Newbie Woes. Gentle Lady weapon of choice. - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Nov 01, 2010, 11:08 PM
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crazyracer's Avatar
Originally Posted by slopemeno
The best slermal flight I've ever enjoyed was with my Gentle Lady.

Slopeflyer33 and I were at Eastside 4- Corners in Marin county. There was zero wind. Some local plants were shedding their seeds, which were like cotton- fluffy white seeds. I watched the seeds swirl around on the ground, then lift off. I launched my GL. expecting a very quick launch and land.

Quickly I was at a couple of hundred feet altitude. Bruce (slopeflyer33) lauched his CrazyBird and we cored the thermal. Soon we were at the absolute limits of our vision, where we stayed for about 40 minutes. My GL was so small it appeared to be a little yellow fleck in the sky- I could barelyt make out what direction it was heading. Eventually the lift glassed off and we came down, and I managed to hand-catch the GL for the landing. Just a magic day.

Very inspirational! Thank you.
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Nov 01, 2010, 11:12 PM
Air Strike Inbound!
Snuffalupagus's Avatar
Originally Posted by glidermang

Great build.

Take your spare change, and go to somewhere like, and get yourself a copy of the Old Buzzard's Book of Soaring, by Dave Thornburg. It's the original holy writ, and it all still works. And, it's fun to read. Ol' Dave knows exactly what you're going through.

Yours, Greg
All hail "the book" !!!

a must read for noob and pro alike
Nov 02, 2010, 12:23 AM
Registered User
TLyttle's Avatar
Fly the plane... A LOT. After a while, you will be able to see exactly when you hit lift, then try to stay in it. I've been flying my current GL (this is my second) for ~20 years now, and I am always amazed at how it gets the very best out of any lift. Play with it: mine is happiest with a 1/8" shim under the leading edge, and a rather rearward c/g, but that's just me.

Years ago, I spent a lot of time teaching people how to fly their GLs, and found that increasing the incidence made the model easier to handle (anywhere from 1/8" to almost 3/8"), until the pilot was confident, then decrease it until it flies the way the person wants it to fly. Lots of people disagree with this idea, but it sure worked for the dozens of students I had...
Nov 02, 2010, 12:33 AM
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crazyracer's Avatar
Originally Posted by TLyttle

Years ago, I spent a lot of time teaching people how to fly their GLs, and found that increasing the incidence made the model easier to handle (anywhere from 1/8" to almost 3/8"), until the pilot was confident, then decrease it until it flies the way the person wants it to fly. Lots of people disagree with this idea, but it sure worked for the dozens of students I had...
So just add in a shim under the front of the wing? What type of response can I expect to see from this? Quicker fore/aft response, diff lift characteristics... etc?
Nov 02, 2010, 01:01 AM
Age quod agis
SD RC Boater's Avatar

You are getting me thinking about when I first started flying 26+ years ago. Great and funny memories for sure.

Your first plane build came out very nice, but it will get beat to death as you learn. That's what it is all about. Cover the nose cone in orange to match the rest of the plane.

I learned to fly on a Pussycat 2 meter floater now made by Dynaflite, made by someone else back then that I can't remember right now, similiar to your Gentle Lady. I have had a Gentle Lady as well. I still have 2 Olympic 650s, a Spirit 2 meter and some Thunder Tiger 2 meter floater (beater plane) that I use at a slope where I have to land on bushes and of course some 100 inch floaters and some real hot rod wingeron and aileron planes as well among many other gas and electric planes.

I must agree with the others that I have had some of my most relaxing, enjoyable flights with the 2 meter floaters. If you can fly one of these well in any condition, then you will most certainly become an excellent overall pilot.

Once you get to a good slope in San Luis Obispo you will have a great time flying your Gentle Lady.

I would not worry much about the weight of the keychain camera as they weigh next to nothing.

I am glad to see that you built your plane rather than buy an ARF.

I am also glad that you posted as this is turning into a great thread.
Nov 02, 2010, 01:21 AM
Registered User
crazyracer's Avatar
I must say, the amount of knowledge and respect that has shown through on this thread is borderline illegal in some countries. Its wonderful!

The nose was covered with orange at one point, however frequent impromptu landings rid the nose of any covering.

In fact, that poses another problem. How the heck do you guys get your covering to stick? I have the plane all messed up looking now with black electrical tape all over it, lol. I am using coverlite (monokote). I figure after I get this really steep learning curve done with, I'll buy some new Ultrakote and spruce it up sumpthin fierce.
Nov 02, 2010, 04:47 AM
Who said Kiwi's can't fly!
Grunta5's Avatar
If you find the underside of the nose area is getting scuffed through landings, one idea could be to get a piece of softish plastic ( like the icecream container lids we get here in NZ ) and cut it to fit the tip of the nose back underneath say six inches or so and roughen one side so the glue sticks and epoxy it under the fuse... remove the covering where the glue will adhere to, it may help soak up a few bumps if the landing sites a bit rough...

