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Old December 21st 16, 03:00 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Wing loading vs Span

On Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 4:04:59 PM UTC-5, Jonathan St. Cloud wrote:
In days of old the phrase was "Nothing beats wing span". Now it seems as if these short wing "open" birds, i.e., JS1C are beating the long wing birds. Rarely even see a 23 meter bird in the open class. Having almost half my glider time in the open class I miss the long beautiful wings and at the end of a dying day a 6.2 pound wing loading.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt9VfoN2kTA&t=44s

Never having flown a 21 meter bird, but I cannot imagine they are as efficient at dolphin flying as a bird with more span.

So the question is, does span still beat wing loading or does 21 meters at 12 pounds beat 26.5 meters at 9.2 pounds? I realize there are many assumptions and variables, but damnit I miss the beauty of the long wings.


IMHO...it depends on the weather you would encounter. If your are continuously flying in weak weather I'd go 26.5/9.2. If weather was expected to be consistently better than 4 knots, then 21/12. You could always order a Binder EB-29R and go 29.3/11 and self launch to boot. Think of all the fun you would have getting that aircraft carrier out of the trailer and ready to launch. Your new 29Es would pay for about 1/2 of that new EB 29R.
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