Tuesday, June 10, 2014

UMX Radian Initial Impressions

Not to be left out of the fun, I purchased the UMX Radian radio control glider from my local hobby shop Everything Hobby. This is a smaller version of the popular 2-meter Radian glider, the wingspan of the UMX is just under 29 inches with a weight of 1 ½ ounces. For the last couple of years I have been flying the Radian Pro 2-meter glider which adds ailerons and flaps. I have also been flying the ASK-21 glider which is similar size but does not have electric propulsion.

At this point I have only flown the UMX Radian for one flying session and this was only thermal flying, no slope flying.  The airplane was very easy to setup and bind to my Spektrum DX9 transmitter. It uses a single cell 150 mah lipo battery which I use in three different airplanes so I have several. USB charger is included but I have an AC charger that charges two batteries at once. Like the ASK-21 gliders the UMX Radian has the built-in gyro technology known as AS3X. In reading forum comments some people thought it was great and other people were wishing there was an easy way to turn it off.  The positive opinions were that the smaller glider would fly in windy conditions better with AS3X but some people wondered if the glider would indicate thermal lift with it on as well as with it off.

It is amazing how well this glider climbs on a single cell battery. Obviously with such a small size the glider gets hard to see fairly quickly.  I did have it climbing in thermal lift but flying the Gentle Lady 2-meter glider the same day I could rise in thermals much easier with the larger glider. From reading the comments on forums it seems there is a differing in opinions as to how well it thermal soars with some people thought it was great and others not very positive. The wing is rather thin so it does penetrate wind better than one might think for a glider so small.

The main reasons I think people are purchasing the UMX Radian are:
Price only $90 ready to fly without transmitter
The ability to fly from smaller flying sites both thermal and slope 
It is so small that it is easy to leave it in a vehicle and be able to fly almost anywhere

As I get more experience with this glider I plan to write another report.

6/10/2014 Update

I flew again late afternoon in somewhat gusty conditions from 4:45 to 5:20 p.m. Several times the UMX was climbing in lift but I did not let the glider get real high as it was getting downwind rather far. It helped to get rather high and try to find the thermals. Trying to circle up from a thermal at 50 feet probably would not work too well which isn't easy with any glider. I find myself more relaxed flying a glider that costs less than $100.

Bill Kuhl

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