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Gentle Lady Blues

Old 05-04-2009, 01:39 PM
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Default Gentle Lady Blues

This kit has been laying around my shop for years, it was a gift. I've built my fair share of kits in the past...the Olympic 650 might have been my first RC job, IIRC it was very well engineered, simple and was a very good RC trainer.
I mostly build from scratch unless there is a model design that I want to learn about from building the kit....for example the Goldberg Ultimate Bipe, Morris Hobbies profiles, etc.
So here we have this Gentle Lady kit. It has to be the worst engineered pile of shims, ill fitting spars, mis-matched dihedral braces, poorly thought out carpentry that I've ever seen. The only thing that keeps me from scrapping it is that I realize the finished product will fly pretty well.
I'm checking in here to see if there are any GL builders who have any re-enforcement tips, or tips of any kind to pass on before I button this thing up. My main concern is the aft fuselage, it looks pretty weak. I am powering this plane with a .061 mounted on the nose, I glued a piece of real aircraft plywood [5/32"] to screw the mount to. I built the wing as 1 piece unit and glassed the center 4 inches with 2 oz cloth and Zpoxy thinned. I plan on covering it with transparent Monokote. This plane will be kept around to use as a trainer.
Old 05-04-2009, 01:54 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

The good thing is they fly well. I've only flown them as a sailplane, and as an electric speed 400. I'd put LG on it if it's going to be a power trainer, otherwise it will float too much. My friend had a Piece of Cake, which served as a pretty good trainer.
Old 05-04-2009, 03:49 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

Rich, I'll keep the LG idea in mind, right now we fly off of a pasture that is only good for skid landings. You gotta be real good to do a touch and go here.
If there was ever a kit that looked like it was designed by Rube Goldberg instead of Carl Goldberg, this is it. Each and every spar / rib joint has had to be painstakingly stuffed with varying thickness wood shims to take up the slack and the rear end of each rib has a 1/16" x 1/18" amount of glue area [for the ribs that were long enough to reach the T.E]. The main spruce spars are very heavy but you have to derate their structural value by the much weaker plywood joiners. In a way I'm glad this designer is into model gliders and not engineering skyscrapers or bridges.
Thank goodness for CA glue, I'd be ready for a straight jacket otherwise. All these little bits and pieces increase the odds of poor fits, mis-allignments, mis-interpretations of the instructions and they consume glue VS simplifying the structure and using properly sized wood.
Old 05-04-2009, 06:47 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

I've got an Electra still in the box. I'm dreading it.
Old 05-04-2009, 06:50 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

You guys are just spoiled by the laser cut kits. Remember when Sig Kadets came with sheets of wood that where printed? You made the parts, then made them fit.
Old 05-04-2009, 07:27 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

This one IS laser cut ! I would have been better off with just a stamped out set of ribs and drawings [with outside dimensions] for everything else. What is ironic is 20 some odd years ago I went into the LHS and was talked out of the GL kit by the owner of the shop. He steered me over to the Airtronics glider kit and now I know why.
Old 05-04-2009, 07:39 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

My GL kit was the same (15 yrs. ago), but at least yours is laser cut- mine was badly die-crunched. I just filled the gaps in between the spar and ribs w/ epoxy and it still came out very light. Still flies great after all these years - no problem w/ the strength of the wing. Keep going, the GL is a great floater!
Old 05-04-2009, 08:25 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

Thanks for the encouragement! Absense does make the heart grow fonder......I just remembered having to pour about a pound of lead into the nose block of the good ol' Olympic 650.....it still flew great.
Time to stop being ANAL about the GL I guess and just keep grinding away through the sludge.
Old 05-04-2009, 08:53 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

They do say they fly great, once built. I'm familiar with indoor free flight and have had plenty of builds where I had to rely on my own precise cutting to get things to fit. It's work, but sure is gratifying when complete and you know its right. I did build a Sig Kadet Senior, and looking at my notes I noticed that I thought it was a lot of work. But I know it's built right, with accurate joints. Maybe the Electra might get built, but it might be easier to sell it on Ebay and find and easier build. Just haven't decided. I bought the kit thinking it might be the last Carl Goldberg kit I build.
Old 05-04-2009, 09:07 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

