dgliderguy's blog View Details
Posted by dgliderguy | Jul 30, 2019 @ 02:23 PM | 1,872 Views
After seven long months of dabbling (with a few healthy marathon building surges thrown in there), I finally finished my latest project-- a 1949 Dick Twomey Leprechaun. Span is a mere 103", which is deceptive, as the wing is huge, with a root chord width of nearly 20 inches! In fact, it came in at the same weight as my Sailaire, with the same wing area (just under 11.5sqft). It flies like a Sailaire, too! Slow and majestic, more like a big parachute than a glider. Penetration is nothing to brag about, but it can spin nice and tight in small thermals, and climbs out well in anything that even slightly looks like rising air. I built an engine pod for it, too, for those days out at the power field, where there is limited room for a hi-start. Build thread here.

[Editorial note: The Leprechaun has lately become a popular model, as seen in these forums and on You Tube. Most guys are transmogrifying them into something almost unrecognizable, by omitting the wing and stab pylons, flattening the wings, and even adding ailerons. I do not consider these models "Leprechauns". A few guys are starting to call them a "Leprechaun 2", or "Lep 2", which is fine with me. Everyone should be able to build whatever appeals to them, with no regard for fidelity protocols. Just be clear that mods have been made, and a rebranding is in order. Mine is a true Dick Twomey Leprechaun, with a few structural mods to enhance strength and utility, but for profiles and centerlines, it is 100% authentic Leprechaun.]
Posted by dgliderguy | Nov 16, 2018 @ 01:23 AM | 15,318 Views
I just finished refurbing this old 84" Powerhouse old timer that I got as an "attic rescue" project on a trade. It didn't look like it had ever been flown, but I didn't care much for the color scheme, so I stripped it down to the bare wood, went through the entire structure looking for any damage or failed glue joints, made a bolt-down wing retention, and covered it with Hobby King film. All-up weight is 5lbs 10oz, with a Magnum XL52 RFS four-stroke engine in the nose. The CG came out spot-on, and it flies as smooth as butter on hot toast. The flare goes on forever on landing, and I'm sure that on a good day the Powerhouse will thermal like a glider. Fun toy!
Posted by dgliderguy | May 13, 2018 @ 12:15 AM | 16,227 Views
My latest creation is this twice-size Keil Kraft Competitor, an oldie rubber-power model that I converted to electric. Build thread here

Maiden flight video:

IMG 1812 (0 min 44 sec)

Posted by dgliderguy | Oct 15, 2017 @ 02:04 AM | 17,668 Views
I found this tattered old model at the local swap meet, obviously salvaged from a long spell of languishing in someone's attic for way too long. But I looked it over and could see that it had potential, so I handed the guy twenty bucks and took it home.

Last week, I stripped it down to the bare wood, repaired a few things, and re-covered it in Hobby King film, mounted my K&B28 Sportster, and installed a few spare servos and receiver. In just a few days, I had a practically new-looking airplane! I took it to the field today and put in a few good flights. After such a long wait, I'm sure it felt good for this old girl to get some air under her wings! 66oz AUW, Trexler wheels, spiderwire pull-pull cables, 2 oz fuel tank squeezed under a new hatch with magnet hold-downs.

Flies straight and true, and the K&B28 is more than enough power. What a rewarding and fun project!

Here's the maiden, from my first outing this morning:
SUNP0011 (1 min 26 sec)

Posted by dgliderguy | May 07, 2017 @ 11:10 PM | 19,963 Views
I finished my latest project last night-- a fun-fly airplane called a "Stik Munk", from the Air Flair kit. Maiden flight happened today. FUN to FLY is right!! Can't wait for our club Fun-Fly event this summer-- bring it on!

OS40LA on APC 10x6 prop, 65oz AUW, covered in Hobby King film (white), Monokote red, and Towerkote orange.

SUNP0003 (1 min 25 sec)

Posted by dgliderguy | May 06, 2017 @ 01:33 AM | 21,265 Views
This winter, I built a 3-times-size Bill Dean Cadet glider, from 1950. The original 30" size was kitted by Keil Kraft for many years. This one has a 90" span, and weighs 55 oz. It flies like a blimp, as you might expect! Build thread here.
Posted by dgliderguy | Sep 20, 2016 @ 03:33 PM | 21,937 Views
Ready for the local pond!

A2212 1000kv outrunner
1300mah 3s lipo pack
Tower Pro 9gm servos
Hobbyzone (Super Cub) floats
Econokote covering
...still need to add water rudder...
Posted by dgliderguy | Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:09 AM | 22,135 Views
Here is my newest addition to my fleet-- a Ken Willard "Breathless", from the August 1957 issue of Model Airplane News. Build thread here.
Posted by dgliderguy | Jul 19, 2016 @ 08:00 PM | 22,474 Views
My newest toy is this Foote Westerner C, with a wingspan of 85". Originally built and flown by Dave Acker as an electric, I did a refurb with new covering and installed my Thunder Tiger GP10 glow engine in the nose, along with a Fuji film canister for a fuel tank.

