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Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

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Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

Old 03-18-2009, 03:01 AM
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Default Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

I have the good fortune to be a member of a glider club. Hi-starts, winches and DLGs have priority on the field. However some of you do your thermal soaring at power clubs. How do you fit in?

I would expect you find it difficult to set up a hi-start, a winch or to fly a DLG. So, are you flying primarily electric launched gliders?

Are there time limits to your flights? Any other reestrictions on soaring?

How do you work it so you can "use the force" and soar above the power guys?
Old 03-18-2009, 07:23 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

At the present time all of our gliders are electric powered. Using a winch or a high start is not feasible at our field. It was suggested at one of our club meetings that anyone flying a glider on 72 Mhz frequencies be limited to 15 minutes of flying time. Other than that there aren't any restrictions on flying gliders. If there is a powered (gas or electric) airplane in the air the glider pilot will annouce "Launching" before flying his glider. Because we fly so high looking for thermals we haven't encountered any problems with the gliders getting in the flight path of powered airplanes. There are currently four electric powered gliders being flown at the field and a few of the other club members are talking about getting gliders.
Old 03-18-2009, 07:38 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

Thanks JuanF.

That sounds like a very workable arrangement. I am glad to hear that more people are showing interest in soaring.
Old 03-18-2009, 08:39 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

I have flown at sveral clubs with all types rc aircraft, and never seen any problems flying gliders and powered planes, even using Hi-start, as has been mentioned, gliders tend to stay higher looking for lift, landings are never an issue, and with a little common sense and courtesy laundhing isnt either. the only problems I have had was a clown who thought he was a hero flying a 60 sized mustang with a 1.20 2c motor, but no-one took the fool seriously. I have found using the Hi-start it helps to have a buddy clear it after launch, then there are no issues. Regarding electrics, there is no need for the runway so should be a non-issue. I have found a number of powered plane pilot to be derogatory towards us glider guiders, But when you do a good launch, and stay up for over an hour they usually get quite interested, and for next flight I usually have one or more wanting to try twiddling sticks and see for themselves. I got into gliders that way, went home with a new glider that same day. Bottom line is that unless your field is a small one, common sense and courtesy will overcome most problems if not all. Admittedly, there will always be some fool or purist who might object, but there are ways around them too. Points to remember, we are all rc pilots, and all usually paid up members and we are all in this hobby to enjoy flying aircraft, of all descroptions
Old 03-18-2009, 11:42 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

Wow! This echoed all the way over from RCG!

The field I fly at is great. It's not a club but rather a shop field. What's a shop field you ask? It a flying field located at the LHS. you really don't see that too much and I think it's a heck of a good idea. No dues other than having current AMA. Everyone that flys there is great and though I was the lone pure glider guider when I showed up there for the first time, some other have started getting the bug. We all share space and by all I mean 3-D, gas scale, helis, DLGs and of course my Std and Open class gliders. The field itself is about 1,700 ft long by about 350 ft wide so there's plenty of room for everyone to do their thing. The one thing we do have to watch out for are the full scale planes that land once in a while. Mostly these are people going to the shop to get things for their models.

You have to admit that we do things a bit differently here in Georgia.

By the way... This field is also the home of SEFF
Old 03-18-2009, 12:30 PM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

If the field is busy in the morning we usually fly electric or aerotow. Landings are same as anything else, call your intentions.

As the fixed wing side settles down around late morning we can run a high start and take turns with the power guys, most of the people left by then are pretty laid back.
Old 03-18-2009, 05:24 PM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

Hi,
Our field is a nice size but not big enough to use winches and histarts are even tricky. So the few glider guys will be doing aero tow or piggyback. Our flying season has not really gotten underway. As always courtesy is the key. I think Piggyback will be very popular as it works on the runway pretty much like any other take off. Aero tow should be fun and well received also I believe. So far only one glider in the club has a nose release. Several flyers have launched with power pods in the past but this was mostly night games with glow sticks.
Old 03-18-2009, 05:35 PM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

We have a great big site that has plenty of room to stretch a hi start any direction. And we have many glider guys there. But the glider guys usually only use hi starts on weekdays when there are no powered flyers.

A few years ago on a Sunday we had a guy with 30 years of flying experience getting into gliders and bought an arf BOT. Good pilot, flew airplanes and helos, even a para plane. Well he wanted something new, went out and a few people were there, he asked if anyone minded him setting up the hi start, no one did , and set it up. All went well the first half dozen launches, he had a spotter, we yelled launching and life was good.

