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Feb 20, 2009, 07:23 PM
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Thread OP
Help!

Is the Calypso Cobra still competitive in F3B?


Hi there.

I fly F3B in Chile and would like to know your impression about the F3B Calypso Cobra. I have been flying the Cobra for quite some years now and would like to know if the sailplane is still competitive in F3B. I am currently having the chance of buying an almost new one at a convenient price, which would be my fourth Cobra (all in very good condition, in fact I have one still new in box). I would like to know if I would be better off selling my Cobras and buy something new such as a Ceres, Tanga, Tool, Radical, etc. (at a considerable higher price), or just stick with the Cobras.

I would really appreciate any advice on this respect. Thanks.
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Feb 20, 2009, 07:44 PM
Albatross in next life
Toby W's Avatar

Hmmm ... good question


I think a Cobra that is dialed in (slop free, CG perfect, throws spot on, and mixes corrected through trial and error) would outperform a poorly tuned Tanga, Ceres, etc. If one of the newer airframes is dialed in though, it would be very hard to beat. Many people swear by the axiom 'it's the pilot, not the plane'. As a newbie F3B pilot many suggest that I stick with one model and fly it all the time ... get to know its habits inside and out. Spending more money to get better results does not necessarily work ... practice, practice, practice is the key!

my two cents

... with that said, if you have owned three Cobras already why not try something new? Someone once said to me, "He who flies the most sailplanes before he dies wins." I don't know what my friend meant exactly ... maybe the winner jumps rank up in heaven and is reincarnated as the best of soarers, the California Condor. At my skill level I'd come back into the world a pigeon!
Last edited by themoth88; Feb 20, 2009 at 09:52 PM.
Feb 20, 2009, 08:25 PM
Registered User
wakumann's Avatar
Maybe competative on a local level or for F3F in certain conditons.

The Cobra is nowadays too small for the 10 min time task and for duration as well .

Quote:
I think a Cobra that is dialed in (slop free, CG perfect, throws spot on, and mixes corrected through trial and error) would outperform a poorly tuned Tanga, Ceres, etc.
I bet on F3B competions the above mentioned Models will be tuned in as well.

Try a newer design, I bet there will be a bigger (as expected) difference.

Quote:
Someone once said to me, "He who flies the most sailplanes before he dies wins."
That's a relieve for my addiction


Cheers
Thomas
Feb 20, 2009, 09:32 PM
Challenge is rewarding
djklein21's Avatar
To answer your question, NO. A cobra is not a competative model. It will not be competative in a current F3B competition.

The Cobra is as good as it always was, but the new stuff is much better. I was actually surprised to see how much faster the latest generation of airframes are compared to the last generation, and the Cobra is even behind that. At the last F3b comp we had in Cal Valley, it was really noticeable how much faster the Target, Ceres, and Freestyler 3 was compared to a well tuned Estrella.

The Cobra is still a good plane, but it is no longer "Competitive".
Feb 20, 2009, 09:45 PM
Albatross in next life
Toby W's Avatar

A matter of black & white


Well said Dave ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by djklein21
To answer your question, NO. A cobra is not a competative model. It will not be competative in a current F3B competition.

The Cobra is as good as it always was, but the new stuff is much better. I was actually surprised to see how much faster the latest generation of airframes are compared to the last generation, and the Cobra is even behind that. At the last F3b comp we had in Cal Valley, it was really noticeable how much faster the Target, Ceres, and Freestyler 3 was compared to a well tuned Estrella.

The Cobra is still a good plane, but it is no longer "Competitive".
Feb 20, 2009, 10:54 PM
Registered User
gliding Oz's Avatar
David,
Yeah, the lastest batch of models are awesome but donít write off some of the old Faithfullís.
The Cobra is still a great model and like a lot of older models out there, in the right hands they are can still do very well.
Put A Cobra in DPís hands again and he would still have a great chance on making the B team!
Or put an Estrella in one of the Herrigís hands, and they will still be on/around the podium.
Yes the Cobra might not be as quick as a Ceres, and might not be a Distance freak like the Freestyler
but
F3B is a compromise of 3 task and the Cobra and Estrella can stay with the leaders in the right hands over the three tasks.

