Tag Archives: ballooning

European championships calendar

La saison des championnats reprend bientôt, et chaque fédération annonce peu à peu les dates de ses championnats nationaux. Voici le calendrier des championnats européens à venir par ordre chronologique. Les championnats manquant seront ajoutés au fur et à mesure.

As the championships season is about to begin, national federations are announcing their championships. This is the calendar of 2015’s european championships in chronological order. Missing championships will be added progressively.

be

Belgian Balloon Trophy: 13-17th May logoBBT2015

Official Website: http://bbt2015.balloonfederation.be

Event Director: Jonas Maes

FAI Loggers: YES

Number of Pilotes: 54 already registered

Registration open until: 19/04/2015

Location: Vielsalm

lu

Luxemburg Nationals: 16-19th July

Official Website: TBA

Event Director: Jean Klein

FAI Loggers: YES

Number of pilotes: 15 – first come, first served.

Location: Ettelbruck 

fr

European Cup: 29th July – 2nd August

Official Website: http://www.mainfonds.com

Event Director: TBA

FAI Loggers: NO, standard loggers will be used

Number of pilotes: 45

Locations: Mainfonds 

lt

Lithuanian National: 29th July-1st August

Official Website: TBA

Event Director: Robertas Komza

FAI Loggers: YES

Number of pilotes: 30

Locations: Telšiai 

cz

Czech Nationals: 5-9th August

Official Website: TBA

Event Director: Zoltan Palhegyi

FAI Loggers: YES

Number of pilotes: 30-40 (10 international pilots are open)

Location: Radesin 

hu

European Championship: 10-19th Augustcropped-Logo-fekvo-1

Official Website: http://deballoons.com

Event Director: Claude Weber

FAI Loggers: YES

Number of pilotes: 105

Locations: Debrecen 

fr

French & UK National: 22-26th August

Official Website: TBA

Event Director: David Levin

FAI Loggers: YES

Number of pilotes: 65

Locations: Etampes 

nl

Women European Championship: 14-19th SeptemberImage Messages(863079347)

Official Website: http://ekballonvaren.nl/

Event Director: Mathijs Debruijn

FAI Loggers: YES

Number of pilotes: 40

Locations: Drenthe 

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Kubicek Super Sport BB26XR

D-OTBJLe  Festival International des Ballons à Chateau D’Oex (Suisse) ayant commencé samedi dernier, j’ai eu l’opportunité de réaliser 4 vols à bord d’un ballon Super Sport Kubicek. Je voulais donc partager avec vous mes sensations et impressions sur ce ballon pas comme les autres alliant stabilité des ballons traditionnels et réactivité des ballons de compétition.

 

During the Festival International des Ballons at Chateau D’Oex (Switzerland) this week, I had the opportunity to realize 4 flights with a Kubicek Super Sport balloon. I wanted to share with you my feelings about this original balloon combining the stability of traditional balloons and the reactivity of Racer balloons.

 

Durant le festival, le dealer Kubicek pour l’Allemagne, Thomas Koek, m’a généreusement prêté son tout nouveau Super Sport de 2600 m3, équipé du système de parachute Paralite (comme sur mon Xtreme Racer). Voici une comparaison de maquette entre un modèle 3000m3 standard (BB30Z) et un modèle 3000m3 Super Sport (BB30XR).

During the festival, the German Kubicek dealer, Thomas Koek, kindly lend me his brand new 2600 Kubicek Super Sport, equipped with the Paralite parachute system (as my Xtrem Racer). This is a comparison of design between a traditional 3000m3 (BB30Z) and a 3000m3 Super Sport (BB30XR).

BB30XR_vs_BB34Z_2Kubicek a donc choisi de reprendre la même forme qui a déjà fait ses preuves sur les  Xtreme Racer (1700m3 et 2000m3). Ainsi Kubicek promet une vitesse maximale de montée et de descente de  9m/s (1772 ft/m) et une réactivité incomparable. C’est parti pour le test !

Kubicek choose to adopt here the same shape than its successful Xtreme Racers (1700m3 and 2000m3). Kubicek thus announces a maximal vertical speed of 9m/s (1772 ft/min) and an amazing reactivity. Let’s go for the test !

