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Old 03-17-2012, 02:38 PM   #11
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Re: Starting Out: Thermal or Slope?

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Merv is right on about flying a thermal glider at the slope.

I also have a Spectra but would only consider flying it at our Science Park site with winds up to 16 kms. Over that windspeed and the turbulence makes flying more of a fight than fun. Conditions are a little better in the Spring or Fall when the leaves are off the trees.

I personally had the most success at our local site with a chevron wing.. I have one with a pusher motor that does OK when the wind is up (photo attached) and another glider-only wing for light winds (11 oz.). These things are very robust, have no tail to break off and being foam you can pound them into the ground with minimal damage, and with flying a "bank-and-yank " they are good to learn on yet capable of some fancy fly'in when you get the hang of things. Alula & Weasels are good too but they are small, fast and difficult to get trimmed out just right ( I still don't have my Weasel dialed in yet).

Most slopers head out with a couple or three planes and decide on what to fly based on the conditions at the site and things can often change while you are there. This is why David drives a big bad-ass van.

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Old 03-17-2012, 04:16 PM   #12
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Re: Starting Out: Thermal or Slope?

Good point about the little wing's. Wings have the worst visibility for orientation. The new Dream-Flights have the molded foam hinges (stiff ) which make trimming worse.I thought about a Windrider Chevron myself, a little bit of building with those. DLG and HLG make great slopers because one can fling them high so even if lift is weak you can still land at your feet. Expensive though and perhaps fragile.

I have used electric gliders on the slope. A Multiplex EasyGlider or Radian would be the top choices that come to mind. You don't need much power because there is usually enough lift to give a bit of a boost.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:26 PM   #13
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Re: Starting Out: Thermal or Slope?

Thanks for all the information its very helpful. Someone mentioned getting the radian over the pro to start. I know this is to make it easier but I'm wondering if it applies. I have some experience with 4 channel with ailerons with a supercub and one other park flyer. Does this make the radian pro a better choice? I'm wondering if I'll get past the learning curve with the radian to quickly where as the pro would keep me interested longer and provide that next step and be more useful for both thermal and slope at least to start.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:37 PM   #14
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Re: Starting Out: Thermal or Slope?

You'll get tired pretty quick of charging batteries, fishing wire, and screwing on the wings of the Radian Pro.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:12 AM   #15
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Re: Starting Out: Thermal or Slope?

Azrie, Prefontain

Buy an alula from You will get the most use out of it if you are flying around the Edmonton area.. I think you are experienced enough.We can start an Edmonton Weaselfest , That would be a sight.
Soaring Free Outside The Box


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Old 03-18-2012, 11:51 AM   #16
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Re: Starting Out: Thermal or Slope?

I have been both sloping and thermaling for 35+ years, and just like real estate is location, location. location...what you want to do is Radian, Radian Radian (NOT the Pro does not thermal nearly as well as the regular version).

My Radian has over 150 hours on it, about half that on the slope. The electric power will help you learn slope too, by allowing you to re-setup for landings, fly in marginal lift conditions and finally, if it's an inland slope ...catch a thermal off the slope; which to me is the ultimate in relaxing fun.

Trust all those recommendations for the Radian; despite me having many high performance gliders, the Radian still gets the most hours every year. It can and will, teach you thermalling, sloping (in mild to moderate wind only) and is STILL a challenge when need be to fly at its limit and squeeze every bit of lift out of marginal thermals.

Don't worry that it's only an RES ship, learning good thermalling technique (and proper slope turns) with just rudder and elevator requires practice ...easy to learn, but difficult to perfect.
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