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Old Sep 24, 2007, 09:22 AM
Oh no...hot glue is gone again
catman529's Avatar
Tennessee
Joined Feb 2007
922 Posts
Question
Can you catch a thermal with an Aero Ace?

I was flying the other day, and the sun was going down, so it wasn't ideal conditions for thermals...but when my plane (air hogs x-twin from target) reached an altitude of about 20-25 feet, it started climbing more rapidly until it reached 70-80 feet. I was flying in circles over my head so as not to lose range, but every time it got a little altitude, it would float up twice as fast until I got scared and started spiraling it in. The sun was behind the trees and I was on top of a hill in the street where I live, and I had to get my plane up about 40-50 feet till the sun shone on it. I read that thermals usually occur in midday, but it was late afternoon and starting to cool down. The next two nights, I didn't get that kind of flying, maybe the wind was a little calmer. Of all three nights, the wind never went over 5 mph, and usually was lower. Maybe the wind was coming up the big hill that night and creating a lifting current? Any thoughts on this?
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 10:34 AM
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regis's Avatar
Joined Jun 2006
159 Posts
Could be a combination of the wind up the hill, the heat off the ground as the day cooled and the light wind leaving the buoyant air in pace. Buoyant air is often found in early evening. One of my fondest teen memories is that of an early evening flight of an original hand launch glider (free flight - not RC) that drifted toward a tree and then circled at the same altitude in place for what seemed an eternity. Subsequent evening flights never reproduced the phenomena. :-) regis
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 11:31 AM
Oh no...hot glue is gone again
catman529's Avatar
Tennessee
Joined Feb 2007
922 Posts
thanks, that seems about right. prob. the wind and heat from the ground. I've been wanting to get a Zing Wing, which is just a flying wing glider that is launched with a rubber band launcher. it folds up, and you launch it, and it snaps open at about 100 feet high and can glide from 45 seconds to several minutes. I'd like to see what happens to one if you launch it over a large drop-off on a mountain with a big thermal coming up the side of the mountain
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 12:18 PM
RIP Ric
Andy W's Avatar
Marietta, GA
Joined Jun 1999
43,312 Posts
I have thermalled my Twister, a semi-pylon model (170sq. " and ~16oz). Strong conditions and clues provided by a bunch of buzzards, but real thermalling nonetheless!
..a
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 12:33 PM
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rdeis's Avatar
United States, CO, Colorado Springs
Joined Aug 2003
6,564 Posts
I caught a boomer with an Aero Ace biplane one morning, and it kept going up and up until it was out of radio range. It flew out of the thremal on it's own after I lost control and eventually got back to the ground.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 01:45 PM
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BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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Thermals occur for LOTS of reasons. Way back when I was test flying a free flight tow line glider at dusk. The sun was well below the horizon so I wasn't using a DT fuse. It caught a boomer and went out of sight over a hill about 2 miles from the launch point after I chased it to the base of the hill. There was very little wind and it was easy to walk under it and just watch it get smaller and smaller.... I was a teenager and this had been my first bigger model. To see it lost like that on its first day out was a heartbreaker.

We've also been able to fly max flights in early morning fog with our free flight models and they were still holding altitude when the DT's pop.

I once got a 20'ish minute flight with a Gentle Lady over a freshly plowed damp field on a heavily overcast day and no wind whatsoever. The dew was so heavy that my transmitter looked like it had been rained on. I landed because it was just too easy to stay there over that field and let it circle at about 60 feet without seeing it go up or down.

I max flighted a 15 minute RC controlled SAM old timer model in rain so heavy that I had to get someone to pull a plastic bag down over my antenna and cover my hands and transmitter. It was just heavy cloud with no rain when I took off and it started coming down after I was up for about 3 to 4 minutes. It lifted up until it was dancing in the cloud base at around 500 to 600 feet and I had to hold it down to that level for the rest of the flight.

There's TONS of reasons that lift conditions are created It's not always just because of the sun or at mid day.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 02:15 PM
Registered User
Minneapolis, MN
Joined Sep 2004
999 Posts
I was flying full scale on Saturday, a nice breeze blew thru, I announced that the thermals must be starting. Just then 50 feet behind us a big dust devil spun-up pulling up corn stalks (you typically see stalks at altitude too).

Normally at the end of the day the thermals get a lot better as the wind drops. Often you have to work to come down.

/Adam
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 04:35 PM
Registered User
San Carlos, California, United States
Joined May 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catman529
...
I read that thermals usually occur in midday, but it was late afternoon and starting to cool down. The next two nights, I didn't get that kind of flying, maybe the wind was a little calmer. Of all three nights, the wind never went over 5 mph, and usually was lower. Maybe the wind was coming up the big hill that night and creating a lifting current? Any thoughts on this?
I'm a paraglider pilot, and we call those types of conditions "glass-off".

It usually occus at the end of the day, and there is usually fairly gentle, smooth lift about 200-400 fpm all around. Basically the airflow switches from anabatic to catabatic because the ground is releasing latent heat.

A thread on paraglidingforum.com about glass-off:

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=73938

Also, if you Google for "glass off" and "paragliding" you'll find other references.

Toshi
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 11:16 PM
Oh no...hot glue is gone again
catman529's Avatar
Tennessee
Joined Feb 2007
922 Posts
thanks all, that helps answer my question and I enjoyed the stories too...gotta do some real free flight, not just mini gliders, I'm getting ready in fact to make a larger glider pretty soon here, so I'll have to get the right conditions to fly it
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