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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:05 AM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
8,509 Posts
If a guy wanted to make some money in DLGs right now, he might consider making just tail feathers. Those need replacing on a fairly regular basis and good ones are hard to come by. Also, they shouldn't be nearly as much work to produce as an entire plane.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:30 AM
Now fortified with carbon
DLGjunkyard's Avatar
Canada, ON, Puslinch
Joined Apr 2010
2,718 Posts
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Originally Posted by Mr. Wiz View Post
If a guy wanted to make some money in DLGs right now, he might consider making just tail feathers. Those need replacing on a fairly regular basis and good ones are hard to come by. Also, they shouldn't be nearly as much work to produce as an entire plane.
Sold a pair a day for a wk now Wiz, guys love to build. Its as addicting as flying in fact for me thermalling out a glider I built 100 percent is better than winning any contest out there.

Nobody is making money building at home. Thing is they will quit when they start losing money. About the only reason I sell parts is to buy more materials.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:48 AM
Build/Fly/Crash/Repeat
United States, HI, Kapalua
Joined Jan 2002
1,198 Posts
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Originally Posted by DLGjunkyard View Post
One thing I just must say is this. Want to see the middle of the road gliders fall off the map and the spread between top of the line gliders get larger? Keep buying gliders like the hobby king virus. Honestly, they must be cracking a whip in the sweat shop to produce them that low. Guys building bagged wing middle of the road gliders cant complete with HK.
Going back about 5 yrs now I think there were quite a few well built foam core bagged wing gliders in the 4-500 range. Many of those builders have moved on to moldies or dropped out.

I see a bit of a trend happening with DLGs lately. Less folks are building kits, more folks are buying one pc wings AKA expensive moldies and middle of the road gliders are now cheaper built [more glass, softer cheaper booms] and used gliders from a few yrs back are in top demand for new pilots. Old lightspeeds and taboos and the likes. The profit margin for guys like Graham has drop off I think. His gliders are incredibly priced IMO Spend your funds in the cottage industry guys. Its what keeps designs constantly evolving .

End of speech
What he said
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:56 AM
dougmontgomery's Avatar
Glendale,Az.
Joined Oct 2004
3,539 Posts
How much is the topsky and the hk cost with shipping, what do most beginners feel is reasonable to pay for a rtf minus receiver and a kit that they have to build.
Doug

Doug
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:01 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
8,509 Posts
What is a middle of the road DLG? Is it a bagged plane? Does it have current air foils? Is it fairly stiff? Could an experienced pilot push it into service in competition if he wanted to and not get hammered because of his equipment? Can a plane like that be bought for around $500? Are there a good number of people that want that? Those are the questions you need answers to if you want to sell middle of the road DLGs.

Personally, I went from a $350 used Taboo GT to a $600 used B3 to a used $750 Fr3aK to a new $1150 Polaris. Of course, near the very beginning of my participation in DLG flying I went into competition and I saw value in the better planes. Am I a top level pilot that absolutely needed that last plane? Nope but I wanted one and I had the money to get one and I'm happy with my purchase. Am I the typical somewhat new guy to the DLG market? I don't know but I sort of think I am. Flying DLG out in my buddies back yard is a blast but if that's all I wanted to do, I don't think I'd likely spend much money on one. There is no need for the fancier planes in that setting. In fact, if I wast trying to be a better pilot for competition sake, I'm not so sure I'd have as much fun as I do flying DLGs in his back yard. Maybe I would... It's hard saying because that's not my reality.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 01:18 PM
HyperFlight Support
Neil Stainton's Avatar
United Kingdom, England, Stratford-upon-Avon
Joined Feb 2001
3,893 Posts
The fact that the Elf doesn't fit into preconceived DLG ideas doesn't stop it working. As I said in my post, the Elf is good for newbies because it doesn't require building (even the pushrods are installed), it doesn't require any programming, and when you have added 2 servos and a Spektrum DX5i or whatever tx and rx, it works out the least expensive - and for a beautifully made molded carbon and plastic glider that even a beginner can see is a work of art.

A beginner can't join wings. Can't successfully install RC gear first time. Can't program his RC. And often doesn't want to invest the time to learn.

