Hi-Performance and Sailplanes RC hotliners, electric pylon racers, F5B, F5D, sailplanes and gliders

The New Glider Pilot's Handbook

Old 04-27-2009, 04:20 PM
  #26  
AEAJR
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FIRST GLIDERS - Many Options - Consider Electric

I have been teaching new pilots for several years. While I personally prefer pure gliders, I find that new pilots learn faster on electric launched gliders. This gives them more air time and they do not need large spaces or launch equipment in order to practice.

The three planes that I recommend most often are the ParkZone Radian, the Easy Glider Pro and the Easy Star.

The Radian is the newest of the three. As a first airplane, as a first glider and as a glider trainer it is a hit in every respect.

RTF or receiver ready ( PNP )
Plenty of power for quick climbs
R/E controls for simplicty
Resiliant foam - hard to break, easy to fix
Excellent glide angle
2M size is great for beginners
Breaks down and goes back in the box after the flight.
The RTF comes with 2.4 GHz radio so there is no frequency control needed.

Once I get pilots flying with confidence, I focus on getting them into thermal hunting. Again, the electric launch makes this easier than it would be with a pure glider. If you fail to find lift, just power up and climb rather than land, and relaunch. This allows the pilot to focus on one task, thermal hunting rather than the whole set of skills needed for hi-start, DLG or winch lanching.

Electric gliders are also excellent for learning to slope soar. The motor gives the pilot a safety net. If they get into trouble or if the lift dies, rather than a trip into the brush to find a plane, just power up and fly back to the landing site. Or go high and look for thermals until the lift returns.

My Easy Glider Electric is my preferred slope glider when conditions are iffy, or when I am teaching a new slope pilot. Saves a lot of heartach and disasters.

Once they have become moderatly proficent with finding thermals or flying on the slope with their e-glider, I encourage them to try a pure gliders. This is a different experience. Pure gliders can be lighter, more streamlined. They also present a new challenge. You MUST find lift to stay in the air. This puts a new level of challenge before the pilot.

When they have trained on an e-glider, then learning to use a hi-start, winch, DLG launch represents only a single new skill set required. They know how to fly, they know how to hunt lift. Now they will learn to launch without the aid of a motor.

Whether you enjoy thermal soaring or slope soaring, these planes will make good trainers. And, once you have mastered the basics you don't have to put them away as they will provide years of joyful soaring. They will also be great tools to get your friends soaring.

There is nothing wrong with learning on a pure glider. But I have found e-gliders make for faster learning, and quicker time to soaring satisfaction.

May the lift be with you always!
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:55 AM
  #27  
ConRman
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Help!!!!!!!!

Out of the blue my son buy's me a Parkzone Radian and I couldn't keep it in level flight and prevent purposing. What is the starting set-up for first flight? Oh yeah, I crashed on the maiden and broke 1/2 the fuse in front of the tail feathers.

Also, anybody seen a Real Flight 4.5 sim for the Raiden.

Thanks for being here, ConRman
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:43 AM
  #28  
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If by porposing you mean the nose pitches up every time it gains speed, then it could one of two things.

1)It could be the angle between the main wing and the stab is wrong - too much positive incidence on the main wing (or negative on the horizontal stab/elevator.
2)Its too nose heavy.

If its impossible to keep it flying level at a constant speed, then there are two different possibilities.

1)it may be too tail heavy
2)the elevator has slop or play in the linkage or the servo isnt centering. Could be something binding or stiff hinges etc.

Those are the most likely culprits
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:25 PM
  #29  
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A Timer's Guide for TD contests.
By Ed Anderson

The timer's role at the typical thermal duration contest can be as simple as
running a watch, keeping the pilot aware of the time, and reporting the
time and landing points to the score keeper. It is easy and it is fun.
Plus, you can learn a lot by watching how pilots manage their flights, read
the air and set-up for their landings. Even if you don't feel ready to fly
a thermal duration contest, working as a timer is a lot of fun and a great
learning experience.

However, the timer's role can be very valuable as the timer is allowed to
help the pilot during the flight. How much of this actually occurs will
depend on the timer and the pilot involved and how they wish to work
together. Some pilots welcome the help and others prefer the timer to be
quiet and just work the watch. But even a rookie pilot, working as a
timer, can help an experienced pilot with just the right information at just
the right time.


