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The last video from Hollister for a while
... I promise!

If your link and computer can handle it, click on the video itself to go to YouTube directly, then click "Watch in HD". Yeah, YouTube can actually deliver good-looking video :)

Some points of note:

* This is using the same surface-tow system as in the other videos, but this time I'm sitting in a rolling cart during the launch. This allows me to launch while in the harness, which reduces drag. Also, it allows the tow rope to go under the base tube rather than over, which means I can push out a little more during the tow.

* The high wind noise towards the end of the tow is me pulling in to gain speed just before release. The sudden pop is the release (manually executed). The higher speed will avoid a momentary stall when the pull force suddenly disappears.

* The beeping noise during the tow is a variometer. The fancy one I have also has a GPS and can record flight tracks in 3D. I need to run windows to extract the data, though :P

* During freeflight, I'm taking a few pictures with a point-and-shoot camera.

* Towards the end I'm executing some S-turns to burn off altitude to reach the desired landing zone.

And, given that Hollister is kinda-boring, I'll hold off on videos from that site for a while. I'm still very keen to do more flying from the top of the mountain at Ed Levin park, and I need to do two launches there in preparation for the Big Sur trip in mid January (postponed from early December).

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Two questions:

What was the shiny thing on top of your helmet, and what was up with that landing? You were like zooming along the ground in a fashion that looked way way too fast, and then all of a sudden you're just strolling along. It was weird.

That thing is a helmet-mount camera! I have one video taken with that last week here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_grWMppkkb0 - but the exposure is a little crappy. I have a few more taken yesterday, with the camera pointed more downwards, and they came out much better! I'll get those up on-line tonight, methinks.

And I'm travelling about 25 mph over the ground during the landing... the idea is that you "pull in for speed" in order to maintain control through any wind gradient near the ground, then maintain altitude just above the ground while bleeding off speed by slowly easing out on the control... then just before the glider stalls, you flare by pushing out and UP on the glider, which acts like a huge air-brake. If you do it right, it'll deposit you on the ground with zero forward movement. If it done almost-right, you need a few forward steps.

One fun thing to do is "speed runs": as you approach the ground you pull in as hard as you can to really kick up the speed. As you enter ground effect the rate of descent slows, and you can slowly ease the control bar out while skimming along the ground, then do a landing in the normal way. Really fun ground rush :)

Oh, a clarification: It's about 25mph airspeed, and there was a roughly 5 mph headwind on that day, so it's about 20mph.

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