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Published on Feb 18, 2010
We analyse the effects of flight speed and bank angle on turning radius. When circling in a thermal, we try to keep a small turning radius to be close to the center of the thermal where the upcurrent is strongest. In this video we find the reason why banking harder and flying slower make our turning circles smaller. Although the numerical examples and narrative refer to typical sailplanes, most of the analysis applies to hangliders and paragliders as well.