Hey CP,
I just built one too. I found the laser stuff to off in some cases but easier to remedy than crunch cut parts. I would do a full D tube to the tips as a minimum beef up for power. I did this on the one I just built and I also did AG series foils (not necasary for power flying). Also I sanded the LE down a 1/16 on top and bottom and glued the sheeting to the top and bottom then reshaped the LE with a razor plane and sand paper. The laminated LE is a common strengthening technique. I never had a tail strength issue with my old one. Good Luck.
Old 05-04-2009, 09:11 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

Tom, the CG Ultimate was the most precisely cut and well engineered kit imaginable. So much wisdom in the design to make a plane that big come out light and strong.
I started [in this hobby] building Goldberg 1/2A control line profiles and all those kits were AOK....so what's up with these CG gliders?
If you have heard negative feedback about the Electra, don't let my ramblings about this substandard POS / GL influence your decision to build it either way
Old 05-04-2009, 09:57 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

Wow, we have similar pasts. I built the Goldberg Wizard, Stuntman, lil Satan 1/2A Controline models as well the .35 size Buster & Shoestring Stunter. All pretty great planes from the past. I do think we have experienced better kits since those early models. The modern kits seem to exhibit better engineering, with lazer cut parts and parts that go together without fighting them. Makes for a more enjoyable build. Also they seem to build better planes. I say stick with it and make it right if you can. You seem to know what is correct, and you'll end up with a pretty nice model. But I agree, it's amazing at the amount of work you can find yourself getting into. I got an ARF right now, 98% complete, and I'm wondering if I'm going to fly it. It's been a nightmare from day one. GP Spectra ARF.
Old 05-04-2009, 10:38 PM
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LOL Funny you should mention the Gentle Lady. I must be a glutton for punishment as I'm building two of them for some guys at the local flying field. I also built one last year for my better half to learn to soar with. That kit is a pain to build and really needs to be re-worked in the worst way.

One place that really needs some reinforcement is the fuselage sides about 4 and 8 inches behind the trailing edges of the wing. A simple 1/16 crutch of spruce works great for this and doesn't add squat for weight. You can even add in some lightening holes if you feel they're needed. Something like the fuselage on the Windfree did.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make while building a GL is to go hog wild with the CA. You really need to use wood glue in the tail area as much as you can. This will save you from having to add a ton of lead in the nose to balance it out. Any weight you have in the GL should be functional if at all possible.

If you opt for the removable tips then toss out the instructions that come with it and use a double wire setup, or at least add an indexing pin by the rear spar.


I also built the Lil Satan back in the late 60 - early 70s. Along with the VooDoo and a lot of the Sterling kits. I haven't hardly touched a gas engine since I got out of the Army in 79 since I fly strictly sailplanes.

Jeff
Old 05-04-2009, 10:40 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues


ORIGINAL: OzMo

Hey CP,
I just built one too. I found the laser stuff to off in some cases but easier to remedy than crunch cut parts. I would do a full D tube to the tips as a minimum beef up for power. I did this on the one I just built and I also did AG series foils (not necasary for power flying). Also I sanded the LE down a 1/16 on top and bottom and glued the sheeting to the top and bottom then reshaped the LE with a razor plane and sand paper. The laminated LE is a common strengthening technique. I never had a tail strength issue with my old one. Good Luck.


Gees...a Bubble Dancer Gentle Lady, talk about lipstick on a pig...

