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  1. #1

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    Getting started in gliding!

    Hey guys, been reading these threads for the past week just trying to absorb everything. I have been wanting to get into R/C planes for a couple of months now. I have had it stuck in my head that I wanted to start with a RTF .40 size trainer for some time now. I went to the flying field this weekend hoping to see some .40 size planes flying, just to get an idea of them. But to my suprise, they were holding an "informal" glider competition. My son and I stayed for an hour or two, just watching them launch the gliders on the high start and amazed at how majestic and smoothly they slide through the air. Seemed like some of the planes just hovered in mid air, hardly moving at all. So I got to thinking of course The idea I like about them the most is its something I could share with my 6 year old son. Something he could possibly fly by himself, with me close by.


    There were several Gentle Ladys at the field, and the wonderful gentleman who I was sitting next to raved and raved about them. Said they were inexpensive and easy to build from kit form. So I got to looking at Tower Hobbies and found about everything I think I need for about 250!! Thats not bad at all, compared to a glow engine trainer.

    I have no plane experience, but about 13 years of gas and electric r/c cars. Raced for many years but the cost of constantly broken parts got the better of me after a while. Now I am older and with a family, I am looking for something I can share with my son. Also, I really really want to build a kit. I reviewed the manual several times online and Im pumped!!

    I guess my real questions are

    1.) What is needed to build a Gentle Lady- so far I have on my list
    Lots of #11 hobby knives
    Razor saw
    T-pins
    FLAT building surface
    Epoxy, CA and quicktite (sp?) wood glue
    Covering and covering tools

    2.) Radio System. I was thinking a 4-channel or 6 channel so I can have the good functions and expandibility down the road

    3.) My own hi-start system. The one they were using Sunday seemed like it was the Dynaflite heavy duty system. They had to do quite a bit of walking each time for the line, but the planes seemed like they were going into the upper stratosphere I see Tower Hobbies has a few hi-start systems, which one is suitable for the Lady? And is it a one-person system. The system they used had one gentleman launching the plane with the other ready at the controls

    I am itching to get into flying, and going the glider route seems much more realistic and feasible. I think it would also provide solid groundwork for building and flying anything else., But the most important reason is my son because I want him to get a hand on it as well And before you all say it- I will have an instructor The people I met this weekend were about the nicest people I have met in some time[sm=thumbup.gif][sm=thumbup.gif][sm=thumbup.gif]

  2. #2
    spiral_72's Avatar
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    That looks like a pretty good start for a list. May I recommend the 6 channel if you can afford the extra $25-$40 or so. You might have a hard time finding a 6 channel system with micro stuff that's not a "park flyer" version. The park flyer systems have a reduced range radio and Rx..... watch out for that. It's something you'll have to research.

    For what it's worth:
    I am technically a beginner too. The only advice I can actually offer is: gliding requires a certain self-satisfaction. You can hot dog a .40 trainer out of the box. Flight times are easily 10-15 minutes because it's powered. The thing I am struggling with is the short flight times of a glider in the learning stage. If you can stay content throught this relatively uneventful time...... once you learn soaring... catching thermals, I think you (and I) will be hooked. You might have the advantage of actually having some learned soar-ers you can fly with. All my flyin' buddies are glow.

    I just want you to be aware and hang in there until you (and I) learn the exciting stuff. Until then my high start launches are gonna give me a 4-5 minute flight.

    P.S. Great Planes offers a Spirit 2m ARF and a Spirit 100 ARF that's popular too. FYI
    Wasn\'t that cool? I meant to do it.

  3. #3
    Bud Faulkner's Avatar
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    Look at a computer radio that has programming for sailplanes, if you stay with it you may soon find yourself looking to add functions on a later build such as ailerons, flaps, crow etc. Now that the spektrums are out guys are selling off their 72 meg radios, you can find a good buy on say an 8 channel system on e bay or right here on rcuniverse.
    \"The propeller is the fan that keeps the pilot cool, turn it off and watch him sweat\"

  4. #4
    glover1482's Avatar
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    Jason, Gentle Lady's and similar toys are fun.

    I too did not like the wench launch option, but rather than going to a High Start; I opted to go with a hand launch sailplane. Even without thermal lift, twenty to thirty second flights are easy; particularly if the sailplane is designed for discus launch (DLG).

    The other thing that I quickly tried was puting an electric motor in the pointy end of a sailplane. This option works well also.

    If you did not live in flat FL, then slope soaring is a fabulous launch option.

