Libelle201B's blog View Details
Posted by Libelle201B | Dec 18, 2016 @ 03:04 PM | 1,408 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 | 1,749 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 | 2,421 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 | 4,498 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.
Posted by Libelle201B | Jul 30, 2016 @ 04:22 PM | 2,849 Views
The Radian XL flew its maiden flight today at our Pompano Hill. There was supposed to be some wind out of the SE but as I got closer to the hill I saw flags pointing strait down, leaves on the trees weren't moving. There were already some guys flying electric launch sailplanes, obviously no wind. So I put the RXL together. There was a very slight breeze now but out of the west rendering the slope useless. I set up the RXL per instruction ie cg, no extra weight required up front besides the flight battery, control throw on elevator factory set and I used the second hole out from the rudder. Launch went perfectly with about 75% power and after powering off at about 200' I dialed in some up trim to slow down a bit getting closer to what I figured would be min sink. I am using the Spectrum Dx5e transmitter, the same one supplied with my Park Zone Ka-8. (note, the spoiler servo lead is ch 5 on the receiver). I had the TX on low rate to start with giving me aprox 3/4" up/down on elevator and well over 2" L/R on the rudder. The RXL flies much like the little Radian, very stable but a bit faster due to I'm sure a higher wing loading, I havent done weight/area calcs to verify that though. So back to the flight. After shutting down the power I head off searching for lift which I eventually find a ways off, it's not strong but it's lift. Entering a turn I start to go up slowly and after a bit of adjusting I'm now getting some good altitude so off I go again. Pushing the nose...Continue Reading
Posted by Libelle201B | Jul 24, 2016 @ 07:47 PM | 2,736 Views
The Chuperosa was a very popular HL glider from the early mid 90's if I am not mistaken. I aquired a partially built one from a fellow flier a while back. Parts of it ie the tail surfaces became part of my Chupacabra, an ad hoc hand launch glider I designed from parts of other HL gliders, one from Multiplex (the wings) and fuselage from Brian Agnew's Vertigo design, it flies very well. What was remaining was the fuselage of the Chuperosa and it's partially finished wings. So, I have decided to build a light weight and simple sloper for light lift conditions using the Chuperosa fuselage which is also of built up construction ie light.
Posted by Libelle201B | Jun 17, 2016 @ 09:12 PM | 2,772 Views
Took the Monterey to the Hill last weekend for its first flight. There was little to no wind with a slight breeze at times. The first flight required some down trim and it was apparent I needed more rudder throw, so after a few short passes I landed the plane. I added a bit of nose weight maybe 3/8 of an ounce and went back on the elevator trim three or four clicks, also moving in one hole on the rudder control horn. The second flight was a blast as I encountered lift soon after launch and circled right on up having to leave the lift several times to keep from getting to high. The Monterey has no spoilers so I was being very careful. The adjustments were just about perfect. It's been a long time since I have flown a larger span rudder/elevator sailplane but like riding a bike it came back to me fairly quickly. The Monterey is fairly light and climbs very well but you have to think a bit ahead while maneuvering as things don't happen as quickly as an aileron equipped sailplane. Overall the Monterey is very stable and beautiful in flight and she didn't display any bad habits, almost certainly why it was my first really successful rc sailplane back in 1971 or so. The landings were very smooth and predictable but the landing pattern will have to be adjusted to compensate for no spoilers i.e. a bit larger and lower than usual if there is no wind. I can't wait to fly her again, this time maybe launching with my up-start if there is little or no wind., saves a lot of walking I should add that way back in 1971 I had not learned how to thermal or even recognize thermal lift so this series of Monterey flights were kind of special.
Posted by Libelle201B | May 22, 2016 @ 01:29 PM | 3,046 Views
Finished covering the wings, next install rc gear, hook up linkages, add tow hook, balance, go flying! May put N numbers on the tail or fuselage, haven't decided yet.
Posted by Libelle201B | May 21, 2016 @ 08:33 PM | 3,457 Views
Major components done, covering under way. Will mirror to the best of my recolection the Monterey I built in 1971 or so, white fuselage with orange wings and tail surfaces.
Posted by Libelle201B | May 08, 2016 @ 11:15 AM | 3,286 Views
Almost done with the fuselage, some delays for various reasons, one being the bulkheads were all supposed to be 1/16" ply, only one was ply, the main leading edge bukhead which was 1/8" ply, not a problem, all the rest were balsa and none of them had the nesessary openings for pushrods or wiring so I had to make new bulkheads out of available 1/8" ply. There were some other minor issues, no material for reenforcing the fuselage under the wing root structure shown on the plans and no hardwood for the tow hook or servo rails. Also after 30+ years the (thin) tinted canopy developed several cracks, one of which is close to the front of the canopy tray and impossible to fix wo showing.
