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Old Nov 01, 2010, 03:57 PM
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United States, CA, San Diego
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Newbie Woes. Gentle Lady weapon of choice.

Hi everyone. I finished building my GL about a week ago and have been flying (and crashing) for 3 days now. I've been reading about slope soaring and finding thermals from the Apogee articles. The plane is handling very nicely I must say. However, I am having a heck of a time getting any more than 30 sec duration flights. I have been attempting to hand launch it off the side of big hills and in the field behind my house. I am getting frustrated now since Its a beautiful plane getting all ripped up from the amount of landings I have to perform.

Is it a MUST to use a launching device for this sailplane? I am about this l..l close to buying a folding prop for it from Master Airscrew and powering it. I rather not though since having a glider is so cool. I didn't want to purchase a high start because they cost as much as the plane did. If you guys think its necessary though, I'll fork over the money so I can enjoy my new toy.

Thoughts, input, advice?

Sincerely,
Frustrated Noob (Dan)[IMG][IMG][/IMG][/IMG]
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 04:10 PM
Ascended Master
Sparky Paul's Avatar
Palmdale, CA
Joined Oct 2000
13,499 Posts
Any good slope... taller than 50 feet above the surrounding terrain on the windward side should provide hours of flight.
Frequent crashes?
Most turns should be done into the wind, away from the slope. Turning towards the slope brings the plane out of the lift quickly.
Gentle Ladys are good slopers.
.
And a video..
Note the turn toward the slope...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9swDQTjCKY0
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 05:02 PM
Making wood fly since 2007
Windependence's Avatar
USA, MN, Rochester
Joined Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyracer View Post
Is it a MUST to use a launching device for this sailplane? I am about this l..l close to buying a folding prop for it from Master Airscrew and powering it. I rather not though since having a glider is so cool....
Crazyracer,

If you are new to soaring you will find it difficult at best to get significant flights from a hand launch on flat ground with any 2 meter plane. Even the finer soaring pilots find that a challenge. For thermal flights you will need to probably get yourself a hi-start or motorize your GL. A basic hi-start for a light weight 2 meter plane will run you 50 - 60 bucks. A motor, BEC, and battery will run you about the same or a little more depending on where you get them from.

I have been launching my 2 meter Riser from a Dynaflight hi-start for 3 seasons now. There are better units available but this will haul a GL into the air with no problems. As to the slope soaring I would think that the GL would fly from most any reasonable slope in winds from 5 - 15 mph. Now let me state for the record that I have only flown slope twice so you will probably get better slope advice from other posters.

That is a very nice looking GL. Good job on the build.

Wayne
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 05:04 PM
more casual than stylish....
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Where do you live? Chances are somebody on the slope forum will know a flyable location close to you.

Here's what you want:

Wind: Hopefully straight into the hill. Above 10 mph
Hill: The taller and steeper the better. Hopefully you have a large enough area to launch and land, and some grass on the ground to cushion things.
Weather: Low pressure days seem to work better than high pressure days.

Technique: When you're slermalling, look for the plane to suddenly turn on it's own- that was a thermal you just flew through. If the right wing went up- turn quickly back to the right and circle there, but drift back toward the hill, as the thermal is doing the same thing.

Wind shift- be aware that a sudden decrease in wind might be a good sign. That usually means a thermal is just out front, and is pulling the air up into it- hence the sudden change in wind. Conversely- a sudden cold increase in wind means the thermal has passed behind you. If you're searching for a thermal time to look further out.

Features: Thermals behave like a drop of water on your ceiling, only upside down...they stick to a feature like a ridge, and follow that feature until they pop loose and ascend. Once you get to know where the terrain feature that promotes that is, you can keep going back to that "resident thermal" ride it up and then search.
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 05:21 PM
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crazyracer:

Great build.

Take your spare change, and go to somewhere like Amazon.com, and get yourself a copy of the Old Buzzard's Book of Soaring, by Dave Thornburg. It's the original holy writ, and it all still works. And, it's fun to read. Ol' Dave knows exactly what you're going through.

Yours, Greg
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 05:29 PM
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United States, CA, San Diego
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Holy crap, this forum is amazing. Never have I received such a wealth of information in such a short amount of time.

I am located currently in south Michigan (Jackson). I will be moving back to California in 5 weeks though where there are mountains and good slopes.

Question: In slope flying, is it necessary to have 10-15mph winds? If so then my problem may just be not enough wind.

Sparky Paul, what would you say the winds were in that video of yours?

Lastly, when I try flying into the wind on the slope, the plane seems to stall and just start loosing altitude. Is this due to the wind not being strong enough?

I don't have the weight of my plane yet, but I am using micro servos side by side against the front bulkhead with 4 NiCd batteries up front, along with 2 oz weight in the nose to get the CG in the correct location. I can't imagine this being too heavy.

Thanks for the thermaling tips Slopemeno.


