Questions tagged [thermals]

Columns of rising air that are formed on the ground through the warming of the surface by sunlight, used by gliders to gain altitude

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5 answers
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Would building a large asphalt square or painted dark black area create a "thermal generator" for glider use?

Imagine if you build a "parking lot" square of asphalt and paint it the deepest black possible to absorb maximum heat...would that spot essentially be a thermal generator that you could fly ...
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2 answers
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How can I calculate the "stability state" of air from a given set of data?

I would like to know the answer for the above question, it is about how to find whether atmosphere is stable or unstable using DALR (dry adiabatic lapse rate), SALR (saturated adiabatic lapse rate) ...
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3 answers
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What other materials apart from conventional nickel and steel superalloys can be used as a first stage turbine blade material?

Steel and nickel chromium alloys have been prominent and most used as turbine blade material although there are other materials such as tantalum carbides, tungsten and many more which I have no ...
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2 answers
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Can thermals or high density altitude improve fuel efficiency?

Suppose a pilot is just cruising around building flight time. In order to get the most flight time for fuel, would flying on a dry cold day or on a hot thermal filled day save fuel?
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1 vote
1 answer
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How are thermals mapped in real-time?

Related to "How thermals are found" this question about "Gliding your plane to save fuel" details how to use thermals to save fuel. To use thermals to maximize range, can thermals ...
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5 votes
2 answers
543 views

What are the best places to gain the most altitude in a glider?

I'm a beginner pilot and I started with gliding. How to spot the best thermals and what is the most efficient way to climb?
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3 votes
2 answers
703 views

Does wind provide lift for hang gliders in the air?

Basically, if there are no thermals, but a strong wind, is there a way to use that wind to gain altitude?
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16 votes
5 answers
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Could a big plane glide significant distances, same a ordinary glider (1000 km or about)?

Seems that a usual glider is not limited by its glide descent rate and can fly much more than this. It uses air masses that move upward to gain the altitude. Are these effects limited by the size of ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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How is close formation flying possible with things like thermals and turbulence?

This weekend the Blue Angels came to town. The weather was less than perfect. A quick look at SkyVector during their show indicated there was an active AIRMET for moderate turbulence. This made me ...
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13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do thermals stop rising when clouds are formed?

Glider pilots know that one indication of thermal lift is the formation of cumulus-type clouds. My question is: Does the rising air (that lifted the moisture to form the the cloud) stop rising after ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Can a gyro-copter soar?

If one centers the gyro-copter in a thermal and then simulates a hover facing headwind; can the gyro-copter climb up like that ? Is it technically possible or is it advisable....
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13 votes
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How are thermals found?

As far as I understand glider pilots like to look out for thermals. I assume that when you are in one, you can perceive that and you can make roughly sure to stay in it. But what if you're not in a ...
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