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Old Jun 26, 2013, 08:10 PM
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Gordysoar's Avatar
USA, KY, Louisville
Joined Oct 2002
688 Posts
The Radian....super

For those of you with Radians, most are newbies to soaring, but even a lot of the season'd pilots have not been 'builders'....so you've all been enjoying the really nice rubber glider....but for those who understand the reason for balancing a task sailplane, and the complication of a fixed horizontal stabilizer and the effects of aero-elasticity on a sailplane's behavior...some tweaks can make a huge difference, same as it does to a Genital Lady, Spirit or Vista wood sailplane.

I'll let you find the YouTube video where a fella lays out the tweaks step by step...but I want to tell you this....

A club newbie who's been a advanced heli pilot, who I've been on to get a Radian, finally did. Before he put it together, he asked if there was anything he should do to improve the model...I told him to check all the threads on Groups, I knew that it was nose heavy even with the battery way back and the tailboom to vertical area was weak and flexy.

He found the video, did all the mods and then brought it out for me to maiden....WOW!!! I always hand toss a model first, especially before turning any nose motors on...and this ship flew straight, no crazy incidence issues, the balance was dead on but it was the handling that most impressed me.

I motored it up and we put on about 20mins of flying (no I never ever restart the launch motor on a sailplane)...so I had a really good chance to evaluate its flight characteristics compared to a normal nice Radian.

Definitely more like an AVA than a Radian now....but far less forgiving to bounces, and twisting tumbling "landings".

Go see if you can find that video.
Gordy
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 08:24 PM
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Gordysoar's Avatar
USA, KY, Louisville
Joined Oct 2002
688 Posts
And the answer is.....what a surprise?

Yep its Paul Naton of Radio Carbon Art training video fame!

Read some of the comments, definitely powered model flyers.
This one had me do the LOL thing! :-) "Making a glider heavier hmmm I have my doubts" If only our models were lighter, we'd always make task times and landings :-).

Paul is one of our most intuitive sailplane modelers when it comes to ..well just about everything rc soaring!

Thanks a bunch Paul!
If you guys don't have all his soaring videos...well you didn't want your ALES scores to improve anyway ;-).
Gordy
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 09:52 PM
Red Merle ALES
Curtis Suter's Avatar
United States, Mt, Helena
Joined Apr 2002
5,439 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by skye8070 View Post

So if you want to know where I am next time you roll through C-Bus you'll probably find me shooting landings. And let's face it, they're on the LSF tasks I and II for a good reason: crashing your plane into your buddy, your car, etc is no fun so it would be really nice if we could all acquire the skill to safety execute a precision landing at the drop of a hat and keep our friends, cars etc safe! Honestly I'll bet that's why it's in the LSF tasks at such a low level. Doing that consistently is one of the hardest things for me to grasp, don't ask me why because I have no idea, and without the LSF goading me on I'm not really sure I ever would have bothered. Don't take the landing out of soaring, if for no other reason than to keep my nose to the landing grindstone.

Skye Malcolm
Skye,
I have thought about this most wonderful writing you did and agree 100% with you. Glider flying is new to many folks here in my town and with the advent of ALES competitions it is less of a combat zone when watching folks fly their models, even on fun soaring days, much less in contests.

Eventually our models must come to rest and that is an important skill, including full scale too!

It is 5% of the total score for the math folks.

Curtis
Montana
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 10:23 PM
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USA, CA, Chico
Joined Feb 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordysoar View Post
Yep its Paul Naton of Radio Carbon Art training video fame!

Read some of the comments, definitely powered model flyers.
This one had me do the LOL thing! :-) "Making a glider heavier hmmm I have my doubts" If only our models were lighter, we'd always make task times and landings :-).

Paul is one of our most intuitive sailplane modelers when it comes to ..well just about everything rc soaring!

Thanks a bunch Paul!
If you guys don't have all his soaring videos...well you didn't want your ALES scores to improve anyway ;-).
Gordy
I LOVE Paul's videos!!! So those radian tweaks make THAT much of a difference huh???? I just can't get past the rubber plane!! I like your term : rubber plane. :-)

Ps edit : I personally think Paul is a Sailplane Savant. ;-)
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 10:26 PM
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Now if I can only LEARN from Paul's videos!!! :-)
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 07:43 AM
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Allan Wright's Avatar
Lee, NH, USA
Joined Jun 2001
5,185 Posts
Sorry wrong thread for my original content.

Regarding new pilots, I've flown my Radian at Polecat for 3 years now and I find it very relaxing and enjoyable knowing there's not a lot of dollars up there to lose and not a lot of financial risk when I slam it in for a 45-point landing nose first. I think both of those would help a new pilot enjoy their entry into the class. Last year I flew an un-modified radian to max round scores in 2 of 4 rounds on Sunday and 900+ points in another. This year I was max score in one flight on Saturday and one flight on Sunday with a stock Radian. In all of those cases I had AVAs, Maxas, etc. in my fligts.

I don't consider myself in the top 20% of pilots skill wise, so I think the playing field is more level than a lot of other people here do. Remember, when you're at a contest you have the hardcore, high-skill pilots (the top 20%), and then 80% of the field is the 'regular guys'. Being able to fly all weekend with 'the pros' and still pull a couple of round-winning flights with a $200 flying beer cooler is about as fair as you can get it for an entry level budget. I challenge you to bring a $200 plane to any other soaring format and be able to perform as well.

