RC Gliders, Sailplanes and Slope Soaring Discuss rc gliders,rc sailplanes and slope soaring in this forum. Thermaling techniques, airfoils, tips, etc

cularis and thermaling

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Old 05-12-2008, 04:40 PM
  #1
hannie
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Default cularis and thermaling

Hi, could someone tell me how the cularis is at thermaling or how it handles in light winds. I'm thinking about buying one, but still not sure if composite might be a better choice. I know the elapor is some tough but when you start getting into that type of money if you are better of with composite bird. Thanks hannie
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:19 PM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

I have no personal experience with the Cularis, but I have read plenty about it and friend has one in Utah. He claims that it thermals great! But, It's never going to out thermal a hollow molded TD ship..

Randy
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:35 PM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

I guess any glider that has an efficient wing can thermal. I would dare predict that the Cularis would be a good thermal plane if it is taken up to sufficient altitude with the motor or a winch. You'll just need some real hot ground heating up the air. Try thermalling near roads on a really hot summer day. You'll get real good rise. The best kind of thermal radiator is a parking lot. Always try to thermal on a day with plenty of sun. I would also say that the Cularis would be an even better sloper than thermaller. Its sleek design and thin wings make it a perfect speed sloperget speed and make er' whistle! Of course, the Cularis would be even better with the optional brushless motor packageeasier to get altitude to find thermals or wind currents if you are sloping. I sure recommend you try sloping this glider if there are any slopes near you. The Cularis is better off with strong winds (9-20 mph) when sloping for optimum performance. Elapor is a wonderful material but I know of some guys who covered the wing and most of the fuse in resin and reinforced critical spots with carbon cloth. the plane ended up very ugly and heavy but with 19 mph winds and a lot of ballast it flew like a bat outta hell. We timed it at 97 mph! I wouldn't recommend you to fly the Cularis in light wind unless you have a motor. The light wing will let you thermal but not fly on a cold day with light wind. Composite planes are costly and repairs from crashes are hard. Plus, most composite birds are not great thermallers unless you have a motor to assist it to find speed and lift. What other alternatives are you considering apart from the Cularis?

Here are photos of the Cularis and of the brushless motor package, cockpit and elevator servo setup:

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Old 05-12-2008, 07:36 PM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

Unless you are thinking TD ships (thermal duration/unlimited), most composite planes are slopers or DSers. I got confused when you said "composite bird"....
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:32 PM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

Sometimes composite can mean simply a fiberglass fuselage. If you mean all composite as in the whole plane, wings stabs that's different and usually pretty costly. Also usually a better plane, the full composits have better airfoils retainted through the entire wing and sometimes have just as good a weight to sq/ft as anything else.

The deciding factor for me would be disposable income, a landing area that won't destroy it on landing, and a flying area that supports this type of plane.

I like high end stuff and don't mind throwing $$$ at a plane.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:37 PM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

Sorry for my ignorance...

When I hear the term composite construction or composite ship my mind usually jumps to kevlar and carbon fiber all-composite planes like F3Fs.[X(]

Get the Cularis. Its a great plane. If you want something more sophisticated try an unlimited/thermal duration ship. You can find those on SOARINGUSA.com

Great selection of planes.Only prob is not much technical info.
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Old 05-13-2008, 11:03 AM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

Alex, absolutely no reason to apologize... Your recommendations a spot on.
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:34 PM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

Always a pleasure to help or be helped...
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:10 PM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

I have a Cularis and I love it. The elapor is definitely durable. I have flown it in 7mph and up slope lift and thermaled it on a plain area. I have programmed 2 camber settings, and the Cularis is very responsive. It will also fly in strong wind. For the price tag you get a big glider with very good performance
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:43 AM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

Hay Zagiz,
I see that you installed your elevator servo in the tail of your Cularis and was wondering how you liked the modification. I was thinking of doing the same thing thereby elimination the use of the supplied ball bearings for counter weight. By installing the elevator servo in the tail like you did makes good sense because you'd get much better control authority and there's no slop. The supplied pushrod could have some slop and I think what you did will eliminate any potential for slop in the elevator control system. Let me know if you like the modification if you get this post.
Thanks,,,,Wowie
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:06 PM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling


Quote:
ORIGINAL: hannie

Hi, could someone tell me how the cularis is at thermaling or how it handles in light winds. I'm thinking about buying one, but still not sure if composite might be a better choice. I know the elapor is some tough but when you start getting into that type of money if you are better of with composite bird. Thanks hannie
If the Cularis flies anything like the Easy Glider, it should do just fine in light winds for flat land thermal soaring. For thermal duration soaring, composite usually equals big bucks. My Supra costs over $1200 plus electroncis. So I don't know what you are comparing the Cularis to in price.

Are you thinking of electric launch, hi-start or winch launching?
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:02 AM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

Hannie,
If you're building the motorized version it's no problem, but be advised that the Cularis does NOT come with a tow hook. They show you where to put one, but no parts are provided. Don't know why they left it out, but they did.

Just to wiegh in on the other discussion here, all "composite" means is a mix of materials. thus, a balsa fuse/foam wing glider is every bit as much a "composite" ship as a hollow-molded kevlar/epoxy/whatever concoction that costs thousands of dollars. I'll argue that my Gentle Lady or Spirit 100 are "composite" ships. After all, they're a mix of balsa AND plywood AND monokote. What happened here is that a bunch of marketing people thought that "composite" sounded cool so they used it to try to convince people to buy the high-end stuff.

