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Aug 07, 2018, 06:34 PM
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Taxus812's Avatar
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Noob question - How high is a typical flight.


New to gliders (many many years with planes, quads heli etc) . I am building an ART Hobby Orion 2.5m

Im reading posts keeping myself busy until its done.

What altitudes are you guys typically flying at?
I hear terms like specked out (I assume the plane is a speck in the sky), A bunch of competition terms with duration etc. There isn't much talk on typical altitude.

I really don't like the idea of being so high I loose the plane but I of course want to have long flights.

Thanks for any help setting expectations.

Terry
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Aug 07, 2018, 07:17 PM
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If you catch a strong thermal, the model may go as high as you let it, i.e. higher than you can see. For me, a big model gets hard to see someplace above 2,000 feet. This is based partly on comparing the visual size of the knob on the end of a 72mHz tx antenna to the visual size of the model. For reference, I think my vision is a little better than 20-20. More typically, I'd spend most of the time at a lower altitude, but it depends on the day. Someone in our club had a Wing Dragon he used to take pictures with. I think the span was about 4 feet, and it had a relatively wide chord. I was able to see it when the telemetry said 3,000 feet, but it took a LONG time to find it in a blank sky.

I tend to get a little uncomfortable if I can't make out the stab, though I'm capable of flying the model while seeing only the wing.

Obviously, smaller models will be flown at lower altitudes. You can have a lot of fun with a DLG under 200 or 400 feet.

Basically, what I'm saying is that, on a good day, altitude is limited by how well you can see the model. I'm assuming a radio that's up to the task. If you're using a DX5e, or you have a lousy antenna installation, it might be another story. If you're not sure, it might help to have an eye exam. Also, I found that glasses were much better than soft contacts, though I could see 20-20 with the latter. Dark colors on the bottom of the model help too.
Aug 07, 2018, 07:18 PM
Sagitta Fanboy
No such thing as a typical altitude.

One day I might be scratching around at 200-300', the next I'm diving out of boomers from 1200'

My field has a 1200' ceiling (we're in class B airspace and fly with a NOTAM activated) so I don't go above that, but I fly anywhere between 50' and 1200' (below 50 I'll usually just land and re-launch).
Aug 07, 2018, 07:18 PM
Registered User
P.S. If you're going to fly high, make sure you're at least 5 miles from an airport.
Aug 07, 2018, 07:44 PM
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hog2soar's Avatar
I use to think it was fun to fly as high as I could get it. After loosing site of a couple different 3m sailplanes (but able to recover them) I now only fly as high until I can no longer see the tail feathers. Then bring it down or back a little.


If you like really flying high, add some prism tape or reflective tape to the LE. Then if you loose site put it in a turn and you will usually get a flash reflection from the sun.
Aug 07, 2018, 07:48 PM
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Taxus812's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lincoln
P.S. If you're going to fly high, make sure you're at least 5 miles from an airport.
I am 6.5 miles south of Bradly International Airport BDL (Just found the measure distance on google).

This is the club I fly at if interested.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/30...!4d-72.7083939


I am also using a Spektrum DX6 possibly my DX9
Aug 07, 2018, 07:52 PM
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Taxus812's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hog2soar
I use to think it was fun to fly as high as I could get it. After loosing site of a couple different 3m sailplanes (but able to recover them) I now only fly as high until I can no longer see the tail feathers. Then bring it down or back a little.


If you like really flying high, add some prism tape or reflective tape to the LE. Then if you loose site put it in a turn and you will usually get a flash reflection from the sun.
That is such an AWESOME idea. I was paranoid of losing it.

Is this what you mean ?


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E988ONI...&pd_rd_w=JL9vY
https://www.amazon.com/Hula-Hoop-Was...rds=prism+tape
Aug 07, 2018, 08:13 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
A trick I use and which a lot of others agree with from the times I've seen it posted is to never let the model get higher than where you can still see the wing and stabilizer as two separate surfaces. If the model is so small that you can't see two separate parts when it's anywhere close to a cone which is roughly 45 out from directly overhead then you're at risk of losing it visually at any moment.