My GL is built stock, but with a speed 400 cobalt motor, it flies fine for what it is, a slow floater. These older sailplanes, IMHO, don't have to be built light, they have lift to burn and the weight helps them move around.
Old 05-04-2009, 11:21 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

I built mine in 1984 and used a lot of Ambroid glue on it. Ambroid filled in the spaces pretty well. But once done it was a great flyer. I put a lot of hours on mine. I took it with me in my 5th wheel as I traveled the country doing contract work. It took the beatings and still flew well. I just took my time and put ti together. Maybe patience makes the flying worth it.
Frank
Old 05-05-2009, 12:19 AM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

Well this is exactly the kind of co-miseration, moral support and advice I was looking for! The advice about dumping CA into the project was well taken, [just a tad too late ], I have a "CA mentality" now, it's hard to re-program.
Scaflock, I think it would be worth beefing that area as a pre-emptive measure to keep the tail from twisting. The general consensus is that this plane will fly well for those who take the time to "make it so", so, what else is new?
Old 05-05-2009, 08:14 AM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

I like the GL, here is mine with 2100+watt of power on the nose.
Every one I have built is of good quality.
It is built stock no extra mod's.
Call her Mustang Sally.
Full stick take off results in a torque roll you won't believe.
PJS 1500, 13x7apc, CCHV85 6C3300lipo's at 87-90amps 25v.
Goes straight vertical into the clouds with no problems.
My last one lasted over 10+ years untill I got into a flat spin and pancacked it.
Messed with balance for a nice spin.
I have a new GL kit in the basement waiting for the build day.

EDIT: I have been toying around with lightening the entire plane by coring the ribs and other parts to the extreme
and seeing how light I can get it. Put a 100w setup on for power up.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:23 AM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

tkilwein, nice looking GL. Is that the battery on top of the wing? If so my guess is you mounted it there because inside the fuselage thats where the servos are. Is this a common practice? I have a similar problem with a Spectra.
Old 05-05-2009, 09:49 AM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

I've built several GL's. The latest one I have is setup with a light power system (just enough to get her going). It has a small HiMax Outrunner and 1320 11.1 lipoly battery for power. It is actually lighter than the advertized weight with the stock, old school radio gear. I agree that if you aren't careful, it could wind up needing a lot of weight in the nose. The only mods I made were a bolt-on wing and the power system.

I think part of the problem is the use of such thin wood in the kits to keep the weight down. Maybe the thin wood is more impacted by temperature and humidity changes, making the joints fit poorly. I haven't built one of the newer laser cut kits, but the die cut kits always required a little work. I've also built others like the airtronics Oly and I can tell you the lady came out much lighter.

I agree with the sentiment of the others. Don't give up on your 'Lady. If you want a relaxing flyer that just goes and goes, this is it. There is a reason why you can still buy a kit of this airplane so many years after it was designed.
Old 05-05-2009, 01:36 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

Nice looking bird!
I don't think hogging out balsa sheet to save weight is a good thing to do [as a general rule]. Weigh up all your scrap pieces and then evaluate how much strength has been removed from the plane....was it an even trade off?
If I were to build an ultralight version, I'd just go with balsa sticks and lots of carpentry throughout the fuselage. The big spruce lumber in the wing needs to be re-thunk, this is where significant weight could be saved. Time to stop day-dreaming here and just get this thing wrapped up!
Old 05-05-2009, 02:55 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

Here's a shot of the one I built for the better half. Stone cold stock.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:58 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

She really turned out nice!
Old 05-05-2009, 05:01 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

Hi all, I have a built Gentle Lady that I would like to get rid off, plane only no RC or motor. I flew it once and did not like it. It needs some TLC and the elevator has to be rehinged.I'am in Stratford Connecticut, zip is 06614.I would like to give it away, you simply find me a box and pay postage if you want it shipped. Thanks Dan [email protected]
Old 05-05-2009, 09:30 PM
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Default RE: Gentle Lady Blues

wow, now there's an offer. Would be good if a newbie in need got that.

scaflock, she looks like a beauty.
Old 05-05-2009, 10:59 PM
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Thanks guys. She flies as well as she looks. I really took my time on the trimming because I wanted to make sure that it didn't have any bad habits that my better half would have to fight as she learned soaring.

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