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Old Aug 17, 2014, 08:34 PM
FlyGuy
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Batavia, IL, USA
Joined Oct 2007
323 Posts
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Originally Posted by aeajr View Post
[B]
When I was a true newbie I got so high in one, that I almost lost the glider, but that was not because there was any problem getting down, it was because I was in a state of thermal euphoria. I was so impressed with the spiral up I gave no thought to the fact that I would soon lose sight.
aeajr,
I appreciate your advice!
I've been flying powered airplanes for 40+ years. I decided to try a 4 meter high performance electric sailplane. On the second flight I realized the sailplane was a getting a little high and far out; but, it was still in good visual range. I headed it toward me and put the nose slightly down. Suddenly I realized I was looking through the plane and it became invisible. I immediately asked about 10 others to look for it; but, no one could see it. We looked for it for a while in the air and on the ground. I haven't seen it since.

I'm going to try my hand at sailplanes next spring; as it seemed to be really fun thermalling around.

My questions to all who are reading this:
Are there any commonly used electronic locator devices that can be installed in a model sailplane? Do the newer radio control systems with telemetry offer any tracking / locator functions?


Thanks in advance.

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Old Aug 17, 2014, 10:57 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
24,244 Posts
So, if I understand your note, you are saying that if you get a Mystique flying fast you will get flutter. Understood. No argument. I have read the comments.

I never suggested you get the Mystique or any other glider going very fast. It is not necessary to get it flying very fast. Using arbitrary numbers, if you glider's normal glide speed were 15 mph, you might want to get it up to 25 mph if you felt you needed to get out of the thermal quickly.

It only has to fly fast enough to leave the thermal, which typically is not very fast. If you are getting up to speeds that would cause flutter, just back off on the down elevator or add a little up and it will slow down.

Again I have not tried this on the Mystique, but on most gliders, full house or RES, if you put the rudder and elevator in the lower left or right corner, it won't pick up much speed at all. It will come down in a somewhat flat spin. In fact I have rolled my Supra up on its side and pulled full elevator to work a narrow thermal. This is called sticking a wing tip in the thermal, or standing it on a wing tip. It will fly in that position quite nicely and lose altitude if I hold it like that and I am not in strong lift.

And, if you drop full flaps you can probably descend at 30 degrees without picking up a lot of speed. I can point the nose of my Supra down about 60 degrees at full flaps and it does not pick up a lot of speed but it sure comes down quickly. I am confident the Mystique could do the same.

You don't need a lot of speed to leave a thermal. You just need to leave it. So I am not suggesting you get anywhere near flutter speed. Sorry if it seemed I was suggesting otherwise.
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Old Aug 18, 2014, 12:35 AM
Electric Glider Nut
timography's Avatar
Australia, WA, Perth
Joined Feb 2012
333 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr View Post
So, if I understand your note, you are saying that if you get a Mystique flying fast you will get flutter. Understood. No argument. I have read the comments.

And, if you drop full flaps you can probably descend at 30 degrees without picking up a lot of speed. I can point the nose of my Supra down about 60 degrees at full flaps and it does not pick up a lot of speed but it sure comes down quickly. I am confident the Mystique could do the same.

You don't need a lot of speed to leave a thermal. You just need to leave it. So I am not suggesting you get anywhere near flutter speed. Sorry if it seemed I was suggesting otherwise.
That's true Ed. Specifically with the Mystique, any prolonged application of down elevator must be preceded with lowering the flaps.

The Mystique, well, mine at least, will be happy to eject from a thermal if it's getting too high or the stopwatch is running down if I apply full flap and put it into a vertical dive. It will of course gain a little speed, but not as much as you think, especially if you can get 70+ degrees flap travel.

Speed isn't the answer - a rate of decent that is appropriate for the airframe without exceeding VNE is where it's at.

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Old Aug 18, 2014, 07:56 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
24,244 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldhflyguy View Post
aeajr,
I appreciate your advice!
I've been flying powered airplanes for 40+ years. I decided to try a 4 meter high performance electric sailplane. On the second flight I realized the sailplane was a getting a little high and far out; but, it was still in good visual range. I headed it toward me and put the nose slightly down. Suddenly I realized I was looking through the plane and it became invisible. I immediately asked about 10 others to look for it; but, no one could see it. We looked for it for a while in the air and on the ground. I haven't seen it since.

I'm going to try my hand at sailplanes next spring; as it seemed to be really fun thermalling around.

My questions to all who are reading this:
Are there any commonly used electronic locator devices that can be installed in a model sailplane? Do the newer radio control systems with telemetry offer any tracking / locator functions?


Thanks in advance.


Plane Locators - all you need to know
http://www.flyesl.org/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=237


As for visibility, what you describe is a common occurrence. Here is how to deal with it.

Because you have those long thin wings and a small fuselage, if you get them high and far you can very easily lose them at certain angles. The way to deal with this is to change the angle.

As I do a circle turn in a thermal, my Supra is very visible as the wing bottom (dark blue) faces me, then it becomes thin and hard to see or disappears as the tail faces me, then it becomes more visible again as the top of the wing faces me across the back of the circle, then disappears again as it finishes the turn.

Colors are important. Generally light or bright top colors and dark bottom colors work best. Not only do the contrast best with the sky but you can tell the attitude of the glider by what colors you see.

Some like stripes, I don't. But whatever works for you.

