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Old Jul 08, 2002, 11:47 AM
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Sunnyvale, CA
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Enigma DLG

I just got back from the long weekend and noticed that NSP has the Enigma DLG on Weekly Special for $180 thru today. Has anyone flown one of these?

It has a 59" wingspan and a 4oz/sq.ft. wingloading. I'm curious why he recommends it "for the contest flier only". Does that mean it's fragile?
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Old Jul 08, 2002, 01:00 PM
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San Francisco
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Tom:

I just took the plunge and ordered one so I'll post my initial impressions here once it arrives. Contest capable ships are actually very rugged as they endure alot of abuse (and very hard launches) so I wouldn't assume that it's fragile although I doubt the foam bagged tail will take kindly to frequent ground landings. At first glance it looks like an improvement over the earlier offerings like the Acacia, Risk and Lucia DLG's as it seems to build a bit lighter and uses a launch peg to boot.

Greg
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Old Jul 08, 2002, 01:18 PM
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Re: Enigma DLG

I have no idea how strong or durable this glider is. "For the contest flyer only" is a strange statement. Hard-launching top contest flyers abuse DLGs far more than sport flyers, so maybe this means it's stronger than before.


Aero-wise it looks like the European molded DLGs are finally getting with the program, but there's still some room for improvement:

Weight is much better than before. It could still lose at least 1/2 ounce with the narrow wing.

The ailerons are greatly improved. They are now fairly wide which is good, they start at the root which is good, but it would be better if they went all the way to the tip. Stopping them short somewhat reduces the effectiveness of camber and reflex.

I dunno about the airfoil -- "SD7080 modified" it says. If this means that it's simply thinned to 7% or whatever, then it's 3-year old technology. The airfoils on most of the American DLGs (XP3, Encore, Taboo) are much better. Just ask anyone who's switched to them recently.

Wing dihedral is in the right direction, but could still be bigger. Most everyone is using at least 6 degrees nowadays (3" under each wingtip). If the wing comes in 2 pieces then probably this can be set by the builder.

The tail size and layout looks good.
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Old Jul 08, 2002, 01:50 PM
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Mark:

As a sport flyer only, I'll be satisfied if this model offers 80-90% of the performance of the Taboo, XP3 or Encore since I purchased mine at half the price of these models.

In terms of actual performance how much better are your optimized airfoils that the Taboo/XP3 are now using compared to older airfoils like the one used on the Enigma? Will I see a quantum leap in performance with your airfoil designs or would I have to be a contest level pilot to really take advantage of the added efficiency?

In regards to the future development of cutting edge DLG gliders I wonder if molded wings will ultimately surpass bagged foam wings as technology continues to improve and allow for lighter and lighter structures. Does the smoothness of a molded wing really offer much advantage in efficiency over a bagged wing?

As a final note, I sure wish someone would kit your 1 meter version of the Apogee.

thanks, Greg
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Old Jul 08, 2002, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by greg morrison

In terms of actual performance how much better are your optimized airfoils that the Taboo/XP3 are now using compared to older airfoils like the one used on the Enigma? Will I see a quantum leap in performance with your airfoil designs or would I have to be a contest level pilot to really take advantage of the added efficiency?
The big difference is at high speed -- at launch, and especially in penetration. The numbers indicate 25-30% less drag in a fast glide, and it really shows in those long upwind comebacks. For sport flying, the biggest advantage is that it makes flying in windy weather much more pleasant. There's much less need for ballast, which allows tighter circling and puts less stress on the glider in launch and hard landings.


Quote:

In regards to the future development of cutting edge DLG gliders I wonder if molded wings will ultimately surpass bagged foam wings as technology continues to improve and allow for lighter and lighter structures. Does the smoothness of a molded wing really offer much advantage in efficiency over a bagged wing?
Much less so than for larger gliders. Possibly the main advantage is better consistency. Bagged wings require constant care and vigilance on the part of the builder to get accurate results. A mold makes this much less critical.


Quote:

As a final note, I sure wish someone would kit your 1 meter version of the Apogee.
www.compositehawk.com used to make a clone, but no longer. It was too expensive I figure. Some other more automated manufacturing method would be needed.
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Old Jul 24, 2002, 10:01 AM
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So Greg, did you get your Enigma yet? How's it look?
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Old Jul 24, 2002, 12:51 PM
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Hi Tom:

The Enigma is a beautiful model with a unique aileron setup that I have yet to come across in another model (I hope it works well). Where the ailerons taper at the wingtips, they are not actually cut free from the wing so the ailerons warp along their span rather than moving up and down as in a freely hinged wing.

