On July 10 2019 Maximilian Dorsch has accomplished a remarkable flight with his LS4 neo. After launching from Bamberg’s airfield he could log more than 1000 kilometers. Maximilian is currently the German Junior Champion and as a member of Germany’s national team he will be competing at the upcoming Junior WGC in Szeged. Here he reports about his flight and the experience he made in a recently upvalued glider:
“…unbelievable, but it worked out nicely!“ 🙂
I could already watch the first thermals developing when arriving at Bamberg’s airfield at 8:10 am, very early in the morning. Of course I was not yet ready for take off, what did not really matter, because I only wanted to get in a little training for the WGC which is scheduled at the end of July. So, after an early launch at 9:30 am, I started my first leg to Cham and took advantage of some extraordinarily reliable thermals which were lined up at frequent intervals. Together with my team partner Frank I rounded my first turn point in Cham already at 11 am – about an hour earlier than usually. Sure, I always like to consider flying big, but the forecast was for drying out blue skies in the afternoon, plus a warm front was predicted to move into our flying area from the northwest later in the evening.
The second leg as well was uncomplicated and I could keep my average speed of more than 100 km/h. I took the second turn point in Blaubeuren at 1:20 pm. Again very early! Frank and I had agreed in the morning that with the forecasted drying out skies in the West it would be best to point our third leg eastwards, and not fly into the North. As a matter of fact the air then slowly dried out. So from Donauwörth to Regensburg we could only find some tiny but reliable fluffs. After passing by Regensburg, we entered the Bavarian Forest, where we encountered a high cloud base with 4/8 cumuli and fantastic climb rates.
North of Cham, at about 4 pm, after a little less than 7 hours in the cockpit and flying leg number four, I saw 700 km pop up on my instrument. A short look at the satellite picture confirmed a good line of lift along the Upper Palatine Forest into the Thuringian Forest. At that point 1000 km seemed to become achievable. Under a small convergence line south of the Fichtel Mountains I could again fly much faster.
But then north of the Fichtel Mountains I was confronted with the first difficult passage. Some cirrus and altocumulus clouds were announcing the upcoming front line. Maybe I had spent a little too much time here in favor of flying a triangle? Near Lichtenfels, I got really low but finally managed to climb up again to enjoy a well developed sky around the Hassberge Hills. Now everything would only be a matter of time. At 6:30 pm I had covered 880 km. The climb rates until Hassfurt were still good, although by now it was late in the day. From there the challenge would be to stretch my fifth leg as far out as possible to still be able to reach some left over thermals over the Steigerwald. I made it and so was able to find a little bit of lift at 7:45 pm under one of the last clouds. I knew my logger would now show 970 km on arrival in Bamberg. Squeezing out the left over altitude and then head back to Bamberg it would be 995 km…
Thanks to Sean, whom I could contact during the last part of the flight, I was finally able to take a straight glide and consequently complete 1000 km. A raving success! Not planned that morning…
Have a look at the flight here.
Last winter, I had enjoyed installing some new neo winglets on my LS 4. A great option regarding performance, and what’s more, it looks really good. You would probably call me a liar if I said that with the new winglets I could right away feel a huge difference in performance. But during an extended flight, especially when covering large distances, the positive aspects become clearly obvious. I like to fly with a larger wing loading, and my LS 4 neo is still nicely maneuverable at slow speeds, e.g. in thermals. With the winglets the glider flies less fluttery; it simply feels more at rest. This is my experience so far. All in all it’s been a great improvement on my LS 4 and well worth the money.
Maximilian Dorsch, 07-11-2019