Libelle201B's blog View Details
Posted by Libelle201B | Oct 20, 2021 @ 04:57 PM | 13,858 Views
This week brought out some excellent slope soaring conditions for us here in S Florida, high pressure a bit up north and to the east brought in much lower dew points ie less humidity and a very steady flow of wind out of the NE/E at 10-20+ mph, perfect slope soaring conditions for our landfill Pompano Hill site. I should note I have nothing hi tech in either my slope or thermal inventory, I donít compete anymore in TD and Iím not interested in spending $1k plus on any rc glider. Pictured here are some of my retro slopers, one is the Pilot models Divine Wind built from a short kit, the Douglas models Silhouette, new fuselage and tail surfaces reproduced from plans, Scorpio models Falco, canopy area modified due to midair collision, and finally the Pierce Aero Ridge Rat, no mods, repairs or even total re covering, there are patches however since I built her in 1987.
Posted by Libelle201B | Jul 22, 2020 @ 05:11 PM | 8,412 Views
The used Condor was a gift from a fellow flyer. I donít have any semi scale gliders other than my Ka-8 foamy so I thought this would be a nice addition. Anyways there is no real Condor full scale glider that I know of but this model has a wing planform similar to the 15 meter Discus ie a leading edge sweep and a fuselage very similar to the ASW 24 and later models. The horizontal stabilizer on the Condor had an elliptical shaped leading edge that was very un scale so that was modified to a conventional planform. The model also had winglets but I did away with them given I believe they probably have little if any real benefit other than for looks. The model at one time had an electric motor but that was removed by the previous owner and a new conventional nose was installed. The model had ailerons , rudder and elevator for control but lacked anything for glide path control. I thought about installing scale type blade spoilers but in the end went with flaps which I had to cut from the trailing edges and add a servo in each wing. The covering was in not so good condition given age but acceptable and there had been a repair on one wing with newer heat shrink covering but the color match was a bit off. Anyways trying to strip the old covering off would have been a real task and given all the minor imperfections I really didnít want to go full out on something that wasnít a replica of a real full scale glider. I added some scale details like a yaw string on the canopy and even a total energy probe up on the vertical stab just like the real thing. After guesstimating an aprox CG on the main wing joiner, about 35% of the average cord, not the root cord, she was ready to fly. The first flight went perfectly, the control throws on aileron, elevator and rudder were perfect, but some mixing was required as always to get the flap/elevator mix to ones liking. She is a great flying glider and thermals very well, better the more scale like that you fly her.
Posted by Libelle201B | Sep 11, 2019 @ 09:46 PM | 7,073 Views
My long ago Douglas Aircraft Silhouette is about to fly again. Previously I had attempted to recreate the Silhouette fuselage and tail surfaces by memory and was fairly close in dimensions with the fuselage, the tail surfaces not so much, that plane I called the Silhouwhat. That plane crashed due to a radio receiver range issue, fairly certain about that. Since then I was able to obtained a set of plans for the Silhouette and started anew.
