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Floater; which kind?

Old 10-18-2011, 07:20 PM
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Default Floater; which kind?

Hi, I am back into the sport from 20 years ago. I am building afast aileronglider and It'snot likelyit will do well in light wind (slope soaring is all I do). I want a large floater to have when the wind is light. I like the Bird of Time for it's wingspan and it is available as a kit, and it has alow price. But I am wondering if there might be something that might fly in light or strong wind. I like large gliders so I don't lose them. (either to far away or they disapear in tall grass). I just retired my Great Planes spirit because of scarywing flutter at moderately fast speed in high wind. Will I have the same problem if the wind suddenly picks up with the Bird of Time? What would be a good glider that comes as a kit and can handle high speeds and floats in light wind?
Old 10-19-2011, 03:18 AM
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Default RE: Floater; which kind?

Louis, I'm also one of those that likes the larger gliders - fly my BoT and Spirit-100 a lot in quite a few different wind conditions. I'm actually a major fan of the BoT for most flying conditions. She's a lot stronger than one would think - as long as you go with the kit. There's plenty of room under those wings for a ballast box (necessary for those high wind days) and she'll stay with a slope all day long.

My biggest suggestions for the BoT would be to make sure you build those wings with all the bracing she can hold (I ran my webbing nearly out to the wingtips - front and rear webbing to the polyhedral joint) and I'd think seriously about carboning the bottom spar, just for insurance sake. The added weight is near nothing. You mentioned slopes - I'd also suggest ailerons if you're going to be putting a lot of time on slopes. IMHO, the BoT suffers a bit in the "tight turn capability" department and something in the range of 5-bay-wide ailerons would probably help her a whole lot in that department. For most other flying they wouldn't be necessary at all, but on a slope I think she'd benefit from the added capability.

So far (something over a year of flying it) my BoT has shown NO adverse surprises in windy conditions - she's got spoilers but not ailerons (don't do a lot of slope soaring around here - too many trees on the mountains). Have NEVERhad a problem with flutter, etc., no matter how steep I've had her diving (and there HAVE been a few near vertical dives to get away from predatory eagles, hawks, etc).

Speaking of ballast boxes, I'm sure I've seen a thread here on various-weight ballast blocks. Going to have to do a search for it again.

I'm sure there are other floaters out there that are just as good as the BoT, and I'm hoping you'll hear from others with those ideas, but for my money the BoT's a great choice.


(pic - me & my Bot and Spirit-100)
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:54 AM
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Default RE: Floater; which kind?

I slope both a Spirit 100 and a BOT. Both are stock kit built and fly just fine. One modification I would suggest is that you put spoilers on the BOT. My Spirit has both flaps and ailerons and flying it is a real pleasure. The BOT will handle lighter breezes, and is a bit tricky to land without spoilers. It's quite a bit faster than it looks. Either one would work well, except that you'll have to scour fleabay or the classified pages for a Spirit 100 kit, since the idiots pulled it off the market. Don't know about the ARF for either one, but I've not heard too much good about the BOT ARF.
Anyway, it's a choice and it's up to you. Good luck and have fun.

Old 10-19-2011, 04:30 AM
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Default RE: Floater; which kind?

Another good choice would be a Paragon.  Same span as a BoT but a little bit more of a floater.  It can handle plenty of ballest for windy days and will stay up in very light lift conditions.  Kits are available from Skybench.

You may want to check out Rays other kits as well.  The Bird series are all great fliers and look very  much like a BoT.  Wide range of different sizes with them.  Common knowlege is that you can't go wrong with a SkyBench kit.
Old 10-25-2011, 08:36 PM
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Default RE: Floater; which kind?

skylark, that was my thread about ballast boxes. I had it working very good with the Spirit. I plan to include the boxes on my new fast canard, although this glider will have two of them on the main wing. This is because all the electronics are in the wings, I can have a very thin carbon fuselage. Slightly larger diameter than a golf shaft. I want to retrofit this same idea to the floater.  I just flip the switch and the door opens and about a lb of sand falls out. It's fun to drop the ballast at high altitude. 
The Paragon looks nice and I think would fit a good amount of ballast.  I also like the 3M Scooter, a little more expensive but really nice also. Thanks for mentioning Sky Bench, I'm not sure I would have found them on my own. They have many gliders that are just what I am looking for.

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