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Old May 07, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Catching thermals?

I am looking to buy a motorless thermal glider and I live in the western Illinios. Is this a good place to catch thermals. I would also like some help on how to tell where thermals are
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Old May 07, 2012, 08:07 PM
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USA, CA, Oceanside
Joined Jul 2008
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Thermals can happen almost anywhere on our planet so where your at is fine

Of course we cant see them but there are areas they like to form and clues to there whereabouts.

Thermals can happen over parking lots, farm fields, forests and other areas of "dark"ground.

Look for birds circling without them flapping their wings, grocery bags flying by themselves or dust devils too.

Thermals can be repeatable too and be there day after day.

For us here in the deserts (Arizona,Nevada and Taxifornia) birds are a huge help in finding thermals.
I have watched and flown with hawks that will leed you from one thermal to another.
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Old May 07, 2012, 08:35 PM
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United States, FL, Monroe
Joined Jan 2008
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Here's a topic you may find helpful..

http://www.rcgroups.com/thermal-36/
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Old May 07, 2012, 09:07 PM
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Charlotte, NC
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Make sure when you catch them you poke holes in the lid so they can breath.
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Old May 07, 2012, 09:10 PM
Sure it'll work
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United States, CA, Torrance
Joined Nov 2005
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Have you tried posting in the sailplane forum?

Also, the right thermal can chew up a plane and spit out the peices....maybe it will spit it out.... Or may just take it away. Thermaling can be a bit more complicated than you might think.
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Old May 07, 2012, 09:43 PM
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SE MI
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If ya want to try it on the cheap, one sheet of dollarstore foam makes a 60"span OSG (OneSheetGlider). Plans and build guide are in it's thread in foamies-scratchbuilt forum. Search on OSG to find it. It is a motor glider and I highly recommend you go that way rather than motorless unless you have a strong ARM, access to a hi-start or winch. The motor gets her "up there", helps get from one thermal to the next, and can get her home if you let her range out a ways.
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Old May 07, 2012, 10:19 PM
Sure it'll work
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United States, CA, Torrance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springer View Post
If ya want to try it on the cheap, one sheet of dollarstore foam makes a 60"span OSG (OneSheetGlider). Plans and build guide are in it's thread in foamies-scratchbuilt forum. Search on OSG to find it. It is a motor glider and I highly recommend you go that way rather than motorless unless you have a strong ARM, access to a hi-start or winch. The motor gets her "up there", helps get from one thermal to the next, and can get her home if you let her range out a ways.
I have to agree with some sort of power/motor. Even a bungie lauch can fold the wings on quite a few gliders. Without a motor, there's a very good chance you won't get the plane back if you do catch a decent thermal.
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Old May 08, 2012, 12:37 AM
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United States, VA, Virginia Beach
Joined Feb 2012
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My method is somewhat unique to my location.

I've always used birds, I live within a half hour drive, everywhere within a mile there are seagulls, gulls do love to ride thermals, when out in rural areas I look for hunting birds as generally they will ride on thermals as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyextreme View Post
I have to agree with some sort of power/motor. Even a bungie lauch can fold the wings on quite a few gliders. Without a motor, there's a very good chance you won't get the plane back if you do catch a decent thermal.
I've hi start launched several sailplanes and have never folded the wings.
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Old May 08, 2012, 02:29 AM
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Threshold's Avatar
London UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzer50 View Post
I am looking to buy a motorless thermal glider and I live in the western Illinios. Is this a good place to catch thermals. I would also like some help on how to tell where thermals are
There are thermals everywhere. But catching them is another story. I spent 40 years off and on trying to learn to thermal then I bought Radian and caught them on my test flight. Now I catch them easily because the Radian taught me how.

Much easier than sending a glider up on a winch or bungie to a limited height and trying to catch one before the glider lands again.
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Old May 08, 2012, 07:34 AM
RIP Ric
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Marietta, GA
Joined Jun 1999
43,312 Posts
Cannot recommend strongly enough:
Secrets of Thermal Soaring DVD Trailer (0 min 57 sec)

http://www.radiocarbonart.com/produc...l-Soaring.html
..a
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