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  #21  
Old May 14th 11, 02:34 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Papa3
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Posts: 444
Default new Soaring article

On May 12, 8:32*pm, John Cochrane
wrote:

They did, give them credit. The IGC created the world class, in
response to this sentiment. It was exactly your "sunfish" class. And
pilots around the world resoundly rejected it. They voted with their
wallets, and 18 meter gliders, mostly with motors, are the only things
selling right now. Not even standard or 15m are selling.

It is a great theory. It was tried. And it failed.

John Cochrane


John,

All that this failed experiment proved is that there isn't necessarily
a market for a purpose-built one-design that turns out to be more
expensive than much higher perforance ships readily available on the
market. Again working the analogy, many of the successful sailing
classes (Sunfish comes to mind) were built and became popular first -
then someone decided to race them. Same with cars.

If we set out with a mission statement where one of the primary
objectives was to "contain costs", the class specifications would
follow.

P3

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  #22  
Old May 14th 11, 07:26 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tony V
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Posts: 175
Default new Soaring article

On 5/12/2011 8:32 PM, John Cochrane wrote:
One thing that all of the
various sanctioning bodies (FAI/IGC/NACs) will have to address at some
point is a class that is primarily aimed at lowest possible cost. .....


They did, give them credit. The IGC created the world class, in
response to this sentiment. It was exactly your "sunfish" class. And
pilots around the world resoundly rejected it. They voted with their
wallets,...


No. They voted for better performance at equal cost (OK, the equal cost
means used gliders) and good taste.

Tony
  #23  
Old May 15th 11, 03:48 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
noel.wade
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Posts: 681
Default new Soaring article

On May 13, 10:15*am, Alpha Eight wrote:

Have we lost some of the beauty of flying in which ones understanding
of nature not technology makes the glider go fast and far? The march
of technology is undeniable and unstoppable but travels with some cost
as well as bestowing great benefit.

A8


As someone who's joined the sport in the last 5 years and who started
flying competitively, I think the answer to your question is No.

First, most of the technology out there now (as well as many of the
items John talks about) are intended to help the pilot _understand_
the natural forces and maximize their use. As long as we fly un-
powered aircraft, we're dependent upon Nature and therefore must be in
tune with it.

Let me put it another way: Do we begrudge a farmer who uses a tractor
to plant and harvest his crops? Is he less of a farmer than someone
who does everything by hand? He still must understanding planting and
growing and harvesting...

Also, I'd like to point out the fact that technology means something
different to folks my age or older (and I'm "only" 33), when compared
to the younger set. 21 year-olds in the USA are old enough to drink,
vote, and fight in wars... AND THEY DON'T KNOW A WORLD WITHOUT THE
INTERNET. The world-wide web became popular before they were in
_kindergarten_. The first computer operating system they probably
worked with was Windows 98. Not only does this younger group not know
what a typewriter is, they vaulted past monochrome monitors, dot-
matrix printers, DOS, floppy-disks of all kinds, pre-USB connectors
and their sometimes-byzantine drivers, etc. Technology has come a
long, long way in a very short time. It is hard on those of us who
lived through it; but easy on those who came along afterwards.

Ignore the value-judgement of whether social & technological trends
are "good" or "bad" for a moment, and take note of how innately
comfortable they are with technology, and what an everyday component
of their lives its become. New technological developments (in or out
of the cockpit) will not be as much of a shock to them as it is to
most of us. It will also be less-distracting to them, and they will
be able to better-integrate avionics into their training because of
their familiarity with technology.

Note that I'm not predicting the kids of tomorrow will be super-
smart. Just as most people today don't know how their car engine
works or how their electric appliances work around the house, the kids
of tomorrow may not understand how their fancy tech works down at the
microchip level. The point is that technology will be at the point
where they won't *have* to - it just works. The good news is that
these same children of tomorrow will still have to understand what the
technology is trying to do (like detect a thermal); and that means
they'll still have to understand Nature and her fickle ways. It is up
to us, their fellow humans, to show them that this knowledge is
beautiful and valuable.

--Noel
P.S. I also don't like the costs of top-end competitive flying. But
you don't try to win a Formula 1 competition in a street car (even a
high-end street car). The "average joe" who wants that sort of
experience can do so relatively inexpensively through things like the
SCCA Road-racing or Autocross (Solo 2) programs. NASCAR fans can
participate in their local short-track racing for a fraction of the
cost of a Winston/Nextel cup car. And in the soaring world we have
the Sports/Club class - as well as the OLC - to fulfill the lower-
budget area. I find it funny how my pilot friends complain about
their particular sailplane not being competitive and wanting the class
rules to change; whereas my race-car driving friends simply buy a
different car. :-)
  #24  
Old May 15th 11, 04:15 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Nyal Williams[_2_]
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Posts: 259
Default new Soaring article

Noel, you can't be the judge. You don't know what beauty was given up;
it is an experiential level that you will never be able to know. You are
correct, of course, that the technology of today helps understand the
natural forces better and we wouldn't give them up, but SOMETHING at the
experiential level always disappears with new advancements in any
endeavour. Only those who operated at length in the old way know what
that is, but it is an aesthetic sense that comes from using the old system
well.


