Libelle201B's blog View Details
Posted by Libelle201B | Aug 17, 2018 @ 05:18 PM | 1,832 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 | 2,561 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 | 3,139 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 | 3,647 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 | 3,890 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 | 3,411 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 | 3,910 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 | 5,581 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 | 6,599 Views
... oops double post
Posted by Libelle201B | Jun 04, 2017 @ 12:18 PM | 6,659 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 | 6,961 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 | 7,175 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 | 8,107 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.
Posted by Libelle201B | Apr 08, 2017 @ 03:02 PM | 7,972 Views
Posted by Libelle201B | Apr 08, 2017 @ 02:55 PM | 7,934 Views
Years ago the Douglas Aircraft "Silhouette" was a big hit in the sloper rhelm, I bought one and enjoyed it quite a bit, but it did lack the inverted performance I wanted, the original airfoil was an Eppler 205, not really aerobatic and was only 2 axis control (ailerons/elevator), not fully aerobatic IMO. So, I cut new cores for a new airfoil keeping the upper E 205 profile but increasing it's thickness which reduced the camber to about 1% which was my target and it worked out perfectly. I sold the plane and it was destroyed except for the wing which was returned to me. Now 20+ yrs later I have the modified wing but no fuselage or tail feathers and after searching it seems plans for the Silhouette are really hard to find if at all, so I decided to rebuild the fuselage and tail surfaces by memory and this is my new 'Silhouwhat'.
Posted by Libelle201B | Dec 18, 2016 @ 04:04 PM | 8,763 Views
Well, a month or two ago at least, I got the idea to bring back my Dodgson Lovesong back to life after 20+ years in mothballs. She was my unlimited class pride and joy back then (1995) in the FSS ( Florida Soaring Society) when I won first place in expert, my score beating out those in the Masters class at the time if I'm not mistaken, I'm quite proud of that. Getting into full scale soaring ended my rc competition soaring, while I still engaging in recreational rc soaring. So it's yesterday after 20+ years, some new servos, a new rx battery and reprograming the same Airtronics Infinity radio with the same receiver, it's time to get the "Song" back into the air. I should mention however I did remove the "turbulator" tape on the wings often suggested for the Eppler 214 airfoil, why you might ask, well because IMO it may decrease drag at one specific airspeed ie max C of L, while being quite detrimental at higher airspeeds ie cruising, no soaring pilot should ever be spending their time at min sink if not trying to climb. Anyways it was quite windy and I decided to use the flat ground on the north west side of our hill for several hand launches to verify stability and control response to make sure things wouldn't go wrong with the bungy launch, with my equally old "orange" histart rubber for the first flights. The first two flights or so were very short given the 200'-300' max altitude launch but I did make changes in trim, control throw etc, I wasn't all that concerned about thermaling until I got most of that figured out. In any event it so happened that there was quite a bit of lift available if you watched the buzzards and where they were along with the direction they were headed, I followed them even though they were quite a bit higher than 200' and was rewarded with several sky out flights flying in the general direction they were. Seems the "Song" can dance quite well in this day and age
Posted by Libelle201B | Oct 19, 2016 @ 07:53 PM | 8,996 Views
Several test flights in my front yard allowed me to make initial adjustments, adjust the ailerons for wings level, no tendancy to bank either way, second was pitch performance which was very good in control throw but required a small amount of nose weight (1/4 oz) to fly level given the way the plane was rigged. My starting cg was 35% MAC.
So a week later it's time to fly the Sloperosa! It's bretty windy and gusting at the Hill and I'm kind of reluctant to send such a light sloper into these conditions for it's first flight, but I'm pretty confident both the plane and myself are up to it, so here we go, and off she goes....! The air/lift was hardly smooth and the Sloperosa was being kicked all over the place but at least I had adequate control in all three parameters, pitch, roll and yaw. So, after a few minutes of flying and getting somewhat comfortable with everything I try some aerobatics and here is where I got a surprise of sorts. Most all aerobatic gliders don't have a symetrical airfoil, most have 2% camber or a bit less and some down elevator is a given while inverted, but the Sloperosa airfoil is symetrical, my normal down elevator inputs were sending the Sloperosa into inverted climbs and that translates into loss of airspeed, not good at all in these conditions if you happen to get low. In any event I had to spend some time compensating for this. I also noted the Sloperosa wasn't all that stable in going where you pointed her, and after landing several times I added some nose weight which eventually came out to about 1/2 ounce which really improved the directional stability, the CG now being at 30% or so. A miniscule amount of elevator is needed for inverted flight and outside loops are very symetrical. All in all it was a very good flying session.
Posted by Libelle201B | Sep 18, 2016 @ 03:16 PM | 9,716 Views
These pictures were taken about a month or so ago, taken by our fellow flyer Kit at the Pompano FL hill. He does some excellent photography
In any event this is a 40 yr old design that still performs very well, it's light wing loading, simplicity and aerodynamic design is a real plus for fun flying today. No, it won't take hi power winch launches that seem to be required now a days to get your "time", negating much of any soaring knowledge, or the ability to land like a lawn dart of sorts for points, and calling that a "landing". I guess I am a traditionalist rc soaring pilot of sorts. This weekend the Monterey soared from a low 'up start' bungie launch half the altitude of the winch launched hi tech planes and easily made or maxed their altitude, it isn't all about technology
Posted by Libelle201B | Aug 06, 2016 @ 05:18 PM | 11,595 Views
The tail surfaces are now built, so the major components are done. I went off of the standard rule of thumb for vertical stab ie 6-10% wing area and for horizontal stab 15-20% wing area and based on my TLAR rule it figured out just about right, within those requirements. Every thing else like the forward fuselage and how it will take shape is up in the air at this point, no pun intended.