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

Ready to learn

Old 12-12-2003, 05:15 PM
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Chevyowner
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Default Ready to learn

Hi guys! I'm brand new to sailplanes or flying for that matter. Flew a little over 20 years ago but quit to raise the kids. I'm skilled as a builder and have good understanding of flight dynamics but haven't flown yet. I have built a Great Planes Spectra, followed the instructions carefully. Made sure all critical alignments were correct and installed Futaba system.

I also joined recently a local club and will find an instructor to help. I have a few questions about sailplanes ie - wind limitations - strengths or weakness of this model - the few fliers I've met so far fly powered planes so I'm asking the pros here before I fly the first time.

Also I plan on building a good 40/60 size trainer when money permits. Would like to build the Great Planes Old Timer. It's rudder and elevator only. Can I add ailerons since they're used on most planes you fly?

By the way, I'm 69 years old and open to any and all suggestions.

Have a great day.
Old 12-12-2003, 10:23 PM
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aeajr
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Default RE: Ready to learn

ORIGINAL: Chevyowner

Hi guys! I'm brand new to sailplanes or flying for that matter. Flew a little over 20 years ago but quit to raise the kids. I'm skilled as a builder and have good understanding of flight dynamics but haven't flown yet. I have built a Great Planes Spectra, followed the instructions carefully. Made sure all critical alignments were correct and installed Futaba system.

I also joined recently a local club and will find an instructor to help. I have a few questions about sailplanes ie - wind limitations - strengths or weakness of this model - the few fliers I've met so far fly powered planes so I'm asking the pros here before I fly the first time.

Also I plan on building a good 40/60 size trainer when money permits. Would like to build the Great Planes Old Timer. It's rudder and elevator only. Can I add ailerons since they're used on most planes you fly?

By the way, I'm 69 years old and open to any and all suggestions.

Have a great day.

Welcome to flying and to gliders/sailplanes

I started flying in March of 2003. I am 50.

I don't see any reason why you could not add ailerons to anything, especially if you are an accomplished builder.

Personally, I had no interest in building models, so I went the R-T-F route. I think this is such a great way to get started. I started with a parkflyer then moved to sailplanes. I now have 4 sailplanes, two of which I have flown. The Spirit mentioned below, and a Sagitta 600. Both 2 meter RES planes.

HobbyZone AEROBIRD CHALLENGER
THREE CHANNEL ELECTRIC PARKFLYER

Very inexpensive and rugged for a three channel starter - $115-$150
The plane comes complete and fully assembled. Charge the flight battery with
the included 12 V peak charger, put
on the wing, put the included batteries in the transmitter and up you go!
With a little throttle management you can get flights of 12-15 minutes on a
battery.

Here is a review of the Aerobird ( before the new Aerobird Challenger)

http://www1.wildhobbies.com/news/def...&articleid=853
On these pages you will find Videos of the Aerobird in flight
http://www.parkflyers.com/html/aerobird_video.html
http://www.modelflight.com.au/model_flight_videos.htm

With 100+ flights on the Aerobird, I fly in 15 MPH winds and fly with great
confidence. Personally, after all the bad landings I am amazed that the plane
still flies, I love it and have recommended it to many friends who fly them
now as well. They all learned very quickly!


From Electric Park Flyer to Sailplane

THE GREAT PLANES SPRIT SELECT 2 METER

If you are more interested in sailplanes than parkflyers, the Spirit Select is
completely assembled with all the electronics installed. It includes a 72 MHZ
three channel radio. It is branded Hobbico, but it is really a Hitec radio.

Here is a link to the site where I purchased it for $139 complete!
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...I=LXVK55**&P=7

Here is a link to the ARF version where you can find links to two product
reviews. If you want to do some building, the ARF is the route, but for an
extra $40, I got the radio and the plane ready to fly. For me that was
perfect.
http://www.greatplanes.com/airplanes/gpma1045.html
Video
http://www.greatplanes.com/gallery/gpma16.mov

The plane has spoilers built in the wings that are not set-up when you get it.
If you want to use spoilers, you can set them up later, as I did. The third
channel on the radio operates the spoilers. The included instructions tell
you how to do it.

