Random thoughts on DLG newbies - RC Groups
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Sep 11, 2017, 01:57 PM
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Random thoughts on DLG newbies


Some random thoughts on newbies and my DLG experience.
I have been thinking about the controversy over Mal Bond, newbies, and the DLG learning curve. In the past 10 years I have moved from helis, to powered planes, to gliders.
When I started in helis, a decent 450 size heli would cost you about $1000.00 by the time you were done. The learning curve is considerable which my wife called my $30.00 to $50.00 a week habit. I notice that a drone will cost you about the same amount without the steep learning curve. My point is that the cost of a drone and a high end DLG are about the same.
My first DLG was a HK 950 which I enjoyed thoroughly and trashed repeatedly. I immediately realized that I wanted a 1.5 meter DLG and I bought a HK 1.5 on sale at the about same time that Mal Bond bought one. Unlike Mal, I built mine according to the HK instruction sheet. I sort of figured that they probably knew more than he did. They did, but not by much. It is a terrible DLG in stock form. You can read about my experiences in a blog I did a couple of years ago. Strengthened and converted to pull string it flew much better. All in all, it was not a bad DLG to learn on. Good enough that I bought a second one for even less when they were discontinued.
Last spring, I bought a Stream/NXT from Oleg. There is no comparison. It launches and handles almost effortlessly. I feel like I was launching a piano before. I am not saying that it is better than any other high end DLG because I have no experience with anything other than 1.5 HK to compare it to. What I am saying is that I could not have flown it a couple of years ago. I needed the HK 1.5 to learn on. I did not need a high end DLG to learn on.
Whether one buys a DLG, a drone or a car it has to first be justified to one’s wife. It is hard to justify a high end purchase of something you only think you might like. Mal Bond is right in that there is a definite need for a reasonably inexpensive DLG to start with. Unfortunately, his insistence on the lowest price being the determining factor does a disservice to someone looking to get into the sport. Like my first $80.00 heli that never really did fly well, an absolute bottom of the line DLG is unlikely to encourage someone to go ahead a spend a lot more for one that does. I would hate to see someone go through what I did with the 1.5 HK.
A Whipet or a 1 meter is a great inexpensive way to start. However, the next step up has to be something of decent quality. Armsoar’s Go seems to something along that line but I do not see much else available in that market that would not just be a waste of money. There is no way around it. It is expensive to produce a DLG.
There seems to be an inexhaustible source of people willing to spend a lot of money on a drone. It is not so much a question of the price of a DLG but rather the perception of value.

Tom
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Sep 11, 2017, 02:29 PM
I know the Inside out.....
I started with a very old Hobbyking first generation bashed up DLG that I picked up for about 80 dollars. The owner told me it had changed hands already three times....

Terrible to get flying untill I measured the decalage (!) that was waaaaaaayyyy off. (So really outside the window where your elevator trim could made a difference). After raising the leading edge of the main wing by 0,75 mm it started to perform for me.

I learned to launch it to about 40 meters and learned to read air and catch thermals - ok, I admit, not as much as I wanted, but still: quite regularly.

Hooked on DLG's I picked up my next second hand plane at around 350 usd.

Wow! It got me to the next level and I soon understood that a 'high priced' DLG was in fact a good investment. I then bought a next second hand but top notch DLG at 650 USD.

I sold my Hobbyking DLG for the exact same 80 USD to a guy that wanted to give it a try also.

But with my new DLG: Super wow! I now really felt the difference and soon outperformed all club members that were also getting into DLG's.

Next step: I bought my first brand new DLG: a Stream NXT with 4 x kst servos. A big investment but a perfect fit with where I was in my learning curve.

Quess what? Round about that time I saw my Hobbyking DLG advertised on the forum, at the exact same 80 dollars.... I spoke with the guy who bougth it from me and he said he was done with it and was moving on to the next level.

And in my club? People buying the 100 usd bashed up second hand dlg's to start with and it goes from hand to hand.

Moral of my story: get in contact with the dlg community in your country, visit competition days and try and pick up a second or triple hand dlg that gets you on the learning curve. And be assured: they keep their value for the next beginner that comes along.

