Conversion notes for Alpha November - Ka6CR

Congratulations on converting to the Ka6. Remember that, although an older glider, the Ka6 was the best standard class glider you could get for nearly a decade (the sixties). It is still a light, well balanced glider with handling qualities that are hard to beat, resulting in a less tiring flight than many other gliders.

Alpha November has been owned by the club since new. Treat it well and you will be rewarded with some fine flights.


Converting to AN from the Bocian you will notice some changes. The cockpit is smaller than the Bocian, and the sides are higher. Your view over the panel will be very different. Before flying, take time to sit in the glider and get used to the view at a normal flying attitude. The panel will be higher on the horizon than the Bocian.

Make sure you are comfortable. Try the parachute instead of cushions. If you use cushions, remember that you must have firm cushions behind your back filling the depression in the seat, or use the wooden seat back (can't miss it, it's got grey vinyl covering and two locating pins to hold it in position). Make sure you can get full rudder and full aileron movement at the same time. You may need the rudder pedals adjusted further back (closer to you) than you first think to allow full movement of both rudder and ailerons.

When flying, the cockpit is quite noisy. There is considerable wind noise, and some creaking and groaning from the airframe. It is not about to fall to pieces, it's just letting you know that it's still there. The control forces are light, and movements required are small. Care must be taken on the first few flights not to move the controls to abruptly. Try flying with just your fingers on the stick, a light touch is all that is required. Take care to let the glider run on the ground till it lifts off itself, do not try to lift it off early.

The trim is a spring trim on the stick. This is not very precise, but due to the light control forces required is very effective. The trim should be fully forward for takeoff.

The airbrakes are very effective, and you will need to lower the nose to compensate for large brake opening. The wheel brake comes on with full airbrake. If conditions are right (dry and the tire is correctly inflated and the brake is correctly adjusted), the wheel brake can tip the glider onto it's nose. Be ready to use up elevator to counter this when using full brake on the ground roll, and let off the brake if the tail is high when coming to a halt to avoid dropping the tail from a height. It is best not to have the brakes fully open when touching down.

Speeds to fly initially are just over 40 knots thermalling, around 50 knots between thermals. Circuit and approach should be flown at 45 knots + 1/2 windspeed. This will give you a small margin over the standard stall + 10 knots, which only gives you 41 knots. Be generous when estimating the wind, the Ka6 doesn't penetrate well if you are going slow.

Stall31 knots
Min sink37 knots
Best glide43 knots

In turns min sink is:

30 degree bank39 knots
45 degree bank43 knots
60 degree bank51 knots

Just below these speeds stalling begins, and the sink rate will increase quickly. It is advisable to use 43 knots for straight flight as well as moderate banked turns.

The stall in a Ka6 is gentle. You can fly the glider right back to the stall and it will just hang there with the nose high. There is no tendency to drop a wing. Holding the stick full back will make the nose drop. The Ka6 can be made to spin by putting on a little rudder at the stall. Recovery is immediate when the controls are returned to the central position. The glider is unwilling to spin off a turn, with a much greater chance of entering a spiral dive.

The Ka6 sideslips easily and controllably. This can be used to increase your rate of descent if required.

The panel

The panel has a normal altimeter and ASI, and the same type of radio as the Bocian. There is also a turn & slip, two varios, and a transponder. The master switch is in the middle of the panel to the right of the ASI.

The turn and slip is turned on with a switch (pull for on) next to the master switch in the middle of the panel.

There are two varios, an uncompensated COSIM pellet vario, and an Altris electronic vario with audio. The Altris has an on/off switch and a volume knob on the speaker box which is attached to the right hand side of the cockpit. The Altris must be switched on before the dial on the panel indicates. The audio is quiet, you may not be able to hear it in flight unless it is on full volume.

The transponder is remote mounted behind the cockpit. Make sure it is switched on at the transponder. On the panel are an on/off switch and a red ident button just above the Altris vario on the right of the panel. You cannot change the transponder code in flight, all you can do is switch it on (or off) and squawk ident. If you expect to use the transponder it is best to contact ATC before flight to arrange a transponder code, and be prepared to explain that it is remote mounted and the code cannot be altered in flight.

Maximum speeds

Max auto & winch55 knots
Max aerotow75 knots
Max calm air117 knots
Max rough air79 knots

Cockpit weights

Maximum91 kg
Minimum64 kg