Thread Tools
May 30, 2020, 01:49 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Discussion

Soaring Advice Please


Hey guys, just did my 5th ever flight today, all of them ‘soaring’. I’m beginning to realise that there’s a lot more to this malarkey than simply being able to steer the ‘plane around the sky. Today was a classic example.

The wind was about 5-10 gusting 12 mph directly onto the slope. Temperature was 25C (77F). Running along the ridge was OKish with my Easyglider 4 but as soon as the wind dropped, not surprisingly I lost lift.

After about 5 mins of this I powered up to about 300 ft. This was like a whole different world. The EG4 took off like a homesick angel and climbed way up. I’m guessing 700 ft before I chickened out. It was going up so fast I could see it disappearing.!

So, I have two newbie questions.

1. Would this just have been more orographic lift but better because of the presumably higher wind at altitude, or was this more likely to have been thermal activity?

2. After diving out of this very strong lift I couldn’t get it back again. It seemed as though this lift only really began at 300 ft or more. I could only get back into it by powering back up. Was this just lack of skill or is there a type of lift with these characteristics?

Any advice gratefully received!
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
May 30, 2020, 03:06 PM
Registered User
I'm guessing it was a thermal. Sometimes, a thermal breaks free of the ground and you can fall out of the bottom of it. Also, thermals move around and usually drift downwind.

The Old Buzzard's Soaring Book has useful info on finding thermals, but it's hard to find. It's based on a series of articles in Model Builder. There must be other good discussions of this topic.
May 30, 2020, 03:21 PM
Registered User
Slope lift depends on the height of the slope, and tends to vanish relatively fast with the altitude of the model
Thermal lift usually increases with the altitude of the model
Also the wind diminishing can be a sign of a raising bubble of hot air

Looks more like thermal lift from what you describe
Part of the fascination with gliding is the elusive nature of lift !

Regards
Joo
May 30, 2020, 03:33 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Thanks guys! Indeed there is so much to learn. It’s totally fascinating and I’m completely hooked!
May 30, 2020, 04:42 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
If the wind had still been up I'd say that it was the slope lift. But since you're saying that it had died down so much and given the altitude pretty much a slam dunk that it was a hat sucker of a thermal. Trust us, they ain't ALL that easy to see... Often times the most fun can be had from flat land thermals that just BARELY hold the model up provided we fly SOOOOOO smoothly and avoid near stall mushing or accidentally diving even a touch in the turn. Those ones are real armpit soakers if you have to stay in them for 10 minutes to meet a contest flight task ! ! ! Or even if you take your "sport" flying seriously and just want to test yourself to see how long you can stay up in such things.

Sounds like you're also finding out another truth about gliding. The models are mostly just about the easiest sort of model airplanes to fly as a newbie. But the more you learn the more you'll find that actually soaring in all conditions is a lifelong challenge that keeps us coming back over and over again.

For times you are rocketing up like that take care to come back down while you can still make out the wing and stabilizer as separate parts. Once you can only make out the wing you're well on your way to losing the model totally. And even skirting the point where you cannot see the stab any longer is risky when you're only a few dozen flights into the sport.
May 31, 2020, 04:46 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Yes, indeed. I can see now that there’s a world of difference between ‘crude’ basic soaring in ideal conditions and keeping the model up in marginal lift. I was so aware, on this last flight, of my limited ability to exploit the conditions. When at low level I often saw the classic indicators of a thermal, wing tip lifting up, or tail lifting up, but I couldn’t locate the core.

Great tip about the visibility of the model. I was well above the point at which I could make out the stabiliser.

I also gave myself a fright when I spent a few seconds looking down at the telemetry screens. Took me a while to find the model again after that

The subtleties of soaring and thermalling are what’s going to keep me hooked.
May 31, 2020, 07:12 AM
Mark LSF # 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Padpilot
Great tip about the visibility of the model. I was well above the point at which I could make out the stabiliser.

