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Posted by SPasierb | Dec 13, 2012 @ 08:56 AM | 46,767 Views
There are so many great facets to RC Soaring. Thermal Duration, slope and DLG have always been a big part of my flying life, but over the past several years, more and more, scale soaring it taking over. Such great fun -- and something that includes the best of many elements of RC flying.

The rumor mill says aerotowing is both difficult and expensive. Neither is true. Many guys start with an electric tow plane from an inexpensive ARF and a foamie glider like the EzGlider or something similar in the 2 meter range. Sure, many of us get the bug and start spending thousands and investing hundreds of hours in builds. Just as many are thoroughly happy to just keep it simple and have lots of fun! This hobby can be what you want it to be.

If I can help anyone visiting here on my blog simply try or get into scale soaring (aerotow or slope), please do not hesitate to reach out to me. There is no question too basic, no concern we can't work through. Let's talk. Post here or send me a PM.

If you're on facebook, I'd recommend you search and "like" the page RCAeroTowing (see photo below).

On the web, we're creating a comprehensive resource at

Posted by SPasierb | Jan 16, 2011 @ 11:48 AM | 55,958 Views
First flown in 1974, the full scale Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. ASK 18 was designed by Rudolf Kaiser (the ďKĒ in the aircraft designation). Itís known to be a big, tough, docile sailplane and was the last of the AS sailplanes to use traditional construction methods.

The fabric-covered fuselage has roots back to the Ka8 and is comprised of welded steel tube and spruce longerons with only the nose area in fiberglass. The wings are 16 meters and have wooden spars and plywood covered ailerons. Tail surfaces come from the K10. It has a fixed (non-retractable) main wheel with a brake and no tail wheel, rather a simple skid.

This model, orignially constructed some time ago by Tom Augustine of California, is a 1/3rd scale replica with a slightly stretched wingspan of 5.3 meters (209 inches tip to tip). The fuselage is by Rosenthal and the wing a kit from Bayer CNC Modellbautech. Airfoil is a HQ 3-15. Control surfaces are rudder, elevator, ailerons and airbrakes. A standard tube tow release is fitted in the nose. Wing surfaces are covered in fabric with paint accents while the fuselage in PPG automotive paint. A 1:3 scale Alex pilot bust is fitted in the cockpit.

Last winter I refinished the fuselage, updated servos, detailed the wings and tails, and replaced all the switches/fuselage wiring. Today the plane operates on 2.4G on 2x 5000 Ni-Cad packs for redundancy.

While my personal tastes tend toward the need for speed, this beautiful ASK fits my fleet well...Continue Reading
Posted by SPasierb | Jan 12, 2011 @ 06:30 PM | 53,270 Views
After taking all of 2010 off from this blog, it's time to live up to New Year's resolutions. Easing my way into this by simply posting up some key photos of the evolution of my 1/3 scale Fox.

The build thread and greater detail can be found here:

While there were quite a few small issues with this airframe in the assembly stage, this is beyond doubt one of the most enjoyable sailplanes I have flown. It takes whatever I give it and can do most of what I ask it to.
Posted by SPasierb | Dec 24, 2009 @ 12:23 PM | 57,211 Views
Orfa-Flugmodelle was a tiny company that during its time produced some beautiful scale models. The name Orfa is a combination of Mr. Ortwein, the builder, and Mr. Fahding, the designer. I'm blessed to own one of these rare airframes.

Here we have the Orfa rendition of Schleicher's ASW22B in 4.90 meter span, SD7062 airfoil, all composite molded. The ASW designation is also a combination of names, the manufacturer of the ASW 22 is Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. "AS" while the 'W' indicates German designer Gerhard Waibel. B (now designated BL and BLE) is the self-launching version of the 22 originally with a 49 hp Rotax 505A engine, today a single disc, liquid cooled MidWest AE50R that extends from the fuselage on a retractable pylon similar to the majority of self-launching sailplanes. See the final photo for an example of the real thing.