Posted by Libelle201B | Aug 09, 2019 @ 03:02 PM | 7,957 Views
About a month or so ago I came apon a slope video of the MiBo Micro Swift, I was very impressed, so impressed I bought one. Not cheap my any means but nothing that is molded glass is cheap. The kit quality is top notch, impeccable glass work with control surfaces already permanently hinged and sealed. The only disapointment was that the plane came with no building instructions or plans. Not sure if that was the senders fault or the manufacturers fault, anyways I proceeded on my own. I dont want to get into a detailed build story but I will say I made two modifications, one was to permanently mount the horizontal stab, not use the 3mm nylon mounting screw provided, and I used my own method to attach and remove the canopy using magnets, not the spring loaded pin provided. The radio gear is the Tactic 650 tx and rx is 625 Tactic. Elevator and rudder servo's are Dynam 7gram, aileron servos are Hitec HS 40, battery is 4 cell AAA. Today was the Swift's first test flights, very light and sporadic breeze at the Hill, ok for a few hand launches. The cg was at the recomended forward limit (35mm) back from the LE, elevator set at the recomended min (5mm up/down), aileron minimums (4mm down/8mm up), rudder (25mm L/R). Although there was practically no lift I was able to get in probably close to a dozen passes in I think about three-four separate launches. The only adjustment made was about four clicks of down on the elevator trim which made for a perfectly aligned stab/elevator, no up or down deflection on the elevator trailing edge, perfect! The Swift flies as if it is on rails, very stable and fast for such a small and light model. The control throws seem just right for me anyways, not twitchy at all but very controlable at the same time, and she goes exactly where you point her. With a nice breeze and some good lift she will be a rocket and highly aerobatic
Posted by Libelle201B | Jun 07, 2019 @ 07:19 PM | 8,048 Views
It's been a while but I have started taking a thermal glider along when I venture to our hill if the wind isn't to strong, maybe 15 mph max. Surprisingly the slopers fly ok with about 10-12mph but you will be hugging the slope with very little altitude, luckily there is almost always some thermal action going on and you can take advantage of that for more altitude and aerobatics. Today was supposed to be south wind 10-15mph. When I got there the wind had switched pretty dramatically, it was blowing about 10+ mph out of the west. No big deal, just go to the west face of the hill. I got some time in with the Slope Runt, the Falco and the Malibu which was I think originally designed for slope with a fully sheeted wing, but the later open frame wing version is thermal and slope. Lift wasn't great but enough. Here I need to go back a bit in time. I had flown the Malibu for the first time several months ago on a pretty breezy day and apon launch it was clear something wasn't right, she balloned up alarmingly and immediate down stick was needed to get her into level flight to prevent a stall, with my left hand I fed in down trim, a lot, while pushing forward on the stick till she started flying somewhat level. I flew a few more times with lot's of down trim. Going back a lot further ie about 50 years in time I now know why Malibu #1 crashed on it's first flight, it did the exact same thing as Malibu #2, only this time I had the experience to prevent disaster. Back to now....Continue Reading
Posted by Libelle201B | Feb 15, 2019 @ 10:28 PM | 26,007 Views
Way back when I was a young teen I built the Astro Flight Malibu, it was I think my second rc glider. It met itís fate on the very first flight being I was an absolute novice with no guidance whatsoever on how to control an rc glider. I convinced my dad to take me to the highest dune of sorts along the beach (not very high at all) not very far from home, there was a very good wind, my recollection about 20 mph or more. Dad launches glider into the wind and it immediately noses up, rolls to the left and crashes into the Australian pines not very far behind the dune, so much for the Malibu I eventually learned to fly an rc glider with the Astro Flight Monterey a year or two later via histart with no guidance, (1970-71 approx). RCG Classified had a Malibu for sale so I jumped on it, bring back the Malibu you never got to successfully fly as a youngster. The kit arrived very qickly, thank you sender. Anyways the picture on the face of the package resembles what I vaguely remember from way back in maybe 1969 or so. I remember building a fully sheeted wing at the time with rubber band attachment, this kit was obviously a revised kit by Astro Flight a few years later encorporating their new design technology ie the Monterey, two piece wing with metal joiner, open wing structure, my guess not even the original airfoil, this one being the Eppler 387. In any event itís all cool, my new Malibu will fly again, successfully I hope after close to 40 years
Posted by Libelle201B | Feb 15, 2019 @ 07:58 PM | 26,137 Views
