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Posted by paul_ | Mar 21, 2012 @ 10:33 AM | 2,229 Views
I am pleased to see how quickly ALES is growing….I believe the “winch in the nose approach” has opened the door for pilots from other disciplines (from park fliers, 3D, sport fliers to AMA sanctioned competitions etc.) to discover sailplanes…ultimately sailplanes are what it really is all about…to me in any case.

Competition plays a major roll to me as well, for many reasons… but mainly I use competition as a means of measuring progress as a pilot, and is the quickest way to boost skills (sounds familiar)…simple really…all I need is the skill and a plane capable of executing a 10 minute task in dead air…

Finding the perfect plane and building ones skills should belay the fears from some of the more traditional sailplane community….. however the turnaround time of e sailplanes during practice is unmatched….for example this past Sunday I took repeated landing pattern practice (2 minute, 1 minute and final 30 second drills) countless times…on a scale that simply isn’t practical from a more traditional means of obtaining altitude…but of course We E pilots don’t get the benefits of line retrieval….after all it is good exercise! ….

But I digress and will save us all from my rant (today at least) on why E sailplanes are still just sailplanes… and should be included in all forms of sailplane tasks (without having duplicate quiver of planes 1 electric 1 traditional) .

Because ALES is about sailplane competition with very livable rules….and I realize I may be off base...Continue Reading
Posted by paul_ | Feb 04, 2012 @ 09:13 PM | 2,071 Views
I was thinking Freddy should sell whatever he wants…as long as he continues to cater to newbe non builder nobs like me ……speaking of

…I had thoughtfully planned some neat little servo covers for the flap servos… or so I thought…trial placement seems very tight to me with little room for a full cover ….that would be relatively easy to remove in the event of servo failure …… then my other concern is how to secure the servo itself?..…have a few ideas …epoxy and hardwood rails to screw them on etc …but really don’t want to SNAFU this one…

At this point I just wish I had a local builder friend who could guide /show me through a couple of builds as I really don’t want my work to interfere with the craftsmanship of the builder…you… (you know a ratty looking servo cover ..would really be a pity as I accept awards and raves from my fellow sailplane compatriots, being photographed for the cover of various soaring rags featuring the plane of the year etc. you know that sort of thing…) …instead I must endure the public humiliation and ridicule via posts like this one… I slowly wean myself off foam!

a picture is worth a thousand words ….to me in spades …any additional pictures or PDF’s of the offending cover would be greatly appreciated…

oh heck you might as well just shoot the whole thing section by section and spare us all from …well …this.

Posted by paul_ | Jan 28, 2012 @ 11:28 AM | 2,345 Views
I figured I would place this post here.... from June 2011 last year after my first ALES event at Polecat…

model flown Radian Pro

Why on earth would a novice pilot (in every sense of the word) sign up to compete in the oldest and longest running ALES competition in the country? I asked myself this question many times despite knowing full well it was a short cut to my sailplane education. Nerves aside the weekend event far exceeded my expectations.

A very big thank you to the Polecat himself Denny Maize his wife and son and Soaring Circuits Randy Brust, wife Lauren and the rest of the sponsors for a well thought out smoothly run event. The lunches and Saturday evening BBQ were a special treat.
Additionally a special word of thanks the “founding fathers” of this genre of our sport, without their tireless efforts none of us would have had this most memorable of weekends.

I had set a few goals for myself, they were;

1. Don’t crash or worse don’t crash into anyone’s plane
2. Come home with the one plane I came with
3. Don’t 0 out on any round thereby not be dead last
4. Optional …get a tan

Mission accomplished!

Friday’s clinic was amazing, but my education didn’t stop all weekend long. We learned a brief history and rules of ALES, how to set up our Radians, Radio set up and on and on…not just in a clinic setting but many times, one on one with our sports heavy weights often unsolicited.

...Continue Reading
Posted by paul_ | Jan 27, 2012 @ 01:15 PM | 2,334 Views
Why I really like my Radian Pro. It goes well beyond price, although every purchase I make is carefully thought about. I like it because it is so much fun to fly; it behaves like a “real” plane and in the right conditions is extremely competitive.

I like to experiment with various setting and mixes in an attempt to improve my skills, flat turns, spot landings, acrobatics etc. I do so with little fear because I know that a touch of ca here or there and she will be ready for another flight in the event of a mishap (no need to ask how I know this ). Something that I wouldn’t dream about attempting in a built- up plane due to fear of destroying it beyond repair.

I’m not really sure how to tie it into the discussion at hand, other than to say that in the right conditions these little 2 meter foamy planes can certainly compete against any plane on the field. Add the rules of ALES that were originally designed to allow almost any plane to compete (task times, landing tapes, the CAM limiter etc.) on equal footing. I’ll point to Polecat 2010 Randy (sorry to keep dragging you into this Randy, but you are the best Radian pilot that I have seen) had a podium finish with the original Radian without flaps (that’s hard to do) pointing to his skill as a pilot for sure, but also to plane itself and to the fact that the event was an open soar event.

I am one of those guys who takes pride in the fact that my 3 figure plane can sometimes beat the flaps off of the 4 figure planes. It really makes you a better pilot to fly against not only great pilots, but also great planes. I would like to think its pilot skill that can win the day and not the latest super plane. Lets keep it an open to all class event, and enjoy good company good flying and most of all fun!