SSB Condor 2nd Flight – Task Briefing

Our second club flight will be in familiar terrain :-).  Make sure you have the Boulder scenery installed and have flown a test flight in it.  (Here are the installation instructions.)


Our task will be a short triangle with a total distance of 89.3 km (55.5 statute miles).

  • Takeoff:  KBDU – airborne at 1500 m (4,921 ft) AGL.  (Next week we may do aerotow so you have 1 more week to practice this in Condor.)
  • Start: the start sector will be centered in the Glider Box.  It will once again be a half-cylinder with a radius of 3000 m.  Important: maximum start altitude will be 3000 m (9,842 ft) MSL.
  • TP1: Riverside (this is a small village at the bottom of the South Saint Vrain Canyon, about 4 miles sw of Buttonrock Reservoir).
  • TP2: Athanasiou Valley (3 miles sw of the top of Thorodin Mountain).
  • Finish: KBDU.  Minimum finish altitude will be 1900 m (6,234 ft) MSL  (about 1000 ft AGL).

Weather and Wind

We will once again have outstanding soaring weather. Thermals will be plentiful.  They will be strong (with medium variability) and very wide.  They will also be nicely marked by cumulus clouds and there will only be light turbulence.

Expect the cloud base over the foothills to be around 14,000 feet MSL.  Even with an ASK 21 the entire task can be flown without leaving the glide range of Boulder.

There will be very light wind out of east-south-east.  Winds at altitude will be calm, i.e. there will be no wave and no rotors.

Tips and Other Flight Considerations

Magic will be available if you need it:

  • Press “H” to see/hide Thermal Helpers.
  • Press “Q” if you need to repair your ship on the fly or get a bump in altitude.

Special mentions will go to everyone who flies the task without magic help. 😉

Before you join, don’t forget to pick a glider on the HANGAR screen of the flight planner.   All gliders will be available.  Also, don’t forget to add water ballast if you desire to fly with water and adjust the CG to whatever value you like.  (Since this is a thermal task, you may prefer an aft CG.  However, the thermals are very wide and narrow circles will not be needed.  Your inter-thermal speed may be high because the thermals are strong.)

The better the glider, the easier the task is going to be.  If you look for a challenge, pick a lower performing ship.  The task can easily be flown with any club class or standard class plane. Double kudos to anyone flying it with a School Class glider.  Triple kudos if you manage to get around in a 1-26.

There will be a one minute delay at the end of join time until the start gate opens.  The start gate will then remain open for 20 minutes.  To get a valid start you must be within the start sector and below the maximum start altitude of 3000 m (9,842 ft) MSL while the start gate is open.

To get a fast start, try to cross the start line at high speed just below start altitude. However, remember that Condor is unforgiving when you fly too fast.  You will flutter and your wings will come off if you do.  Also, very important, remember that we fly at high altitude and VnE is significantly lower than the red line shown on the ASI!

Most of you will be intimately familiar with the terrain.  However, a few tips for those who may not be:

  • Be careful not to get low near TP2, especially on the west side of Thorodin Mountain.  If you get stuck there are no good places to land.
  • Be mindful of the high terrain when you are on final glide.
  • When you look for thermals down low, always consider the angle of the sun (start time is 2 pm local time) and the angle of the wind.

If you are looking for more tips on flying in Condor, here is some further reading (with more links).

Climbing the Learning Curve – A Condor Tutorial

Condor – From Starting to Racing: A Brief Guide for Beginners


If you want to practice this flight, you can find the flight plan here.