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Old Mar 23, 2014, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by dcronkhite View Post
Without currently, but I'm putting a rudder on it this week.
Ok ....thank you
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Old Mar 23, 2014, 11:17 PM
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United States, UT, Smithfield
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Originally Posted by mnowell129 View Post
We veterans (I'm including myself) are spoiled with super stiff airplanes that launch straight and high. It's a big adjustment to go back to something flexible like this.
Looking at how quickly these are moving, hopefully either Dream-Flight or another DLG maker will see the potential in the class, and bring out more choices. I've personally been waiting for a long time for something affordable to try out DLG without taking a 2nd mortgage. I can't be alone in that.

It's amazing what you guys that have been flying already have found with weak points and mods/workarounds for it. Early adopting is usually not super smooth sailing, so my hat's off to those of you that have contributed to make everyone's experience better with these.
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Old Mar 23, 2014, 11:19 PM
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A very nicely decorated Libelle at our slope



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Old Mar 24, 2014, 04:02 AM
Build em lite......
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Old Mar 24, 2014, 04:54 AM
rug
Matt Cook
United Kingdom, New Mills
Joined Feb 2014
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Originally Posted by Spackermen View Post
Looking at how quickly these are moving, hopefully either Dream-Flight or another DLG maker will see the potential in the class, and bring out more choices. I've personally been waiting for a long time for something affordable to try out DLG without taking a 2nd mortgage. I can't be alone in that.
Certainly not alone in the search for a cheap but good enough to be worth it DLG. The thing is, the Elf is probably similarly easy to build, and with fewer servos the total cost is probably close too - but it's only 2 channel, so not quite a 'real' DLG perhaps ? Or the Super Mini Topsky - ailerons too, but more building work than the Libelle.

Both these are slightly smaller spans, but both have been available for a while now.

So the question is, why is the Libelle seen as being a revolutionary game-changer of a DLG ? Is it like the iPad - which wasn't the first tablet by a long way, but suddenly made tablets desirable ?

I ask because I really would like to know. I want to try DLG, but I have very limited money (unemployed), and the second hand market for DLG in the UK is somewhere close to zero.

Can anyone explain the relative merits (as a DLG) of these three entry-level models ?

Thanks in advance - and I hope there is enough Libelle factor too make this post on-topic !

Matt
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Old Mar 24, 2014, 05:01 AM
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Important setup information for newbies

Has anyone mentioned to the newbies to setup their flaperon servos so that when they are electronically centered and at 90 degrees to the wing surface, you set the pushrod length so that the flaps are about 15 down?

Step 19, page 9, of the instruction manual is WRONG for a DLG setup. Ok maybe for slope, but it doesn't give enough flap travel for flatland DLG.

You want the flaps to be down ~15 when the servo is centered and the horn is at 90 to the wing surface. That way with full down flaperon you get 45 for brake, and you get +/- 15 for ailerons.
You use the throw adjustment on your radio to get the full +15 to -45 range of the flaperon, then use dual rate on aileron to get +/- 15 or less on the ailerons. You use the camber trim on the radio to make both flaperons have a bunch of up trim for all the flight modes. In other words the servos are centered with -15 of down flaperon, but in most flight modes the flaperons have 15 of up trim, making the flaperons even with the wing.

If you don't setup this way there a couple of problems. One is that you don't have enough flaperon for braking or you take the typical approach in that you move the clevis in on the horn to get more throw, then reduce the throw adjustment on the radio on the up aileron side. The problem with this approach is that you reduce the mechanical advantage on the servo making in more likely to strip or the aileron to flutter and you give away a lot of throw on the servo giving up resolution/precision on the control (something you need when thermalling).

I think most of the already DLGer's do this by instinct now, and I honestly just glanced at the instructions having done this before, but this is an important setup step.

This is a very important setup difference for those of you trying to learn flatland DLG.
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Old Mar 24, 2014, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by rug View Post
Certainly not alone in the search for a cheap but good enough to be worth it DLG. The thing is, the Elf is probably similarly easy to build, and with fewer servos the total cost is probably close too - but it's only 2 channel, so not quite a 'real' DLG perhaps ? Or the Super Mini Topsky - ailerons too, but more building work than the Libelle.

Both these are slightly smaller spans, but both have been available for a while now.

So the question is, why is the Libelle seen as being a revolutionary game-changer of a DLG ? Is it like the iPad - which wasn't the first tablet by a long way, but suddenly made tablets desirable ?