This model is electrified with a nose-mounted Plettenberg HP 220/20 geared motor, Shulze Future controller, Thunder Power Pro Power 30C 4S 5000 mAh LiPo all turning a RFM 14x7.5 wide folding prop.

The only other modification from stock was to delete the elevator servo inside the canopy area along with the associated pushrods and bellcrank. In its place a JR DS378 thin wing digital metal gear servo was placed directly inside the main body of the horizontal stab immediately behind the spar. Another blessing made possible by the advancement of technology. The interior surfaces of the stabilizer were reinforced...Continue Reading
Posted by SPasierb | Dec 04, 2009 @ 04:01 PM | 53,905 Views
One of my favorites...
Posted by SPasierb | Oct 31, 2009 @ 04:15 PM | 54,849 Views
Newest addition to the fleet is a well-built and lightly used Nimbus 4D in 1:5 scale. That equates to 5.2M (204") span, flying at 155 ounces on 12 channels (4x ailerons, 2x flaps, 2x airbrakes, rudder, elevator, wheel retract , and tow release). After evicting a Barbie doll from the back seat and recruiting a new pilot from Etienne at ICARE, I've been flying this beauty most every weekend.

Looks fantastic on tow as the wings do the usual Nimbus curve and I've really been impressed with how well it thermals given the very narrow chord of the wings -- just 7.75 inches at the root!. Landings are a joy, but care must be taken to land level as those skinny tips like to catch in the grass.

The only downside to this plane is partly the fault of my eyesight... at altitude the thin, narrow wings disappear. I've added wide red swaths to the bottom of each wing with a Swiss cross at the center to appear scale-like. Works well, but this winter I'm going to remove both and go much larger.

More information on the airframe here at ICARE:

And, if you want to spring for a real one, look no further than:

Too busy flying it to take photos! Here are a few...
Posted by SPasierb | Sep 30, 2009 @ 04:46 PM | 54,543 Views
All the weeks of planning and it's over in a heartbeat! The 2009 NE Aerotow is in the books. And, in the books as a success! Saturday was one of the best fall soaring days in memory. It made up for the fact that we got skunked by rain on Sunday.

With for forcast for Saturday great and Sunday pretty awful, 29 of 35 pilots made the trip to fly while we counted 80 spectators just after lunchtime. Hopefully some of those lookie-lous got the bug and we'll welcome them back next year to fly.

Here is the club's own photo thread on the event -- some nice shots here!

And here's the RC Groups photo thread on the event:

I want to express my most sincere thanks to all of the pilots who attended the event. They're the reason it was a success. Many traveled 6+ hours to be with us while one traveled all the way from Springfield, MO!

We'll definitely be back in 2010!

A few shots taken by friends over the weekend -- heavy on my 1-26.......Continue Reading
Posted by SPasierb | Sep 23, 2009 @ 05:59 PM | 55,242 Views
Sharing a handy diagram from some years ago. When rigging a large scale sailplane, it's best that the retract servo have its own dedicated battery to power the servo. That way if anything gets hung up, the main receiver/control surface power is not compromised.

Essentially, the retract servo sees the ground and hot from the battery and the ground and signal, but not the hot from the receiver.

Also, here is a link to John Derstine's excellent article on the subject:
Lookie here....

Posted by SPasierb | Aug 30, 2009 @ 04:21 PM | 54,676 Views
Who cares if the ceiling is so low some of the treetops looked fuzzy? We came to fly and fly we did. It was "maiden" day for Bob's new tow plane. It's been flying for a few weeks, but today it really went to work with a glider on its six.

Pictured here is Bob Morrow's beautiful new Super Cub running an Eflite 160 motor, HV110 controller, 20x8 prop on 10S LiPo power. Tows at 60% throttle. Following behind is my trustly old SGS 1-26B. Aerotow is wonderful when both planes are scale. Dumb luck that the color schemes coordinate perfectly.

Look out Fairfield County!

More details on the Super Club -- see Bob's blog at:

Posted by SPasierb | Aug 28, 2009 @ 07:39 AM | 54,762 Views
Need to know what a cockpit looks like? Here's one nice resource. Not exhaustive, but some good examples heavy on jets.

