dgliderguy's blog View Details
Posted by dgliderguy | Apr 18, 2021 @ 10:09 AM | 6,662 Views
For years I flew the socks off my ST Models DG1000, taking it everywhere... camping trips, aerotows (for lunchtime flying), picnics, road trips to visit family, you name it... until it got all tattered and worn out. Still in serviceable condition, and with some life still left in it, I gave it away in my moving sale before our move to Idaho last fall.

At some point years ago Tower Hobbies had a close-out sale on these, and I wisely grabbed a second kit at that time, as a back-up in case anything should happen to my active DG1000. I rarely do this. The only times I've ever bought a second kit of the same model was when the thought of not having one could not be tolerated. Such is the case with this lovely foamie electric glider. I put this one on par with the now classic E-flite Radian for good honest flying characteristics and for the ability to thermal easily in light lift. With the up-and-go electric motor stowed away in its compartment, the DG1000 looks like a glass scalie up there, too! So now that spring is here, I pulled out the backup kit and put it together. Ah... that's better.
Posted by dgliderguy | Apr 17, 2021 @ 11:33 PM | 7,280 Views
I retired from Boeing last June, and moved out to Caldwell, Idaho in October. No sooner did I start meeting the guys at my new R/C club (Nampa Model Aviators), but that I ran into a guy who was selling a Sky Raider homebuilt, with a Rotax 503 DCDI engine. I've always been a big fan of the little Sky Raider, so I offered to buy it practically the same day I went and looked at it. What a nice turn-up!

Empty weight is 340lbs, and gross weight is 900lbs, so with its 50hp engine it can easily lift my portly frame skyward at well over a thousand feet per minute. It takes off at 40mph, climbs at 50mph, cruises at 70mph, and lands at 30mph. Not exactly a racer, but perfect for the kind of flying I plan on doing. Poking along at a thousand feet up and enjoying the view from up in the air is what it's all about for me. What a fabulous little flying machine. My biggest toy airplane yet!
Posted by dgliderguy | May 26, 2020 @ 12:52 AM | 16,018 Views
I flew my Blackhorse Fairchild 24 Argus yesterday. GREAT MODEL. Available from Motion R/C when they have them in stock, build thread here.
Posted by dgliderguy | Apr 20, 2020 @ 11:13 PM | 16,060 Views
First flight today on my newly finished HKM Topaz electric sailplane... wow! What a nice machine! This thing's got legs! Wide speed range, from quick and flat on the run between thermals, to slow and tight in the lift. I have three flight modes-- thermal (drooped flaps and ailerons), cruise (cleaned up), and landing (flaps on the throttle stick). The motor is on-off, with a two-position switch. 123" span, 56 oz AUW, 350watt 2830/1200, 3s2200mah lipo.

There is a certain freedom to flying a high-performing glider like this one. You can chew up large tracts of sky without losing much altitude, and when you encounter lift you can slow it way down and climb in leaps. It is a non-stop pleasure to fly. Glad I put this one on my list of must-haves!
Posted by dgliderguy | Apr 05, 2020 @ 01:29 AM | 13,001 Views
So I had this nice pair of Flyzone Beaver floats, with no plane to put them on, and got all inspired to pull down my dusty old 53" Easy Built Pilatus Porter kit from the stack. The kit is cheap, but builds up into a rather nice model, really. It is meant for electric power, but I thought it would be more fun to have at least one glow engine powered floatplane in my fleet of water birds, so I tossed the cheap vac-formed cowl in the trash and made a proper flat-plate mount for my OS10FP. I have a half-dozen of these engines, and they all run great. Not a lot of power, but reliable. I like that.

