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Jun 13, 2017, 03:48 PM
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Paul Naton's Avatar
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Historic DS Record Video From Way Back In 2000

I just did a re-edit of my historic 173mph DS record flight way back in 2000 for a special presentation that current record holder (500+) Spencer Lisenby is giving in Germany. This vintage video is unique as it was shot on the hill's backside, so the sound is incredible. Most spectators had never seen DS, my camera guy just about pooped his pants as I flew overhead at 150 knots plus.

Flown at Kiona Butte, WA. plane I flew was the Speedrunner, one of the first r/c gliders designed for specifically for high -speed Dynamic Soaring record attempts. Speedrunner was designed by Charlie Richardson and myself in 1999.

The first runs I did were faster than the later circles when the radar gun was active. Conditions were going downhill as the wind was shifting more west. The sound the glider makes is incredible and most of the spectators had never seen DS before, they were scared! Starring Dave Reese of Lift Ticket fame and you can hear Dieter Mahlein calling radar speeds.

Did I hit 200 in the early passes? Perhaps . . .

Did a 172 frontside radar run later that day at Eagle Butte. Fun day for sure.

Paul Naton
Radio Carbon Art Productions
R/C Soaring Training Videos

Historic Dynamic Soaring Speed Record Flight - June 2000 (2 min 47 sec)
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Jun 13, 2017, 07:09 PM
Remember... Fly for fun!
Awesome Paul! Thanks for posting. really shows how far we have come. Would have been awesome to have been involved back then
Jun 13, 2017, 09:19 PM
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How far we have come, the sacrifice of +$100k of gliders to hit 500+! I was inspired by John Roe's first grainy videos at Parker of JW spanking flexi TD ships to death.

This day was the first time I was able to dip the Speedrunner into the DS conditions it was designed for, I was learning the glider at speeds over 150 and discovered the limitations of analog servos driven by 4 cell NiCds! The elevator was getting weird at the higher speeds and as the pack drained down under the loads, it was getting harder to get smooth pitch response. When I landed, the pack was way down, it had only minutes left.

I had an Airtronics 100oz torque BB nylon gear for elevator and Volz Wing Maxx metals for ailerons/flaps. This plane had tiny ailerons at the tips. If I had added the 2lbs of ballast, she would have been happier, this was basically a test flight!
Jun 13, 2017, 09:31 PM
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This was also the first time anyone had DS'd Kiona Butte, this is a north wind slermal site about 15 miles north of Eagle Butte. There was a front passing through and the winds were S/SE which were wrong for all the local sites. Kiona has this huge north facing slope, but there is only a 30 foot slope on the backside with miles of flat facing S. When the crew arrived at Kiona, the wind socks on the northside were all still showing north winds, so we all had a hunch that there was a big DS separation layer happening.

Winds were 20 gusting much higher, and I was able to launch out and gain just enough altitude on the nonexistent slope to turn and drop in to the virgin DS grove. The Speedrunner lit up right away, and the rest is history.

The front was blowing through so the wind slowly was clocking back around west, and by the time Dieter got the Prospeed up and running, the conditions were getting unstable and the groove unpredictable. I only landed because I felt the elevator getting progressively mushy and the nose cone was working it's way off the fuselage.
Last edited by Paul Naton; Jun 14, 2017 at 07:29 AM.
Jun 13, 2017, 09:33 PM
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After I landed, Dave Reese tried a few laps with his Rodent, but the wind was now too west, and he ended up getting tossed out the rotor backside and did a long walk of shame down Kiona's long grassy slope.

We all then packed up and had an epic session at Eagle Butte once the post frontal wind shifted hard west at 25 kts.
Jun 14, 2017, 04:54 AM
Auzzie built planks
timbuck's Avatar
So so soooooo cool Paul. My plenty of those laps where 200 , some of the high laps wouldn't have been at the gun at all , even the last few where high where very fast.

Still amazing that we can go so quick with a toy plane with no motor.

Thanks for posting.


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Jun 14, 2017, 08:31 AM
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Paul, thanks for sharing that video. I've heard of Kiona ridge working for DS but have never gotten it to work for me. So was that video taken at the traditional Kiona flying site? Thanks for posting the wind direction too.

Great flying for sure

Jun 14, 2017, 12:14 PM
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Screamin' Eagle's Avatar
Very cool video Paul. What was the span on the Speedrunner? Any more construction details, like airfoil, AUW, etc.?
Jun 14, 2017, 01:05 PM
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1000MPH's Avatar
Really cool. Thanks for posting.

Hard to believe we now do that speed quite easily with EPP combat wings and even mini JW's.
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Jun 14, 2017, 01:43 PM
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I found an old article I wrote back in 1999 about the World Speed Trials which has some of the development details of the Speed Runner. May publish the rest of the article later.

The 1999 US Speed Trials.....A Pilots Story (Excerpt)
By Paul Naton © 1999

After months of discussion and theoretics, secret projects and bragging, the real men of the world's slope and speed junkies migrated to the Tri-cities area in eastern Washington with weapons in hand to try their luck at setting the fastest speed of the decade. We were all at the 1999 World Speed Trials put on by Wil Byers and the Mid Columbia Soarers.

All pilots expected to fly famous Eagle Butte with its monster slope and thermal lift only to find this year's La Nina had disrupted the typical Northwest weather, delaying the usual thermal-low “Columbia Gorge Vacuum Cleaner" for another 20 days deeper into summer.

