Monday, May 18, 2015

Hiss and Boink RC Sailplane Contest

After almost getting out of the radio control sailplane loop in some recent years I am again making a greater effort to participate including some contest flying. The previous weekend I flew in a F3K contest which is RC discus launch gliders and this past weekend I flew with our local group following a format that is known as “Hiss and Boink” which has a 4 minute maximum flight duration and a landing along a 20 foot rope with a perpendicular rope jutting from one side. Considering the weather conditions it didn’t look favorable for even flying. It had rained earlier that same morning with many wet spots left in the field, the wind was coming up. We have a backup plan for flying slope but everyone wanted to fly a thermal event.

Everyone launched from the same small electric winch, some of us had little experience with using a winch including me.  I should have practiced first but instead was flying my Whipit. On my first contest launch I popped off the winch and was down in 19 seconds, and wasn’t anywhere near the landing tape. Most of us were flying wood 2 meter sailplanes that were not penetrating very well and were hard to control on landing.

Looks Like a Boink

Might be a Hiss

Flaps Down

On another round I got the hang of launching with the winch and my Gentle Lady sailplane came off right into an area of lift. The wind was so strong that my glider barely moved ahead but I kept it either going straight or went sideways to the wind but never did I let the glider head downwind. I had seen someone do this the week before at the discus launch contest. As the 4 minutes was approaching I made a couple of tight circles and the glider came down in a hurry but the landing was nowhere near the rope. On another flight the wind let up just a bit and I was able to get my glider positioned on a straight approach; that is a big part of a good – hiss landing.  With some minor corrections I was able to slide it right along the rope.  Everyone was impressed but I think there was a whole lot of luck in my landing.  

My Lucky Landing

Bill Kuhl

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