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Old Aug 08, 2012, 11:01 AM
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Step-up gliders - Once you are hooked - 2M and larger

We work with new pilots to introduce them to gliders. Perhaps it is a Radian or a Vista or a Gentle Lady. Whatever it is, they get hooked. Now what?

Perhaps you have given them a taste of contest flying and they are having a ball. Now they want to upgrade to a new glider, perhaps one that can be more contest competitive but they are not going to spend $1000+ for one of the high end moldies.

They have a suitable transmitter, they just need a recommendation for a plane. The budget is in the $300 to $800 range for a new airframe alone.

They want to go to that next glider, that "step-up glider". What do you recommend? Since this is the Thermal forum, let's stick to non-electric launched gliders.

What do you recommend?

This could be 2 meter or larger, any control configuration that can be purchased or built NEW for $300 to $800 for the plane alone, less electroncis. Kits or ARFs.

Any suggestions of buying used are not relevent as they could wait years for the one you suggest. I am talking about new. Call this the first step up, or entry level TD competition plane.

So, if they came to you for advice, what would you suggest for flying American style, winch launched thermal duration contests?
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 11:17 AM
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Here are some I would recommed the step-up pilot consider. I have not flown these myself. I only know the Dragonfly Strong, sprite and Organic by reputation and/or from seeing them flown. The others I have read about in posts on the forums. General impressions are pretty good and they fit the category.

If you know these gliders, or others, feel free to comment.


Dragonfly Strong
http://www.soaringusa.com/Dragonfly-Strong.html

Pulsar 3.2
http://www.soaringusa.com/Pulsar-3200.html

Hobbyclub has a few but they provide so little information, I hope someone can enlighten us about these. They fit the category.

Hobbyclub Sup-RES -
http://www.hobbyclub.com/product_inf...roducts_id=880

Hobbyclub Sup Danny Full house -
http://www.hobbyclub.com/product_inf...roducts_id=888


Esprit Models has a few marked as F3J planes but they seem heavy compared to other gliders in their class. Anyone know these planes?

Elixr 3.2
http://www.espritmodel.com/elixir-32s-f3j-arf.aspx

Condor 3.6M
http://www.espritmodel.com/condor-36...plane-arf.aspx

Ibis
http://www.espritmodel.com/ibis-3-1s...plane-arf.aspx

The Marauder - RES kit
http://www.mmglidertech.com/aircraft.php

Organic 2M and 2.5M. An organic 2M won the 2M Nats in 2011 or maybe it was 2010
http://www.kennedycomposites.com/organic.htm

The only full house woody I know of is the Smooth Genie Pro.
http://www.vintagesailplaner.com/SmoothGeniePro.html




Suggestions provided by other posters in the thread.I will keep adding to this post as recommendtions are made.

The Oculus - This is a kit but much of the hard work is done for you.
http://www.mmglidertech.com/aircraft.php
Designer’s Build Log – interesting reading
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1398047
Another Build thread – As you read through, note that the kit changed
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ghlight=oculus

Onyx, Ruby at Soaring USA
www.soaringusa.com

Art Hobby JK Thermik 2.5
www.arthobby.com

Sprite 2M - This was the most popular glider at the 2M Nats in 2012
I believe one was flown at the Unlimited NATs too.
http://www.kennedycomposites.com/sprite.htm

MIRAGE Kit
www.Isthmusmodels.com.

Skybird Kit - Near the bottom of the page
Wing Span: 132", RES version. Wing loading: 8 oz. per sq. ft.
http://www.skybench.com/index.html?h....com/home.html

Wing upgrades for a Gentle Lady or Spirit
http://www.racores.com/current_products.html#2MWings
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 11:27 AM
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If this hypothetical new pilot was interested in building woodies, the options are quite numerous.
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 11:42 AM
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There is one kit that is priced right and is not difficult to build and the performance is right up there with the high $$$ ships.

The Oculus

www.mmglidertech.com

Clarence
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by onethermal View Post
There is one kit that is priced right and is not difficult to build and the performance is right up there with the high $$$ ships.

The Oculus

www.mmglidertech.com

Clarence
Great Suggestion!


Quote:
Originally Posted by LVsoaring View Post
If this hypothetical new pilot was interested in building woodies, the options are quite numerous.
Any woody can be flown off a winch. Add a bit of carbon to the spar and it an take a pretty good launch. I am sure many would be contest worthy even among today's moldies. Remember I am not trying to find the Worldbeater 2000 in this price range. Just something that can run with the pack and is a step up from those 2M starter planes.

