Advice Needed - Looking to buy a Electric 2.6m Glider - RC Groups
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Oct 11, 2017, 11:55 PM
Registered User
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Advice Needed - Looking to buy a Electric 2.6m Glider


Hi all.

I recently purchased a Eflite 2.6M Radian
Flew it twice and the Esc kicked the bucket (Returned for refund) but iv been hooked by the glider bug. (its a nice change from flying FPV Quads)

So my question is...
Criteria Iv got $600 to play with for a glider (ARF or PNP).
1. Under 3m wingspan no less than 2.6m
2. Electric Flight (moving to Dallas in Nov and as far as i can see.. no slopes)
3. Ailerons, Elevator, Rudder, Flaps/Spoiler.

Iv been looking at the FlyFly's they seem popular in Europe and the Flyfly DG-1000 and Grob g-103 look nice and scale.
Iv also been researching the TopModels MARABU 2.75m ARF (reviews seem to rave on about incredible flight times)

FlyFly DG 1000
http://www.flyflyhobby.com/products_...ductId=52.html

FlyFly Grob g-103
http://www.flyflyhobby.com/products_...ductId=59.html

TopModels MARABU 2.75m ARF
http://www.topmodelcz.cz/index.php?&...etail&id=26479

Based on what iv got to spend on a glider and my preferences, what would you recommend?

Thanks in advance and im looking forward to my next project.
Last edited by Blairhalk; Oct 13, 2017 at 09:25 AM.
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Oct 12, 2017, 12:24 PM
Registered User
I've flown a E-Klapperstorch2 from Modellbau Thiele for three years and am very satisfied with it, but with it's 320cm wingspan it's slightly larger than what you asked for. OTOH the wing is in three pieces so it's no big problem to transport it.

It has a smaller sibling, E-Phönix, which is slightly smaller (246cm) than your target wingspan. They share the same fuselage and centrepiece so I would assume the flying characteristics are similar.

In my Klapperstorch I've mounted a Hyperion HP Z3013-14 (110gram, 35mm diameter), Aeronaut Cam 10x8, Exxpert WhiteLine 3S-1500-45C which gives a decent climb rate (10m/s) with reasonable weight (less than 1400g before all my crashes and repairs).

I guess that the Phönix have slightly higher wing loading than the Klapperstorch, but I would expect it to be a real floater like the Klapperstorch is. The Klapperstorch thermals exceptionally well and is very easy to (precision)land, but it doesn't like much wind so allthough I can barlast it with a threaded rod in the centre section I usually chooses an other plane when the wind exceeds 4-6 m/s.

The light wings comes with a cost: they can't take a lot of abuse. And since I'm a bit clumsy I realised I needed a transport-box which have saved me from plane destruction more than once. On the other hand an open-structure-wing is very easy to repair, even after an un-planned visit to a tree-top...

The webpage for Modellbau-Thiele is only in German, but there is no problem asking questions or ordering in English and they've allways answered promptly.

I won't say a Phönix or a Klapperstorch is the answer to everyones prayers, but for the right conditions it's a lot of bang for the buck.

/Stefan

Modellbau-Thiele webpage: http://www.modellbau-thiele.de/

My build log: http://www.svensktmodellflyg.se/foru...entMainTopic=4 (only in Swedish but Google does a half-decent job when translating)
Oct 12, 2017, 12:42 PM
DS will change your life
SpeedsterDEN's Avatar
You will not want the Flyfly gliders or most other small scale gliders.
Get a glider made for soaring

Cheers
Soren
Oct 12, 2017, 12:44 PM
War Eagle!
sneasle's Avatar
Did you return the Radian? If not, put some of the money into 'upgrades' for it!

As to next planes, are you primarily interested in thermal duration, or something else? Aerotow? That will drive the conversation.

The Bird of Time is a great plane that can be made e-powered. If you are interested in building, take a look at some of what SkyBench offers.

E-Flight Mystique

Bird of Time ARF e-power

Multiplex Heron, but it's on the small end at 2.4m

Multiplex Solius, a bit smaller than the Heron
Last edited by sneasle; Oct 12, 2017 at 01:40 PM.
Oct 12, 2017, 01:09 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
As I understand it the wind around Dallas can be fairly spirited a lot of the time. If that is true you'll either need to be selective on when you fly or go with a more "slippery" model that has a wide speed range.

I'd also strongly second the suggestion to avoid scale models for now. If your goal is to actually learn to soar then scale models, particularly smaller scale models such as the Flyfly ones you linked to are not at all the way to go.