If you want to try a new ship, give one a try.
You never know, one of the new ships might gel well with you too.

Cheers,
Thomas
Feb 20, 2009, 11:20 PM
Challenge is rewarding
djklein21's Avatar
Sorry Thomas, but you can't tell how competative a plane is until you put it in the competition. There is a big difference in the distance and speed performance of today's models as compared to the 5 and 10 year old models. There are enough great pilots out there, to make you earn your podium position. In my personal opinion, neither DP, nor Martin Herrig could make the podium this year if they flew a Cobra. I don't think they could make the top ten. But that is my definition of competative. Will it allow a good pilot a fair opportunity at winning a contest. It will work as well as it always has, but it will not compete against a new plane.





Quote:
Originally Posted by gliding Oz
David,
Yeah, the lastest batch of models are awesome but donít write off some of the old Faithfullís.
The Cobra is still a great model and like a lot of older models out there, in the right hands they are can still do very well.
Put A Cobra in DPís hands again and he would still have a great chance on making the B team!
Or put an Estrella in one of the Herrigís hands, and they will still be on/around the podium.
Yes the Cobra might not be as quick as a Ceres, and might not be a Distance freak like the Freestyler
but
F3B is a compromise of 3 task and the Cobra and Estrella can stay with the leaders in the right hands over the three tasks.

If you want to try a new ship, give one a try.
You never know, one of the new ships might gel well with you too.

Cheers,
Thomas
Feb 21, 2009, 02:14 PM
Registered User
This is a great debate because even though I have been out of the F3B competition for many years now, I have flown in three F3B world championships and have seen what the true formula of "competitive" really is.

First of all, you are asking how competitive the Cobra is and if I recall correctly you were offered a practically brand new Cobra ready to go with servos, trimmed, etc, etc for $ 700. With all due respect, this Airplane is more than "competitive" in Chile because you don't have the level of pilots that are here in the US or Europe. Furthermore, if you want a competitive glider you are going to have to invest over $ 2,500 for a dry glider. Add servos, receiver and your own time to trim it and you are over $ 3k. So when you take in consideration where you are going to fly the plane and the price you are paying for this particular Cobra, believe me when I say you are buying the best plane in the market.

I probably agree with David when he says competitive he is meaning assuming the same air, the same winch, the same pilot's skill and the same luck, a Ceres will be more competitive than a Cobra. No question about that.
But the above does not make you win competitions so I disagree with David about Daryl Perkins not making top ten with a Cobra. Because what makes a pilot competitive in a world class competition is the result of your glider, pilot's skill, the quality of your winches, the monofilament you are using, how good of a team you have and very important not to forget how lucky you are that week.

I have seen DP win a world championship with a beat up Cobra that came in a box as model # 11 from the British team. DP had the confidence, he had Joe Wurts calling air which is not the same than having Hugo Salvador doing the same (no hard feelings Hugo!!), a great support team and...he had the weather on his side. So assuming Daryl is flying as good as he was when I use to compete in F3B, I bet he will finish top ten using a Cobra. Same thing I say about Joe Wurts.

My two cents.

Mario Scolari
Feb 21, 2009, 02:46 PM
Registered User
wakumann's Avatar
Hugo
maybe include in the consideration that the Cobra was build/ designed (1993-4) with a 7min rule in mind.
Todays 10 min require better floater qualities.
When DP won his WC the other's didn't have Ceres, Tangas as this time as well possibly Ultras and Estrellas .

Cheers
Thomas
Feb 21, 2009, 03:52 PM
Registered User
Avaldes's Avatar
The Cobra was a great model in it's day. It proved that a plane that is easy to fly can win competitions. I flew one to a 4th place finish in the 1998 US team selection. It was a plane that I borrowed from Arthur Markewicz two weeks before the contest (and returned to him thank goodness!)