I get more positive feedback for the Elf than for all the other models I sell combined. This is from a customer review:

The first throws were without running, just a gentle swing, but it worked just fine! It took me about 70 throws to learn how to throw it right! So far in dead air, with a strong throw and careful flying I can fly for 1 minute and 15 seconds! The longest flight I've managed so far is 15 minutes...But I think that everyone can do better than that. The Elf can loop, fly inverted, make (very) tight turns, make square loops, it can even ROLL!!! I flew it with a Blaster II and gained more altitude in less time! The only setback of this plane is that it can't fly with a lot of wind.

The Elf is simple, it's easy, it's fun, it's cheap, it is brilliant!!!


I sell hundreds of DLG a year, I am basing my suggestion on lots of fliers success, not on a hunch.

Neil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wiz View Post
Now the Elf seems like it sort of breaks the rules. 1. It's a built up winged plane. 2. It's not a full sized plane. 3. It's still pricy in light of #1 and #2, IMHO.

I'd be more tempted to get the Hobby King Versus or the Topsky 1.

If a guy wanted a 1m plane at least the Mini Topsky has a foam core wing... but I probably wouldn't buy a smaller plane.

Of course, the foregoing is just personal opinion.

If you watch the video at Hobby King, keep in mind that fellow demonstrating the plane is a complete newbie to DLG flying.... Yet he is still doing it proving that anyone can fly a DLG if they want to.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 01:41 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
8,509 Posts
Well, Neil... I guess you would likely know better than I. The one I saw I wasn't particularly impressed with but then, your talking about complete newbies to R/C and I'm thinking more of guys that are moving from some other R/C discipline to DLG's.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 01:46 PM
Turn down for what?
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
14,842 Posts
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Originally Posted by Mr. Wiz View Post
your talking about complete newbies to R/C and I'm thinking more of guys that are moving from some other R/C discipline to DLG's.
Or newbies coming in from very RTF RC stuff. Say a person who has previously only flown things like the Blade MCX and the Ember and has no modeling experience and only has a basic radio.


Ryan
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 01:49 PM
a.k.a Frank Campbell
Long Beach, CA, USA
Joined Jan 2007
715 Posts
I have to agree with Neil Stanton's comment about joining wings. It's actually pretty easy if you know what you are doing and have proper materials and good guidance/help. The opportunities for a beginner to screw it up are many and could quickly turn off a newbie.

Does anybody have any comments about something like the HK Versus, for example, in regard to the adequacy of building information especially for newbies.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 01:55 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
8,509 Posts
When I got into RC, I completely built my planes from sticks and sheets of balsa. The construction process involved a lot more than the assembly of a DLG like the Versus. In fact, a plane like the Versus would be and still should be considered an ARF. Most of the work is done. Now, having a good set of instructions aimed at a beginner would be an important step, IMHO. I know that I watched the Radio Carbon Art video on the assembly of a DLG and it was perfect for me. I think it would be perfect for any beginner. As I recall, Oleg did a nice job with the directions of the Taboo GT. That information would be a perfect sticky type thread here at RCG... if he were ever inclined to allow that.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 02:10 PM
Turn down for what?
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
14,842 Posts
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Originally Posted by Mr. Wiz View Post
When I got into RC, I completely built my planes from sticks and sheets of balsa.
Same here. Unrelated side note, I also got into RC gliders when the performance wasn't exactly a Stobel (Skeeter was my first) and I sometimes find it funny when people say that the performance of (insert your beginner DLG here) will be a turn off to new pilots. Mini topsky, Elf, DL50, etc. have to be at least twice as good as a Skeeter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wiz View Post
In fact, a plane like the Versus would be and still should be considered an ARF.
I definitely consider Versus, Topsky, etc. ARFs. I cringe a bit when people refer to them as a kit. Unrelated side note, I also find it annoying when a person says that "I lost my glider today" when in fact they crashed the glider. No, sweetheart, you didn't lose your model, you have it in the backseat of your car. You have a broken glider. I have lost several RC models and it is less fun than crashing a glider.




Ryan
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 03:06 PM
Chuck 'Em and Chase 'Em
Fly2High's Avatar
United States, NY, Plainview
Joined Aug 2005
8,093 Posts
When it comes to the expense, I look at the fact that it could take about 30-50 hours for a person to make a foam core glider. It took me at least that long, maybe longer. Even at min. wage, call it $8/hr, you are talking about $240 - $400. That does not include the time to cut templates or prep mylars etc. Add in materials. Way back before carbon went through the roof, someone made a spreadsheet as to what it costs, materials only, for a Super Gee. I think it was something like 180-250. That was back in 2001. Everything has gone up. Sure, you could save somewhat by buying enough to make 3 or 4 planes and the cost would drop some.

