Just electrified my Gentle Lady for $8, 1hour flight - RC Groups
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Sep 01, 2005, 10:45 PM
Registered User

Just electrified my Gentle Lady for $8, 1hour flight

Here is some long needed hope for those who want to get an electric glider in the air without spending any real $$$!

I often see people post the question, "Will this (pathetic old motor) work?" The answer usually is no, or maybe, or just barely, or get real and buy a brushless motor.

Yesterday, I decided to give it a try...the results were great!


1...Old ratty Gentle Lady with 100+ mountain thermal soaring hours on her
2...Second hand ($8) 7.2v Speed 400 with el-cheapo 2:1 gearbox, 8x4.5 prop
3...10 year old 1700mah 6 cell nicad car pack (free at garage sale in 1998)
4...20a speed control that came free with a .25 power plane I bought used

Well, I didn't actually think it would work, so I temporarily mounted the motor way out front on a bar of aluminium that I screwed into the nose block. I left the giant old Airtronics receiver in, as well as the two standard servos. The super heavy 6 "C" cell pack fit perfectly in the fuse behind the servos (under the wing)...no venting I know. The plane balanced right on the money.

Time to plough a little dirt!

At 1:00 today, I launched the wheezy little thing in a flat school field near my house. It did climb, especially for the first 20' after I threw it hard! It took 1 minute to reach 100'. At 100' I found a whispy little thermal, so I reduced the throttle to about 1/3. I managed to stay with the thermal until it expanded a little at 200'. Lift was enough to sustain flight so I cut all power and spent the next 25 minutes working the same ultra light thermal to 2000'. When my neck began to get sore, I left the thermal and flew way out in 3 different directions until I was down to 200 feet again. Scratched around desperately for 10 minutes until I was down to 30 feet when my friend showed up...so I said I would land. I was setting up for a landing and the air in the field went dead calm....the GL bobbled around between 20 and 30 feet for 1 more minute! Came in low and made two passes with the motor on, then landed. Flight time 50 minutes. Motor run time 2 minutes.

For me, I live to thermal, so I loved the fact that with this set up, you HAVE to find a low level thermal and work it well. In this way, it is similar to mountain flying...where you must climb in the first thermal you find.

Of course, with a better system, you will have thousands of feet of climb available. Boring! The fun in flying a glider is trying your best to work lift. If the day has no thermals....best to go home and build planes! If there are any thermals around however, you should be able to find them with 200 feet altitude and a little idle left to help you cruise around.

Lift today was very light, 4/10, wind less than 5mph.

Plane weighs 38 oz now....motor is developing around 11oz of thrust.

I've waited a long time for an electric glider...I love it!

You'd laugh if I showed you a picture of it.

(of course now I want a nice $$$ one )
Last edited by flystoolow; Sep 02, 2005 at 09:02 AM.
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Sep 01, 2005, 10:56 PM
Ascended Master
Sparky Paul's Avatar
You -earned- every inch of that altitude and flight time! Much more satisfying than plunking down a few hundred buckerinos and essentially buying it!
Sep 02, 2005, 06:41 AM
JimNM's Avatar
Great JOB! I like to hear about people who overcome the "common knowledge" - and find a way to make non-standard things work.

I have as much fun flying UP to altitude as I do back down - and now you're hooked.

Sep 02, 2005, 10:10 AM
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rdwoebke's Avatar

Hey, I have a setup like that too!

My e-Paragon.

I cut out parts for a second fuselage when I built it. The Astro 035 direct drive and 8 cell 1100 pack will get me about 150 feet or so in a minute. From there, its my job to work the lift.

Sep 03, 2005, 11:42 AM
Registered User

I Like It!

I'd like a close-up of that prop!
Sep 03, 2005, 01:32 PM
sloping addict
Protocooler's Avatar
Maybe you should go to DLG for you next plane: better height than your 100' climb (once you have the technique), in 4 seconds, and no motor at all - you are the climbing power
It seems that is the kind of flight that you'd really like, and they are purpose made for that. You can probably get a used DLG for not much $$ fully equipped, otherwise it just needs 2 or 4 cheap 6g servos + a micro receiver and 350 mAh Nimh 4 cells pack.
Sep 05, 2005, 06:45 PM
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rdwoebke's Avatar
Originally Posted by flystoolow
I'd like a close-up of that prop!
I'm just using the Graupner 7x3 folder. It is a grey prop/spinner.

On the picture of the Paragon, it has an 8x4 APC prop, but that was before I got the folder. The APC was louder and ran the motor hotter.

Sep 05, 2005, 07:42 PM
I don't want to "Switch Now"
pmackenzie's Avatar
Originally Posted by flystoolow

I often see people post the question, "Will this (pathetic old motor) work?" The answer usually is no, or maybe, or just barely, or get real and buy a brushless motor.
I tried to explain this in this thread here
Here is my post:
I am sure that the thread starter was happy with what he ended up with, but he could have been just as happy as you are with yours had he kept it simple.
Pat MacKenzie

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