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  1. #1
    apwachholz's Avatar
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    Newbie Q: Iz worthy of purchase?

    @all
    I'm looking to invest some dollars (albeit not too many dollars) into a sailplane / powered glider. I'm not intersted in foam and want to keep the cost of the kit around $125-200. I found the ASK21 EP Glider 2600mm Fiberglass on Hobby King and was surprised of the cost relative to its size. I'm an experienced flier and builder but, wasn't sure if anyone had any thoughts on HK sailplane kits.I was also contemplating the Hobby Lobby Super Dimona(http://www.hobby-lobby.com/superdimona.htm). I've got the following sitting around and waiting to be used:

    (2) 3200 mAh11.1v 3-cell
    Turnigy 60Abrushless programmable ESC w/BEC
    Turnigy 1450Kv brushless outrunner
    All electronics required (from previous aircraft)

    I appreciate the more scale like models but, also am interested in being able to catch thermals (or learn how to). I don't have a tow plane or a cliff, so powered gliders are esential. Also, being able to handle some wind (15-20mph) is essential. Thanks to anyone willing to help, I appreciate it.

    _andrew

  2. #2
    soarrich's Avatar
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    RE: Newbie Q: Iz worthy of purchase?

    Check these guys out. I think someone there might live close by and be of help.
    http://www.soarcasa.org/
    Rich Border AMA 77727
    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #2

  3. #3
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    RE: Newbie Q: Iz worthy of purchase?

    The Hobby King glider weighs in with a 17.4 oz/sq ft wing loading if it comes out at the stated 1.6 kgs or 56 oz. The Dimonia is a hair better at 15 oz/sq ft.

    But neither of these are what I call in any manner a thermal flying friendly wing loading. You may well be able to fly the models just fine. But being able to detect and read the effects of the turbulence found around thermals with such wing loadings is going to stack the deck heavily against you and any chance of early success and enjoyment.

    Sadly "scale" and "thermalling" do not often go hand in hand. Typically due to the high aspect ratio of the originals reducing the wing area when scaled down do much. So for now I'd relax your desire for a scale look since the models rarely reduce to model size with lighter weights and resulting thermal prowess. Or at least find some scale or scale like gliders that have an older design and increased wing areas or lighter overall flying weights which result in wing loadings of around 11 oz/sq ft or less.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  4. #4
    apwachholz's Avatar
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    RE: Newbie Q: Iz worthy of purchase?

    @BMatthews
    You make some valid points. I've been mulling it around and I'm split 50/50 on going scale, since I enjoy a scale model, or going hobby grade for the thermal reasons you stated. Of course, I wonder just how much thermal flying I'll find in Maryland. My point being, there aren't a whole lot of gliders in this part of the country. Also, I'm not completely focused on thermal flying. It would be a bonus, I guess. I'm leaning towards a powered glider for the days where the wind is a bit too much for my typical flying style but would be perfect for a glider. Thoughts?

    Thanks for the insights, this is really helping. Any other recommendations are welcome.

    _aw

  5. #5
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    RE: Newbie Q: Iz worthy of purchase?

    When the wind is a bit strong for an aerobatic sport model pulling out a glider, powered or not, is about the last thing that comes to my own mind. The bigger wings simply get pushed around too much by the turbulence.

    Now I LOVE windy flying. It really sharpens up the reflexes dealing with flying "in a washing machine" and managing to land decently and where I want it to land. But for this sort of thing I prefer a moderate weight sport model with a tough wing and landing gear. I want moderate weight because it gives me SOME mass to stop the model being banged around too much but it's light enough that adding a little jab of power does more to the flying speed or descent rate than just make noise. The stout aspect for model and gear should be self explanatory...

    I've actually flown a variety of my models in such conditions. Everything from a .40 4S powered slow flying biplane to a 1/2A glow powered pylon racer. It's not really so much the model but how you use it. The only things they had in common was that they were responsive but not touchy on the controls and that they all have a moderate wing loading so they are not so heavy that they become sluggish to changing speed on command.

    WIth that in mind for truly nasty weather use if you want a glider'ish model I'd suggest a fairly fast flying "hotliner" built up and powered with a moderate power package. A "hotliner" is a sort of cross between an electric powered slope soaring glider and an electric powered pylon racer. The truly HOT models of this sort land at a speed not far off a length of railroad track with wings. They may be efficient but they are a little on the heavy side for my tastes. But the same model at around 3/4's of the "normal" weight with a 70% power package would be a pretty crazy smile generator option for turbulent windy flying.

