Speed and glide
The first time I flew with a GPS was in 2000. Originally I’d bought it for navigation, but ultimately, the most important information delivered by the device was ground speed and glide. Suddenly I understood how I moved through the air! This helped me tremendously in my development to a cross country pilot. Even today, while free-flying, speed over ground and glide are the two values I read from my instrument most often. I can judge altitude visually, as far as necessary, climbs are indicated acoustically but to know about speed and glide, I glance at the display every so often.
While talking with pilots in schools, at launches or in the LZ, every now and then I hear about somebody who found themselves “suddenly” in a situation where they were no longer able to advance into the wind with their glider. This is why to me, today, accurate wind calculation has become an important safety feature, especially for pilots with minimal experience.
Only few pilots are aware that the vario in their instrument is set up wrong for the conditions they are currently flying in. In the fall or winter when thermals are weak, I want to be informed about even the smallest climb so a sensitive vario with fast reaction time is really important. In strong spring or summer conditions, this setting can be distracting or even make me nervous. In these conditions I only want to be told about the really strong climbs, to decide whether I turn in a thermal, or to continue on for something better. To make choosing the right settings as easy as possible, we have introduced preset vario profiles for weak, average and strong thermals. These profiles can be adjusted individually by the pilot if desired.
The Element Speed combines all this in a compact easy-to-use device, and is therefore in my opinion the perfect instrument for beginners and occasional pilots: It delivers exactly the information they need to enjoy long and safe flights. No more, no less. Happy flying!