    I don't wish to steer you away from your intended path, but you might want to check out some of the kits available at http://www.mountainmodels.com/index.php?cPath=25_28.

    Fly safe, Glover

  5. #5

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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    Thanks for all the great replies! Of the kits you recommended at mountain models, which do you prefer?

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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    Althought the Gentle Lady is definitely a great beginner glider, I would recommend the Multiplex Easyglider. It is available as a glider and electric, as a kit or ready-to-run in both versions (just add transmitter and receiver). From my own experience, the Easyglider is able to withstand a LOT more abuse, and it is much easier to repair, you just nees medium CA.
    Owner - IFlyTailies

  7. #7

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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    The easy glider is a foamie correct? I did look at that one, but I really want a kit to build and cover. I am also trying to stay away from elec stuff.

    What size hi-start would I need to launch the gentle lady??

  8. #8
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    Jason, I've built the Highrise (electric version of the Spinner) and I have lots of hours with it. But if you want a lighter model, then I'd choose either the DL-50 or the QF2. My first DLG was the Taboo XT which is a high performance DLG, but it still flys well after four years of abuse.

    I understand why you might not want to use electric power, but remember that even for someone with limited physical abilities a light DLG type of toy can be launched by a mini HighStart. I like going to the field with a minimum of equipment. Some of my best days flying were at a slope wth a $40 foam delta wing. Lots of grins!

    I also have built the MountainModels DuskStick which is a fun beginners park flyer.

    I agree with you that building from a kit has its rewards. My project of last winter was to build a toy which needed over seven rolls of covering. That was lots of ironing! http://ohiomodelplanes.com/92edgehybrid/

    Fly safe, Glover

  9. #9
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    ORIGINAL: jasonp8127

    ...........I am also trying to stay away from elec stuff.

    What size hi-start would I need to launch the gentle lady??
    I don't blame you for wanting to stay away from electric.

    I bought this Dynaflite high start. They had the standard and heavy duty for $5 more. I bought the HD version. It has 100' tubing and 350' string.
    http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXE636&P=SM
    I think it was $59 from Tower. It's really all you'll need, besides about 600' of field.

    She'll really put my Spirit in the air! I replaced my string with a flourescent (SP?) pink heavier string from the hardware store. It's much easier to see now.
    I used this one for several years with about 10 years on the shelf. I'm trying to get back into flying and just got it back out with no problems.

    Wasn\'t that cool? I meant to do it.

  10. #10

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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    Another beginners viewpoint.
    For me, if you had asked me what type of plane I wanted to learn with, it would be like asking an 8 year old what he/she wants to be when grown up. You have allready changed you mind once?
    I started out with foamie flying wing. (Mistake) Then a Spirit (good). Now I i Have a Spirit Elite , 3 EZ Gliders 1 Elect. , A Fling HLG. And am wondering abt my next Plane.

    Bottom line? try and allow yourself some mind " changing room". I maidened My EZ Elect. yesterday, and let me tell you I now have a much more positive opinion about elects. I don't have to find a 10+ acre mowed grass field to use my HI Start. Or drive 20/30 miles to fly.
    No real flying fields for us here on Kauai HI.

    Aloha, Les

  11. #11

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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    How is the Tower hobbies Vista?? Seems nicely priced and is an ARF. I havent really read much though on this forum about them.

    One more newbie question? Do the gliders fly as well in the wintertime? Here is FL, is doesnt get too cold so outside activitys are still a go. I read so much about thermalling and I understand the concept, but wouldnt it be non-existent in winter time air?

    Thanks for all the help guys!!!!

  12. #12
    Moderator da Rock's Avatar
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!


    ORIGINAL: jasonp8127

    How is the Tower hobbies Vista?? Seems nicely priced and is an ARF. I havent really read much though on this forum about them.

    One more newbie question? Do the gliders fly as well in the wintertime? Here is FL, is doesnt get too cold so outside activitys are still a go. I read so much about thermalling and I understand the concept, but wouldnt it be non-existent in winter time air?

    Thanks for all the help guys!!!!

    Well, you actually don't have winter in Florida, you guys just think you do.

    The things that make thermals are at work in the winter too.
    Look for light winds and partial clouds. Any time different areas of the ground are heated differently thermals will form. Or look for different types of ground. Different types heat differently.
    High winds blow all those differences into too small a pieces, so the light winds are what to look for. And it takes warming to work. But warming is a relative thing. In this case, the "relative" works in a couple of ways.

    Clouds are a give away. They are formed by clumps of air rising. So where did those clumps come from, and why are they shaped as they are.

