My First DLG Experience... - RC Groups
Shop our Airplanes Products Drone Products Sales
Thread Tools
This thread is privately moderated by Jim T. Graham, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Jul 05, 2011, 12:01 PM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar

My First DLG Experience...

Almost a year ago I saw my first DLG plane and I got the bug. Fast forward to this summer and I finally have a couple of discus launch gliders. Thanks to my friend Skip Miller and his son Cody at I got my first DLG and while asking questions on RCG I started talking with another DLG pilot and that has turned into to my second DLG with ailerons. This one is hand built and based on the Jingo. I have to admit right up front that I have very little DLG knowledge. The pilot at Clover Creek threw his bird in the air and proceeded to do an amazing amount of aerobatics on the way back to his hand. After my first few throws I realized that just getting the plane to make a few turns and come back to me was a trick! I am slowly learning how to get the plane higher with each throw and I'm also learning how to let the plane fly itself and keep an eye out for thermals. I spent the weekend camping with a 100 acre hay field as a backyard. Originally I thought I was going to get a DLG to fly aerobatics but now I'm trying to hard to learn the nuance of finding lift. I have a hundred questions but now I have a solution! For this next month's podcast I'm going to call Skip Miller and ask him every question I have. I think that will not only help me learn but hopefully it will help others out there thinking about getting a DLG plane. I am also thinking about making my next column in Model Aviation about my current DLG experiences. So far I'm having a blast and the fact that my RC field is 5 minutes away I am able to grab some flights each day. Exciting stuff!
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jul 05, 2011, 12:11 PM
Vintauri's Avatar
I caught the bug this year at SEFF. I was watching Ian fly his in the early morning and it looked very peaceful and relaxing. I picked up a basic airframe but I need one with ailerons. I look forward to your podcast on the subject and hope to learn as much as you from it.
Jul 05, 2011, 12:14 PM
Master Procrastinator
Tango Juliet's Avatar
Congrats Jim. I got the sailplane bug last year after flying a Radian, and built an Oly II. Now I'm building a Skybench Sky Bird (Build Thread here: ) The only DLG I have is an Alula (more of a sloper), but eventually I'd like to get a nice composite DLG like you've got there. I'll look forward to your next MA column.
Jul 05, 2011, 04:48 PM
Jeff Carr
Oh Jim now you have done it. Finding lift isnt as easy as one may think. Ground signs and all the other interesting thinks a power pilot doesnt think about.

I believe Ryan Gosoulin was the pilot at Clover Creek as he comes to the events I attend. He is up and coming and someone to watch in a contest. You will get excersise flying these. We run all over during our competitions as the field is used to its fullest extent.

Consider coming over to the Nats for DLG or even better THE BRUCE in Shelbyville KY. Its an international contest with 75 plus guys. Its in Bruce Davidson's back yard. Located just south of Loisville KY.

Its all about fun isnt it.

Jul 05, 2011, 05:08 PM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
"The Bruce" isn't too far away. I'd love to watch and learn.
Jul 05, 2011, 06:14 PM
Lift is good
Rayven's Avatar
Hey Jim...Welcome to the world of DLG---you are going to love it (if you don't already). In some ways, its probably the only place where the hobby of model aviation borders on a sport. The fitter you get, the farther you fly! And its also where its less about playing with model airplanes and more about playing with the air. By the way, I'm new to your blog posts...where and when can I access the podcast with Skip Miller?
Jul 05, 2011, 06:17 PM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
I haven't interviewed Skip yet but I will for the next podcast. I guess I should call him and let him know the plan! I came back this morning and told my wife that was the most exercise I ever got flying RC.
Jul 05, 2011, 07:15 PM
Kyle Clayton
Wave Glider's Avatar
Originally Posted by Jim T. Graham
"The Bruce" isn't too far away. I'd love to watch and learn.
Put your name on the waiting list to fly! The first contest I planned on attending, I was only going to go to watch. I didn't want to "embarass" myself as a first timer at such a large event. Later a friend convinced me to sign up and fly in it. It was the best decision I ever made in my RC life. Instantly hooked, and I almost couldnt take in all of the helpful advice and support I was receiving from people I didnt even know and had never met before. Just good-hearted guys who wanted to share their addiction and knowledge of soaring with me as bad as I wanted to learn it. I have been to my fair share of RC clubs as well and I can say hands down that the nicest, friendliest people I have met in all of this have been the DLG/soaring guys. Definitely make it to a contest, you will see why all of DLG guys are psychos we are

Are you sure you want to take the step into the unknown? Once you get a snippet of how to read air and learn to keep a plane up for as long as you want from a simple hand toss purely with no motor assist, its an addiction that is very hard to not want more. I know a handful of guys that have sold off all their power planes to aquire a fleet full of DLG's
Latest blog entry: Helios and XXLite DLG
Jul 06, 2011, 11:58 AM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
I went out again this morning. I'm thinking I need to hit the field around 3 PM to find the real thermals?
Jul 06, 2011, 03:28 PM
Registered User
dgvan's Avatar
I was excited to read that a Model Aviation columnist is new to DLG and is considering writing about the sport for MA. I think MA in general, and "casual fliers" like myself in particular, will benefit greatly from your experience and a discussion of your discoveries as you write about mastering DLG.

