European hot air ballooning championships 2013

The European hot air ballooning championships took place in Wloclawek, Poland on September 6-14. The Swiss teams used Windsond to help them plan their flights. They fared well; all four Swiss teams scored in the top third of the field of 81 competitors (see the results). A part of this favorable result is attributable to Windsond.

Here is an account of how the Swiss teams had good use of Windsond during one of the tasks, as told by participant Léon André.

The flight No. 3 of the 18th FAI Hot Air Balloon Europeans Championship was an evening flight with three tasks. The second task was a “Maximum Distance Double Drop” (MDD).

Part of the task sheet for flight No. 3, with the description of MDD

The distance between entrance point into the scoring area and exit point should be as long as possible. The task before the MDD was a “Hesitation Waltz” (the pilot had to fly as near as possible over one of thee goals). For the following MDD the pilot had to enter as near as possible at the optimal entrance point and to fly without leaving the scoring area in direction of the optimal exit point. Of course it helps a lot, if the pilots know exactly the winds in the different altitudes.

Drawing of the scoring area (overlap of the two circles) on the competition map

We measured with a Windsond a short time before the pilots completed the “Hesitation Waltz”. So they had the time to plan the best way thru the scoring area with the existing winds.

The way of the sounding balloon during the measurement

We sent the wind data to our teams in the following form: [Note by Anders: This view is created by the Swiss teams and not part of Windsond]

The measured wind data

The scoring area ended at 2000 ft. But between 1500 ft and 2000 ft there was a wind layer approximately in the direction of the axis of the scoring area.
In the ranking of task 12 our pilots Stefan Zeberli and René Erni has been on place 1 and 2.
— Léon André

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