TIMING DUTIES

The timer's job is to record the duration of the flight as well as any
landing points. This is then reported to the score keeper once the flight
is complete. If you do nothing else, you have fulfilled your role as timer.
Good job!

The timer will need to know the specified task in effect. Before the pilot
launches the plane, confirm that you are in agreement as to what the task
time is for this round.

For example, the CD may have declared an 8 minute round. That means the
pilot is trying to have his flight last EXACTLY 8 minutes, not a second more
or less. Not every pilot hits it exactly but the timer can help by keeping
the pilot informed of his time throughout the flight.

1) Time starts when the glider leaves the winch or hi-start hook.

2) Prior to the launch, ask your pilot how often he wishes updates. Some
would like ever minute. Some may not want any updates till half way and
some may not wish an update till there are two minutes left. Ask your pilot
for his preferences.

3) Last two minutes - Each pilot has a preference, but typical is to give a
notice when there are two minutes left. Using the 8 minute task, during the
6th minute typically pilots want an update every 15 seconds. This is
usually when they are planning their landing.

6 minutes
6:15
6:30
6:45
7:00 minutes

4) Last Minute - Typically during the last minute the pilot wants an update
every 5 seconds and to have the last 10 seconds counted down. Check with
the CD as to when time stops. In most cases, time stops when the plane
touches any earth bound material such as a branch, grass, or the ground
itself. The plane may still be flying but if it touches something, time
stops. But check to be sure as local rules may differ.

But assuming the plane has not touched, here is the typical last minute:

7:05
7:10
7:15
......
7:45
7:50
:51
:52
:53
......
:58
:59
8:00

At this point, if the plane is still in the air, stop counting but keep the
watch running so you can record the whole flight. If it is 8:06, that is
what you report. If it is 7:49, that is what you report, plus any landing
points.


HELPING - Generally timers can help in five ways -


After the launch

You will need to help your pilot move from the launch area so that the next
pilot can launch. Typically this is done by a "follow my voice" approach.
Many pilots don't want to be touched while they are flying so be aware of
this. Just gently guide them toward the landing area. The don't have to be
on a landing station right away, but they should be in the area so when it
is time to land they don't have to go very far.


Watching other pilots

If this is a man-on-man style contest, your pilot may be interested in what
the other pilots in the flight group are doing. He is only competing with
those pilots regardless of who else is in the air, so note who the other
pilots are before the launch. You may wish to make a note of their planes
so you can more easily spot them in the sky. If you don't know the other
pilot's names, ask your pilot.


Looking for Lift

In all formats you can be helpful if you know how to spot lift indicators.
Ultimately it is the pilot's decision what to do but you can make him aware
of options and conditions. If the pilot chooses not to take your
suggestions, do not be offended, you are offering options, not instructions.

Birds circling in lift
Other gliders circling in lift
Birds feeding in a confined area
Other lift indicators that you may know.


Coaching

If you are timing for a rookie pilot and you are much more experienced, you
can offer advice. However, be very gentle with your suggestions. No matter
how bad a pilot he may be, he is still the pilot and still in control. You
are offering advice, not instructions. Never take offense if he does not
follow. He may be unable, unsure or afraid to do what you suggest. This is
his flight, not yours. Ask before you give advice and keep it to yourself
if he prefers to fly on his own.


Landing

The landing area can become quite busy. The pilot is focused on his plane.
You should be focused on the watch, but whenever possible be aware of other
planes in the area. You could help the pilot avoid a mid air which will not
help his time and might cost him his plane.

If landing tapes are being used, straighten the tape. Ask your pilot if he
has any particular orientation for the landing tape he may prefer. For
example he may wish the tape away or toward him.

Some landing areas have marked stations. Help you pilot get into position.
Typically this is done some time during the last two minutes, but well
before the final approach.

If there are landing points, you mark the landing and report the landing to
the pilot to insure he agrees. Landing is measured at the tip of the nose
of the plane. The plane must be upright. Most contests will not allow
points for a plane that lands inverted or flips over. It can "stick" into
the ground, sometimes called a "dork" or dart landing. Check with the CD
about local rules, before the flight.


REPORTING

When the flight is over, tell the pilot his time, confirm the landing
points, then immediately go to the scoring desk to report the time and
landing points. Make sure you know his name. Don't clear your watch till
after the time and points are reported. The timekeeper has the option to see
the watch, so be prepared to show it.


