If you intend to fly a glider in real life, you are strongly advised to use these lessons with the guidance of a qualified gliding instructor.
The objective of this lesson is to provide the basics of using the glidingschool.com lessons as Flight School Lessons in Condor. The Lessons and Demonstrations are available here in glidingschool.com for access at any time. They are the same as when viewed in Condor, but there you have the option to fly the Exercises as well.
The Flight School is broken up into four areas, accessed via the tabs: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Acro. The Lesson Titles within each tab are listed on the left in the white panel, shown in alphanumeric order. Hopefully the numbering system means they are listed in the order you should probably use them. Click on any Lesson Title to display them in the blue panel on the right. Like this one. The lessons usually have three elements:
- Description – a page like this.
- Demonstration – a playback of a Condor flight showing how the skill is performed.
- Exercise – your chance to practise the skill.
The Description is self explanatory, providing a written briefing of the skills being taught. It can exceed the size of the Flight School window. Click on it to enable scrolling.
Demonstration (in Flight School)
The Demonstration is accessed by the View Lesson button. These are parts of flights previously recorded in Condor. Condor takes a moment or two to build the lesson. When it is ready, the lesson will start automatically. Some appear to sit for a few more moments before they get going. Once running, they continue unaided. Explanatory messages appear at the top of the screen, ideally timed to match important moments in the demonstration. The messages fade away after a few seconds. New messages will appear above any remaining on the screen, which can be a little confusing – the new message is always at the top. Use [P] to Pause the demonstration, for instance when too many messages appear at once and you need a moment to digest them. Use [P] to Unpause when you’re ready to continue with the action. You can’t Fast Forward or Rewind demonstrations in Condor, but you can replay them from the Flight School menu. Most demonstrations are short, so this is the best way to familiarise yourself with the messages and digest the actions. Use [Esc] to access the Game Menu for the option to Exit Lesson. This can be used at any time in the lesson, so if it goes on a bit, press [Esc]. You will be returned to the Flight School. Whenever you see something interesting, you can take a screenshot by pressing [S].
Exercise (in Flight School)
The Exercise is accessed by the Try Lesson button. At this point, you are flying in Condor. The exercise will start in exactly the same circumstances as the demonstration, so you have a fair crack at repeating the demonstration by using the skills you’ve just learnt.
This section describes the demonstration and the conditions in which it and the exercise take place. The most frequently used set up is:
- Still air: so you can focus on the skill being taught. Condor’s turbulence is very effective! You can adjust the conditions in Condor when flying in Free Flight, but they are fixed in the exercises.
- Flying the Standard Cirrus: realistic early solo glider performance.
- Scenery: Slovakia is used throughout, as it is the default scenery and varied to suit our needs.
- Airfields are selected to suit each lesson. Some benefit from a level horizon, whereas others benefit from obvious ground features such as mountains or runways.
Every glidingschool.com lesson has a demonstration video recorded in the Condor Soaring Simulator. They are the same as the demonstrations you will see when glidingschool.com is implemented in Condor Flight School. They illustrate the learning points described in the briefings and show how to fly the exercise. They are provided here for use when Condor isn’t available – such as teaching in the classroom, at the launch point or at home.
The demonstration is best viewed in Condor, where the highest level image quality is available. When viewing it outside Condor, the video is best viewed in YouTube in HD in Full Screen mode, to easily see the on-screen messages and instruments during the demonstration. Use view, pause and rewind as needed to grasp the content and timing of the messages displayed, and other features that may help, such as the location of the airfield, then focus on the action.
This gives you the information you need to start the exercise in the way it is intended. So for instance, trim setting for the intended speed, or whether the airbrakes should be opened or the undercarriage down (sometimes Condor forgets to include these settings at the start of the lesson).
Any other relevant comment. Such as: In this lesson, the View Lesson button will tease you, and Try Lesson button will be even more frustrating!
Further Reading and References
References to useful material, notably from:
- Gliding From Passenger to Pilot, 2nd Edition
- BGA Instructors’ Manual, 4th Edition
- BGA Instructors’ Reference Card