Vitesses verticales maximales/Maximum vertical speeds

Durant mes vols à Chateau d’Oex, j’ai pu profiter des bonnes conditions et des températures négatives pour voir la vitesse maximale de montée que je pouvais réaliser avec ce ballon. Ceci dit, n’étant pas équipé de sonde de température, je n’ai pas pu vraiment tester la capacité maximale afin de ne pas prendre le risque de surchauffer le ballon de Thomas. J’ai donc atteint gentiment 8.2 m/s (1615 ft/min) en instantané !

During my flights in Chateau d’Oex, I enjoyed good weather and negatives temperatures to achieve the maximum vertical speed possible with this balloon. Please note that I had no thermometer inside the envelope, so I didn’t take the risk to overheat the balloon of Thomas. I finally achieved a vertical speed of 8.2 m/s (1615 ft/min) !

Capture d’écran 2015-02-01 à 16.39.49

Pour ce qui est de la descente, j’ai également pu pousser le ballon à un taux de descente de -7.6 m/s (-1500 ft/min), sans déformation. Je n’ai pas non plus poussé le ballon à son maximum comme je le fait avec mon Xtreme Racer par crainte de cisaillement important.

About the descent, I achieved -7.6 m/s (-1500ft/min) without distortion of the envelope.  I didn’t dare descending too much as I usually do with my Xtreme Racer because of some wind-shear risks. 

Vitesses verticales moyennes/Average vertical speeds

Chax montée

Comme on peut le voir sur les extraits  de ma trace GPS ci-dessus, j’ai réalisé une montée avec une vitesse verticale moyenne de 6,3m/s sur une minute, ce qui confirme la stabilité du ballon lors des montées.

As we can see on this extract of my GPS track, I climbed with an average speed of 6.3 m/s during one minute, which confirmes the stability of the balloon.

La réactivité/The reactivity 

Autre avantage important que procure la forme de ce ballon racer, c’est la réactivité. En effet la forme profilée offre moins de résistance qu’une forme traditionnelle, le ballon va donc se mettre plus rapidement en montée et descente. Cela permet donc par exemple de poser dans des champs plus petits, ou d’effectuer des montées rapides pour prendre une couche de vent plus favorable. Voici les données des traces GPS sous forme de graphique montrant l’évolution de la vitesse verticale (en m/s) en fonction du temps et des coups de chauffe. Vous avez donc en bleu celle pour le ballon BB26XR que j’ai volé, et en rouge la comparaison avec un ballon standard.

An other huge advantage offered by this racer shape is the reactivity. Indeed the racer shape offers less resistance in the air than a traditional shape, the balloon therefore climbing or descending faster.  This is good to land in small fields or to climb quickly to reach a better layer of wind. Below is a graphic from my GPS track data, showing the vertical speed (in m/s) according to time and burner activation. The blue line represents the BB26XR I flew, whereas the red line simulates the reaction of a standard balloon as a comparison.

BB26XRVSNormal

Comme vous pouvez le voir, le Super Sport réagit quasiment immédiatement et l’accélération de la vitesse verticale est presque linéaire. Par contre, un ballon standard réagit plus lentement et l’accélération se fait plus péniblement, avec également une vitesse maximale limitée. De plus, on observe également que le BB26XR se stabilise plus rapidement lorsqu’on arrête de chauffer.

As you can see the Super Sport reacts quite immediately and the acceleration of the vertical speed is linear. Conversely, the standard balloon reacts slowly and the acceleration is harder with also a limited maximum vertical speed. Moreover, we can observe that the BB26XR stabilizes faster when we stop to heat.

Plus d’informations / More infos : http://www.kubicekballoons.eu/envelopes/model-series/super-sport 

Quelques Super Sport déjà construits en photos (crédit photos Kubicek website) :

903_1 962 978 983

Results Analysis World Junior Championship 2014

It seems that many people all around the world liked my previous  results analyses about the World Championship in Brazil. Now that the World Junior Championship is over and everyone came well back home (besides women who were still flying under the rain in Poland as I wrote this post :p), it is interesting to analyse the results in more details. I therefore made an in-depth analysis of the scores and came up with several graphics and tables. I also improved some analyses and tried some new ones. Please let me know your ideas and suggestions =). As a reminder, you can find the official final results here : Official Final Results.