Out of Bounds

Most fields have boundaries. They will be discussed at the pilot's meeting.
If the pilot lands out of bounds he gets a zero for the flight and that is
what you report.


SUMMARY

Ultimately the pilot is in command. Your primary job is to time, to record
the landing points and to report them to the score keeper. However be aware
that you are allowed to help if you feel able and if the pilot is willing to
accept your assistance.


That was a quick summary of the timer's job. I welcome comments and other
people's guides for timers.
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:44 PM
  #30  
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I continue to be impressed with the Radian. I now own one and it is now my main trainer plane.

The Easy Glider and Easy Glider Pro, as a pure gliders, continue to get my top recommendation as a first pure glider for hi-start, winch or for slope soaring.

There are lots of other good gliders out there but these are the ones that seem to lead to the fastest progress to complete independence at the field. They thermal very well and they can take some abuse.

Once you can fly these you can fly any type of glider.
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Old 05-15-2010, 02:24 PM
  #31  
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Default Thanx!

Friend Ed,
We don't know ea. other; but I've "read you" a lot, and feel compelled to say how much you've meant to my personal modeling efforts. It seems everywhere I turn, there's "ol' Ed" w/the voice of experience. And it's ALWAYS good, sensible, clear advice and quite often quite lyrical when you explain the, "what it's all about", sorts o' stuff. I've D/L'd a lot o' your stuff to word-doc's and refer to it regularly.
I'm still in "recovery mode" and only flying my sim; but there are several models down in the shop that will be a taste better, and better-flown, due to something I learned from you in one of several different forums.
There are not enough like you; and I strongly feel the "few" need to be told by the many that we greatly appreciate all you give us.
My personal thanks,
RD
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Old 05-15-2010, 02:33 PM
  #32  
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RD,

Thanks for your kind words. It is posts like yours that tell me that what I do is worthwhile. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. Now don't forget to pass it on to others.

Best of luck on your recover. I hope those models see air soon.
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Old 05-15-2010, 04:00 PM
  #33  
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Default Hey!

Had no idea you were even on when I posted that! But you're very welcome. It's called "credit where credit is due". :O)
RD
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:35 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
I am talking about the articles I write and post on the interent, or articles that other people have found on the internet. Really good discussion threads might be appropriate as well, but I tend to shy away from them.

I would add links to the first post.

I have enough for a book but have no planes on going to hard copy print at this time.
I'll buy a copy but I want it signed Now you can post a lot of pics of your unpowered ships hint hint.
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:10 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by MWShelton View Post
I'll buy a copy but I want it signed Now you can post a lot of pics of your unpowered ships hint hint.
You asked to see photos of my gliders. This is not all of them and it does not include any of the electric launched gliders. But it is a good sample.
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:31 AM
  #36  
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Thanks for the pics. Thats quite a nice collection!
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:35 AM
  #37  
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They are all different and all fun. Wing spans run from 33" to 134"
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:02 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
What should I add to the glider pilot's handbook?
I must admit that I haven't read ALL of the excellent material you are providing here, but so far I am missing a good article concerning servos. I have read a lot of forum posts in different forums (yeah, I'm more of a lurker than a poster) where someone asks a specific questions about servo selection and get good, specific answers, and that is fine. But I would like to read an article discussing which type/size of servos that suits different kind of planes, control surfaces, flying techniques, or whatever circumstances that affects the choice of servos.

Thank you very much for the time, effort and knowledge you (and others) have put to support all of us who are still walking in the steep phase of the learning curve.

/Stefan
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:25 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by SBS_Pilot View Post
I must admit that I haven't read ALL of the excellent material you are providing here, but so far I am missing a good article concerning servos. I have read a lot of forum posts in different forums (yeah, I'm more of a lurker than a poster) where someone asks a specific questions about servo selection and get good, specific answers, and that is fine. But I would like to read an article discussing which type/size of servos that suits different kind of planes, control surfaces, flying techniques, or whatever circumstances that affects the choice of servos.

Thank you very much for the time, effort and knowledge you (and others) have put to support all of us who are still walking in the steep phase of the learning curve.

