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north view
What is Dynamic Soaring? —DS
 DS path

Greater thumbs than we have explored this realm.

To get an idea, please look at the above picture of our Cape Blanco site. We're looking west toward the light house, thus south is on the left, north on the right. Ideally, we'll have north wind as indicated by the blue arrows. A typical DS flight path is indicated by the red circle.

The plane gets launched to the north and gains altitude in the compression lift on the north side. To initiate the DS flight, the plane dives down the south-side slope. Then, several miracles occur... As the plane turns down-wind and dives, its speed increases. Because it then flies through relatively calm air even when coming back up, it retains most of the speed it carried when entering. As it crests the ridge, it suddenly enters the north-side slope lift. A skilled pilot will anticipate this moment and use the slope lift's push to accelerate the plane back down the south side. When done properly, the plane will accelerate with every turn until the plane's or pilot's limits are reached, or until no more energy can be extracted from the gradient. Before the DSlope Fest the last recorded speed was 176 mph at Parker Mountain in California.

Given a 20-mph north wind at Cape Blanco, a DS speed of 200 mph is theoretically possible. Most planes will experience catastrophic structural failure before this speed is reached, and/or most pilots will lose the groove, thus allowing the plane to slow.

The following video tapes show dynamic soaring: Lift Ticket by Reese Productions and Endless Lift 3 by Radio Carbon Art.

south view
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