Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Small Gliders - Small Slopes

UMX ASK21 and UMX Radian

With the ever shrinking possibilities for electronics it has made it possible to purchase radio control airplanes off the shelf at local hobby shops that were not available a few years ago. Many of these planes power the radio control equipment and possibly the electric motor powering the airplane from a single lithium polymer cell battery 3.7 volts 160 mah. Based on the standard of this battery I have several airplanes and several batteries that I can swap between any of the airplanes. These batteries typically sell for under $10 and you can purchase a charger that will charge two or more batteries at a time. With several batteries charged a good amount of flying can be done without having to recharge a battery.


UMX Radian

4 160 Mah Batteries and Charger

My primary interest in radio control flying is sailplanes and I have two model sailplanes that I purchased off the shelf at local hobby shop Everything Hobby; UMX ASK 21 and UMX Radian that come complete with everything but the transmitter.  I had given a short review of these gliders in previous blog posts; in this post I wanted to convey the fun of flying the small gliders off smaller slopes, this is slope soaring. In slope soaring the wind is deflected up the face of a hill giving vertical component that can lift the glider faster than it is coming down the glide slope. 

It is possible to fly a larger glider from a small slope and probably more efficient; what I find is these small gliders look more in scale with the hill size and take more abuse because of less kinetic energy. With less available lift much of the time on the small slope it requires constant attention to flying as smooth as possible and finding the spots on the hill that provide the greatest lift. There will be times when the glider is flying within a couple feet of the hill and other times when the glider might be 75 feet above the hill. This is very interactive model flying that requires constant attention by the pilot; I find it fun because it is challenging.

Typical Small Slope

Last weekend I flew both the UMX ASK21 and the UMX Radian from the same hill. It appeared to me that the Radian could float on less lift but the ASK21 was more maneuverable with the addition of aileron control. The scale looks of the ASK21 are just so cool to see cruising by on the slope but the ability to use the electric motor on the Radian can often save you from having to walk on a steep hill to retrieve a glider on the ground. Some people have put ballast on these gliders but I have not flown in wind greater than 15 mph unballasted.

Guillow's DHC2 Beaver Uses 160 Mah Battery


I slope soared the UMX Radian off the levee wall fairly successfully but did hit the railing one time breaking the tail. It should have been a minor repair but the "foam safe CA" I used started to eat away the foam. I noticed on the bottle it says for most foams. 

This Wall Was the Slope

Sloping the Wall

This CA Attacked the Foam

One flight was really pretty good lasting several minutes, it is challenging for sure staying in small lift zone and not hitting anything solid.

Bill Kuhl

Be Sure to Check Out My:  Small Slope RC Soaring Webpage

Related Blog Posts

UMX ASK21 Sailplane
Slope Soaring UMX Radian and Mobbing

DHC-2 Beaver RC Conversion

Guillows DHC2 Beaver Flies

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