermals -
rising columns of air produced by uneven heating of the
As any glider pilot will tell you, finding thermals is hard -
that's what makes soaring so much fun.
purposes, or on "weak" days, relying on mother nature is
That's where the thermal generator comes in. It is a
light colored or reflective circular surface with a dark
in the middle. Basically it looks like a huge bullseye laid
the ground. This combination of light (cool) and dark
areas produces the perfect conditions for a rising column
of air to develop. (see picture)
RC glider pilots may find this to be equally useful -
especially since the scale of the thermal generator can
greatly reduced. To reduce costs, the thermal
can be created by simply paining the grass white and
black, or by plowing a circular field, surrounded by some
type of crop.
Thermal Generator Diagram
[ixnaum, Jul 10 2009, last modified Jul 11 2009]
Thermal Generator would help with this too
[ixnaum, Jul 13 2009]
||Well, at least now we have a rational explanation of crop circles.
||[+] for enambling R/C models to fly better.
||[-] for encouraging manned glider piots, who clog up the circuit, like to show off how very, very slowly they can make their final approach, then squat helplessly in the middle of the runway, whimpering and demanding to be towed clear while other pilots grind their teth and do yet another go-around. Worse than microlites ...
||8th of 7 - you should reconsider.
On a weak
and no thermal generator around, with 2 sailplanes
operating from the field, you'll get an average of 10
takeoffs and landings in a day, clogging up the
runway. However, with the thermal generator
nearby, you'll cut that down to 2 takeoffs and
landings (they'll take off in the morning and won't
return until the sun starts to set).
downside will be hearing "weeee" all day on the
glider channel --- just tune it out, keep away from
the big bullseye and enjoy your powered flight.