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Old Apr 14, 2015, 08:40 AM
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Help Choosing

Could people who have used a few different lower cost sail planes please provide me with some recommendations for a first sail plane to learn thermaling and be able to grow into?

My RC Background is 3D RC Helis, FPV Racing, and a couple flying wings. I am interested to take on a new challenge in the hobby and want to try out sail planes.

The ones I am looking at right now are the:

Motion RC V-tail
The Calypso
The R2 hobbies Passer
Kunai

Any suggestions on these models or an alternative one would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 09:03 AM
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Hey Jman,
When my interest grew for other flight envelopes, a glider was the perfect genre to enjoy & take advantage if the breezes & superb thermals where I live. A bit of homework resulted in my purchasing the Radian & I found it to be the absolute best glider to wean with. Very gentle flyer with good power, marvelous glide parameters, & easy transport. My best time aloft so far has been 1hr7min....I had to bring it down to relieve my neck stiffness.

When I decided I was ready for a more advanced glider, again, a bit of homework resulted in my purchasing the ROCHobby V-Tail. This model gave me much more understanding of wind, thermals, glide, & landing with the additional Ail & Flaps control. There are great threads here on each.....just do a bit of homework & watch some vids on YouTube. Good luck.....

Denny
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 12:20 PM
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Thanks for the tips! I think I want to start off with something that is a little more advanced than the Radian so I can grow into it and not find myself wanting to buy a second one after a month. The V-tail looks great and is definitely one of my top choices right now. How does it stack up to the others I listed? How about the Foam options vs. the balsa planes?

Is it worth going with Balsa for extra rigidity over the foam or is foam working very well?
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 12:55 PM
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the Passer from r2hobbies is one hell of a plane. But it's not a good one to learn on. The fuse is very tight there's not a lot of room and the wing is as flat as Kansas. It flys well but it is not a hands-off glider. when tuned correctly, it flies very nicely but it is not beginner friendly. Did I mention it's a great flying airplane? Save it for later project and you'll be happier.
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 03:53 PM
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I agree with Jim. The Passer is best saved for the next step. I have flown a Calypso quite a bit and enjoy it very much. It's a little slower than the Passer and doesn't penetrate wind quite as well but it soars very nicely and is probably a better "pure floater" than the others on your list.

Cheers!
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 04:00 PM
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haha ok, thank you. It does look very nice, but doesn't look too durable like the foamies. I guess I'll stick with a Foamie at first.

Has anyone owned the Calypso and the V-tail? Which do you prefer?
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimNM View Post
the Passer from r2hobbies is one hell of a plane. But it's not a good one to learn on. The fuse is very tight there's not a lot of room and the wing is as flat as Kansas. It flys well but it is not a hands-off glider. when tuned correctly, it flies very nicely but it is not beginner friendly. Did I mention it's a great flying airplane? Save it for later project and you'll be happier.
+1

I've had two of them. One when I was relatively new to planks, thinking how hard can a glider be? Lasted 4 flights before it bit me and I didnt know how to recover. 2 years and much experience later I bought another one. Much better this time around. Would not recommend for a first glider.
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 05:59 PM
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I would disagree that the Radian is something you'd grow out of. I see the Radian as both a great starter and a brilliant complement to more complex models. The skills you grow learning to soar with a Radian are universal and learning to find and exploit lift imo is more significant than operating a more complex model. And that's why the good guys with Radians regularly beat the average guys with Pulsars and moldies in competitions.
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 06:18 PM
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I would disagree that the Radian is something you'd grow out of. I see the Radian as both a great starter and a brilliant complement to more complex models. The skills you grow learning to soar with a Radian are universal and learning to find and exploit lift imo is more significant than operating a more complex model. And that's why the good guys with Radians regularly beat the average guys with Pulsars and moldies in competitions.
+1 to this too!

I have had a radian for years and it still comes to the field nearly every time I fly. I also tried my hand at a F5J (I think I got that right!) comp a month or so ago and placed 4th in the first heat with the radian, against a field of full house composite and balsa planes.
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 07:18 PM
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Hmm, that's very interesting.

I will admit I have alternative motives for wanting more control surfaces as well. I like to play around with automated flight and wanted to use it for learning the additional control functions with the pixhawk as I currently have it on a flying wing with nothing but elevons.

