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Wright Brothers R/Cs Gambler AG X-Tail DLG Laser Cut Kit Review

Jeff Carr shares his journey with this exceptional entry-level DLG! From a great design, to quality instructions, from complete materials to complete performance, Jeff finds the Gambler AG a winner!

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Introduction


Wingspan:48"
Wing chord:6"
Wing Area:370 sq. in.
Weight:6.6 oz.
Length:31.5"
Wing Loading:3.7 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:HS-55
Transmitter:JR-642
Receiver:JR 610M
Battery:4 cell 370 mA
Manufacturer:Wright Brothers RC
Available From Allan:Wright Brothers RC

I was very excited to be assigned to do this review. In my opinion Allan is one of the great guys of the hobby. He saw a need for a DLG sailplane that was affordable and easy to build. Some of you may remember the Gambler V-Tail. Design modifications were made and the Gambler AG was born.

Gambler AG Improvements:

  • X-Tail (!)
  • New Airfoil (AG36), designed by Mark Drela
  • Span Increased to 50"
  • Laser-cut wing hold down improved
  • Stiffer Avia boom
  • Polyhedral increased
  • Modified rudder mounting
  • Parts/Design improvements to simplify build

Considered a small DLG, the AG has big performance. The HLG forum here on RC Groups is evident of its success. Any question you may have will be answered in the forum by multiple proud owners and Allan himself.

Laser cut and a GOOD, illustrated instruction book make this model the envy of every other entry level DLG.

Kit Contents

The Gambler comes in an Express Mail tube. The folded plans and all the parts are labeled and individually bagged. The instruction book shows each parts bag. The parts bags correspond with each part youíre working on. Itís a nice touch that makes for a smooth build.

The Kit Includes:

  • All needed laser cut and stock wood parts
  • full sized plans and illustrated instruction manual
  • fiberglass and Kevlar cloth & iron-on carbon ribbon
  • carbon boom
  • generous hardware package

The Kit Requires:

  • high-strength iron on covering such as So-Lite
  • receiver such as JR 610M
  • two servos, such a HS55
  • battery pack (multiple choices covered)

Assembly

Since the DLG Forum has extensive building tips and the kit includes a detailed manual, I wonít go into the small details. All of the components built straight and true. Follow the instructions and you will not go wrong. Yes, I said follow the instructions! They are very clear.

One big tip I received from the forum was to use a straight edge from a square to sand the wing's trailing edge. Very nice trailing edges can be made with a minimal amount of time -- mine took less than 5 minutes. (I have been building for a long time so your time may vary.)

Use some caution with the carbon fiber. It does iron on but it needs the CA or epoxy to attach it to the spar. With the carbon on both the top and bottom of the spar you get a very rigid wing.

Wing

Fuselage

By all mean use the supplied carbon on the sides to add strength. Using the supplied fiberglass cloth over the entire fuselage is also recommended. It adds very little weight to the entire structure. This will help durability, especially for the beginner.

Tail

I chose to add lightning holes to my tail feathers. It was just a preference I had and not required. (Note that my model ended a bit nose heavy after doing so.)

Doing so made covering a little more challenging because of the possibility of warps. Just take your time if you decide to do this.

Radio Installation

For the radio I used 2 HS-55 servos. They fit very nice. I wish now I would have mounted them per the instructions, as my model has come out a little nose heavy. I glued them to the bottom of the fuselage with 5 minute epoxy and micro balloons. I chose not to use the wires for control. I used carbon rods and etched Teflon tubing I had from a now deceased model. I mounted the rods on the outside of the boom. Itís quick and easy.

Completion

There are many covering choices. I used UltraCote on mine. Its heavier then most coverings but it was what I had in my shop. I do believe it is more durable that some of the lighter coverings.

I had chosen to lighten the tail feathers and moved the servos from the recommended location. As a result, I ah dto move the receiver to the rear of the fuselage.

Flying

My favorite part of the DLG craze is taking it to my local club and hearing the reaction after the first throw. People immediately ask how to get into DLG. This is where the Gambler comes in. The club president Russ bought one and is having a ball with it. He has come a long way in refining his thermalling skills. It is a very forgiving sailplane that will read lift very well. The dihedral in the wing makes it a very stable platform. I have flown mine in some wind as high as 10 knots. Itís tough and wonít penetrate very well. Itís not designed to fly in high winds.

Launching

Launching is usually the most difficult part of DLG for a beginner. The Gambler being stable makes this a myth. If you release too early or late the time to recover is generous. It will take some practice but throws will come with time. Many people have launched mine and are getting quite good. It wonít launch as high as a Taboo or XP-4 but it will get you ready for the next level. The thing to remember is to keep the model level. Rotating your body and releasing in the same direction you were facing when you started are important. Start with a slow rotation and progress to more aggressive launches.

I let a first time DLG pilot fly it, and he's hooked! He flew it until Gorilla Boy ďAndy MaizeĒ launched it. I wanted him to throw it just as hard as he could. Well he did. Straight up it went. I thought WOW what a throw. Little did I know that he ripped the peg right out of the wing. It was a very hard throw! Wright Brothers indicates they've never seen another get torn out, so it was definitely unusual. The AG held together with the exception of the peg.

Thermalling

Thermalling is something that can be taught, but experience is what a sailplane flyer needs. The Gambler will core a thermal very low and since it is light, specking it out is quite easy. With rudder and elevator it racks into a turn and stays there. A little up elevator to keep the nose up and it will circle forever. Itís just a nice flying sailplane. Although the movable surfaces are small they are very effective.

