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Old February 16th 18, 10:00 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default New Glider Dream Elon Musk Flow

On Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 2:49:20 PM UTC-6, John Seaborn (A8) wrote:
I mean if we are going to dream,

- Deployable drone cloud that helps find and center lift. Fun in gaggles!
- A minimum speed of say 20 knots for landing and climb
- Expert system flight computers that anticipate pilot need based on the phase of flight, making real-time display and sensor adjustments and offering guidance.
- Fly by wire controls that integrate loading and maneuvering inputs with flap movements
- Cloud recognition software that does shape analysis using time lapse
- Smart system learning vario that learns the pneumatic inputs of the particular glider it is installed and the day factors in real time so it gets smarter the more you fly, even with a day factor.
- OK not glider but rigging integrated into trailer design
- Something that will mask the height from the Hard Deck analysis software.

Hey A8, A lot of your ideas should be doable with current tech. Cloud recognition software is an intriguing idea and could be done now. The drone wingmen idea is an idea that I have heard kicked around jokingly during hangar flying. More often the conversation is about having a drone wingman to shoot video. Apparently I hang around with a bunch of narcissists .

It would be a huge boon to soaring if we could get our stall speed down to 20 knots without killing our top end. A 20 knot off field landing would sure be a lot less likely to hurt somebody. Heck, on a day with a stiff breeze, one could back into a parking space.

How about LIDAR for identifying thermals at a distance? Lasers and optics are certainly getting small enough to make something like that feasible for a glider. I read somewhere that the sailing guys have LIDAR for reading the wind out ahead. Not sure if that LIDAR is picking up backscatter from sea spray or what. Thermals usually carry some load of particulates (that annoyingly accumulate on our leading edges) that the laser could see. I'd try to make one myself if only I knew my amps from a hole in the ground.