From the start, and I started flying it over snow, the glide was fine; the issue was getting a smooth transition from launch to glide. Normally with this type of glider if you are right handed you launch with the glider banked to the right and the glider transitions to a left circle at the top of the launch. This glider refused to do that, often it quickly turned around and dove towards me after launch. I kept trimming off the tiny amount of left rudder but any amount of left rudder would cause the plane to spiral in.
Seeking out the advice of people with more experience I tried their ideas and some of my own. First I put in washout in the tips, good idea but did not seem to help much. I thought maybe the vertical fin was too large so broke off part of that, I think that was needed. If you launch it with a very slight left bank it would transition to left circle now. Flying it over some wet ground helped to cushion the crashes but the front of the nose finally broke off from being wet. I taped a dime to the nose and tried launching again and it improved the launch a little more. Now getting more desperate for a solution I broke off some of the rear of the stabilizer, that helped a little more.
Back home I rebuilt the nose shorter and added a hook for catapult. Fiberglass cloth was used to cover the nose and the catapult hook. After some hand launching it now seemed that the glider would transition from a straight ahead launch to a left circle. Next I started catapult launching and I was having pretty good results but still it would not take a launch to the right. On one flight the glider was circling nicely in a thermal and headed right over where another model had landed on top of a truck trailer; luckily the glider DT’ed just before reaching the truck trailer. When working with trying to get my airplanes trimmed I lose all track of time, finally around 2 pm I took a break for lunch. Just before that I glued a small amount of rudder back on the vertical fin.
|Shorter Nose with Hook|
After lunch I flew an electric RC glider and found good lift, at least a couple of times it climbed until it was a speck in the sky. With the glue dry on the free flight glider I tried it again, now it was launching more like it should. On a good launch it hooked a thermal, around and around it circled. It was slowly drifting over an area with blacktop roads. The circling glider started to pick up speed and then the glider was circling in a spiral towards the ground. I was sure hoping the DT would trip, but it hit the hard surface before that. Pieces were flying but the damage was easy to repair.
Working with this glider has been a little frustrating but also very fun. It makes me realize that what appears to be a very simple design might be brilliant in that the proportions of the model are closer to optimum. I feel it has forced me to practice more aerodynamic theory than if I had built a model with a string of contest wins.