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Glider for a beginner

#1
Hey Guys,

as the topic already suggests I'm searching a glider for a beginner. Till now I've only flewn multirotors like quad- and tricopters and I now decided I want to try a glider.

Is there something in particular which can be recommended?
So far I looked at the Easyglider Pro, Bixler 2 and Radian Pro.

Something versatile would be great. Some nice glider which can also get some speed for looping and rolls etc.

Any recommendations? Thank you!
 
#2
Well it all depends on what type of gliding you want to do. I have a Radian and I absolutely love it but from the sounds of it, you want something a little bit more exciting. The Radian pro gets mixed reviews but I've never heard a bad thing about the Bixler 2 in regards to its capability.

Flyzone Calypso is another good choice. However even though both are RC and both fly, Planes and Multi's fly quite a bit differently and you will be learning a whole new set of skills. Might be better to start off with something more beginner friendly like the standard Radian (which you can add ailerons to eventually) or build one of the swappables here. Just a thought.
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#3
I hear bad things about the Radian Pro. David W. is very outspoken about his dislike of this one. The Radian, however, is supposed to be a great plane. I wouldn't categorize the Bixler or similar other models as gliders, but they are great first or second airplanes. And you can catch a thermal if you are lucky.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#4
Something versatile would be great. Some nice glider which can also get some speed for looping and rolls etc.

Any recommendations? Thank you!
I've got a Calypso, and it's a fantastic plane -- a good mix between the radian and radian pro. It's full-house control, with a cheap flap Option ($2 for the horns and linkages, and you supply two 5-9g micro servos) all on a light airframe with washouts for stability.

It's docile to handle in the air, and floats really well. I've been able to loop, roll, and fly inverted -- all while gliding. At full throttle it will climb at about 70 degrees till the battery gives up or you let her come down. I have caught a thermal or two (poorly -- I'm still learning), but no slopes nearby to play on. It does have good penetration and can be fun tacking through a strong wind.

The stock/recommended battery (3s 1300mah) will get you 4-6 min of climb which can equate to 25-30 minutes of flight time *In dead air*! The OEM has stated they've flown it successfully up to 2200mah, and I've seen someone flying it with a tiny 300mah(!) -- enough for one climb to get into the good air.

Wing loading is fairly low so there is lift capability for a small payload, and the hatch has a good space for a small/medium FPV rig -- seen one in action that worked great.

All that AND a little paint or tape and it makes GREAT wall art:

P1020095.JPG


It's great, but nothings perfect.

I will warn, the washouts on the wingtips give some stability but don't expect it to self right -- It's so slow to do it, the effect is almost not there. For that, I'd agree with many reviews I've seen -- it's a good glider trainer, but not a good first trainer. If you've learned to self-right the multirotors, you'll be fine.

Also the rudder is a touch anemic with the default throws. Use the OEM's recommendation for maiden, but once you get the feel of it, move in a hole or two on the rudder horn. Ailerons are also slow, but that's a feature of the design not a flaw.

consider carefully using the "any-link" if you get the Txr version -- it's a handy module for close in, but the point of gliders is flying with some range. Haven't heard a horror story yet of the any-link failing for range, but it's not a full-range transmitter module.


I'd also like to mention the models you're picking among are all power gliders. While they climb under power, the ones good at gliding are designed to be flown deadstick. I'm not so extreme to say, that "after climbing once you need to land again before launching", but this isn't a sport plane -- the motor is for climbing to altitude or the "oh crap" bust of thrust. Don't expect a good experience puttering around at a level altitude on low throttle. It won't be happy, you'll hate fighting it's trim, and possibly overheat the motor/ESC/battery.
 
#5
Ok thanks for the help so far. I think I want something in between. Not sure if it's possible. :)

Like some plane which I can fly with motor and make some nice maneuvers but if it was a stressful day I can fly it with no or low motor and just cruise/glide through the air very long.

Is there something like that out there? :)

Sorry if that's a stupid question I have no clue about planes :)
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#7
Xoration,

Stupid questions are the ones you've assumed the answer so you didn't ask -- so this ain't one of 'em.

