By Ted Grussing
… a sailplane is always descending and altitude is the fuel for them.There are a number of forms of lift that sailplanes use to gain altitude and convective lift is probably the most common method utilized when soaring … the dust devil (thermal) with or without dust. This occurs when you have surface heating and there are areas where the air heats up more than in surrounding areas. Hot air is less dense than cooler air and therefore rises until the temperature differential no longer exists. Soaring pilots use these columns of rising air to gain altitude and thus extend the distance they can fly horizontally across the ground. Cross country flights are achieved by periodically stopping to gain altitude before continuing on to whatever turn point or destination you are going to.
This is a shot I took near Aguila, Arizona on a fine soaring day, a friend and I were flying together and working the same thermal shortly after takeoff from Sampley field … gaining altitude and getting ready to head north. Those are cantaloupe fields beneath us. I think we headed up to the San Francisco Peaks NW of Flagstaff, since subsequent photos in this series place us over the Prescott Valley with noses pointed at the peaks.
Fun times as I revisit a lot of the older galleries … this was shot in May of 2006 … there is no flight in the world that comes close to flying high performance sailplanes … nothing!
It was a great day and I got a lot of rest … two really nice long naps today and feeling energized … but, I’ll wrap this up and go get some more rest. A fun day tomorrow as I get Knot Yacht ready for her first outing with the new 15hp Mercury engine on her; going to Lake Mary and we’re hoping to get some Osprey shots along the shore near the narrows.
Have a beautiful day … One and I sat out on the deck for an hour this afternoon, in the shade taking in the beauty … listening to the wind soughing in the pines and just enjoying the reality that at that moment we were here on planet earth … our home.
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
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