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First sailplane?

Old 07-23-2011, 11:24 PM
  #1  
earthsciteach
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Default First sailplane?

Sailplanes are very alluring. I think that will be my next venture in RC. I've read a lot of positive things about the Radian but mixed reviews of the Radian Pro. Then there is the HK Fox, Multiplex Easy Glider and on and on...

I feel I am a competent pilot. I'd like a plane that can grow with my sailplane experience, but not so "advanced" that I am in over my head. Can y'all give me some advice on a sailplane that may meet my wants?

Thanks!
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:40 PM
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Rockin Robbins
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With sailplanes you develop a different, more strategic type of flying skill. I'd recommend a Radian or a Radian Pro if you insist on needing six channels to feel like you're really flying. I assure you the Radian will teach you just as much and be as fun to fly as the Pro. You can't really go wrong either way.

Of course if you want a REAL challenge there's a couple of guys around here who will steer you to a DLG, the ultimate in pure flying.

Danger: sailplanes may be habit forming.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:41 PM
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earthsciteach
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Is a DLG one of those you launch discuss style? That is so cool!
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:57 PM
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I bought a ST models Blaze, purely thinking about increasing my "need for speed' and I discovered a couple things, it takes forever, I do mean forever to land. Great little glider that one flight took me almost 4 mins to land, 5 approaches and 4 aborts.
Also it has the power to do all kinds of aerobatic type flying and straight up at 2/3 throttle. It makes me look like a better pilot than I am. It has totally turned my thinking about just going fast. It very tough and very well built, couple of little probs in my other thread, but very satisfying a/c. Comes with everything installed, just add rx, batt and tx.

have a good one
cr
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:42 AM
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CrimzonRider
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Originally Posted by earthsciteach View Post
Is a DLG one of those you launch discuss style? That is so cool!
I think so...I dont think I could do that, at least not yet!

have a good one
cr
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:52 AM
  #6  
kenchiroalpha
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Hi
A good one for the novice glider pilot imho is the Mini Moa
Do enjoy
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1O_latJS0M&feature=related[/media]
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dproduct=12885
Take care
Yours Hank
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:31 AM
  #7  
kyleservicetech
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Originally Posted by earthsciteach View Post
Sailplanes are very alluring. I think that will be my next venture in RC. I've read a lot of positive things about the Radian but mixed reviews of the Radian Pro. Then there is the HK Fox, Multiplex Easy Glider and on and on...

I feel I am a competent pilot. I'd like a plane that can grow with my sailplane experience, but not so "advanced" that I am in over my head. Can y'all give me some advice on a sailplane that may meet my wants?

Thanks!
If you want a very slow flying, very capable sailplane without to many $$$ check out the Gentle Lady:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXYXH0

I had one back in the mid 1980's did a lot of flying with it.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:48 AM
  #8  
Larry3215
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Default What is DLG?

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Old 07-24-2011, 03:59 AM
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kenchiroalpha
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Originally Posted by Larry3215 View Post
Hi Larry
Cool video
Heres one showing more launches
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP44_8sR8QQ[/media]
Take care dear friend
Yours Hank
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Old 07-24-2011, 04:01 AM
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Larry3215
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The kind of "sailplane" you get depends on the type of flying you want to do.

They are NOT all the same by any stretch.

Motor gliders like the Radian's are very different from polyhedral rudder elevator gliders like the Gentle Lady which is completely different from any DLG.

Then there is the question of size - do you want something small say 1 meter or huge - 3 meter span?

Then add in slope soaring - another animal again - although many gliders and motor gliders can also fly slope - if your good.

Then there is hand launch, motor launch, winch or bungie launch.

Do you want to fly reeeeeealy fast, then you want a Hot Liner.

Ive flown most of the different classes and my favorite is catching thermals with my TopSky DLG - as in that video above. My second favorite is slope soaring.

Everyone is different, but something like the radian just doesnt interest me. Its a compromise between a powered plane and a glider and isnt really great at either. On the other hand, lots of guys love them and they do have a place.

I would not start with a DLG - but you could if thats what really grabs you and gets the blood pumping.

I had a Gentle Lady as my first glider. I think its a great starter if you have light winds to practice in. It can be launched from a winch or bungie and can slope in lite winds and you can add a motor pod or mod the nose if you want. It will float on the lightest thermals.