Just my 2 cents...
Sep 11, 2017, 02:55 PM
Oleg Golovidov
olgol's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosbrik
Terrible to get flying untill I measured the decalage (!) that was waaaaaaayyyy off. (So really outside the window where your elevator trim could made a difference). After raising the leading edge of the main wing by 0,75 mm it started to perform for me.
I hope that was a typo...
0.75mm?
Assuming the root chord of about 170-180mm, 0.75mm would change the decalage by about 0.25 degree.
You could not feel any difference from that.
If that was not a typo, you must have changed some other things that actually made a difference.
Sep 11, 2017, 03:11 PM
G_T
G_T
Registered User
If people are willing to build, I honestly think planes like the old Taboo GT (no relation; it is Oleg's) are very good for those looking to learn DLG flying with a full sized DLG. No, they don't launch well compared to the current planes. No, they don't cover ground well compared to the current planes. But Kevlar bagged wings repair rather easily. Hot wire construction has much lower startup costs than molded. No CNC machines are required. Pod and boom - more like taco shell and boom - is a cheap easy construction method as it doesn't require bladder molding. The old balsa tails with a taper in the back and 3/4oz glass skins worked well enough for what they were.

They don't need paint. They don't need fancy. They don't need thin wings from super thin foils and high aspect ratio. Lower AR wings don't even need prefacing. And let the purchaser join the wings. So, they ship well.

That would do fine for the beginner and intermediate pilots, and for those looking to have fun flying DLGs without interest in competition.

One could even go simpler and cheaper, and go poly. Poly does not have to be low performance if it has a modern design. Thin wings are not a problem with poly, as there are no servos to install or flaperons to flutter. Launch would not be as high of course, and you actually have to plan your landing approach if you plan to catch it, but trust me when I say they can cover ground, and thermal, just fine. The cheapest radios would run it fine as it is only 2 channel.

But people go for the shiniest toy.

I still suggest for a cheap beginner and fun flying DLG, go poly with bagged wings of current aero design but old school construction. If one doesn't have to prepare flaperons and that sort of thing, I'd expect a fast builder like Phil B. (were he still building) could make wings in about 3.5 hours each or even less. Materials cost would be on the order of about 40$ for the wings probably including consumables, if done in quantity and with care. Even 1oz Kevlar is available now, and cheaper than it used to be. So do centers in 1.7 and tips in 1.0, if you want a little more performance. 1.7 is easier to work with though and cheaper, plus it is more durable. The old carbon rod spars are fine.

If there were real interest I could even consider designing such planes. The PolyHot and PolyMild were intended for poly and at least PolyHot has proven to fly well (you might be surprised how well). I could probably improve the foils a little now, but hardly anybody even bothered to build these so why bother with a V2? I don't think PolyMild has ever been built for instance, and you could count on one hand the number of PolyHots built. So I've seen no reason to waste my time on beginner designs, poly or not. Again, everyone goes for the shiniest toy. People might say they have interest, but from what I've seen, they don't build them.

I put out Synergy - the original one - a few years ago, specifically for an easy enough to build easy to fly design that would be better for beginners and intermediate pilots than all the wonder planes they are actually flying. Some were built and even kitted. No, the performance wasn't quite as high as one could do, but it was pretty close. But it wasn't sensitive to piloting or camber setting. It was mellow, almost boring, but could still really move out if you leaned on the elevator.

So, PolyHot, PolyMild, Synergy - those were the ones more suitable for beginners and fun flying. Those are the ones not being built.

Or even AG45-46-47 or 455-46-47... Heck even the old Sirius low AR wing with a fat HM51 was beginner friendly.

And don't put the stab on the bottom for beginners. Beginners are landing more than catching.

Sorry if I'm ranting a bit.

Gerald
Sep 11, 2017, 04:50 PM
I know the Inside out.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by olgol
I hope that was a typo...
0.75mm?
Assuming the root chord of about 170-180mm, 0.75mm would change the decalage by about 0.25 degree.
You could not feel any difference from that.
If that was not a typo, you must have changed some other things that actually made a difference.


Hmm, you must be right here. I read all the fun stuff around decalage lately and re-thinking it, it must have been much more that I did to get it to fly properly.

I did not have a clue at that time on how to set up a dlg and I must have changed decalage (big time, that I do remember) together with my cg. I recall I was also adding a lot of lead into the nose untill I got it to fly a bit more stable.....

All I can say is that I got it to fly properly. May be more luck than wisdom.
Sep 11, 2017, 05:52 PM
New at this whole life thing
Cfiimei's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by G_T
If there were real interest I could even consider designing such planes. The PolyHot and PolyMild were intended for poly and at least PolyHot has proven to fly well (you might be surprised how well). I could probably improve the foils a little now, but hardly anybody even bothered to build these so why bother with a V2? I don't think PolyMild has ever been built for instance, and you could count on one hand the number of PolyHots built. So I've seen no reason to waste my time on beginner designs, poly or not. Again, everyone goes for the shiniest toy. People might say they have interest, but from what I've seen, they don't build them.

