Tuesday, May 20, 2014

First RC Glider Contest 2014

Last weekend was the first thermal soaring glider contest this year in Rochester Minnesota. Last month it was too windy so we were slope soaring and it was almost too windy for that. Conditions for the contest were gusty with the wind really low and then gusts of 20 mph. Some strong thermal lift was to be found at times. Before the contest started I was flying my free flight discus launch glider and managed to get it stuck in a tree at the edge of the field, it did blow down which I was very happy about.

Wayne Norrie Arranges Monthly Events

Format of the contest was a ladder of flights starting at 3 minutes and going up at 2 minute intervals. Some people were flying Radian electric gliders and some were using hi-start or electric winch. I brought my Shadow 2 meter glider out after repairing from the last crash. I did a faulty repair job, when the plane was launched someone noticed the canopy fell off on launch. I continued to fly but noticed the wing was not straight when the glider landed, the section of fuselage holding the wing that ripped out on the last crash was coming lose again. 

Supra Landing

Turns out there was another guy at the contest flying a Shadow 2-meter but his wing was built from balsa and covered with plastic covering. This plane only used rudder and elevator control while mine is fullhouse. The owner of the Shadow gave me some good suggestions of how to repair my glider with additional fiberglass which I have since done. The real large glider flying was a Supra which flew amazingly well with the longest flight of the contest at over 18 minutes. Dean, the owner of the Supra suggested to me that I put some ballast in my Gentle Lady glider to fly in the wind. This really did help and I was able to ride some thermals to get in my 3 and 5 minute flights but longer flights were elusive for me. At one point the Gentle Lady might have continued to speck height but it was getting far downwind and I did not want to risk not getting back.  I was told that gliders like the Supra can change wing settings and go 100 mph upwind if needed.

Other Shadow with Balsa Wing

It sure was good to get out and do some thermal soaring with other pilots and the large birds that were flying over the field also.  

My Gliders for the Contest

Free Flight DLG Stuck in Tree

Bill Kuhl

Additional Related Posts

Onewinch   Pully Winch system seen in first picture

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