If you want to fly thermals - get a glider that is designed to do that. Same for slope. If you want a motor glider, the radian is probably a good first choice.
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:37 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for your input!

Larry, I like the way you broke it down for me. I'm interested in chasing thermals. I'm not looking for speed. I live near a site that is well known for slope soaring on the Susquehanna River, but its not calling to me.

The idea of a motor glider seems appealing from a convenience sense. But, if it compromises the purpose of a soaring plane, then maybe its not worth that convenience.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:08 PM
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In that case, the next decisions have to do with price, size and the number and type of controls.

The Gentle lady is truly a beginner model in that its inexpensive, comes in an arf or kit. It has only rudder and elevator controls. It has a polyhedral wing so you turn with rudder only which causes the model to bank. Its small enough to fit in most any car with the wing removed. Its dead easy to fly, flys slow and floats like a dream. Its inexpensive.

The down sides are its small size means you can loose orientation at altitude - about 1000+- feet will be it for most guys. You have no roll control (independent of rudder) so you cant do side slips or control bank angle in thermals as well and no flaps or spoilers to slow it down or to get out of a truely boomer thermal.

Fixing any of those downsides means spending more money, so its up to you.

Id look at some of the models available from Esprit models to get an idea of whats out there at the higher levels.

Stay away from North East Sail Planes! They have one of the WORST reps for customer service and you often do NOT get what you ordered.

Nitro planes gliders are not very good mostly and the specs are usually way off so I dont recommend them either.

Also, avoid the Great Planes Fling. Its junk.

There are LOTS of choices out there from lots of reputable venders. Try to avoid buying junk to start with - it will just turn you off to a great aspect of this hobby
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:24 PM
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earthsciteach
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Default Hey, I recognize this guy!

He's the dude that Josh Bixler is always slapping around. This is a good video showing the launching of a DLG. I think I am falling in love with these planes! I know I'm not ready for one, yet, but maybe soon...

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svRIi_cgtJE&NR=1&feature=fvwp[/media]
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:29 PM
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Thanks, Larry. I'm a bit nervous about balsa planes. I worry that I will trun it into a pile of splinters! I'm only experienced with foamies. And I have A LOT of experience repairing those!
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:37 PM
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There is something unique with DLG's for me. Just the thought that you can throw something up in the air and have it reach altitudes of 1000 ft plus is just very apealing to me.

Its relatively easy to find thermals when you use a winch or bungie and get catapulted 300 to 500 feet up.

For me, its a much more satisfying challenge to find lift when you only 100 to 150 feet up - or less!

Unless you have done it, you cant imagine the thrill you get when you catch the faintest breath of lift when your down to under 20 feet and you manage to milk it back up to spec height.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
With sailplanes you develop a different, more strategic type of flying skill. I'd recommend a Radian or a Radian Pro if you insist on needing six channels to feel like you're really flying. I assure you the Radian will teach you just as much and be as fun to fly as the Pro. You can't really go wrong either way.

Of course if you want a REAL challenge there's a couple of guys around here who will steer you to a DLG, the ultimate in pure flying.

Danger: sailplanes may be habit forming.
Not to steal the thread, but how is DLG any more ultimate than HLG? If anything it's even more of a challenge when your initial launch if measured in feet rather than many tens of feet.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by earthsciteach View Post
He's the dude that Josh Bixler is always slapping around. This is a good video showing the launching of a DLG. I think I am falling in love with these planes! I know I'm not ready for one, yet, but maybe soon...

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svRIi_cgtJE&NR=1&feature=fvwp[/media]

Great vid......But What choo talkin bout Willis? Pretty funny when he dropped DLG and sound like he was cussing at it in another language. Do all DLG launch that way with two fingers? That is pretty neat...

cr
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:36 PM
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NJSwede
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Originally Posted by CrimzonRider View Post
Great vid......But What choo talkin bout Willis? Pretty funny when he dropped DLG and sound like he was cussing at it in another language. Do all DLG launch that way with two fingers? That is pretty neat...

cr
I can translate cursing if you want. It's David Windestål and that's indeed the same guy that's been guest starring on Flitetest for a while now.

