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2 meter powered sailplane

#1
Hi everyone, I was wondering if there are any high quality 2 meter powered sailplanes that you guys would recommend. I want something that can thermal well, is light weight, and moderately to highly aerobatic. I would prefer the plane to be a full house 5 channel glider (with throttle, rudder, elevator, ailerons, and flaps). I definitely want something that is good at thermalling and light weight. I currently have a phoenix 2000 which is a 5 channel sailplane, and although it can thermal in strong uplift, it is just to heavy to really catch any thermal that isn't massive. I'm trying to find a plane that is a definite step up from the phoenix 2000 mainly in terms of thermal flying. I also would prefer the price of the plane to be below $200, but that does not matter as much. Its okay if the plane is a little over or under a 2 meter wingspan. I don't care about that as much. If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to post them.
 
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Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
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#2
Depends on how much you want to build on your own, but I picked up a abused Thunder Tiger Ehawk 1500 recently and brought her back to life. Thermals beautifully, launches like a rocket and if you bleed off some altitude she can do pretty much whatever you care aerobatically.

You'll need to provide your own servos, radio and wing covering but there's an Ebay kit for $130-ish with the power system included -- just need to glue the wing together do a little finish sanding and cover her wing and tail -- not really that hard at all.

Standard is 4 channel, or you can add a second aileron servo and do flaperons/spoilerons . . . or a few people have added on flaps/spoilers. when you're building the wing yourself, mods like these aren't that hard to pull off!
 

ZoomNBoom

Senior Member
#3
IF thermaling is your focus, and it needs to be below 2m span, you could look in to some of the modified DLGs, like the blaster 2e. You're not going to find that under $200 PNF though, but try beating a flying weight of 360gr.

Then again, if thermaling is the focus, why go electric at all ? Why not give DLG a try? Not that its much cheaper, but so much more fun. And you dont waste precious battery capacity going up, so you can fly a lot longer if you catch those thermals.
 
#4
DLGs are great. I actually have a dream flight libelle which is super fun to fly. I have caught a few nice thermals with it but not a lot. I don't know if its just me, but it is a lot harder to catch thermals with the DLG. I don't know if its just my glider or my skills but it takes me a long time to find a good thermal with my libelle. When i do find one however, it is very rewarding. It seems easier to find thermals with a powered sailplane because you can keep searching without having to re-launch and gain way more altitude with the motor. I just like the idea of having a nice big powered sailplane that i can take up and find the really big thermals but also do some fun aerobatics on the calm days.
 

ZoomNBoom

Senior Member
#5
I flew the libelle recently; I have to say, I was very impressed with its flight characteristics, at least as long as you fly slow enough, it flies extremely well and glides far better than I had expected. But it doesnt convert kinetic energy to potential energy and vice versa like a "real" DLG and mostly, it doesnt launch anything like a "real" DLG. Im guessing I achieved only around 20 meter with it, if that, partially because I had trouble with the awkward position of the wing pen (too much forward and not at the extreme end), partially because Im by no means the best DLG thrower, but mostly because its no match for 1500mm composite DLGs.

For comparison, I throw my tantalus ~40 meter, and thats because Im still rubbish. If I was any better at it, it would be 50-60 meter. That may not sound like a huge difference with 20m, but it is, because the turbulent moving air that form thermals are not often found below 10-15 meter. Its very rare that I catch them that low. Im by no means an expert, but especially when cheating using a variometer, I catch thermals probably about every second or third throw or so if the weather permits it. I would stand no chance doing that with <20m launch altitude.

And on a calm day, I get around 2 minutes with no thermals. Im guessing that is at least 3x more than one gets from a libelle. And plenty of altitude for aerobatics, also because those DLGs store and convert energy so much better. You wouldnt believe how many loops you can pulll from 50 meter and these things can pull more G's than most acro planes.

Anyway, I guess what Im saying is, libelle is a great plane for slope flying or for learning, but a (unfortunately, far more expensive) composite DLG is really something else. Here, a video to wet your appetite:

 
#6
That is awesome! I know I have to get one of those at some point, but right now I'm not spending 500 dollars on one. I will some day though. They definitely look several steps up from the libelle. But for now, im going to have to learn to catch thermals with the libelle.