Havenít flown either glider in quite a while, both thermal gliders primarily, slope capable but not really designed for strong wind or aerobatics. The day was zilch for slope lift really so I brought a very anemic upstart to use on the west side of the hill. There we have a fairly large flat area to launch north or south using winch or histart. First to fly was the Ka 8. Although I had made forward cg adjustments quite a while back that really helped stabilize in pitch I decided to add just a bit more for safety/comfort. 1/2 oz my guess. The launches were very amemic maybe 35-40 feet max, a real bummer but gave me enough altitude to get a feel for her again. The pitch was way too sensitive I discovered, maybe it was because I had used the innermost hole on the control horn instead of the outermost hole? Making that adjustment created a whole new glider, everything was very smooth in pitch. A couple more uneventful anemic launches had me rolling up the anemic histart and headed over to the north side of the hill where the buzzards seemed to be congregating along with a very fickle northerly breeze. Slope soaring on such days is a fools errand, you will do a lot of walking to retrieve your glider well below the hill top, trust me So, timing your hand launch is critical, where are the buzzards, small hawks or even swallows swooping in to get a meal of insects drawn up by the updrafts, has the breeze shifted, and in what direction? Things to consider before you take another...Continue Reading
Posted by Libelle201B | Aug 17, 2018 @ 05:18 PM | 35,382 Views
Back in 1987 or so I built my first Scorpio Falco 180, a very nice high quality ARF slope soaring glider, the company now out of business apparently. In 1996 I sold many of my rc gliders after getting into full scale soaring. My love of rc soaring has never left me and I kept a few slope and thermal gliders and flew them occasionally but I always missed some of the ones I had sold, one being the Falco 180. Fast forward to about five years ago. I placed a wanted ad in the RCG classifieds for a Falco 180 and by a miracle I got a response a few days later, an already built Falco. The price was good along with itís condition so I bought it immediately. The glider arrived shortly after. The previous owner did a great job building her but did make two mods, one was to remove the small amount of wing dihedral creating a flat wing and the other was to drill large holes in the elevator and rudder to lighten the tail. I did re modify the wing to return it to the original dihedral but left the tail surfaces alone, no need to change that. I like a small bit of dihedral, it helps the plane track or groove a bit better IMO. Not long after getting the Falco flying again she gets mid aired, the collision destroying the canopy and tray, the upper section of the forward wing/fuselage bulkhead and put a not so severe dent in the leading edge of one wing. I was really lucky, no major damage to fuselage or wing. The Falco then went into mothballs for a few years unfortunately, cannibalized for...Continue Reading
Posted by Libelle201B | Feb 24, 2018 @ 12:36 PM | 35,958 Views
The wind was cooperating again aprox 15mph ESE, close enough to E anyways. I mentioned I had made a cg adjustment after the last flights, about 1/4 oz removed. The first flight still showed again a slight but less than before nose down tendency so after landing out comes another 1/4 oz aprox. On the second flight she left my hand strait and level with no nose down tendency at all, exactly what I was looking for. With some altitude I tried more rolls and inverted flight plus a try at a snap roll, that turned out to be very snappy, no problems at all. With her wing loading she likes to fly fast, quite a bit faster than any of my other slopers, so it will take time to get used to that. In the end the cg for my DW is now just short of about 1/4" behind what the plans call for or about 27% MAC by my calculations.
Posted by Libelle201B | Feb 19, 2018 @ 02:01 PM | 36,705 Views
Two flying sessions so far, here are those results. The very first attempt was a no go due to the high wind speed (20+) and turbulent conditions often associated with thermal convection at our hill, not a good scenario for your first test flight, flight scrubbed. Days later the winds had calmed down a bit to about 15 mph but there were fluctuations in wind speed to just a gentle breeze at times and a bit of a X wind component also, anyways I decided to give it a go. The launch was good, directionally there were no indications of any warps in the wing ie bank trim correction and she flew strait. I did however notice a fairly pronounced nose down situation ie very shallow dive requiring me to apply up elevator at times as the speed increased. Given the very unpredictable lift I got a bit low for comfort after a pass or two and decided to land asap as soon as I got an upward "bump" before getting to low on the hill. After getting home I decided to take about 3/8 oz or so out of the nose to compensate for the nose down situation. Second flight session was about the same wind wise wo the fluctuations in wind speed or direction, more predictable. The removal of nose weight helped but still indicated a slightly nose heavy condition given the planes rigging. I was able to fly the DW for a quite a bit wo ever getting low and at times she even started getting a bit to high due to the slope/thermal lift where I was able to try some aerobatics given the altitude. One thing...Continue Reading
Posted by Libelle201B | Jan 12, 2018 @ 06:46 PM | 37,051 Views
The Divine Wind is now finished and ready for it's first flights. She weighs in at 2 pounds 13 ounces with a wing loading of aprox 12 oz sq ft, not a "light" weight by any means but not really heavy either, best suited for breezy conditions ie 20-25+ mph at our hill. Unfortunately I have had to make a major rc radio change with the Divine Wind based on problems I have experienced with the Tactic 650 and the tactic 624 rx combination, ie intermittent loss of control at times with two of my other slopers, one now destroyed, and I did do some research on the two antenna 625 and actually bought one and had it in the DW, but now I'm not willing to take any more risks here after this very lenghthy building process, back to my old and trusted 72 mhz for the DW.
