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Libelle201B's blog
Posted by Libelle201B | Dec 14, 2014 @ 01:56 PM | 1,604 Views
Today was perfect for the Radian and flying, calm to gentle breeze out of the north and fairly cool and dry. Here in FL the summers are very hot, humid and unpleasant, making flying RC and FS gliders a real physical challenge at times, so the autumn and winter months here are a real relief for us. Here in S FL we used to have large open areas where one could roll out a high start or winch and launch their sailplanes pretty much unmolested, but not so anymore, and why I bought the Radian a few years back. Actually it's my second Radian as I lost the first one due to the 2.4 lockout syndrome, this on is on 72 mhz as most but not all my planes are on. The day called for temps in the low 70's and I could see lot's of buzzards circling when I got to the school yard so I knew it was gonna be good flying. There was an inversion as the pictures will show and the soundings verified that at about 3500' msl obviously not an issue, but interesting for those interested. Down low ie tree top height or so the thermals were very tight and a 60 degree bank or more was required to stay in the thermals but as you gained altitude the bank angle could be decreased substantially. The lift wasn't super strong but consistant if you stayed in or near the core and I was able to speck out three or four times drifting down wind at which point I would push the stick forward and get the Radian moving to cover ground as is always needed with any sort of headwind or breeze and looking for the buzzards or...Continue Reading
Posted by Libelle201B | Nov 28, 2014 @ 03:23 PM | 1,227 Views
I bought the Ruby a 2 meter molded sailplane some years ago in the hopes it would be a competetive TD sailplane, not so IMHO as it's a bit heavy and I don't think the airfoil (MH 32) is really suited for slowing down and floating even with a few clicks of camber based on my experiences so far. However it's been a great multi purpose sailplane ie slope/thermal which is perfect for our hill in Pompano Beach FL. Today (Friday) was a perfect example of such as it was quite windy, my guess being 20 mph + with gusts a bit higher. The Ruby LOVES these conditions and combining it with strong thermals is where she really shines. With some down trim she really scoots along and with the strong thermals she climbs well and what is really impressive to me is her ability to penetrate with no ballast in these kinds of winds. With some altitude I was able to penetrate up wind with no problems at all searching for other streeting thermals till I was close to the limits of my aging vision (still pretty good) and even going down wind a bit presented no problems as far as getting back in front of the hill at a safe altitude. Basic aerobatics ie rolls, loops, chandelles, and stall turns (gotta use that rudder) are routine in nature and quite graceful as long as you have adequate airspeed + some altitude. Today for me anyways was one of those days when you discover the potential of a plane you may have felt just so-so about.
Posted by Libelle201B | Nov 08, 2014 @ 06:19 PM | 2,192 Views
My second outing with the KA-8 was much better given the addition of aprox 1/2 oz of lead to the nose before the flight. The addition of nose weight from the first flights and now this later amount has brought the cg closer to 70mm from the leading edge vs the 75mm suggested in the instructions. At this point I think I am at the rearward limit of the cg envelope and could no doubt go farther forward if I wanted. The KA-8 indicates and climbs very well in lift as I had her up quite a ways several times having to use full spoilers with turning slips to keep her from climbing and specking out. There was also slope lift later ie a moderate breeze and she flies well there also. I have found that leading with the rudder just before initiating the bank for turns seems to work well and even some "top" rudder while in the turns creates a flatter turn. (the rudder push rod clevis is in the innermost hole of the control horn, max throw) The landings are very "scale" as the spoilers are not over effective ie slowing the plane down with too much drag and flaring with full spoilers creates a very realistic scale landing. I'm real happy now with the way the KA-8 flies and she flies and looks so scale.
Happy soaring!
Posted by Libelle201B | Oct 19, 2014 @ 04:51 PM | 1,504 Views
Have flown the Banshee twice since it's maiden flight and the only mods have been taking small increments of lead out of the nose which now duplicates the cg recomended by the designer Brian Agnew ie 4" and 7/8" ahead of the TE. In this configuration she's a real climber as I found myself well below hill top several times and recognising some hint of lift I entered a tight turn/circle which resulted in a very recognisable height increase which allowed me to seek another thermal.