-Dan
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 06:11 PM
Who said Kiwi's can't fly!
Grunta5's Avatar
Hawkes Bay , New Zealand
Joined Feb 2008
900 Posts
Hi, if the slopes a good height and shape , and the breeze is blowing directly onto it then you should be able to fly for hours without landing.. untill you either get bored, the wind stops or changes direction or you run you batteries flat.
I dont have many decent slopes near my home so I now fly with a brushless and lipo's , I can fly almost all morning on one lipo charge. I have just converted an electric glider I built to slope ( removed the motor and fitted a nose block) and I am looking forward to trying a bit of slope soaring again.... I think there is something neat about flying an unpowered model, also it usually blows here from about now till early December ( equinox ) so I may as well make use of it a....
Good luck with the GL
PS: try a tow line, its how I learnt... about 100 feet of fishing line and a pendant near the tow hook, a friend would tow it up for me and I got some great flights from the launches ( lots cheaper than a high start system..)

Grant.
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 06:18 PM
Who said Kiwi's can't fly!
Grunta5's Avatar
Hawkes Bay , New Zealand
Joined Feb 2008
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Quote]
Lastly, when I try flying into the wind on the slope, the plane seems to stall and just start loosing altitude. Is this due to the wind not being strong enough?

Check the c.g and you may need to get the nose down slightly to get the model moving forward a bit quicker into the wind. speed = lift
I think 10 - 15 mph is a good wind speed, 5-10 mph may not generate much lift depending on the shape of the slope..
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyracer View Post
Holy crap, this forum is amazing. Never have I received such a wealth of information in such a short amount of time.

I am located currently in south Michigan (Jackson). I will be moving back to California in 5 weeks though where there are mountains and good slopes.
(deleted)-Dan
Dan,

Where are you moving to in California? Someone here might be able to give you suitable flying locations, and possibly local contacts, if they know where you are going.

Also, If your model seems to stall when flying into the wind (and you are sure the balance is correct), try adding some down trim (one click at a time). The amount of down trim needed will vary depending on the wind speed. This will increase your models flying speed, and when you are out of the lift you will have to pull back slighty to maintain level flight.

Ken
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 06:40 PM
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Dan:

Just so you know about hand launching: The day I met Dave Thornburg in person (about 20 years ago), he was flying a Gentle Lady - and he said "Hey, look!, pointed to a nearby pile of rocks, and threw it. He thermalled up from about 20 feet, and the last I saw of him that day, he was walking along the road, still flying his airplane, to visit some other guys.

It most certainly CAN be done. But, it may not be the easy way. Have fun on the slope, and have fun trying out a hi-start - they are BOTH fun things to do.

Good luck!

Yours, Greg
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 06:40 PM
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Palmdale, CA
Joined Oct 2000
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If the plane can't penetrate, then it needs down trim, or ballast. A GL can't handle a lot of wind, too much airplane... draggy.
It's a good light wind airplane though.
I won't go out unless the winds at my usual slope site (in the video) are over 10 mph.
I've flown faster higher loaded planes there with winds past 45 mph.
That site is just north of the Vincent Summit site where the dynamic slopers get 200 mph+ speeds on the backside... towards the place I fly from.
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 08:04 PM
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United States, CA, San Diego
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I go to college at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. I've already contacted the local "Slo flyers" club. They referred me to the Pismo Beach Soaring Society for some slope flying gurus. I'm looking forward to getting this bird out to Cali, I have a feeling the conditions will be much better.


I just got inside from trying the fishline + running father for a cheap tow. It may work with a light breeze but it was kind of a bust tonight. I'll try some new things tomorrow.

Just curious, I see a lot of keychain camera videos around this forum and they are great quality. What camera are you guys mounting on board to capture footage? Don't worry, I'll get high start or some propulsion system prior to outfitting reconnaissance payload.
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 09:43 PM
more casual than stylish....
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The best slermal flight I've ever enjoyed was with my Gentle Lady.

Slopeflyer33 and I were at Eastside 4- Corners in Marin county. There was zero wind. Some local plants were shedding their seeds, which were like cotton- fluffy white seeds. I watched the seeds swirl around on the ground, then lift off. I launched my GL. expecting a very quick launch and land.

Quickly I was at a couple of hundred feet altitude. Bruce (slopeflyer33) lauched his CrazyBird and we cored the thermal. Soon we were at the absolute limits of our vision, where we stayed for about 40 minutes. My GL was so small it appeared to be a little yellow fleck in the sky- I could barelyt make out what direction it was heading. Eventually the lift glassed off and we came down, and I managed to hand-catch the GL for the landing. Just a magic day.
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 10:22 PM
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USA, PA, Westmoreland Co.
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how big of a field must you have to use the dyna-flite hi-start (such as for 2m gliders)? or maybe to rephrase it, how small can the field be?
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Old Nov 01, 2010, 11:04 PM
Who said Kiwi's can't fly!
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Hawkes Bay , New Zealand
Joined Feb 2008
900 Posts
A hand tow needs a little wind to "kite " it up also... in calm air you need to be a marathon runner to get much altitude..

Grant.
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