Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mcshaz

slope soarer for 5-12 kph days

Recommended Posts

I am addicted enough to sloping (not to mention young kids = take the money and run when an opportunity to be excused from family duties arises) that I want a glider for the light days. I don't (yet) have the skills to manage some high performance wing (at least not when using PicaSim , which is a FANTASTIC piece of free or nearly free soaring simulation software).

Broad categories:

-Discus Launch

-Old school floater, like gentle lady/olympic 2 + maybe add some ailerons.

-Dont know what this category is: windrider birdie

Any thoughts ideas on what category and/or specific glider to get would be much appreciated. My building experience is limited, but I do enjoy it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Birdie is either an Alula clone, or a rebadged Alula. I've never owned one, but they are supposed to be pretty good for a small foam DLG flying-wing.

5-12kph is pretty light! Not much will fly at the lower end of that range - not without loosing altitude. For that sort of light wind, a DLG would be good, but they're quite fragile and very easily damaged. If you're new to this, that may not be a good choice.

A big very lightly built floater (like a gentle lady or oly 2 etc) may do well enough at the upper end of that range. Or a more expensive thermal duration ship like a light supra or maxa would work - but they're very expensive.

On those light air/still days, I would be headed down to the local park and getting some thermal duration practice in off a bungee or something, not scratching around a slope. So, my pick would be a gentle-lady (built light as you can) for either slope or flat-field thermalling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go for the birdie from windrider, or alula and weasel from dreamflight. All will fly in light winds. All can be discus launched to see if there is enough lift to stay up. The weasel will fly in higher winds as well 20 -30km/h, but the alula will fly better in less wind. They are both quite fun to thermal as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely an Alula Clone..., the whole front end is different and the tail attaches a different way too. I'd go for the Weasel myself though - proven performer and a brilliant learner model. I've had an evo alula, and while it is a cool looking model, the flight characteristics of the evo weasel are better for slope soaring - see if you can get one of the black ones, cause they are still made from EPP, the newer ones are a blend of EPP and polysomethingorother, it's a stiff foam, so requires less strengthening cover, but it also does not handle rough treatment anywhere near as well as EPP. The bonus with any of these models is that they are a snap to build, it will take you longer to trim your radio than it will to install the gear in the model - that being said, the more time you take the better the job. Most critical with a wing is setting up the Centre of Gravity of the model, the difference between right and wrong can be measured in millimeters - use a couple of butter knives and carefully balance the model per the instructions, use a marker and an accurate ruler and put some indicator marks on the underside of the wing at the correct distance back from the leading edge - then just add lead or other weights to the nose until the model balance's on the knives at the marks you've made under the wings - take your time - it's worth it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should get a Dreamflight Weasel - absolutely brilliant little planes and fly well in light wind as well as moderate. That wind range is too strong for an alula.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your input

Go for the birdie from windrider, or alula and weasel from dreamflight. All will fly in light winds. All can be discus launched to see if there is enough lift to stay up. The weasel will fly in higher winds as well 20 -30km/h, but the alula will fly better in less wind. They are both quite fun to thermal as well.

I hadn't thought of a)discus launching or b)riding a thermal on an alula/birdie.

On those light air/still days, I would be headed down to the local park and getting some thermal duration practice in off a bungee or something, not scratching around a slope. So, my pick would be a gentle-lady (built light as you can) for either slope or flat-field thermalling.

I love the look of these things, and the way they float - that is what attracted me to r/c gliding in the first place. Only thing is a) I suck at thermal soaring - never can find them or stay in them - this may be due to my relatively cheap, quite heavy ~1.7kg e-glider (Lanyu phoenix 1600 = 1600mm wingspan).

B) the time to set up & pack up a bungee could be a problem - leave passes usually result in max of 20 mins flying time (by the time I get gear, drive there and back etc).

I live at Greenlane, so it is only 12 mins to Ambury farm where I could potentially learn from the experts, but mid-day sunday is a bad time family wise.