First of all, I wanted to announce one amazing number extracted from this analysis: 350 markers finished into the MMA and were measured by the measuring team during this world junior championship! Congratulations to all pilots for this high level, but also big thanks to the measuring teams and officials! And one more, 280 tracks were analyzed by the scorers! Big thanks to them too =).

This time I decided to start by an analysis flight by flight in order to have a better view of the championship. Each analysis page is structured as follow: first you will find the tasks, then the top 3 pilots for this flight, and finally a summary of all tasks where a physical marker needed to be dropped. You will see the numbers of markers who finished in MMA, the average score, and  also the number of markers within 10 meters with a little hand-made drawing to represent and show the 10m radius on the target =).

Let’s start with Flight 1 as an example.

Capture d’écran 2014-09-15 à 17.39.41

For this first flight, we had to run a 3DD task and an Hesitation Waltz. The top 3 of this flight is composed of Stefan Peter Schweighofer, Stephanie Bareford and Laure De Coligny. I calculated their average score by dividing the total result of the flight by the number of tasks done on this flight. 11 markers finished in the MMA, with 5 in the 10 meters, and the average score is 188 meters! I represented these markers into the 10 meters area =).

Generally the most interesting flights to analyze are the morning flights, with 4-5 tasks and really flyable winds to reach the targets. Let’s have a look at the second flight of this championship.

Capture d’écran 2014-09-15 à 18.04.19This flight is really impressive just by analyzing the markers dropped. We did 3 physical tasks during this flight, and 99% of markers finished into the MMA! The average score of the FIN by gravity is also really impressive, 18m with 19 markers in the 10 firsts meters! Amazing! The Hesitation Waltz target experienced also a really strong rain of markers with 24 markers into 10 meters!

For the next flights please consult the following files:

Now we have seen each flight one by one, the next graph represents a summary of the distribution of the tasks set by the event director (Zoltan!). We can see that physical tasks with baggies to drop represent 61% of the tasks! Exclusive virtual tasks (Land Run, Race To an Area, XDI, 3DD) represent 21%, and FON/PDG tasks represent only 18% of total tasks. It means that if you wanted to be one of the top pilots, it was not sufficient to know how to reach targets with accuracy, but you also needed to achieve some virtual tasks which requires some mathematical knowledge and some strategy =). We can thank therefore Zoltan Palhegyi, the event director, for the diversity of the tasks.  As a comparison, during the Women World Championship, the distribution of tasks was 75% physical target tasks / 12.5% virtual tasks / 12.5% FON/PDG.

Numbers

Now we can focus on the ranking evolution of the top 10 pilots. We can see here that the 3 winners – Dom, Rokas and myself ^^ – were already in the top 3 after the 6th flight (Dominic even after 2 flights and myself after 3 flights… Rokas came later on but strongly!).

Ranking Evolution

The graph showed also that some pilots were very close to another during the whole competition. I mean there were some pilots fighting in dual, this is what I called in this analysis “pilot battles”. We had three main battles during the championship : the “podium battle” opposing Clément Seigeot (FR) and Dominic Bareford (UK), the “girls battle” opposing Stephanie Bareford (UK) and Laure de Coligny (FR) and finally the “near-podium battle” opposing Kevin Allemand (FR) and Jan Suchy (CZ). As you can notice, there is always a French pilot in the battles… I promise it was not on purpose ^^ It is not my fault if French guys like to fight :p

Battle Seigeot-Dom

I was always very close to Dom and even beyond him once 🙂 Unfortunately we had no 10th flight to reverse the tendency (and I also have to mention that I stupidly missed the last task – MDD – despite the fact that I flew just in the middle of the cross GRRR). 779 points difference on final ranking. Good job Dom!!Battle Laure-Steph

For the girls, it was even more tight as they really reversed their ranking after almost each flight. One time Stephanie, one time Laure. Finally, only 8 points difference on final ranking. Nice fight and nice job also!Battle Suchy-Allemand

Same observation for Jan and Kevin with 193 points difference on final ranking.