Gerald
I would buy one of these poly birds in a heartbeat. Heck, I have 4 nice DLGs and went and bought an original poly Fling just because I like the way they fly. That thing is no slouch either, but requires a small high start to get any kind of launch altitude. If someone were to produce a performing poly DLG I'd be on it like stink. Meantime I keep watching the classifieds for a piece of DLG history.
Sep 11, 2017, 06:27 PM
Panda Panda Panda Panda Panda
rdwoebke's Avatar
Like Gerald I also think that poly models are ideal for beginners. Unfortunately as Gerald points out people like bling and almost everyone sees polyhedral and thinks that the model must be way less good than a model with ailerons. We saw this with the the Radian Pro. Lots of people thought it had to be better because it had ailerons. But it was nowhere near as good. We probably can't change that preconceived notion a lot of people have.


Ryan
Sep 11, 2017, 06:51 PM
Wayne Wimbish
wdwimbish's Avatar
Note: In Europe the comma is used as the decimal separator in the same way that the decimal point is used in the US. I'm pretty sure he intended to say three/fourths of a mm, however you want to type it.

So, not a typo. Just something to be aware of.

Wayne
Sep 11, 2017, 07:54 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
My first DLG was a used Taboo GT. It was, in my opinion, the best first DLG. It was easy to fly and I did learn a lot about repairing it too. LOL. If someone made a good quality bagged plane, for not a lot of money it would be perfect. Building your own isn't all that easy. You'd have to want it pretty bad.
Sep 11, 2017, 08:14 PM
Registered User
My first DLG was a used Cyberdyne. The boom was too flexible, and it wouldn't launch as high, but I had a lot of fun with it. Then a Sidewinder II. I've never had a really competitive DLG in nice condition, though I have one that USED to be competitive. It's a bit worse for wear, and currently needs repairs, but it flew better than the Sidewinder II and launched much better. Unfortunately, there isn't much DLG competition around here any more.
Sep 11, 2017, 08:18 PM
Registered User
BTW, the SIdewinder II definitely WAS a big step up from the Cyberdyne. And I neglected to mention that the Cyberdyne was rudder-elevator only.
For someone who likes to build, a DLG version of an Apogee would be a lot of fun, and very inexpensive. Assuming you can get some really light wood. You can find Apogee plans on line, and also, in other places, plans for the built up kit version showing dimensions for a DLG tail.
Sep 11, 2017, 08:22 PM
Registered User
I've built a bunch of bagged gliders, and currently have 3 or4 on loan to new flyers. Wings aren't a lot of work, but the fuse is the problem. Using a tapered boom (as on the SG), which are usually available from a Kite shop in Seattle, works fine, but they aren't very stiff.

Pods are the time consuming part. Just never mastered the skills needed to build a decent pod/mold, like Craig Robinson has.

Still lots of fun, and getting folks interested is worth while.

Gary

By the way, the Apogee 40 is a fine flyer, but a 50 flies even better. Still, a pod has to be fabricated.
Sep 11, 2017, 08:34 PM
Jesper Frickmann
jfrickmann's Avatar
I also started with a Sidewinder - that was a good plane at the time. But today, I think that a TopSky or a Long Shot are good choices for a first DLG, to learn both radio installation and setup, as well as the flying part.

Oleg some of the best instructions for his models, and it is worthwhile studying these, even if it does not all apply to your particular model, e.g. http://olgol.com/TabooGT/build1.html

Jesper
Sep 11, 2017, 09:11 PM
Registered User
The Sidewinder and the Sidewinder II were very different, as I recall. At least in the stiffness of the tail boom.
Sep 11, 2017, 09:15 PM
G_T
G_T
Registered User
If one is willing to make pods that weigh a bit more than bladder molded parts would, then one can start working on a mold for a pod and in a couple weeks, be holding the finished fuselage. Been there, done that. Actually flew such a pod, with a slip on nosecone, for years. It was that bagged Edge with the red diagonal stripe on the Kevlar wings that I flew for years until it was too beat up to fly acceptably any more. I miss that plane... Mine was the Kevlar pod, and Phil's was carbon.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...-fuselage-pods

People often think CNC, when sometimes sandpaper will get the job done.

Gerald


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