I was a Live Exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum Dulles Annex, Udvar-Hazy Center,
March 25, 2006

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Ridgely Sunday 9/14/03 & WW Demo

Forecast was cloudy all day, but nice winds (SE 4-8). In reality the sun came out early afternoon for a lot of blue peppered with nice clouds. However, there was never enough ground heating to make it the boomer day reported a week earlier. No great adventure flights, but a lot of fun flyiing.
I took a couple of extended sleds in my UltraSport, for 20 and 16 minutes, feeling good about the tows and the landings. On that first one I finally caught a tiny thermal at 750 that I tweaked back up to 850, but that was as good as I could get.
I also kept telling Rob Kells that I had to avoid trying the U2, because I have had the US less than a year and cannot afford to want another glider so soon. But John Middleton flew the U2 160 and had one of the better flights of the day, playing at EXACTLY 500 (I swear, ossifer!) feet below a cloud for quite some time, and came down raving about the handling. Then on a second flight on it he was all
grins about how much time he got just sledding around and how nice it was.
SO.. About 5 I gave the U2 160 a try. Damn! I knew I shouldn't have flown it! On tow (no fin) like on rails. Easiest bar pressure and control I've seen. Fast was neat, slow was easy. Had to REALLY puush out to stall it. Brainless stall recovery both straight and in turns.
One surprise was on landing approach. My turn from downwind through base to final was more a big 180 than separate legs. That turn became a slipping turn (not planned) so I quickly lost more altitude and gained more airspeed than planned. Coming out of the turn put me in PIOs that entertained the crowd and made Rob worry for his glider.
However, I smoothed it out, went upright, and the glider gave me the most beautiful flare signal and timing I've ever had. What a hoot!
Good crowd, good flying day, good visits and good advice from Rob.