Posted by Libelle201B | Apr 04, 2016 @ 07:30 PM | 3,787 Views
One wing is done now except for wing tip and final wing sanding. I have to admit the Monterey wing structure is a bit different from the many other built up wings I have built since the 1971 or so Monterey. First off there is no lower spruce spar, just the one on top with shear webbing between the ribs of course, also the main wing joiner is located forward of the wing spar, not inside the spar box area as would be expected. Not sure of why but these guys I think knew what they were doing, that is until winches and mega launches for altitude became the norm. Also there are no spoilers, thought about adding them but I'm gonna stick with the original disign. Colors will match those of my first Monterey, solid orange on the wings and tail surfaces with a white fuselage, maybe in some way it will take me back to when I was 16 or 17 years old I'm hoping . The last photo is of the E 387, seems the text is limited. Anyways I have a hand signed computer generated airfoil plot of the E 214 (Windsong) signed by Richard Eppler himself at the first Soaring Jamboree in Richland Washington back in I think 1994, now that's COOL:0
Posted by Libelle201B | Apr 02, 2016 @ 03:00 PM | 3,736 Views
Oops, double post
Posted by Libelle201B | Apr 02, 2016 @ 02:50 PM | 3,702 Views
The wind forcast was 10-20 mph out of the SSW, pretty close but more like 10-15 mph. This wind direction gives us a quartering wind on the slope so you lose quite a bit of slope lift vs 90 degrees not to mention this part of the hill where we fly from is L shaped and somewhat blocked windwise by the part of the hill that extends south for a quarter mile or so with a SW wind direction. Oh well, time to launch and see how she flies. Almost immediatley I noted the plane wanted to bank left so I added right aileron trim until there was no tendancy to bank left, pitch was good with more than enough authority, same with rudder. After a dozen passes or so I landed the plane, I did launch a few more time however. She is very stable and where you point her she goes, inverted flight requires a bit of down elevator as expected but not much. I had taken out a bit of nose weight (1/2 oz) or so during hand launches prior so I put it back in to see what would happen and the directional stability was a bit better, not that is was bad to begin with, but a slight nose down glide ie more speed which is where I will keep the CG. I was surprised how well she flew in fairly light lift and I can't wait to fly her again with more wind. The bank left tendancy is no doubt due to a slight twist in one wing easily corrected by twisting the offending wing tip while taking out the wrinkles with the Monokote iron, the good thing about a built up wing. Hope to have some flying pictures soon
Posted by Libelle201B | Mar 30, 2016 @ 08:49 PM | 3,781 Views
Seems my new Monterey was one of the last versions, not sure when Astro Flight stopped production but it was certainly after I built my first kit. The wing rod seems to be some sort of aluminum and the sleeves for that are carbon fiber, also the wing rod position is now 1/4" back from what the plans call for and where the wing root ribs are drilled for, and I don't remember wing rib gussets on the trailing edge of the wing structure. In any event it's all cool
Posted by Libelle201B | Mar 28, 2016 @ 08:16 PM | 4,045 Views
This was the first RC sailplane model that I learned to fly with, the others before for various reasons never made it to that point, me and my inexperience with rc flight being the prime cause, I taught myself basically. So it's 1970 or 71 and the Monterey is built and ready to fly, I do some hand launches and all is good, flat glide nothing unusual, hook it up to the hi start and lo and behold it goes up perfectly releasing when the hi start parachute disengages, what a moment, lot's of altitude and time to learn how to fly. All of those many early flights were in hindsight pattern flights of sorts, learning how to control the plane, soaring flight came much later.
Posted by Libelle201B | Mar 25, 2016 @ 06:36 PM | 4,001 Views
Went to fly the QB today, the wind forcast was absolutely bogus, 10-15 mph turned out to be 0 mph. Went home and did two hand launches in the front yard, the first was pretty nose down, removed some nose weight and the glide was flatter, control pretty sensitive in roll and pitch. Went back to the plans for CG and noted the instructions called for 65-75mm back from the root leading edge, the forward CG I went with where the plans showed 70mm, so I'm pretty close now to the ideal CG I think. A few flights will decide where the control throws should be
Posted by Libelle201B | Feb 24, 2016 @ 05:45 PM | 4,091 Views
The QB fuselage is almost done now, servo rails, canopy and painting are all that needs to be done. I did decide to paint the fuselage rather than cover it in mono kote so the holes in the tail section were filled with 1/16th balsa which won't make much difference weight wise, it's a sloper after all. The other mod I made was eliminating the rubber band dowels and replacing that setup with a wing alignment dowel at the leading edge of the wing/fuselage and two nylon bolts at the trailing edge of the wing/fuselage.