The airframe is very light as advertised, so I think the model should build out at around 9 oz for a respectable wingloading of around or slightly under 4 oz pr. sq. ft. From reports I've read of the other molded ships like the Lucia, Acacia and Risk the Enigma seems to be the best of the bunch as it has a much lower auw and wingloading. The fuselage is remarkably light and the left wingtip is built up, so a launch peg can be drilled and installed. The servo bays are not cut out of the wing unfortunately so this will entail some careful cutting of the lower surface of the wing. There were no plans with the kit so I had to NeSail for some building tips/suggestions.

I'v just completed a conventional Omega HLG (aileron version) for flying on the slope and hand launch so this has been taking up most of my time at the moment. I have so many projects going on that the Enigma might sit in the box for another 4 or 6 weeks before I get around to it. I'll post a report at that time unless someone beats me to it.

Greg
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Old Aug 02, 2002, 01:31 AM
sal
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We say that the Enigma DLG has a modified SD7080 airfoil which is not really the case. (It is just what the amnufacturer has told us to use for a description) The Enigma uses is one of the newer european airfoils that are being developed by the germans(At least this is as I understand it). I cannot actually get the specs on this airfoil group as they will not reveal any at this time. Since I do have a damaged wing (shipping) I could offer a cross section to someone who might want to take the time to figure out what the airfoil might be or what it resembles.


BTW...it'd funny that you would bring up penetration as the difference in old and new airfoils. Not sure that is actually correct as Joe W. has been designing airfoils for the Raptor at least 4 years ago that have extremely good mindrange polars. It just depended on what you wanted in an HLG.

As far as the newer European designs I would ahve to say that one of the main things you notice about the perfromance of these DLGs' is the ability of penetrate.
You will have to e-mail me privately
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Old Aug 02, 2002, 05:11 PM
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Hey Sal, when are you going to put the Enigma on weekly special again for $180?
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Old Aug 02, 2002, 06:35 PM
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Tom, he had a few damaged ones on sale last week for $109.00, although they might all be gone at this point. My friend picked one up and it has some damage to the wingtip which can be easily fixed and doesn't effect the underlying structure of the wing. I've started working on mine so I should be able to post a flight report in several weeks.

Greg
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Old Aug 02, 2002, 08:39 PM
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Doh! I always check the daily and weekly specials to see what they have, but I forgot to check the clearance page. It says they're all out of Enigmas (although they do list one for $139, which is kind of confusing). Thanks Greg, I'm looking forward to hearing about yours.
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Old Aug 02, 2002, 08:43 PM
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Tom:

From reading the description of the Enigma you saw for $139.00, this is a new clearance item, and has less damage than the ones Sal was previously selling for $109.00.

Greg
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Old Aug 03, 2002, 01:14 PM
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Thanks Greg. I called them but they weren't open, so I sent mail to Sal. We'll see what happens.

BTW, I caught a thermal at RSA with my Little Nipper this morning. I was quite proud of myself.
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Old Aug 05, 2002, 04:16 PM
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Well, I emailed Sal on Saturday about the Engima. He said they did have one left and he changed the web page to reflect that. He told to place an order right away if I wanted it so I called (left message) and emailed and filled out the online order form. All to no avail however because someone beat me to it!

He does have them available on weekly special for $210. That's about the same as an Avenger 2 though, which has gotten good reviews. I haven't been able to find any reports of the Enigma yet. Hmmm, decisions decisions....
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Old Aug 06, 2002, 02:02 PM
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Tom:

I purchased my Enigma for $180.00 which is $50.00 less than the Avenger 2. Even though I'm an Enigma owner it is an unproven model so I personally would go for the Avenger 2 since the prices are pretty much the same at the moment. The Enigma at 109.00 or 139.00 is a no brainer and at my price was a toss up. I liked the molded wing and for $50.00 less I was willing to take the gamble. At $210.00 however I would pass on the Enigma and spend the extra $20.00 on a proven commodity. If I have time tonight I will post some close-up photos of the Enigma so you can get a closer look at it.

Greg
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