Friday, February 19, 2016

SSA Convention First Day

I'm currently in Greenville, South Carolina at the Soaring Society of America's biennial convention.
My favorite part of this is hanging out at the show room floor, where all of the fancy gliders are on display.  There are meetings that discuss the issues that face glider pilots today, but as usual, I'm most interested in the museum aspect of the convention.

Eric Lambert and Jim Garrison pose in front of the Stemme S-10VT
The Stemme S-10VT is an absolutely amazing machine. Terribly expensive, but a wonderful combination of glider and airplane.  With a 50:1 glide ratio, and a service ceiling of 30,000 feet (!), cruises at 120 knots at something like 2.5 gallons per hour.  The wings fold back, and the plane can be stored in a T Hangar. It can also taxi with the wings folded, so if there's not enough room to squeeze between two hangars, you can do that without scraping the wings.

I'm a Schempp-Hirth lover, and love everything they make.
Arcus M with a motor, owned by Al Simmons. Absolutely beautiful!
I think the Arcus is just absolutely beautiful. This one belongs to Al Simmons (OLC) It has many similar features with the Duo Discus, but has flaps.   Of course, this one is equipped with an outboard engine.
The new Arcus M from Schempp-Hirth
This is another Arcus M, but this one's outboard motor is actually a jet engine!  See the next picture.
DUDE! That Arcus M has a jet engine installed in it!
Dennis Tito (OLC) recently bought this jet-powered Arcus-M.

The glider with the longest wings imaginable was at the convention.  This is a 28 meter glider called "The Concordia" Pictures can't justify the wingspan.
The Concordia!  Man those wings are long! 
Another view of the Concordia's super long wings

The ASH-30 MI motor glider from Schleicher
Another Schleicher has a jet self launcher
 The meetings I attended on the first day were:
  1. ADS-B, presented by Dave Nadler.  How do PowerFlarm, a transponder, and ADS-B relate to the mandatory ADS-B out ruling from the FAA? 
  2. Finding and making use of energy lines, by Pete Anderson. This presentation showed me different ways to exploit lift by looking at clouds in a slightly different way. 
  3. The FAA is in attendance, and their representative described the way that the FAA is going to apply the ADS-B Out requirement in 2020
  4. Finally, Scott Manley had a presentation about how to use the Condor flight simulator more effectively to aid in flight instruction.
This evening, I managed to crash the Stemme party. This was a meeting put together to appreciate the Stemme owners, recent purchasers of the Stemme, and those who are interested in buying a Stemme S-10VT.  Of course I'd like to have one!   Yes, I'd like to have another beer. 

During the evening, I hung around at the bar, waiting for somebody to start a conversation with me. I talked to the land developers of Ensign Hangars ( This guy was absolutely sure that we could get a hangar built on the property, he's done it dozens of times with even the most glider-hostile environments.

I met the aerobatic pilot Bob Carlton, who is probably one of the most charismatic people I've ever met.  The day ended very late for me.  Now I'm going to try to get to the exhibition hall before lunch. 

No comments: