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Posted - 05/02/2008 :  11:10:51 PM  Show Profile

Eastern Soaring League Newsletter ¡V May 2008


Tony Guide - President
David Beach - Secretary/Treasurer
Tom Kiesling - Contest Coordinator
Anker Berg-Sonne - Scoring Systems Coordinator
Jeff Steifel - Public Relations Coordinator
John Hauff - Clinic Coordinator
Phil Barnes ¡V Winch Conditioning
Jose Bruzual ¡V Web Master and Publisher
Ed Anderson ¡V Web Site and Newsletter Content Editor


Welcome to the May ESL Newsletter. We are now actively into the ESL season with the first contest of the season this weekend. Have you planned out your contest schedule?

In the day of $3.70 for a gallon of gas, maybe you have decided to curb your ESL participation, but wait, why miss out on all the fun and the action. Maybe it is time to look at ride sharing as part of sharing the fun.

For example, Baltimore is a long run from Long Island, but LISF members are car pooling to the event to reduce costs and make the ride more enjoyable. I did the same for the last two years going to the EOS event in PA.

Even if you don¡¦t have anyone from your club who is going to a given contest, take a look at the contest list registration. Perhaps there is someone in your area going. Those long rides are a lot more fun if you spend it talking sailplanes, contest strategies, search strategies or whatever.

I remember back in college there were ride boards where you could list opportunities to share a ride or to post that you were looking for a ride. So why can¡¦t we do that?

In order to make it easier to ride share over the next week or two I am going to set up a series of discussion topics in the forums which are basically ride sharing boards. I will send out the links once they are created. This will provide a ride share opportunity for everyone. Remember that the forums require a separate registration, but you can use the same username and password if you like.

I don¡¦t know if this has been done before, but we are going to give it a shot and see if the membership finds this helpful. Aside from saving money, ride sharing is a great way to make new friends, so give it a try.

The ESL Calendar

Hand Launched

05/03 - 05/04 BASS (HLG) - Baltimore, MD
06/14 - 06/15 Polecat Challenge (HLG) - Bloserville, PA
07/12 - 07/13 CRRC Hand Launch Classic (HLG) - Sudbury, MA
08/02 - 08/03 Long Island Hand Launch Classic - LISF (HLG) - Syosset, NY
08/16 - 08/17 CASA (HLG) - Rockville, MD
09/13 - 09/14 SJSF (HLG) - Marlton, NJ
09/26 - 09/28 East Coast HLG Festival - ESL HLG EOS - Wilson, NC

Unlimited Sailplane ¡V Winch Launched

05/17 - 05/18 TMSS - Isle of Wight, VA
06/07 - 06/08 SKSS 1 - Newark, DE
06/21 - 06/22 LISF 1 - Syosset, Long Island, NY
07/05 - 07/06 DBSF - Reading, PA
08/09 - 08/10 CRRC Soar-In - Sudbury, MA
09/06 - 09/07 CASA Open - Warrenton, VA
09/20 - 09/21 LISF 2 - Syosset, Long Island, NY
10/04 - 10/05 Reading ESL TD EOS - Reading, PA

Many of the contest registrations are already open so you can register now to reserve your frequency.

AMA NATS ¡V Not an ESL event but well worth attending

07/21 - 07/31 AMA/LSF NATS (Not ESL) - Muncie, IN


RC Soaring Digest is a must read for anyone who loves soaring. Bill & Bunny Kuhlman do a terrific job of publishing it each month for our enjoyment. http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com/highlights.html


„h Inland Slope Rebels Power Scale Soaring Festival event coverage by Carl Maas Jr. with photos by Dave Garwood.
„h Dave Garwood describes "must have" EPP warbird gliders from Leading Edge Gliders.
„h Tom Nagel covers the 2008 Weak Signals RC Show.
„h Sydney Lenssen outlines all of the CIAM decisions made during the recent meeting in Lausanne.
„h LSF Australia invites flyers to the Jerilderie '08 event.
„h Ed Anderson asks "When is it too windy to fly your glider?"
„h Looking for a small lightweight switch with sliding contacts? Christo van der Merwe shows how to make one from Deans Micro plugs.
„h Ren DiLeo shows off the best 1/4 scale pilots available for RC aircraft.
„h Gordy Stahl examines the anatomy of "Task Soaring."


The topic of ballast has been one that I have had active discussions about over the last few of months. In this month¡¦s RC Soaring Digest is an article I wrote on the topic. It is not focused on contest flying, it focuses on giving the average sport glider pilot more days to fly when wind might otherwise force you to leave the glider in the rack.

