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  1. #1

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    new to gliding

    Hi everybody.i'm a rc airplane pilot and i bought myself a parkzone Radian Pro.Can someone suggest a website or any means to know the basics of gliding?i'm a bit confused about wheather condition like wind persay does it fly better if its a windy day and how fast per example?thank in advanceFrancis
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  2. #2
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: new to gliding

    > The New Glider Pilot's Handbook
    http://www.flyesl.org/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=251

    Ask away. I will be happy to help a new glider pilot.
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  3. #3
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    RE: new to gliding

    Here's a write up I did on flying to find and ride thermals some time back.

    ____________________________

    Catching thermals is about carefully watching the model for disturbances caused by the air flowing around it and reacting to them. On calm days the disturbances will be weak and can be discounted as nothing unless you're on top of your game. On blustery days the signs can be violent to the point of trying to crash the model and quick and decisive control is needed both for survival of the model and to maneuver the model to actually trap and ride the lift as it goes by. The one common point is that a trimmed model does not suddenly go out of trim for no reason. The flight path is altered by some disturbance in the air. Often those disturbances are thermals.

    First off, if you only fly in dead calm days then it's hard to catch lift. It's there but so weak that a newbie likely won't see it or it may be so weak that it doesn't hold up the model. Look for days where the wind is light to moderate and seems to be variable in both direction and strength. If it's mixed up like that then there's very likely thermals around.

    Launch the model and fly directly upwind so the model is about 100 yards upwind of the release point. Now gently turn the model so it flies cross wind but with its nose still crabbed into the wind so that the ground track stays out at the proper distance. Depending on the wind this means the turn may only be a few degrees or it may well be 80 degrees. When the model has moved about 150 to 200 yards off to the side gently turn it back into the wind and keep turning to re-establish the same crab angle for the return. Let it fly past the launch point and off to the other side. When it gets to the same distance on the other side gently turn back and repeat. This is your basic search pattern. Exciting, eh? (I'm Canadian, I'm allowed to "eh" )

    The key is to keep it upwind the same distance for now. Alter the direction to keep this. And for all this turning the sticks should only be used with very slight motion. The more you deflect the controls the more drag you create. The key to efficient flying to conserve altitude is to barely move the controls and then wait the 2 or 4 seconds for the model to react. If you're not in lift don't be in a hurry to do anything. Rapid turns and corrections are high in drag and that wastes your fuel (altitude). Also keeping your inputs small means that the air moving the model will be more apparent. And it's the air moving the model around that is your indication of what is happening out there.

    The most likely thermal interaction when crabbing back and forth like this is that the windward wing will suddenly lift up and the model will try to turn off the wind. Fight this with a strong turn back into the pushed up wing and turn into the wind. As the model banks over feed in elevator to maintain an even flight speed. Be quick and decisive here. You're potentially in lift and the gentle rule from above does not apply in this. You need to KEEP THE FLYING SPEED NEAR TO CONSTANT. A stall at this point is like loosing the fish off the hook. As you turn into the disturbance watch the model closely. The initial tendency is for a slight lift up due to all the corrections adding speed. But if it was not a thermal these actions will fade away within a second or two. If it is lift you'll see the model start to gain height as it turns into the lift. Let the turn open up and fly into the wind for a moment to see what is happening. If it keeps lifting then fly until you see it start to sag off and then carry through with your turn in the original direction to bring it back around into your thermal circle.

    Another way to enter a thermal is nose first. The telltale signs for this option can be confusing as it depends on the model. I've had some models that tend to lift the nose and want to slow down and need a quick push of elevator to punch into the thermal and start rising. I've had others that like to lift up the tail slightly at the same time that they slow down and start rising. Again, the way to success is to fly your model a lot and watch it carefully to see what it's doing.

    This is where you're elevator control comes into play. You need to fly a moderately tight turn with a 20 to 30 degree bank angle and use the elevator to restore and maintain a close watch on your proper flying speed. This is hard due to the apparent variations as the model turn into and off the wind. But if you use the cross wind portions of the circle as a guide you should be able to get it set pretty quick. I cannot stress how important it is to master the elevator control when soaring. It is your throttle. But unlike a power model THIS throttle only works if it has airspeed to work with. It is imperative that you use a quick and finely tuned stab of down if needed to kill any tendency to stall or suddenly slow down. If some gust or lift suddenly lifts the nose you need to be quick on the stick to jab in some down to lift the tail and keep the model on an even keel and at a proper flying speed. Thermals are often turbulent and to some extent you need to fight that turbulence to keep the model flying through it. But just as importantly you need to be ready with some up elevator at the first sign of the model wanting to pick up the tail and try diving. A thermal or gust induced dive is like having a gas line on your car suddenly start leaking when you're in the middle of nowhere. You need to "plug that leak" quickly.

