Anders Andersen made this year, his year, by breaking not one but three Danish records! We are so proud of him and his uniquely purple painted JS3.
We asked him to share a bit more about his adventures:
Mid November offered excellent soaring conditions in the Bloemfontein area in South Africa. A whole week with thermals exceeding 5 m/s and cloud base of 18.000 ft. Unfortunately the days were relatively short with a late start and early finish, but the 5 hours with soarable conditions offered excellent weather and allowed 750 K tasks with speeds around 160 kph on average.
On the 13/11 I decided to try to set a new Danish speed record for the 500 K FAI triangle. Because the airspace around Bloemfontein is restricted to 14.500 ft, we decided to use a remote start point approximately 65 K north of Bloemfontein. Still inside the height limitation, but not far away from the airspace limits. The weather developed nearly as hoped for, but slightly weaker climbs (3.7 m/s on average for the whole task), but it was still good enough for 176.5 kph on average and a new Danish record for the 300 and 500 km FAI triangle.
The day after, I decided to go for the 100 K triangle record. The weather was still good, so if I would be able to hit the right thermal at the right time, it should be possible to beat the record even under the restrictions near Bloemfontein. The first attempt ended with a speed of 204 kph, but unfortunately heavy sink on the last 10 km resulted in finishing 150 ft too low. The second attempt did not give me quite as good a thermal (3.9 m/s instead of 4.1) so the result was 190 kph, but with a finish within the 1000 meter limit. Enough to beat the old record with a good margin.
Finally in the 15/11 it was time for the 300 K triangle record. Again, we chose a remote start app. 140 km from Bloemfontein in order to avoid airspace restrictions and in order to utilize the best weather. It paid off! The weather in the Bloemhof area was excellent with climbs of more than 5 m/s and cloud base of nearly 19000 ft. This allowed the task to be completed in 1:37 with a speed of 188 kph – nearly beating the 100 K record I set the day before.
So – how does the JS-3 perform in good conditions? The short answer is: fast! I still have to get used to the high-speed performance of the glider. Normal glide speed should be 220-240 kph under these kind of conditions. But it is still a bit un-natural for me to consider 240 kph as a “normal” cruise speed. When you fly at these speeds everything happens much faster than usual and decisions have to be made much faster. On the 300 K record the average cruise speed was 195 kph (ground speed 250 kph because of the altitude) – but still with an average glide ratio of 47. These numbers are quite impressive and show for me, that the JS-3 is at the moment probably the fastest glider in the world.
I wonder what Jonker Sailplanes will do in the future to make an even faster glider?