Let’s look now at some specific tasks to see which competitors are the best respectively for targets tasks (every tasks involving a physical target and only one marker drop, e.g., FIN, JDG, HWZ, HNH) or FLY-ON tasks.

The following table presents the results only for FON tasks. This inform us on which pilots are the best at choosing a FON and then reaching it of course ! Laure De Coligny is the best FON pilot with an average of 22 meters (3D measuring) for this kind of task, followed by Markus with 26 meters, and by Rokas and myself with 27 meters! Please note that I didn’t count the No Result … It’s interesting to see the pilots of top 10 who aren’t here in the top 10 of FON task. The Bareford family and Kevin Allemand seem not to like this kind of task… Capture d’écran 2014-09-15 à 20.16.14

The following table now presents the results only for “physical targets” tasks. This time I tried to enhance the analysis by excluding the worst result of each pilot. These worst results are in red in the table.  And it appears that worst results of 67% of pilots are on the task#19. This task required to climb at 4500 ft to take the good wind, but only some pilots believed in the piball and tried it! Globally, Rokas is the best at this target game, with an average of 16m, and his worst result 86 meter! The Bareford family takes the 2nd and 3rd places with 18 and 19m. Unsurprisingly, the top 10 is quite the same than the final top 10 ranking.

Capture d’écran 2014-09-14 à 19.08.56

Now we have analyzed results and tasks, we can look at the penalties and their influence on the general ranking. We can see that compared to the world championships in Rio Claro, the penalties haven’t a lot of impact. Only 4 pilots lost one place due to their penalties!

Capture d’écran 2014-09-15 à 21.23.13 As the penalties didn’t had massive effect during this championship, I was surprised to see so many No Results. That’s why I decided to count them, analyze and see the effect. To do that, I decided to replace a No Result by the average score of the competitors. You can see the changes in this table. The changes should not be interpreted at the individual level, but on a global level (if someone looses a place, then someone can benefit from this!). And the result is really interesting! Igor Vertiprakhov (RUS) lost for example 3 places due to 4 no results.

Capture d’écran 2014-09-15 à 21.32.26

 Finally, to close this analysis, you may have a look at the number of tasks won by each competitor. Anders, Kevin, Stephanie and myself, we won 3 tasks each, followed by Laure, Pascal and Laurynas who won 2 tasks each. Surprisingly, our gold and silver winners Dominic and Rokas didn’t won any tasks during the championship! This is a good evidence that only regularity is the path to victory. No matters how brilliant you can be on some single tasks, pilots have to be good every day on every kind of tasks! This wise word will be my last 🙂 I hope you enjoyed this post!

Capture d’écran 2014-09-15 à 21.51.22

World Junior Championship 2014

World Junior Championship starts tomorrow afternoon in Vichy, France. 33 young teams from all over the world will compete for the title during 5 days and 9 planned flights. The event director is Zoltan Palhegyi.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon after about 6 hours drive from home. We did two training flights so far, one on Saturday evening, the other this morning. The weather is expected to be good, except during the evenings where windy conditions are forecast. First official flight is planned for tomorrow evening. I am looking forward to it!

We will try to keep you updated, however, we do not have a great Wifi connexion, so do we will do our best 🙂 In case you want to follow the championship, you will find all task sheets, meteo sheets and results on the official Electronic Notice Board. There is also a blog for the French Team, updated by Jean-Marc Lequime, the French coach.

Official Website (Event Director) : http://balloon.hu/new/?p=1554

Blog French Team : http://vichy2014.blogspot.fr/

Le championnat du monde Junior débute demain après-midi à Vichy. Trente-trois jeunes équipages venus des quatre coins du monde vont concourir pour le titre de champion du monde Junior (moins de 27 ans) durant 5 jours et 9 vols de compétition prévus. Le directeur des vols est Zoltan Palhegyi. 

