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Old Jun 16, 2004, 07:39 PM
Relax & enjoy life
Type_B's Avatar
Cedartown, GA
Joined Mar 2001
25 Posts
Getting Back Into R/C - Considering HLG's

Hello,

I used to fly r/c planes - the last time I got into it I did all electrics and had a blast. I haven't flown in about 2 1/2 years but now I'm thinking about getting back into it and this time starting out with a HLG.

I can remember reading about them in S&E Modeler (is that still being published?) and thinking how cool they are. I have two main reasons for getting back into r/c with HLG's:

1 - I'm pretty broke
2 - What a cool facet of r/c

I'm going back to graduate school so I can obtain my Master's degree. I don't make lots of money, but I do have a small wad of dough I can use for this purchase - about $350 to $500 (thank goodness for eBay!).

I have very little time for building a complete plane and wanted to consider buying a plane & radio that's mostly pre-built. I also want to know if it's really possible to have long flights with these things. When I used to fly r/c I had some "fast" planes, but found myself not really enjoying them very much - to me, not relaxing.

Generally, I believe the "pre-built" planes to be a bit heavier and poor quality than what I could build myself, but, given my circumstances, perhaps this is a viable route to take.

I understand the basics about thermaling and I'm under the assumption that HLG's can also be flown in certain slope lift conditions? I've never had a sailplane before but I used to really enjoy seeing how long my flights could be (that's sort of like sailplaning, right? ).

Anyway, I can't wait to get back into this hobby again - thanks in advance for any useful comments or suggestions.

Happy flyin',

Type_B
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Old Jun 16, 2004, 07:55 PM
PLD
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Australia, QLD, Charters Towers
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First up, welcome back to the sport :-)

It's a shame that you don't have the time to build - as there's some great kits out there for HLG, such as the Gambler+ from the Wright Brothers (Allan) and the Bug from plans.

The basic thing with HLG is to have a sufficiently light (yet very strong) small-medium glider and use the limited height (about 100ft height, at least according to recent altitude recordings) to quickly sniff out a thermal and go have some fun. Even without thermals though, you can typically get upwards of 1 minute from a well trimmed glider. While 1 minute doesn't sound like a lot, you have to realise that launching these things is a 2 second affair. The 'discus launch' is now very popular and has a low physical impact (very nice when you do it 50 times a day).

Example of a (bad) discus launch ;-)
http://www.pldaniels.com/flying/discus-launch-001.mpeg
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Old Jun 16, 2004, 07:57 PM
PLD
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*doh* pressed the wrong sequence of buttons :-(

here's also an example of a javalin launch. The Javalin launch gets you less height, hurts the shoulder more but doesn't require as strong an airframe to cope with the launch stress.

http://www.pldaniels.com/flying/java...1.mpeg001.mpeg

PLD.
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 01:22 AM
John W
Wa.
Joined May 2004
90 Posts
Try HLG ?

Try something like the seeker from liftworks maybe. I tried DLG once and HLG was the only way to go, there is no comparison in launch height for me, but then I have a pretty strong arm and dont need to throw my body into a spin or play with the weird launch settings. Good luck with all of the choices out there, there are so many... : D
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 01:38 AM
Gambler-AG DLG Designer
Allan Wright's Avatar
Lee, NH, USA
Joined Jun 2001
5,192 Posts
Welcome back - HLG flying is all the fun of powered R/C with the additional 'Zen' element of finding thermals and harnessing their power.

If you don't mind building, you can get a HUGE 'bang-for-the-buck' factor by getting the RCM&E plans for 'The Bug' and building it from those plans. The bug can fly nicely on the least expensive transmitters (as long as they have elevon mixing built-in) and radio equipment.

It's a VERY easy/fast build, and will probably take you about the same (or maybe less) time to complete than the time it would take you to set up some 'ARF' gliders.
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 01:41 AM
PLD
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Allan,

Do you have a URL for getting those Bug plans? I think I'm a bit lacking in the brain department today, can't seem to find out if they'll ship copies to Australia.

Paul.
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 07:20 AM
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Type_B's Avatar
Cedartown, GA
Joined Mar 2001
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Quote:
I tried DLG once and HLG was the only way to go, there is no comparison in launch height for me, but then I have a pretty strong arm and dont need to throw my body into a spin or play with the weird launch settings.
Yeah, when I got out of this hobby a while back, it seems like the discuss (sp) launch method was just becoming popular.

Back to one of my original questions - How long can these things really stay up there? I'm guessing it's part luck (finding a good thermal) which is coupled with lots of experience, flying skill and good quality plane/radio setup.

Also, how do these things fly in slope-lift conditions where there's only mild or moderate lift/wind?

I've been poking around the Internet and I've come to the conclusion that a 12 oz flying weight with a 1.5 meter wing would be quite adequate for a HLG. It also seems obvious I'll need elevon mixing and that a "V-tail" (?) is preferred.