The tank provides enough fuel for a full power climb to well over 1500 feet. I usually motor on up to around 800-900 feet or so and shut it down, and its all thermals from there. Man, this thing sure does love to climb in lift! It's as ugly as a turkey vulture, in my opinion, but it thermals so well, crawling around at all of one mile an hour and floating upward on the slightest hint of rising air, that it becomes beautiful in my eyes. Funny how that works. Gotta love them funky old timers!
Posted by dgliderguy | Feb 28, 2016 @ 01:49 AM | 24,049 Views
Here is my new 72" Comet Clipper, which I got on a trade in complete but unflown condition. It is covered in Micafilm and clear dope, and whoever built it (back in '88) did an exceptional job on it. I put my Rimfire 3536-1200 outrunner in the nose, and powered it with a 1300mah 3s lipo pack. AUW is 51oz, and at that paltry weight, the Rimfire motor provides plenty of surplus power on an 11x5 APCe. First flight was this afternoon. What a wonderful machine! It will be a good complement to my 120" Clipper, for those days when I don't want to mess with glow (and I do get in those moods sometimes).

Now that I have two Clippers in my fleet, I'm tempted to build the little 36" RN Models Comet Clipper, just to have the full spectrum of sizes! What a hoot it would be to bring all three of 'em out to the field and set them down next to each other. "Clipper Central Station..."!
Posted by dgliderguy | Feb 01, 2016 @ 12:29 AM | 23,795 Views
I built two gliders this month, which is a direct result of being smack in the middle of building season, with short, soggy days and long nights. I don't watch TV or go to clubs, so I am able to squeeze in just enough free time after long hours at work to jam together some wood every evening.

This time, it was a couple of kits acquired right here from fellow RCG members, in the classifieds. The first one is an Astro Flight ASW15, which came to me in pristine, factory-new condition. All I had to build was the wings and tails, as the fuselage is a roto-molded polyethylene one-piece structure. The wings attach with joiner wires, and the tails bolt on, so couldn't be much easier! Popular back in the late '70s, these kits are getting really hard to find now, so I feel lucky to finally have one. It is a real sweetheart to fly, too, and it sure looks sexy on the wing, with that classy curvy fuselage and long wings. Build thread here.

The second kit is the old classic Craftaire Drifter II, which was also a simple build, and only a bit more work than the ASW15. It sure came out light, at a mere 19oz, which is what the Drifter II is renowned for. I flew it for the first time today, off a shortie hi-start, and made many hops to trim it out and get the feel of it. Man, what a great little floater! This will be one to have on those days when I don't have all day to set up a winch and fly, and just want to stake out a hundred feet of hi-start and catch the lawn thermals. I am most pleased!
Posted by dgliderguy | Dec 27, 2015 @ 03:10 AM | 25,588 Views
So, I got this model from my good flying buddy Greg Tutmark, and decided that, after three different owners, it needed a full refurb. I spent most of the month of December stripping it down to the bones and going through everything with close scrutiny, to bring it up to "factory reman" quality again. New covering (Hobby King transparent film), and a Saito 56 in the nose, and new bent-wire landing gear, brought it back for another lease on life.

It weighs a mere 7.4lbs, with gobs of wing area, so no surprise it turned out to be quite the floater. Watching this thing motor along is like watching the Goodyear blimp float overhead. What fun! Today was my first day out with it, and everything worked flawlessly. It'll get lots of airtime once the weather warms up a bit and the days get longer. Flight vids are included in my thread here.
Posted by dgliderguy | Nov 25, 2015 @ 10:15 PM | 25,055 Views
Here's my newest addition to the fleet; a Dynaflite Butterfly with a Cox TD09 engine, 2 Hitec HS-81 servos and an all-up weight of 49oz. I highly recommend this kit-- good wood, light but strong construction, excellent plans and instructions, and everything fit together the way it was supposed to, with no adjusting or trim-fitting required. Well worth the eighty bucks from Tower.

I built it in October, but only recently had a good weather window for a maiden flight. I'm pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out to be just exactly what I wanted-- a simple machine for launching high and finding thermals. I did a few simple mods, for my own personal preferences. I went with the Butterfly II tail feathers instead of the stock ones shown on the plans, just because I like their funky lines more. I lowered the wing down onto the fuselage longerons to lose the faux cabin/windshield look. And I left off the landing gear and wheels, because my idea here was to have a motorglider, to be used for soaring in thermals, not for shooting touch-n-goes (I have other, better models for that sort of thing).

The Butterfly is a real sweetheart to fly. Stable and predictable, with a low minimum sink rate at slow speeds and excellent controllability in thermal turns. I used to own a Paragon, and this feels and behaves a lot like that one. A slow turkey vulture looking for some vertical puffs.