Then on a launch, we yelled launching, the BOT went airbourne and about 5 seconds after the BOT came off the high start a plane on a high speed low pass caught the hi start line as it was coming down and it resulted in the plane being pulled out of the sky destroying it.

It was not a good scene at the field, there was a lot of cussing and threats and after all was said and done the glider pilot left the hobby. I have tried to get him back in but he doesn't want to return.


So I say be carefull even if the club allows it and the pilots say it's OK for you to be there with the hi start double think it. It can ruin some peoples hobby.
Old 03-18-2009, 05:46 PM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

We have quite a few electric powered gliders at our club, but I've only met one guy with an unpowered slope soarer and he tells me he gets grief from the powered plane pilots there. Since we don't have winches etc I can see why, as he ends up running around the runway throwing the thing about the place which basically means he takes over the entire field as it's not safe to fly powered planes with him there... consequently he ends up flying the thing on weekdays when no-one's around. I'm in the middle of making a cradle for one of my planes so he can launch from that (I assume that's what hi-start means?).

My club is only about 10 miles from a full size international airport and is under a flight path so we're restricted to a 400' ceiling, so often if he CAN get high he gets TOO high. Plus we have a 20 minute restriction when there's more than a few people there (to let everyone use the frequencies - 72MHz is illegal in Australia so we only get 36MHz and 2.4GHz) and if he actually gets high enough to stay up he can chew up frequencies for longer than the rules allow.
Old 03-18-2009, 07:36 PM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

A hi-start is a legnth of rubber tubbing and string that basically launches you to around 200ft...
Old 03-18-2009, 08:08 PM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.


ORIGINAL: evan-RCU

A hi-start is a legnth of rubber tubbing and string that basically launches you to around 200ft...
or 500 feet
Old 03-19-2009, 12:43 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

Oh... like a slingshot? *Gets mental images of an enormous Dennis the Menace*
Old 03-19-2009, 04:48 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

My hi-start has 100 feet of very strong rubber (1/2" ) and 400 feet of line. Pull it back 300 feet and I am at a length now of 900 feet. If there is a 5mph breeze, I should get 400+ feet of height. If the breeze is stronger, I add another 100 feet of line and may be able to get as high as 600 feet with the added length and the added breeze.
Old 03-19-2009, 07:48 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

We had an incident once with a powered plane picking up the hi-start line too, he got it in his prop and wound himself down quite quickly. He also flew gliders of the Hi-start and he said he knew a glider had just launched and should have known better. plane was repairable but the line was cactus, but there was no recriminations or abuse, just good natured ribbing, and both plane and hi-start were servicable next day. He even said only a fool does a low pass just after a hi-start launch. The biggest problem these days is too many people wont take responsibility for thier actions, and cant say "ooops, I goofed" and things get ugly. At this particular club we had a new member join that flew nitro only, and withing weeks he was pushing for our club to ban gliders, heli's and even big gassers, saying all were too dangerous and will cause problems for nitro plane flyers. he even told me to change my frequency because he had same. I told him to jam that idea where the sun dont shine, he had 1 radio and one plane, at the time I had 3 radios, and 11 planes all set up with rx's and no way was I going to change for an arrogant newcomer. Its fool like this that keep me from clubs, always complaining nd demanding, but never for the good of the club. I love building and flying all types of aircraft, and gliders are my favourites. I like going to fly and shoot the breeze about rc etc, but when you get fools wanting to change everything to suit themselves Hmmmmmm [:'(] I have seen many clubs where a little courtesy and consideration every one can do thing happily and peacefully, it just takes one fool though to cause chaos to reign and make things a pain for all.
Old 03-19-2009, 08:05 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

ORIGINAL: qldviking

snip..

At this particular club we had a new member join that flew nitro only, and withing weeks he was pushing for our club to ban gliders, heli's and even big gassers, saying all were too dangerous and will cause problems for nitro plane flyers. he even told me to change my frequency because he had same. I told him to jam that idea where the sun dont shine, he had 1 radio and one plane, at the time I had 3 radios, and 11 planes all set up with rx's and no way was I going to change for an arrogant newcomer. Its fool like this that keep me from clubs, always complaining nd demanding, but never for the good of the club. I love building and flying all types of aircraft, and gliders are my favourites. I like going to fly and shoot the breeze about rc etc, but when you get fools wanting to change everything to suit themselves Hmmmmmm [:'(] I have seen many clubs where a little courtesy and consideration every one can do thing happily and peacefully, it just takes one fool though to cause chaos to reign and make things a pain for all.
We have seen this type from time to time. If reason does not work, we refund their dues and give them the contact info for a club more suitable to their interests.