    Look at the clouds in the winter to see if it's a thermal day.
    Solid overcast or cloud cover? Too uniform a day.
    High winds? Mixes the air too much even if the sun is working.
    Puffy clouds, rising temps, some sun? heheheee Put on a sweater and hit it.

    A couple of us completed LSF thermal requirements in 20degree weather in Minnesnowta back in the day. Sun almost always shines up there. But wind almost always blows. And one Saturday, one of the guys noticed the winds were close to calm. We had planned to go sloping and were grousing about not having any wind and the lightbulb went on.............

    BTW, when a bungee gets wet from partially melted snow and the air temp is right.......... the rubber can freeze suddenly when extended. It stretches and that concentrates the cold and SQQUUUEEEKKKKKK it's suddenly a long hard rubber stick. And sometimes, hunks of snow will freeze to a warmer bit of rubber. This hobby can be awful funny at times.
    Good flying wit ya today

  13. #13
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    I electrified my Gentle Lady and it's excellent. Install a brushless motor, folding prop and a 2100 3 cell lipo and have a ball. Climb to altitude 6 or more times and fly for an hour every flight.

    I started with a Maxx products geared inrunner but didn't like the gears and went to a Hacker 30 outrunner. I would have to check the exact model. If I did it again I would opt for a Hacker inrunner with a planetary gear drive to get a smaller diameter mount. The plane will fly out of my hand and go nearly straight up, about a 70 to 80 degree angle.
    a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way

  14. #14

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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    How is the gently lady for a first plane. I havent heard anyone say anything bad about, or its build complexity. I really want to build (for some unknown reason)

    One of the things that attracts me to this hobby is how the planes are constructed. I loved to build stuff and follow directions and the thought of turning a box of balsa into a functioning model.

  15. #15
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    Jason, the Gentle Lady is ok and tons of them have been built and flown with great success. If you're interested in a "modern" sailplane build, then check out the Bubble Dancer and some of the other products found here. http://www.polecataero.com/products/ezbd/

    Fly safe, Glover

  16. #16
    PlaneKrazee's Avatar
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    The Gentle Lady is very easy to fly and many people have taught themselves to fly with it. I purchased mine as an ARF and many other 2 meter gliders fall into the same flight performance.

    I was just reviewing your original post. The GL can be flown with a three or four channel radio. See if you can purchase a used set from one of the local guys you trust. Most people have spare equipment they are willing to let go or even give away. The GL will take standard servos without a problem. Another route you could take would be to get a Tower HobbiesVista ARF and install your oun electric gear. The stock plane is cheap, well built and light without the brushed motor. The stock brushed setup and battery are heavy and do not provide good performance compared to a brushless setup. I can climb to 600 ft about six times on a charge and it only takes about 45 seconds to get there. The Vista will take the same size motor I'm using now with minimum modification. You will only need a minimum of tools and glue to assemble an arf. 30 minute epoxy, fast ca with a tiny tip, #11 knife, 1/16" drill bit and drill, pins, a straight edge, 90* square, a 4' piece of dental floss, rubber bands and tape.

    When you buy the motor you will also need the spinner/ folding prop, esc, battery, battery charger, and borrow a watt meter if you don't follow someone elses set up to make sure you are running efficiently and also below the rated max of all components.

    I can give you a parts breakdown of what I used which I know will work in any 2 meter of the same layout.

    Once you decide if you want to keep flying you can get a new radio, plane, motor setup, etc. I'm looking at the NSP Baracuda for a second sailplane. It is supposed to be able to do aerobatics and fairly high speeds of around 50 mph without flutter.

    I have been flying scale aerobatic glow planes since 2000 and sometimes when flying my glider I'd like to be able to do more than float around. But it's cool to see your glider catch a thermal and feel that it's time to get out of it because it's getting too high! On the way down killing some of the height with a few splits S's, loops, hammerheads and other manuevers will make the ride that much more enjoyable when ready.
    a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way

  17. #17
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    If you want to build and would like something a little different than the rest of the pack, check this one out:

    http://www.skybench.com/slbird.html

    There are several other on the http://www.skybench.com/slnost.html web site like the Windward, Pierce Arrow and the Oly II.

    You will also find several other kits to drool over and look forward to as you progress in this wonderful hobby.

    It is a good idea to start out building your own because when you do break it (we all did and Labor Day weekend I proved still do) you will know how it went together and have a good idea of how to fix it.

