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Oct 07, 2001, 07:11 AM
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Dave's Aircraft Works TG-3 and 1-26 Foamie Gliders for beginner??

I am thinking of getting a Foamie Glider and I hear a lot of good things about Dave's Aircraft Works TG-3 and 1-26 Foamie Gliders, in the 2 channel Rudder/Elevator and Polyhedral wing versions.

I am a total beginner, and would like opinions about these choices, and about other/better choices.


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Oct 07, 2001, 09:49 AM
Registered User
chlee's Avatar
I taught myself to fly with the DAW 1-26 glider. The EPP foam is key, as you *will* crash ten to twenty times if you are learning by yourself. It does not thermal terribly well, but it'll work well off of a high-start. Also look into the highlander EPP 2-meter glider at .

Do you have an instructor? I very highly recommend that you have someone help you. It'll save you a lot of time when you don't have to unlearn bad habits.

Are you intending on going electric later on? If so, I'd look into Darwin Garrison's Push-E-Cat (search for threads on ezone). It's basically an EPP glider with speed 400 power. It's worthwhile to invest in a versatile speed 400 system early on.

One last word of advice: don't try to be too cheap on your initial investments, lest you find yourself buying the same thing again. I.e. get a solid radio system, charger, etc.

Oct 07, 2001, 10:01 AM
Registered User

I will also go Electric.


Thanks for your advice. The local club will give me instruction. In fact, I should try a glider tomorrow with a Double Controls system.

Do you know if the TG-3 or Highlander thermal better than the 1-26?

Yes, I will also go Electric. I've also read good things on the Push-E-Cat.

I was planning to get a 4 channel radio to be used with gliders and electrics, with aileron control eventually.

Oct 08, 2001, 12:55 AM
Int'l Slope Observer
webguyjv's Avatar

Bonsoir Pierre ;-)

Enchante, mon ami

I first learned to fly with the Garrison Aerodrome Push-E Cat and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about it -- it is truly an AWESOME plane. It's a trainer, so you won't likely be entering it in FAI competitions or anything, but I'm sure it will give you many years of good service -- including the crashes you'll likely have. With this plane, repairs are easy

Now, when you talk about sailplanes, I also agree with your first question rgarding airplanes from Dave's Aircraft Works. After nine months of practice with the Push-E Cat, my kids bought me a DAW Schweizer 1-26 2 meter sailplane. I really started flying it in April of 2001, and I think I can safely say that I'm now a pretty solid novice pilot (a hair better than a beginner). Last week I made my first successful axial rolls -- I've been wanting to do this for months

The DAW Schweizer is, in my view, the sailplane equivalent of the Push-E Cat. Mine has been through incredible abuse, and it keeps on flying wonderfully. I respectfully disagree with the individual that told you that it doesn't thermal well. In my experience, I've caught thermals that have taken me close to 1,000 feet up! I have to mention that I fly on a slope, so the updrafts can sometimes help to get you closer to the thermals -- but then again, so can a winch or hi-start.

The DAW Schweizer is compatible with hi-starts, so you can either fly with the thermal folks, or you can fly with the slope folks. The only quandary that will be left in your mind is on how to build your wing.

If you buy the HLG version of the DAW Schweizer, it has instructions for building a polyhedral wing (for when you construct a elevator-rudder-only ship) and it also has instructions for building a dihedral wing (for when you construct a aileron-rudder-elevator ship). Ailerons are a bit trickier to learn, but in my view, they are light years ahead in maneuverability, in the planes ability to perform stunts, and in your potential to learn to be a better pilot. This is just my opinion.

If you buy the HLG, you'll get a really rugged plane that flies in pretty light conditions. If you get the 2-meter, you'll get the same rugged plane, but you'll need a bit more wind or thermals to keep it in the air. If you're using a hi-start, none of this is important as you'll be able to quickly get to 200 feet or so, and then you stand a good chance of finding lift.

BTW, I have no experience at all with the TG-3, but I've heard it is quite a bit heavier than the other DAW planes I referred to, so it will require more available lift to keep it in the air. I also heard that the TG-3 is the most "indestructible" plane that DAW makes.

