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Old Nov 02, 2011, 11:15 PM
life long racing nut & modeler
granada don's Avatar
Granada Hills Ca.
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I'am a tell'en ya that there is magic built in these gliders that just short's out our brains and common sence, then we keep doing it over & over again like Dee say's just one turn.

Here we are grown thinking people that keep getting out smarted by these balsa wood contraptions that we can't put down - go figure -

G Don
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Old Nov 03, 2011, 02:36 AM
MrE
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United States, WA, Gig Harbor
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Yup, you guys all nailed it perfectly. I like target fixation!

As it was disappearing behind the far tree line every mistake I had made was racing through my head - along with everything I should have done instead!

Today, I was lucky as heck just to find it. It came down in an open pasture when it could just as easily have come down in dense forest just 50 feet away.

I checked all the 'spensive bits and everything works perfectly! So, a little glue, some sanding and a little touch up on the paint job and I'll be back in the air.
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Old Nov 03, 2011, 02:46 AM
MrE
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I just realized something else tonight. Im getting hooked on building again!

I didnt think that could happen. I hate sanding and I hate covering and I hate repetitive tasks - but I really enjoyed building the Mirage.

Ive been obsessing lately about how to stretch the Mirage. I want something that flys exactly the same way - but BIGGER. However, Ive about given up on that idea. In addition to the above items, I really hate making ribs from scratch.

So.... Ive been looking at other options.

The Bubble Dancer looks like to involved a build for my tastes and talents.

The Sky Bench Oly III has got my attention, but Im not wild about the wing joiner in the center. I could get around that though. It has a great reputation.

But a few days ago I ran across a thread on the Houston Hawk and that lead me to the Yard Bird II. The Yard Bird is currently at the top of my list.

What are some other choices for larger birds with relatively light loadings that thermal extremely well and still penetrate well?
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Old Nov 03, 2011, 05:29 AM
life long racing nut & modeler
granada don's Avatar
Granada Hills Ca.
Joined Nov 2009
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Hi E

Step out on the limb and build one of your own as you will not regret it, then it is not boring with your own design as the sky is the limit.

You already have all the paramiters with your Mirage, just change the looks but keep the sizes the same.

When you start with a blank sheet of paper and get one drawn - built - and in the air of your own design that's as cool as it gets and a lot more satisfying for you.

G Don
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Old Nov 05, 2011, 11:30 AM
MrE
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You are seriously tempting me Don. Back in the day I did a lot of building and even scratch built a couple of balsa glow birds - with little success. That was before I had even a basic clue about how to do it.

These days, I love to scratch build foamies from small to giant scale, but thats a lot different from working with balsa. I no longer have a band saw or a large shop. Im building in the spare bedroom! I can do quite a bit of "bashing' but Im not really set up to scratch build the whole way.

I can do a lot with a short kit though ")
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Old Nov 08, 2011, 08:23 PM
I fly wood.
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United States, MD, Columbia
Joined Jun 2009
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I had completed the framework of this full kit Mirage when I came across this thread. My original intention was to build this for nostalgia contests. I added carbon to the spars and kevlar at the joiners so it could handle more power on the winch. For the conversion to electric I just cut off part of the nose block, added a ply firewall and bolted on the motor. The motor and battery are taken from another plane. I know it isnít the best setup for this plane, but it works for now. As I trim out the plane Iíll get a better idea which motor/prop/battery would be optimum. Right now it produces 315 watts and the AUW is 45 oz. The day of the maiden flight the winds were around 8 mph. On the first flight it climbed to altitude and penetrated without any trouble. It specked out and the spoilers worked just fine when it was time to bring it down. It flew great. The higher AUW in these conditions was an advantage. Iíll see how it does in light air, hopefully this weekend. As I said, Iíll eventually work out the best power setup and if I need it as a sailplane Iíll just take off the motor and glue the nose back on. If that is the case I'll build another E-Mirage and keep the weight down as I won't need to reinforce it to handle a winch.

Bob
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Old Nov 09, 2011, 12:03 AM
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granada don's Avatar
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Hi Bob

The red and yellow sure look good together, your red looks lighter in color is it different than monokote?

G Don
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Old Nov 09, 2011, 01:40 AM
MrE
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Bob - congrats on getting your Mirage in the air!!!

I like the red/yellow combo too.

All you guys with the Mirages in the 40 oz + range keep saying how well the Mirage performs at that weight. Your making me want to figure out how to get a pound of ballast in there so I can try it for myself!

Bob - It looks like you stuck to the original plan with the offset rudder with the balance section on top. Did you also keep the single elevator or go double?