    But what if the disturbance was not a thermal? Well, you reacted and turned into the wind but as you let the model fly a few yards upwind you see that it was just a little turbulent rotor or gust that caught your wing. So cut that cross wind leg short and carry through with a reversal back the other way. The model will still have a little bit of the upwind turn in it so it's more efficient to just work with the flow rather than fight it. You already lost a precious 10 feet or so dealing with the possibility that it was a thermal so cut your loses rather than loose more by returning to the original track. Damage control is just as important as finding a thermal. Same if you do find lift and start turning only to find that you turned the wrong way or are not successful in locating it within a two turns. Once you realize it's a lost cause just maintain a smooth turn until you come around into the wind. Fly upwind with a slight crab back to the centerline and when back out at the range increase the crab angle to maintain your 100 yard upwind line.

    When in the thermal turn watch the model closely for signs that the lift is stronger on one side than the other. Also if you're not centered you'll find that on one side of your turn the lift tries to push the model away by increasing the bank. Use that disturbance to let the turn tighten and as it comes around and is pointed more or less in the direction the disturbance hit open the turn up to fly into the area of sky the disturbance came from. By watching and reacting to this stuff you should be able to center your turn in the lift. This is where the skill and handling comes into play. You need to learn when to let the turn open up and then close it down in order to place the model where it needs to be. But at the same time you don't want to use any more control input than is barely required. This means you need to start letting the turn open up a good 90 to 120 degrees before where you want it and to start closing it up ahead of time as well.

    Thermals also come in lots of sizes and flavours. There's the big soft ones where the turn can and must be large and open. There's the little stove-pipers where you either need to dance on your wingtip or fly through it for only part of the turn. And then there's some that try to push your model into a spiral dive and once you're cored you need to be constantly holding some outward control to maintain your position. Then there's those that need to have the model force its way constantly into them. You'll find all sorts so be ready to be reactive to the needs of the moment and always be watching the model for the signs of what the air is doing to it.

    NEVER turn downwind unless you think there's a thermal or it's time to come back and land. Always make your reversals into the wind like a sailboat tacking. Gliding is by far the easiest method of learning to fly a model airplane. The models are gentle in the extreme to learn on. However, learning to SOAR is a whole other issue. Gliding is coming downhill while soaring is gliding uphill. Learning to read the air and truly soar is a skill that mixes a wide number of skills that must all come together at the same time and in the proper proportions. But when it all clicks and you find that you had the longest flight of the day in your group and in bad conditions you'll know that you got all you could out of the air that day and it'll be a great day to be alive.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  4. #4
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: new to gliding

    THE SIMPLE PLEASURE OF SOARING
    by Ed Anderson


    It is early Saturday morning.  You have been pushing hard at work all week.
    But  today is yours.  The Wife and kids are out doing....whatever .. and
    Daddy  gets  some time to himself.

    Some of your buddies went bowling and some are going to the game, but you
    need some quiet time to commune with nature, and to bring your life back
    into balance. Time to think, time to relax, time to enjoy with no caffeine,
    no noise, no rush, no hurry, no stress.

    The sun came up about an hour ago.  The temperature is a very comfortable 60
    degrees going up to about 75.  Humidity is low and the breeze is a wonderful
    5 mph coming from the perfect direction.  The morning dew is starting to
    lift with that slight fog that it gets sometimes.  Overhead is a single bird
    of unknown type working a thermal in lazy circles. You envy him, just a
    little.

    The hi-start is laid out and there is a comfortable folding chair set right
    were the chute will come to rest.  There is a cooler with some drinks, a
    sandwich for later and some hot coffee and a roll for now.  ( OK, a little
    caffeine.   )

    You do your range check, check the air, feel the breeze and launch.
    Beautiful!

    The first couple of launches go well.  You hunt around but there is nothing
    much happening.  That's OK.  This is like fishing, without the rowdy guys
    and the bad jokes.

    On the third launch, you get the height and the direction you want.  The
    plane, a simple R/E woody with years of time on it, just floats off the
    line.  No big zoom.  No heart pumping vertical release.  Just floating off
    the hook, so as not to disturb the air or scare the thermals.

    As you venture out you feel a bump, with your eyes of course, and start to
    circle.  And a little thrill builds up inside as the plane starts to rise.
    The lift is not strong but it is there.  And you work it.

    As you rise you sit down in your chair.  You put in a couple of clicks of
    rudder and put the radio down.  You reach over to pour that coffee and grab
    that roll, keeping your eyes on the ship the whole time.  She is riding the
    core and working upward.

    You pick up the radio, settle in, put your feet up on the cooler and work
    the thermal from your right, across the field, to your left over the next 15
    minutes.  Life is good.

    You feel you are far enough down field, and have lots of height, so you
    break off that thermal and head right.  At about 1/4 mile to your right you
    hook again at about 300 feet. And up you go again.

    After a few moments, that bird you saw earlier comes to join you and ride
    the lift with you.  You feel like you are buddies in the air and sharing a
    quiet ride together.  Life is very good.

    Around 11 AM, your friend shows up.  He sees you are in the zone.  "How
    long?" he asks.  Oh, about an hour, I think.  You never bring a watch and
    the flight pack will carry you all day if you want.  R/E planes just sip
    milliamps.