/Stefan
Good topic, but hardly focused on flying gliders now is it? In most cases the MFG recommends servos so there is not much to figure out. Just buy what they recommend and you will be good. If you have to figure it out yourself then use these. This will cover 90% of all situations

DLGs -
Dymond D47s for competition and Hitec HS-45 or 55 for sport

2-4 meter thermal and slope gliders
JR DS368s or Airtronics 94761Z for competition and Hitec HS-85 or Hitec 5485s for sport with HS-81s or 55s for spoilers. Use metal gear servos on the flaps to help resist stripping if the flaps hit the ground.

There are lots of great choices out there but if you use these you won't go wrong.

Last edited by AEAJR; 04-20-2011 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:40 PM
  #40  
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Thank you for a fast and precise answer - I really appreciate that.

The reason for the question were that I (and I think it goes for a lot of us newbies) don't have a clue to what size of servos is needed for different sizes of control surfaces. I also read somewhere that someone recommended only digital servos for the elevator, which just enhanced the confusion for me (why just for the elevator and not for all surfaces?). I have also had a hard time trying to sort out which recommendations is more applicable for large competition machines suitable for winching (if that matters at all?) and which advices is applicable for me who is just keen to make my first steps in thermalling with a small, old, badly (heavy) built, underpowered and over-repaired Precedent Hi-Fly, after a few months with electric motor planes.

As I said: I really appreciate the advice and I will stick to it with my first plane(s), but since I am one of those persons who always wants to find out why a specific advice is given I definitely wouldn't mind if you (or someone else with deep enough knowledge) would take your time to clarify which parameters affects servo selection. I'm in no hurry (at least I hope that my first glider will survive for a while) so if an article arrives next week, next month or next year doesn't really matter.

Anyway, thank you one more time for the well written and very good answers and articles you have written in different forums.

/Stefan
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:53 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by SBS_Pilot View Post
Thank you for a fast and precise answer - I really appreciate that.

The reason for the question were that I (and I think it goes for a lot of us newbies) don't have a clue to what size of servos is needed for different sizes of control surfaces. I also read somewhere that someone recommended only digital servos for the elevator, which just enhanced the confusion for me (why just for the elevator and not for all surfaces?). I have also had a hard time trying to sort out which recommendations is more applicable for large competition machines suitable for winching (if that matters at all?) and which advices is applicable for me who is just keen to make my first steps in thermalling with a small, old, badly (heavy) built, underpowered and over-repaired Precedent Hi-Fly, after a few months with electric motor planes.

As I said: I really appreciate the advice and I will stick to it with my first plane(s), but since I am one of those persons who always wants to find out why a specific advice is given I definitely wouldn't mind if you (or someone else with deep enough knowledge) would take your time to clarify which parameters affects servo selection. I'm in no hurry (at least I hope that my first glider will survive for a while) so if an article arrives next week, next month or next year doesn't really matter.

Anyway, thank you one more time for the well written and very good answers and articles you have written in different forums.

/Stefan
Digital on the elevator is not a maximum recommendation, I presume they are saying that they see this as the minimum use of digital.

Digitals have much more precise centering and since the elevator is so critical to the handling of your glider, they are saying that even if they could not afford digitals on all surfaces they would try to put a digital on the elevator.

That post might have been mine as that is how I now lay out my gliders. It is not required on all surfaces for a sport glider, IMHO, but it would be my preference to have digital on the elevator. Centering!
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:05 AM
  #42  
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I purchased a second hand Last Down V3 (3200mm span) in very good condition.

I have flown her twice and everything was just good but....not fine, she felt heavy and was coming down for landing really hot because the original manufacturing of the flaps does not allow them to go any further than 40 degrees…..

So….I couldn’t hold my self by modifying things around in order to reduce some weight, make her more stable in turns around thermals and fix the flaps issue.

1. I removed one of the two rear servos (Rudder servo, almost 25gr, aft away from the CG) to the frond using push-pull linkage.
2. Reversed the two flaps surfaces to make them deflect almost 90 degrees down and 40 up.
3. Bought new lighter batteries.
4. Bought 8mm aluminum tubs, to replace the carbon ones which hold the outer wing pieces, and bended them 3-3,5 degrees to improve stability of the bird by adding this small outer dihedral.

The pre-mode take off mass was 2910gr and now I reached 2790gr….not bad for such a bird.

My problem now is to read as much as I can about mixing and programming my Transmitter (Futaba T8FG with the V3 update installed 12+2 ch.) in order to understand as much as possible, because the all flights so far performed with the old owner’s transmitter where all mixing was sett just fine with 3 conditions and butterfly / crow, Ail-Ele mixing, Ail differential etc…..

