Am I really that bad at this?? - RC Groups
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Nov 26, 2006, 11:11 PM
Dan Murphy

Am I really that bad at this??

I've probably got 4-5 hours of launchin' and flyin' and landin' my Swyft, and I'm still looking for that elusive multi-minute flight. Man, am I bad at this or what?

Today I got carried away and was out there for almost 2 hours. We had a frost last night and had a bright sunny morning with forecasted temps at 50+. There was no wind at all when I started, and just the slightest wind (<5 mph) when I ended. A pretty good flying day. But still, I couldn't pull off a nice flight. I caught some lift here and there, but couldn't really get a hold of anything. After about 45 minutes, I decided to put some expo on both channels and that seemed to help a lot. My turns were smoother and I didn't stall nearly as much, so I felt a little better.

My ace-in-the-hole excuse is that it's almost December here in the northeast and the sun is almost at it's lowest, so the lift is sub-par. Works for me.

Bill Parcells has a saying about a football team's record - "You are what you are". Well, given my history so far, I'm dog

I've got a Gambler AG in the winter build queue. That should help, eh?

Thanks for letting me vent my frustrations. The good part is that I'm having a ball. Nobody spends 2 hours chucking a plane in the air without enjoying it. My arm is going to be hurtin'.....

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Nov 26, 2006, 11:22 PM
soholingo's Avatar

You have the right attitude, I have been chucking for about 40-50 hours, and I still haven't had flight over 10 minutes. That said, my first flights were around 45 seconds for the first 10 hours or so, then something clicked and I figured out how to have 1-2 minute flights during almost every launch. I can hand catch my plane 50 percent of the time w/o landing control.

I felt like you did too, and the thing that I started focusing on was control. I wasn't worried about lift, if I found it I couldn't fly it w/o control. So I focused on flying the plane far away and bring it back, flying the field w/o loosing elevation (by only using minor inputs), trimming and weighing the plane so that it flew well for me (lightest isn't always the best). I found that after some time I knew how the plane acted most of the time, and when it did something unexpected... it was most likely in or near a thermal. From there, I would just circle back and go up or NOT sink, either became acceptable to me.

Suffice it to say we have all been there, and your post proves to me that I have gone past "the initial stage". Thanks for the help.

Nov 26, 2006, 11:35 PM
Launch high. Fly low.
it also depends a lot on the flying field, environmental conditions, structures, trees, grass, etc, etc...

please tell us about your flying field and maybe we can help some more.

stalling a lot? it sounds like you're on your elevator too much. keep the expos and try to ease off on the elevator.

stay at it and keep having fun.

Nov 27, 2006, 12:04 AM
Registered User
kitekook's Avatar
how long you be at it?
you made it look real good that other day a poway...
I know you said it was the Vandal.......somehow I think you could do that with a McDonalds tray
Nov 27, 2006, 12:24 AM
Launch high. Fly low.
Thanks, Kitekook! But I think it was the Vandal that made it look good.
Been flying electrics (foamy warbirds and flying wings) and electric sailplanes (from 1 to 3meters) since the end of '03.
My first handlaunch is a Boomer flying wing! Got it last year. Thermals great! Still have it and fly it on a 20foot slope mostly now.
My first real DLG WAS a Supergee/Epona mutt/mongrel. Got it this September. Destroyed it a couple of weeks after! hhhahahahh
Got the Vandal 3 or 4 weeks ago.
thanks again.
Nov 27, 2006, 12:26 AM
Lift is good
Rayven's Avatar
Also double check your CG to Scoubie's recommendation...
Nov 27, 2006, 12:41 AM
screamin' eagle's Avatar
Lots of stalling might mean tail heavy. I second Rayven's comment.

Some days there just isn't lift out there. Pack it in and go home and build.
Nov 27, 2006, 01:20 AM
Registered User
RCDC's Avatar
"tail heavy" plus down trim equals good dlg attitude. Nose heavy plus too much uptrim usually results in ballooning/stalls. Start at Scobie's CG mark and work your way back. BTW it has to be booming to get multi minute flights on the swyft. On the other hand many 60 sec BIG SMILE flights should be possible. You have to REALLY be good at reading the air and willing to range pretty far/fast to get your swyft into good lift. In any case dont be discouraged. At best the Swyft is a better travel toy than a dedicated DLG. Use it to practice glide control and hand catches. In a year you will look at your "quiver" of hand launch toys and know exactly what to fly when.
Nov 27, 2006, 09:46 AM
Registered User

Swyft thoughts

....I'm still looking for that elusive multi-minute flight...
Most probably you haven't found a multi-min thermal yet. Thing about the Swyft at 4.5 oz. it will bobble on lift too weak to take it up. It is true that heavier so called "dedicated" ships will out-range you, but they may fly right through lift that will take your Swyft up.

