Over the last year I have been flying with two flight instruments.
The Flytec 6030 as my main instrument and the Volirium P1 (formerly Flytec
Connect) as my secondary instrument. The Flytec 6030 is next to my left side
corner bracket in an aeropod from Dustin Martin. I use it to see my average
climb rate, my distance from the center of the start cylinder, and the wind
component. On final glide I watch carefully my L/D over the ground, my required
L/D to get to goal, my projected height above my best glide altitude at goal and
my projected altitude above goal given my current ground speed.
I know where all these fields are located and on which page (of three). I can
quickly switch between pages. I have confidence in the final glide numbers
although I always determine how much confidence I have given how far away from
the goal I am, how high above the best glide line I am, and what the wind
component is (head or tail wind).
The weakness for me of my Flytec 6030 is how it sounds when it encounters a
thermal or when I'm thermaling. It feels weak and not very encouraging. It
quickly changes from no sound to some sound, but not enough sound.
I rely more on the sound coming from my Volirium P1 to help me find the thermal
and stay in the best part of it. I do look at one of the six screens that tells
me my 20 second average climb rate, and wind direction (which I can't see on the
Flytec 6030) and wind speed. Although I have completely configured all the
screens on the P1, I have not memorized each one of them yet (http://ozreport.com/22.142#0).
When I'm in a good thermal both instruments are chirping away and I try to make
the 6030 sound as happy as possible. I can definitely see the difference in lag
time between the two, and it feels like the P1 continues beeping for a few
seconds when I'm actually not climbing according to the 6030. Hard to say for
But it is the extra encouragement of the sound of the P1 that has really made
the difference. Psychologically I hear that sound and I am more likely to stay
in a thermal and more likely to turn and find the nearby thermal. It just sounds
happier and I really want to follow its advice.
I have asked both Joerg Ewald and Steve Kroop whether it was possible to make
the 6030 sound like the standard setting for the P1, but they didn't provide me
with explicit instructions about how to do so. Joerg stated:
The 6030 and the P1 share the sensor and our special secret
calibration procedure, thats correct. But the electronics surrounding the
sensor are different, with a much lower noise level in the P1. This allows us to
increase the sensitivity on the P1, without increasing the risk for false
positives (beeps when youre not going up).
There are numerous setting that allow for adjustments to the
sounds coming from each of the flight instruments. These settings are quite
complex and I have not gone into them to make any adjustments other than
sensitivity on the Flytec 6030. Any guidance from other pilots would be
I had similar experiences with using the XCTracer as a secondary instrument,
sound only. It was also more encouraging that the 6030. The only issue with it
was that it wasn't as loud as the P1. Both the P1 and the XCTracer lack pitot
tubes, so they can't distinguish between airspeed changes and changes in lift.
Flight instruments and pilots form a bond. The flight instrument is an extension
of your senses. Your mind incorporates it into its functioning just as though it
were an actual part of you. This goes a bit below the level of consciousness
although you are conscious of it also. You are drawn to act to get the best
sound indicating the best lift, and you don't have to constantly tell yourself
to make this or that decision about where to aim the glider. The 6030 sends a
"choppy" message, while the P1 sends a more consistently encouraging message.
The Volirium P1 has been a happy addition for me. It's improved my performance
in competition. It's improved my flying and I really appreciate what it has done
for me. I am happy to incorporate it into my mental functioning.
I would love to hear from other pilots, especially if they have a different
experience with these instruments or with other instruments.