I started flying the Spirit in Mid July and have about 65 flights on it. I now
have that down pretty well. This plane has a reputation of being a great
thermalling plane but I have heard of people flying it on slopes as well. I
is so great when I get it so high it is just a dot in the sky. I recently
built an electric power pod for it so I can launch it with an electric motor
if I like, but can take it back off so that I have a pure sailplane. I
definitely recommend it as a first sailplane.


Both the Aerobird and the Spirit have been a pleasure. I would recommend them
to anyone starting out in electrics or gliders who would like to go the
ready-to-fly route rather then building.
Old 12-13-2003, 01:09 AM
  #3  
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Default RE: Ready to learn

I can't believe that there isn't a glider club or group in your area. Check with the hobby shops.

If there truly isn't any within a decent driving range then I suggest you add a power pod to the Spirit or put a small engine in the nose. Power flyers aren't going to like you setting up High Starts on the field and the power option will at least let you fly with the aid of one of the club's instructors. Electric would be nice but it's your choice. To set up electric initially it's more expensive but it'll also open up a whole lotta flying sites that you couldn't use with an engine.

It's great that you've got access to an instructor throug the club. The repair time you save will be your own....

That trainer looks nice but it's quite a build project. Good for you for picking one that's pretty. To adapt it to ailerons cut the dihedral in half and use some trailing edge stock to act as ailerons. The 1 1/4 stuff should work fine. Start it from the trailing edge point and run them out to the rib at the start of the curved tips. You may have to shorten the ribs in that area and add a sub traling edge to hold the covering and hinges.

Good luck and welcome back to the world's best hobby.
Old 12-13-2003, 01:39 PM
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Chevyowner
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Default RE: Ready to learn

Hi Aeajr,

Thanks for your reply and suggestions. I appreciate your interest in my questions. The reason I prefer building a kit rather than buying an arf is that I enjoy the building process. My shop in my garage is well suited for projects and I can leave the work in progress without it disturbing anyone.

As to the powered sailplane, the one I mentioned, a Great Planes Spectra, is an electric powered sailplane. It's the powered version of the Spirit that you speak of. I like the information you gave about it's flying abilities, that reassures me that I've made a good choice.

Thanks again and have a great day.
Old 12-13-2003, 01:58 PM
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Chevyowner
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Default RE: Ready to learn

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the nice welcome.

As a matter of fact there is a soaring club in my area. I live in the D/FW metroplex so there are several clubs to choose from. The folks at the soaring club are nice and friendly but their field location would require me to drive a long distance in some of Dallas' most congested traffic to reach their field. Plus if I understand it correctly their field is open to the public. That concerns me as people that have no AMA membership or committed to frequency impound may show up. That's no fault of the club, just an open field.

The club I finally joined has two fields, less than 20 minute drive from my house and both controlled by locked gates and is organized with the emphasis on safety, plus they are financially secure.

Lastly, I intend to build a powered plane such as the Old Timer so I wanted to belong to a club that allows both. I agree with you that the use of a hi-start could upset others so that was one reason I choose the Spectra which is powered.

I think I will consider the Old Timer even though the build is a little more complex. Adding ailerons should not be a major problem as long as I plan it carefully. Measure twice and cut once as they say.

Thanks again for the nice welcome from all of you.

Have a great day.
Old 12-13-2003, 02:46 PM
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Default RE: Ready to learn

Sorry, I got the Spectra and Spirit confused there.

Since your Spectra is powered just treat it like a power model as far as the instruction goes. The only difference being you have to walk it out and handlaunch it. Later, when you're comfortable with the actual flying duties, try learning to soar with it. Who knows, perhaps you'll start a whole new trend in your club when they see you get your first 1/2 hour flight out of a single 60 to 90 second climb.
Old 03-10-2004, 08:53 PM
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aeajr
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Default RE: Ready to learn

ORIGINAL: Chevyowner

Hi guys! I'm brand new to sailplanes or flying for that matter. Flew a little over 20 years ago but quit to raise the kids. I'm skilled as a builder and have good understanding of flight dynamics but haven't flown yet. I have built a Great Planes Spectra, followed the instructions carefully. Made sure all critical alignments were correct and installed Futaba system.

By the way, I'm 69 years old and open to any and all suggestions.

Have a great day.
How goes the flying?

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