The Centre National de Vol à Voile (CNVV) is ideally located in the splendid region of Saint-Hubert (Belgian Ardennes) and once again it organised the Belgian Championship from May 18th to 26th.
The Centre National de Vol à Voile also known as CNVV:
Created in 1952, it is a real institution in the Belgian aeronautical world. Its goal is to democratise access to aviation and pilot training. It is also the most important gliding structure in Wallonia.
Here are some features and figures:
- 20 instructors,
- many tug pilots,
- also 18 gliders (9 two-seaters and 9 single-seaters),
- two motor-gliders and three tug planes.
Every year, 3,000 towings are carried out and about 100 pilots (beginners, or for further training) will be housed at the centre.
“Having had the opportunity to fly with them, I can say that it is really the passion of flying and the transmission of it which animates all the members of the CNVV and all this in a very warm atmosphere and full of camaraderie.”
Gliding is a sport of concentration and self-control that is accessible from 14 years and without age limit. This sport, which consists of prolonging the gliding flight onboard a glider by exploiting the ascending movements of the air, can be approached at any time of life. “Many civilian and military pilots who had a busy aeronautical career told me: it’s the best school to start flying.”
This year, 40 machines took part in the events with more than 40 pilots.
Every day at 08:00, a team, including the race judge, local pilots and airspace manager, draw the competition of the day with the main influence of the weather. The day of my visit, it was a challenge of nearly 300 km partly in Germany, which was on the programme of pilots.
Regarding the weather point, throughout the duration of the championship, a meteorologist provided, among other things, the general weather situation, the height of the cloud base, or the evolution of possible fronts during the day. This is the key element of this competition and some days in 2019, events had to be cancelled.
Thanks to the software containing the turning points and the prohibited areas, an event is built and it was provided to each competitor.
The goal is, of course, to finish the course in minimum time. Sometimes you have to deduct possible penalty points and handicap points. The Belgian championship uses the English classification system for this purpose: for example, in the open class, a glider of 25 meters will have a handicap of 117 while the smallest handicap of the class is 106, which means that the glider of 25 m will have to fly 11% faster to recover his disability.
At the end of the flight, each competitor gives, on a USB key, the files containing all the details of the flight provided by the transponder, such as the speed of movement, altitude, or any passages in a prohibited area. All these data will be read by the judge of the event for the final classification.
What a change compared to the not-so-distant era when competitors had to shoot the turning points with a camera, and where the films were developed by the judges during the night …
The gliders are dropped 600 meters above the ground, after which the pilot must pass the entrance gate of the event before a fixed time and then continue towards the turning points using the best ascents.
A gliding pilot generally has a much more developed sense of air than a motor-driven pilot. The whole environment has an influence on the flight and the experience of the pilot is very important. This one constantly follows the cumulus which is formed or which seems sunny on the good side, or takes advantage of the dust rising from the field of well-heated yellow wheat, or follows the bird which will turn in a bubble …
Gliders can also be filled with water used as ballast. This ballast makes it possible to go faster in a straight line but slows down the glider uphill; if the “pumps” are good, the pilot tends to load his glider with water and vice versa, if the ascending currents are not good. Nevertheless, weighing the glider too much, this ballast must be dropped before landing.
For the organisers, the management of the airspace is an important fact and is made more complicated every year with a sky that is more and more congested. In the month of September preceding the event, applications for authorisations to use the airspace (up to 7500 feet) are sent to the civil and military authorities. Each morning of the event, a request for information (NOTAM: notice to airman) is made, for example for possible military aircraft exercises or drone use. At the same time, the complete information of the test is sent to the authorities of control of the civil and military airspace, including foreign countries overflown. For France, a flight plan must also be filed.
Class 18m / Open
Contestant Club Glider Handicap Total
- Bert Jr. Schmelzer KACK ASG 29 111 4215
- Tijl Schmelzer KACK Ventus 3T 111,5 3899
- François Delfosse ACUL ASG 29 E 111 3594
- Baumgartl & Bruning(D) LSV Arcus T 107 3290
- Geert Van Duyse ASH 26 E 110 3212
- Bert Sr. Schmelzer KACK Ventus 2cxT 110 3104
- Bielen & Snyers KACK Arcus T 107 2922
- Olivier Sevrin BVGC ASG 29 111 2306
- Pierre Roumet (F) Romo DG 800 110 2158
- Walter Geenen KACK Ventus 2CM 110 2070
- Dupont & De Coninck ACRA ASG 32MI 107 1962
- Bruno Pieraerts BVGC Arcus T 107 290
Class Standard / 15m / 20m
- Robbie Seton (NL) KACK LS 8a 100 3456
- Dennis Huybreckx AAPCA LS 8 100 3419
- Jeroen Jennen KACK LS 8 100 3392
- Daan Spruyt VZP ASW 27 104 3238
- Manu Litt CNVV/RVA Ventus 2BX 104 3217
- Tim Huybreckx KACK Discus 2T 100 3082
- Wim Akkermans KACK Ventus CA 101 3015
- Jeff Kell KACK Discus 2T 100 3003
- Pieter Daems KACK Discus 2T 100 2997
- Team Vandebeeck/Bertels BZC Ventus CT 101 2972
- José Jaime RVA LS 8a 100 2894
- Geert De Palmenaer VZP Ventus C 101 2880
- Nick Fremau BZC LS 8 100 2845
- Emiel De Wachter KACK LS 8 100 2708
- Pieter Lievens VZP Duo Discus 101 2440
- Eddy De Coninck KAC Duo Discus T 101 2440
- Timo Stoven (D) Airbus Discus B 98,5 2414
- Nick Redant Lille Planeur DG400 97 2401
- Thomas De Bruyn BZC Janus CT 100 2317
- Yves Ruymen K V.De Wouw Duo Duscus 101 2248
- Maxim Alexandre ACRA LS 8 100 2103
- Thibaud Husson ACUL Discus b 98 1832
- Selfslagh&Guelenne ACRA Janus C 100 1798
- Luc Van Camp KAC Discus 2T 100 465
- Bart Leysen KAC ASW 20F 055 3314
- Frédéric de Groote BZC Libelle 201B 994 2994
- Philippe Billuart ACUL Discus b 045 2849
- Robin Motte Dit Falisse RVA Cirrus 16m 005 2796
- Bernard Botman VZP LS 4 025 2503
- Peter Bertels BZC Libelle 99 2381