    He pulls out his R/E woody, pulls back on your hi-start, and the two of you
    ride the lift, side by side.  You introduce your friend to the bird and the
    three of you fly for... who knows how long.  The conversation is quiet and
    friendly.

    You talk of kids and wives and family and the sweet things in your life.
    For what could be bad at a moment like this.

    Then another bird joins, perhaps the mate to the first.  The sun is
    comfortably warm, and rising over your right shoulder.  The breeze is the
    perfect amount to keep you cool and make for good launches.

    The simple pleasures are the best!

    When you get home, you are relaxed and happy.  You kiss the wife, hug the
    kids and all is right with the world.  Then your 8 year old comes to you and
    asks when you will take them to learn to fly with the birds, just the two of
    you. And a smile crosses your face that  will probably never leave.

    You smile at your wife and she smiles back and says, "I know, another
    plane".

    Oh yes, life is good!

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  5. #5
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    RE: new to gliding

    This is like fishing, without the rowdy guys
    and the bad jokes.
    Clearly you don't fly with the same sort of group that I typically hang around with.....
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  6. #6

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    RE: new to gliding

    Hello all,
    new to rc this year.i was wondering if a dx5e spektrum paired with a plane like the Sun Rider,is a good way to get into soaring?

  7. #7
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjwalsh View Post
    Hello all,
    new to rc this year.i was wondering if a dx5e spektrum paired with a plane like the Sun Rider,is a good way to get into soaring?
    I don't know what a Sun Rider is so can't comment specifically.

    If you plan to buy a radio with every plane, DX5e MIGHT be OK, but I would not recommend it to anyone unless it comes in an RTF package.

    If you plan to continue in RC you will want a computer radio.

    If you plan to be very actively involved in gliders you want a glider/sailplane capable radio.

    So, tell me more about this plane. A link would be helpful.

    Tell me about your experience.

    Tell me about your budget

    how "computer savy" are you?
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  8. #8

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    Dear sir always been a power modeller.I have a serious question fpr you. I love jets and that has always been my passion. Im uk guy and i now live in Thailand.I live near Thai? malay border and it is a modelling wilderness ,just me. My question is as my love is for jets and P.S,S.plans are available could a pss be bungee launched and do you think it to be flyable in this way/
    I have asked this question many times but never recieved an answer. I have never been a glider guy buy my age, lack of models,and poor flying?landing facilites its time for a change
    I thank you for reading this message. RON

  9. #9
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trecatti View Post
    Dear sir always been a power modeller.I have a serious question fpr you. I love jets and that has always been my passion. Im uk guy and i now live in Thailand.I live near Thai? malay border and it is a modelling wilderness ,just me. My question is as my love is for jets and P.S,S.plans are available could a pss be bungee launched and do you think it to be flyable in this way/
    I have asked this question many times but never recieved an answer. I have never been a glider guy buy my age, lack of models,and poor flying?landing facilites its time for a change
    I thank you for reading this message. RON
    Hi Ron, let me see if I can help.

    PSS Plans? I presume you mean Power Slope Soaring which are slope gliders that look like power planes, mostly warbirds.

    Could you put a hook on one and launch it with a bungee/hi-start?

    Sure?

    Why? To help you launch it into the slope lift?
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  10. #10

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    hi and thank you for your prompt reply. Just need to clear up one point. My question may not have been to well put. Is it possible to use Power slope soarer on Flat feild flying launched by bungee. Were i live is a mass of rubber tree plantations very few open spaces,the nearest a local football feild. Modelling in Thailand with reguard to materials is like talking nuclear fusion .
    I love jets as i said before and also half the thrill is scratch building in th first place . Thanks RON

  11. #11
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Yes you can use a bungee to launch a PSS on a flat field. If it is light enough it might catch a thermal but most PSS are not designed with thermal soaring in mind. For thermal soaring most have too high a wing loading with the wrong air foil. Most are designed for speed and aerobatics which is kinda counter to thermal soaring.

    But yes, you can launch it that way.
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  12. #12
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    I'm going to say "no, it's not possible". Certainly you CAN slingshot a PSS style model up into the air. But realistically unless it's something rather unique it's not going to be the sort of form, size and weight that is conducive to catching and riding out a thermal. So the flights will likely be under a minute.

    Options that MIGHT be thermal worthy if built lightly would be a Fouga Magister and a U2. And PERHAPS a B-47 or B-52 or something of that style built lightly but made to look like a scale model.

    In all these cases note that they are rather glider like as to the shape of the wings.

    I'd also suggest that instead of a rubber only bungee launch that you tie on a flag and some line to the end of the rubber to make it into a Hi Start. The launch from a Hi Start is somewhat more gentle and "kite" like during the tow. Something that your glider like models will appreciate.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  13. #13

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    For now just a great big Thank you for your reply. Will be in touch and tell you of my progress?desissions. RON

  14. #14

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    For now a great big Thank you for your reply and i will let you know at a later date about my course of action. RON


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