Today's models are a different breed. About the same size but with thinner wings they are much faster overall. This improves the speed and distance performance. As long as they stay light and launch hard, ten minutes is do-able. If I were given the choice between a modern glider and a Cobra I would buy the new airplane. If you want a cool model, that IMHO was one of the best engineered gliders I can remember, then get the Cobra and have fun. But since you already have 3, you already know what a fun plane it is, why get another?
Feb 21, 2009, 04:11 PM
Registered User
Hey Thomas,
I am not sure why you say "todays 10min". My last contest was the US Team trials in 1999 and we were already flying the 10 min task, so "today's 10 min" task is at least 10 years old. The gliders that were designed for the 7 min were the Ellipse I and II for example. The Cobra was the very best model there was up until 2000 or 2001. Then it other models came to the scene and got more competitive I guess. The gap will continue to get bigger as years go by.
Feb 21, 2009, 04:38 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Very interesting and helpful discussion. It is true, as Mario says, that we do not have top pilots in Chile (no offense to anybody)... However, it is exiting to be competing with the best material available as well... at the end, just for the fun of it... It is also true that in my case, I already own two Cobras which are in almost brand new condition (one is actually NIB) and anotherone that can be in good condition once I make some repairs (and I am good at making them). If I decide to change the model, I will have to sell all the Cobras at a decent price (not trivial) and with that money I will probably be able to buy 1 o 2 new models at most... So this is not for free.

Another element I must add to this discussion is that unlike other F3B models that I previously owned (Ellipse 2V), I never got accustomed to the Cobra and therefore never flew it very well. It is like "I like the model, but the model does not like me". There are other pilots in Chile who can really make this model perform, that is one of the reasons for which I keep trying with the Cobra. It is well known that certain models are more suited to certain pilots.... so maybe in my case, it will be easier for me to fly a Ceres or a Freestyler better than a Cobra. But again, there is a trade off in doing so. Maybe it is not worth doing so,... at least yet. Any comments on this??.

Thanks!
Feb 21, 2009, 05:17 PM
Registered User
Christian,
Some models are better suited for certain pilots but I am somehow surprised you liked the Ellipse 2V better than the Cobra. The Ellipse2 was a truck and it weighted a ton. Muller was never able to get a plane as competitive as the Ellipse I was in its glory day.

In any event, there are many many better and newer gliders than then already 12 years old Cobra if you are willing to spend the difference in price.

Now, can someone tell me how the hell I got entangled in this discussion when all I am doing these days is fly full size and scale gliders???!!!
Feb 21, 2009, 05:49 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
As I said, I like the Cobra very much, however I do not get the model perform as it should perform (according to what I see others can do with this model). There might 1000s of possible explanations to this (maybe all pointing to the pilot!!)... and I am not saying that the model is not capable. On the contrary. Else, I would not be considering buying a new Cobra on top of the Cobras I already own.

I just want to know what the F3X community thinks about this. In particular, assess the possibility that a newer model would be a better fit for me than the Cobra. That is all.

And I do appreciate the comments so far...

Thanks.
Feb 21, 2009, 08:04 PM
Detail Freak
target's Avatar
It seems it would be hard to say what model would be a good fit for you if all you've flown for a while is the Cobra....
From what you've said about the way it flys for you though, I would think that getting ahold of someone that gets along well with the Cobra and using THEIR radio and CG setup might be a step in the right direction?

If you ARE going to bite the bullet and get something more current, it would be great if you were able to get a little flight time on someone elses planes before making a purchase.

All the latest crop of planes seem really excellent to me; it's whatever floats your boat.
Possibly if the model youu seek has strength in one of the tasks you may be weak in, then that may be a good decision maker.

Anyway, have fun. They are toy airplanes in the end.

Regards,
Target


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