    A cheap foamy will get you through the roughest part while you are building. I bet you could ask the guys that you saw flying they would help you get started.

    An Airtronics, Futaba or JR six channel with dual rates would be a good first radio and you can always keep it with your first survior when you move up. I have recently rebuilt the Mark's Models Wanderer the I started with 20 years ago and still use the same Airtronics Vanguard 6 channel I bought for it. It is still fun to fly after all these years.


    Joe
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    Balsa Breaks Better

  18. #18
    PlaneKrazee's Avatar
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    The Vista ARF is only $59.00, good for a first plane. $84.99 for the EP version with brushed motor, speed controller and folding prop. Or for $199.00 complete with charger and radio if you get either the Vista ARF package.

    Spectra rtf package http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...1p?&I=LZ0292** You will have everything you need to fly that day if you get the Spectra for $225.99 and with the promo code 011BH you can get $25.00 off this month. The Spectra looks to have a better folding prop, looks a little better with the tinted plastic canopy than the Vista, the wing is two piece and you can unbolt the tail for transportation if you want to. Purchase one of those huge AA 16 packs at Walmart or Target for $10.00 and have enough transmitter batteries to last a season, or get the nicad pack and charger for the transmitter.

    After you decide to stay with gliders and not go into other forms of r/c flight, get a nice 2.4 ghz Spektrum or Futaba radio that can be programmed for camber, crow, spoilers, flaps, v-tail, etc. , a kit to build and the equipment to make it all work.

    I think the Bubble dancer would be biteing off a lot for a first build but the Oly II would be a great second plane if thermalling is your thing and you can get a high efficiency power setup for it. As a matter of fact the setup I have in my GL will work in the Oly II. If you want to get into aerobatics or a little speed you will need to look at other models.

    a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way

  19. #19

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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    Thanks for all the suggestions! I had researched the spectra a little bit here and I found a few posts about the wings folding. Has this problem since been resolved? Your right, the spectra does look a little better than the vista, but the Tower branded items are so good in price. And I havent read one negative thing about their products.

  20. #20
    PlaneKrazee's Avatar
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    Good luck with your choice. Every product you purchase will be a trade off to a point. Buy something and let us know how you make out.
    a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way

  21. #21

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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    Hi! Key word here is Swap meet! or RCU want ads. One man's junk is another man's treasure. I found a RTF Easy Answer. For $15. Start with a four channel and get flying asap. you can find them for around $20.00. If you have any question I'am here for you! Good luck.

  22. #22
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    What did you do?

    The GL is an outstanding choice, especially if you like to build.

    Dynaflite HD hi-start is perfect

    If your budget can afford a 6 channel computer radio, that would be my recommendation if you are looking toward the future. If you are trying to start cheap, the Hitec Neon 3 channel is all you need for the GL and the Hitec Laser 4 is find too.

    I have read many positive reports on the Vista ARF too.
    Long Island Silent Flyers
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    Eastern Soaring League
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  23. #23

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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    Jason if I can put my two cents here I started with a gentle lady then went to a wanderer then a 2 x 4 and used a high start. All were good learnning panes.The high start was bad on low lift days. I opted for a power pod. My neck started hurting by looking up all day so I made the transition to slope soaring. Best thing I ever did. When you're learnning it's very important to BALANCE your plane. If you can, have an experienced pilot help you to trim your plane and help you with your first couple of flights. I've been flying gliders for 20 years now and still can't get enough of it. I tried power planes but everything I own ended up smelling like fuel. When you're ready look into slope soaring then slope combat. The planes are made of epp foam and are bullit proof. One lesson you'll learn fast is there are two kind of pilots out there. Those that have crashed and those that are going to crash so don't get discouraged. A few months from now I can't wait to hear about how you're catching your glider instead of landing it. I know I rambled a bit but gliders are my passion so good luck. Mark B Alta Loma Ca

  24. #24

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    RE: Getting started in gliding!

    Since you desire to share this hobby with your six year old son, keep it simple. Make it fun for him as well.

    Select the Gentle Lady, you can't go wrong.

    John

  25. #25
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    RE: Getting started in gliding!


    ORIGINAL: jasonp8127

    How is the gently lady for a first plane. I havent heard anyone say anything bad about, or its build complexity. I really want to build (for some unknown reason)

    One of the things that attracts me to this hobby is how the planes are constructed. I loved to build stuff and follow directions and the thought of turning a box of balsa into a functioning model.
    Jason, what did you finally do? Did you get a plane? Are you flying?
    Long Island Silent Flyers
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