Let's look at it from another side. What does the average hobby cost:

Golf
club - $700-2000 easy. shoes $50-150 greens fees are $30-200 each round

Tennis:
rackets ave $150-$200, shoes $75-$120, court fees at least $50 indoor, $10 outdoor


Running
clothes, $70-150/suit, sneakers $60-150/pair

Many sports, you buy equipment and it lasts a while. Footwear in running especially is less. Back in the retail days, I was told the 5-5-5 rule for running shoes. 5miles/day, 5 day/week and your shoes will last about 5 months. You can see that you could spend $120 - $360/ year just for shoes.

Gliders can be repaired and can have a shelf life beyond a few years. It is more like a long term purchase than a item that is expended during use. Sure there are plenty of competitive types that destroy planes but then there are guys, like me, that still have their first DLGs from '06.

Even if you say you keep a plane (sure you may repair it, etc.) for 5 years and the plane originally cost $1000, that is only $200/year. If your plane only last 3 years but you spent $600 then you are in the same boat. - about what a runner pays in shoes per year.
What is so bad about having to wait a few years to save enough to purchase a plane that will last or can be repaired and last several years?

If you want your planes to last may require less competition flying but how much does a beginner compete. Competition in all sports requires more money and I am not sure we are talking about funds for competition, only sport flying.

Remember, with ARFs, you are paying the manufacturer to get the plane closer to completion so you do not have to. Super Gee plans are available, Zone and Edge are posted and the time to kill can make themselves a few planes for about $200 each.

The more completed you want the plane, the more precisely built you want, molds, templates, 0.001" accuracy - it will all cost you since it is someone else who is spending their time to get you what you want.

Someone has to put the time in and someone has to pay for the level of work they want.

To me, these guys who make planes are a Godsend. I built a few SuperGees and know what they do and respect them for taking their precious time to build them. They could instead build themselves a few and go flying instead.

Afterall, we all love the ARF/RTF, etc. because it gives us more time to fly. These guys are giving up their flying time to build for YOU.

At the very least you should be grateful you have them doing it and still have the option instead of being forced to build one from scratch.

Thank you cottage guys , mass manufacturers and all the others who allow me to enjoy this wonderful hobby.

Sincerely and with deep appreciation,
Frank
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 03:09 PM
Registered User
United States, CA, Tehachapi
Joined Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by DLGjunkyard View Post
About the only reason I sell parts is to buy more materials.
Amen
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 03:41 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
8,509 Posts
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Originally Posted by Fly2High View Post
When it comes to the expense, I look at the fact that it could take about 30-50 hours for a person to make a foam core glider. It took me at least that long, maybe longer. Even at min. wage, call it $8/hr, you are talking about $240 - $400. That does not include the time to cut templates or prep mylars etc. Add in materials. Way back before carbon went through the roof, someone made a spreadsheet as to what it costs, materials only, for a Super Gee. I think it was something like 180-250. That was back in 2001. Everything has gone up. Sure, you could save somewhat by buying enough to make 3 or 4 planes and the cost would drop some.

Let's look at it from another side. What does the average hobby cost:

Golf
club - $700-2000 easy. shoes $50-150 greens fees are $30-200 each round

Tennis:
rackets ave $150-$200, shoes $75-$120, court fees at least $50 indoor, $10 outdoor


Running
clothes, $70-150/suit, sneakers $60-150/pair

Many sports, you buy equipment and it lasts a while. Footwear in running especially is less. Back in the retail days, I was told the 5-5-5 rule for running shoes. 5miles/day, 5 day/week and your shoes will last about 5 months. You can see that you could spend $120 - $360/ year just for shoes.

Gliders can be repaired and can have a shelf life beyond a few years. It is more like a long term purchase than a item that is expended during use. Sure there are plenty of competitive types that destroy planes but then there are guys, like me, that still have their first DLGs from '06.