If this becomes a problem, I watch where it was and pull a loop. The eye can see quick movement easier than slow movement and a loop presents that broad top and bottom of the wing at the most pronounced angle. If that doesn't work then I keep the loop going but may add some aileron to get the glider rolling with the hope that I will see that dark bottom.

If I don't see it I call for help as I try to maintain altitude. I don't want to dive or lose altitude if I can't see it. But if I do need to get down as I look the rudder and elevator in the lower corner works well as it spins the glider at about a 45 degree angle to level and that fast spin is easier to see, almost like a beacon.
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Old Aug 18, 2014, 01:18 PM
Registered User
Joined Sep 2011
10 Posts
Getting Mystique Fine Tuned… First Flights Report

So, I have been a glow guys for several years, then got a Radian Pro last year and love the new challenge. Learning to spot thermal indications, flying well with a new style flight envelope, etc…

I decided on the Mystique as I wanted a powered plane that had reasonable flight characteristics and could be a full house set-up. It's been a lot of fun so far.

First couple of flights I was fighting the CG and a completely new radio set-up with several flight conditions, and some wind. Lots to concentrate on and not really fair to comment.

Last couple of flights have been much better conditions, figured out how to get the prop to stop spinning when motor is powered off, and now really understand all the flight condition set-ups on the radio.

I have two timers on the radio, one I set to a switch that I keep track of the total flight time, the other is slave to my motor switch. I can then keep track of the ratio of power to flight time.

Today at lunch conditions were generally perfect here in Indiana, so I loaded up for a "quick" flight test. Hadn't flown it yet with the ESC programmed to hard brake the motor, so I was anxious to see how it worked. Launched, 20 seconds of power, motor off, prop stopped and I was searching for thermals.

After a few minutes, powered up again.

I then saw a tell tale sign of some sparrows flying around high eating bugs that were being lifted by a thermal. Flew over and bam…. was being lifted just beautifully. Several turns later I was getting a little too high for comfort. I had to "Fly" out of the thermal and start heading back to safety, as well as heading back to work eventually.

Times today, 28:19 flight time with motor on for a total of 2:15 which included two missed attempts to land and a quick motor burst to try around again. 92% flight with no power…. Sweet!

Having a great time with this bird…. thanks for all the advice on the forum.

Bill
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Old Aug 18, 2014, 08:39 PM
FlyGuy
ldhflyguy's Avatar
Batavia, IL, USA
Joined Oct 2007
323 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr View Post
Plane Locators - all you need to know
http://www.flyesl.org/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=237


As for visibility, what you describe is a common occurrence. Here is how to deal with it.

Because you have those long thin wings and a small fuselage, if you get them high and far you can very easily lose them at certain angles. The way to deal with this is to change the angle.

As I do a circle turn in a thermal, my Supra is very visible as the wing bottom (dark blue) faces me, then it becomes thin and hard to see or disappears as the tail faces me, then it becomes more visible again as the top of the wing faces me across the back of the circle, then disappears again as it finishes the turn.

Colors are important. Generally light or bright top colors and dark bottom colors work best. Not only do the contrast best with the sky but you can tell the attitude of the glider by what colors you see.

Some like stripes, I don't. But whatever works for you.

If this becomes a problem, I watch where it was and pull a loop. The eye can see quick movement easier than slow movement and a loop presents that broad top and bottom of the wing at the most pronounced angle. If that doesn't work then I keep the loop going but may add some aileron to get the glider rolling with the hope that I will see that dark bottom.

If I don't see it I call for help as I try to maintain altitude. I don't want to dive or lose altitude if I can't see it. But if I do need to get down as I look the rudder and elevator in the lower corner works well as it spins the glider at about a 45 degree angle to level and that fast spin is easier to see, almost like a beacon.
Thanks aeajr.
There is a lot of useful information in your post.
It's good for me to read that the dissapearing sailplane is a common occurence.
I plan never to make that mistake again.
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Old Aug 19, 2014, 03:25 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldhflyguy View Post
Thanks aeajr.
There is a lot of useful information in your post.
It's good for me to read that the dissapearing sailplane is a common occurence.
I plan never to make that mistake again.
Now you see it!

Now you don't!

Oh, now you see it again.
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Old Aug 19, 2014, 04:07 PM
FlyGuy
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Batavia, IL, USA
Joined Oct 2007
323 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr View Post
Now you see it!

Now you don't!

Oh, now you see it again.
That third on is wishful thinking.
I'm still hoping to see it again when someone calls me on the phone and says they found it.
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Old Aug 22, 2014, 08:51 AM
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Joined Mar 2003
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Careful, here comes Ed talking about flying ALES contests. Cover your eyes.

OK, so you have been spending all this time tuning and adjusting to make it fly the best it can. Now what are you going to do?

Any of you guys within a car ride of Mays Landing/Atlantic City NJ?

Why not pop a ALES/CAM unit into you glider and come play some ALES games.
http://www.soaringcircuits.com/

There is an Eastern Soaring League contest near Atlantic City Aug 30 and 31, Labor Day Weekend. Oh sure, you might not win, but you might have a lot of fun, meet some great people and isn't that what it is all about? I'll be there having lots of fun.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2224145

After all, what have you been doing all this tuning and adjusting for? You learned to fly it, now come and play. Put that great flying to use.

Play some ALES games!
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