I ask because I really would like to know. I want to try DLG, but I have very limited money (unemployed), and the second hand market for DLG in the UK is somewhere close to zero.

Can anyone explain the relative merits (as a DLG) of these three entry-level models ?

Thanks in advance - and I hope there is enough Libelle factor too make this post on-topic !

Matt
Other folks will likely weigh in with different/better perspectives than mine, but here goes.
1) A lot of DLGers seemed to have learned to fly on an Alula from DF and apparently respect the brand
2) It's the first plug and play thing. top-sky, et.al, still take a lot of expertise to setup, ditto with the elf. Elf is a fine model but working out the radio install still takes a little experience or research. Also the elf is 2 channel so doesn't teach a lot about camber settings and multiple flight modes, landing with flaperons down, etc. The Libelle is REALLY, REALLY easy to build
3) It's very close to the right wingspan, wing area, and wing loading to fly close to a regular DLG. The problem with the 1meter airplanes is that they can't fly very far or get back from very far away. A lot of DLG flying involves getting to, flying in, and getting back from a thermal that's rapidly moving downwind. Unless you have a full up composite 1meter DLG (more expensive and harder to put together), you can't really get there, or get back.
4) The price is right. Many of us already flying DLG have more in servos in one airplane that the cost of this model, so I see it like mad/impulse money.
5) DLG is fun with more people. I in particular have high hopes that this will encourage people to try DLG then move up to a 1.5 meter airplane. I can't count the number of times people flying foamies come up interested in my DLG and want to try, but they shrivel up like a prune when they hear what the entry level price is (was).

Hopefully others will comment on their opinions of the "ipadishness" of libelle.
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Old Mar 24, 2014, 05:58 AM
rug
Matt Cook
United Kingdom, New Mills
Joined Feb 2014
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Originally Posted by mnowell129 View Post
(summarised - hope this is right ...)
1) Brand Loyalty.
2) The Libelle is REALLY, REALLY easy to build
3) It's very close to a regular DLG.
4) The price is right.
5) The price is right

Hopefully others will comment on their opinions of the "ipadishness" of libelle.
1) Perfectly understandable, especially as it is an American company too. (The Apple effect ? )
2) Good introduction, but does that mean the first 'real' one will be a shock ? But they'll be hooked by then ...
3) This is the key issue for me. Does the foam allow for a comparable launch, and better legs than the SMT does ? 8" difference in span, but the area is almost doubled ... I shall watch for any comparisons I can find.
4) and 5) At UK prices (using identical servos in each model), the price range of these three models spans less than $20 - less than 10% of the total. So cost is clearly much less important than the ease of build ? (With the recommended servos, the Libelle gets more expensive).

Thanks for the feedback - it has been useful. I will be looking for any SMT vs Libelle flight comparisons though, so if any one out there has access to both ...

Matt
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Old Mar 24, 2014, 06:10 AM
Throw a Flow
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Orange Park Florida
Joined Sep 2007
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My first hand launch was the Alula as well. My main DLG is a FW5 Flow SL. I think the Libelle is going to be the perfect in between ship. I still fly my Alula much more than I fly my Flow because I can go to the school down the street or the athletic complex a few blocks away and enjoy a relaxing flight. I could throw the Flow at those places but flying the Flow in small tight spots is just plain stressful. Now in a large open field the Flow is beautiful. I think the Libelle will be the perfect lunch break or grab and go glider. And I know I wont cry as hard if my launch preset sticks and I throw into ground loop and destroy a $1100.00 DLG.
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Old Mar 24, 2014, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by rug View Post
2) Good introduction, but does that mean the first 'real' one will be a shock ? But they'll be hooked by then ...
Matt
I think the challenge thus far with DLG is that a lot of people want to try and probably at the end of the day won't mind paying for a better model. But the minimum investment thus far has been very high. There's been no way to play except all in.
By contrast if you think you want to try 3D foamies, helicopters or quads, for much<$100 you can get an idea if you like it or not before investing $$$$ in a higher end model. Resale on these kinds of models is awful. What is unknown to non DLGers is that resale on used DLG's is great, so the total cost of ownership of a DLG is fairly low if you don't beat it all up.
For a while at least the issue with SMT was availability, also the build requires expertise IIRC.
The SMT calls for d47's @$20 each, so the price is a wash and you still end up with a 1m plane. And yes that span/area starts to make a difference at some point.
The SMT is probably really close to the ideal entry level, the Libelle removes all the construction angst from the equation and what probably tips the scale.
Add to that the ruggedness of EPO (real or perceived) and the flip gets switched.
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Old Mar 24, 2014, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by tom@orangeridg View Post
My first hand launch was the Alula as well.
That's it!
All the Libelles are being bought by Alulites!
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Old Mar 24, 2014, 07:11 AM
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United States, FL, Indialantic
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Originally Posted by mnowell129 View Post
That's it!
All the Libelles are being bought by Alulites!
Or Weaseloids!!