Old 03-19-2009, 08:20 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

ORIGINAL: aeajr

ORIGINAL: qldviking

snip..

At this particular club we had a new member join that flew nitro only, and withing weeks he was pushing for our club to ban gliders, heli's and even big gassers, saying all were too dangerous and will cause problems for nitro plane flyers. he even told me to change my frequency because he had same. I told him to jam that idea where the sun dont shine, he had 1 radio and one plane, at the time I had 3 radios, and 11 planes all set up with rx's and no way was I going to change for an arrogant newcomer. Its fool like this that keep me from clubs, always complaining nd demanding, but never for the good of the club. I love building and flying all types of aircraft, and gliders are my favourites. I like going to fly and shoot the breeze about rc etc, but when you get fools wanting to change everything to suit themselves Hmmmmmm [:'(] I have seen many clubs where a little courtesy and consideration every one can do thing happily and peacefully, it just takes one fool though to cause chaos to reign and make things a pain for all.
We have seen this type from time to time. If reason does not work, we refund their dues and give them the contact info for a club more suitable to their interests.

I'm curious as to what club that might be the neos maybe? hmmmmmm [sm=idea.gif] got it the local knittong association
Old 03-19-2009, 09:17 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

I know when we are on the field with a high start the powered guys usually take a break but like I said, we wouldn't do it at 10am when the place is packed.

Thermals suck that early anyways.
Old 03-19-2009, 09:23 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

There are 3 clubs within half an hours drive. All 3 have had highstarts and un-powered gliders fly there, but none of them are actually suited for them. They're like most power fields, a great runway that's long and narrow. Long enough for anything and about 75'-100' wide. The members have all fiddled at one time or another with highstarts and moved on.

I know of a couple of guys who persevered for awhile at 2 of the fields but even they gave up. Unless a field is wide enough in every direction, it's usually beyond even the most hardheaded to stay with highstarts/winches when you mix in power planes trying to land and take off over the lines. Those guys have some funny warstories about the lines draping over cars pulling into the parking area and falling behind the portajons and on and on, but don't have any recent tales. They're not fighting it anymore. Unfortunately, the land around here is badly suited to winch/highstart flying. There aren't sufficiently open areas and there are lots and lots of forest.

So why say all that, as it's barely on topic? Because right now, at all three fields there are successful thermal flyers off and on. Also glider flyers and low powered floater flyers all the time. And it's thanks to electric motors and folding props. And 2.4 has also helped at least one hardcore thermal flyer who used to encounter hogging-the-frequency-pin fights.

There doesn't seem to be any for-sure solution for meshing high-starts with power 24/7, but brushless power, lipos, and folding props erase 95% of the conflicts and confrontations.
Old 03-19-2009, 10:07 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

At our club, I tried using a High Start last year. We're usually not to busy, and I just asked all the pilots that were there if they minded me setting up the high start. I set it up in the middle of the field, not the runway. We've got about 1500 feet of flying space, and I was using about 700 of them. Unfortunately, the majority of ourfield goes uncut most ofthe year, so the high start did not function well.

this year i gave up on the high start, electrified my glider, and now there are three of us using the electric to launch, but learning to find the thermals. Once we're in the air, we're treated just like any other plane. We do like to yell "dead-stick" on approach however

Brad
Old 03-19-2009, 05:25 PM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

Well I ran into one of the most common problems with using a high start today. As soon as I got it laid out the wind shifted 90* on me. So I reset the line and rubber and managed to get a couple of launches in before it shifted on me again. I reset the thing yet again and managed to get in a couple more flights before it shifted back to the starting direction. After that I got tired of fighting it and packed it up for the day.

The field that I fly at is large enough that everyone can pretty much fly at the same time. Us glider pilots usually stay of to one side and use a different launching/landing area. The only other guy flying was doing some 3-D stuff and since we know each other we stayed clear. Once I had launched though he decided to try some formation flying only to find that he couldn't fly that slow and stay in the air.
Old 03-19-2009, 05:46 PM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.


ORIGINAL: qldviking

The biggest problem these days is too many people wont take responsibility for thier actions, and cant say "ooops, I goofed".....