I will consider that though. So the Radian will fly just as well as the V-tail, Radian Pro, or Calypso?
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 07:43 PM
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What do you mean by "fly well". If you want to get into gliding in order to enjoy the hunt for thermals and working lift then the Radian is the best plane , period. If catching thermals is your goal you will not out grow the Radian, you will just buy better more expensive planes and then go back and fly your Radian and wonder if spending all the money (on the expensive planes) was worth it. The radian pro is not as good IMO at thermal flying (owned both radians), the pro does allow you to experiment with full house glider mixing and camber changes which has value. But I recently sold my pro because I just have better full house gliders. I will not sell my radian, it so easy to put together, I can fly it like I stole it, and its fun to fly with my brother who also has one (1 vs. 1 comps. lol). As far as the Calypso, I have flown it and IMO its a sub par thermal glider, was not impressed at all with it's flying characteristics or its quality. None of the planes you listed are great thermal planes. The Kunai however is a great plane, just not a thermal glider (next plane I will buy for my brother). Its faster, more acrobatic and flies great at the slope. Why are you buying a glider is the best question? If it is for catching thermals and working lift and generally not using the motor, then IMO none of the planes on your list are acceptable for that role.
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 07:58 PM
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Ah, thank you for the information.

I guess I am looking for a jack of all trades sail plane. Something that I can have fun with flying around, potential use with autopilot and some FPV, learn basics of thermaling, do some mild aerobatics with, and just an all around fun plane.

I realize a jack of all trades plane will not excel at anything, but, I don't think I am looking for the best of a specific category.

With that in mind, what would your recommendation be?

The radian does sound great and I keep hearing people winning competitions with it. Maybe i'll pick one up to use as a thermal trainer before buying something else?
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jman841 View Post

The ones I am looking at right now are the:

Motion RC V-tail
The Calypso
The R2 hobbies Passer
Kunai
Motion RC V-tail got one. yet to maiden, but everyone on the owners group love it to the point of renaming it to a V ROC because it rocks!

The Calypso looks good, and a reasonable price

Kunai a very good warm-liner. again don't have one but a fried does. ha says its nice, and fast. only a 1,4 meter wing, so not too sure how well it will thermal.

of these 3 it depends on your budget. i debated between the V Tail, and calypso. opted for the V Tail due to the tail, and larger wing.
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 08:36 PM
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The Radian is great especially with some simple mods. I have better thermal planes but I still fly it quite often. I have a jack of all trades plane, but it might be above your price range. It was actually my first rc plane, it was given to me by my grandfather. It is probably 15 years old, has been crashed many times in the past. I don't know how it flies like it does, but it is great and I will never part with it even though it doesn't get flown much. They still sell them. Here is the link. Maybe not an ideal first plane, but it sure knows how to fly and will thermal in good lift conditions.

http://www.espritmodel.com/mefisto-m...liner-arf.aspx

I not familiar with autopilot or FPV stuff. But if you really want to learn to thermal and do some acrobatics and if you can convince yourself to fly without a motor, a DLG glider will change your world. IMO dlg are the best to learn how to thermal. They can really give you a challenge catching light lift and they open your eyes to how thermals behave. Flying DLG's has made flying planes like my Radian much easier because I recognize thermal behavior and activity much better than I ever did before.
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nateyok View Post
The Radian is great especially with some simple mods. I have better thermal planes but I still fly it quite often. I have a jack of all trades plane, but it might be above your price range. It was actually my first rc plane, it was given to me by my grandfather. It is probably 15 years old, has been crashed many times in the past. I don't know how it flies like it does, but it is great and I will never part with it even though it doesn't get flown much. They still sell them. Here is the link. Maybe not an ideal first plane, but it sure knows how to fly and will thermal in good lift conditions.

http://www.espritmodel.com/mefisto-m...liner-arf.aspx

I not familiar with autopilot or FPV stuff. But if you really want to learn to thermal and do some acrobatics and if you can convince yourself to fly without a motor, a DLG glider will change your world.
that's a nice ship, and a reasonable price in my opinion.
id consider a radian pro. a jack of all trades plane. got one love it. decent price too.
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