The closest he gets to cursing is when he botches a landing and says "Fy vad pinsamt! Fick du med det?" which means "How embarrassing! Did you get that on tape?". We swedes are nice and polite, even in our worst moments.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:40 PM
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Ahh cool thanks swede for the translate....really didnt sound like cussing, just excited embarrassment! LOL Great Video, enjoyed even not knowing the language!!

cr
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:57 PM
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Just found this, great reading about thermals

http://www.apogeerockets.com/educati...g_thermals.asp

cr
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:51 PM
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Thanks for the link, CR. I skimmed through it, but will read it more thoroughly later.

Here's a little key to remember: the sun does NOT warm the troposphere (lowest portion of the atmosphere, in which we live and fly RC). The GROUND warms the troposphere. Want to find a thermal? Find the darkest colored ground covering in the area you are flying, be it green grass in a field of brown, a parking lot, or dark covered rooftops of a development next to your flying field. That is where the air will be rising. Dark colors absorb the sun's heat and give off that energy in a longer wavelength that heats the air above it. Light colors reflect the energy like a mirror and it passes right through the air unchecked.
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:39 AM
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Hi
If only we could soar more like the Albatros
Do enjoy
http://esoaring.com/albatros_presentation_esa.pdf
Take care
Yours Hank
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:58 AM
  #23  
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No doubt, we are all really birds at heart. If I could come back in the next life as an animal, I would choose a soaring raptor. What could be better???
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:12 AM
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In my experience, the Radian outperforms my two balsa gliders that I've had. I started out with an Airtronics Square Soar, an ugly plane on the ground but beautiful in the air. It had some undefinable airfoil that had more of a sink rate than some but penetrated very well for a plane that flew wonderfully in the wind. It taught me to fly.

Then I built a House of Balsa 2x6, just an atrocious plane. That airfoil was so thick that any wind at all was curtains for the plane. It had a very heavy tail so nose weight had to be used: enough for a motor today, but not then. Still I flew it on calm days and it had a low sink rate.

Both of those planes were high launched. My high launch was a Craft Air Heavy Duty Upstart, 100' of ~quarter inch surgical tubing with rings on both ends, one for the stake and the other for a snap swivel on 400' of braided synthetic material string, a parachute on the end and on the apex of the chute, another ring.

The bottom of the glider has a hook that extends down about a quarter to half an inch and then straight back for an inch or so. You stretch the high launch out to about 1000 feet, hook the plane to the ring at the apex of the chute, test the radio, test the controls, test the radio (there's a reason to repeat that, don't ask), point the plane up at about 45º and let her go. Some people toss the plane.

On a good launch you will actually gain more height than the relaxed length of the high launch, 500'. That calls for a zoom launch, dive shallowly to get some of that energy into airspeed and pull her up at the right instant. The elasticity will pop the high launch off the back of the hook and you'll be catapulted up another 50 or 100'. It's a total blast! Now that the parachute is free of the plane, it pops open and the wind blows the whole apparatus downwind toward you!

While you're flying you can be slowly walking toward the chute, and even pick it up and back up to the launch site while you fly the plane. I always had an anchor in the ground at the launch point to hook the chute to so I didn't have to hold it for the entire flight.

What is really amazing is that the gliding performance of the Radian is better than either the Square Soar or the HOB 2x6, even though it is lugging around the motor and battery. It feels lighter to the controls, has a lesser sink rate and is more responsive than they were. I imagine the same comparison might hold with a Gentle Lady, although I would expect her to have a better airfoil.

But in a league by themselves are the DLG and HLG planes. They are just pure responsiveness. Just look at those videos and you see planes that fly like they are alive. Their smaller size, coupled with their extreme rigidity, especially in the DLGs, just makes for an ultimately responsive flying machine. And did you see how quickly they can hand catch, flip the plane in the air, catch the wing by the launch peg and toss her up to 150'? That's just continuous flying all day, intensively learning every second of time spent.

The HLGs do tend to be a mite expensive. But the entry level ones don't have to be. But they are relaxing. They are intense. They are very technical and they are very simple. I think the word for that is "elegant" and the human brain just resonates with it just watching the things! I can't watch the ground effects handling of these planes that just refuse to come down without a smile.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:19 AM
  #25  
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That's some poetic stuff, RR! That is exactly why I want to get into sailplanes!
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