This say's it all, for a lot of situations....
Old 03-20-2009, 12:53 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

good topic aeajr, i belong to three clubs ,two of the fields are very large so we (three) can setup the high start
off to the side with no problem. my friends & i are the only ones that will use a highstart, i've kinda leaned more to electric.
the lipo battery was the revolution for me. what i like to do is limit my motor run to about highstart height.
then i work the lift, i only use the motor for emergency purpose.
this give me a sence of a pure glider. electric is so convient that its hard to ignor.
i'm 43 been in this hobby for about 30 yrs flown helis did cars an boats, but the memories that stick in my head the most
are times at as a teen launching those little 2x4 gliders with my friend mike. i think i will always own a highstart.
are club members like to see them being launched, their cool with it. SPRING IS HERE. HAPPY FLYING
Old 03-20-2009, 06:25 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

I am very encouraged to read that many of you have found a way to enjoy soaring, whether electric or pure, while flying at clubs that are primarily power clubs.

If you, like me, would like to introduce more people to soaring, I suggest you buddy up with the new parkflyer pilots. Many of the parkflyers will thermal reasonably well. With the availability of planes like the ParkZone Radian and Multiplex Easy Glider, the parkflyer pilots are more prone to give thermal soaring a try.

I hope people continue to post as some of the ideas and approaches posted here may help others find a way to work thermal soaring into the flying mix of their electric or fuel power based clubs.
Old 03-20-2009, 08:59 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

One of the clubs that I have belonged to in the past, had a quiet sunday fun fly once a year. This was geared towards 4 strokes, electric,and gliders.Lots of interest and activity. It was always surprising to see who showed up, and disclosed some of his R.C. background.(go fast kind, with an old gentle lady)
This was excelent way to get all interests to blend. Also fuelled interest in different aspects of modeling.
Old 03-25-2009, 07:30 AM
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Default RE: Question about thermal soaring at power clubs.

If you are flying e-gliders at that power field and would like to generate more interest in soaring, here's an idea. How about a contest?


In the world of electric gliders there are many forms of thermal soaring competition. One that has become quite popular is the F5J format. To the best of my knowledge, it is not an offical FAI competition format. There are a variations on the theme. You can read about how LISF runs ours by reading about it on my club's Forum.
http://www.lisfsoar.proboards.com/in...lectriccontest

Feel free to register for the forum and ask our CD any questions you like. David is quite good.

In any case, here are the basics.

You need two people minimum. Not much of a contest flying by yourself.

One to fly and one to time. The timer needs two watches.

Watch 1 - Total flight time
Watch 2 - Motor run time

Power up! Upon release of the glider from the pilot's hands both watches are started. Pilot can climb for as long as he likes, but the time of the climb will be deducted from his total time.

The pilot is trying to have a total flight time equal to the task time. Task time typically ranges from 5 to 15 minutes.

Score is based on total flight time less motor run time.

Pretty simple so far.

Landing points. You set up a circle, radius 30 feet or diamater 60 feet, however you want to think of it. Landing points are scored as 30 for the center. You lose 1 point for each foot away from the center. outside the circle, no landing points. Distance is measured to the nose at final resting point.

Cool!


Now for the strategy part, you can restart the motor ... but it will cost you.

If you restart the motor it adds to your total motor run time, which is deducted from your score. In addition, you get a zero for landing points. So that second motor run costs, but it may be worth it.


So, let's take a flight.

Launch - 8 minute task- both watches start.

As I climb I decide how high I want to go. If I think there is plenty of lift I might shut off sooner. If I don't know, I might run longer to give myself more hunting time. Five extra seconds on the inital climb costs me 5 points. But 5 seconds on a restart costs me 5 points plus any landing points. So maybe it it better to climb longer up front. Hummm ....

I count down so my timer will be ready to stop the watch. 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 Motor off - Motor run time watch is stopped. My timer tells me I ran for 29 seconds.

If I find lift, great. Work the lift and try to land at EXACTLY 8 minutes. I lose points for every second over or under.

Then I want to try to land dead center of the circle. A sliding landing is best so you don't hit the prop/motor.


BUT, what if I am 4 minutes into the flight and I am at 100 feet and no lift? What should I do?

Well, I can keep hunting and hope I find lift.

I can keep hunting, and land with a short time if I don't find lift. Go for landing points.

Or I can power up and reclimb, take the hit for the climb time and give up the landing points. What would you do?


This is fun!


We ran one on Saturday with six pilots. I took second with a 2M Dust Devil. First place was an Easy Glider Electric. Radian, in the hands of a Novice pilot, came in third. We also had a 100" e-glider, an Easy Star and a Super Cub, I think.

Everyone had a great time.

Try it, you'll like it and the power guys just might find it interesting too.

And it is so easy to get into it. A RTF/RR Radian, an Easy Glider Electric, and E-flite Ascent, or any number of low cost e-gliders will do very well. Aerobirds, T-Hawks, Easy Stars can compete too. In fact most entry level parkflyers can do this as they are mostly e-gliders in disguise.

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