The ezstar/skysurfers/bixlers/AXN/(there's too many clones of this frame) airframes are pretty much that in-between a sport plane and a power glider.

They're great planes, but a power glider will do pretty much what you're asking, it just does those things by burning altitude instead of battery. And when you've got to take it up 200' just to have the energy to do a half loop to inverted, circle the field, and then roll out, the # of mistakes high is no longer a concern!

The only thing you gain, IMO, going with one of these sport hybrids is ease in flying in a pattern. A power glider can fly in a pattern with other A/C, it just won't do it as well. In the tradeoff, my understanding is they're not as easy to thermal and they sink a touch faster.

I'll make no bones about it, I like my calypso and have no quams pointing others toward it, but it would be hard to say any of the planes mentioned (except *maybe* the radian pro) would be a bad buy. Nothings perfect, so you'll have to choose what you want to tradeoff.

If you're more specific about what you sometimes/always/never want to do with the airframe, we might be able to help you work out what the tradeoffs are.
 

pgerts

Old age member
Mentor
#8
..
So far I looked at the Easyglider Pro, Bixler 2 and Radian Pro.
You are asking for a decent glider i suppose.
I would not regard the Bixler type as good gliders compared to the other.
I have a Radian Pro but i do not like the motor and some other issues, but i like the plane on the slope.
The Easyglider Pro equipped with a nice motor is something i would recommend if you want a "rubber duck" and not a Balsa or Composite plane.
Dont forget 4 servos in the wing and brake programmed ;-)
 

DDSFlyer

Senior Member
#9
I agree with all that crafty dan has said. I have seen the Bixler 1 and Calypso fly (my friend has them) and I have an AXN floater jet. The AXN and Bixler are very similar, the AXN is more of a faster, agile slow flyer (instead of glider) and the Bixler is much more stable in flight. The Calypso is just a nice glider. It can take off from your hand with power and just releasing the underhand launch hold it has so much lift and power to climb. (just don't give it a "Swedish" throw, as I did once for my friend).
From what you say I actually would recommend the Bixler 1 or 2 for your first plane, it really will be a fun lower altitude, pattern flyer AND a relaxing high altitude "glider" as it will stay up in the air for a good 20-30 min if you just want to relax and fly. Either way I'm sure any of these planes will be fun for you.
 
#10
@Craftydan You want me to be more specific, but i think that's exactly my problem. I'm not entirely sure what i want. :)

I think I don't want a total glider. I'd like something in between where I can get to altitude and then glide down, even if its not that great of a glider but still takes a while to go down. But it also has the power to be fun at low altitude to fly some maneuvers and just have fun with it. It does not need to be freaking fast just some decent speed.

The problem is, it's my first plane and I don't want to go too hard in any direction so to say. After I flew it numerous times I think i will know where I want to go next, e.g. a decent glider etc.

So from all the input I've got so far I think the Bixler 2 might be the best choice for me? So HK just needs to restock it! AXN should be quite similar?

Btw, I was looking into the calypso as well cause like Craftydan said it will have the same flexible, you just need higher altitude. But my question is, is the Calypso only available in the .us? Is there any alternative to the Calipso?

Because, as you might have noticed from my english, I'm from europe, and I can't find it here.
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#11
Ok thanks for the help so far. I think I want something in between. Not sure if it's possible. :)

Like some plane which I can fly with motor and make some nice maneuvers but if it was a stressful day I can fly it with no or low motor and just cruise/glide through the air very long.

Is there something like that out there? :)

Sorry if that's a stupid question I have no clue about planes :)
What you describe is a Bixler/Sky Surfer. That airplane will nicely fill that description. I definitely encourage you to buy one of those. I've never gotten tired of flying mine! They have a HUGE operational envelope. They can be gentle and slow and also have surprising speed and agility. One of my favorite things to do with mine is fly it in wind I wouldn't think about putting other planes up in. You can hover those things like a gull over the beach. They are pure FUN!
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#12
Xoration,

no sweat about not knowing what you want yet. Knowing that you don't know is what we need to help (confusing, isn't it?)