So here we you sat at Kiona Butte, (no slouch of a hill in its own right) with the temperature in the 80’s and just a light thermal breeze sucking up the north facing hill. I looked down at my way-to-heavy and yet unflown slope plane and wonder if it can thermal. I had expected to launch out at a 24 oz. wing loading in 25 kts of breeze and in 10 minutes be high enough for a winning 200 mph run. It would have been so easy. What everyone expected was not to be, what we got was an event more challenging than any typical heavy air slope race.

My Glider -The Speed Runner

I had just spent the last week in San Diego, California working at the Charlie Richardson (CR Aircraft) “Skunk” works where we worked on building an ultimate speed machine for Eagle Butte frontside conditions. Charlie and I had been discussing designs for this event for about 6 months. The design task was straight forward, design a glider to be able to dive straight down for over 2000 vertical feet and be able to fly through the timing gates at the max FAI wing loading of about 24 oz sq.ft.

While we knew we could design a real fast frontside glider, (we were both slope racing champions) we were also thinking about the new technique of Dynamic Soaring and what type of plane might work to crack the then theoretical barrier of 200 miles per hour. Some of our bar napkin sketches were pretty radical, we even came up with a large high aspect flying wing idea that we could build easily. We need maximum stiffness, max wing loading, and smooth handling at very high velocities. We also had limited time to build and test this new glider, we built the airframe out in just one week before the event.

Ultimately, we decided on a more conservative approach, a plane while not radical in design, met the design criteria for the event and a project we could complete in the limited time frame we had. Charlie is a master of design (designer of the Renegade, Contender, Turbo, and other slope classics) and fabrication and gets most of the credit for getting the Speed Runner parts together and built. I did all of the rough finishing, helped with fabrication, did the radio installations, and the final tuning.

Since we had limited time, we couldn't complete the custom one-off needle fuse we wanted, so we had a double layup S-Glass/Kevlar Raider F3B fuse laid-up by contractor DCU. We beefed up the wing rod area with an epoxy/glass slurry and mounted carbon wing locator pins to prevent pinching on landing. The boom was further stiffened with carbon arrow shafts and spray-in expander foam. The wing rod joiner is a 2 foot section of 9/16” solid cro-moly.

Since a rudder was not needed and we wanted to eliminate any flutter points, we cut off the stock glass vertical fin and fabricated a new blade out of hard balsa and glassed it over. The flapped elevator was a single piece of really light but hard solid balsa shaped to an 8020 type foil and glassed with 2 oz. cloth and carbon tow. While not high tech and a bit heavy, it was fast to build and was extremely stiff in torsion and flex as compared to a bagged foam core stab. The elevator was bolted to the fuse with large stainless steel bolts. (The plane needed to break down for travel.) An Airtronics 94161 Pro servo was connected to a heavy duty Dubro pushrod to drive the elevator flap, the pushrod housing was glassed in most of the way along the fuse to prevent any flex. A Hitec FM Supreme receiver and 6v 800mah NiCd pack finished out the fuse install.

The wing design was the big challenge. Long wings and high aspect ratios are fast, but they flex and twist at higher speeds and are expensive to build right. Charlie and I did some calculations and we came upon a 95” span (production wings came out at 97") as a good compromise with a 9.75” cord and 4.75” tip. That would put us at about 9lbs. at a 24 oz max wing loading with a nice 12:1 aspect ratio. The trade off with this design was a little max overall weight but we knew that the shorter thinner wing would be stiffer and faster at high velocities, and superior for any future DS type flying.

For the foil sections, we really liked the proven SD 6062-3 series foils which we knew to be one of the best straight line speed airfoils. We didn't have to turn pylon tight or launch on a winch, so it was all about max speed and zero lift. We tweeked the stock shapes on the foil program to minimize camber and thickness. We removed most of the camber, the final shape was almost symmetrical and as thin as we dared structurally, somewhere around 8% thick. That was the exact thickness of the Volz Wing Maxx servos that we were going to use.

We made some templates and cut a pair of sweet Spyder foam cores. The spar system started with a monster tapered carbon tube spar running almost full span with 1/4” Bass wood planks epoxied front and back along the CF tube wrapped with Kevlar thread. Master Wing Maker Fred Sage bagged the wings for us with double carbon and glass with plenty of gussets and glass on the bias. Wings came out like solid planks of metal, about 23 oz. a panel.

One cool design point about the wings are the ailerons, or lack there of. To avoid any chance of flutter, we made them very small (12” length) and mounted them way out on the tips. Ailerons were faced and tubed with CF rod for extra stiffness and were driven by the super thin Volz Wing Maxx servos which barely fit in the skinney wing section. At the speeds this glider was going to fly at, we figured even the small surfaces would give plenty of smooth banking. **Of course these ailerons we just about useless for landing speed control so a year later I cut in some small landing flaps which really helped both roll and glide path control.

The minimum all-up weight came out at 106 oz. with about 850 squares of wing area. She looked fast and clean, a bit on the heavy side, but REALLY stiff. Lead bar ballast could be added to get her up to the FAI wing loading limit. The plane was named “Speed Runner”, (obvious Blade Runner reference) then packed into my European Camper, then driven almost a 1000 miles north-north east. I finished the final installations in my dingy hotel room the day before the World Speed Trials contest. How would it fly????
Last edited by Paul Naton; Jun 14, 2017 at 06:00 PM.
Jun 14, 2017, 02:10 PM
the occasional flyer
rothlisburger's Avatar
Originally Posted by ALEX HEWSON
Awesome Paul! Thanks for posting. really shows how far we have come. Would have been awesome to have been involved back then
How far e've come indeed. Now, instead of the camera dude yelling "Holy Crikey!" the camera dude says "...Yeah, I talked to him the other day, and ... (inaudible) ... for his dog. Heh heh. Yeah, I know..."


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