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Nov 11, 2020, 08:49 PM
Bad command or file name
Imageek2's Avatar
When we say x-tail we are referring to any tail that is not a V or a T.

As to its advantages I will leave that up to someone more knowledgeable

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Nov 11, 2020, 09:23 PM
I'd rather be Flying
davecee's Avatar
No expert here, but I always thought an X-tail meant that the horizontal stab was mounted part way up on the vertical stab and not on the fuselage. Easier to mount a full flying stab that way I believe.
Nov 12, 2020, 06:04 AM
Registered User
V tails allow for a lighter rear end of the fuselage and protection against ground impact as the surfaces are placed higher relative to the ground.
Disavantages are that when, for example, you give up elevator, only the force component perpendicular to the wing is useful, the horizontal components of the force cancel each other (from both tail surfaces)-> drag that does not have any use.

Also the directional stability is usually smaller with a V tail unless large tail surfaces are employed- > more drag

T tails need a more robust (heavier) vertical surface as it has to support the horizontal tail surface.

If you check F5J models most have a cross tail. Aerodynamics expert Mark Drela is an adept of cross tails.

Some people (me included) also prefer cross or T tails in what concerns clarity of identification on the position of model when far away.

Do not this information exclude V tails, all these issues are minor and V tailed models are cute

Last edited by joao; Nov 12, 2020 at 06:19 AM.
Nov 12, 2020, 10:17 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Thanks everyone for the responses and clarification. I get it, X-Tail is short hand for cross tails and now that I look closer at the F5J planes I see the distinction and benefits. I appreciate all the help as I get further into this very interesting, fun & challenging aspect of the rc flying hobby.
Dec 01, 2020, 10:41 PM
Onward and Upward.
CatManDu's Avatar
In the "old" days, we used to call them "cruciform" tails. FWIW.
Dec 02, 2020, 04:14 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Rather than "X" a better name for those stab in the middle of the fin style would be "+" sign or use the cruciform label then everyone associated with gliders knows what you mean.

Just a note that if you are keen on learning to thermal and fly in thermals which invariably take you way out into the distance more often than not you might want to start with a polyhedral RES or REF model. The self stabilizing nature of these makes flying them when they are barely clear a lot easier. It's not that the full house gliders are hard to fly but to fly them smoothly enough to ride in lighter lift requires a little to a lot more practice. It's easier to learn to enter and exit turns with a poly model with less loss.

Few things other than facing a line of strict pattern judges will test your piloting finess like trying to hook a free ride in marginal lift....
Dec 02, 2020, 01:11 PM
Registered User
SwampFlier's Avatar
As a newbie (less than 2 years on gliders), I would suggest you get an electric glider as your first choice. Reason being that it is difficult at first to recognize and catch thermals, having a motor would help ease the transition and bail out of sticky situations. Balsa or Composite are lighter and float better than foam.
Dec 02, 2020, 02:50 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Thanks guys for the additional advise and feedback. I’m definitely looking into an electric RES/REF glider as a start point in either balsa or composite as suggested. I’m not really high on foam models. Appreciate it.
Dec 02, 2020, 08:50 PM
Registered User
I just got into gliding this year, after many years flying 500-700 series electric helicopters. The first plane I got was a Great Planes Tori and it was a great first electric glider. I got the ARF version so I could select my own components, but the more complete RxR version is good too. It was a very straight forward build. The Tori has ailerons to be a bit more responsive, but it is very tolerant of erroneous inputs and I found it very good at self stabilizing. Given my heli experience I have since picked up a more nimble and acrobatic Great Planes Kunia. I'm sure I'll get other birds in the future...

I suggest looking at the Tori as a first electric glider.
Dec 07, 2020, 11:54 AM
Sec/Treasurer, Houston Hawks
solo6796's Avatar
Great price, and performance in a 2.5 meter electric.
Last edited by solo6796; Dec 07, 2020 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Tower web link.

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