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Archive for November, 2015
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 20, 2015 @ 09:23 AM | 8,634 Views
at least we at the northern hemisphere are facing the season when it is too cold and windy to fly our planes, and it will not improve until maybe the end of april, so we have to aim at something to do with our time. so, maybe posting some anecdotes will entertain the other viewers, for instance? i have been doing so for some time, so why not you too?
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 11, 2015 @ 07:07 AM | 8,730 Views
i have been compiling opinions on the subject:
1.-"All sailplanes are gliders, but not all gliders are sailplanes.
2.-A glider is any airplane without an engine.
3.-A sailplane is a glider that is aerodynamic enough that sustained flight is possible by using rising air currents to maintain altitude, or even to climb.
4.-A glider that is not a sailplane is not expected to maintain altitude or travel very far. During world War II the US, Britain, and Germany all used large troop carrying gliders. These could in no way be called sailplanes.
5.-The words are virtually interchangeable but generally a sailplane is a high performance glider. Some gliders have engines to allow them to takeoff or stay aloft longer but they are referred to as motor gliders. Usually a glider has a glide ratio of less than 20:1. 20 feet forward for every foot down. Some sailplanes have glide ratios of more than 50:1 but there is no clear cut definition of the glide ratio when a glider becomes a sailplane.
6.-They're interchangeable. It's only a matter of semantics.
7.-From a certification point of view, a sailplane really doesn't exist.
8.-The license in your pocket will say glider on it.
9.-A glider is designed to descend in a controlled manner, whereas a sailplane is designed or intended to be able to climb in lift."

in our case with models, as powering a glider/sailplane to get to altitude, mostly with an electric motor, we call them ' electric sailplanes (or electric gliders').
i myself call my planes 'sailplanes' because they can get into thermals. and the 1 i agree most is #9.
anyway, i think that we can call ours whatever we find more to our liking. as long as we understand what kind of planes we are talking about.
above all, enjoy them.
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 06, 2015 @ 09:11 AM | 8,708 Views
i started with thermals when my 1st plane (free flight) got into 1 and went up and away. from then i began to use a fuse for dethermalizing and was able to get back my planes most of the time. then came radio and got into sailplanes, with which i was able to hunt for thermals. climb to about 45 to 60 degrees and watch the plane for jumping up and turning until got it. when drifted too far brought it back and search for another. no more than 10 minutes. fun!
then recently got a vario and a new dimension, as i am able to 'see' the thermal-or whatever makes my plane stay there or climb. but then i faced another situation, as now i could stay longer, so got devices to warn me of low voltage. ended up having 1 that sends vibrations, and another that shows volts of each cell, and sends beeps when reaching the voltage that i decided to be the lowest safest. the smaller (vibrator) fits my planes with reduced space, and the other the larger 1s.
but once on a long flight i didn't feel the vibrations and lost a plane. am not sure if the device failed or its battery went down or i just didn't pay attention to it, but now am trying to take measures to avoid this to happen again, like bringing the plane down at a higher voltage warning, and above all, not staying up for so long.
and will keep enjoying the most enjoyable (to me) experience.
these are the alarms:

have fun.
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 02, 2015 @ 08:20 AM | 8,577 Views
this what i have learned about the rad's duration:
there are several ways it could reach the end of its serviceable life:
1.- wearing out the brushes of the motors, be the 1 that powers the plane, or those at the servos;
2.-the resistive ink on the PCB wears out as the wiper slides through it.
the symptoms for the motors may be: for the main motor, it may just get weak, or runs uneven, even sometimes refuses to re-start in flight;
for the servo motors, the servos may run uneven or sometimes don't re-start in the middle of the flight.
and is practically impossible to check them unless having specialized equipment and may be removing or disconnecting them.
for the track on the pcb you have to remove the servo, which is sort of delicate task and also have to remove the brick.
(this is what happened to 1 of my rads, so maybe this part is the 1 that wears out before the others).
so, whenever your plane starts to behave erratical, or any of the servos stop functioning (and this may happen in the middle of the flight), it is time to get a new brick-or a new plane.
these are not complaints. to me this plane is the most wonderful i even flew, and intend to keep using it despite these facts.
just to any1 to consider this in case it happens to you.