I also gave myself a fright when I spent a few seconds looking down at the telemetry screens. Took me a while to find the model again after that
Be careful looking away when the model is very small. Our eyes evolved to normally focus at 10-15', what we needed to survive. Many a model has been lost forever by the scenario. It may be best to not view the telemetry till the model is much closer.
May 31, 2020, 09:31 AM
DS will change your life
SpeedsterDEN's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soarmark
Be careful looking away when the model is very small. Our eyes evolved to normally focus at 10-15', what we needed to survive. Many a model has been lost forever by the scenario. It may be best to not view the telemetry till the model is much closer.
The trick is to aim the antenna at the glider, and then take a fast look at the transmitter, and look up at the a aiming point again and there is the glider hopefully

Cheers
Soren
May 31, 2020, 09:34 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by lincoln
The Old Buzzard's Soaring Book has useful info on finding thermals, but it's hard to find. It's based on a series of articles in Model Builder. There must be other good discussions of this topic.
I totally agree, the Old Buzzards Soaring Book is an excellent introduction to rc soaring. It is available again (though I'm not sure if it is printed or in electronic form): https://www.digitekbooks.com/compone...ard-book-film0

Another good book is Radio Control Thermal Gliding by Markus Lisken and Ulf Gerber. It's more comprehensive than Old Buzzards... but it lacks the humor of Dave Thornburg. https://www.sarikhobbies.com/product...ermal-gliding/

And there is also Paul Natons instruction videos: https://www.radiocarbonart.com/
May 31, 2020, 10:59 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Thanks guys, I’ll see if I can get both books!
May 31, 2020, 11:33 PM
Brett
bjaffee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SBS_Pilot
I totally agree, the Old Buzzards Soaring Book is an excellent introduction to rc soaring. It is available again (though I'm not sure if it is printed or in electronic form): https://www.digitekbooks.com/compone...ard-book-film0
Kinda weird...apparently they mail you a USB drive with a PDF on it. To be honest, I'd be a little leery of plugging in USB drive from a third party into my PC, even if the organization is on the up and up.
Jun 01, 2020, 04:17 AM
Registered User
As you have a telemetry able RC system, why not try an audible variometer output to indicate the rate of climb and descent ?

That is the only telemetry device i really use on gliders (or any other RC model) and i set it up only to signal a height gain, otherwise it is silent.
I also have a switch to completely shut down the vario audio output as silence is one of the things i love about RC gliders as they let you hear Nature in action

Cheers

Joo
Jun 01, 2020, 07:14 AM
Mark LSF # 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedsterDEN
The trick is to aim the antenna at the glider, and then take a fast look at the transmitter, and look up at the a aiming point again and there is the glider hopefully

Cheers
Soren
It is not a good idea to point the antenna directly at the model, especially when the model is at a distance. If you look at the radiation pattern of a typical mono-pole antenna there is a null zone in that area. Also, some of the new 2.4 Ghz. radios don't have a visible antenna. Even the old 72 mhz. radios had a null zone off the end of the antenna.
Jun 01, 2020, 08:35 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soarmark
It is not a good idea to point the antenna directly at the model, especially when the model is at a distance. If you look at the radiation pattern of a typical mono-pole antenna there is a null zone in that area.
I was thinking the same! My plan is never to look at the telemetry again!
Jun 01, 2020, 08:46 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by joao
As you have a telemetry able RC system, why not try an audible variometer output to indicate the rate of climb and descent ?

That is the only telemetry device i really use on gliders (or any other RC model) and i set it up only to signal a height gain, otherwise it is silent.
I also have a switch to completely shut down the vario audio output as silence is one of the things i love about RC gliders as they let you hear Nature in action

Cheers

Joo
Hi Joao,

Unfortunately I haven't got real telemetry. Just the fly-by info provided by the Spektrum AR620.
Like you, I really enjoy the peace - a variometer would drive me nuts. However, Id quite like one of those mini altimeters that log max height. Does anyone know if these can be powered from the balance plug?


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Graupner GR - 18 testimonials pleas? Nitro2go Multirotor Drone Talk 11 Oct 30, 2016 06:58 AM
Help! Looking for advice for beach soaring. Maduro Slope 23 Jul 27, 2016 08:42 AM
Discussion A plea to the community. Joexer Model Aircraft & Drone Advocacy 1 Dec 23, 2015 08:37 PM
Cool New to Slope Soaring - looking for advice on everything aeajr Slope 61 May 31, 2012 09:56 PM
Discussion A little bit of advice pleas shah269 Scratchbuilt Indoor and Micro Models 4 Nov 04, 2008 12:15 AM