Posted by Libelle201B | Dec 24, 2017 @ 03:54 PM | 37,679 Views
The final phase has begun, covering, rc gear installation, linkages and cg balancing. Color will be white monocote with red rising sun decals. I purchased a Tactic TX-650 transmitter a while back and I really like it and will be using the Tactic 6ch dual antenna receiver on this slope glider. Oddly there are no control throw recomendations shown on the plans or in the written instructions, so I will go with the control throw recomendations as on my Pilot QB-16 which is similar in planform and control surface area, 10mm up/down on ailerons, 20mm up/down elevator and 30mm each way on rudder. At this point I can tell the Divine wind will be a windy day sloper, no real surprise, much like the QB-16. 15 mph probably absolute minimum, ideal 20-25+ mph. More pictures of course when she is finished.
Posted by Libelle201B | Dec 08, 2017 @ 11:06 PM | 36,980 Views
This is one model that requires lot's and lot's of work shaping particularly the fuselage, wing turtle deck and fuselage horizontal tail area, no easy task with absolutely minimal printed instruction. Anyways I have lot's of building experience ie decades that have guided me through this so far. The short kit quality is excellent, providing everything else for the kit is up to you along with shaping in particular the fuselage stringers on both top and bottom of the fuselage bulkheads, I bought a hobby table saw just for that. Anyone with questions is welcome to reply. More to come as I reach the final stages of the build.
Posted by Libelle201B | Nov 27, 2017 @ 05:28 PM | 38,063 Views
There is now a short kit available for this model on Ebay. Way back in the very late 80's there was a small group of rc slopers, four or five guys me included that flew at Juno Beach FL whenever the wind kicked up out of the east/northeast. One was also a hang glider pilot and ATP in the real aviation world. Anyways when the wind was strong and in the right direction this guy would show up with his Divine Wind model and just "wow" everyone watching including me. Inverted flight seemed effortless and what really impressed me was the snap roll he accomplished as the plane flew almost motionless into the wind just ahead of the slope and not 8' above our heads, amazing! Sadly the Pilot Models factory burned down based on what I have read just about then and along with that so did the small group of Juno Beach rc slopers, except me. Anyways the "short kit" with plans for this great aerobatic sloper are now available. Some pics of my build so far.
