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Simon Dobby

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About Simon Dobby

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    Flight Student - Groundwork
  1. I tried a 900m winch running at 90km/h on runway 20 with wind 230/16kts, and got 1200' AAL in a K8. IIRC, 900m winch puts the winch just the other side of the rw20 / rw24 intersection.
  2. I've created the six flightplans and test-flown the Day 2 task (the shortest of the tasks at 151km). I flew it using an easy setting ("Fair weather" and the default CumulusX! config), used the Soar DG808S and finished it in 1h30m. I think the max start-height was about 4000 ft for the real event, but I dived through at about 3200'. I have since added a few waypoints to the flightplan prior to the start-line to give the "Aerotow" tug a more interesting flightpath (and to prevent FSX thinking you have crossed the startline while still on tow). I used the "Aerotow" add-on, and have a Piper Pawnee ( with repaint at to do the towing (Yorkshire Gliding club have two of these planes I think, plus a Super Cub) - it seems to tow at a far gentler airspeed than the Maule does. [NB This Pawnee is an FS2004 plane but the repaint is for FSX; all works fine] The official competition tow-height is 2900'AMSL (approx 2000'AAL), and coming out of runway 20 with the new waypoints I have defined, the Pawnee/DG808 combination arrives at that height just prior to overflying the airfield, after a few right hand turns. My next attempt will be with a lower cloudbase (4000ft) and a south-westerly 15knot wind, more accurately reflecting the real-life event. I haven't yet tried CumulusX! with any real wind, so I suspect I might be making some unscheduled landings at some of the various small airfields scattered around the Vale of York over the next week or so.
  3. Looks like some AI birds a-thermalling. The only time I've seen them there were about four of them circling out in the valley east of LOWZ while I was mid-"Alpine-Soaring-Challenge", so I left the safety of the mountain side and went to join them, whereupon I merely found some reduced sink. That's the last time I trust a bird to give directions.
  4. Nah, SP2 installs OK, but (as I found on my desktop PC) when you try to run FSX with SP2, and FSX decides your graphics card is too rubbish, FSX says "your graphics card is rubbish" (or words to that effect), and closes.
  5. Hi New to this virtual soaring lark (did loads of real-life gliding at Lasham late 1980s / early 1990s), I've decided to base my virtual-self at Sutton Bank in Yorkshire, as it offers local ridge, thermal and wave possibilities. (FSX Scenery available at Avsim, search for "Sutton Bank"). I checked out the Yorkshire Gliding Club website (, which is based there, and found that the 2009 Northern Regionals were held there over 6 days in early August. What is very handy is they have a number of web pages showing the courses, results and weather forecasts for each day of the comp ( with a link to So, as an exercise I think I might have a go at creating some FSX flight-plans (not bold enough to create missions!) for each of the 6 tasks, setup my weather to be vaguely similar to that forecast on the day (particularly cloudbase, blue-thermal or not, and wind), and see how completely rubbish I am compared to the real-life competitors. Anyway, as an aside, and as part of this venture, I needed to know the co-ordinates of each of the turning points (and the various start/finish points at Sutton Bank). As luck would have it, the British Gliding Association has an official waypoint list showing all waypoints in England and Scotland. There is an explanatory page at, and on that page is a link to an Excel (97-2003) file of the waypoints ( I just thought that - for aspiring UK flight-planners out there who haven't yet found it - this link might be of benefit. Regards Simon
  6. @Peter: I use the same joystick for both my desktop and laptop (a 4-button, 3-axis cheap thing from PC-World), and just swap it around depending on what machine I am using. All buttons are at the top (trigger for wheel-brake, left and right thumb buttons for rudder with repeating, and centre button for rudder-centre), and the slider is assigned to the airbrakes(spoilers) "reversed". @B21: I inherited the PC from my aunt (after she sadly died) and she bought it as a business-PC. I added a bit more memory to it and it has (somewhat surprisingly) has been able to run FS9 quite well considering its lack of "big-name" graphics card. I contacted Dell quite soon after acquiring it and they were of the opinion (like yourself) that there aren't any better cards available for it. I installed FSX+SP1+SP2 onto my laptop, and CumulusX & WinchX, turned all the graphics down to pretty-much minimal, and my Aerosoft Discus still drags the frame rate down (and the virtual cockpit looks rubbish with FSX at minimal graphics setting), so for now I shall stick with Wolfgang Piper's Discus CS (basic vario, but I have added the default GPS as window02). I tried a soaring flight out of EBKT this morning but found nothing underneath the two clouds I tried; I cranked the density up to 15 thermals per 100 sq-km and there were plenty of clouds around. I shall have a re-read of the manual today (at work!), play with the settings a bit then take a motor-glider up this evening to see if I can find these elusive thermals. I've turned FSX's clouds to "simple" just to be sure that any clouds I do scratch around under are CumulusX ones and not FSX ones. Just now need to start saving up for a PC (or laptop!) that will enable me to run FSX SP2 fast enough (or at all) to enable me to use the Aerosoft glider, then I'll be sorted.
