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Old Dec 07, 2012, 04:30 AM
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Esprit models - Condor, Elixir, Ibis - F3J Gliders - seeking pilot reports

Esprit Models has a line of gliders marketed as F3J class. These include:

the Condor
http://www.espritmodel.com/condor-36...plane-arf.aspx
http://www.topmodelcz.cz/index.php?&...detail&id=6841

Elixir
http://www.espritmodel.com/elixir-32s-f3j-arf.aspx
http://www.topmodelcz.cz/index.php?&...detail&id=1069


the Ibis
http://www.espritmodel.com/ibis-3-1s...plane-arf.aspx
http://www.topmodelcz.cz/index.php?&...etail&id=12418


Does anyone have experience with these gliders flying TD off a winch or F3J 2 man tow?

When I see the designation F3J I think of gliders that are VERY strong, light, competition class gliders. They would be suitable for two man tow or full pedal winch launches on mono line, have good penetration, excellent soaring performance and able to take hard dork landings.

The wing loading on two of them is quite high compared to something like a Dragonfly Strong or other F3j gliders I have owned, flown or read about. It might not matter but it does jump out.

Would these live up to my expectations?

At 1/3 to 1/2 the price of the high end molded F3J gliders, these look like excellent values, but can they stand up to F3J or agressive Competiton TD style contest flying?

I am looking for pilot reports.

I did some searches but did not find much that would answer my question.
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 03:01 PM
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These are apparently made by Top Model CZ. I added links to the MFG site as it provides some additional information.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 06:08 PM
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Somethings up with the Elixir 3.2 A 3.2 M plane with an Unballasted wingloading of 14.5 oz/sqft. Sounds a bit on the heavy side for early morning Thermals.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 12:02 AM
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So far very little. I changed the name of the thread in the hope that people will pick up on the names.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 10:49 PM
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Those are pretty planes but they will never be competitive in F3J. These are balsa sheeted foam wings and an open structure rib/film wing.

The Esprit site describes them as "this model can handle most moderate aerobatics". Given that description, there is no way that they can withstand an F3J tow.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 02:13 AM
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That was my impression too, but I could be wrong. That was why I was hopeful that owners of these gliders might chime in with their actual field experience.

But a glider does not have to be a top line competitive glider in order to be able to handle F3J style launches and have good thermal soaring characteristics. If you click on the MFG site, Top Models, they give a lot more detail on the glider's construction and they do list these as F3J class. Here is what they say about the Elixir:

Producer:Topmodel CZ
Name:Elixir
Category:GLIDERS > Gliders > Gliders > 2,6m >
Performance sailplane. Wingspan 3,2 m.

All new performances sailplane for F3J style thermal flight.

Excellent for FF2000 category, for F3J training or quite simply for the modelers practising the radiocontrolled gliding in plain or on slope and which seeks a general-purpose machine, robust and powerful.

•fuselage and cabin moulded out of glassfiber/epoxy and gelcoated
•the wings are in three parts to facilitate the storage and transport
•the wings are manufactured out of foam core and balsa planking with hard wood spars and are reinforced by carbon and glass fiber tapes. The control surfaces are completely reinforced with fiberglass to avoid twists. The whole is covered in a sublime way, in Oracover®.
•epoxy/glassfiber hollow moulded horizontal stabilizer and fin
•C.A.M. formers and various wood parts

Well, you can build a pretty strong foam core wing. The Supra is a foam core design and I have seen a lot of foam core Supras take full pedal launches over and over again with no problem. But I don't know about this one.

I wish we could get some field reports by actual pilots who have flown them.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 11:10 AM
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The challenge is not the "F3J style" flying, its the F3J 2-man tow launching. I can't imagine that these wings can withstand a competitive F3J launch.

The original bagged Supra designed by Mark Drela has a foam core, but the wing bending strength comes from the carbon capped spar that is built separately from the rest of the wing.

The spar is wrapped and bagged, it is then joined with the rest of the foam core before traditional bagging with carbon and Kevlar skins.

http://www.charlesriverrc.org/articl.../sparbuild.pdf

In no way is a Drela Supra comparable to traditional bagged wings.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 11:27 AM
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I don't know what a "traditional bagged wing" is. I started in the age of the Supra.

However the Elixir says it has cabon capped spars. For all we know they are using the Supra style approach. I don't know how strong they are but they may be quite strong.

If only someone had flown one of these, and could report.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Walter View Post
The challenge is not the "F3J style" flying, its the F3J 2-man tow launching. I can't imagine that these wings can withstand a competitive F3J launch.
Agreed. And possibly a gentle tapping winch launch. The word "practice" is key here. Read together with the price tag, it gives a good idea of what you will get: a glider that may be quite close to an F3J/TD in terms of flight characteristics, but can never be expected to be up to a full-on competitive launch...
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 12:54 PM
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Believe me, there is plenty of room for and plenty of demand for a moderate priced glider in the 3M+ range that can take a strong launch if not a full pedal or 2 man tow launch.

My Polecat Thermal Dancer was liket that. The stressed skin design, perhaps what John is calling a traditional bagged wing, had a carbon skin over foam. Carbon tube wing joiner but no true spar. It could take a full pedal launch up to about 8 mph breeze. The aluminum wing rod would flex, telling you to back off. All up on a 3.1M wing it weighed about 62 ounces, I think. I sold it recently to one of our club members who is really enjoying it. I wish they still made that glider as it is a great design and flies wonderfully.

I can't fatham what would casue a 3.2M Elixir to be 6.5 pounds when my Thermal Dancer was under 4 pounds. Even my 2.9M Legend, a real brick, was only 5 pounds.

So, these may fall into that class, but some real pilot reports would be most helpful.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 12:53 PM
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Gotta say there are top quality used deals around for the money that is being talked about here. After servos etc.... I ocassionaly see planes well under 1k from jaro muller etc....i have a cobra calypso that is prob only worth 600 bucks...theres a supra listed nowmthat hasnt sold at 950 ...
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rand24 View Post
Gotta say there are top quality used deals around for the money that is being talked about here. After servos etc.... I ocassionaly see planes well under 1k from jaro muller etc....i have a cobra calypso that is prob only worth 600 bucks...theres a supra listed nowmthat hasnt sold at 950 ...
Thanks for the info, but I am not interested in information about used planes. I want to hear about THESE planes.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 06:17 PM
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Just check at any competition, I would be very surprised to see any of the models being asked about, I would classify them as "sport" F3j or TD. Not even close to the same class as Supra, Perfect, Aspire, Explorer, Maxa etc. but to each his own, go for it, and show everyone up!
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by s2000 View Post
Just check at any competition, I would be very surprised to see any of the models being asked about, I would classify them as "sport" F3j or TD. Not even close to the same class as Supra, Perfect, Aspire, Explorer, Maxa etc. but to each his own, go for it, and show everyone up!
The maker, Top Models, agrees with you. I quote their description.

All new performances sailplane for F3J style thermal flight.

Excellent for FF2000 category, for F3J training or quite simply for the modelers practising the radiocontrolled gliding in plain or on slope and which seeks a general-purpose machine, robust and powerful.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 10:57 PM
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If you want a sport model, just buy a Radian, yes it has a motor and prop on it's nose, but if not flying competition ( and sometimes in competition ) the Radian is simply a superb soaring model, and will teach volumes about reading air. And the cost is nothing.
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