Hand Launching a 3 meter ? - RC Groups
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Jan 11, 2013, 07:15 PM
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Hand Launching a 3 meter ?

Quick question.. I really love the look, and size of the larger Xplorer, Supra, etc planes. But I really dont like the idea of a Winch launch.. or Bungee.. I really like hand launching my planes (Love my DLG's).

Anyhow.. is it worth buying a large plane like the ones I mentioned if I only plan on Hand Launching it? And for the record this would be Thermal only.. no Slope lift.

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Jan 11, 2013, 07:46 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
Why? If you only want to hand launch, then fly hand launch gliders. One can hand launch most any wingspan glider (if you're strong enough) and speck it out, but it takes a high level of skill with the right conditions. I.E. lots of dough for very little go!!!!
Jan 11, 2013, 08:44 PM
Registered User
Larry Jolly's Avatar
Depending on your skillset and the conditions it is very reasonable to use a 3meter as a Handlaunch model. It should be SL version so it can be circled at a lower airspeed and tighter radius. I regularly test new models from a HL session, getting the modes close, then move on to a line launch.. LJ
Jan 11, 2013, 11:09 PM
Registered User
Well I like the size and the difference in wing loading/glide ratio compared to my dlg gliders. If there was a 3 meter DLG I would be interested.

I realize its trickier to hand launch and fly... But I guess I was curious just how many people do this on a regular basis.... and just how high a hand launch would be. Im not a super tiny guy so I would at least be average for launch height.

I am asking though as I do not want to buy one and find out the hand launch height is 10 feet and the idea of catching a thermal is impossible unless Im at a pro level.
Last edited by DeadServo; Jan 11, 2013 at 11:16 PM.
Jan 12, 2013, 07:37 AM
ciurpita's Avatar
could only find the following video, but was looking for one where Mark Drela casually hand launched a supra and flew it in a large circle around a field

F3J Supra handlaunch (2).avi (1 min 17 sec)
Jan 12, 2013, 09:34 AM
Registered User

Explorer thermaled out from hand launch

Another example...


Jan 12, 2013, 11:22 AM
Airport Bum
gern_blasnton's Avatar
Ultra-light 3-meter hand launched:
Jan 12, 2013, 11:52 AM
Registered User
Thanks guys...

I have seen all of these videos... the issue I had is that as far as I can tell ALL of these guys are "Team" level competitors... or somehow famous for glider flying. I am sure Jody could find a thermal with an old Truck tire if it had servos in it.

But yeah I did get an idea of launch height and what sorta time I would get to find a thermal myself. I am leaning toward just sticking to DLG's... but I may try out the Fireworks-Extend... that seems interesting.

Thanks again !
Jan 12, 2013, 12:29 PM
Be the duck. Whaaaa?
UberZogster's Avatar
The only people that I know who can reliably catch a thermal from a hand launch are pro level pilots. Oran talked about making a 3m dlg/haund launch, maybe you should contact him and see if you guys can come up with something.
Jan 12, 2013, 02:25 PM
Registered User
Look at it this way - with a DLG even launching to only 100', you are starting from about 20 wingspans high. With a 3m starting with your shoulder height and then assuming 2 wingspans of additional height from the throw, you will start your search at about 25'.

Can you thermal out from 25'? Sure you can, but it is not going to be every flight, not even nearly every flight. It will be more like once in awhile. Like somebody said, too much effort for too little return. Stick with DLG (or maybe a stretch DLG at 2m) if a hand launch will be your only method of launching.
Jan 12, 2013, 11:20 PM
Be the duck. Whaaaa?
UberZogster's Avatar
Just watched the videos. I like the looks of that ultra light 3m hand launch.
Jan 12, 2013, 11:47 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
I have thrown a 3M into a thermal. But of all the hand throws I have done on my Supras and my AVA I only caught lift once.
Jan 13, 2013, 09:34 AM
Registered User
David Forbes's Avatar
Don't forget that a typical weight for a 3+ meter ship is around 60 oz. Your shoulder will get sore
Biggest ship I can regularly take out from a hand toss is my Gentle Lady, anything bigger is asking for rotator cuff issues, at least for me.
Jan 13, 2013, 11:00 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
60 ounces would be a very light, typically high end 3M glider. My 3M Legend was 80 ounces.
Jan 13, 2013, 07:50 PM
ak79's Avatar
Got my 3.8 xplorer to about 400 feet today from a hand toss. First toss.

But, I had thrown my 3.5 about 10 times before I picked up the 3.8, and yes it wears you out, not just the arm, but you have to getting a running start, and a nice head wind also helps. I always drag out my bungee and never set it up and end up just hand tossing. I figure about one out of 15 tosses is good enough to get out on. My deal is when I ride one up I fly as long as I can land and go home. This might take 30 throw or just one.

Also if you are not really skilled flying big ships you are in the danger zone for a long time, i.e on the edge of a stall with wing tips only a few feet off the ground. You have to have the guts to keep turning with only a few feet of space between your model and the ground.

If you don't have a lot of space you can get into trouble fast when you realize you have turned downwind and are very low and can't make another turn upwind. Easy to hit things.

My 3.8 is 66 oz.

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