01_8709First Task
Pavullo nel Frignano – Alzate Brianza
The final day of “X-Italy 2016”, we depart from Pavullo for Alzate Brianza, and another challenge crossing the Po Valley. Initially conditions were good, with 2,000m cloud-bases and the pilots achieved good average speeds over the first 50 km stretch. On arrival in the Po Valley however, the situation changed; almost no lift available and it became hard to maintain altitude. The electric motor became the only option for all three competitors.
The ground team, in constant radio contact with the pilots, were ready to deal with any field retrieves, but the conditions begin to improve beyond Cremona and we all breathed easy again. Bertoncini and Ghiorzo cross Lecco while Brigliadori decides to head for Lake Iseo, but on reaching Bergamo and Brescia, he begins to regret that decision. In fact, he found himself very low near Valbrembo, and had to resort to using the motor again in order to reach the mountains of Lecco and the altitude required for a final glide into Alzate. The order of finishes at Alzate was Ghiorzo, Bertoncini and then Brigliadori. Following a brief stop to re-install the smoke system, its off towards Calcinate del Pesce, for the final leg of our “Grand Prix”!
13221533_1783716708513788_4542320568127474622_nSecond Task
Time task, from Alzate – to Varese.
With smoke systems installed the performance of the gliders is somewhat deminished, but we were confident that the display will provide adequate compensation!
They launched at about 18:00, just as the the sun was setting and the last thermals of the day were dying away. The start line opened at 18:20 and all three pilots had no choice but to use the electric motor to gain altitude and then optimise the glide towards their goal – always with a keen eye on the energy reserves! They all made to the airfield at Calcinate at about the same time, but Luigi Bertoncini in his Silent 2 Electro (D-MEIO) led the field, followed by Brigliadori and Ghiorzo. The three gliders formed up over the finish-line for another of their rehearsed displays, with smoke.
Thus ended the last test of the first “X-Ialia 2016”, certainly a great success that has seen these three electric self-launching gliders prove themselves worthy of all various tasks.