If so, how do you like the single elevator?

Let us know where you CG ends up once you have it the way you like it.

On the CG issue, Ive had a couple of people tell me I was able to get it so far back because the elevator is so large. My modified stab/elevator is about 21% of the wing area. I didnt think it was all that large, especially since the tail is kind of on the short side. It sure works though.

Ive also been reading up on the Houston Hawk. I ordered a short kit and have plans to do some major bashing and lightening on the way to e-powering it. My plan is to end up with something similar to the Mirage - at or below stock weight and minimum power needed to fly in ALES contests.

One of the more interesting things I read that Jack Womack, the Hawk designer, said was in relation to CG. He said he likes to trim his sailplanes out with the as close to zero incedence as possible and he runs the cg way back. He is running close to 50% back on his hawk. He says he likes them set up that way because they indicate lift really well.

When I get around to patching my Mirage up Im going to set the incidence to about 1/2 a degree and see how that works. Im also going to make some other tweaks and fix a few things Im not 100% happy with.

Most importantly, I will try to remember to NOT repeat old mistakes
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Old Nov 09, 2011, 03:05 AM
life long racing nut & modeler
granada don's Avatar
Granada Hills Ca.
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Hi E

I think the stab sweet spot is at 17% & 7 for the rudder.

G Don
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Old Nov 09, 2011, 02:34 PM
I fly wood.
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United States, MD, Columbia
Joined Jun 2009
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I used transparent yellow and orange Monokote. The room is lit with CF bulbs and the camera flash. This and the software may change the color in the image from what you would see in daylight. I always use trans yellow on the wing tips with a darker color for the rest as I find the contrast easier to see. The fuse in this case is white econokote because that is what I had on hand.

Since this was originally ment as a pure sailplane for nostalgia contests, I went with the tail surfaces as in the plans. So far I don't notice any difference in control with the offset fin/rudder and the single elevator.

Now the CG is just behind the spar. I'll experiment with it as I change the power system and trim it out.

Bob
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Old Nov 09, 2011, 02:59 PM
MrE
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Thanks Bob.

Keep us posted on your progress.

If we keep bragging on this plane and how well it flys, more and more guys will be doing e-Mirages.

Mark at Isthmus Models may have to come out with an E-version!

At the very least this model will get more of the attention it deserves
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Old Nov 09, 2011, 03:06 PM
MrE
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United States, WA, Gig Harbor
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By the way Bob - if thats your workshop in that pic above there is something seriously wrong with you.

I dont see a spec of dirt, a single scrap of balsa, any loose tools, no randomly draped drop cords, no open glue bottles, no torn plans, no open soda cans, no broken wings or fuses, pant splashes, no loose nuts and bolts, no scraps of covering, no carbon scraps, no broken props.......nothing but neatness and organization from wall to wall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How is this possible??????????????
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Old Nov 09, 2011, 03:27 PM
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I had that very same thought. How disgusting!

I didn't know whether to look at that beautiful Mirage or the workshop.

R/E
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Old Nov 09, 2011, 03:28 PM
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Simple mr E no building going on at the moment right Bob.

Used to help a guy with a Top Fueler and all he thought about was his spotless shop & Digger, the car was not a runner because you go to get down and dirty when you doing the deal no matter what you are working on.

G Don
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Old Nov 09, 2011, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrE View Post

If so, how do you like the single elevator?

I would just like to add my experience with the single elevator on my Nostalgia legal winch towed Mirage.

The single elevator on the stock plane is more than adequate for most flying requirements. There are two points in the flight envelope where having good elevator authority are important. First is on launch. If you pop off the tow line or the line breaks you have to immediately put full down elevator to keep control and not stall. (or if high enough, loop back) Consider that the Mirage has rotated to a very steep angle, as much as 70 degrees or more, in the early, low altitude part of the climb. I have popped off many times in this condition (until I figured out how to angle the tow hook to prevent it) and have never had any trouble rotating over with full down elevator and keeping control. The other place where good elevator authority is important is at the top of the zoom (yes, with carbon added I can do a medium zoom!). Here, you need to get on the down elevator again to not stall and lose altitude. Again the single elevator does the job. But one must anticipate the right moment carefully. Just by comparison, my other plane is a Supra Pro; it definitely has more elevator authority for sure than the Mirage; it can snap over to level flight easily at very low speed, but then it has a full flying stab.

I would just say, if you decide to build as original, just make sure you have good deflection on the elevator and you can do some pretty substantial pitch maneuvers. Of course, it is your choice to change over to dual elevators and that is fine, but I just wonder if it is still a Mirage?
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