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Dec 05, 2012, 05:57 PM
Registered User
dangerdan, please describe what you did. I cannot tell from the picture, but I love the concept so far!
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Dec 05, 2012, 07:07 PM
Registered User
N65603's Avatar
My son didn't like the way the wing attached either so he took out the front wing anti torque tube plastic and tapped the hole for 10-32. We simply screw in a plastic dubro wing 10-32 bolt with a nut driver through the hole on the other side and then made a small hole under the other side so we could pass the nut driver across while the first wing was already in place. Sounds complicated, but very simple and strong.
Dec 05, 2012, 08:48 PM
Registered User
dangerdan's Avatar
Originally Posted by tclaridge
dangerdan, please describe what you did. I cannot tell from the picture, but I love the concept so far!
I posted another picture to explain. I hope this helps
Dec 05, 2012, 10:01 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Great idea.

But tape is there to seal the seam/gap much more than to hold the wing. On full scale gliders, they tape the wings too.
Dec 05, 2012, 11:37 PM
Registered User
Gordysoar's Avatar

ARGH!!!! Not CG misinformation again!

First of all, the model will fly if the CG is forward or back of the recommended by an inch.

The advice about futzing around with weight to find the CG you like is the worst bit of crap that continues to be offered, and continues to hinder the personal skill growth of sailplane pilots who want to improve their air reading skills and landing precision.

WE don't hobble sailplanes to compensate for poor piloting and control set ups.

Adding nose weight forces the elevator to be set crooked (up trim).

IF Horizon advertised "Hey we are selling a crooked heavier sailplane, which will balloon if the airspeed rises and drop its nose like a missle when the nose drops, and also flies with plenty of drag.".....Which of you guys would have purchased it? Yet some of you think its okay to turn this truly excellent sailplane into just that.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that you should adjust nose weight till the model 'feels' right!

Ed mentioned that he flew some top pilot's models with CG's way back and didn't like it.....

Here's some insight....their models didn't have the CG way back, those models were balance correctly and their pilots are top pilots because they have models that tell the truth about lift and sink. Their pilots got the models balance correct - then learned to fly them...AND they also used the features on their Transmitter's they paid extra for! You know things like Dual Rate settings and travel adjust (that's how you tame a 'twitchy' sailplane...not with nose weight!)

YOU - you are the pilot! Learn to fly the model you paid for, the model you hoped would be put you in the winners circle... don't dumb your model down to compensate for your lack of determination to learn to pilot better.

NO, NONE, ZERO - top pilots balance their sailplane for some kind of mystical performance advantage! Do you get that? They don't balance them so that they glide 10 more feet than yours. They sure as heck don't balance them so that they indicate every fart that passes under the wings of their model.

Under what version of logical would it make sense for top pilots to fly models that were "more difficult" to fly? They want a model that is more predictable and easier to fly than anybody elses, not harder.

Okay guess why Ed had problems with those models? Because he learned to fly on models balanced for some sort of "feel" or "stability" when he's handed a model that was properly trimmed and balanced, he's not comfortable.

Those of us who learned to set up our models with less throws and only enough lead in the nose to make the model fall forward (versus forward and nose downward) can't stand to fly models set up wrong. They don't turn properly, they don't hold an attitude, they aren't predictable...we constantly have to be on their noses and ailerons because they want to resist control then want to over react when they do respond.

Pete said they set the model with the balance point at 38%. Virtually every contest model from DLG to F3J 4m have their CG's at 45%...and you guys want to move forward of 38%???

Why did you spend money on a serious sailplane if you wanted it to fly like the junk you already have? When you balance models to some kind of personal preference you are doomed to have all your models fly the same....poorly. Sailplane balance isn't about you or what you like, its about having a sailplane that flies straight and level, regardless of airspeed or attitude.

When we contest guys get a new ship, you know the new "Red One", we don't set it up to feel good to us, we set it up then learn to fly...IT. We work to become the pilot it's extra capabilities need so that we can realize what we hoped and paid for.

CG is NOT important to getting task time, all it takes for that is for us to put a model into strong enough lift.

Balance IS important if you want good information from the model to help you identify lift. (NO I did not say "if you want MORE information" I said GOOD information.)

You won't notice difference in performance if the CG is set a half inch either way from factory, but don't the factory's conservative CG and make it even worse.

The Mystique has a full flying stab which allows guys to compensate for extra nose lead (crooked airplane). That's not a good thing.

