Why You Should Try a DLG

Ok, you might ask why there is a hand launch glider article in the electric airplane section. The purpose of this article is to inform non-DLG pilots why they should consider giving it a try....

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Try Something New

Ok, you might ask why there is a hand launch glider article in the electric airplane section. Great question, the purpose of this article is to encourage non-DLG pilots to consider giving it a try. DLGs or Discus Launch Gliders are small lightweight planes with no motors. They can be 3 channel or 4, foam or composite, under $100 or over $1000. Whether you start with a $69 WhipIt or a Hand built $1000 competition model, there are a few good reasons why you should pick one up and start chucking it.

Makes you a better pilot

Gliders can almost force you to be a better pilot. You'll need to nail the landings the first time since you don't have a motor to do a "go around" with. You get one shot at it. You'll also learn how airplanes fly pure and simple and how to manage the airplanes energy. You can't just pull up into a loop, you'll need to dive to gain some speed and then trade that energy for altitude. You'll find that being able to fly a glider well, will help you to fly your powered models better.

Get Some Exercise

Fitness is popular these days with all kinds of activity trackers and apps coming out. Flying a DLG is more active than other planes because you need to spin around to launch it. It doesn't require you to be an athlete either, anyone can do it. There is some technique involved in the launch, but it's relatively easy on the body. I can launch for hours and I don't get sore. I can't stand going to the gym, I need something fun to be active and it doesn't get much more fun than flying, and now I can tell my wife "I'm going exercising" when I head out to fly.

It's Easy

It really is easy. It's pure, simple flying. The receiver battery usually lasts all day and all you have to do is throw the plane into the air. You can start out simple with a basic DLG like the WhipIt, but I'm sure you'll quickly want to move up into a larger model. Even the most advanced model still only uses 5 channels. You can start out with a basic program to get flying and then adjust and tune the setup from there.

It's Fun

Flying DLG's have given me some of the most enjoyment from flying and I've flown just about every type of aircraft available. There must be something about launching a plane under your own power and then hunting down a thermal to take it up up up until it's hard to see. Do some aerobatics back down and start all over. It doesn't get boring and every flight is a new challenge. It gets even more fun when your buddies join you. Informal competitions are great, get everyone to launch at the same time and see who can stay up the longest. The last one to land wins.

You Get to Learn

While it is simple to get started with a DLG, there is so much depth to it that once you get hooked, you'll want to learn all you can. You can learn how to read the air from signs on the ground and figure out where thermals are and launch right into them. You can learn some new building skills and you can fine tune your plane to get higher launches and even learn some new programming functions on your radio. I've found Paul Naton's DLG videos from RadioCarbonArt to be a great help in learning about all these topics.

If you've never owned a DLG, you are missing out on an extremely fun and rewarding flying experience. It's not something I can just tell you about and you'll understand, it's something you need to experience for yourself. You may think you're not a glider guy, but I think you'd be surprised if you gave it a chance. You can buy new or keep an eye on the RCG Sailplane Classifieds and get a deal on a used one.

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May 19, 2015, 01:09 PM
Drone offender FA377YHFNC
And a very cheap way to get your feet wet is the eFlite Whipit for $70. That is an unheard of price point for a DLG. It isn't a contest DLG by any stretch of the imagination but it is a great performing plane for 40 grams and 24" wingspan.

Until you fly a straight, non-powered sailplane you can't say you've learned to fly. What you learn will make your powered flight twice as good. No more will you be afraid to lose power during a flight. No more will you NEED power to grease the landing. You won't just be able to get your plane down in one piece when the motor quits you'll enjoy it!

If you decide you don't like sailplanes at all and that's all you learn, then the sailplane has just returned about 300% of its cost.
May 19, 2015, 01:24 PM
Taranis Soarus Wrecks
SlowJeff's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins
And a very cheap way to get your feet wet is the eFlite Whipit for $70. That is an unheard of price point for a DLG. It isn't a contest DLG by any stretch of the imagination but it is a great performing plane for 40 grams and 24" wingspan.

Until you fly a straight, non-powered sailplane you can't say you've learned to fly. What you learn will make your powered flight twice as good. No more will you be afraid to lose power during a flight. No more will you NEED power to grease the landing. You won't just be able to get your plane down in one piece when the motor quits you'll enjoy it!

If you decide you don't like sailplanes at all and that's all you learn, then the sailplane has just returned about 300% of its cost.
Cool. I think I'll buy one.

I got my start in chuck gliders. Still have a soft spot for unpowered flight.

This article sent me to YouTube, and I saw, and said, Wow! Then I looked at the for sale dlg's here, and said, Wow!

