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Sep 25, 2017, 01:32 PM
Just here for the pie.
randall_l's Avatar

Getting into DLG


The most complete and up-to-date information will always be available at

If you're beginning DLG, please feel free to ask questions in the Q&A and Discussion thread.

Ideas, suggestions, feedback and discussion should be posted to the Q&A and Discussion thread so this thread can remain clean and without the back-and-forth that often jumbles up threads.


So, you saw someone at a local park/schoolyard/field throwing a glider into the air and asked some questions or saw a video like this and want to try it for yourself. Welcome!

The aim of this thread is to help guide you on your journey.

What is a DLG (Discus Launch Glider)?

A Discus Launch Glider (DLG) is a radio controlled model sailplane launched using a 'discus launch' in which the glider is held by a wingtip and rotated around the flyer by hand before release. -Wikipedia

What you'll need

If you've never flown an R/C aircraft before, you'll need to learn to do that first. Find a way that works for you. For some, that'll be a simulator. For others, that 'll be finding an instructor, either inside the confines of a club or not. Still others, may be jumping straight to flight time. An alternative to diving straight in to DLG is to start with a motor glider, such as the E-flight Radian (thanks rofly) or something similar.

When you think you're ready to try the real thing, you'll need a programmable radio system (if you don't have one already) and a DLG (including servos, receiver and battery).

Choosing a plane

You'll have to make decisions on several sizes, classes and types of DLGs. You're first plane will likely depend on a) how much you want to spend, b) your comfort level with building and c) what you want to get out of DLG.

Most DLGs fall in to one of the following 3 sizes:

Up to 1m: These gliders are easier to transport, lighter and less expensive than most larger gliders.

Between 1m and 1.5m: Most of these gliders are between 1.1m and 1.2m and are a good balance between the smaller and larger DLGs.

1.5m: These are very popular in F3K competitions and as such are the largest segment of the DLG population.

Common classes of DLGs:

These have only rudder and elevator servos/channels. The advantages of a two channel DLG for a beginner are that they are generally more stable and simpler to fly and repair.

These have 3 servos/channels (elevator, left and right ailerons). The reason for independent ailerons is to be able to mix in flap behaviour (flaps help control the speed of the glider by increasing wing drag). Rudderless DLGs are generally easier to fly than Full-house DLGs, but are more difficult to set up. Rudderless DLGs are only different in how they're flown in comparison to Full-House DLGs, they are no less capable (see the competition threads).

These have 4 or more servos/channels (rudder, elevator, left and right ailerons). Full-house DLGs are generally easier to set up, but more difficult to fly than Rudderless DLGs.

Types of DLGs

Off-the-shelf glider
The E-flite Whipit (two channel), Elf (two channel), DreamFlight Libelle (Full-house), or TechOne DLG-1000 (Full-house) will get you in the air quickly and may be the best option for someone who just wants to give DLG a try.

Inexpensive kits
If you've built R/C aircraft kits before, a ViCK (two channel), or for the more advanced builder, Gambler AG (two channel) will this is a good option as you gain familiarity with how DLGs are constructed, which will make repairs easier.

Build your own
If you've already scratch built your own R/C aircraft, building your own glider is likely the most attractive option for you--that's how I started.

Used competition gliders
Going this route will get you a good, pre-loved glider from the start and is often recommended as the best way to go. This ensures that you have a glider that won't be the limiting factor in your skill development at a reasonable price.

New gliders
If you're lucky enough to have a group of DLG flyers near you, have already given it a try and have your sights on a shiny new DLG of your own, this way may be for you. Your new found friends will be able to help you get it built and set up.

Setting up your DLG

Regardless of the size, class and type of DLG you choose, you should read Gerald's (G_T) Initial programming of a DLG thread to learn the different factors affecting DLG setup and also the thread of whichever DLG you chose for specific settings that work well for it.

Additional setup of a DLG

If (like me), you're still left with questions after reading Gerald's (G_T) Initial programming of a DLG thread, I hope you find the answers here.

There's no thread for my DLG. What deflections should I use?
Somewhere here (I'll link the thread when I find it), someone smarter than I figured out that past 15 degrees of deflection, there's more drag than impulse created for a given control surface, so that's what I'd suggest as your maximum throws: 15 degrees.

How much deflection for flaps?
Flaps should be a maximum of 40 degrees down (from the DLG setup - servos and control options thread).

How do I set up the aileron/flaperon servos?
Reto's Flaperon Linkage with maximum mechanical advantage thread is what you're looking for. If you're using OpenTX, create a curve to limit the aileron stick to ~15 degrees down--your flap mix will use the rest of the movement.

More answers to come.

Learning to launch your DLG

The best video I've found so far is the one by Piere Meunier, how to launch your dlg V2. It's helped me to get rid of some bad habits I gained in my recovery from a sprained ankle a couple years ago and helped my daughter to learn the steps.

For a more indepth explanation and additional tips/theory, you should watch Jun C's launch clinic videos Part 1 and Part 2.

Finding lift

The best way to learn to read air is going to be to meet up with other DLG flyers, watch what they do, ask questions and try it yourself. Doctor's have it right: watch one, do one, teach one.

If you're looking for the science behind how lift is generated or would prefer to do things on your own and just want to know where to start, the Learning all about Thermals from Joe Wurts sticky is the best source around. Alternatively, RadioCarbonArt's Secrets of Thermal Soaring is very informative without being as dry as some of their other soaring videos.

Where to go next
Post feedback or suggestions in the discussion thread
Future link to Getting into F3K (Competitive DLG) thread
Getting kids into DLG

The most complete and up-to-date information will always be available at

Happy glider guiding!
Last edited by randall_l; Nov 23, 2017 at 07:45 AM.
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Oct 06, 2017, 11:05 AM
Older I get, the better I was.
graywoulf's Avatar
Thank you Randall for this valuable information.
Oct 13, 2017, 06:22 AM
Flying Low
cbarnes0061's Avatar
Just getting started so thanks for the links.
Oct 29, 2017, 03:19 PM
Registered User

I had my first flights with a DLG yesterday (2-channel), and really enjoyed it.
I kept stalling and losing quite a bit of altitude at the top of the zoom. I imagine lots of newbies are seeing the same thing.
So: How do you know when to nose over out of the initial climb?
Oct 29, 2017, 04:17 PM
Wayne Wimbish
wdwimbish's Avatar
Originally Posted by Texanpilot

So: How do you know when to nose over out of the initial climb?
You want to nose over while your speed is still higher than your normal glide speed. About 1 1/2 times is a good place to start. You can cut it closer after you have been practicing for awhile and get a better feel for it.

As you come out of the pushover with a little excess speed, the plane will continue to rise some as the speed bleeds off. Just remember this and don't mistake this for being in lift. Use this speed instead to head off in the direction where you think the lift is.

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Oct 30, 2017, 08:28 AM
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Oct 30, 2017, 09:43 AM
An Original!
Gliderguy's Avatar
And the more you practice the more you will catch on to the timing of it. It's kinda fun when you get those "Aha!" moments.

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