Anyone Fly the DAW Dragonette Micro HLG??? - RC Groups
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Feb 16, 2002, 04:13 AM
Int'l Slope Observer
webguyjv's Avatar

Anyone Fly the DAW Dragonette Micro HLG???

Hello Everyone

I really enjoy reading all of your great threads on some really interesting topics, and I'm always hoping to add value, while getting some great information that I can use. Today is such a day...

I just completed the construction of my new DAW Dragonette Micro HLG. I tried a few test glides at a tiny park near my house (not much bigger than a suburban home lot) and I found the performance stable.

Today I took the little baby to work with me, and on lunchbreak, I drove to a park right on San Francisco Bay -- not too far from work. I can really get usaed to this Micro HLG stuff in that it takes up almost no room in the car and carrying it to the flying site is a breeze

So I threw it about 20 or 30 times and I was able to slope a little bit. The winds were coming up the slope, but they didn't seem too strong. I figured it was perfect conditions for an HLG.

I was surprised in how unremarkable the performance of the Dragonette was. I'm guessing that the oncoming storm clouds may have been chilling the air to where the only lift came from the slight breeze up the slope. Maybe there were no apreciable thermals in the area and that made for uneventful flying as well. For some reason, I just expected the little guy to really stick in light conditions.

When I was carrying the plane back to the car, I looked at it and realized that compared to most HLGs that I've seen, the wingspan-to-fuse length ratio was pretty small. In other words, it sort of looked like the wings are a bit short for a plane of this size. In my beginner pilot's feeble mind, I was guessing that this thing has a poorer L/D because of this.

At any rate, I can say that this baby flies infinitely better than my DAW 1-26 2-meter in the same conditions, so it's a keeper. I know that I can at least get a few minutes of stick time, where in the same conditions, I might be flying for a few seconds with the 1-26.

Dave gave me some simple tips on making the wing detachable, as I want to be able to pack this plane into a small package for whan I take trips. It's pretty small when removing the wing. I used 3/32 light ply with an epoxied-on nylon 6-32 nut. The second bolt-point was made by drilling and tapping directly through the boom. It's nice to have something that comes apart so easily and cleanly.

OK, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Now it's your turn...

Tell me about your experience with your DAW Dragonette Micro HLG -- how it flies, how you like it, what you don't like about it, etc...

I realy appreciate all of your wisdom and experience.

Have a great day and Happy flying ;-)

Last edited by webguyjv; Feb 16, 2002 at 04:16 AM.
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Feb 16, 2002, 11:46 PM
Registered User
Marked's Avatar will not thermal like they say it is ok to toss around,the L/D isnt that great. Mine is 4.2 oz. I havent tried the sloping mode yet.My Zagi THL is a much better HLG than the Dragonette,but I will try flying it more this summer.Mark
Feb 17, 2002, 02:29 AM
Int'l Slope Observer
webguyjv's Avatar

Thanks Mark ;-)

I'm glad to hear that it's not just me.

I'll be taking it out tomorrow (as long as the rain doesn't keep up) and I'm hoping to get some more stick time with the Dragonette.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Happy flying ;-)

Feb 17, 2002, 02:59 AM
Registered User
I have one...i guess i was unimpressed. It will glide, but i actually broke loose the middle of the wing on a not-that-hard throw.the tail is extra fragile. I have one unbuilt in the box, and the next time i want to build one, CF spar for the wing, and V-tail. I'll have to thrash it so i can get the servos out for my next plane.
Feb 17, 2002, 11:22 PM
Int'l Slope Observer
webguyjv's Avatar

Hello Mighty Mik and Marked ;-)

Here's today's report...

I went to Cal State Hayward -- one of our SF Bay Area slope sites. The winds were excellent for sloping from when I arrived at 1:00 PM until sundown. I spent the entire time flying my DAW Schweizer 1-26 2-meter. Close to sundown the wind speed finally dropped a bit and I decided to try the Dragonette.

I had a nice flight and then I handed it to my two buddies who both have their own Dragonette's still in the box. They said they thought it performed pretty well. One guy mentioned that it needs some nose weight.

What surprised me is that it withstood the ~5 mph winds. I was expecting it to get thrashed realy bad. I expected that being such a small delicate plane, it would only be good for days with no wind.

So my uneventful first flights have been eclipsed by very nice flights on a light sloping day. I'll keep it ;-)

Thanks again for all of your stories. Happy Flying

Feb 18, 2002, 11:41 PM
Int'l Slope Observer
webguyjv's Avatar

Latest Flight Report...