Whatever you do, call Dave Sanders and say "hi" -- he's a great guy, he loves to talk about flying, and he'll give you lots of great free advice

I hope you find this information helpful

A bientot

Oct 10, 2001, 01:58 PM
Registered User
John Gallagher's Avatar
The 1-26HLG built as a polyhedral is a good thermalling glider. It's much too heavy to handlaunch, but works great off a highstart. Keep it light by covering it with Econocote or Micafilm.

The Highlander thermals well but you have to be sure to build the fuse rigid enough that the tail doesn't flex during turns. Here's a link with construction tips that will give you an idea of what's involved.

The TG-3 is mostly a slope plane that doesn't thermal as well as the Highlander or 1-26.

In the old days (4 years ago), before speed 400 planes became popular, you started with training gliders and that was your only choice. With a Push-e-cat or T-52 you will learn the fundamentals much faster. Then you can move to a thermalling glider. Unless you really have your heart set on a glider, I'd recommend either a Push-e-cat or a T-52. In addition to their training qualities, these planes will thermal, especially if built light.

Best of luck.
Last edited by John Gallagher; Oct 10, 2001 at 02:09 PM.
Oct 10, 2001, 03:30 PM
Int'l Slope Observer
webguyjv's Avatar


Bonjour Bellavance ;-)

I just wanted to clarify a point (maybe only for my own edification) that Mr. Gallagher mentioned in the most recent post in this thread. I was confused by what he said and I wanted to reflect on that point.

He mentioned that the DAW Schweizer 1-26 HLG is something like "much too heavy to hand launch". I take issue with this point based on the following experience...

The site that I fly at is a pretty good slope site, but I would say that the slope lift is ONLY good about half the time. Much of the time, there is a light breeze (that may or may not be blowing from the right direction -- the right direction to fly at this site) with the possibility of a few good thermals.

Most of the time that I go there, there are two particular gentlemen that fly DAW 1-26 HLGs -- one with the polyhedral (elevator-rudder) wing configuration and one with the dihedral (elevator-rudder-aileron) wing configuration.

Both of these gentlemen use their planes as their "backup" plane, for use when all of their sloper planes cannot maintain sustained flight. Their DAW 1-26s fly well in incredibly light conditions -- a point that I'm constantly amazed at. I have the 2-meter 1-26, as I've mentioned in previous messages, and it flies OK in light lift, but when it falls out of the sky, these two guys are still hitting thermals and getting stick time with their DAW 1-26 HLGs.

Bear in mind that this is my experience at the site where I typically fly. Mr. Gallagher may be seeing completely different conditions and he likely has a very different definition of "Hand Launch Glider" than I do. For example, I am aware that there is a genre of sailplane flight where in credibly small (~30" or smaller wingspans) and incredibly light (~4 oz. or so) sailplanes are used in virtually still air conditions, on flat ground (maybe a high school football field), where the pilot tosses it into the air as hard as they can, and searches for thermals. I would agree that the DAW 1-26 HLG cannot perform this role as it's all-up-weight is a bit heavy for that. For that role, DAW has an HLG called the Dragonette -- check it out at the DAW Web site.

I'm only "re-posting" here in hopes that you won't be dissuaded from loking further iinto what could be an excellent plane for your hangar ;-)


Oct 10, 2001, 06:50 PM
Registered User
John Gallagher's Avatar
I did mean that the 1-26HLG is too heavy for use as a Hand Launch Glider. The genre of sailplane I'm referring to are 59" span, approximately 8 to 10 ounce gliders thrown into the air to catch thermals from flat land. That's where the HLG comes from in the name 1-26HLG. That doesn't mean that it isn't a good thermal plane off a high start.
From Bellavance's previous post, he was asking about a flat land flyer. I agree that the 1-26HLG is a great light wind slope plane.
Oct 11, 2001, 12:36 AM
Int'l Slope Observer
webguyjv's Avatar

Sorry For the Confusion I've Introduced into This Topic..

