Originally Posted by DaveG
I use to love flying a Gentle Lady which I would launch with a hi-start. After flying the Radian, the Gentle Lady may finally be retired. It's just really nice to be able to fly without having to use the hi-start and still get nice sailplane performance for relatively little cost and minimal hassle. Your sailplane interests and requirements sound close to mine.
The Gentle Lady was my first introduction to Sailplanes. There are a couple major reasons I chose the Radian as my first powered glider. First, there is almost a cult-like following. This thread with over 7600 posts says something about the Radian. I figured this many folks can't be wrong. I've been researching the Radian for almost a year. And for some reason I keep coming back to it. It's kind of like the Blade MSR Helicopter of planes. There are also days where I can't get to a field that has 800' of open area to set up my Hi-Start. Or the wind is just coming from a direction that doesn't work out right. There are some days that I only have a "block" of time that I can set aside to fly. My quick-fix before the cares of the world mess the day up.
The motor for me only serves one purpose; to get it into the air. I don't have any interest in buzzing around. Once I get up to altitude, the motor is going off and I'm hunting for thermals. One of the major advantages of non-motorized sailplanes is their ability to fly all day long on a single battery. A motor eats up a battery real fast. I know on my electric Super Cubs I'm real lucky to get 10 minutes of flight if I go gentle on the throttle.
I don't know if a traditional Sailplane is an "upgrade". But, there is a beauty to a non-powered Sailplane. I love the sleek lines, the absolute quiet, the way the suns glint off the covering on the wings and sheer relaxation. I think my Bird of Time Sailplane looks amazing. I've seen motors put on them and IMO, it spoils the lines of the BOT. I think the primary objective of Sailplanes is aerodynamics and lift. I love the so called "gas bags". And a prop on a Sailplane will always create some sort of drag.
Setting up and using a Hi-Start or Winch takes time. I think this is a good thing. I know this doesn't seem to make sense for those of us who have so little time to spare. But, as I get older, I find that it makes
me slow down and just enjoy the free time I do have. I mean what's the point of staying so busy that it just sucks the joy out of life. "Pure" Sailplanes help me put the world on hold for a time. Once I get a few hours of flight time invested in the Radian maybe my philosophy will change.
Well, now you have the Zen of Sailplanes according to Curtis