Finally every top pilot will tell you that the less you move surfaces - the less drag you create. That the most efficient flight is one where you don't move any surface....With a properly balance sailplane LESS movement of surfaces is needed to move nose weight.

The tail directs the nose, unless the nose is too heavy, then gravity directs the nose. A sailplane only needs enough weight in the nose to make it fall forward (we never learn how to fly one backwards) If there is one dot of weight in the nose needed to make it fall forward, then it will be flying forward and nose downward.

Airspeed empowers tail feathers, tail feathers direct the nose, if there is one dot more weight than is needed to make the model fall forward your model will have to fly fast enough to provide enough airflow for the tail to fight gravity for control of the model's nose.

What part of all that sounds good for finding thermals and nice slow landings?

Every setting is reliant on the model FIRST being balance properly, that means if you have one dot more nose weight than is needed every setting stacked on that balance ...will be wrong. Well wrong if you want a model that can work the tinyest thermal, land so slow you can make YouTube Videos of it as you walk along with it landing, tapping on the wing tip with your finger.

Many sailplane kit designers suggested CG's on their plans... for dummies. As in guys who likely don't even know how to fly a sailplane at all.

They were good builders and craftsmen or draftsmen, very few designers were great rc sailplane they offered settings based on calculations.

Pete and the guys at Horizon are real rc sailplane pilots. And the balance point they show is set so that every kit will fly the same....well.

I know because I flew one set per the instructions. Not once during the flight or landing did I ever think,"This thing needs to be balanced", it was, "Wow this is a real sailplane!" and on the second flying, "This ship is a valid ALES competition option!".

QUIT using CG as a device. Those top pilots Ed mentioned spend all of about 5 minutes with a new ship setting its balance point -- and never futz with it or think about it again in the model's life. CG is a measurement, not a control.
You measure on the bench - you balance by flying the model.

The dive test done correctly...take the model up to 1,000', nose it over in a steep dive, if it pulls out just before it going to hit the ground, its balanced properly. We don't need models to pull themselves out of dives, we spent about $500 for a transmitter with sticks so that we pilots could do that.

NOTHING should change the flight path of a sailplane other than a thermal or your thumb.

Latest blog entry: Check out my YouTube Channel
Dec 06, 2012, 06:33 AM
Registered User
ducatirdr's Avatar
Thanks for taking the time to post that Gordy. I'm a long time RC pilot but a beginner in the world of gliders (powered or not). I am subscribed to this thread to glean information like this. With 3D planes the cg is a preference and dual rates with lots of expo is a tip from top pilots. Once I set my plane up like that it transformed my flying. Your views on a sailplanes cg is very informative. Thanks.
Dec 06, 2012, 07:25 AM
Fig Jam's Avatar
+1 on Gordy's post. You set the C0G to suit the model not the pilot.

Dec 06, 2012, 08:20 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Gordy, that was a great post, full of facts and some pretty strong opinions.

To all you new glider pilots understand that whether it is gliders, 3D or pattern, there are facts and there are opinions and both are valuable.

I know Gordy, have flown with him at my home field, at Eastern Soaring League contests and at the NATs. for those who are familiar with the League of Silent Flight, Gordy is an LSF level V pilot which is quite an achievement.

I have the greatest respect for him as a sailplane pilot. I have benefited from his tips and his personal coaching on the flying field. But we don't always agree. In fact you might be surprised to find that not everyone agrees with Gordy. But that is fine because that makes for interesting conversation and interesting visits to the soaring club and contest fields.

However, CG is a tunable parameter of a sailplane. Don't take my word for it, I am no world champion. But if we listen to Dave Hobby, who is a world champion multiple times over, we gain some insights on how tuning the CG of the aircraft and how one approaches that can change over time. The joy is that we live, we learn and we try new things, even world champions. Maybe even Gordy.

Dave Hobby on setting the CG

Read the comments in the post then watch the video where Dave Hobby talks about his approach on setting the CG and how it has changed over time. Listen to how he tunes the CG on his various gliders to achieve different behaviors.

In the end, you will form your own opinions based on your experience and your advancing skills. Read Gordy's comments and take them to heart. Read mine and give them a try. And listen to the insights provided by Dave Hobby.

Gordy is absolutely right, in the end, you are the pilot and the performance of your aircraft in the air depends on your skill, not the setting of the CG. As your skills advance, you may find that your opinion, like Dave Hobby's, may change over time.