On the other hand the Marabu looks like a fine looking option. And it has the aileron wing to help make dealing with the wind and turbulence a lot easier.

Assuming you still have the Radian I'd say fly it on days when the wind is mild and up to a speed where you find getting the model back becomes a challenge. You've got it already so get your money out of it. Learn what it takes to find lift and actually soar with it. In particular the light stuff. Anyone can soar when the whole sky is going up. But it's those days when everyone else is saying it's dead and you manage to prove them wrong that will challenge you the most. And as a result return the greatest feeling of accomplishment.

And that Marabu would do all of this in a far better style. It's not the only one though. Here's the Electric power Sailplanes page from Esprit, a dealer in the US...

http://www.espritmodel.com/f5j-alesl...ailplanes.aspx
Oct 13, 2017, 08:22 AM
Mark LSF # 3792
Bruce is correct the winds here in Dallas can be up a mite at times, almost never calm BTW. So, a gas bag floater gets little air time in our area. Also, it is relatively flat...we do occasionally fly slope off a local sanitation site, AKA "the dump". However, that site is not ideal and some times not available when the operation is closed. That being said thermal flying is our main form of glider flying.

If you are wanting to learn to thermal the scale ships you posted are not the best teachers. Either of the Radians, the 2 meter or the XL, are ideal ships to learn on. Both are a good value and with a few mods can perform well. Easy to repair too! Many of the guys in our club have the 2 meter Radian and like them even though they also fly competition TD ships. Also, the little Radian can handle higher breezes by adding a ballast rod in the carry through tube. I was in Kansas last weekend for an Aero Tow and one of the guys was flying an XL quite easily and the winds were 15-20 mph at times.

When you get situated here in Dallas check out our club, the "Soaring League of North Texas". Our web site is: http://www.slnt.org/

We are a small group, but many of us are avid fliers. Also, we will be more than happy to help you however we can and supply advise.

Mark
Oct 13, 2017, 11:28 AM
Registered User
Hi guys, thanks so much for the responses. There has been some great value so far and is helping narrow my choices down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SBS_Pilot
I've flown a E-Klapperstorch2 from Modellbau Thiele for three years and am very satisfied with it, but with it's 320cm wingspan it's slightly larger than what you asked for. OTOH the wing is in three pieces so it's no big problem to transport it.

Modellbau-Thiele webpage: http://www.modellbau-thiele.de/
Hi SBS_Pilot
Im not to much of a fan of the V tail but ill look into the E-Klapperstorch, 320cm isnt too bad if the wings can come a part well and manageable in my SUV.
Nice build by the way!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedsterDEN
You will not want the Flyfly gliders or most other small scale gliders.
Get a glider made for soaring

Cheers
Soren
Hi SpeedsterDEN
hahaha yes, iv also done a bit more research and i think ill stay way from them for now. A few people have stated that the quality control isnt the best :/

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneasle
Did you return the Radian? If not, put some of the money into 'upgrades' for it!

As to next planes, are you primarily interested in thermal duration, or something else? Aerotow? That will drive the conversation.

The Bird of Time is a great plane that can be made e-powered. If you are interested in building, take a look at some of what SkyBench offers.
Hi Sneasle, yes i returned it and got my money back.
Thermal duration is something im looking to try, but id also like to mix it up with aerobatic soaring.
Iv actually looked into the Bird of Time and TopModels Albatros, the wing design kind of throws me off.. I know this might sound stupid, but personally it looks very outdated.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews
As I understand it the wind around Dallas can be fairly spirited a lot of the time. If that is true you'll either need to be selective on when you fly or go with a more "slippery" model that has a wide speed range.

On the other hand the Marabu looks like a fine looking option. And it has the aileron wing to help make dealing with the wind and turbulence a lot easier.

And that Marabu would do all of this in a far better style. It's not the only one though. Here's the Electric power Sailplanes page from Esprit, a dealer in the US...

http://www.espritmodel.com/f5j-alesl...ailplanes.aspx
Hi BMatthews,
Yes the wind is very spirited, i actually kiteboard and we normally love anything over 20mph and Lake Ray Hubbard is a great spot for that.
Im not entirely sure what you mean as Slippery, would that like a flat wing style as apposed a polyhedral wing - just getting into gliders, not to clued up on the lingo :P

Yes the Marabu definitely looks good and on paper it seems promising too and fits within my budget aswel.
What would you personally recommend from the Esprit line up?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Soarmark
Bruce is correct the winds here in Dallas can be up a mite at times, almost never calm BTW. So, a gas bag floater gets little air time in our area. Also, it is relatively flat...we do occasionally fly slope off a local sanitation site, AKA "the dump". However, that site is not ideal and some times not available when the operation is closed. That being said thermal flying is our main form of glider flying.