Definitely an Alula Clone..., the whole front end is different and the tail attaches a different way too. I'd go for the Weasel myself though - proven performer and a brilliant learner model. I've had an evo alula, and while it is a cool looking model, the flight characteristics of the evo weasel are better for slope soaring - see if you can get one of the black ones, cause they are still made from EPP, the newer ones are a blend of EPP and polysomethingorother, it's a stiff foam, so requires less strengthening cover, but it also does not handle rough treatment anywhere near as well as EPP. The bonus with any of these models is that they are a snap to build, it will take you longer to trim your radio than it will to install the gear in the model - that being said, the more time you take the better the job. Most critical with a wing is setting up the Centre of Gravity of the model, the difference between right and wrong can be measured in millimeters - use a couple of butter knives and carefully balance the model per the instructions, use a marker and an accurate ruler and put some indicator marks on the underside of the wing at the correct distance back from the leading edge - then just add lead or other weights to the nose until the model balance's on the knives at the marks you've made under the wings - take your time - it's worth it!

Wow - reminds me of the cabinet making I used to do - painstaking precision, but satisfying when it is done properly. makes my balancing on thumbnails pretty darn crude. Now you mention it, it does make sense when the same control surface is used as elevator & aileron, on a short model.

You should get a Dreamflight Weasel - absolutely brilliant little planes and fly well in light wind as well as moderate. That wind range is too strong for an alula.

I'll have to have another look at this plane. I really struggled with this model on the picasim simulator (link at beginning of this thread). Having said that I was using it in ~50kph winds - i'll have to try it in low wind environments

I still need to convince 'she who must be obeyed' that it is a sensible way to spend our money before I decide ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like we share a few things in common. I used to be a cabinet maker and really enjoy the building side as much as the flying. I also know the limitations having a young family can place on free time - having two young boys, myself.

Setting up a bungee is a bit of a pain, espc if you only have an hour or so. So, if that's too limiting, then you could always do DLG, or get an electric sailplane. You will spend a much higher proportion of your time flying/thermalling (or trying to) than stuffing about with bungees etc. You could always build a motor pod so you can transform an old woodie to an electric as and when required.

I find thermalling very difficult too, but getting someone to show you what to look for and how to find them, will be worth more than anything else. Once you hook your first big thermal and go rocketing up, you'll be hooked. I enjoy the challenge of it. Sloping is relatively challenge free.

If you really enjoy building, and can find the time, then building a GL or spirit is damn fun and rewarding. Get the GL not the Spirit, BTW. There something very beautiful about an old woodie with transparent covering sailing high above you! And even better when you built it from a kit.

A DLG would be good someone who is pressed for time, but they're fragile, so perhaps not the best thing for a starter. No props, no lipos, no bungees just turn up, warm up (VERY important), and throw!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i use a kite line winder for my bungee , a bit like this one. https://www.thetoybay.com/20cm-kite-lin ... ing-bundle . I can run it out and wind it back up at walking pace. Still for 5 kmph wind days i got a Radian and am enjoying it a fair bit since i did some basic mods to it. ironically that would slope in 5kmph winds i would expect :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the info

Sounds like we share a few things in common. I used to be a cabinet maker
My grandfather was a cabinetmaker; I merely dabble with some of the skills he taught me - as a formally qualified tradesman you would have forgotten more about the trade than I will ever know!

I have girls, and suspect your young boys get even more excited about model gliders than girls

Sloping is relatively challenge free.
Not with my skill level :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi mcshaz

I've got the Windrider Birdie and its ok. I bought it for light breeze slope soaring but to be honest don't fly it much now as I'd prefer to go parkflying (electric) if the wind is that light. I love slope soaring, but find the Birdie slow now :P

You are welcome to borrow it as long as you like. Its pretty tough and can be discus launched, especially from a paddock at Ambury farm. Then you can go chuck it off Mt Mangere afterwards :D

Here's a write up I did on her...http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1698619&page=6

My review is at Post#84 and there is a maiden video in a too-strong-a-wind :oops:

Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Argo - thank you for your very generous offer. I suspect I should take the predominant advice on this thread, and like yourself, stick to e-gliders & thermal soarers on light days. When in Rome and all of that.

Based on this I bought an Oly II of trademe 2 days ago - never flown. Nice guy, had some health problems in early retirement and decided to build a glider while recuperating. Stated he "lost interest" after it was made. He has done a beautiful job. Wondering about putting a motor in, but part of me feels this is a little sacrilege!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you could always make an electric motor-pod which would sit above the wing anchored on the center joiner. carry the lipo in the generous fuselage. Best of both worlds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're learning put a motor in it. You'll get way more airtime than off a bungee, and it can get you out of trouble and save the plane. These days I would have recommended an electric foam glider to start thermalling (specifically a radian), but never mind....