Nous sommes arrivés samedi après-midi après 6 heures de route. Nous avons fait 2 vols d’entrainement pour le moment : l’un samedi soir et l’autre ce matin (avec en prime survol des 2000 triathlètes qui nageaient dans l’Allier). La météo sera à priori bonne, sauf peut être les soirs qui seront venteux avec des rafales attendues parfois jusqu’à 15 noeuds. Le premier vol officiel est prévu demain soir, j’ai hâte !

Nous allons essayer de vous tenir informés chaque jour du déroulement du championnat, malheureusement nous avons une connexion wifi pas terrible donc on va faire au mieux 🙂 Si  vous voulez suivre le championnat, vous pourrez retrouver toutes les feuilles d’épreuves, feuilles météo et résultats sur le site officiel du directeur des vols (http://balloon.hu/new/?p=1554). Vous pouvez aussi consulter le blog de la French Team, mis à jour par notre coach J-M. Lequime : http://vichy2014.blogspot.fr/

French Nationals / Final Results

French Nationals in Sablé-sur-Sarthe is now over. The weather was good and we did all 8 potential flights for a great total of 25 tasks. We finished at the 2nd place for the second consecutive year with a total of 18906 points! Our objective which was staying in the Top 5 is therefore greatly achieved. General ranking is very tight and we missed the first place this year, being only 200 points below the champion Thomas Merceron (19111 points), a very nice guy and talented pilot who deserved the title! Well done Thomas! We truly fought until the last moment, but unfortunately we did some mistakes on the penultimate day, which made us loose our slight advance… and the first place unfortunately. Congratulations also to Nicolas Schwartz, who took the third place.

Good news is: thanks to this good result, I am now the first French pilot, which means that I will be selected for the European Championship in Hungary (2015) and World Championship in Japan (2016) ! It is strange to think that 5 years ago during my first championship my basket banner was n° 44, this year it was n° 7 and next year, I will have the banner n° 1! Incredible! I am not even sure I will give the banner back after next year’s championship!!

Thanks to all competitors and officials, especially to the event director Zoltan Palhegyi who proposed us nice tasks to fly! A special thank also to my amazing team : my co-pilot Guillaume Jouaville, my beloved girlfriend Carine Lallemand and my best friend and driver Clovis Masson. My friend Sean Kavanagh, the developer of OziTarget also deserves a special acknowledgment for all the work done on his great software. Last but not least, thanks Kubicek Balloons both for designing the best Racer balloon ever and for accepting me as a member of the Kubicek Team Factory. I am very proud to fly for you and to represent the Kubicek brand around the world.

All results can be found on the event director’s website: http://balloon.hu/new/?p=1580

Competition Standings For French Nationals

10606178_849998258351324_1450885532491019850_n

(VIDEO) Winner Gravity Drop – last Target French Nationals

This video was made by Zoltan Palhegyi, on the last flying day at French Nationals. The general ranking was very tight and we really needed to make a good last flight! Fortunately, we worked hard, we chose the right launching field (quite far from those of the other competitors) and succeed in reaching the middle of this target on the Hippodrom. The task was a Calculated Rate of Approach (CRT) and the closest area was about to close, so the only remaining solution was to put the marker right in the middle (0,63cm)! My heart stopped beating until I heard the “plok” of the marker on the target. It was such an amazing moment!

Cette vidéo a été faite par le directeur des vols, Zoltan Palhegyi, le dernier jour du championnat de France. Le classement général était très serré et nous avions vraiment besoin d’assurer sur ce dernier vol ! Heureusement, nous avons travaillé dur, nous avons choisi un bon terrain de décollage (assez loin d’ailleurs des terrains choisis par nos concurrents) and nous avons réussi à atteindre le milieu de cette cible placée sur l’hippodrome.  La tâche était un RDV à l’heure et l’aire la plus proche de nous était en train de fermer, la seule solution était donc de mettre le marqueur en plein milieu de la cible (0,63 cm)! Mon coeur s’est vraiment arrêté de battre jusqu’à ce que j’entendre le “plok” du marqueur sur la cible. C’était un moment incroyable !!