A round-up of recent news items from the Skywings Team
More details on the Midwinter Uplift paragliding celebration in Shrewsbury on Saturday December 4th. The event, sponsored by XC Magazine and the Long Mynd Soaring Club in aid of the Midlands Air Ambulance, features adventure, acro and XC films including Jocky Sanderson‘s Security in Flight 2 and John Silvester‘s Birdman of the Karakorum, plus Path of the Condor, Adrenaline and Turbulence and a Pimple Queens feature.
There will also be lectures by Toby Colombé (big distances in the mountains/world-record tandem flight), Steve Nash and Gareth Aston (Mongolia vol-biv) and an Air Ambulance rep (what they do/how you can help in an emergency). Other attractions include parachute repacking by Bill Morris (£20: limited places so book early), a photo competition sponsored by XC Magazine, a raffle with lots of prizes including a microlight flight voucher from Airways Airsports, and a bring-and-buy sale.
Tickets for the event are £10 in advance and £12.50 on the door. More information and an online payment facility are at www.longmynd.org/about/social_uplift. To book a repack place or submit photographs contact Martin Knight at email@example.com, tel: 07787 226279. The Midwinter Uplift event is at the Gateway Centre, Chester Street, Shrewsbury SY1 1NB, near the railway station and NCP. Airways Airsports are running a shop at the festival, and there is a coffee shop on site for light lunches, etc.
Paragliding Equipment Found
A couple of items of paragliding equipment were found in the Old Man of Coniston area on the 12th October. If you think these may be yours, please contact Stuart Halford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue-sky thinking on airspace
A new document released by the CAA outlines work being done on its Future Airspace Strategy (FAS). The future needs of airspace users, they say, will require the provision of flexible airspace capacity to respond to developments, at acceptable cost yet minimising aviation‘s environmental impact.
The document is aimed largely at users of controlled airspace but it does reveal that the CAA is to carry out "stakeholder consultation" to develop its draft FAS between now and February 2011! There‘s little mention of General Aviation in the document except to say, "…factors may be in conflict; for example, expanding controlled airspace to increase capacity could restrict the access to some in the General Aviation community."
The key words are flexibility and integration; no doubt we will soon learn exactly what these mean in CAA hands. The Airspace for Tomorrow 2 document can be found at www.caa.co.uk/docs/7/2010928AirspaceForTomorrow2.pdf.
Condor has superb L/D!
Research into the aerodynamic attributes of flying fish has revealed that they are far more efficient than hitherto believed, reports The Economist. Drs Choi and Park of Seoul National University in Korea wind-tunnel tested stuffed flying fish in different configurations and discovered that they could achieve a lift/drag ratio of 4.4:1, increasing to 5.5:1 in ground (i.e. water) effect.
The original article, in the Journal of Experimental Biology, cites L/D ratios for other flying creatures including the Black Vulture which is said to have a remarkable best glide of 17:1!
The Cloudbase Foundation
US pilot Ricker Goldsborough has started a non-profit organisation that raises money and initiates projects to help children in need in areas where hang and paraglider pilots fly. To date the Cloudbase Foundation has raised over $20,000 and completed a number of projects that have had a big impact on the quality of life for the children concerned.
Completed projects include supplying medicine and nutritional supplements to Guayaquil in Ecuador; constructing a schoolroom and providing a teacher‘s salary for a year at Canoa, also in Ecuador; and providing water tanks at Kwahu-Nkwatia, Ghana. Ongoing projects include the provision of emergency and quality-of-life items and childcare at Big Spring, Texas, and supplying special education teaching material and projectors at Dunlap, Tennessee.
Cloudbase supporters include 2008 US hang gliding champion Zac Majors, paraglider pilot Christina Ammon, USHPA magazine editor Nick Greece and Oz-Report contributor Belinda Boulter. This is a thoroughly laudable development that we hope will grow and grow. To learn more about the Cloudbase Foundation, contribute funds or register as a supporter, go to their web site www.thecbf.org.
RAeC Trust bursaries
The RAeC Trust bursary scheme for 2011 is now open. It offers several bursaries including the prestigious Peter Cruddas Foundation Scholarship worth up to £1,000, and other bursaries of up to £500, to enable young people of 16 - 21 years of age to progress in their chosen air sport.
Applicants must be UK citizens and resident in the UK; training and flying must be conducted at UK clubs, associations or training establishments. Applications, which must arrive at the Trust by 31 March 2011, should be submitted through a sponsoring organisation (eg the BHPA).
2010 winners included BHPA members Idris Birch (19) of Aberystwyth and Katie Lawrence (18) of Hornchurch, plus others including seven young parachutists and eight young glider pilots. Details and an application form are at www.royalaeroclubtrust.org.
Blorenge party and fly-in
The South East Wales club is planning another Blorenge party and fly-in on the August Bank Holiday next year. This will again be based at Pen-y-Worlod Farm, Abergavenny, by the side of the river Usk.
Further details will be posted on the Club web site at www.sewhgpgc.co.uk/blorenge11.php when arrangements have been confirmed - put the date in your diary now!