My problem now seats on the fact that I cannot find any website that explains what is the crow-mix and how that will look (in terms of visual feedback) on my glider. I mean for example, how low is the term “Lower the Flaps”, or many degrees are acceptable for the Ail differential, or how many degrees down you have to deflect the elevator surface, and how many up both ailerons when butterfly, or how much up-flap you need when you ender the “speed condition”……..

If you can suggest any site, thread, post etc it will help the most.

Last edited by Dr.kc; 06-01-2011 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:45 AM
  #43  
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Nice job of reducing weight on your glider.

Some general statements first.

Degrees of deflection on your surfaces is according to to your personal preferences. Every bird and every pilot are different. And these may differ according to your flying style. Sport, competition, F3J, F3B, TD, ... it depends. Clearly you recognize this as you changed set-up on the flaps to meet your desires as opposed to how they were set up originally.

Since much of this is covered in the New Glider Pilots's Handbook, the first post in this thread, I presume you have not actually read it. While some of the links may have been broken, the ones that relate to your question seem to be working fine.


Sailplane terms
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=185385

Welcome to the Novice Lounge
http://forums.flyesl.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=224


TIPS

Performance Tuning Gliders
http://forums.flyesl.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=227

Using Ballast
http://forums.flyesl.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=232

Test Flight Procedures
http://forums.flyesl.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=226

Sample Set-up for a Full House Glider
http://forums.flyesl.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=233



RADIOS

Choosing a Sailplane Radio - What to Consider
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...047#post105047

First Time Servo Set-up
http://forums.flyesl.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=248


What Goes on Which Stick
http://forums.flyesl.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=234


EPA/ATV
http://forums.flyesl.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=247

Dual Rates and Exponential Compared and Explained
http://forums.flyesl.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=249


Trailing edge camber adjustments - Best Practices?
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=403126



Beyond this wil lbe specific to your radio and your glider which is beyond what I can do here as I don't know either of them. I suggest you do a search on your radio and your glider here and in the sailplane section of www.rcgroups.com to find other glider pilots who have your glider and/or your radio.

Last edited by AEAJR; 06-01-2011 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:58 AM
  #44  
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Thanks again.

Everything very useful....

I started the reading.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:31 PM
  #45  
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Apparently the --forums.flyesl---- is no longer available, so none of the links to it work.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:50 AM
  #46  
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Thanks for letting me know. I have updated the links. They should work now.

Last edited by AEAJR; 03-13-2012 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:51 PM
  #47  
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Since this is Wattflyer AND so many new glider pilots are getting into soaring with electric launched gliders, let me add this resource.

This is a free e-book on the subject of electric powered flight that may be helpful to e-glider pilots. There is a link included that goes to the actual e-book where you can find the latest updates and ask your electric questions.

TABLE OF CONTENTS - General
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31071

Post# ..... Topic

1 ............Preface
2 ............Amps vs Volts vs C
3 ............Sizing Power Systems
4.............Props vs. Amps
5 ............What is an Electronic Speed Control - Updated 11-2008
6 ............The LVC, Low Voltage Cut-off
7 ............Who Needs a Wattmeter?
8 ............Why Use a Gearbox?
9 ............Extended Flight Times and Balance
10 ...........Battery Basics
11 ...........Lithium Batteries, Chargers and Balancers
12 ...........Six Keys to Success for New Pilots
13 ...........Things to Check on an RTF
14 ...........Now its Your Turn!
23 ...........The Role of the BEC in your ESC
24 ...........The Mythical Best First Plane
33 ...........What You Need to Know About Receivers
36 ...........The AMA Park Pilot Program
39 ...........What goes on which stick?
65 ...........WHAT DO THE KV RATINGS ON MOTORS MEAN?
108 .......... A .pdf compiled and reorganized verion of the book- Current as of 2009
260 ...........Estimating Battery Run Time
261 .........How to Select Your First Radio
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:09 PM
  #48  
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Video from one of the Unlimited sailplane contests at our field.
This is an Eastern soaring league contest. This is a man on man launch

That's me in the tan hat and blue shirt calling the launch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6wCvoY_3aI
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:18 AM
  #49  
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When I put the original handbook together pure gliders were the way to go and electric gliders were still heavy and draggy. Today's e-gliders are as light or lighter than the pure gliders and they fly great.
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