If you are wanting to learn to thermal the scale ships you posted are not the best teachers. Either of the Radians, the 2 meter or the XL, are ideal ships to learn on. Both are a good value and with a few mods can perform well. Easy to repair too! Many of the guys in our club have the 2 meter Radian and like them even though they also fly competition TD ships. Also, the little Radian can handle higher breezes by adding a ballast rod in the carry through tube. I was in Kansas last weekend for an Aero Tow and one of the guys was flying an XL quite easily and the winds were 15-20 mph at times.

When you get situated here in Dallas check out our club, the "Soaring League of North Texas". Our web site is: http://www.slnt.org/

We are a small group, but many of us are avid fliers. Also, we will be more than happy to help you however we can and supply advise.

Mark
Hi Mark, I'll definitely touch base with you guys once we moved and settles, we will be in the Katy Trail region, iv flown out at White Rock Lake where the "slope" is where all the cyclist park- Scout street i think it is.
Where do most enthusiasts go fly regularly is the "Dump" the place to be lol.

I liked the Radian don't get me wrong and it was fun to fly, but i see myself outgrowing it really fast coming from flying racing drones, I really would like something with ailerons to do rolls and banked turns.



Iv also been browsing through the for Classifieds section, iv been considering maybe buying a used glider to get the BEST bang for my bucks(i do really want to build my own glider, but im a sucker for a good deal). Is there anything i should keep an eye out for when buying a used glider -ie, common areas of wear and tear or questions i should ask?

Thanks again for your advice/in put

Regards,

Blair
Oct 13, 2017, 01:13 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Blair, "slippery" as I used it really isn't a proper glider term. I likely should not have used it. It would have been better to tell you to consider models that penetrate better.

What I meant is a model with a clean airframe and airfoil intended to be able to fly faster when needed with minimal or no ballasting. So thinner and smoother construction of the wing and airfoils with a lower camber value than slower more floaty flying models. And in blustery conditions a good pilot could make use of a model with ailerons to better effect than one with polyhedral and RE+ controls. (Rudder, Elevator + some glide path flaps or spoilers)

What this gives you is more speed in a fast cruise trim than you'd get for the same altitude expenditure than what you'd get from a model with a poorly shaped wing. Namely the Radian.

Now before I'm hung, drawn and quartered by the Radian Rangers let me say that it's a lovely model. But the realities of foam construction as used to make this kit are simply not going to give us a model which will go fast with minimal expenditure of precious altitude the same way a better and more "slippery" model will do.

As for anything specific you'll have to run searches on the various models they handle. I've only ever flown my own designs or older "classic" models. And the "local" sailplane group that still flies and attends contests where I'd get to see some of these models fly is not so local any longer. So my thermal flying the last bunch of years has just been me at the local power flying club with my electric powered stuff. The years that I did fly in contests was fun but doesn't seem like it's going to come back for me any time soon.

Quote:
....I liked the Radian don't get me wrong and it was fun to fly, but i see myself outgrowing it really fast coming from flying racing drones, I really would like something with ailerons to do rolls and banked turns.
Well, there's soaring where you go fishing for lift and there's aerobatic flying. It seems like you're not really sure which part it is that you like but so far you're keen on the sport stunting side of the issue. Perhaps it's not so much soaring that you should be aiming at as it is something like a "glider shaped hotliner"?

For a lot of us the goal is to seek out and work lift and get as long a time as we can with minimal use of the motor. Or the energy we got from a winch or hi start. It's very much like going fishing in a way. And I think most of us can tell you stories about days where the lift was sparse but we still managed to get over a half hour flight from some minimal amount of motor run time. Flights where we said nasty things to ourselves for each small needless bobble of the sticks that cost us a precious couple of feet (... come on guys, I can't be the ONLY one!) The times of wringing precious inches of altitude from a patch of air that would hardly hold up a dandelion seed. Or the stormy blustery days when you find a patch of wave lift sitting stable in the strong wind that is produced by some distant hill, line of trees or buildings well upwind. But which keeps shifting around as the wind changes and which keeps the model up but never by all that much.....

It's learning to soar in these and other conditions in all their various conditions that keeps us sharply keen on soaring.

Just flying even a full house glider isn't that hard. It's quite easy in fact. It's learning to soar in conditions that most consider to be abysmal that really keeps a lot of us coming back for more.