Posted by Libelle201B | Sep 21, 2014 @ 03:13 PM | 1,455 Views
Well, for anyone following this blog, the Banshee has flown it's maiden flight at our hill in Pompano Beach, FL. The wind was marginal at times and often at 45 degrees to the slope with virtually no thermal lift at all. The launch was completely uneventful and other than two or three clicks of aileron (roll) trim it flew exactly as I expected, quite different from my ParkZone Ka-8 experiences a weekend earlier. I set it up exactly to the instructions ie CG, control throws etc with the exception of flap throw which I set at about 50 degrees or so. Given the conditions I was still able to keep the Banshee airborn although at times just a wingspan or less above terra firma. As the morning progressed so did the wind and thermal activity. No doubt I will make some small adjustments to suit my flying style in the next few flights, particularly for thermal conditions and not wind related slope flying. I still have my 15+ year old Hobby Lobby (red rubber) hi start that has many hundreds of launches to it's credit
Posted by Libelle201B | Sep 14, 2014 @ 01:48 PM | 2,192 Views
Got the Ka-8 together (pics) and here are my thoughts on the first 3 flights (aprox 30 minutes of flying). The first flight required a fair amount of down elevator to keep it flying so after a pass or two on the hill I brought it in for a landing. Looking at the elevator/stab there was about 1/4 inch down trim deflection in the elevator due to the trim change. (cg was at the designated location per plans) I added about 1/2 ounce of lead to the nose and brought the trim up 3 or four clicks. The second launch was quite different with the plane going immediatly into a shallow dive and pulling back on the elavator to counter the shallow dive sent the plane into a sereies of very serious PIO's (pilot induced occilations) with the outer wings flexing to the max. After what seemed like an eternity I got the plane flying again with low rates stitched on but it still had a tendancy to dive so more and more back trim to compensate. Eventually with some effort I got to a decent altitude and some breathing room. More back trim eventually produced the flying characteristics one would expect and things settled down considerably. What I did note is that for some reason if this plane starts flying much above a slow glide ie a fast glide it wants to tuck under and literally go into a self imposed death dive. The only thing I can figure out is that as the airspeed increases and the AOA (angle of attack) decreases the outer wingtips are twisting downwards at the leading edges forcing the plane...Continue Reading
Posted by Libelle201B | Sep 14, 2014 @ 12:20 PM | 1,945 Views
Here are three pics of a classic sea breeze front often found along coastlines where the warmer land air comes into contact with the cooler (heavier) air of the ocean or water mass. These fronts can extend for many many miles and are very well defined. Soaring along these fronts will take you a long ways, unfortunately in S FL you would have to deal with Class C and B airspace and you would be traveling just above highly populated areas.
Posted by Libelle201B | Jun 29, 2014 @ 11:05 AM | 2,179 Views
Still working on my Brian Agnew Banshee 2 meter TD contest sailplane. I remember flying Brian's personal Banshee way back in the late 80's I thing and it fit me like a glove. Back then 2 meter was still very popular in the contest circuit here in FL with lot's of 2 meter kits to pick from. The Banshee is a real beauty and I was able to find one NIB in the "classified" section of RCG. It takes me much longer now to finish a kit than in the past when I would have one ready to fly in a matter of weeks or a month or so max. Based on my procrastination I "hope" to have it in the air in a few months.
Posted by Libelle201B | Apr 08, 2013 @ 06:20 PM | 3,221 Views
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Description: This picture was taken of some kid back in 1967 or maybe 1968. It was me with my very first rc sailplane called the Donnar, a rudder only design from Germany. In the background is the FAU campus. This picture was taken of some kid back in 1967-68. It was me with my first rudder only rc sailplane called the Donnar, a German built up kit. In the background is the FAU campus.

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Description: This picture was taken in about 2004, the same kid grown up 37 years later. This picture taken in about 2004 is of the same kid all grown up 37 years later. Happy Soaring!
Posted by Libelle201B | Nov 04, 2012 @ 10:27 PM | 4,367 Views
Here are some pictures of modern day FS airfoils. The first is an LS-8 and the second is an ASW-27. They are a bit more semi symetrical and a bit thinner than the older generation Wortmann's etc. These airfoils permit an L/D of about 30/1 or so at 70-80 knots, something the thicker and higher camber airfoils of past can't do.
Posted by Libelle201B | Feb 14, 2012 @ 06:10 PM | 4,427 Views
I designed the Slope Runt based on an all foamy design from the late 80's or so.
She is light, fast and very aerobatic. The span is about 42", length about 28". The airfoil is a TLAR with about 8% thickness, 1% camber, wing/stab decalage is 0-0. She has no bad habits and will slow down without an abrupt stall, even in the turns.
Posted by Libelle201B | Jan 20, 2012 @ 07:49 PM | 4,680 Views
I may be posting some soaring related comments on both r/c and full scale soon for those interested

Happy Soaring!