If you can pop down to Ambury one Sunday, you'd probably find it worthwhile. Now we have a club radian hooked up to a buddy box that we can use for training anyone who's interested. This Sunday's forcast looks good at the moment, and I'm hoping to get people along who want to have a go at an informal electric soaring competition...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
you could always make an electric motor-pod which would sit above the wing anchored on the center joiner. carry the lipo in the generous fuselage. Best of both worlds.

Great idea - thanks

If you're learning put a motor in it. You'll get way more airtime than off a bungee, and it can get you out of trouble and save the plane. These days I would have recommended an electric foam glider to start thermalling (specifically a radian), but never mind....

If you can pop down to Ambury one Sunday, you'd probably find it worthwhile. Now we have a club radian hooked up to a buddy box that we can use for training anyone who's interested. This Sunday's forcast looks good at the moment, and I'm hoping to get people along who want to have a go at an informal electric soaring competition...

Thank you - had just downloaded the auckland soarers membership application when I saw your post. This Sunday is not good (I'm away with family), but will get down there soon.

I am a beginner, but flying the foamie on the slope + time in real aircraft/sims means I suspect I will be able to land a fairly delicate aircraft. Big trick I have found with my cheap e-glider (because of real aircraft experience - and this will make you r/c people cringe I am sure) - make final approach so that the glider comes just above my head - that way I can turn around and the controls work instinctively nearing touchdown.

I will take your advice about the motor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can land a plane on the slope well, you should have no problems on the flat field -- especially with a motor installed.

A common mistake beginners seem to make is to not be able to estimate how much glide the plane has left before it runs out of air, and get themselves low down up wind and then try to make a down or cross wind landing. If you've got a motor you can easily get yourself out of this situation.

The other key thing is not to worry if you misjudge things and end up landing way up field -- a long walk beats a repair job any day...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Argo - thank you for your very generous offer. I suspect I should take the predominant advice on this thread, and like yourself, stick to e-gliders & thermal soarers on light days. When in Rome and all of that.

Based on this I bought an Oly II of trademe 2 days ago - never flown. Nice guy, had some health problems in early retirement and decided to build a glider while recuperating. Stated he "lost interest" after it was made. He has done a beautiful job. Wondering about putting a motor in, but part of me feels this is a little sacrilege!

You're very welcome. Best of luck with your Oly, I googled her - a very nice looking balsa glider. By the way the SkyBench website has electric conversion info here (I stumbled across it): http://www.skybench.com/slelect.html#olyiis :-)

Also as well as keeping an eye on this wonderful website ;), the Parkflyers.org website has a thread going specifically for Auckland Sloping, would be great to meet you! Its here: http://www.parkflyers.org.nz/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=3650&forum=30&post_id=62391#forumpost62391

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A common mistake beginners seem to make is to not be able to estimate how much glide the plane has left before it runs out of air, and get themselves low down up wind and then try to make a down or cross wind landing. If you've got a motor you can easily get yourself out of this situation.

The other key thing is not to worry if you misjudge things and end up landing way up field -- a long walk beats a repair job any day...

First flight ever (on e-glider) I smacked it into a fence as I touched down because I hadn't anticipated the strength of the ground effect! A few repairs and good as new.

I enjoy the walk to get my glider - a bit of exercise. Great advice - thanks.

These days I would have recommended an electric foam glider to start thermalling (specifically a radian), but never mind....

While I suspect this is fantastic advice - people rave about the radian, I get much more of a thrill looking at/feeling the weight of this beautifully built balsa glider than any foamie. It was also less than 1/3rd the price of the bind'n fly (which is essentially what I now have). based on the fact that I really don't want to damage this ship through incompetence, I think I will try and stick to my e-glider for now, and restrict oly II flights to gentle glides off small hills (which I have never run into trouble doing) .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My typical advice for a model built by someone else is to check everything - a model can look perfect, but if the wings are not warped correctly, you can find that the model will always want to turn in one direction or do unpredictable things. Check that both wings have either wash in or wash out or neither - otherwise you will get wings that want to windmill...

Check the fuse is not banana'd and that the tail is square to the main wing and in the same flying plane - so that you don't have to correct with elevator trim. Most importantly, check that the model is correctly balanced both horizontally and latterally, check all of these things and you are on your way to having a model that is at least guaranteed some air time before crashing...!

You think its expensive and time consuming flying gliders, try doing this and riding cycles all over the countryside - more expensive than crak and twice as addictive!!! :?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×