Even flying so high that you can barely see the wing and stab as separate is not something to do right away. There's skills and judgement and some degree of trust in you and the model that needs to be in place before you fly out towards the limit of your vision and view of the model.

The sparkle or prism tape can help but only for making it easier to see your model as a model and not a dot.

In other words we're exaggerating when we say we "spec'ed out" since no one should be flying so far away or high that the model is literally just a dot worth of image.

The sense of perspective of our models is a key element in the "feedback loop" for flying the model. We use our thumbs to control the signal that goes to the model. The model uses that signal to control the servos which mimic our movements on the Tx sticks. And our eyes visually close the loop by providing the brain with images that we evaluate to determine what to do with our thumbs to further fly the model.

Now to SOME extent you can learn to trust the trim of the model to take care of itself to some degree. But until you learn that level of trust with the model closer in you should not be allowing it to go out too far where your vision to see what is happening is compromised. Later on with a keen sense of trust in what your inputs will do you can fly out further.

So what to do in the meantime? Leave the thermal when you're pretty well at your comfort limit. No need to push it to the breaking point. Bring the model back from downwind and the thermal and once past your position on the ground start looking for another thermal.
Latest blog entry: Garden Gliders
Aug 07, 2018, 08:44 PM
What's wrong with heavy?
dephela's Avatar
Once you have thermal nailed go onto the search for the next one, more fun than always skying out.
Aug 07, 2018, 08:49 PM
An Original!
Gliderguy's Avatar
Do keep in mind that you can have the plane in relatively good visibility and then suddenly get into very strong lift that will take it to spec height in literally a blink of an eye. Been there, done that but there can be ways out of that situation (maybe) with some kind of de-thermalizer- spoilers, brakes, flaps, etc. Best to not get over exuberant with reaching for the sky.
Aug 07, 2018, 09:07 PM
Registered User
hog2soar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxus812
That is such an AWESOME idea. I was paranoid of losing it.

Is this what you mean ?


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E988ONI...&pd_rd_w=JL9vY
https://www.amazon.com/Hula-Hoop-Was...rds=prism+tape
Yes, that's it. You don't need much, maybe 6" to 10" on the LE of each wing. They're like headlights.

Another thing to keep in mind, depending on the color of the sky. Even if your at an altitude that you can see the plane. If you get distracted or turn your head to look at something then look back it can magically disappear. Don't ask me how I know.
Aug 07, 2018, 09:20 PM
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GliderJim's Avatar
I use a short hi-start. A little over 200' total length before stretching it out. Launches me to maybe 250'. I spend very little time over 1000'. I think the highest I've recorded with an altimeter is 1,500. I may have exceeded that once or twice. I know guys who are a lot more comfortable than me at high altitudes. I like to be able to see the thing. lol
Aug 07, 2018, 09:54 PM
Registered User
Gratter's Avatar
I fly am Orion. At 1000 feet I start to get uncomfortable. 1200 is about it for me. Usually if you are that high finding thermals is not a problem and even gets boring.
Aug 07, 2018, 10:18 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
That prism tape might help to spot where it is. But if we lost our focus the model may no longer be pointed in the direction we thought. So flying out and away until all we can see is the glinting tape in the distance isn't a good idea either.

That being said I'd love to use some for "those times" where I screw up and go past where I should have come back down or closer in. But don't use it as an excuse to go farther.
Latest blog entry: Garden Gliders
Aug 07, 2018, 11:21 PM
Registered User
I have seen new comers get so wrapped up in maintaining a circle, that they can not transition into leaving lift and going some where else. I think of it as "rapture of the heights".

The advice you have already seen above has been very good. What I am trying to add is this: it is as important to be able to leave lift, as it is to find it and work it. And some times harder.

Yours, Greg


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