Today, however, I decided to maiden the Pilatus off the grass runway, with the optional wire landing gear I made for it. No sense letting a perfectly good model sit on the shelf and wait for the float-fly to come along. The little OS10FP was a bit reluctant to pull the Pilatus off the dripping wet sod, but once clear of the ground it climbed out nicely. I wonder if it will have enough power for water flying with the floats. If it needs a bigger engine, I have a Magnum .15 that will drop right in the same mount, with some minor hole relocations. Anyway, the OS10FP is a good match for this 32oz model, and I flew around for most of the flight at partial throttle. Loops were effortless, the stall was tame as a lazy house cat, and the landings were floaty and easy. I will need to move the mains forward another inch, though, as I couldn't keep the Pilatus from tipping on its nose in the last foot or so of the rollout. (I should have seen that coming. My usual rule is wheels no further back than the leading edge of the wing.)

What fun! A hybrid sport scale floatplane/landplane, for some relaxing S.M.A.L.L flying out at the field. Now I can't wait to hit the lake this summer!
Posted by dgliderguy | Mar 16, 2020 @ 12:36 AM | 21,997 Views
I finally had a chance to take my new 50" Quaker Flash out to the field today and perform a maiden flight. The brand new engine started right up without too much fuss (Thunder Tiger GP07 on 25% fuel and 6x3 prop), and the Quaker flew right out of my hand and climbed skyward like it was headed home. Needed a little bit of trim, and the control throws were a bit more than I needed, but it flew just great! I'm pleased! It was breezy and cold this afternoon, with not much thermal activity, but I could tell from the way it glided around with the throttle back that this one will be a nice thermaller. Spring is almost here now. I will be flying this one a lot in the coming months!

Build thread here.
Posted by dgliderguy | Feb 23, 2020 @ 01:41 PM | 13,825 Views
I decided last month to build something that I could hang my much loved OS FS-20 four-stroke engine on. It's a great running little engine that deserves to be flown, so after a search through the piles of plans on Outerzone, I settled on a 150%-enlarged version of Joost Bakker's "Bugaboo" free-flight sport design from the early '90s. I got the whole thing built in just under a month, and flew it for the first time yesterday. What a fun little machine! And, it's the perfect choice for the diminuitive OS engine. Great match-up, I'd say! Build thread here.

Maiden flight:

February 22, 2020 (1 min 16 sec)

Posted by dgliderguy | Jan 10, 2020 @ 03:23 PM | 12,829 Views
Here's my list of build threads on RCG:

Joost Bakker 66" (150% enlarged) Bugaboo:

Dick Twomey 103" Leprechaun:

Herb Clukey 50" Quaker Flash:

Black Horse 94" Fairchild 24W Argus:

Jack Hiner 134" Schweizer TG-3:

Steve Moskal 120" Schweizer 1-26E glider:

Astro Flight 49" Velie Monocoupe:

Astro Flight 69" Porterfield Collegiate:

Ken Willard 40" Breathless:

Bill Dean 90" (300% enlarged) Cadet glider:

Bill Dean 64" (200% enlarged) Competitor:

Jerry Stoloff 44" Spearhead Jr:

Easy Built 50" Stinson 105:

Jasco 72" Thermic 72 glider:

Jetco 50" Thermic 50 w/ TD020:

Goldberg Hi-Thrust Viking electric:

Guillow's 17" DeHavilland Chipmunk:

Astro Flight 100" ASW-15 glider:

E-stars 30" Pou-Du-Ciel (Flying Flea):

World Models 130" Hall Cherokee glider:

Senior Telemaster ARF:
Posted by dgliderguy | Nov 04, 2019 @ 12:19 AM | 13,487 Views
Maiden flight today on my new micro-model... a Sig 29er with the Flyzone radio and motor and Tactic TR1424 brick. Flies for a good ten minutes on a 160mah 1s lipostick. AUW is 1.8oz, covered in Jap tissue with one coat of nitrate dope. It was fun to build, although the brick and pushrods were a bit of a fiddle (my hands are too fat!). I'll have to be careful not to lose this one in strong lift come summer....!

Here's some vid of a short hop I did for the camera...

November 3, 2019 (1 min 1 sec)

Posted by dgliderguy | Jul 30, 2019 @ 02:23 PM | 12,883 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 | 26,304 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 | 27,536 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 | 28,638 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 | 31,073 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 | 32,307 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 | 32,609 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 | 32,920 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 | 33,379 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 | 34,891 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 | 34,526 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!