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Old Nov 03, 2012, 07:37 AM
Ray Hayes is offline
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United States, IN, Fort Wayne
Joined Apr 2003
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Thinking of Installing E-Power ?

Why do some people have a mind set of "for or against" the growing popularity of building Woody Sailplanes and installing electric motors to launch them ? Or, as Jack Iafret describes it so well ... "a winch in the nose".

I read on RC Groups people actually putting a downer on anyone that would consider installing an electric motor in a sailplane. I don't get it. People want to tell ( control ) others how to enjoy the hobby of building model airplanes ??

Here is my short list that I think describes the benefits of each type of sailplane. From my point of view, I see posters on RC Groups trying to decide what kit to purchase and if they should install an electric motor, I believe it all comes down to how and where you are going to fly the sailplane.

The first thing I suggest is join an open minded sailplane club if possible. My second suggestion is realize your kit purchase will likely not be your one and only kit purchase. Third, when you ask a question on RC Groups, you will be astounded at reply's from folks that: A. don't build, B. have only one small experience with electric sailplanes or none. Consequently, be prepared to be a little more confused than you were before asking the question. I hope the following is helpful.

Ray's Short List ...

1. The only thing different in the build is installing the motor and components and working the front end of the fuse.

2. The gain in flying weight for E-Power is negligible unless you screw up by doing a poor job of glassing the fuse or using a larger battery and/or motor (too heavy) than necessary.

3. If you are not already an accomplished Thermal Pilot, you most likely will have a tendency to rely more on the motor to save your plane than learning the finer skills of flying a motorless sailplane. That's Human nature at work. Many new pilots have a tendency to fly their E Powered "sailplane" more like a motor powered airplane and never get into the challenge and rewards of learning to Thermal Soar.

4. Where you fly can determine installing E-Power, small flying fields are plentiful and the relative silence of E-Power flying allows you to fly without disturbing surrounding neighbors. A winch or hi-start need a little more room. BTW, please don't use the excuse that setting up a winch or hi-start is too much bother, the calories you burn walking will add time to your life span and improve your present physical endurance qualities. Pot bellies are UGLY and cause back and knee problems. Easy for me to say, I have continued my walking routine, but have reduced my calorie intake (diet) and have lost 15 pounds in six months.

5. The obvious ... your missing something ( or a lot ) if you don't fly both electric and non electric. My best example, Bill Grenoble and I flew Max Patch for two days ( thousand mile plus round trip for each of us ) , I had my 2ME Lil Bird and non electric 2M Osprey. The first day's wind direction worked for both non and electric sailplanes, the second day worked just for the electrics. With the electrics we could check out different, far away areas for lift. This was our first trip to Max Patch, but not my last.

Ray Hayes LSF 803
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