But I can afford a Whipit. And it really looks like fun, way more fun than chuck gliders.
May 19, 2015, 01:58 PM
Suspended Account
How are they on a windy day? 15 - 20 MPH?
May 19, 2015, 02:16 PM
www.gunnphotoservices.com
Matt Gunn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrEWorm
How are they on a windy day? 15 - 20 MPH?
If you standing at the top of a slope, they are a blast to slope soar. Otherwise I think 15-20 might be a bit on the high side... at least for me anyway.
Latest blog entry: www.gunnphotoservices.com
May 19, 2015, 02:32 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Most of them you can add ballast for windy days to better handle wind. The competition guys have varying weights they will add depending on the conditions.
May 19, 2015, 02:37 PM
wrong descision, wrong time
When I first started looking at DLG, I balked at the price. It was way more than my cheap foamy electric models. However, someone pointed out to me the value you get out of DLG. For most of my electric planes I could get 8 -10 minute flights. Usually not much longer that 10 minutes. This meant I loaded a bunch of models in my car and charged a bunch of batteries to go fly for a couple of hours. Quick flights were just that, very quick.

With my DLG, charging my battery takes about 30 min, and then I can go fly for 2 hours - thats two solid hours of flying. I have to take breaks from flying, instead of being forced to take breaks when the battery dies. I can grab one of my DLGs and my transmitter and just go fly. Basically what I'm saying is that I get way more flying time out of my DLGs, making the cost per flying time come out much lower than any of my cheap electric foamies. Plus the on going costs are much less, because DLGs are almost infinitely repairable, and the single cell lipos I use are only $4 a piece (I only need two per model and rarely need to replace them). DLGs also hold their value, even broken ones. For any of my electric planes, the value was less than half on the used market. That has not been the case with any of my DLGs.

DLGs (or F3k) has a very strong competitive scene. You don't need a $1000+ ship to compete. I attend our monthly contests here in the PNW, and do pretty well with my $400 models. My attitude is, at my level, I'm only really competing against myself and the help I get at contests is invaluable. Plus its a really great group of guys. You don't get any of the old circle burning fuddy duddys in DLGs circles. If you throw it, it doesn't have a motor, you have AMA, and you meet the other f3k requirements for plane size etc. you are welcome to come out and fly in contests.

DLGs do require somewhat complex programming, but a Taranis works great as a DLG radio, and is only $200. Before, it took at least a $350+ radio to be able to fly a DLG competitively.

The whipit is a great intro to DLG, and there are also plans for a few other 1 meter wing span DLGs that allow someone to try DLG if they are scared about spending too much up front, however, if you build any interest, you'll be buying a full size composite DLG in no time . DLG is completely addictive.
May 19, 2015, 02:41 PM
Suspended Account
I just stopped at lbs and bought the radian instead. 10 more.
May 19, 2015, 02:43 PM
I eat glue
I feel the same way about rubber powered freeflight scale models. Everybody should try them at least once. I don't mean the 5 ton Guillows models, but get a good set of plans or one of the better laser cut designs and have a go at it. Very enjoyable, and very rewarding, for minimal expense.
May 19, 2015, 02:49 PM
Taranis Soarus Wrecks
SlowJeff's Avatar
Quick, somebody... what's "F3k"?
May 19, 2015, 03:14 PM
Drone offender FA377YHFNC
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowJeff
Quick, somebody... what's "F3k"?
It's French for "DLG."
May 19, 2015, 03:28 PM
Built For Comfort
Tepid Pilot's Avatar
[QUOTE=Rockin Robbins;31664739]. . . Until you fly a straight, non-powered sailplane you can't say you've learned to fly . . . /QUOTE]

This is so far from the truth as to be pitiable. A sailplane teaches you how to fly a sailplane, period. However, there is a possiblity it may help you to be less apprehensive about landing deadstick (an ancient term from the daze of fuel power when your engine would quit).

TP
AMA 59376
May 19, 2015, 05:21 PM
Registered User
MrDirt's Avatar
what are some good 60" dlg's that wont break the bank?

do they make hollow molded dlg's?
May 19, 2015, 05:53 PM
Registered User
skip63's Avatar
And you can damage your rotator cuff. At least that what happened to me. After a year of throwing mine my rotator cuff is toast.
But I'm in my 50's, ............ this is a young persons thing.
May 19, 2015, 06:54 PM
Drone offender FA377YHFNC
[QUOTE=Tepid Pilot;31666021]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins
. . . Until you fly a straight, non-powered sailplane you can't say you've learned to fly . . . /QUOTE]

This is so far from the truth as to be pitiable. A sailplane teaches you how to fly a sailplane, period. However, there is a possiblity it may help you to be less apprehensive about landing deadstick (an ancient term from the daze of fuel power when your engine would quit).

TP
AMA 59376
Surely you have something better to do than flit from thread to thread calling me dumb. The word "pitiable" comes to mind.

The point is if you depend on a motor to keep you in the air you aren't flying. You have a huge blind spot that will cost you several planes sooner rather than later.

Learning to fly on the wing instead of the engine is what happens with a sailplane and it truly is learning the other half of how to fly. And it's why I believe everyone could benefit from owning a sailplane. What you learn will benefit you with every other plane you fly. Watch out, they are all addicting.


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