So proper glider or more of a shift to a hotliner? Both are great fun but each is a totally different style of flying. Which sounds like something you want? Or perhaps one of each?
Oct 13, 2017, 01:18 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
Blair,

I live only about two blocks west of Lake Ray Hubbard. Used to race sailboats on it weekly and fly stunt kites in the park off the south end of Dalrock Road. The park is now closed to be developed with hotels and restaurants! The air coming off the lake was smooth and great for kiting in that park, close to four miles of open water south of it!

Keep in mind that the hollow core winged models are strong in the air, but fracture like an egg when they hit a hard object. Plus, they require special skills to repair when damaged. Balsa and foam models are much easier to repair when damaged and crashes do happen no matter how good one is.

One of the things I look for when buying a second hand model is "does the radio installation look neat and clean"? If so then one might be able to assume that the assembler did a similar job where you can't see. Also, if I know the seller and/or the assembler...even better. Many good deals can be found on the second hand market. A good Thermal Duration ship from a few years ago can make a good first aileron thermal ship for not much funds.

Aileron ships provide a higher degree of control in turbulent conditions, which we have quite often here. However, they have a steeper learning curve and require more attention when flying.

Looking forward to having you join us.

Mark
Oct 13, 2017, 01:23 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Quote:
Aileron ships provide a higher degree of control in turbulent conditions, which we have quite often here. However, they have a steeper learning curve and require more attention when flying.
That's a good point. By rights they are still easy to fly compared to many power models. But to really fly them well in nasty conditions does mean getting to know the model and how to react with it. And in that way it is a steeper and higher learning curve than something like the Radian. The transition off the Radian would not be difficult. But to get to where you really master the aileron model for soaring takes a lot more stick time.
Nov 01, 2017, 10:21 AM
AMA 179-CD
The Topmodel Avia 2.5 meter would be the perfect sailplane at your price point. I bought two from Esprit Models and have been flying ALES with good results for several years in all conditions including a howling rainstorm. Easy to fly full-house airplane. Comes almost ready to fly for about $250, add motor, electronics. Ed

In response to the remark that "a lot of Topmodel ARF's tend to be tail heavy," I've not found that to be the case with the Avia and larger Gracia, assembled as received in the box, both of which balance perfectly. In particular, both of the Avias I'm flying balance with a 3-cell 1600 lipo located about 3 inches back in the fuselage from a MVVS 2.5/1120 motor weighing 109 grams. Turning a CF 12-6 prop the Avia VTOs straight up OOS. I'd expect one of the new AXi Cyclone motors in the same weight range would perform in a similar manner. Ed
Last edited by CloudCruiser; Nov 04, 2017 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Updated info
Nov 01, 2017, 12:11 PM
Registered User
craigrrr's Avatar
I own one ARF sailplane, a Topmodel Prelude REF. It is also available as a Prelude (full house). These are the cross tail versions of the Avia and have a 2.5 meter span.

I really like the Prelude REF; it soars well and also can penetrate the wind.
I bought mine from Alofthobbies.com. They can even sell you an uncovered version that will save you money and they are easy to cover.
I screwed up and lost my Prelude REF; I got it back but the wing was destroyed. I was going to repair the wing but Aloft gave me a great deal on a new wing.

The Prelude, like a lot of Topmodel ARF's, can tend to be tail heavy making people use a huge battery to get the CG correct. So, keep control rods and hardware in the rear of fuselage light. And consider putting motor in FRONT of firewall as I did. And don't be aftaid to move the CG back beyond what is specified. I ended up with a 1300 mah LiPo.

But this Prelude REF is a great stable thermaling plane and fun to fly. The flaps are very effective for extraction from thermals and landing at near zero speed.

Craig
Nov 04, 2017, 11:08 AM
That thing almost hit me
Tahoed's Avatar
Vladimir Models Organic-E 2.6mtr. Quality all round plane...
Last edited by Tahoed; Nov 04, 2017 at 11:15 AM.
Nov 04, 2017, 01:53 PM
AMA 179-CD
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tahoed
Vladimir Models Organic-E 2.6mtr. Quality all round plane...
Yep, it's a great $800 model, available from Kennedy Composites. BTW, the MH-32 airfoil is the same as used on the Topmodel Avia.
Nov 04, 2017, 02:05 PM
That thing almost hit me
Tahoed's Avatar
Discontinued, but you could probably hunt one up (for less than 800) with a want ad in the classifieds. MH-32 is a versatile airfoil found on many planes of this type.


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