  7. Thanks Peter. I had to ask! FSX SP2 does install onto my laptop (another Dell, but with a slightly better graphics card) but the processor is a bit pants compared to my desktop PC. I will see whether the performance is tolerable if I turn everything down to a minimum (and play with the key-assignments to make up for no numeric pad) - if I have GPS and "a good thermal generator" then I don't need to be able to see all the roads/rivers/cows. Cheers Simon
  8. Hi My PC's graphics card is a bit rubbish (on a Dell Ultra-Small-Form-Factor so no upgrade available allegedly) and won't work with FSX SP2 (currently running on SP1). I therefore don't think I can run the CumulusX 1.5 - is there still a link available for a version of CumulusX that runs on FSX SP1? Currently using the built-in FSX thermals (in "full visual mode") which is not really ideal. If anyone knows of a graphics card available for a Dell GX620 USFF that will work with FSX SP2 I would be very grateful about it - I have already bought Aerosoft's DiscusX and can't run it as it requires SP2. Thanks Simon
  9. Hi Scott My real-life gliding was quite some time ago now - started 1986, solo 1989, last flight 1994. Mostly flew K13s at Lasham (with one year at Carlton Moor in North Yorkshire doing slope soaring while at Uni), and had a single 6-minute flight in a K8; longest flight 2h 08m in a K13 (picking up some afternoon thermals between Alton and Basingstoke) Happy days. So I'm no expert at cross-countries, I'm afraid, but my circuit-bashing training from Derek Piggott's crowd in Hampshire has stuck with me. Getting half-decent thermals and therefore vaguely-realistic cross-country soaring has changed my entire outlook of FS - up until now I have been all about "virtual commercial aviation career" (belong to 3 VAs flying all sorts from Cessna 208s up to Concorde). But seeing as the only aircraft I have flown solo in real life is a glider, that really is where the heart is. Not that I shall abandon the commercial VA stuff of course (got over 1000 hours at BAVirtual, and studying the Concorde manuals intensely), but (what appear to be) very high quality gliders and add-ons like CumulusX and WinchX mean that virtual-soaring has finally become a genuine hobby. Hoorah to that. As an aside, I hope to make all my glider flights online (whenever time constraints allow) - in particular doing the IVAO Belgium Sailplane Tour. Are there any guidelines anywhere to "Gliders and ATC" that would assist me? (I have flown online as a commercial-aviator and the procedures are very clearly laid-out, but if you are flying a glider with no transponder and perhaps no official registration, when and how do you liaise with ATC?) Might be a question for the IVAO forums, but just thought I'd ask. I've got my Jeppesen "Low Countries" VFR 1:500,000 chart and FSX Deluxe (so Amazon tells me) is "in the post", I am raring to get out hunting thermals. Regards Simon
  10. Although any wench capable of hauling a 500kg glider into the air at 60kts is probably not someone you would actually refer to as "wench" to her face, lest thou desired a right old punch in the moosh. Sorry, this area of the forum seems a bit quiet. I've just ordered a copy of FSX-Deluxe, primarily in anticipation of the upcoming [no idea when] release of the FSX version of SSTSIM (Concorde-X), but also because I seriously want to get back into flying gliders albeit on my PC rather than in reality (I used to fly at Lasham in the UK, got as far as one Bronze C leg, but had to give up due to time/money commitments). As and when my PC proves that it can run FSX at a speed somewhat faster than a tortoise I expect to acquire the Aerosoft Discus X.
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