Even if you say you keep a plane (sure you may repair it, etc.) for 5 years and the plane originally cost $1000, that is only $200/year. If your plane only last 3 years but you spent $600 then you are in the same boat. - about what a runner pays in shoes per year.
What is so bad about having to wait a few years to save enough to purchase a plane that will last or can be repaired and last several years?

If you want your planes to last may require less competition flying but how much does a beginner compete. Competition in all sports requires more money and I am not sure we are talking about funds for competition, only sport flying.

Remember, with ARFs, you are paying the manufacturer to get the plane closer to completion so you do not have to. Super Gee plans are available, Zone and Edge are posted and the time to kill can make themselves a few planes for about $200 each.

The more completed you want the plane, the more precisely built you want, molds, templates, 0.001" accuracy - it will all cost you since it is someone else who is spending their time to get you what you want.

Someone has to put the time in and someone has to pay for the level of work they want.

To me, these guys who make planes are a Godsend. I built a few SuperGees and know what they do and respect them for taking their precious time to build them. They could instead build themselves a few and go flying instead.

Afterall, we all love the ARF/RTF, etc. because it gives us more time to fly. These guys are giving up their flying time to build for YOU.

At the very least you should be grateful you have them doing it and still have the option instead of being forced to build one from scratch.

Thank you cottage guys , mass manufacturers and all the others who allow me to enjoy this wonderful hobby.

Sincerely and with deep appreciation,
Frank
So with all that history and knowledge of what it takes for an individual to build one plane, you see value in what a DLG costs. Fair enough. I don't have all that but I still have bought some very expensive planes and haven't complained one bit. Why? Because I value the planes more than I value the money I spent for them. Makes sense, right? Who spends more than they are willing to for something? Nobody. But that judgement came after I knew what DLG and more particularly what F3K flying was all about. If I had to spend what I did for any one of my last 3 planes just to give this a try, I wouldn't be here right now.

The comparisons above are interesting. Do you have any idea what it costs in time and money to make a quality set of golf clubs in your own basement? I'll bet its a whole lot more than it would cost make a DLG yet my Polaris and my set of CF shaft Taylor Made clubs cost about the same. Why is that? Well for one thing, Taylor Made sells a whole lot more clubs than MMT sells gliders. There is that economy to scale thing that kicks in. Should I be looking for a hand made set of clubs next time around? I can tell you I won't be and I won't feel bad about that either. Will DLGs ever have the following golf does? Not likely.

It's not that I don't appreciate the guys that made all this possible. I do very much appreciate them. I think that by in large that appreciation is the main reason they did what they did in terms of making DLGs available to us lesser builders. If they did it for the money and chicks, then they severely miscalculated the market. And there is nothing inherently wrong with buyers choosing an entry level plane at an affordable price. That's what will cause the hobby to grow. Think there would be many golfers if everybody had to pay for hand made clubs? Price out a set...
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 04:03 PM
Chuck 'Em and Chase 'Em
Fly2High's Avatar
United States, NY, Plainview
Joined Aug 2005
8,093 Posts
They use to make hand made clubs and they still do have custom clubs. They do cost a pretty penny.

Should DLGs ever get the following golf does, I am sure they can be made in larger quantities to help reduce the price on flying.

In the beginning though, golf was cost prohibitive for everyone but the rich. Time will tell if enough will have interest to reduce the cost for us mere mortals.

DLG are still very new to the market - what 10-20 years. Golf has been around much longer and look how long it has taken for the average joe to afford that.


All I was saying was that all sports and hobbies have cost related to them. Some choose not to see it since it is spread out over several purchases. Other sports have a big up front cost and then much less in the long run. In the end, many are about the same if looked on an average annual basis.

I am not saying that a beginner needs to spend a lot to fly DLGs, it just happens to be a sport/hobby with a large up front cost. Some sports and hobbies require a longer commitment to see the financial aspect pay off.

As for making my own golf clubs, I have done my own grips and reattached club heads so If I could buy an ARF golf club, I think I could do it..... But then again, I waited several years to buy my first set of Pinnacle clubs and then even longer for my King Cobras and TaylorMades. It was an investment in time and savings that allowed me to get into golf. All I am saying is that a beginner may have to do the same to fly.

Not everything has to be an impulse buy with instant gratification. We use to have to build slowly and carefully and wait a while before we could even fly a plane. Now many planes are ARF and RTF. There is something to be said for having determination and self discipline to save money for an expensive purchase.....


Frank
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