John, I looked over Belevance's two submissions to this thread and I'm not able to find his mention that he intends to fly from flat land in a zero lift situation. All I can see is that he's looking at foamie gliders, and that he has the able assistance of a club, and that they're going to introduce him using a buddy box.

Beyond that, I can't ascertain what the flying site will be like, or what the wind/lift situation is like.

Armed with that initial information, it sounds like ANY glider would fit his/her needs.

Since you've been reading and contributing to these groups for two years now, it's likely that you're better at reading between the lines than I am ;-)

I was flying at another local site recently -- Coyote Hills in Fremont, on the San Francisco Bay, and a gentleman was there with a plane that comes closer to the plane you defined. The interesting thing was that he designed it and built it with an aluminum mold that he made with a CNC desktop end mill connected to his computer CAD system.

I was amazed in that this guy was new to mechanical/aeronautical design -- he designs software for a living. He caught the RC bug and was really intrigued on HLG designs -- so much so that he had to try his hand. It had an intresting looking eliptical wing -- maybe in the 30 - 40" range, with a fiberglass pod and a composite boom.

He was discus launching it on the slope, but he said that he designed it for flat field, no wind situations. This was the first time I actually saw a discus launch and I was amazed at how fast it went, and how high the climbout was.

Pretty cool ;-)

Happy flying

Oct 15, 2001, 10:34 PM
Registered User
I posted this at but i'm not sure how things are working. So, I don't plan to get any help, i have a lot of time on my hands and i don't mind trying things out. I'll probably be flying this in open field, not much of a slope. Als, i'm pretty set on an EPP plane for durability. I know very little about r/c airplanes. I'll probably get an average 4 channel radio. I want it to be durable (i'm positive i'll be crashing it a lot) and easy to learn to fly on. I'm open to any other plane out there, but i read some good things about the 1-26. Maybe the "Javelin?"

<<I'm a beginner, i've been into R/C cars for a little while, but i've wnted to expand into airplanes, preferably sail planes. 've been tryign to find anythign i could online and i think i've decided on an EPP one. I've been looking at the 1-26 hlg foamie and it sounds good. I'm not really going to be doign anythign special with it. I'll probably be flying it just in an open field. Also, i'll probably be hand launching it. thanks for any info!!>>

Thanks for ant help!
Oct 17, 2001, 12:08 AM
slow but inefficient
Ron Williams's Avatar

Dave's 1-26

My first RC ship was the DAW 1-26. There are two really good reasons why it makes a good trainer besides its durability.

The first is that if you hand launch it it will, most often, come down real soon which give a beginner great practice at making many landings and the confidence that comes from doing them.

The second is that if it's flown to make a circle or two you get a chance to get used to crossed controls as in when the plane is coming toward you.

If I had it to do over again, I'd use a pair of strong servos like HiTec HS81MGs (with metal gears). I can't begin to count how many times I broke the servo gears in crashes; the plane's tough but small plastic geared servos are a royal pain.

Once you have a few dozen flights under your belt a high start would be a lot of fun. They're relatively easy to use. Good luck.

Oct 17, 2001, 12:15 AM
Registered User
Thanks for the reply!!!
I think that i'm going to try the 1-26 as my first plane. Should i buy everything at once?? I'd really like to buy some thigns first then the others, liek the kit first, then the radio and servos, etc, but if i need the radio and servos while building, i guess i'll have to have them. Is there a way i can buy the required things separately? ALso, I've never covered anythign with the "ultracote or monokote stuff. on teh DAW site, they said that i gotta spray it etc. wha tis covering film?? what does it do and how is it applied?? thanks for replies.
Oct 17, 2001, 01:04 AM
Int'l Slope Observer
webguyjv's Avatar

Your Questions Re: Radio Purchase and Covering...