    Now on the other hand there was this one day that we were glider flying and a front moved in. I was too stubborn to give up so me and one other fella kept going long after the others had packed up and closed the windows. I managed to "dynamic soar" in the same manner as a gull crossing back and forth with each gust for a 20 minute roller coaster ride that saw the model go from 20 feet to 200 multiple times. It was an armpit soaker of a flight that obviously stuck with me since that was almost 30 years ago now. I often think about going out and trying it again with the right sort of model.

    But as soon as you start talking windy weather flying it gets pretty tough to also consider thermal flying. Unless you go with one of the fast and efficient "glass slipper" models they will not have the range of performance to do well in both windy and tubulent conditions as a "roller coaster" sort of flyer and still be efficient enough to be decent at learning to fly thermals.

    Are there thermals in your area? You can bet your backside that there are. If you can't find any soaring groups around it's simply that you're not looking in the right places or maybe not at the right times. EVERY land mass around has thermal activity. The catch is that if you have strong winds as a normal factor then it becomes very hard to ride the thermals downwind far enough to get enough altitude and then still come back with something left in the bank so you can find and ride the next one. If it normally gets windy around 11'ish I'll bet you don't see the thermal flyers because they all packed up and went home by 10.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  6. #6
    apwachholz's Avatar
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    RE: Newbie Q: Iz worthy of purchase?

    Random Update!

    It's been approximately 4 weeks since I fully built out and flew my final glider of choice; the Great Planes Siren. Now granted this aircraft is technically considered a hotliner but, I beg to differ with anyone who says it won't thermal.I am all smiles every time I take this hotliner up into the air and have averaged 26 minute flight times on one 2600mAh 11.1v LiPo. With a record flight time of 38 minutes hopping from thermal to thermal on a sunny day. Sah-weet! What I love about the Siren is that it handles high winds with ease and lands like a feather when given a long, comfortable approach. Two thumbs way up to anyone looking to purchase this as a reasonable cost hotliner. Oh, I also used Esprit Models as my guide for power - and they are dead on. It climbs faster and higher then needed in 20 seconds or less, at 3/4 throttle. Woot!

    -andrew

  7. #7
    Moderator da Rock's Avatar
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    RE: Newbie Q: Iz worthy of purchase?

    A Siren, you say? I used to have one, and gotta give a big :thumbup: to that choice.

    It really had the reputation of being a warmliner, so you noticed too. I guess they claimed it was a hotliner to soften the blow when we noticed it wasn't exactly a thermal bird. The best outings I had with it down here in Carolina were a couple of trips up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. There's a place up there called the Lump. The guys around here consider it a slope site. The slope is covered by trees and you can't see over them so it's really more like just a windy hill where you can easily lose your glider permanently. The Siren liked it. We bungeed the gliders up on the clear area behind the trees, or threw the powered ones up into the roil and firewalled 'em.

    You might find your Siren thermals better with less battery in it. Flying mine at our flatland site showed the recommended battery capacity was major oversized. I think I got down to 1600 mAh on the last couple of outings at the local field. Nothing like a slope there and everyone searching for lift. Flights close to an hour when everyone was up and the flights "last one down".
    Good flying wit ya today

  8. #8
    apwachholz's Avatar
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    RE: Newbie Q: Iz worthy of purchase?

    @da Rock
    Funny you mention the weight with the Siren. I tried to get a 1600mAh shoved way up front and couldn't get the bird to balance correctly. It took the 2600mAh to set it right at 76mm from the leading edge. (yes, I shoved my CG back a bit from the plans). My total weight is 3.45 lbs so, I'm right on the money but if I wanted to go lighter I couldn't because it won't balance correctly. Either way, it's still a killer aircraft any way you slice it!

  9. #9
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    RE: Newbie Q: Iz worthy of purchase?

    Looking over the info on the Siren I'd say you made a great choice.

    It's firmly in what I consider to be the happy middle ground for wing loading. Very much in the "warmliner" sort of category I was describing before. And the efficiency of the smooth airframe let's it use the extra speed to move ahead rather than drag it down. That let's folks that know how to fly already use it in stronger winds comfortably. And in the case of someone like yourself that already knows how to fly that can help a lot.

    It sounds like you're also catching on quickly to the thermaling thing as well. Great job!
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....


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