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Bericht von Christian Rieger zum 1. Tag in Hülben:
Eager F3B pilots already know the first competition of the year for its unpredictable weather and often a competition day without flights.
But every year it is the perfect opportunity to get an early start into the competition season. And of course, meet all the fellow crazy people that we missed for so long.
Friday (no competition day) started with a lot of precipitation. Only a handful of pilots came to the airfield to prepare their gear (mostly) during some rain breaks.
Finally, in the evening the rain stopped and we were rewarded with a wonderful sunset. Some pilots used this for a few flights, but overall there was very little flight operation.
Saturday started off with cloudy but decent weather. While the field was still quite wet, we did not have any rain all day. Great!
To avoid problems with the low cloud ceiling the competition started with Speed.
The speed run was interrupted several times in the beginning due to incoming low clouds. But due to medium winds they passed quite quickly. And soon the clouds were high enough for all tasks.
Immediately after the first speeds it was clear what „first competition of the year“ really means: Someone must have made the distance between Base A and B longer!
At least a lot of pilots and helpers were sure that the downwind leg must be way shorter and then had to turn around for a second attempt.
The strong wind at higher altitude, turbulences in the flight area and several non-optimal launch altitudes definitely were a challenge.
The fastest time was achieved by Steffen Besemer with an incredible 13.70 and very sharp turns. Followed by Andreas Böhlen with 14.58.
Distance was next. At least now you could wait for the signal to turn… 😉
The first group started promising with 31 legs by Jens Buchert, most later groups had between 20 and 25 legs. In the last group the 1000 points was achieved with 17 legs by Bernhard Flixeder, showing how quickly conditions can change.
Duration was surprisingly without surprises. Most pilots had no problem with the 600s flight time. The biggest differentiator was the landing.
Cloud conditions were well for round two, even giving us some time in the sun. While the wind turned more towards north, as predicted, fortunately the wind speed was noticeable lower than predicted by most forecasts only shortly before.
For distance even the decision which slope you should use was tricky since sometimes the supposedly blown northern side was not working out due to stronger thermals in the south. The author is currently not aware about the detailed results, but expects bigger deviations within and in between groups.
The second speed showed that with some training the base distance was shrinking again 😉 , resulting in mostly better results. The best time was performed by Thomas Kübler (14,50s).
Duration round up the day. The time still was no problem, but the northern wind direction resulted in more turbulence and some trickier approaches for landing.
That’s it for the first day. Tomorrow will be the same all over again. no surprises…
Hold, stop. Not quite. We are still in Kirchheim and it is still April! Let’s see what the organizers prepared for us tomorrow.
Bericht von Christian Rieger zum 2. Tag in Hülben:
The second day of the competition started with a change of wind direction to East/North-East. Meaning that all teams were changing their winches to get the new winch direction up and running. The wind was a little bit stronger too. While the weather was very nice, the temperatures were a bit lower than on the previous day.
Eastern wind directions in Kirchheim mean that the wind is blowing down the Swabian alb.
The hillsides that provided the stable lift conditions on Saturday now became potential strong sinking areas.
The competition was started very punctual at 8am with duration of round three. Today there was a lack of flight time and only four pilots managed to fully make the 10 minutes. Most groups resulted in 8 to 9 minutes for the 1000 points. In strong contrast to the previous day, the flight time became the important factor for duration points. Most pilots basically flew towards the eastern plains to get a little less sink speed, trying to make as little mistakes as possible and get the best sink speed out of the model. Maybe a weak thermal every now and then emerged. There were even some reflights with an attempt to get a better time on the second try.
Fortunately, there was no more wind shadow or vortex from the hill today. This meant that the higher wind speed was already present directly after lift-off and not only at 60m altitude or more.
Speed came next, again in opposite order of the current ranking. With the changed wind direction, the first leg was now with the wind. There were very little premature turns on B due to the high ground speed. On the other hand, the last leg sometimes became very slow when the altitude reserves were used up already due to long flown distances or suboptimal energy management. The fastest time was done by Frank Thomas with 13,49s, while most flights were within 15s to 17s.
The distance flight came with similar problems. But while the hillsides were not as reliable as on Saturday, the thermals close to the airfield were stronger and more frequent. Most legs were obtained by Lucas Günther (27) and all but one group stayed above 20 maximum legs. The biggest challenge were the downwind turns at Base B. Precise turns made a big difference with the strong wind.
In retrospect the conditions were much better than initially expected after the difficult duration flights.
After a lunch break the current standings were calculated and a final speed round four was started.
The conditions started similar to the previous round, with some fluctuating thermals and a slight reduction in wind speed towards the end. Andreas Böhlen made the fastest flight with 13,55s. The three ranking leaders got slightly worse conditions resulting in higher speed times while only changing their podium positions.
In the final ranking Andreas Herrig won ahead of Jens Buchert and Steffen Besemer. The Speed trophy went to A. Herrig as well with an average of 14.76s.
Team price went to IG F3B 1 ahead of Foo 1 and Badesalz #1.
Best rookie was Norbert Kolb ahead of Sebastian Siegert.
This concludes the 18. Kirchheim Open 2023 with great weather for two full days of flying while still providing some tricky conditions.
The contest organization, the helpers at the line as well as the catering were again top of the line and deserve the biggest gratitude. It is the small things that help the pilots during the competition like getting some quick and easy lunch or planning the working times in a way that the low clouds did not interfere. Thank you very much and we are looking forward to come back for the 19. Kirchheim Open!
The next competition will be Jesenik in 26 days. Don’t forget to sign up early and make the work of the organizers a little easier. Jesenik (CZE) and Büllingen (BEL) are already open for registration!
Personally, I would like to thank team foo for all their help, advice and fun I got on and off the airfield. I had a great time with all of you and look forward to the next competitions together!