While flying the gambler lift was easy to spot because of the way the wing tip would rise and the thermal would try to push the Gambler out of the lift. Poly winged aircraft are probably the best for indicating lift. The Gambler will also rise the tail very fast when entering directly into lift. Rudder and elevator in one corner of the transmitter will get the Gambler turning fast. You will however need opposite rudder to keep the wing flat.

Is This For a Beginner?

You bet. This sailplane was designed with the beginner in mind. A first time builder can get this little DLG together and flying in no time. While at the recent ECHLGF in Wilson NC I had a fellow fly it. He did know how to fly but had never flown a DLG. I do believe he is now hooked too! The beginner can only benefit from the well thought out design. Strength is its strong point.

When I first launch a DLG, glow pilots often assume this is easy. Some of the local power pilots have attempted to fly my older XP-3. They now have a little more respect for this side of the hobby. Well, it is easy, IF you know about sailplanes. I have continually told them sailplanes donít thermal if they're going real fast. Slow the plane down. Well this usually turns into stalls. Its fun to watch the first flight struggles. And even more fun to see someone stick with it and come to find the great fun of a good DLG, and go out to build their own Gambler AG!

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

I am all about fun. I really get enjoyment in seeing people get their hands on a small sailplane and speck it out. Our club now has a few power flyers that give us a little more respect. The Gambler has shown them that fun is not only in the flying but the building. In a world bombarded with identical ARFs, the Gambler is a true Gem.

The only mods I did was to lighten the tail and to replace the supplied wire for the push rods. I used carbon rods and etched teflon tubes for the push rods. I had these from another model that met a quick death. Its another alternative.

If you decide to get one have fun with the build. Enjoy the flying. What a great DLG!

Last edited by AMCross; Nov 19, 2006 at 07:40 PM..

Discussion

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Old Nov 23, 2006, 02:32 PM
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Murocflyer's Avatar
United States, CA, Tehachapi
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Very nice review. This seems to be a very popular beginners DLG.

Frank
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 03:16 PM
Registered User
Thunder Bay, Canada
Joined Aug 2004
451 Posts
It is Frank. I've got the Gambler+ and I know I'm going to break down and get the AG, its that good. I had a 5 minute flight the other day, really weak conditions, took about 3 minutes to gain 50 feet but it was awesome.
Tom
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 04:01 PM
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Tom,

I gotta know one thing. It concerns tossing this puppy up in the air time after time. Doesn't that get old? Or is it worth it, like bike riding up a long steep hill to look at the views from the top.

I'd love to hear an honest answer about this.

Thanks,

Frank
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 04:28 PM
Confirmed Chronic
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Pacific Palisades, CA
Joined Jul 2004
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I never get sick of launching. In fact, when there's no lift, I stick around the field and launch. If you've ever played golf, it's like hitting the driver. You can't get enough. You can always throw higher, straighter, better.
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 04:56 PM
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Charlotte, NC
Joined Sep 2003
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Great review and very well done. Makes me want one too!
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by screamin' eagle
I never get sick of launching. In fact, when there's no lift, I stick around the field and launch. If you've ever played golf, it's like hitting the driver. You can't get enough. You can always throw higher, straighter, better.
Really? I guess I never looked at it like that.

Thanks.

EDIT I just went back and looked (again) at the WBRC site, it sure is a sweet looking glider. This is really a tough decision.
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Last edited by Murocflyer; Nov 23, 2006 at 05:15 PM.
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 05:40 PM
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OK, one more question.

Is there a problem with CGing this plane? Do I need the weight of a NiMH pack?

Thanks again.
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 05:52 PM
wishes this caption was longe
will_newton's Avatar
wilson, nc, usa
Joined Dec 2005
2,214 Posts
Good review Jeff! I've actually flown this Gambler in the review at a contest and it's pretty nice. I have now flown 3 of them, each with their own differences. Cool DLG for the money!
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 06:01 PM
Jeff Carr
Ft. Mill SC / Charlotte NC
Joined Mar 2001
2,652 Posts
Muro

I think you can get aways with the battery you want. I had to shift weight back. I also am moving the Battery back a little.

Will/Bernie
Thanks for the nice comments. I owe Allan an apology for taking so long. Work really had me hoppin all summer. I barely had time to do any flying this summer. My skills are rusty. I plan to remedy that this coming summer

Jeff
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 09:53 AM
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How timely! I just ordered a G-AG this week! I haven't flown sailplanes in over 16 years and am going to "Try" again with the Gambler. I'm hoping to also try a little light sloping with it too. I wuz thinking of also scratch building an aileron version wing. Is an aileron wing idea just dumb and a waste of time given the original mission of the Gambler?

Also who is a good vendor for smaller NIMH batteries 150-300 mah sizes? Thanks
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 10:04 AM
Jeff Carr
Ft. Mill SC / Charlotte NC
Joined Mar 2001
2,652 Posts
Hi Gary

For rthe Batteries I used aaa 370 2/3 size cells from Maxamps.com Austin is a good guy and these cells have been great. I think they are .85 a piece. He may even build the pack the way you want. Ask it cant hurt.

I havent heard of anyone doing an aileron wing for the Gambler. Its a stable planform so I think it was just ment to be a poly. But then again it is a hobby of experementation

Jeff
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garyss
Also who is a good vendor for smaller NIMH batteries 150-300 mah sizes? Thanks

I like CBPs.

http://www.cheapbatterypacks.com/main.asp?sid=654169&
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 06:29 PM
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Charlotte, NC - USA
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Good review Jeff. My Gambler came this afternoon. I can't wait to fly it!
JC
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 06:41 PM
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I was reading the assembly instructions for the Gambler and I saw the required material of Epoxy Finishing Resin, preferably 30 minute cure or longer.

Can someone point me in the right direction of what that is?


If I order mine tomorrow, I suspect I'll be building it by next weekend.

Thanks,

Frank
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