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View Poll Results: Which Standard Bird suits me?!?
Skybench - Olympic II 39 48.75%
MM Glider Tech - Marauder 19 23.75%
Northeast Sailplanes - Kestrel 100" 11 13.75%
OTHER - Please post plane below. 11 13.75%
Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Aug 30, 2006, 03:37 AM
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Russian Federation, Sakha, Yakutsk
Joined May 2006
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Poll
Skybench OLY II, NES Kestrel 100" or MM Tech Marauder???

Hey all, a younger woodcrafter here. I'm getting ready to purchase / build a standard class plane and am left wondering which I should go with.

I ordered a Kestrel 100" from NESail, however after calling them today to see if my kit shipped I found out that it won't ship until 6-8 weeks from now.

Therefore...

I'm left looking at the Skybench OLY II and the MM Glider Tech Marauder. Both are lovely looking planes, with the Marauder looking a bit "more modern."

So...

I ask the OLY II, Kestrel 100 and Marauder drivers, which out of the three:

1. Builds well? (How is the quality of the Skybench, NES and MMTech kits?)
2. Is suited for my area? (Large flat coastal plain. Thermaling in open fields with occasional gusty winds
3. Can withstand hard launches?


BTW...I'm dead set on wooden sailplanes. However if there are any other 99" - 118" class wood ships I should know about, please fill me in!
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 03:55 AM
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Russian Federation, Sakha, Yakutsk
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I voted "other" to get my vote out of the way.
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 06:03 AM
Manassas, VA
Joined Dec 2005
489 Posts
Paragon
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 06:10 AM
Registered User
Punta Gorda, FL
Joined Apr 2002
4,952 Posts
I advise you to get a Mirage short kit. You get the sheet balsa and sticks from the hobby shop. The short kit gives you laser cut parts and Vacuum Formed Canopy.
http://www.isthmusmodels.com/product...roducts_id=111

I suggest you get the plans from RCM.
http://www.rcmmagazine.com/store/sto...xdVPskvg89j4w3

I think that the Mirage design is the best for wood sailplanes. The Mirage aerodynamic and structure is best functional design but not for artistic looks.

See what Dr. Drela says:

"I mostly agree with Mark Miller's comments. The Mirage is great combination of simplicity and performance, and making modifications which involve a lot of work just isn't worth the payoff.

"Nevertheless, Blaine Rawdon has mentioned to me that he would make a few fairly easy mods to the Mirage if he were to build another one today:

1) Elevator on both sides, for more precise elevator response.
The original one-sided elevator was mostly for mechanical simplicity and minimal weight, but having two elevators isn't that much more difficult. A short piece of spruce, basswood, or CF tube would make a suitable connector.

2) Get rid of the rudder balance tab, for more rudder power and mechanical simplicity.

3) Make the center-panel turbulator strips out of 1/8" square spruce or basswood rather than balsa. The balsa ones crack too easily. I myself would stick to balsa, but make them 1/8" x 3/16" set on edge. The 50% depth increase will more than double their strength.

4) Increase the torsional stiffness of the center panel by double-covering it with Monokote. This will suppress the catastrophic flutter which occurs on this plane at 50-60 mph. Using a heavier LE strip and making the TE strips as light as possible will further suppress this flutter.


"In addition to the above, I would

a) Add spruce doublers to the top-surface sparcaps, glued on to the rear of each cap, flush with the surface. The top center sparcap gets a 24" x 1/4" doubler, and the top tip sparcaps get 12" x 1/8" doublers.

b) Use thicker shear webs in the center to match the stronger sparcap. I'd use 1/4" for the three innermost bays, then 3/16" for the next three bays, then the stock 1/8" for the rest.

"These mods will nearly double the bending strength of the wing, with minimal weight and effort. The ends of the doublers can be tapered for better appearance."
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 06:37 AM
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R.M. Gellart's Avatar
Joined Nov 2005
3,555 Posts
How about the 100" Bird from Skybench? Strong, clean, and very aerodynamic clean.
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 07:15 AM
AECS USN RET. P3 FE
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USA, FL, Winter Springs
Joined Mar 2004
711 Posts
Big Bird !
Allan
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 07:24 AM
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Prescott Arizona
Joined Mar 2005
890 Posts
Oly for relaxed flying, Big Bird for performance. Both build very well and the fit and finish is unlike anything Ive ever assembled. Built the Oly in four days with wood glue as it has a smaller piece count than most planes. It is rugged. You will enjoy working with Ray also, he always has time to answer your questions and service from him is spot on.
Bob- owner of four skybench planes
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 10:14 AM
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Chile, Región Metropolitana, Santiago
Joined May 2002
373 Posts
I don't have experience with the other planes, but I can't say enough of Ray Hayes great support to woodies, excellent service and great kits (easy to build, great wood selection, good plans, all hardware included, etc, etc).