Let's fly and forget the semantics.

papermache
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:18 PM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

Papermache is right. I learned in Airframe and Powerplant school years ago that a composite airplane is one that uses a variety of materials to construct the airframe. A Piper Cub is composite in that it uses a steel tube fuselage, wooden spars and fabric covering. What most people refer to as composite is really Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP). It's usually some type of cloth (glass, Kevlar, Carbon fiber etc..) that is wetted out with a polymer resin. When dry it becomes a rigid structure able to withstand the stresses of flight (hopefully!). If you tell the owner of an expensive Carbon Fiber airplane that your $59 Tower Hobbies sailplane is a composite, they will usually roll their eyes at you. Like Papermache said, the word has been abused by the marketing people to make it sound hi-tech.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:54 PM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

The elevator setup is not mine, but my cousin's. It works quite well and there is absolutely no slop. But the standard setup works well anyways.

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Old 05-26-2008, 01:13 AM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

OT question, how long will the elapor last if say left in the box. Will it somehow deteriorate like normal foam?
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:14 AM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

I must say the cularis is really a nice plane too. I've got the EasyGlider and it is still going strong.
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:20 AM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling


Quote:
ORIGINAL: astroboycp

OT question, how long will the elapor last if say left in the box. Will it somehow deteriorate like normal foam?
What kind of foam have you seen degrade in a box? Over what period of time are ou thinking?
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:26 AM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

I've never seen or heard of foam deterierate from just sitting inside a box but if I had to venture a guess I'd say it would last at least 500 years if not disturbed.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:34 AM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

When I bought my first Zagi, a 5-C, I left the wing cores in the box for about half a year because I wanted to learn how to fly with my Spirit 2M before I tried the Zagi. When I finally started to build the Zagi, the foam was considerably softer and kind of mushy. I think this was due to the high humidity here in Peru, but I am not sure. Elapor is a foam that is made to resist humidity, shocks and CA foam "unsafe" glue. I am sure that this foam will stay the same in a box as outside one. Normal foam is "allergic" to high humidity environments: is absorbs humidity and gets moldy and mushy. Elapor is a more sophisticated kind of foam in which the pellets of EPP or whatever it is are packed together so much more tightly than normal foam. Plus, these pellets are coated in some kind of plastified acrylic compound that makes them so strong but keeps them light.

No worries on degrading: Wait a few hundred years if you want to!
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Old 05-26-2008, 11:38 AM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

Hi Alex,
I was being sarcastic and really don't know much about foam. I've had very little experience with foams of any sort but do know that the Elapor foam is far superior to the foams used for making indoor fliers. The Elapor is very strong and foregiving , and to some extent can kind of repair itself. What I mean is, if the Elapor gets damaged, let's say dented, by using a small towel soaked in very hot water and placed on the dented area, the Elapor will come back to it's original shape. Very usefull when the foam is damaged because of a less than perfect landing. I bought the Cularis and have primed it in preperation for the final paint job. After priming it I sanded it with 220 grit wet/dry sandpaper, and then with 400 grit to get the very smooth surface for the top coats. I should have weighed the Cularis parts before painting so that I could find out just how much weight was added because of painting. I'm sure it will add at least a couple of ounces, but because the Cularis is designed as a sailplane, I don't think it will be of much consiquence. When it's finished I'll upload some pictures so others can critisize it's final paint scheem. I like to use bright colors so that it's easier to see while in flight. How does your's perform? how does it thermal? can it stay aloft on it's own in light winds or is the electric motor needed to maintain altitude? Does it have any bad habits?
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:19 PM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling


Quote:
ORIGINAL: aeajr


Quote:
ORIGINAL: astroboycp

OT question, how long will the elapor last if say left in the box. Will it somehow deteriorate like normal foam?
What kind of foam have you seen degrade in a box? Over what period of time are ou thinking?

I know this guy who always like to tell others about foam degrading over time etc.

Let's say over 5 yrs or more?
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:24 PM
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Thanks for the info, just as I thought. That's why I would certainly prefer Elapor more than normal foam as they are of higher quality.
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:33 PM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

TO hannie,
The Cularis is a good thermaling plane and you can't beat the price. Go to "SoaringUSA.com and hold on to your seat. Have you checked the prices for hollow molded composite sailplanes? If you have an extra thousand dollars hanging around or won't feel the bite in your wallet then by all means spend the grand. You'd certainly would get a sweet sailplane but, for pure fun with no worries of crashing your thousand dollars every time you fly your sailplane the Cularis is a well balanced and great performing sailplane. Add the optional electric motor and you have a very versitle plane that will give you years of catching those elusive updrafts. But once you do catch one, the Cularis will climb with some of the best of them. Save some money and give the Cularis a go. If you find you still want one of the thouand dollar sailplanes, then by all means buy one. Because for less than 200 bucks the Cularis is a bargin.
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:32 AM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

I don't have a Cularis, I do have an Easy Glider. I also have sailplanes that are in the $600 to $1200 range.

There is no question that the high priced bagged wing and molded wing planes fly better, but at 5 to 10 times the price, they don't fly 5 to 10 times better.

So there is absolute performance, and there is value. The Easy Glider and the Cularis are value planes. For what they cost, they deliver a great deal. They do not compete with the high end planes and so should not be compared to them either.

My Ford Taurus Crossover doesn't compare to a Porche in performance, but the Porche won't haul my planes, equipment, batteries winch and retriver to the field for me either. So the Taurus is a better value for me, even though it is lower performance compared to the Porche.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:13 AM
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Default RE: cularis and thermaling

Great comparison, aeajr. I would have thought the same between my two laptops: one is much fater but the other one has much more storage space. I didnt know about the hot towel trick with the Elapor foam, but It seems to me Elapor is a very innovative and useful material.
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