The engine is strictly a launching device. I have a one ounce fuel tank mounted behind the firewall, which provides a little over two minutes of full power engine run time-- enough to get the Butterfly up to well over 1500 feet or more (i.e., speck height). I will more likely run just enough fuel for a winch-height launch of about 400 feet, which is all I will need for finding thermals.

Can't wait for spring to get here now! I anticipate many long, enjoyable thermalling flights with this one!
Posted by dgliderguy | May 09, 2015 @ 02:34 AM | 25,694 Views
I bought this kit a month ago, in a fit of why-not, what with the free shipping and a $10-off coupon from Tower (those sales gimmicks work!), and seeings how I had an urge to consume some balsa wood and this kit seemed like it had plenty of that. It actually turned out to be a really nice kit, with superb die cutting and good wood all around, and some clever engineering to help make the build a trouble-free pleasure. The whole thing went together in just under 30 days, from open the box to CG checks and programming the radio. Not bad!

Today was its first day at the field, and it did not disappoint. The engine started right up (brand-new and fresh out of the box), with a good reliable idle and a screaming top end. Thunder Tiger Pro engines don't get enough praise in my opinion. They are a fine piece of machinery, easily on par with OS. The Contender flew like a Contender, with fast fly-bys, giant loops and small ones, lightning-quick rolls and a good vertical with a long hover at the top of the ascent that looked just like 3D to me. Spins and snaps are a little soft, but the Contender is right at home inverted, and that big belly flap makes every landing a good one. What an enjoyable retro-model this is! I'll have it with me on every trip to the field for quite awhile, I can tell already.
Posted by dgliderguy | Mar 28, 2015 @ 09:35 PM | 26,388 Views
I let this kit languish somewhere in the middle of my kit stack for too many years, so I finally decided to bring it to the surface and build the darn thing. WELL WORTH IT! It's one of those "why didn't I build this sooner" models. Have you ever flown one, or seen one fly? Mine came out to a mere 64oz AUW, and at 69" (one-sixth scale) and 675 squares, it's definitely a floater. With the throttle pulled way back, it motors along at scale speeds in flight. Loops and rolls are part of the fun, and landings happen at a fast walk. What a fun, fun plane! Build thread here.
Posted by dgliderguy | Dec 27, 2014 @ 03:26 AM | 27,688 Views
I got this Bergfalke already built, from a guy I knew from my old glider club days. He told me that some old guy named Wiley built it from the Hegi kit ten years ago, but it hadn't flown since. I decided it needed a new owner and a new life, with a fresh make-over and a power pod for launching to height without the need for a hi-start. Half-A power pods are a nostalgia thing for me, as a lot of my gliders way back in my youth featured them for getting up to thermal height, and this old glider seemed like a perfect candidate. The Cox .09 hauls it up there at a leisurely pace. I can't wait for the thermals to come back this spring... the Bergfalke will be ready! 90" span, 57oz AUW, R/E radio-assist with two Futaba S148 servos and a 1100mah Nimh battery.
Posted by dgliderguy | Dec 01, 2014 @ 03:12 AM | 26,676 Views
My newest build project got its maiden flight today, in the bright, cold sunshine following the first snow of winter. This was a FUN kit to build, I must say. All sheet balsa, with precisely die-cut pieces that all fit together as good as any laser-cut kit. And it flies just fantastic on its little 20 gram Hextronic 2211 outrunner. So glad I finally pulled this one down off the kit stack and gave it a go. Well worth the bench time.

Span 33"
Weight 14oz AUW
Hextronic 2211 2300kV outrunner
Hobby King 12amp ESC
Rhino 460mah 2s lipo
2- Hextronic HXT500 servos
fun factor 4 stars!
Posted by dgliderguy | May 14, 2014 @ 01:08 AM | 28,667 Views
My latest project is a kit-built Stinson 105, with a geared inrunner in the nose. Today was my first outing, and I am very pleased with the delightful way this one flies-- like a big, blimpy jumbo rubber model! Build thread here
Posted by dgliderguy | Jan 19, 2014 @ 03:59 AM | 29,800 Views
I flew my new Stevens Aero Skyboy today for the first time. Fun, fun little plane! It flies like it looks, snappy and tumbly, yet smooth as silk and easy to land at nearly zero airspeed. Suppo 2814/8 1000kV on 3s 2200mah lipos, 44oz AUW, Tower Pro 9gm servos, bolt-down wing.

Hat tip to Mike Gore for turning me on to this little playtoy plane! What a great pick for a day at the park.
Posted by dgliderguy | Dec 26, 2013 @ 07:56 PM | 30,491 Views
Today was the first day out for my Green Models Tiger Moth. I really like this one. It has good scale fidelity and flies wonderfully, and the ASP30 provides adequate power for scale-like flying. 50" span, 4.1lbs AUW, good quality ARF. Dunno if this one is still in production or not, but if you can find one, I highly recommend it.