WOW -- 110 people have read this thread and only 3 have entered messages -- to bad

Well, for those of you that are interested, here's the latest entry...

Today I took the Dragonette to Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore, CA. They have a canyon that works with roughly west winds. The wind was barely working today, but it was perfect for a Mosquito class HLG ;-)

I managed to keep the Dragonette flying when most of the Zagis, and other flying wings that are regulars at that site, were grounded. One of the flyers on hand today is a gentleman that is the president of the local soaring club. His own HLG was a bit too heavy and he had a frown on his face. I let him fly the little Dragonette for about 20 minutes and I saw his smile return when he brought it back to me ;-)

I used a small Nmhd 100 mah pack and today was the first time that I ran it dry. I noticed that control input would make the surfaces travel in a really jerky fashion. I checked the pack with my meter and noticed that it was way at the bottom of the red zone (about 4v). That was the end of the day for the Dragonette.

All of that being said, I got about two hours of good flying while my Schweizer 1-26 2-meter was grounded. I was amazed in that on this type of day, the only thing I could fly before, was my Push-E Cat electric.

I highly recommend the Dragonette Micro HLG for anyone that wants a saiplane that will fly in extremely light lift. Bear in mind that they are a bit delicate, so you have to be careful to avoid really dorking it in. It flies very nicely, and is very relaxing. Since it's a polyhedral wing with elevator-rudder only, it's not going to perform amazing aerobatics, but it just might be the trick for those days when all of your sport planes are grounded.

Happy flying ;-)

Feb 19, 2002, 12:03 AM
high-speed freak
opualuan's Avatar
I'm planning on flying my i-26 this week for the first time... I was also interested in the micro hlg's, including the ww2-type ones... I wonder if a little ballasting to punch throught the wind would help...

I have heard that a guy ar my local field (RSA) hooked his up to a high start and zinged the thing into the stratosphere! maybe worth a shot for the heck of it...
Feb 19, 2002, 04:10 PM
Int'l Slope Observer
webguyjv's Avatar

Hello opualuan

As I recall, you fly over at Rancho San Antonio Park in Cupertino - is that right???

If so, and you don't mind a 20 mile drive, you might consider bringing your DAW Schweizer 1-26 to Cal State Hayward this weekend.

As long as the onshore winds are working (roughly 240 - 280 degrees), you're bound to see at least a few slope pilots up there. A lot of newcomers to that site enjoy the show unwittingly put on by our resident advanced pilots. These two guys spend a lot of their time dynamic soaring with these beautiful Y2Ks and Icons. It's pretty amazing. On sunday, one guy was clocked at 120 mph. Pretty cool stuff ;-)

On a good daym that site is a great place to fly.

I hope to see you up there. My 1-26 has a yellow fuse with white wings. The Dragonette is blue and white. I'm pretty sure it would be the only one on the hill ;-)

Happy flying

Feb 19, 2002, 06:24 PM
high-speed freak
opualuan's Avatar
yes, I fly parkfliers at RSA... that sounds like a good idea... would it be a bad idea for me to try to slope my i-26 as my first run with a sailplane? maybe you could help me trim it out? I've had a lot of sim practice and a fair amount of no-crash stick time with my cannonshot slowflier, that's pretty aerobatic and not all that slow... I somehow doubt I'm gonna get a 15oz saiplane into a thermal handlaunching on pretty level ground at rsa... if I could chuck it off a hill though... when are you gonna be there? my i-26 is bright red with blue and white arrows on the underside of the wings (orientation), and I fly airtronics gear...
Feb 20, 2002, 01:44 AM
Int'l Slope Observer
webguyjv's Avatar

Hello Opualuan ;-)

I sent you a message so we could connect up for this weekend.

As to your question regarding the DAW 1-26, whether we fly at Cal State Hayward, Coyote Hills, or Del Valle, the 1-26 will do just fine.

Based on your description of your flying background, I'm sure you'll have no problem.

That being said, I have a good friend that will likely be joining us this coming weekend that is as good an authority as I know on CG and trim. He's also a pretty good instructor.

It will be great to meet you and see your airplanes. Bring everything you have except for the gas planes. The three sites I mentioned have very inviting regulars, but I don't think they invite gas-powered planes.
Of yeah -- as to your question regarding all-up weight and thermals... as long as we can get some good lift coming up the slope, and there are som ethermals out there, you'll eventually find a few. I've been to these sites on days when all I could find was ridge lift, but even with that, I still found it enjoyable to patiently work the lift.

Happy flying ;-)