Monday, August 4, 2014

Tip Launch Glider Slow to Come Down

In the model aviation hobby it seems like some airplanes provide a higher return of enjoyment than others, for this flying season I had built a free flight Tip-Launched-Glider that has provided me with both fun and frustration.  In previous blog posts I describe some of the frustrations I have had learning to launch the glider and get it adjusted for a smooth transition to the glide phase.  This is the first free flight airplane that I have installed a DT (dethermalizer) to bring the airplane down. 

TLG Glider Climbing in Thermal Air Current

Glider is Getting Really High 

The last few days have been perfect for model airplane flying outdoors and I took every advantage of it I could, one day I went flying three times.  Normally most of my TLG flying has been in the evening when the thermal lift is normally not as strong, this past weekend gave me the chance to toss the glider to the afternoon thermals and see what would happen. On the first day I made several throws and got the glide adjusted to be smooth with no stalls. I made another throw and darn if the glider didn’t go right into a thermal air current that was rising fast. Oh man this was cool but it was getting really high, I tried to take video but the glider was much too small to capture. At the end of the soccer field was a small pond and then some houses, one other time a simple rubber powered plane had flown into a yard and a dog had grabbed it.  I didn’t bother trying to recover the inexpensive airplane, this time I really didn’t want to lose my precious glider.

Glider Lands on Other Side of Pond

As I watch my glider get higher and farther away I was muttering, “dethermalize – dethermalize”. Finally it did but it took longer than I thought it would to come down. I was trying to get a good line on it but wasn’t sure if it landed in the pond or went beyond. Searching the weeds at the edge of the pond I disturbed some frogs but no sign of the glider, it wasn’t floating in the water so must be on the other side. As I made my way across a small bridge two dogs came out, the beagle went by my airplane but didn’t touch it.  I called that enough of flying the glider that day content in the memory of an amazing flight.

Beagle Checking Out Glider

Perfect flying weather on the next day, and I needed more high flying adventure. I stopped at a slightly larger field where my friend George was flying his Gentle Lady RC sailplane. He wasn’t having the best luck finding strong thermals from a short hi-start launch. I pointed to a turkey vulture circling upward at the edge of the field and said that guy found some lift.  Going almost to the opposite end of the field I launched my glider, not a great launch. Launch again right into a thermal, it was going up making perfect circles in the sky getting ever higher fast.  Again I am hoping to see the glider dethermalize, on the edge of the field the glider started stalling really bad. Apparently the DT had tripped but the lift was so strong it wasn’t coming down or possibly going up slightly.

Gentle Lady RC Glider

Glider Landed by Road

Trees and Houses at Edge of Field

There was a big group of trees on the edge of the field and some houses, the glider had been in one of those trees before. I got in my car to chase it and heard George yell that the glider had gone down. As good luck would have it I spotted the glider on the other side of the road.  Wow, another close call but it was so darn cool.  I am going to have to set the DT really short or find a much bigger field.

1 comment:

  1. Try making the stab pop up more i.e. increasing the the angle the tailboom pops up. 90 degrees would work better.