But still, I couldn't pull off a nice flight. I caught some lift here and there, but couldn't really get a hold of anything.
Many baby thermals, just forming don't make it. You can't hang on to something that disappears.

I decided to put some expo on both channels and that seemed to help a lot.
The Swyft needs EXPO, good that you found that. Also she needs to be flown at the right speed. If you seeing a lot of stalls you could be flying too slow. She's small and small planes LOOK like they are faster.

My arm is going to be hurtin'.....
If it does you may get more height by keeping your arm straight. Good SAL launches usually get the rib-cage, and some shoulder muscle if your back-swing is high enough.
Nov 27, 2006, 10:16 AM
Registered User
Suggest you build the Gambler so you have something else to fly/compare to. I've been flying a Gambler since May and am building a Swyft now. I suspect you'll find the Gambler is more foregiving of errors althought it wants to be flown smoothly for best results too!

One other thought - does your field have a tree line upwind? I found my flying improved greatly when I got away from the rolling vertical sink coming from an upwind tree line at my local ball field.
Nov 27, 2006, 10:25 AM
Fixed Wing Fanatic
Jim Walker's Avatar
Keep an eye on these forums and plan on attending the next DLG contest you can possibly get to! Then go to as many as you can from then on!

I'd been playing around with various DLG's for almost two years and was getting about the same results as you describe. I went to my first DLG meet a couple of months ago and my air reading skills quadrupled after just that one day with people who knew what they were doing. I'd read all the books and watched all the videos I could get my hands on, but it's not the same as competing against experienced flyers.

Since that contest, unless the weather is terrible, like yesterday when it was 50 degrees, 5-10mph wind with high solid overcast all day, I regularly get 2 - 3 minute flights at every outing. I've had MANY 10+ minute flights since the contest. I used to read about these guys who could magically keep a glider up longer than everyone else. They didn't catch boomers all the time, they just don't come down as fast. I can do some of that now.

Timing for the top pilots at the contest I went to gelled all the reading, learning, and personal experience for me. I'm still amazed...
Nov 27, 2006, 11:00 AM
Registered User

You need to get hooked up with the Charles River guys. They will be able to let you know how you are doing.

Nov 27, 2006, 12:42 PM
Dan Murphy
Hey thanks for all the encouragement and help, guys.

As for the CG, it's right on Scobie's recommended CG. A lot of the stalling was cured by adding expo. I have a ton of travel on both surfaces, so the expo helped out with the tiny movements you need to make while flying. The rest of the stalling is simply caused by me not flying the plane. The best analogy I can think of is sailing a boat upwind. There's a fine line between heading too far upwind and "pinching" (basically stalling the sail) and sailing correctly and keeping the boat moving. It's really the same thing, and I just have to fly this plane enough to find the happy medium. Also, the next time I fly, I may play with the CG a bit, squeezing it back a bit by taping something to the tailboom.

I've flown at a couple of different fields, so it's hard to pin it down to the field. One field I've been at is the glider field my club (CRRC) uses, which is a pretty good field. Yesterday, I was at a smaller field that I don't think would have created as much thermal activity - just a guess.

As for the Gambler, it's not going to get built for awhile, and by that time, we'll have a ton of snow on the ground. It'll be ready for spring and I hope to get into a contest or two. I volunteered as a timer for our club handlaunch contest this year, learned a lot and had a good time, especially since I was timing Denny Maize which is a sideshow all by itself. Quick story: After putting his XP-4 into a tree, Denny had to pull out his Apogee, and one time, it just kept circling about 15-20 feet up and wouldn't come down. After about 20-30 seconds of this, Denny proclaimed "This is what you call making chicked salad out of chicken ".

Anyways, thanks for the help, and really, I am having a blast with the Swyft and am looking forward to getting the Gambler up. I'm also looking forward to getting a fancier plane sometime. I really like the simplicity and challenge of this DLG stuff.

Nov 27, 2006, 01:44 PM
Thermal Seeker
FlyDLG's Avatar
I can't seem to catch that sorta break out here on Long Island.. but whenever I go to a contest I pick up something, and it makes the entire trip worthwhile. What sucks is when it's something big during the competition and your approaching the 3 or 4 minute max and then you have to land! I just wanna keep flyin!
This is an addiction; it's all about getting higher and higher, making the feeling last longer and longer

Nov 27, 2006, 03:14 PM
[QUOTE=merlinmurph]I've probably got 4-5 hours of launchin' and flyin' and landin' my Swyft, and I'm still looking for that elusive multi-minute flight. Man, am I bad at this or what?

Keeping trying for the next 30 years and if you haven't cracked the 2 minute mark by then switch to electrics.
Seriously, just keep flying and learning. Hell, you probably were still wobbly after the first 4-5 hours of walking...

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