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Old Oct 09, 2012, 09:12 PM
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Please help identify!

Good Evening!

I received this Sailplane several years ago, from my dad after he picked it up at a garage sale. It has sat on a shelf collecting dust ever since. My intent is to get comfortable with this prior to moving forward with DLG's. I am not sure, but looks like it might be a Gentle Lady. Regardless, once I am able to identify it, I would like to assure it is both airworthy and will stand up to a High-Start launch.
If anyone knows what it is, could you provide me with the proper cg measurement, necessary washout in wings, and any inherent weaknesses? If the wing does not hold up to high-start launches, I would like to open the wing up, make the necessary reinforcements, and then recover. I want to make sure I put the odds in my favor before sending her up. Any and all suggestions are welcome, since it has been sometime since I have flown.
Pics attached, wing is 2m.

Regards,
Chris
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Old Oct 09, 2012, 09:27 PM
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I think it might be a Drifter II. They're pretty easy to fly. If properly built, it will hold up to a reasonable hi start. They're not terribly fast, but they float ok and are maneuverable.

Not sure any washout will be required, since the tips are so wide. If the wing is not swept, it looks like you could put the c.g. at the spar for starters. This is probably a bit too far forward, but that's a lot better than too far back!

As I recall, it is somewhat susceptible to hangar rash, but in the air I don't think it was any more fragile than any other light floater type glider.

These come out light. If you have a good arm you could put a throw hole in it and javelin launch it. It wouldn't be terribly high performance, though. Plus javelin launching is a good way to get sore if you are the least bit creaky or even just out of shape. Much more so than with dlg.
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Old Oct 09, 2012, 09:35 PM
Kurt Zimmerman ≡LSF 4461≡
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+1 on the Drifter II

Kurt
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Old Oct 09, 2012, 09:38 PM
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Lincoln, Kzimmerm,

Thank you both for the help!

Regards,

Chris
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Old Oct 09, 2012, 11:40 PM
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It is definitely a Drifter !!, kitted by Craft Air and later by Dynaflite (in California). A friend had one as his very first R/C and it was a floaler, a very good one at that, and very easy to fly. Your dad did well on the purchase!

Looking at the Drifter II plans, the GC is directly under the wing spars.

If the hi start hook has not been installed, it is 5/32" aft of the CG.

Weak areas? Occasionally my friend would damage the horizontal stab when landing but a few drops of CA took care of most in-field repairs.

Do not see the fuselage hatch in your pictures, but it is just a piece of 1/16" plywood covering the entire area and held in place with 1/16" ply 'tongues' cemented under the front and back of the hatch and extending about 1/8" beyond the ends. The ply hatch can be inserted and removed by gently flexing upward at the middle of the hatch.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 12:05 AM
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The Drifter II was my very first RC plane back in the late 80's... right around 12 years old. If a youngster can be self taught, so can you.
I remember the great sense of accomplishment when I learned how to do a complete circle and catch it again. Talk about beaming pride when I could do it over and over!! and then re-learn it all over again for right hand turns. And then the thrill of the hi-start! OMG the shock of watching it go vertical and acting all the world like a kite in a very strong wind, which is exactly what it is at that point. The line attached at just the right balance point and the tail acts just like a, well... tail. The stretched tubing acts as the stiff breeze and viola! instant kite.

One recommendation is to not overdo the rubberband hold downs. For the very first few hand tosses, just a pair of #64 rubberbands will allow it to immediately pop off when it lands wingtip-before-fuselage. It'll look worse than it is when it flips away, but it'll prevent breakage when that wingtip causes plane to spin and then the opposite wing whips up and over. Many a landing had ended up upside down.

After comfortable, put a pair of #64 bands on each side to prevent excess movement compared to a single pair, and yet still be able to pop off on landing. Then later still, they can be stretched tighter in all sorts of crossing patterns.

High starts are completely fine for this. They're strong enough. Even though I had made the tail out of the Spruce spar material and the wing spars out of the tail's balsa. Tailheavyyyy. It still hi-started fine.

Oh, and I had white fuse and transparent red wings!
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 04:16 PM
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If you've got a strong arm, you may want to use more than two rubber bands, or else put rubber or something under the wing to keep it from shifting quite as easily.

I don't see any reinforcement where the rubber bands will go on the trailing edge. If there really isn't any, there are many ways to fix it, but one way is to wrap a little piece of soda can material around the trailing edge at that point and retain with glue or very good double stick tape. Otherwise the bands will chew on the trailing edge.

You might try very gently stressing the wing and tail to see if you hear any cracking noises, so you can fix them before the crash.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 06:57 PM
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Thanks so much for the additional input! I really value your experience, and all is being taken to heart! I am excitedly getting things in order for her maiden flight, (with me, anyway), and will report on the out come! Great advice on the trailing edge reinforcement, gonna give that one a go for sure!

Regards,
Chris
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:01 PM
Unrepentant Paragon addict
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Just like this one....
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:13 PM
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LVsoaring,
Very nice, thanks for sharing!
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 09:22 PM
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Don't overdo the t.e. reinforcement. It only needs to keep the rubber bands from crushing the wood.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:13 PM
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+1 on the beverage can reinforcement. Just ensure sharp metal edge has the burr facing down so bands don't get cut.

And for the first few "dart-throw-type" tosses, while trimming it out and getting the feel for it, I still rec. a very loose wing with only a pair of #64s, so the wing can super easily pop off. Just the first few... just in case.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:36 PM
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Sand or scrape the burr off. Or rub the edge on a stone. It could cut the covering or the wood.

If you recommend the two bands just for soft throws, then I agree.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 01:20 AM
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For reinforcing the trailing edges to minimize damage from the wing hold-down rubber bands, 1/32" plywood (1/2" x 1" is adequate for each side) can be cemented to the top of the trailing edges, and flush with the aft portion of the TE. Used them on my first glider years ago and they have done the job very well.
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