Thread Tools
Jan 11, 2022, 08:23 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Discussion

Best bang for buck glider


I know squat about gliders.

I fly 3D and jets but looking to have a play with a powered glider and see what it is like to catch a thermal.

Looking for some recommendations from the glider gurus as to what would be a half-decent powered ARF glider for catching thermals.

Something around the $300 would be good.

A guy at our club has e Eflite Mystique and I like that but they do not seem to be available anymore.
Last edited by Tronn; Jan 11, 2022 at 11:43 PM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jan 11, 2022, 08:25 PM
Registered User
smoothvirus's Avatar
Eflite Radian for sure… seems the only one still in production is the Night Radian though.
Jan 11, 2022, 08:33 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothvirus
Eflite Radian for sure… seems the only one still in production is the Night Radian though.
The Radian seems to come in different wingspans?

Probably a sill question but is one better than the other?

Guessing bigger is better!

Also, prefer to have something with flaps / brakes
Last edited by Tronn; Jan 11, 2022 at 08:42 PM.
Jan 11, 2022, 09:20 PM
Registered User
EdSoars's Avatar
Thermal soaring is going to seem very, well, subtle, after 3D and jets. It is an entirely different skill and way of flying. Size is good, yes, but a 2meter like a Radian can teach you a lot about flying efficiently and managing energy on landing approaches. It's actually better not to rely on flaps or spoilers to learn. Trust me, I've tried everything mechanical to overcome inefficient piloting; you just can't beat practicing in calm conditions, flying landing approaches over and over again.

If you don't like kit builds, the Radian is it. If you enjoy building an accurate kit, one of the 2m F3RES kits will fly better... but take longer to repair!
Jan 11, 2022, 09:29 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdSoars
Thermal soaring is going to seem very, well, subtle, after 3D and jets. It is an entirely different skill and way of flying. Size is good, yes, but a 2meter like a Radian can teach you a lot about flying efficiently and managing energy on landing approaches. It's actually better not to rely on flaps or spoilers to learn. Trust me, I've tried everything mechanical to overcome inefficient piloting; you just can't beat practicing in calm conditions, flying landing approaches over and over again.

If you don't like kit builds, the Radian is it. If you enjoy building an accurate kit, one of the 2m F3RES kits will fly better... but take longer to repair!
Does the Radian have ailerons?
Jan 11, 2022, 11:39 PM
Registered User
The good Radian doesn't have ailerons, and doesn't need them. The big Radian is kind of heavy. I don't know how much worse the Night Radian is, but it has extra junk in bad places. As I recall, the Mystique is heavy. If you need a flying beer cooler, the Multiplex Easy Glider may be suitable. The old ones were just ok, which, at the time, was amazing for a foamie. It seems possible that the newer versions are better.

You may have suitable models available in Australia that I've never heard of. If you're willing to build, there are kit cutters in Australia and New Zealand that may be easier for you to get. Hangar One's Skykark and Takehe LOOK suitable. Not the Sagitta 900 clone, though.
If there are a bunch of RC pilots near you, someone may have a Gentle Lady or an Olympic II gathering dust in their basement. Or they might have the Australian equivalent. Adding a motor is fairly easy if you're used to building and repairing. A good F3-RES kit, as mentioned, would probably be suitable, though IMHO, larger is better. I don't know if the Chrysalis 2 meter is available to you, but I know some people who think it's very good. It's simpler than some F3-RES kits, and easier to see in the air.

You might try CRRCsim, which is free. You can turn on thermals and even have them automatically marked. It's free if you have the right cable, and the crashes are very inexpensive.

It may also he useful to hang around with soaring pilots. Here in the US, I learned a lot when being timed by an expert in contests.

Digitek Books offers the Old Buzzard's Soaring Book, which is very good and discusses thermals.

If you're like me, it may take a long time before you can consistently find thermals, though you'll occasionally stumble on them.. Then again, if your area is dusty and has lots of hat suckers, it might not be so hard. In that case, you'd be well advised to have spoilers or flaps.
Jan 12, 2022, 02:38 AM
Registered User
The only Radian that worth is the first, the "original", that you can only find old new stock today, discontinued for years, before pandemic.
Jan 12, 2022, 03:24 AM
Registered User
Look at Multiplex glider. Great for all kind of flaying.
Jan 12, 2022, 03:45 AM
Registered User
There are a lot of foamies out there. In my opinion the difference between them isn't that huge, so go get whichever brand you get a good deal on. It is far more important THAT you fly than WHAT you fly. If (or rather when) you get bitten you might want to upgrade the fleet, but then you know more what to look for.

The best value for money is most often a used plane. Many have so low value that the owner doesn't bother to put up a "for sale" note, but may well respond to a "want to buy" note. A composite glider from the turn of the century can often be had for as little money as a new foamie. They are considered extremely heavy by todays standards, but the overall flying capabilities is at least as good as any new plane you can get for the same money.