Hello Ehead123 ;-)

I think you made a wise coice in buying a DAW 1-26 sailplane -- you won't regret it -- they're great planes

Your very first choice (in my opinion) should be, do I buy the DAW 1-26 2-meter, or the DAW 1-26 HLG? Here's how to answer that question:

- If you want to fly in lighter winds/lighter lift (on days when it's not very windy or there is not much in the way of thermal activity), get the DAW 1-26 LG

- If you want to fly in heavier winds/heavier lift, get the DAW 1-26 2-meter

If you purchase the DAW 1-26 HLG you'll also need to decide whether you want to build your wing in the polyhedral configuration (elevator and rudder only), or in the dihedral configuration (ailerons, elevator and rudder). The polyhedral configuration might be easier to learn on for beginners as the plane will automatically level itself out if you let go of the stick. The dihedral configuration can be a bit tricky to learn on for beginners in that the ailerons, used in this design, require that you pay more atention to flying the plane. If you take your hands off the stick, it won't automaticaly level itself. For example, with ailerons, if you start a turn, and take your hands off the stick, the plane will keep on turning until you tell it otherwise. With the polyhedral (no ailerons), if you made that same turn and took your hand off the stick, the plane would automatically level out.

Remember, planes with ailerons are much more maneuverable (in my opinion) so you can get the plane to react really quickly to your input, and when you're more experienced, you can perform many more special maneuvers with ailerons.

OK, now back to your original question...

To completely build the plane, you'll need to at least buy the battery, servos and radio receiver. This is because you have to cut pockets in the foam, place these devices in the pockets, connect them together with wires, and connect the servos to the ailerons/elevator/rudder via the push rods/linkages. So while you can build the plane and postpone the expense of buying the transmitter until later, I think you'll find that it's probably cheaper to buy the complete radio kit at one time. The kit will contain the radio transmiter, radio receiver, servos, airplane battery, and transmitter battery and an AC charger for the batteries. For example, my Hitec Flash 5 cost about $160.00 US, and contained all of the items I mentioned above. If you tried to buy these items separately, I think you'd find the total to be more expensive.

If you build the polyhedral version of the DAW 1-26 HLG, you'll need two mini servos (like the Hitec HS-81MG) -- 1 for elevator, 1 for rudder. If you build the dihedral version, you'll need three or four of these servos -- 1 for elevator, 1 for rudder, 1 or 2 for ailerons.

Covering takes a bit of patience ut once you get the hang of it, it's not too bad. It's difficult when you want perfection (because that takes more time and patience), but if you don't mind the plane looking a bit less than perfect, I think you'll be very happy with your first covering job. You need to get a covering iron (about $15.00 US) as this process requires one. Some people prefer to use heat guns but they are not essential.

The 3M-77 spray adhesive that Dave recommends in the instructions is in my opinion a very necessary step. I've only built two EPP airplanes so far, but both designers instruct the builder to cover parts of the EPP with the strapping tape (for structural reinforcement), then spray a light coating of 3M-77, and one that coating is tacky (not wet), you can start ironing on your covering (Ultracote, etc...). Most of these designers also state that you can cover their planes with packing tape (instead of the more expensive covering films) but I've never done this. I have seen planes covered in packing tape and they fly just fine -- I just don't have any experience with that covering process.

I highly recommend that you give Dave Sanders a call at Dave's Aircraft Works. He's a great guy, he loves to talk about planes, and he gives great free advice.

Happy flying ;-)
Oct 17, 2001, 09:06 AM
Registered User
R. Carver's Avatar

Re: Dave's 1-26

Originally posted by Ron Williams

The first is that if you hand launch it it will, most often, come down real soon which give a beginner great practice at making many landings and the confidence that comes from doing them.

The second is that if it's flown to make a circle or two you get a chance to get used to crossed controls as in when the plane is coming toward you
This is some good advice. Before putting the plane up on a hi-start, get A LOT of handlaunch time. Start with just a straight throw, practicing keeping the plane level and at a steady attitude. Once you get the hang of that, gradually progress to making turns..then complete circles. When you feel confident about your abilities and comfortable with the plane, THEN hook it up to the chute.

I'll probably get flamed for this, but I think a better choice for the beginner would be a Gentle Lady, or if you don't want to build, the Aspire...Sure they are not as durable as foam, but not much damage can be done from HL altitude, and if you practice HL before Hi-starting you should be OK. Not to mention both of these planes fly much better than anything made of foam, IMHO
Good luck and most of all, have fun!!

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