Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Saturday: The Power of Wasserkuppe Rain Gods

On Saturday morning, the French team and I had a very nice breakfast before heading towards hangar 7 of Wasserkuppe airfield. At 9am the 46 pilots + organization crew were welcomed and the first briefing took place. The rules were quite extensively presented so some pilots who rarely or never attended an F3F contest had a clear overview. Since the weather conditions did not evolve since preceding evening (rain and mist) and apparently did not intend to improve, it was decided to set up a new briefing at noon.

Most participants thought weather was perfect to take a look at the local soaring museum located 2 minutes away. In fact, this was one of the greatest aviation museum experience I ever had and this was really worth much more than the symbolic 3 euros of the entrance fee. In two large and high halls, we had the chance to detail 60 of the gliders which played important roles in the history of soaring between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 1980s.
Many German designs were extremely innovative and creative for their time! And to be able to approach them almost to touch distance was just great. You may find some pictures shot at the museum here (no flash, so quality is very limited). For all flying model builder, this place should be a must source of inspiration for many original and interesting RC glider scale projects. I hope all of you have a chance to get there once in your lifetime. For those interested, the list of gliders we have seen, in chronological order, is to be found at the end of this post.

The museum also reserved a large space to present history of model flying. From free flight models to circular flight specimens, from the strangest canard F1E designs to the modern composite glider, from the old Tx assembled in East Germany in the 1960s to the MC-24, from lead to lipo, from cardboard to carbon, from tiny cox to 4-cylinder inline engines. All visiting F3F pilots could find some part of their youth in this Museum! And sharing these bits and pieces of RC and model building history was a very nice exchange.
After Saturday's cultural happening, it was "apéro" time. I mean we were quite thirsty and almost hungry! So I went to the Snack with Philippe and Allan to get some beer and sausage before the noon briefing. In fact, this too is part of culture in central Germany!

The second briefing closely resembled the first, except the rules had not to be repeated. So it was quite short, just to schedule another briefing in the afternoon. In between, the cultural trip continued in a local restaurant with nice leather furniture. The French and much smaller two-headed Swiss Team had some nice time with different fine local dishes and drinks. Allan successfully avoided that Philippe ordered his preferred dessert, so everybody was happy and well fed.
Third and last briefing of the day over around 15:00 (no change in weather, next on Sunday morning 8:30), all
spent the rest of the day individually or in small groups. On my side, I headed toward my bedroom for a much needed nap.
Around 18pm, we prepared ourselves for the upcoming evening banquet which took place some 10km from the hilltop in a nice traditional restaurant. The large buffet was as fine as the service personal was nice, with plenty of white sausages and different meats. Usual little communication difficulties sometimes transformed an ordered pint in a huge 1 liter glass of pale beer! So there also was much to laugh about during this nice evening. I also finally discovered the secret of Stefan's provisional 1st place in F3F: he eats almost only meat in quite large quantities!!! Maybe I should try that out in the coming season... In any case, those young Austrians seem to have other secret habits for success, as we will see for Lukas and Martin early Sunday morning...

Around 11:30pm, we drove back to our rooms. At 12:00pm, the Wasserkuppe weather gods stopped the rain and somehow cut some opening in the sky so I even saw the moon! Maybe they wanted us to compete on the next morning?
That's what we will discover in an upcoming 3rd post.
Dont' miss "Sunday: The Wasserkuppe Weather Gods kill the Eurotour Final

And here the list of the 60 historic glider to be admired in the Wasserkuppe soaring museum:

Brand Id. Year built Original
Lilienthal Derwitzer Gleiter - 1891 -
Lilienthal Normal-Segelapparat - 1894 -
Lilienthal Standard Doppeldecker - 1895 -
F.S.V.X "Darmstadt" - 1911 -
Pelzner Hängegleiter - 1920/21 -
Vampyr "Hannover" - 1921 -
Schulz F.S.3 Besenstiel - 1922 -
RRG "Hol´s der Teufel" - 1923/27 -
RRG - Ente
1927/28 -
Grunau 9, ESG 29 - 1929 -
Laubenthal "Musterle" H2 PL D-Musterle 1929 -
RRG "Falke" HB-16 1931 x
Rhönbussard "Hesselberg" D-1137 1932 x
Grüne Post D-7110 1932/33 -
Grunau Baby IIa D-1079 1932/33 x
Schleicher "Rhönadler" D-Günther Groenhoff 1932/34 -
H 17 D-1012 1934 x
DFS "Rhönsperber" D-Rhönsperber / D-6262 1934 x
Göppingen Gö 1 "Wolf" D-15-2 1935 x
Göpingen GÖ3  "Minimoa"  HB-282 1935/36 x
DFS "Kranich II" D-8-11 / D-6260 1936 x
Akaflieg München Mü 13 d1 D-6293 1936/38 x
Reiher III D-7033 1937/38 -
Schulgleiter SG 38 - 1938 x
Rheinland FVA-10-B BGA-1711 1938 x
DFS Weihe 50 D-5862 1938/51 x
Wolf Hirth Gö 4 III D-1084 1943 x
Grunau "Baby III" D-4303 1943/52 x
Schneider ES 49 D-5069 1949 x
Scheibe Mü 13E "Bergfalke" OE-0138 1950 x
Schuldoppelsitzer "Doppelraab V" D-4389 1951 x
Doppelsitzer Dittmar "Condor IV" D-Condor / D-1092 1951 x
Lo 100 D-3556 1952 x
Kaiser Ka 1 D-1231 1952 x
Focke-Wulf "Kranich III" D-1398 1952 x
Schleicher Ka 3 D-6254 1953 x
Scheibe "Specht" D-1624 1953 x
Greif Flugzeugbau "Greif I" D-6223 1953 x
Schleicher "Rhönlerche II" D-7125 1953 x
HKS1 D-5555 1954 x
Scheibe "L-Spatz 55" LX-CB-X 1954 x
Akaflieg Darmstadt D34c "B-phordite" D-4644 1955 x
Scheibe Bergfalke II/55 D-9041 1955 x
Pützer Horten Ho 33 V1 D-5332 1956 x
Ka 6 BR D-4339 1956/57 x
Schleicher K 8 B D-4454 1957/58 x
Bölkow fs-24 "Phönix T0" D-8353 1957/60 x
Lom 58 II "Libelle Laminar" D-2668 1958 x
Lom 59 "Lo-Meise" DM-2223 1959 x
Lommatzsch FES 530 "Lehrmeister II" DM-3308 1959 x
Scheibe "Zugvogel III" D-5855 1961 x
Lommatzsch Lom 61 "Favorit" DM-2704 1961 x
BS 1 D-9389 1962/63 x
Darmstadt D-36 "Circe", V 2 D-4686 1962/64 x
Schleicher AS (ASW) 12 D-4311 1965 x
Rolladen-Schneider LS 1- V1 - D-4723 1967 x
Phoebus CW D-o559 1970 x
Ornith D-0740 1970 x
ULF VJ 23H D-NGFZ 1982

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