The Reno Air Races were on my calendar again this year and I drove up there by car. The flying was challenging and interrupted by smoke from a large fire west of Reno, but many of the races did take place. Read my trip report here:
I have traveled to Oshkosh in my Caro 1 motorglider and you can read about this eventful and interesting journey in my trip report. To download the pdf file, click on the button.
Yesterday turned out to be a great day for soaring, the best I have seen since I moved here (Calaveras Co.), with cold unstable air that had come under high pressure. Fortunately I had time to fly and took Caro 1 on a cross country. After takeoff, I reduced the engine to nearly idle (11 inHg manifold pressure), to keep the prop turning for lower drag. I did not touch the throttle again until after landing. With the cowl flap completely closed, the engine just barely stayed warm enough to keep running.
I first flew west out over the valley, where I saw another glider also flying cross country. There was lift everywhere and it was well marked. I was able to stay in the altitude band of 5500 ft to 6500 ft msl. The strongest lift I had was about 700 fpm. Even early on, snow showers developed way to the east, over the high mountains. Later they also formed a solid looking wall to the north. After a while I turned south where the lift looked better and found something under nearly every cloud. I had the vent open a little, and after a while it got quite cold in the cockpit, because by then the cloud base had gone up to >7000 ft and the temperature was around freezing. I did not wear a coat because initially it was too warm, so I decided to fly home after covering about 90 nm of soaring flight. I estimated my L/D in this configuration to be between 35 and 40. At higher speeds, the airflow was driving the prop to higher rpm, creating more drag, so I did not bother to fly fast.
It was a great flight and I wish the weather was this way more often here.