Simply click on the plane and up pop a close up photograph of the cockpit and relevant specs on the airframe.



Posted by SPasierb | Aug 27, 2009 @ 06:10 PM | 57,619 Views
From the full scale description: The Moswey series of sailplanes were begun in Switzerland in the 1930ís and the "3" was the first full production design introduced in 1943. It has a hexagonal fuselage forward, with a large beam under the pilotís seat containing the control. The fuselage cross-section changes to a diamond in the aft section. The gull wings disguise the aerobatic capabilities of the ship, which is stressed for 12 g. The sailplane has a fixed landing skid, taking off on a jettisonable wheeled dolly. Glidepath control is by air-brakes.

Span 14.0 m./ 45.9 ft
Area 12.63 sq. m. / 136 sq.ft.
Aspect ratio 15.5
Empty weight 138 kg. / 304 lb.
Payload 100 kg. / 220 lb.
Gross weight 238 kg. / 524 lb.
Wing loading 18.84 kg. / sq. m. / 3.85 lb. / sq. ft.
Structure All wood; semi-monocoque fuselage, cantilevered wings and tail, fabric covered.
Number built 14

I can attest to the fact that my 3.2 meter model is both aerobatic and able to thermal well. I am the third caretaker of this beauty which has lived in CA, UT and now CT. It's a scratch-build by Ron Gustin. Wings are built-up with fabric covering. Fuselage is balsa and spruce gel coated and finished to a high gloss. The Moswey tows beautifully and strikes a nice figure in the sky.

Here are a few shots taken my myself and others at the 2009 SKSS Aerotow in Newark, DE...
Posted by SPasierb | Jul 31, 2009 @ 06:04 PM | 55,580 Views
Having trekked to Torrey Pines several times through the years, this video courtesy of Paul Naton has become a favorite of mine. The airframes look majestic against the beach and ocean while the parking lot runs are simply a blast.

If you only want to view a portion, I suggest skipping forwarding to 3:50 or 4:20 and youíll be hooked!
Posted by SPasierb | Jul 31, 2009 @ 05:51 PM | 58,463 Views
In April of 1941 the U.S. Army Air Corps proposes a heavy bomber capable of non stop missions in to Central Europe from bases in the United States. On Aug. 8, 1946 the Convair B-36 Peacemaker took to the sky for the first time.

The Peacemaker is the largest US bomber in history, only seeing service after WWII. Powered by six 28-cylinder radial engines and four turbojet engines, it had a total wing area of 4,772 sq. ft. The B-36 has four bomb bays with a total ordinance capacity of 86,000 lbs.

Carl's rendition is in 1/12th scale, 230Ē wingspan, approximately 98 pounds, powered by six Zenoah G-26ís.

Visit Carl's website for more information: Reading
Posted by SPasierb | Jul 31, 2009 @ 05:13 PM | 57,067 Views
More shots from Warbirds Over Delaware. I need to add the builder's name.

By this time in the day the lighting was tough, but some of these shots took on a kinda cool "authentic" look on the long lens......Continue Reading
Posted by SPasierb | Jul 31, 2009 @ 05:05 PM | 55,789 Views
Archiving a number of shots taken at random while wandering around WOD 09.

This IMAA Giant Scale event occurs every summer at Lums Pond State Park in Delaware. Worth the trip from anywhere!...Continue Reading
Posted by SPasierb | Jul 20, 2009 @ 12:06 PM | 61,596 Views
Aerodynamic Center (AC), Mean Aerodynamic Chord (MAC), Center of Gravity (CG), Neutral Point (NP) and Wing Area

Posted by SPasierb | Jul 12, 2009 @ 11:45 AM | 55,945 Views
Sharing and archiving a few nice shots of LBuff1's beautiful 5.4M Let Reiher. The original owner was Dan Troxell who is responsible for having the custom color scheme done. It's reminicent of a DFS Habicht.

More information:

It's big, it's beautiful and it's damn heavy, but boy does it perform in the air! Photos shot July 2009 in Salem, CT...