At 02:48 15 May 2011, noel.wade wrote:
On May 13, 10:15=A0am, Alpha Eight wrote:

Have we lost some of the beauty of flying in which ones understanding
of nature not technology makes the glider go fast and far? The march
of technology is undeniable and unstoppable but travels with some cost
as well as bestowing great benefit.

A8


As someone who's joined the sport in the last 5 years and who started
flying competitively, I think the answer to your question is No.

First, most of the technology out there now (as well as many of the
items John talks about) are intended to help the pilot _understand_
the natural forces and maximize their use. As long as we fly un-
powered aircraft, we're dependent upon Nature and therefore must be in
tune with it.

Let me put it another way: Do we begrudge a farmer who uses a tractor
to plant and harvest his crops? Is he less of a farmer than someone
who does everything by hand? He still must understanding planting and
growing and harvesting...

Also, I'd like to point out the fact that technology means something
different to folks my age or older (and I'm "only" 33), when compared
to the younger set. 21 year-olds in the USA are old enough to drink,
vote, and fight in wars... AND THEY DON'T KNOW A WORLD WITHOUT THE
INTERNET. The world-wide web became popular before they were in
_kindergarten_. The first computer operating system they probably
worked with was Windows 98. Not only does this younger group not know
what a typewriter is, they vaulted past monochrome monitors, dot-
matrix printers, DOS, floppy-disks of all kinds, pre-USB connectors
and their sometimes-byzantine drivers, etc. Technology has come a
long, long way in a very short time. It is hard on those of us who
lived through it; but easy on those who came along afterwards.

Ignore the value-judgement of whether social & technological trends
are "good" or "bad" for a moment, and take note of how innately
comfortable they are with technology, and what an everyday component
of their lives its become. New technological developments (in or out
of the cockpit) will not be as much of a shock to them as it is to
most of us. It will also be less-distracting to them, and they will
be able to better-integrate avionics into their training because of
their familiarity with technology.

Note that I'm not predicting the kids of tomorrow will be super-
smart. Just as most people today don't know how their car engine
works or how their electric appliances work around the house, the kids
of tomorrow may not understand how their fancy tech works down at the
microchip level. The point is that technology will be at the point
where they won't *have* to - it just works. The good news is that
these same children of tomorrow will still have to understand what the
technology is trying to do (like detect a thermal); and that means
they'll still have to understand Nature and her fickle ways. It is up
to us, their fellow humans, to show them that this knowledge is
beautiful and valuable.

--Noel
P.S. I also don't like the costs of top-end competitive flying. But
you don't try to win a Formula 1 competition in a street car (even a
high-end street car). The "average joe" who wants that sort of
experience can do so relatively inexpensively through things like the
SCCA Road-racing or Autocross (Solo 2) programs. NASCAR fans can
participate in their local short-track racing for a fraction of the
cost of a Winston/Nextel cup car. And in the soaring world we have
the Sports/Club class - as well as the OLC - to fulfill the lower-
budget area. I find it funny how my pilot friends complain about
their particular sailplane not being competitive and wanting the class
rules to change; whereas my race-car driving friends simply buy a
different car. :-)


  #25  
Old May 15th 11, 05:08 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
noel.wade
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Posts: 681
Default new Soaring article

Nyal -

Who are YOU to judge what I can and cannot experience, and what beauty
I can or cannot appreciate? Do you have a private window into my soul
or my brain?

I reject your notion that I am unable to appreciate things simply
because I am of a different age or did not experience things the same
way you did.

--Noel

  #26  
Old May 15th 11, 01:27 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Nyal Williams[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 259
Default new Soaring article

I'm sorry you have taken offense. My comment was not an attack on you; it
was a comment about everyone's experience. George Moffat lamented the
passing of those days when navigational skills without use of GPS were as
important to winning races as the weather judgment skills. Until you or I
become as fluent as he was using that system we cannot appreciate the
subtleties and enjoyment of them that he gave up by accepting GPS.

You CAN experience that, of course, if you take the time to do all the
flying he did using only the equipment he used. Until you do that you
cannot say he has lost nothing because you don't know what it was.
Possibly George himself could not articulate all of it.

