Condor is a superb platform for XC instruction, but it does have some significant limitations that can detract from the learning experience. First and foremost, the Condor ‘world’ must be viewed through a PC monitor of some sort, with it’s inherent limitations. The user must learn how to ‘look around’ in the Condor world, while maintaining control of the glider and not getting lost or nauseated. Use of the popular NaturalPoint Track IR head-tracking system works very well for this purpose, but some users have experienced dizziness and/or nausea while using it. Other than the head tracking system, view management can be accomplished using the normal stick-mounted ‘hat’ switch, or the mouse. Of these two, the ‘mouse look’ option provides the smoothest and most accurate response, but does require that the non-flying hand switch between the mouse for view control and the keyboard when necessary. So, when working with a new student, the first order of business is to get Condor set up and running in the most efficient manner, and to work with the student to optimize their view management scheme (Track IR, ‘hat’ switch, mouselook).
The Beginning Cross-Country course consists of three sessions, all flown in the default Slovenia scenery. The intent of the beginning course is to get the student comfortable with flying in Condor and to introduce the student to basic cross-country concepts and techniques.
Session 2: 90-mile triangle
Session 3: 120 mile Zig-Zag