XCSoar is world champion!

Club class winners, WGC Argentina 2012

Congratulations to XCSoar user and contributor Santiago Berca for winning the 32nd FAI World Gliding Championship in the club class!! The XCSoar community really had a close eye on what happened in Argentina those days. We are pleased to see XCSoar on that high level in action.

Our best wishes go to the whole Argentinian team that also managed to win in the world class. The winner in the standard class is once again Sebastian Kawa, whom we also want to congratulate.

Read on Santi’s story in this little interview with Turbo.

Turbo: Why did you choose to use XCSoar?

Santi: This is my story: I wanted a software with a better support for AAT tasks. Javier Gaude (my team-mate in the last championships) started to experiment with LK8000, and told me that the feature of the optimized turn points inside the area was great. So I tried it too. But I didn’t like the user interface. In the mean time I found XCSoar, and that it had a similar feature for AAT tasks. Since I have some knowledge in programming I took a look to both codes (LK and XCS) and it seemed to me that LK was more difficult to understand (and debug). I really liked the coding style of XCSoar and I guessed that it would be easier to me to add a new feature if needed. So I tried it. It took me a while to get used to the user interface, but after some configuration it became my main navigation software and I convinced Javier to switch to it too.

Turbo: On what device(s) are you using XCSoar?

Santi: In Uvalde I used it on an oudie (don’t tell Naviter ;) ) and in Chaves on an Ipaq 5550, connected to a CAI 302. My team-mate use it on a Chinese PNA.

Turbo: How many other pilots/teams were using XCSoar on the WGC?

Santi: Three pilots from Argentina (including me). Don’t know about other teams.

Turbo: How do you think does the software compare to its competitors?

Santi: I think it’s better than competitors.

Turbo: How did XCSoar help you during the WGC?

Santi: It helped me a lot, in very different ways, but in my opinion the AAT task support is one of the best features it has. Thermal assistant is very useful in some situations too.

Turbo: How did you configure XCSoar? (important infoboxes, map display configuration, etc.)

Santi: I use it portrait, with 8 infofoxes on top so the thermal assistant don’t cover any infobox.

In cruise and Final Glide mode:

  • WP Dist / WP AltD / Alt. Baro/ MC
  • T Next Leg / V Gnd / AAT Time / V MC

In Circling mode:

  • WP Dist / WP AltD / Alt. Baro/ MC
  • T Next Leg / Fin ETE / AAT Time / TC Avg

Aux-1:

  • AAT Dmin / AAT Dtgt / AAT Dmax / VTask Avg
  • Fin ETA / Start Height / Fin ETE / Fin ETE VMG

Note: I used a slightly modified version of XCSoar where I combined “AAT Dmin” with “AAT Vmin” in a single infobox, as well as “AAT Dmax” with “AAT Vmax”. I used the third line of the infobox to display AAT Vmin/max.

On page 1 I have “Map and InfoBoxes (Auto)”, and on page 2 “Aux-1”. That’s all.

I use Track up always, circling zoom on (very nice feature!). I don’t use Auto MC, I prefer to set it manual in the 302.

  • Wind drift prediction Off.
  • Auto wind: Circling. (I have the feeling that circling is more accurate than ZigZag)
  • External Wind: Off

In Uvalde I had the terrain on, but in Chaves I turned it off to have better contrast in the screen. Topology always on.

I also use a custom menu that I found very useful. Take a look to “mi_menu.xci” attached.

Turbo: Do you use a Flarm and did you have it connected to XCSoar? Do you have any other devices connected to XCSoar?

Santi: No, I don’t have Flarm. I wish I had, it seems very well integrated to XCS. I have it connected to the 302 vario only.

Turbo: What features would you like to see in future versions of XCSoar?

Santi: Not sure. It seems to have everything I need.

Turbo: What do you like best and what do you hate about XCSoar?

Santi: AAT features are very good. I don’t really hate anything in XCSoar, but since you asked, I had some problems with the wind calculation. I am not sure when it happens and don’t know how to reproduce it, that’s why I didn’t send any bug report. It is one thing that I was investigating in the code. As soon as I have time I promise to take a look at this.