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Old Dec 19, 2014, 08:51 AM
Always room for one more!
chawkins's Avatar
United States, MI, Midland
Joined Jul 2012
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Sagitta 900

Please excuse me for asking this, but what makes a Sagitta 900 so much better than other woodies out there? I mean is it the design, if so what about the design that makes it better? The wing maybe? But I've seen that airfoil on other woodies and still it seems that the prevailing thought is the Sagitta is superior.

WHY?

thanks. .....Chris
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Old Dec 19, 2014, 06:21 PM
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TexasThermalKing's Avatar
Angleton, Texas
Joined Mar 2007
314 Posts
Hello Chris, The Sagitta had the right proportions in many areas when it came out. It was a different airfoil (the Eppler 205) that did make it better in the range we normally fly thermal duration. Every airfoil has it's optimum ability in some range. Before it came out the thicker "Clark Y" airfoils were common in the earlier sailplanes. The Clark was great at lift, and thermaled just fine, but it wasn't as fast (equals penetration) ...as it was first used in the older models. The 205 gave a little more speed and still had good lift, it even carried added ballast "to a limit" in a higher wind. "Higher wind" than was optimum for the older airfoils. All this comparision, fits the time the "Eppler 205" came out in a manufactured kit.

The change was just better in a few ways, that helped increase the range of flying conditions when you used the Sagitta. Yet, Those guys with the older sailplanes still had a edge when you went to a contest because they knew how and when to add ballast to their planes. To fly and practice with the plane you have, in all types of weather conditions, will just make you better. That's a fact.

Fying a Sagitta wasn't a real ACE up your sleeve, betting others hands down, as so many remember those good old days. The Sagitta was an improvement in my opinion... at the time. I owned and flew four different modifird Sagitta's back in the day. I modified them just kike so many others. There is a list of Sagitta "recommended modifications" you can see now, when you do a search here on RC Groups. All the things we tried to make them even better.

It was then a never ending quest, just as it is now to find the "Best" sailplane, with all the "Right" features and dimensions.

I just read a "new" article recently, that the "Clark Y" was thoroughly researched again, and as an airfoil was still exceptional for the TD flying we do. (I will try to find that article and add the link here when I find it.) Basically, it showed the "Clark Y" thinned was very good in testing, even against the newer "Drela" foils. I was suprised to see, that the more we learn the more things are the same, in some ways.

Have fun, John
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Last edited by TexasThermalKing; Dec 19, 2014 at 06:37 PM.
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Old Dec 20, 2014, 05:45 AM
Always room for one more!
chawkins's Avatar
United States, MI, Midland
Joined Jul 2012
240 Posts
Hey John;
Thanks for the insight, it really helps understans the grand scheme of things. Being a die hard "woodie" for the past 20+ years I'm always interested in different ideas concerning them.
But looks like it basically boils down to knowing your plane !!!!! I entered my first contest last summer, flying a pair of Sig Risers, a 2M and 100". I was the only woodie there, My goal was not to end up in last place....and I wasnt. So I am convinced that woodies can compete with modlies, you just need to know your plane!!! And with that is why I am asking about the Sagitta. Ive read here that folks just rave about this plane, tryint to understand why.

So, Thanks.....Chris
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Old Dec 20, 2014, 05:35 PM
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so. cal.
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To add to the comments, the Sagitta was one the first models able to take a strong launch, meaning the start of zoom launching which has been the new normal ever since, I was there during its birth and before that time we always had to tippy tip up the line watching our wings bow, 6 volt winches were normal, all the sudden 12 volt winches were needed. The Sagitta wasn't foolproof but did usher in a new era.
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Old Dec 20, 2014, 08:53 PM
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Angleton, Texas
Joined Mar 2007
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Chris, I sent you a PM. Have fun! John
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Old Dec 21, 2014, 12:35 AM
Kurt Zimmerman ≡LSF 4461≡
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Montrose, NY
Joined May 2003
1,412 Posts
Greetings Chris;
I will be picking up my building log after the first of the year. I have taken the back-in-the-day Sagitta and have been giving it some upgrades.

Here is my building log as of so far:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2139586

The Sagitta kit was advertised having a modified E205 airfoil. What I discovered was the outer panels is where the airfoil was modified. The tip airfoil was much thicker than what the E205 should have been which goes against today's design philosophy.

I, however, have abandoned the E205 and simply modified the airfoil to a S3014 which is a simple mod from the E205. I am expecting my modified Sagitta to have a wider speed range than a Sagitta having the modified E205. This is more to my style of flying anyway.

What made the Sagitta better than what was being flown at the time were a number of things. The standard glider at that time was more a gas bag. They had a tendency to fly a bit slower and would have difficulty penetrating any kind of head wind. Along came the Sagitta sporting the E205 and it was at that time a game changer. The Sagitta was a much stronger plane as mentioned in John's post. With the stronger wing, more efficient airfoil it was able to winch harder and range far better than any gas bag out there.

I'm hoping that with my changes to my Sagitta, it will have taken the 1980's design and further improve on it making it even better.

Kurt
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