[Quote:How the heck do you guys get your covering to stick?]

If the balsa is clean and not wet or dusty , your monokote should stick... adjust the temp of your iron, it may be a little low ( if it puckers bad and screws up its too hot lol...)
Nov 02, 2010, 07:30 AM
Celebrating 300 posts!
markb0127's Avatar
Here's a list of California clubs...
Nov 02, 2010, 09:45 AM
dwells's Avatar
Mr. Racer,

Likes been said, hand tossing to find thermals to speck requires a lot of practice. Save your plane from this, she's a real beauty and needs altitude. If you stay in this hobby, you will need a Hi-Start. It's a very graceful, almost slow motion launch that will get your Lady up where lift is detectable.

I put a skid on my planes to help the wear and tear of landing. Just a little piece of oak fashioned to the fuse nose, screwed and glued, no weight penalty. BalsaRite for film will help your covering stick big time. One coat and a light sand will do it prior to applying the film.

You will freak when you get in your first boomer thermal, the rush never stops.

Good Luck!

Nov 02, 2010, 10:19 AM
Registered User

I graduated from Cal Poly - a VERY LONG TIME AGO! I was in the last class to use slide rules (I know, you don't have any idea what that is/was). The class after I graduated was required to buy calculators. There was a computer on campus, and we were encouraged to regard the building it was in, from a safe distance.

If the old hangar building is still there, then the former runway should be ideal for a high start. While I was there, hang gliders were just emerging, and the guys used to sneak into the National Guard camp to use those slopes - almost walking distance from campus. Otherwise, the cliffs north of Pismo, if you can stand throwing your beautiful airplane out over the rocks (you will NOT get it back if you flub). Or, Pismo dunes! There is a now-dated video called Endless Lift, and Paul Naton slopes along Morro Rock, believe it or not. Endless opportunity!

The skid idea works. I used to fly in the Las Vegas area, on a field covered in broken rock. We used nose skids AND hard, nylon skids aft of the tow hook. Other wise, every landing ate about 1/8 of an inch from the airplane.

Sloping around that part of the coast must just be superb. Get with the locals and have a great time! Wish I still lived there, except the soaring here in New Mexico is even better.

Yours, Greg
Nov 02, 2010, 11:46 AM
Registered User
I think for a beginner on the slope, with a Gentle Lady, 10mph is probably the max. that should be attempted. If the slope is good enough, the wind doesn't have to be strong at all. I've flown a tall, very steep cliff with an Oly 2 when the wind was barely perceptible. A GL probably needs a little bit more lift, but not much. Look for a slope with a long, flat run in front of it. Like a mile or more. Water is probably best, but don't land in it! You probably need a wide beach at the bottom to avoid this. Flying from the top but landing at the bottom is probably easiest, especially if the sun casts a shadow to give you an altitude reference.


High starts are worth having. It's really nice if you have, say, 600 or 800 feet so that you can use a full sized high start. (100 feet of rubber stretched to 300 feet, plus 300 or more feet of line). However, you can get some results with 25 feet of rubber and 100 feet of line, and then you only need less than 200 feet. But for a beginner, the larger space gives you more time in the air for each landing, so you'll get more air time per repair job. And it's easier to land on the field when the field is large.
If you have a really good arm and develop the skills, the GL can be an acceptable hand launch glider. Helps to put in a throwing hole. But it takes a long time to develop the skill, and I've never had an arm like that, even though I'm pretty strong. I just know someone who demonstrated the possibility.
Nov 02, 2010, 11:48 AM
Registered User
crazyracer's Avatar

The hangar is very much there still. The area near the hangar is no longer a runway, its more like aroad to the baseball diamonds (i believe). I am familar with slide rules, we treat them like artifacts found in an Egyptian tomb they are so rare.

I was thinking the dunes would be a great place, I'll throw the plane in my Baja Bug when I get back and head out to the biggest dune.

I was also thinking about sloping Madonna mountain, have you heard of anyone doing that with any success? I live near the base, so its really close to me.

I love the last two pieces of advice about the skid and the balsarite. Between the two I am confident I can fix this covering problem for good.
Nov 02, 2010, 11:58 AM
Registered User
Very good!

The key to slopes (and this is in Dave's book) is the terrain leading into it. You might have to go pretty high up on Madonna mountain to get the undisturbed air.

One thing some one should clue you on: if you're having fun, you're probably doing alright.

Yours, Greg
Nov 02, 2010, 12:23 PM
Registered User
Here is a thread on keychain cameras. A lot of information and it will direct you to the various better models sold on ebay etc.

Nov 02, 2010, 02:22 PM
Registered User

I still have my slide rule from college, it's a Dietzgen #1734. It got a lot of use during college. Surprised I didn't wear out those teflon microglide grooves.

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