Care And Feeding of a Sagitta XC. - RC Groups
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Jul 06, 2017, 09:34 PM
ET
eteet's Avatar
Discussion

Care And Feeding of a Sagitta XC.


Hi Guys,

I just bought a built Sagitta XC, I've owned a lot of gliders but nothing quite like this. I'm wondering if there is anything special I need to know to operate the beast? I don't expect to go XC with it but who knows.

Strength?
CG?
Flying weight?
Launching? Looks like it wants to be tapped up the line?
I've read that the speed difference between too slow and too fast (flutter) is pretty small.

Anything else I need to know? Thanks for the help,

Eric
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Jul 07, 2017, 12:53 AM
Registered User
Randy Reynolds's Avatar
The big Sagitta is most at home up high doing two hour thermal flights. It has excellent visibility under those conditions. It does fine for goal and return but it is not a racer and it is easy to over speed it when you're in a vehicle.

CG is 38 percent according to Larry Jolly who knows.

You might try tapping up the line but you have a lot of wing area and it's a load for most winches. As long as it's built well and the root joiners are sound you shouldn't have any structural problems.

If the Sagitta XC is mint and out of the box it should weigh about 8.5 lbs and will launch and handle easily. Once it starts putting on weight it doesn't answer the helm too readily. My original eventually got up over 11 lbs and it started to be a handful.

This is a great historically important sailplane and the finest wooden kit I ever touched. I hope you enjoy yours.
Jul 07, 2017, 02:23 AM
If it flies - I want one!
Petem's Avatar
Randy is on the money with his advice.
I would add a few handling points.
The tail moment is very short, and it's a lot of sailplane for rudder/elevator/spoiler control - expect to work a bit harder in both pitch and roll for smooth flying.
On approach, plan a proper circuit and long finals, and be soft on the rudder - easy to get into overcontrolling in roll. Mine had a solid pitch-down with spoiler and needed all the up-elevator for a well-timed flare if you left them out all the way (no smart transmitters for elevator compensation in them days!).
Get someone strong, experienced and reliable to launch it for you straight and not steep, it will pitch up into the climb automatically and mine needed plenty of tension (particularly as it gained weight through overfeeding and the odd whoopsie/repair).
I flew over 500km total XC with it and made a lot of excellent memories - it is still flying with its new owner and an electric motor up front - though how he got it in there I will never know, mine had barely enough room for a battery and all the lead!
Enjoy, and may your grins be as big as mine,
Pete
Jul 07, 2017, 08:34 AM
ET
eteet's Avatar
Thanks guys, great information. Any ideas about the maximum wind this might handle. I'm thinking 10 mph at the most.

I should get this in a week and it shouldn't take too long to get it in the air. Gonna have to balance it in the backyard, no way it will fit in my shop fully assembled.

Looking forward to some long flights,

Eric
Jul 08, 2017, 01:48 AM
Registered User
Randy Reynolds's Avatar
10 mph will help your launching. Anything around 15 mph it can handle but some of the fun leaves. Once in the air it will be pretty happy even in higher winds which it often sees when really high up.

Really the big Sagitta isn't tender and you shouldn't be afraid to fly it normally. Most trouble will come if you are in a vehicle and get it flying too fast which is easy to do. I had this habit of porpoising it a bit just for orientation when the Sagitta was following the vehicle and that turned out badly. This was one of the reasons for repair weight gain. I still have my original with lots of autographs of memorable LSF flights recorded on the wings from several different pilots.

I also have another that my Dad built that I do fly just for demonstrations. It is built very strong and it is likely around ten pounds. Landing this beast takes planning and a long final. It is so surprising to realize how fast it is going all the while you feel like you have it slowed down.
Jul 20, 2017, 03:42 PM
ET
eteet's Avatar
Hey Guys,

You both mention a "long final". Why is that?

I got the plane last week. It weighs 130 ounces (8.1 lbs) with the servos but no nose weight, battery or receiver. I hope it doesn't need too much lead in the nose but I think it will.

Eric
Last edited by eteet; Jul 20, 2017 at 03:47 PM.
Jul 20, 2017, 06:46 PM
If it flies - I want one!
Petem's Avatar

Long final


With smaller, lighter sailplanes you can arrive on the field from pretty much any angle, stir the sticks as required and drop them nicely near your feet.
Larger, heavier aircraft need a planned circuit to set up a good approach, with the aircraft 'in the groove' on finals so you can plan your touchdown point into wind without working too hard - think landing a bomber or airliner vs a parasail.
The Sagitta will look as if it is just floating around until you get in the circuit, when you realise it is really moving along and quite sensitive to rudder inputs.
And yes, you will probably need all the lead you can cram in, drill in or stuff in the nose area to get the CG right.
She is a lovely aircraft for all that - finish, go fly and put a huge smile on your dial!
I look forward to your flight report.
Cheers,
Pete
Aug 13, 2017, 12:14 PM
ET
eteet's Avatar
Hey Guys,

I got the XC assembled and RTF. A real beauty, wish I could build like this.

38 ounces in the nose including a 10 oz, 5000mAh, 4 cell NiMH battery. Didn't formally weigh it but it's around 10.5 pounds. CG at 120mm, 38%.

Is this pic the flat plate stab I've been hearing about? Is the stab with the airfoil that much better? Anyone know where I can get plans for that?

Anyway, it's ready to go. Just need a calm day and someone strong enough to launch it. And thanks for all the help!

Eric
Last edited by eteet; Aug 13, 2017 at 12:27 PM.
Aug 13, 2017, 12:34 PM
Registered User
gliderguide's Avatar
Yeah. The foil section elevator is better. If you have a look on Outerzone, the plans are available as a free download. That will give you an outline and location of joiners etc. simple enough to build. Can't recall which foil exactly. JTLSF5 had some foam cores for his I think which is another alternative. Plenty guys cutting foam. I'd do the build rather than the foam, but that's your call.

Pics are of mine, with a 2m span for size comparison...

Fly it!!!!
Aug 13, 2017, 02:34 PM
ET
eteet's Avatar
Hi Gliderguy,

Thanks for the info. Those XCs do tend to fill up a room.

Eric
Aug 13, 2017, 06:59 PM
If it flies - I want one!
Petem's Avatar

Looks great!


Eric,
A lovely build, as you say. Interestingly, yours has a lot more room in the front than mine - looks like a fiberglass fuselage, where the original kit was all built up from ply and balsa, and was a very tight fit up front.
On tailplanes - I agree that an airfoil section would handle better, but mine flew its career out with the original with no problems.
Quick pic of mine with strapping launcher, from 'back in the day'.
Cheers, and enjoy,
Pete
Aug 13, 2017, 07:57 PM
ET
eteet's Avatar
Yes, mine has the fiberglass fuse.

Thanks for the picture. Looks a bit brisk for shorts and flip flops. Your launcher must be a hearty soul.

Eric
Aug 13, 2017, 09:09 PM
Registered User
gliderguide's Avatar
The glass fuse should have a longer tail moment I think. And the fin doesn't have the mass balance rudder. This will help out too. Nice plane you have there!!

The fuse on the right is a Bob Sealy XC fuse. The other is a Constellation.
Aug 13, 2017, 09:51 PM
ET
eteet's Avatar
Those are some very large fuselages.
Aug 13, 2017, 10:18 PM
Registered User
gliderguide's Avatar
The Sagitta XC is a big plane!! So is the Connie... this pic isn't mine, but a mate in SC used to own it.


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