The calipso is sold under another name in the eu. Same plane, different name - vinerva, as one of the other forums have mentioned. Can kinda see why it wouldn't sell in the US with that name. Over here, that sounds more like a disease.

As for your choice, it's hard to go wrong with any of them. If you're flying alone, might want to lean toward the sport hybrid, and enjoy. If you're flying with/near other glider pilots, a fair entry glider would be a good way to milk them for their thermaling experience. Otherwise, it's not going to be your last plane (right?), so it should be good, but doesn't have to be perfect.
 
#13
A great plane is the Sky surfer:


With its 2000mm wingspan its a great glider, the pusher motor will not break when you crash the Plane.
You can Fly fast an really slow with the flaps, wich make landing really easy. :)
Theres a littl wheel below the plane, so you can land in grass and on a streat.

I crashed mine cause of the Wifi from the Gopro. (DONT fly with the wifi from the gopro on you will crash!)

But I have considered to buy this plane again :)

Cheers
 
#14
Great. I'm taking a look at the sky surfer right now but it seems very similiar to the bixler 2.
Is the default motor/servo setup from the bixler 2 any good? Or should I buy only the kit and get a different motor and servos?

Any recommendations?

@Craftydan Thanks I found it now in europe. I put it on my list what I've seen on youtube about it it seems really like a nice glider. Maybe I get it as a second plane.
 
#15
The standart bixler/sky surfer Motor is enough to fly around, and you can also climb very good.
But they dont fly vertikal... but you dont need to fly vertikal with these planes :)

The bixler is the smaller one, i think that the bixler is easier to fly, but the skysurfer is the better glider.
And his flaps are really amazing :)
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#16
There are several models of both the Sky Surfer and Bixler on the market. The Sky Surfer V5 and Bixler 2 both have optional flaps. There is also the Sky Surfer Pro, which is slightly larger than the V5.

The Bixler V1.1 is the "base" model. I recommend this one based on your description of the performance you want.

There is also the Super Sky Surfer which is considerably larger. This one would be ok for fpv, but I don't think it would be nearly as fun as the smaller version.
 
#17
There are several models of both the Sky Surfer and Bixler on the market. The Sky Surfer V5 and Bixler 2 both have optional flaps. There is also the Sky Surfer Pro, which is slightly larger than the V5.

The Bixler V1.1 is the "base" model. I recommend this one based on your description of the performance you want.

There is also the Super Sky Surfer which is considerably larger. This one would be ok for fpv, but I don't think it would be nearly as fun as the smaller version.
I don't find the SkySurfer V5 in Europe does it have a different name again? I find chinese reseller tho.

What I wanted to ask why you recommend the Bixler v1.1 from what I heared the bixler 2 is pretty much the same with the corrected mistakes of bixler v1? I read a lot that the wings came off on the bixler 1 and ppl glued the wings to the body.
I really can't do that cause I need to drive to my flying spot and my car ain't big enough. Especially with two nulticopters in it as well. ;-)
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#18
I prefer that the wings pop off in a less than graceful landing. It saves a lot of repairs. There's nothing wrong with the V5, I suppose. Just don't buy the Super Surfer.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#19
Bixler 2 is (I think) made more for pilots with a little experience. Bixler 1 is still best for someone with no experience with planes. With your multi experience, if you decide to go for a Bix, maybe the 2 is more suited to you..?
Everyone is different and we can't say absolutely what is best for anyone but ourselves, we can only suggest based on what we hear from you. In the end, you will just have to bite the bullet and get something you think suits your flying skill, desire and sense of taste (if you care about how a model looks, I think most of us do to a degree). We are more than willing to help point out features and drawbacks, but in the end, it's all up to you! You should just get the one that you think is best for your ability, all of these that have been suggested are pretty much going to fly the same for you and the finer points are going to be lost on you until you have flown for awhile. At that point you'll know more about what you don't know and can make a more informed choice. But for now, just get some airtime! :cool: