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Old Jun 30, 2014, 05:38 PM
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gordonbw's Avatar
Canada, ON, Toronto
Joined Oct 2000
251 Posts
Alula too fast!

I'm an HLG beginner looking for diagnosis on my Alulua setup. Basically, I can't seem to get the bird to float the way it does in the videos. I've kept the model light with factory recommended components, minimal taping and no paint. CG is set right on the dimples. I'm using a momentary switch with a launch preset -- I can get it up to a reasonable height, but as soon as I release the switch the Alula loops and continues to fly quite fast. I'm maybe getting 20 second flights at the most, and I'm clearly flying through thermals rather than catching them.

Any thoughts?
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 07:23 PM
Registered User
New Zealand, Waikato, Hamilton
Joined Jul 2011
791 Posts
check your neutrals ....sounds like you have slight down flaperons..... doesn't explain the loop though....

I'd launch and then play with the sub trims to get it to slow it down - remember where you are set now, adjust one way and see what happens, then do it again and do it the other way (if the first way doesn't work)
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 08:18 PM
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United States, UT, Sandy
Joined May 2013
2,772 Posts
I don't use a launch mode for my Alula's. It is not easy to catch thermals with an Alula. I considered it a good flight on flat land if you get two turns in. Toss up at 45 then level out at top. Trim it to fly level at top.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 09:20 PM
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United States, CA, Castro Valley
Joined Apr 2007
3,079 Posts
Play with you CG. You may be running too nose-heavy. Take a few grams out and then re-trim. Rinse and repeat and time your flights. Do this late in the evening when the conditions are mellow. You should be getting about twice what you are getting in flight time.

If it is looping when you let go of the elevator preset, then you have a lot of up trim in the neutral setting which might indicate you are nose-heavy if your glider is trimmed to fly level.

I trimmed my Alula by launching it and then pointing the nose down at 45deg and trying to get a slight pull up, i.e. it pulls up to horizontal within30-40ft of vertical feet lost. If it pulls up sooner than that, then you have too much up trim in neutral. Trim the glider so it has a slight pull up in a dive. It may not be trimmed to fly level now but that's ok. Start pulling lead out of the nose until it flies level with the current trim settings. This technique is backwards compared to what many people prescribe but the results are the same; you arrive at the optimal CG settings for the stability you desire. Good luck!
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Old Jul 02, 2014, 06:18 AM
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Joined Dec 2010
24 Posts
I learnt to fly on an Alula. At first I thought there were no thermals on my field, as I never could find one in hundreds of throws. Then I learnt that thermal inflows will turn the Alula away it left to itself. If you fly near a thermal, the inflow will yaw the fin towards the thermal, effectively turning your flight path away. If you glance the edge of the rising air, Alula will bank away, and fly off into the sink. Try to level off after launch and fly hands off as soon as you see an uncommanded path deviation or roll turn the opposite way and often you meet the elusive thermal.

Alula could speck out quite easily once this was learned but is very poor coming back upwind the reward for a long flight is usually a long walk downwind to fetch. My next model was a Binary 900 great fun, this could take a thermal ride downwind, switch to speed mode and catch the next one upwind again. Lots of fun.
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