In my opinion the biggest difference between a motorplane and a glider is that the planes are designed to be very easy to fly so that you, as a pilot, can focus more on WHERE to fly than on HOW to fly. Of course it is important to fly energy efficient to conserve energy, but the winning strategy isn't to save energy - it is to find energy (in the form of thermals). A good glider is therefor a compromise between good gliding abilities, good turning abilities, nice stall characteristics, good signalling of changes in the air, etc, etc. No glider is best on all of those abilities (allthough my latest addition to my fleet, Pike Prestige, is a true marvel ) so don't stare blindly on one ability when comparing planes. Besides, the difference between different planes doesn't matter at all unless you intend to compete. For relaxed flying on a sunday afternoon every glider out there is good enough. That is, until a buddy shows up with a different brand...


As for a flight simulator somebody has already mentioned CRRCsim. I'm sure it is good (I havent used it very much) but the graphics is a bit crude. A more polished alternative for the same money (free) is MultiFlight from Multiplex (well, actually it is a commercial simulator they have licensed). The free version is limited to only Multiplex planes, to only one flying site, and to only one type of weather, but in my opinion it's still well worth the time to set up and try out. Be prepared though that thermal soaring doesn't translate well to a computer screen, the plane gets very small very fast when doing a normal launch.
https://multiplex-rc.de/service/down.../software.html

As for books somebody already mentioned Old Buzzard's Soaring Book which is excellent. As a complement I may recommend Radio Control Thermal Gliding by Markus Lisken and Ulf Gerber. Where Old Buzzard explain soaring with humour and intuition Thermal Gliding uses science and diagrams. Old Buzzard is a far easier (and funnier) to read, Thermal Gliding takes the reader a bit farther.
https://www.sarikhobbies.com/product...ermal-gliding/

And, finally, no recommendation can ever be complete without mentioning Paul Naton's excellend soaring videos. For me, they are the bar that all other are measured against. There are a lot of excerpts and promotion videos on his youtube channel so you can get an indication of what the full length videos are about, and the videos can be bought from his homepage.
https://www.youtube.com/user/pnaton
https://www.radiocarbonart.com/
Jan 12, 2022, 10:40 AM
..Patience is Key
Aviator1165's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronn
I know squat about gliders.

I fly 3D and jets but looking to have a play with a powered glider and see what it is like to catch a thermal.

Looking for some recommendations from the glider gurus as to what would be a half-decent powered ARF glider for catching thermals.

Something around the $300 would be good.

A guy at our club has e Eflite Mystique and I like that but they do not seem to be available anymore.
If you are looking for something made of foam Multiplex is the way to go. The Heron and the new Lentus are great thermalers.
Jan 12, 2022, 03:37 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviator1165
If you are looking for something made of foam Multiplex is the way to go. The Heron and the new Lentus are great thermalers.
I like the Lentus.

Of course here in Australia everywhere is out of stock!
Jan 12, 2022, 03:44 PM
Registered User
I think, if someone is learning to catch thermals, they'd do best to have a model with a fairly light wing loading. I'd check the weight, especially on larger foamies. I think a rudder-elevator model takes less brain power to fly and will leave more for figuring out thermals.
Jan 12, 2022, 04:09 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by lincoln
I think, if someone is learning to catch thermals, they'd do best to have a model with a fairly light wing loading. I'd check the weight, especially on larger foamies. I think a rudder-elevator model takes less brain power to fly and will leave more for figuring out thermals.
The lentus is 2.4kg. Is that good or bad for a 3 meter glider?
Jan 12, 2022, 07:05 PM
I just want to go fly!
walter3rd's Avatar
If you like balsa I would look at used balsa kit builds. There are probably lots of nice sailplanes just hanging around collecting dust. I think 2 meters is a great size to start with. My first sailplane was s kit I built myself. 78” riser. Added a motor and spoilers for fun. It’s still s blast to fly. I’m a beginner sailplane pilot and just fly for fun no competitions for me.
Jan 13, 2022, 02:28 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronn
The lentus is 2.4kg. Is that good or bad for a 3 meter glider?
I would say it depends on what kind of thermal flying you want to do.

I have only flew a Lentus for a few minutes so I don't really know the plane. My initial impressions are that Lentus have a rather high wingload. It helps the plane to have a shallow glidepath (it doesn't sink much per distance traveled) but it also requires that the airspeed is kept a bit high. That means that the plane is excellent for high altitude thermal hunting (let's say above 100m) and for a decent sized slope where it really can show off it's fine lines and elegant turns. For me, that mainly flies F5J and search for low level thermals (which tends to be quite narrow), I prefer the ability to do narrow turns without stalling and when the stall comes I prefer it to be very predictable and easy to handle.

So, I think the Lentus is an excellent plane (like all Multiplex planes are), but not for the kind of flying that I do most. If I should recommend a Multiplex plane for a beginner it would be Easy Glider as it is an easy model to learn to fly on, but for an experienced pilot that want to try low level termalling I would say that Heron is the (Multiplex) way to go.


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Question on best bang for buck Jstinson FPV Aircraft 3 Jun 03, 2016 07:49 AM
Newbie Best charging station bang for the buck Wildvortex Batteries and Chargers 9 Mar 25, 2016 06:31 PM
Discussion Best Bang for your Buck Quad Radio Swedishbrick Radios 1 Feb 24, 2016 02:48 AM
Question Best Bang for your Buck Radio (for a newbie) Swedishbrick FPV Equipment 6 Feb 23, 2016 10:20 AM
Question 15" Props - which are the best bang for the buck? guytzoler Multirotor Drone Talk 1 Sep 18, 2015 02:35 AM