This message is meant to be an encouragement to not only write about the joys of DLG, but also to describe your learning curve in some detail. You can be an ambassador between the likes of Skip Miller, et. al., and the newbies who have more time to read than to spend where we should be - out at the field.
Jul 06, 2011, 03:53 PM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
That is my goal. I am scheduled to interview Skip and Cody in the next week or so. I also have some others I will talk to like my friend Donatas. I have some big news, I slipped out at lunch today and caught my first thermal! After throwing the plane and getting a circuit or two before it came back I was very surprised to see it going up and up! It was pretty intense!
Jul 06, 2011, 05:26 PM
Master Procrastinator
Tango Juliet's Avatar
Originally Posted by Jim T. Graham
After throwing the plane and getting a circuit or two before it came back I was very surprised to see it going up and up! It was pretty intense!
That's the joy of Thermaling! And what brings you back? Trying to better your times each time you go out!
Jul 06, 2011, 05:50 PM
Registered User

Most articles about DLG I have read is written as if the author is describing some outlandish phenomena that they haven't tried themselfs and probably never will. It's good that someone is finally writing about it as a firsthand experience.

I tried out my Fling DL last night. I know it is a very heavy plane in this context... Well, the plane didn't hold up very long, neither in the stay aloft sense nor in the holding together sense. The hole for the forward wingbolt must have had it's threads damaged or something. Just as I let go of the plane the wing swooped upwards like it should but the fuselage continued in a beautiful arc across the field... When I picked it up the forward bolt was missing while the rear one was still securely screwed in... guess you get what you pay for. It held up for at least 20 launches, if it wasn't for that one bolt slipping out it would have held up for 200 more I think.
What can you do other then laugh in these situations...?
I will get a new DLG, though not a very expensive this time around either. They are nice to have in that they can be flown pretty much anywhere unlike the other sailplanes I have that at the very least requires a high-start or a good slope...
Jul 07, 2011, 12:49 AM
Walter Roos
ROOSWH's Avatar

Welcome to DLGing Jim

Hi Jim,
I just want to let you know that Dlg flying is so addictive that it may cause you to lose interest in 3D, helicopters and many other of your RC hobbies.
It could even cut into your Guitar playing time.

For the last 3 years I've told myself that I need to get back to my 3D flying and it just never happens. Ok, once in awhile I'll repair one of my old 3D planes and take it with me when I'm going to fly, but usually it stays in the van while I fly my DLGs or I may fly the 3D for 15 minutes or so, but Dlging is a way of life.

You have now been warned.

BTW at our Glider Field near Atlanta, the Thermals are there most of the day, and some of the bigger ones are around 12:00. Sometimes they will disappear for around 1/2 hour, but most of the time you can find some within reach every couple of launches. Of course big launches and going way out helps a bit too.


IMO, just a suggestion,
Playing at Aerobatics with a nice new DLG is a really bad idea, which could bite you sooner than you may suspect. Probably at some time you will forget to put the transmitter in high rates and won't complete that low outside loop or other. So it's best to use and older DLG for Aerobatics. Guilty several times.
Last edited by ROOSWH; Jul 07, 2011 at 12:57 AM.
Jul 07, 2011, 03:37 PM
The King Moonracer of balsa.
Windependence's Avatar
Originally Posted by Jim T. Graham
I have some big news, I slipped out at lunch today and caught my first thermal! After throwing the plane and getting a circuit or two before it came back I was very surprised to see it going up and up! It was pretty intense!
There is no hope for you now. Once that excitement of the first thermal is in your soul you will forever be a thermal junkie. Soaring is kind of like fishing, you don't catch one every time but when you do it's awesome. You should definitely go to the Bruce and report about it in MA. Some of the finest DLG guys in the US and abroad will be there and any one of them would be willing to talk with you and offer tips.


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First DLG Experience solo6796 Hand Launch 11 Jan 20, 2012 12:25 PM
Cool My experience with HK and Tower Battlepack Vendor Talk 60 Jul 14, 2011 07:59 PM
Build Log My first attempt in buidling a scratchbuilt MICRO DLG Markus A. Hand Launch 2 Mar 30, 2011 05:02 PM
A begginners first experience into DLG's hangglider Hand Launch 11 Nov 16, 2005 11:56 AM
Yippee! My first DLG Experience with my Bobolink Jim Poor Hand Launch 7 Sep 24, 2003 07:58 PM