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

Old Newbie need help

Old 06-10-2021, 08:20 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Malvern, OH.
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Default Old Newbie need help

Hello everyone,

Long story then question.

I'm soon to be 68 yrs old. I have very little experience with Sailplanes. I finished building a Sophisticated lady this past winter. During that time I acquired a Gentle Lady built. I just bought a new Sky-Start from Sky Bench Aerotech. I live 25 miles SE of Canton Ohio. I am in search of someone to fly with and give me some guidance. I fly some RC Airplanes but the field I fly in not conducive to Soaring. I also have two other electric Sailplanes that I built but have flown them very little. A DJ Aerotech 1.5 meter Boom & Pod, and a Sky Bench Aerotech OLY III.

Can someone point me in the right direction??

Thank you,
Old 06-10-2021, 11:06 PM
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Location: Chilliwack, BC, CANADA
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The only reason your field would not be supportive for learning to thermal soar is if it has a LOT of plane eating trees around it. And if that is the case there would already be a pretty good stock of powered "trophies" caught by the trees ...

Learning to find and ride thermals is mostly about being observant and developing a keen eye for what the model is doing. It starts with a climb off a high start or winch. Or a climb off the "winch in the nose" of an electric power glider. Head out upwind a ways off the end of the tow or go for a moderate angle climb so you get about 150 to 200 yards upwind at the end of the climb. Once there make a slight turn to either direction and set a new heading up so that the model extends out to the side at a 90 angle to the original launch. While you head out that way keenly watch the model. If the leeward wing lifts up to try to turn the model downwind it might be a thermal. So as you see this quickly turn upwind into the rising wing. If it looks promising keep turning and set up a consistent circle. Watch the model for which part of the circle it lifts the most and alter the turn to open and tighten it slightly so the model moves towards the area which is going up the best. Of course you're in a turn now so the model is heading towards you as it circles in the lift. Stay with it and go for a good amount of altitude.

If the wing lifts and you turn into it but the model does not seem to be rising or is not even slowing the descent then it was just a little turbulent rotor or gust. But since you turned into it finish the turn and head back the other way. Again set up a crab angle so the model stays out at the 200'ish yard distance upwind of your position. Extend out in that direction again looking for some signs of lift. I like to extend out to either side by about 100 to 150 yards. The model starts to get smaller than I want after that far over since it's already about 200 yards upwind of you.

If you don't get any lift at all it's usually a case of extend out to one side, turn and come back and extend out to the other. By the end of that leg if there's no lift then it's time to turn downwind and scoot on back to your position and after a 180 to get the nose turned back into the wind to land at your feet.... at least that's the plan.....

It's a pretty good search pattern that lets you sniff at a pretty good amount of passing air to try to find lift. And it puts the glider fairly well upwind so if you do find lift and manage to core it and start gaining height with each circle you can stay with the lift and drift downwind. Don't go too far though. Especially if the wind is brisk and you're flying slow floaters that don't like to speed up.

Hope that gives you something to start with.
Old 06-12-2021, 07:00 AM
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Thanks Bruce, for your advice. It will certainly be helpful. I will be traveling until the middle of July, but as soon as I return I will begin to employ all of the info that I have gathered over the last few days. I used your idea and plans to reinforce the Tail of my Sophisticated Lady. I have done the "Hand Toss Trimming" and the Sailplane flies True and Smooth. I am looking forward to sending it into the sky.

Thanks again,


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