The only issue I have with woodies are that they are mostly RES. Now I love RES gliders and if you plan to fly RES, that is great. But what about full house woodies?

The only full house woody I know of is the Smooth Genie Pro.
http://www.vintagesailplaner.com/SmoothGeniePro.html

Are there others?

If someone is selling bagged wing kits with the wings already bagged, that would qualify too if it is in the prie range. But the only one I know of was Stealth, who was doing Supra wings, and he is not producing at this time.

My first step-up glider was a Polecat Thermal Dancer which was a 122 inch bagged wing with the Supra airfoil. GREAT intermediate plane for $650, but you can't get them or similar planes anymore that I know of.
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 05:38 PM
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Look at Skybench, Ray has anything an aspiring thermal seeker wold ever need.
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 06:05 PM
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I would have to disagree with you about buying used, Ed. True, if you limit yourself to just one obscure model, you may have a bit of a wait. I am of the opinion that if you broaden your choices just a little, it would be possible to have a flyable, competition grade sailplane alot faster than a guy, new to modeling, could build. I know that would be the route I would take....without a doubt.
If building is a must, the Oculus does indeed look good. If said "New Guy" is a good builder, maybe take on a scratch built Supra or Bubble Dancer. As for kits, I would also have to give consideration to the Skybench Oly 3.
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 07:31 PM
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If you are up to building a 3 meter RES woody and can scrape together $135, there is nothing that comes close to the MIRAGE from Isthmusmodels.com.
It will spoil you.

Craig
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 07:42 PM
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I think this is an area where a re-kitting of the Airtronics Sapphire or other similar white foam/obechi full house model is needed. Would retail for around $4-500, fair performance without worrying about breaking wings on tow.
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 09:27 PM
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Art Hobby JK Thermik 2.5 I know a couple of guys who have these and like them, and they seem cost effective. Might want to learn to tap the winch or reinforce the wing, though.

I'm thinking you probably don't count short kits, but if you do, of course the Allegro Lite and Bubble Dancer are really great in RES. Of course, it has to be someone who's good at making things, patient, etc. A beginner might do better in TD with a really good RES than with something with all the bells and whistles. That was my experience back in the '80s. Sorta, since I'm not sure I'd go as far as saying the Sagitta 600 was really good, especially at the weight mine flew at.

Later this year, I hope to be able to tell you if I think the Chrysalis 2M would be a good way to go for someone who was budget minded. I suspect it is. I'm sure it has a much better speed range than a GL, and is likely to take a much stronger launch.

If almost any flavor of used Mantis can be found, that's probably a good option.
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 09:47 PM
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If almost any flavor of used Mantis can be found, that's probably a good option.
The flying butt plugs ... yeck!
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 09:48 PM
Let's find some thermals!
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Onyx, Ruby at Soaring USA
Pulsar at Esprit Models

What about dlg's
Blaster 2 from Kennedy Composites

For $950 the nan Tracer at soaring does it all well, but it's close to that dreaded $1000 mark.
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 10:01 PM
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The Art Hobby models have always looked interesting to me, and they're certainly priced right. An experienced member of our club recently finished a Velvia 2M (full house). He reinforced the center wing joint a bit and has been launching it much harder than I would have ever expected possible. It's a nice flier. He may blow it up on the winch one of these days, but I think there are some great choices there if one is willing to use some discretion on the launches.
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 10:16 PM
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If you want something pretty, go to Nitroplanes or something. If you want to do well in a contest without spending a lot of dough, practice and get a Mantis. If you put a landing skid on it, it no longer looks like a .....
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The flying butt plugs ... yeck!
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 11:11 PM
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A few different suggestions here:

DJAeroTech's Chrysalis; a 2m polyhedral glider that can be bought inexpensively and is renowned to fly well. http://djaerotech.com/dj_product/chrysalis2m.html

The Dreamflight Alula or Weasel; 36" wingspan EPO and CF spar gliders well suited to slope or thermal duration. Either are excellent introductory gliders as they're very practical, very low cost and can be handlaunched easily. http://www.dream-flight.com/home.html

No affiliation etc etc, they're just both on my 'to do' list.

Cheers - boingk

EDIT: Both should easily be flight ready for under $150, so long as you're not using expensive servos or Rx's. If you are then make it under $200
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