There's a lot here that isn't broken and doesn't need fixing.
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 07:57 AM
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USA, KY, Louisville
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"rubber sailplanes"

Okay lets get something straight.

It took about 60 years to work down to rubber sailplanes. (Feel free to engage those little grey cells before reacting.)

Why 60 years? Because we didn't have the materials or the knowledge to make them work.

A cell phone as a computer doesn't come close to being what a desktop with a huge screen is...but it works. It took a lot more years to get down to a cell phone.

Rubber sailplane is a classification not a denigration.The term 'rubber' (or foamy if it hurts less) describes a whole list of things about a model...as does the terms woody, bagged, and moldies....same as Euro-Trash used to imply early molded ships (pretty, expensive, heavy, without the performance they seemed to should have had).

We owe a lot to JW in our hobby but one thing that I think that made a huge contribution was his post about the dive test. The dive test part wasn't important but was VERY important was his explanation of how aero-elasticity applied to our models.

We got away from open bay balsa wings because sheeted was stiffer/stronger and more constant each flight...we got away from sheeted balsa and went to sheeted foam core for the same reasons. We got away from sheeted foam core to glassed foam core, then glass and carbon over foam core....etc till we get what we have today....our amazingly light and strong molded ships. (and far easier to fly than a Radian because of it).

They don't very their trims or flight paths with speed or heat, they are always the same.

Rubber planes are always the same too....they can be counted on to bend, flex, twist and warp...and bounce. Pre-Radian they were all of the above but didn't have much in the way of performace or looks. Building them was a chore and they were heavy when done.

The Radian flies very close to a Gentle Lady (a bench mark sailplane in performance considering what it is) but is short on all the things rubber is compared to balsa.

And now a note about why models like the Spirit, Radian, Vista, Aspire (wood), type models come with about 1/4" up stab cut into their fuselages...these models were made to be sold...not so much to fly competitively. With up stab built in and a bunch of nose weight to counter act that up incidence, they will always go 'up'...for anyone who attempts to launch one. If they are kept at one specific airspeed, they will fly around just fine.

The other reason for up stab dates way back to wood days where if the model got into a dive, the stab and elevator and tail boom and pushrods would bend and the model would "tuck" increasing its dive speed...until it blew up shreding into ribs and monocoat. So the nose heavy, up stab kept that from happening. If they got into a dive, they would pull out on their own....They'd fly like crap but would pull out on their own... you can't fly a shredded sailplane very well in any case.

None of those conditions apply to virtually any of our current built models, GL even...because we have have better servos, covering, pushrods, etc.

Setting up for task soaring is different than setting up for flying around. When you go out to fly around, no one is asking you to make time. After you land no one records your time. If you get a one minute flight its the same as a 10 minute flight. Task soaring however is when you walk on the field with a timer and are asked to hit a specific amount of time. Soaring with purpose. Its not 'fun' flying but it is the most fun you'll have soaring.

I attend contests to have fun....and there is nothing more fun than making time and hitting the hundred.

Do Paul's tweaks make that much difference? From the model I flew with all the tweaks, it converted the Radian from a great rubber sailplane into a very serious task sailplane. It doesn't pull out of dives, it goes where its pilot tells it. It doesn't change how it reacts with airspeed changes, it turns when its asked.

But its less rubber than it was, so if you are used to hanging a tip for tumble in 'landings', hitting trees and things, you'll have to do some re taping.

The Radian doesn't need a champion, out of the box its a really good soaring machine. but after Paul's tweaks, its a really good task sailplane.

Keep this in mind....RC Soaring Digest is the Journal for RC Soaring Enthusiasts....its contributors are rc soaring guys. No one gets paid for their contributions... and if you look at its contributors, its a who's who listing of our top designers, builders, club officers and pilots.

Paul didn't have to do all that work to script and video tape the details of his Radian tweaks....he could have simply kept it to himself or sold it as one of his CD's....but he got his knowledge from other contributors and decided to pay back his mentors and the hobby by doing that free to us YouTube video.

We all owe so much to so many before us, I try to pay some of it back by sharing what I learn along my travels in the hobby.

If you have a Radian, do the tweaks. Its cheaper than a moldie and you'll be surprised at how many things will become clear during and from the process.

So yes it makes a big difference. :-)
Gordy
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 11:27 AM
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Thanks GORDY !!! I used to be one of those guys who flew his sailplane around just for fun ,,, then I wondered what it would be like to try ALES,, I wasn't sure how I'd like flying with a task,,,, once I tried it though,, I was hooked!!! It ADDS sooooo much more to my flying,, I'm learning soooooo much more now, and its really fun watching and learning from the pros. I got a 2m pulsar explicitly to try ALES,, it flys VERY different than a radian,, easier in that its more precise and responsive,, but harder to fly efficiently ,, keeps me reaching for more so to speak,, and I took the time to get decalage and CG just right so that it doesn't pull out from a dive,, it goes EXACTLY where I point it. When I flew my friends radian recently it felt soooooo Rubbery???? And sluggish by comparison. But I get what the poster above said about not worrying about it,, but at same time I think a more precise plane will teach you more in the long run,, I know my pulsar is helping me learn ALOT about good soaring and I'm just barely a begginer to thermal flying. Now next season I might try a bigger high performance ship ( 3m+) for its better L/D,, can't decide between a fully molded ship ( expensive) or a open bay balsa and carbon hybrid ship like the pulsars or an AVA
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 02:42 PM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
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yeah, thanks Gordy, for all the help.
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