Quote:
It's a shame that you don't have the time to build . . .
Yeah - if my wife found me building a plane she'd hit the ceiling. We have a never ending list of "to do" items around the house - fixing the yard, fixing the cars, fixing the house, cleaning the house, spending time with the children. I'm hoping my two daughters will get into this with me - they're 10 & 12 - perhaps a more durable foamie for them to learn on would be in order (& yeah, I realize the trade off in performance).

Thanks,

Type_B
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 09:22 AM
Gambler-AG DLG Designer
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Lee, NH, USA
Joined Jun 2001
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All things Bug related (incluging info on getting the plans) can be found here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BugHLG/
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 09:35 AM
Registered User
West Boylston, MA
Joined Feb 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Type_B
Back to one of my original questions - How long can these things really stay up there? I'm guessing it's part luck (finding a good thermal) which is coupled with lots of experience, flying skill and good quality plane/radio setup.

Also, how do these things fly in slope-lift conditions where there's only mild or moderate lift/wind?

I've been poking around the Internet and I've come to the conclusion that a 12 oz flying weight with a 1.5 meter wing would be quite adequate for a HLG. It also seems obvious I'll need elevon mixing and that a "V-tail" (?) is preferred.
Type_B,

Re your questions, I get 1 min. in dead air, but had a 6 1/2 min. flight the other day. Folks with more experience can stay up for an hour. Thermalling DLGs have to be so strong for launch, that they make great light slope airplanes, especially with a little extra weight (ballast) added. 9.5-10.5 oz., depending on wing area, is better for 1.5 m. ships, but for your budget you may have to suffer a little more weight.

What to buy???: Send me a Private Message if you're interested in a well-used Enigma with XP-3 tails and boom, wing servos included. Otherwise, for your budget (if that's for everything, including a radio), you might pick up the new JR6102 micro radio system and a Slingshot, plus a receiver pack, Teflon pushrod housings, and stainless or carbon pushrods. (Be prepared to get hooked, though.)

Welcome back,

Marc
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 09:42 AM
Registered User
Surrey, England
Joined Oct 2003
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Hi Type_B

Just a small point. V-tails are generally NOT desirable on a DLG Glider (all the wrong twisting forces). Most DLG's have a cross tail and a fairly large sub fin. Check out the SuperGee II on the Charles river site for a decent 3-view of a current DLG.

Cheers

Martin
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 09:55 AM
PLD
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Allan,

Thanks, useful as always you are :-)

Martin/Marc,

I must agree, V-tail isn't much good with DLG, I nearly ploughed into the ground quite a few times trying to DLG my vtail, in fact, so much so I thought that getting to discus launch my plane would be an impossible feat.

Paul.
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 10:18 AM
Jeff Carr
Ft. Mill SC / Charlotte NC
Joined Mar 2001
2,713 Posts
Hi Type

First off if you have someone in your area that has a DLG go ask questions.

Their are alot of very good DLG sailplanes out there. I have an XP-4 from Denny Maize. Very good DLG. The Taboo is another very good DLG. I hear the back log is around 23 kits. Most of these are very easy to put together. Usally only about 5 hour of work. This does not include waiting for the epoxy to dry.

Small servos are needed. If you spend the money for a good DLG spend the money for good servos. JR 241 and 281 digitals are tops in this area. HS-55 are a close second although they will not center quite as well after time.

Flying DLG will help you with your thermal flying and air reading skills. This is the main reason I got into it. Its fun. What else can I say.

My 13 yr old can DLG to altitudes of around 75 feet. He will be real good in a few years. So yes your girls can do it.

There are alot of sailplanes out. read the forums. There is alot of good info here. V-tails are not used in DLG. it can be done but the tail area lacks for the real boomer launches. The older javilin style handlaunch sailplanes the v-tails were very popular. HLG has really changed in the last few years.

Jeff
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 11:41 AM
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Joined Feb 2002
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Buy a polyhedral two channel plane. It'll be much cheaper and you will learn to thermal much quicker if you're not 'flying' the plane all time and can focus on finding and staying in lift. The nice thing about grad school is that you will be a master of your time, so you can go flying at the best time for lift even if you don't have a lot of total time free...
Find dlg fliers in your area, you need to see stuff like this in person.
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 01:26 PM
Landings are not optional
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Van Nuys, CA
Joined Sep 2003
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I don't think I can imagine a more perfect glider for kids to learn on than the seeker. Having never flown/seen a bug, I'm not sure on it but I bet it would be very similar too. You could get/build a couple, and since they will fly on the most rudimentary of Tx's, you can all fly together for not much money. The seeker/bug are great little planes, tons of info on the bugHLG forum and in the seeker built threads on here.

*EDIT*
Forgot to mention - the bug and seeker make great low lift slope planes, I read a story recently of a pilot who did his LSF lvl 5 flight (8 hour slope flight!) with a seeker.
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 07:18 PM
AustinTatious
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Hurst, Texas, United States
Joined Jul 2003
1,952 Posts
The Avenger is an easy to fly plane that wont require LOTS of building.... A simple radio will work and its a great plane.
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