Yes … I guess a few people are pretty nervous, but working hard and for sure, still going strong! In Soaring Café you are very well informed about the Concordia and it is just great, that Dick Butler even keeps some time to talk to his interested supporters. I am looking forward to meeting him after so many years and to see this impressive glider. There will be only one Concordia but it will generate a lot of attention in open class, as it should.
The Quintus (click here for a Café article) is another new glider in open class which will draw attention. In April last year it was presented at the fair in Friedrichshafen, a real eye-catcher. On December 23rd , this 23m span self-launcher was flown for the first time by Tilo [Holighaus] from Schempp-Hirth (see Soaring Café video interview with Tilo) and ordered straight away by several teams, as a new possible winner for the WGC in Uvalde [ Texas]. At the Uvalde site , I noticed that both the Italian team and the French are flying the Quintus. In the latest Gliding International, I just read that 10 gliders of this new production will participate. And…I just heard that Dutch pilot Francois Jeremiasse will fly the Quintus as well. He flies the very first from the series with number 2 in Uvalde. By the way, today he delivers, as Schempp-Hirth dealer, the first ARCUS in Holland. The pictures from the Quintus and Antares below are with his permission.
Hard work for the boys from Tilo’s shop, but he and his team have been under pressure before and delivered / performed!!! I know… as George always flew Schempp-Hirth gliders in the past and some were ready just before a competition. Still stress, however, for us to install instruments and radio and…then there were all those wires!!!! We were lucky to have a great friend, Peter , who always helped out AND was good at it. Nowadays you can order the glider READY-to-FLY.
Some great pilots are in open class as well and some are REAL potential winners, I would not know who to pick, but carefully expect Michael Sommer to go for his 4th successive title, after winning in Eskilstuna, Lüsse, and Szeged. As far as I know, that has never happened before. Ingo has four titles and so has Sebastian but not successive. But….it still has to happen!
It depends also on ” luck of the day,” who from these “magnificent boys in their flying machines” will be crowned in August, as the open class WINNER.
And more brand new gliders will perform in Uvalde’s open class, as at this stage, I just heard, a minimum of two Antares 23Es will fly under the Texan clouds. What a year in open class!!! Also the Antares had its first test flight on December 23rd and has the same wings as the Quintus [ See A Christmas Gift for the Open Class by Dave Nadler-Ed.]. The Antares is built by the partner of Schempp-Hirth, Lange Aviation. Maybe stress there as well to be ready in time!
Good luck to all constructors working so hard with their teams and all pilots waiting for their “new toys”.
The season here nearly starts again, with great clouds already yesterday, against blue skies and sunny conditions with temperatures up to 11 C., making pilots eager to go in the air again and others, not interested in soaring, are running to the garden centers or terraces to enjoy a drink, face in the sun, but the rest are still covered by scarves and winter coats.
Also in Canada, pilots are looking ahead to a new season.
Unusually warm winter here. Temperatures have been above freezing often and we have very little snow left on the ground. I am hopeful we will have an early spring with no flooding and an early start to our soaring season at our home field for a change. I’m working on the club pre-season newsletter, trying to work up some enthusiasm among our members. We start with a wine and cheese gathering this time next month. — Art.
In Australia, the high season is over but the season is not yet though…the days are definitely getting shorter. What about 891 km then, by top-junior-talent Matthew Scutter, who raced his LS 4 from Gawler in the west of South Australia up north and back [See OLC for details-Ed.]. A few low points as well but he “found “more thermals and was “high and dry” again to easily fly home. Great flight!
Look for the latest news from last week at www.soaring.eu