From a contest flying point of view, we commit do a date to fly and, for the most part, regardless of what conditions we encounter that day, we fly. Sometimes those conditions are such that, if it were not a contest, we would leave the glider in the rack and do something else. But today is contest day, so we fly.

Many experienced contest flyers, both Sportsman and Expert, use of ballast as just a routine part of flying. They experiment with different weights in different conditions and they practice with and without ballast. They tune their use of ballast just like the tune their mixes or their landing pattern. It just takes time, but fortunately it is fun flying time.

However, for many Novice and Sportsman flyers ballast is not a routine tool. And when that windy day contest comes up they are faced with the decision of whether to fly, unballasted, or to drop out of the contest.

Ballast, like any other aspect of soaring, is a personal thing. Some swear by it and some swear at it, but most expert class flyers have an opinion. Speak to several, then make your own decision on what to do. The tips you get just may help you have more flying days and may help you score better in the next ESL contest. I know I have been able to fly more days with more confidence since I started using ballast.


If you read the forums as actively as I do what you see is that RES seems to be making a comeback. I don¡¦t mean as a beginner plane, but as a contest format. In addition it seems that the current generation of high end RES planes are also being flown against the full house planes in the unlimited category. I have seen this at ESL contests more than once, especially now that the rule allows the pilot to switch back and forth between two planes.

I can¡¦t say for sure when this RES return started, but it seems to have occurred around the time that Dr. Mark Drela introduced his Bubble Dancer. This spawned a whole family of related designs, which include the AVA, the Topaz, the Soprano and others.

To be sure, there are many R/E and RES planes of the past that have been great flyers. But I have not seen too many of them as gliders of choice at ESL contests.

These new generation RES gliders can take hard launches yet are so light that their ability to hang in little or no lift may give them a competitive advantage in light to moderate conditions. Add some ballast for those windy days and you can increase their penetration ability quite a bit. Some of these high-end RES planes are using the same airfoils as the full house ships. And the bent wing RES design makes them supremely easy to manage at the edge of visual range giving the less experienced pilot the confidence to range out to work that fringe lift.

Now, why do I mention this? Well, for one thing a contest grade RES ship can be significantly less expensive than a contest grade full house plane. And since there are only three channels to manage, the learning curve is more focused on the hunt for lift and less on mixes and flight conditions on the radio. This also means that a much simpler radio system can get the job done. About the only mix you would really need is spoiler to elevator mixing ( flap to elevator mixing with negative numbers ) which is a standard mix for virtually every computer radio at any price.

If you are a Novice or Sportsman pilot looking to move up from your R/E or RES entry level ship, you may not have to go to a high-end full house plane and a complex sailplane radio. Maybe a contest grade RES ship and your current entry-level computer radio would be a better path for you. It is at least worth consideration.

Talk to those you trust. Get some advice. And perhaps some of those people also have one of these high-end RES ships. Perhaps they will let you give it a try.

You may find that you can locate lift, ride that lift longer. You may find you can spot land better with a RES ship than you can a full house ship because of the simpler design and your accumulated time on R/E or RES planes.


Watch the Video of Gordy and his Super AVA

I don¡¦t know where you are right now, but after watching the video, I know where you want to be. ƒº


I believe there has already been a history written some time ago about the beginnings of the Eastern Soaring League (ESL). I wanted to archive the information that I gleaned from the old ESL newsletters for the younger generation of flyers. Others may have better memories and may dispute some of the dates, but this is as close as I can gather.

In 1977 and prior to that time there was an organization called the East Coast Soaring Society. Otto Heitecker was the scorekeeper and York/Lancaster was the big meet of that time. About that time the rest of the country formed the National Soaring Society to be the special interest group of soaring to the AMA. To appease the west coast flyers they elected officers from there. The people in the east coast felt they were not being represented well, so at a meeting in Cumberland, MD a group formed the Eastern Soaring League. Don Goughnour was elected President and Jay Evans was the Sec./Treas. Lois Zeigenfuse volunteered to be the scorekeeper. Jay Evans designed the ESL logo. Their terms were for 2 years.

Another meeting was held in Nov. 1979 in Cumberland, MD and Gerald Zeigenfuse was elected President in absentia (mainly because he was outspoken on rules etc.), Howard Smith was elected Sec./Treas. Their term was from 1979-1981. In March 1980 Paul Wedeking volunteered to publish a newsletter, and Gerald Zeigenfuse included a survey for the members to see what events were the most popular and whether to change classes from the AMA Unlimited/Standard to Expert & Sportsman. The majority voted fro the change of classes of Expert & Sportsman.