Best,

Nyal

At 04:08 15 May 2011, noel.wade wrote:
Nyal -

Who are YOU to judge what I can and cannot experience, and what beauty
I can or cannot appreciate? Do you have a private window into my soul
or my brain?

I reject your notion that I am unable to appreciate things simply
because I am of a different age or did not experience things the same
way you did.

--Noel



  #27  
Old May 15th 11, 11:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Jim Beckman[_2_]
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Posts: 186
Default new Soaring article

At 12:27 15 May 2011, Nyal Williams wrote:
I'm sorry you have taken offense. My comment was not an attack on you;

i
was a comment about everyone's experience. George Moffat lamented th
passing of those days when navigational skills without use of GPS were a
important to winning races as the weather judgment skills. Until you or
become as fluent as he was using that system we cannot appreciate th
subtleties and enjoyment of them that he gave up by accepting GPS.


The rules define the nature of the competition. Navigation
used to be an important, nay vital, part of racing sailplanes.
It no longer matters. The equipment changes, the rules
change, the competition changes. It's just different.

It used to be important that you knew how to maneuver
your glider to get a good photograph of the turnpoint.
It wasn't as easy as you might assume.

Jim Beckman


  #28  
Old May 16th 11, 01:28 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Nyal Williams[_2_]
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Posts: 259
Default new Soaring article

No question about that.

When a baby learns to walk it gives up its crawling skill-set for an
overall advantage, but there is no question that it has lost SOMETHING for
a net gain.


At 22:39 15 May 2011, Jim Beckman wrote:
At 12:27 15 May 2011, Nyal Williams wrote:
I'm sorry you have taken offense. My comment was not an attack on

you;
i
was a comment about everyone's experience. George Moffat lamented th
passing of those days when navigational skills without use of GPS were

a
important to winning races as the weather judgment skills. Until you or


become as fluent as he was using that system we cannot appreciate th
subtleties and enjoyment of them that he gave up by accepting GPS.


The rules define the nature of the competition. Navigation
used to be an important, nay vital, part of racing sailplanes.
It no longer matters. The equipment changes, the rules
change, the competition changes. It's just different.

It used to be important that you knew how to maneuver
your glider to get a good photograph of the turnpoint.
It wasn't as easy as you might assume.

Jim Beckman




  #29  
Old May 16th 11, 02:23 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Newill
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Posts: 9
Default new Soaring article

On May 12, 1:40*pm, "Lars Peder Hansen"
wrote:
John,

CLIP . I seem to
remember reading somewhere that the US military is involved in exactly this
technology, to make their light UAV's able to stay airborne much longer on a
given amount of fuel/battery.
CLIP


Correct - this is a DARPA funded project. I do not know if it is still running but it was two years ago


dbn
  #30  
Old May 16th 11, 10:07 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
noel.wade
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Posts: 681
Default new Soaring article


On May 15, 5:28*pm, Nyal Williams wrote:

When a baby learns to walk it gives up its crawling skill-set for an
overall advantage, but there is no question that it has lost SOMETHING for
a net gain.


Nyal -

Its not so much that I'm offended as it is that I find your premise
illogical and ridiculous. I believe you are speaking to nostalgia and
your view of history through rose-colored glasses; not any real loss.

To use your analogy: A Baby that learns to walk does not forget how
to crawl. We can crawl even as fully-grown adults. We haven't "lost"
a skill; we have simply found a better way to do things. Maybe
standing on two legs alters our perception of the world and the way we
interact with it; but we CAN go back and interact with it in a
different manner if we want. We _choose_ not to; we don't lose the
innate ability.

Similarly, I can turn off my GPS and/or jump in a Schweizer and
experience soaring "like the old-timers" anytime I want to. Just
because I have a DG-300 and use a PDA does not mean that other soaring
skills are lost, or that I cannot appreciate the simple beauties of
physics, nature, weather, aerodynamics, and the 3-dimensional freedom
of flight. There is no causal relationship between my ability to
perceive beauty and the equipment that I use.

In summary: You may long for simpler times; or for a period in which
different skills were _emphasized_. There's nothing wrong with that.
But confuse your desires with the skills of other pilots; and don't
impugn their sense of artistry or beauty.

--Noel
P.S. To be clear: this is not just a personal defense; its also a
reaction to the attitude that many in the Soaring community have about
newer generations of pilots. Attitudes like what Nyal is displaying
*do* come across as negatives and a discouragement to newer pilots.
With a shrinking pilot population the last thing people should be
doing is telling new folks what they _can't_ do or how they'll never
be like the people that have come before them.

 




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