And when you are done reading and watching the video, buy the video from Radio Carbon Arts. There are few of have done as much for the training and education of thermal soaring pilots than Paul Naton at RCA. And a well trained pilot is a better pilot who enjoys his hobby and his sport a lot more.

RCA's videos are the best.

Others I highly recommend:

Also be sure to visit the Novice Lounge of the Eastern Soaring League

Among other things you will find Gordy's system on balancing a glider.
Last edited by aeajr; Dec 06, 2012 at 09:42 AM. Reason: fixing typos
Dec 06, 2012, 09:04 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Mark Drela on setting the CG

CG Location - Article by Mark Drela

The article is about finding the right CG for you. A very good article. I will quote part of it here:

Where you want the CG to be should depend on personal preference and flying style. Some people fly with the CG well forward. Others seem to fly with the CG as far back as is tolerable.

To decide what’s best for you, a good approach is to first identify the aftmost neutrally-stable CG location by dive test or whatever. Then move the CG ahead of that point by gradual amounts, until the glider behaves as you like.

For those who don't know Mark, he is a giant in the RC Soaring community, having designed some of the most popular thermal gliders and airfoils being flown today. If you see an aircraft sporting an AG series airfoil, that is Mark's work.

I have had the privilege to know and to fly with Mark at Eastern Soaring League contests. A great guy! You can read about him here.

You can find some of his designs here:

The Supra, the Bubble Dancer and the SuperGee II have been wildly popular. Among other things, they are designed to be built at home. There are commercially available versions or gliders inspired by his work. If you have any ambitions of building your own gliders, these are great designs to build.

Commercially available versions include the Kennedy Composites Supra, the AVA (bubble dancer inspired) and a whole range of DLGs that bear remarkable similarity to the SuperGee design.
Last edited by aeajr; Dec 06, 2012 at 09:42 AM. Reason: fixing typos
Dec 06, 2012, 09:51 AM
Registered User
dangerdan's Avatar

Eastern Soaring League

Also be sure to visit the Novice Lounge of the Eastern Soaring League

I read the thread on Gordy's Sailplane Balancing System.

That was very informative and I actually understood that.
Dec 06, 2012, 11:14 AM
Warbird & Jet Lover
Within the Horizon Air Category Product Development department, we consider CG to be like a trim scheme. There is no "right" answer, and what's best is very much personal preference. Taken to the extreme there CAN be clearly wrong answers, but what may be 100% right for me might not be 100% right for you.
Dec 06, 2012, 05:04 PM

Great info

This last series of posts have been really great!
Gordy thanks for your passion and all your posts. I've learned a great deal from you and have tried to track down and read everything I could find from you.
Same call out to you Aeajr, thanks again.
Love learning to become a better pilot.
Dec 06, 2012, 05:10 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL

I don't know where you live, but where ever you live, once you can launch and land safely, go find a contest. Forget winning or losing, that will come on its own. Just go and fly in contests. You will learn so much and so fast it will amaze you.

And once you get hooked on soaring contests, AND YOU WILL GET HOOKED, you will meet some of the best people and they will be eager to help you. People like Gordy and people like me. We love helping the new guys.

If you are an electric glider pilot, look for ALES contests. They are so much fun.
Dec 06, 2012, 07:14 PM
Electric Glider Nut
timography's Avatar

you guys are so lucky over there in the US, over here in Aussie land ALES comps are few and far between. My local club (the largest in the state) only has an ALES type comp twice a year. I'm looking forward to the Mystique finally hitting our shores so I can get it in the air - shipping date has been postponed three times now... ho hum.
Dec 06, 2012, 07:14 PM
Originally Posted by aeajr

I don't know where you live, but where ever you live, once you can launch and land safely, go find a contest. Forget winning or losing, that will come on its own. Just go and fly in contests. You will learn so much and so fast it will amaze you.

And once you get hooked on soaring contests, AND YOU WILL GET HOOKED, you will meet some of the best people and they will be eager to help you. People like Gordy and people like me. We love helping the new guys.

If you are an electric glider pilot, look for ALES contests. They are so much fun.

I live in Ontario, Canada (bit cold right now but I fly all year round) and yes there is an ALES contest circuit here run through the Southern Ontario Glider Group, SOGGI. Plan to enter this year, meet lots of folks, have some fun, become a better pilot and some day return the favour and help others who get hooked like I am. (and no, not win anything, just fly)

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