Following are the lists of the other officers:
Term President Sec./Treas. Newsletter
1981 - 1983 Ken Hazen Rick Wykcoff 1/81 Jerry Zeigenfuse & Terry & Elsie Luckenbach publishers
6/81 - 10/81 Ike Kerschner
11/81- Gordon Stratton & Terry publisher
1983-1985 Bill Miller (NJ) Sally Wyckoff Gordon Stratton & Terry publisher
1985-1987 Tom Dickey Stephen Sober Gordon Stratton & Terry publisher
till 4/85 then Jack Cash
1987-1989 Ede Trockels Stewart Swanson Jack Cash
1989-1991 Al White Jack Cash ¡§
1991-1993 Bob Teseo/Joe Krajci Bill Miller ¡§
1993-1995 Josh Glaab Bill Krajci ¡§
1995-1997 Jack Cash Bill Miller Mike Lachowski
1997-1999 John Hauff Hans Weiderkehr Tom Kiesling
1999-2001 ? ? ¡§
2001-2003 Phil Barnes Lois Zeigenfuse Tom Kiesling & Fritz Bien
2003-2005 ? Lois Zeigenfuse ¡§
2005-2007 Dave Walter Paul Bell Jose Bruzel
2007 - 2009 Tony Guide David Beach Ed Anderson

The meeting and award¡¦s banquets were held:
2/80 Coachman Hotel, White Plains, NY for 1979 awards
2/81 Coachman Hotel, White Plains, NY for 1980 awards
3/84 New York for 1983 awards
11/84 Meeting and awards for 1984 in Chalpont, PA
11/85 Meeting and awards for 1985 in Warminster, PA
10/86 Meeting and awards for 1986 in Gaithersburg, MD
11/87 ?
10/88 Horsham, PA
1/90 Gaithersburg, MD for 1989 awards
10/90 Yardville, NJ for 1990 awards
11/91 Philadelphia, Pa for 1991 awards
11/92 Morgantown, PA for 1992 awards
11/93 Morgantown, PA for 1993 awards
9/94 Reading, PA for 1994 awards
10/95 Eagle, PA for 1995 awards
9/97 to present Birdsboro, PA at DB Homestead

Lois Zeigenfuse remained scorekeeper until 1992 when Josh Glaab took over followed by Anker Berg-Sonne to current times.

Tom Kiesling has been the one and only Contest Coordinator.

Frank Weston was newsletter editor at one time, but I don¡¦t know the years and Jose Bruzel was newsletter editor more recently followed by Ed Anderson.


If there is, they probably need Microsoft's office programs.
They can get MS Office very cheap - $59 for Microsoft Office


I hope you have found value in the ESL Newsletter. Perhaps there was a piece of useful information that will help you this season. If you have ideas or input for the next Newsletter, please feel free to write.

Thanks to the contributors this month. I hope others will step forward and help to make this newsletter rich and interesting for the League membership.

Perhaps you have a quick tip to share. These little gems can make a big difference in competition. Why not pass them on. Extended length articles are always welcome and I love to include photos.

Send your notes, comments, photos or complaints to Ed Anderson, ESL Newsletter and Web Site Content Editor, at aeajr@optonline.net

Best regards,
Ed Anderson
Long Island Silent Flyers

Edited by - aeajr on 05/22/2008 5:30:31 PM


106 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2008 :  8:37:58 PM  Show Profile
I took over for Gordon Stratton around 1991. I was editor at least from 1991 through 1996. I have copies of all those newsletters. I forget when ESL got it's first web pages.

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477 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2008 :  4:34:49 PM  Show Profile
Eastern Soaring League Newsletter – May Supplement


What if the ESL could get you $2.00 gas and ½ priced rooms, would that make it easier for you to attend the away contests?

Well, the ESL is not going to create rebates on gas, but we can help you reduce travel costs and maybe make the ride more fun. Back in college there were ride boards where you could list opportunities to share a ride or to post that you were looking for a ride. These became real popular around the holiday breaks. So, let's give that a try.

In order to make it easier to ride share or room share, I have set up a series of discussion topics in the forums, which are basically ride sharing boards. They are organized by the club locations. Maybe the ride or room you arrange for the first event will also work the second time. And if it works out well, a regular travel buddy will result.

The Ride Share boards can be found here:

Also, if you have local knowledge of motels near the contests, or if you are interested in a room exchange, post that too. I intend to post a list of motels in the area of the LISF field. So, if you don’t know where to stay, check that board.

Maybe a whole group of you wants to stay in the same place. Post where you are staying and others may wish to stay there too.

We are going to give it a shot and see if the membership finds this helpful. Aside from saving money, ride sharing is a great way to make new friends, so give it a try. Remember that the forums require a separate registration, but you can use the same username and password if you like.

And, if you have not signed up for your contests, here is the link to the contest calendar

Best regards,
Ed Anderson
Long Island Silent Flyers
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