Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Free Flight Discus Glider Update

Short update on my progress with the free flight discus launched glider Maxima 30, I am indeed making progress.  The first several flying sessions it would consist of making several flights and then having to repair the glider afterwards.  Last weekend I was able to fly from a somewhat larger field but as the breeze came up I found out the field wasn’t large enough for my DT duration and the glider ended up in the top of a tree at the edge of a field.  Someone that was at the field knew a guy that did tree trimming and I had called him to get it down, luckily it dislodged from the branch and came down saving me some money.

Yesterday was the first day that I can remember this year that the wind was light for the entire day so I left work an hour early to do some flying. This model airplane sure has been a lesson in how making tiny changes can make a big difference. The grass is getting really long again at this field so there would have been some cushion if the glider crashed after launch or because of bad trim but it never did. I fact the landings were always very gentle. 

The trim of the glider seems to change between flying sessions, I am not sure if that is common or if I do not have it dialed in yet, maybe a combination of both. Transition at the top of the launch is getting better but the glider seems to go through some small oscillations and then the glide is good.  More nose weight was added in later flights and the glide improved.  

The DT worked very well yesterday and I see it is possible in low wind conditions to have a glider flying high yet still get it down within the small field most of the time. Now my focus is going to be improving the flight path for better duration.

Unwinding With Free Flight Discus Glider  - about my struggles at the start Bill Kuhl

Short video of stalling glide and DT


  1. So what is the metric here? As long a flight as possible while staying out of the trees? So the engine pulls it up to a predetermined height and then you dump the spoilers?

  2. Free flight competition goes for a Max time, often 2 minutes. The dethermalizer will be set to bring the plane down after that if it is still in the air. This airplane has no motor, it is launched by grabbing a wingtip and spinning around and releasing. The very best get 140 feet of altitude this way. To make max time the glider will have to fly in thermal air currents.