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older newer February 24, 2011, 7:13:06 pm EST

Flying the latest Wills Wing T2C 144

What a sweet glider

Florida|Quest Air|sailplane|Wills Wing

,,Quest Air, Groveland, FL, USA

After hauling a new Wills Wing T2C 144 from San Bernardino, California to Groveland, Florida I had the opportunity to fly it in light wind conditions on Wednesday. Florida had been a little windy on Sunday through Tuesday, not enough to keep one from flying, but not so sweet that you wanted to get into the air ASAP.

On tow I noticed right away that there was a different feel from the previous glider that I flew in Australia, one that wasn't appropriate for me. Very light control inputs were required. I had the VG set at one half.

Already on the ground I saw that it was so much easier to pull on the VG with its 24:1 ratio (with the pulley in the right down tube) than the previous version of the T2C I used which was 16:1. Now in the air I really appreciated now easy it was to pull on full VG. Lots of line to pull, but no struggle at all going to full VG and undoing it quickly. This was very much like the Moyes Litespeed RS 3.5 that I flew back in early January (but even easier). The RS also has a pulley in the right down tube. If you are getting a new T2, be sure to get it with the 24:1 VG (the standard now). You can also retrofit your existing T2 with the 24:1 VG.

After getting off tow, I zoomed over to a nearby cumulus cloud west of Quest, found the weak and broken lift and started turning. Oh, this glider is so easy to fly and turn. Unlike the previous inappropriate glider I was flying I was in charge of the glider. I had no problem climbing up and controlling the glider in broken conditions and searching around for the moving core. I felt great confidence.

We flew to the north of Mascotte and saw that the cu's ended a little bit to the north due to the "lake effect" from Lake Apopka and a east north east wind. We turned around and headed south toward the sailplane port at Seminole Lake. I kept leading out when the lift got weak.

Just north of the sailplane port I didn't stop when I found weak lift under a dark cloud and headed for the next dark cloud. Unfortunately that cloud didn't pan out and I had to find a friendly field to land in. There were plenty around so I picked out the best looking one at the last moment coming in over a tree filled swamp to land between the fences.

The wind was very light and I was so happy to find that as before the T2C was so easy to land. I had to learn how to land theIcaro 2000 Laminar Z9 13.7 last summer and I was having trouble at first landing the Moyes Litespeed RS 3.5 and S 4 in January in Australia, even though I had flown these models previously. But I don't seem to have any difficulty landing T2C's even after not flying it for many months and flying different gliders prior to it. Is it just my muscle memory? Or is the T2C just that much easier to land? It seems the latter.

I haven't had the opportunity to drop the sprogs down at all from the stock setting. I will fly it a while before I do, if I do. I will see how much bar pressure I feel at high speeds before I take them down a turn or two. The whole point is to feel comfortable at full VG at 50 mph and actually want to go to the setting. I found this to be the case with the RS 3.5 and I'll see if it is true with the T2C-144 after I set or reset the sprogs. The RS 3.5 that I was flying had been flown extensively in competition and was set correctly.

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