Posted by Libelle201B | Aug 23, 2017 @ 02:14 PM | 39,938 Views
A few months ago I stumbled upon several video's of a new rc aerobatic glider by Dream Flight called the Ahi and was really impressed, so I bought one and it arrived very quickly, less than a week later, they have excellent customer service. The foamy glider is very high quality and very well thought out in design and engineering. Assembly is very strait forward and simple and the instructions are very good. The only thing I would suggest is that you make sure you are using micro or sub micro gear for servos, receivers, battery, there is very limited area in the fuselage and the wings are fairly thin at the servo locations. Dream Flight offers a servo/battery pack option. I went with Hitech HS-53 servo's, a Tactic TR624 receiver and the Dream Flight 700 mAh battery pack. I had to make very minor changes to the R/E servo holes in the mounting tray in the fuselage to accept these particular servo's, the holes were just a few millimeters short lengthwise. The Tactic receiver fit perfectly in it's slot, but because the servo leads connect into the top at 90 degrees to the receiver I had to remove some of the foam in the inside of the canopy to make the canopy fit properly, not a big deal but something to take into account. A receiver with the servo leads plugging into the end of the receiver and not into the top might be a better bet for fit. So, now we finally have some good easterly wind at out hill after several weeks of cross wind conditions and its time to go fly the Ahi....Continue Reading
Posted by Libelle201B | Jun 04, 2017 @ 12:22 PM | 40,221 Views
... oops double post
Posted by Libelle201B | Jun 04, 2017 @ 12:18 PM | 40,251 Views
The first flights were conducted in my front yard, each showing a nose heavy situation in regards to the up elevator trim required for a flat glide. I removed probably 1/4 oz or so of weight and waited for a better day at our hill, which turned out to be the same day as the first Chupa Dart flights,ie no real prevailing winds I should mention there were very brief moments of 'breeze', no doubt due to thermal convection which I took advantage of and tossed the Silhouwhat into the air. Still a tiny bit nose heavy so I took out the remaining nose weight, about 3/8 oz or so leaving the receiver battery as my nose weight. Anyways that proved to be the trick and now the trim/elevator was very close to neutral. I built what I thought was about 1 degree positive incidence into the fuselage/wing but after building and measuring more accurately it turns out the rigging is more like 0/0. I launched probably four more times when there was a 'breeze' and was surprised at how well she reacted to the very light lift. She is very sleek like the original Silhouette and very stable in flight. Although each flight was very brief I detected no bad habits and really liked the addition of rudder (yaw) control. The roll and pitch rate is just about perfect on high rate, crisp, not so fast your brain and reflexes can't keep up. Inverted flight is very good also with just a touch of down elevator. The very basic Tactic X600 radio I am using now is going to be replaced by the Tactic 650 computer radio very soon, lots of model(30) memory and lots of other functions to fine tune the control movements. Really looking forward to a nice real 'breeze' kind of day for the next flights.
Posted by Libelle201B | Jun 02, 2017 @ 04:31 PM | 40,691 Views
The Chupa Dart has flown and it's performance was as predicted, no floater but certainly a good R/E thermal platform. Unfortunately the day I went to the hill to fly there was very little wind, not what was forcast allowing for no slope lift. Anyways the first hand launch turned out to be almost perfect, finding some lift but still trying to get used to the plane within less than two minutes max, causing me to lose the lift I had encountered.(a good excuse) Nothing really improved on the north side of the hill after several (many) hand launches, so I ventured off to the west side where there seemed to be a developing wind which is common once the local atmosphere decides what it's going to do. In any event the conditions improved and I had several almost speck out flights, but being very careful to not get to high due to no spoilers etc. Overall I'm quite happy with the Chupa Dart in it's first flight series.
Posted by Libelle201B | May 03, 2017 @ 07:24 PM | 40,742 Views
Getting close to finishing the ChupaDart. Decided to use a paint finish vs iron on covering for the flying surfaces. I just happened to find in my odds and ends collection a fiberglass conopy that fits almost exactly, talk about getting "lucky". Being this is a very simple and unsophisticated model I have chosen to go with the inexpensive Tactic 6 ch receiver/TTX600 TX combo, I already have the TX, no need for programing stuff here, KISS being the goal. I also like the fact there is no lengthy antenna as with the old 72 mh receivers, an asthetic problem with smaller models IMO.
Posted by Libelle201B | Apr 08, 2017 @ 03:46 PM | 41,605 Views
This is the last of my Chupa series of gliders, I have used all the remaining Chuperosa parts now on this final Chupa build. I still had the balsa covered cores built by someone else, so why let them sit, and I also had the fuselage from a Multiplex Dart sitting around, hmmmm, time to experiment What I found very interesting is that the sheeted cores resembled nothing like the original E214 airfoil or the modified plan version cores of the SD 4061 airfoil, they were much closer to the SD 7037, my guess being the last versions of the improved Chuperosa incorporated that airfoil, or, that these were cores cut by someone else. On a side note it was then that SD airfoils were becoming the new craze in rc soaring airfoils. Back to my build. I decided to keep things really simple R/E only, a fun sailplane. So far I really like the lines.