Ken
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Old Mar 24, 2014, 07:44 AM
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I too have been wondering about the Libelle vs Elf comparison. I have not seen a Libelle, but own an Elf and it is a fantastic little glider. Yes, the Elf doesn't have flapperons, but I suspect it can compete with (possibly better than) a Libelle performance wise. I bet it can out launch the Libelle and if you carry a bit of extra weight, it can cover a surprising about of ground. I flew it in a windy Eurotour contest after breaking two of my contest DLG's, put 28g ballast in it ( 130g AUW) and it did really well. It might be slightly more complex to install the servos, but only slightly. We also had a newbie fly an Elf in one of our local UK comps and he did very well, although having brakes would have helped.

Don't get me wrong, I am not bashing the Libelle. If it gets more people flying DLG, then that is great, but it might be 'the best' entry level DLG for everyone.
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Old Mar 24, 2014, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeHLG View Post
I too have been wondering about the Libelle vs Elf comparison. I have not seen a Libelle, but own an Elf and it is a fantastic little glider. Yes, the Elf doesn't have flapperons, but I suspect it can compete with (possibly better than) a Libelle performance wise. I bet it can out launch the Libelle and if you carry a bit of extra weight, it can cover a surprising about of ground. I flew it in a windy Eurotour contest after breaking two of my contest DLG's, put 28g ballast in it ( 130g AUW) and it did really well. It might be slightly more complex to install the servos, but only slightly. We also had a newbie fly an Elf in one of our local UK comps and he did very well, although having brakes would have helped.

Don't get me wrong, I am not bashing the Libelle. If it gets more people flying DLG, then that is great, but it might be 'the best' entry level DLG for everyone.
I have a Falke that I feel the same way about. Kit was only $90, two servos and you're in for less than $150.
I'm certainly not asserting that it's the "best" entry level DLG, simply that it does work as an entry level DLG.
The question remains, why the interest? Best guess is that DF has sold maybe 300-400 of these in a week or two. I'd be willing to bet that this is more than all the super mini top skys, stellas, and elfs put together over their entire production run.
It hit some kind of sweet spot of price/performance/availability/beginner friendliness so that people pulled the trigger.
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Old Mar 24, 2014, 08:20 AM
Turn down for what?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rug View Post
So the question is, why is the Libelle seen as being a revolutionary game-changer of a DLG ? Is it like the iPad - which wasn't the first tablet by a long way, but suddenly made tablets desirable ?

I ask because I really would like to know. I want to try DLG, but I have very limited money (unemployed), and the second hand market for DLG in the UK is somewhere close to zero.
Hey Matt,

Opinions here are a dime a dozen, but I'll offer mine.

The USA company and designed in the USA bit is a big factor. The little guys trying to do what many people said was impossible (a DLG Radian) is another. That it is 4 servo and about the same size as a "full size" DLG is another. The $120 price point (in the USA) is another. The fact that it is foam and foam is considered very durable is a big part. That it is foam and plastic parts pulled out of a mold and thus can be very quickly mass produced is a factor. And probably most of all the very detailed instruction manual is a big reason as well. The Libelle is so different and unlike anything we have seen before in the DLG world. Given the amount of interest it will be a short amount of time before Hobby King has something in this space.

Personally if I were unemployed I might consider this a great time to try to scratch build something like the Mimi. Plans are available for free and in the USA (not sure what you can or can't easily get in England) it could be built from things sourced from hobby shops, crafts stores, and sporting goods stores fairly inexpensively. Otherwise I would look at what Neil from Hyperflight has. A lot of people look down their noses at 40 inch models like the Elf (some of those folks have never owned a DLG that size) but they really are decent flyers especially the Elf. For a person interested in sport flying thermals having wing surfaces doesn't really add a ton of extra functionality. Given what I have seen quoted as the cost to get a Libelle in England I would personally consider for the same cash outlay supporting a local distributor like Neil. For that matter maybe he will eventually start selling the Libelle too.

Best of luck and keep posting if you have more questions.

Ryan


Ryan
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