I have built the Lil Bird 60" and the 2 meter version as well as the Legionair (almost finished). I also have one OlyII on the building board, another NIB and a ASK18 short kit to be built sometime.

Me? I stick with Skybench!

Alex
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 11:44 AM
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Russian Federation, Sakha, Yakutsk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balsaaddict
Paragon

Who sells the Paragon??? I've done some searching and haven't seen it yet.


Update. I bought a new Sig Riser 2m at a mall hobby shop last night to get my building skills warmed back up so I don't hose the 100" ship I eventually choose.

Got it for $24.99 on clearance!!! Can't beat that.
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 12:27 PM
Unrepentant Paragon addict
LVsoaring's Avatar
United States, OK, Moore
Joined Jan 2006
2,640 Posts
The Kestrel is a nice airplane, but the customer service from NSP is very poor, so I'd stay away from them. All your other choices are good ones, but if it were me, I'd go with the Maurader, just to try something new.

Rick
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 12:53 PM
Vintage Flyer
Indiana
Joined Jan 2005
1,674 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrogChief
Hey all, a younger woodcrafter here. I'm getting ready to purchase / build a standard class plane and am left wondering which I should go with.

I ordered a Kestrel 100" from NESail, however after calling them today to see if my kit shipped I found out that it won't ship until 6-8 weeks from now.

Therefore...

I'm left looking at the Skybench OLY II and the MM Glider Tech Marauder. Both are lovely looking planes, with the Marauder looking a bit "more modern."

So...

I ask the OLY II, Kestrel 100 and Marauder drivers, which out of the three:

1. Builds well? (How is the quality of the Skybench, NES and MMTech kits?)
2. Is suited for my area? (Large flat coastal plain. Thermaling in open fields with occasional gusty winds
3. Can withstand hard launches?


BTW...I'm dead set on wooden sailplanes. However if there are any other 99" - 118" class wood ships I should know about, please fill me in!
Hi!
I would back up OVSS BOSS 's post and get the 100 inch Bird from Skybench, or go with the the larger version ( 132 inch version) Skybird.
OVSS BOSS and I both know Ray Hayes personally who owns Skybench, and I we fly with him often, as I live about 15 miles from Ray.
The 100 inch span Bird kit he has is of exceptional quality, will fly in calm or gusty conditions, and is a great flyer!
I mtyself plan on getting one as soon as I finish up 3 other sailplanes I have going now.
The OLY II is a good airplane, but being a flat bottom Clark "Y" airfoil, it isn't much a of a penetrator into a strong wind without a lot of ballast.

On the other hand the 100 inch "Bird" Ray kits is a great penetrator, will take a strong winch launch, and is an all around great sailplane!
And it's easy to build.

Well that's my 2 cents worth.

Good luck to you and welcome aboard!
Woodies are great!
Well time to go back to work on my Tom Martin Hall Cherokee scale sailplane which is an all-woodie!!!

Best of luck to you!

Ed
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 12:59 PM
Boar? I'm a Thermal Pig!
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Winnipeg, Canada
Joined Aug 2004
916 Posts
not totally wood but the JK Thermic 100" or RES Thermic @ http://www.arthobby.com/shop.html

They are all very good flyers.
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Russian Federation, Sakha, Yakutsk
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Well, I'm 0 for 3.


NESnail* can't send me a Kestrel 100" until Oct...

Skybench has been away from the phones for 2 days...(*Edit - Ray is on vacation)

and MM Glider tech doesn't even have an answering machine...(*Edit - Merrill's machine was full, I got ahold of him today 8/31/06)


See I've been burned in the past faxing in orders and never hearing anything until my product arrives like a month later. So of course I'd like to speak with someone and know if the kit is in stock, how long until shipping, etc.

Oh well...I'm sure Mr. Hayes will get ahold of me sooner or later.

*intentional
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 02:06 PM
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Pearland, Texas
Joined Aug 2005
153 Posts
Paragon.
www.skybench.com/slnost.html#paragon
SkipinHouston
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 02:14 PM
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chlee's Avatar
Atlanta, GA
Joined May 2000
602 Posts
Also see the offerings at www.laserarts.com
The Scepter is like the Oly II, but with a more modern airfoil.

- Chung
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