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Good cheap ($100 range) DLGs? and Dream Flight Libelle vs Supermini Topsky DLG

#1
Hello. So i am just getting into discus launch gliding and have found two affordable rc DLGs: the Dream Flight Libelle and the Supermini Topsky DLG. The reviews for both of them seem good and I'm curious as to which one would be a better choice to buy. I am mainly looking for the best thermalling characteristics and which one can thermal better. The supermini looks harder to build. I'm also open to recommendations for other 4 channel DLGs in the $100 price range that can thermal well. If anyone has any recommendations then please reply. Thank you. The links for the DLGs I mentioned above are shown below.

http://www.hyperflight.co.uk/products.asp?code=SUPER-MINI-TOPSKY

http://www.hyperflight.co.uk/products.asp?code=LIBELLE
 

PHugger

Church Meal Expert
#2
I can only speak about the Libelle.
Best Thermal Performance is Not what you are going to buy for $100....
The Libelle will be more than $100 all in - you'll need battery, servos, extensions, and weights (I also recommend the wing decals or tape).
The kit is very nice and it assembles without issues.
The Libelle a great slope soarer and flies nicely. it's a great introduction to DLG flying.
if you are expecting 200' launches you will be disappointed
It's not as GREAT and not as CHEAP as you are looking for, but it's a nice start.


Best regards,
PCH
 

FAI-F1D

Free Flight Indoorist
#3
Topsky makes a really nice airplane. You can expect pretty impressive performance. Given that the bare airframe weighs less than 80 g, it is unquestionably going to fly rings around the Libelle. Obviously your $120 or whatever only gets you the airframe. You still need the tiny servos and the like. Which is where I'll recommend going as light as you can on R/C equipment. The little HK 1.9 g servos will work fine and are sufficiently light, though you may need to require the connectors. I believe there's an Orange receiver that fits them as-is, but don't quote me on that. Regardless, the smaller Orange receivers are what you'd want. It'll only need a little 1s Lipo, although some of those units will run on 2s as well. I fly my small DLG on a 150 mah 2s, mainly to get some nose weight way up front.

The Libelle is a nice airplane, but don't expect contest performance. It will handle nicely in wind, and being bigger, is easier to see. That also means it crashes harder, and I can't give a comparison as to the robustness of the two airframes since I've not flown either myself. They are both very reputable products.

If you're looking to really go budget, the HK .9 m mini DLG is supposed to be a pretty good buy. It won't perform quite as well as the Topsky, but it will thermal. Its only real vice is that the area where the boom attaches to the pod is prone to cracking. Just put glass cloth on there when (not if) it does.

A little higher up the price index is the Binary DLG. It's supposed to be a very good product as well, probably comparable to the Topsky.

Obviously this tends to push toward the Topsky. Hey, they make airplanes for competition, and they win. That says a lot right there. My one complaint with the Super Mini is that the control rods are run on the outside of the boom. I've never liked that stuff out in the wind. It just adds drag. I've saved a good deal of weight using lighter pushrods run through the tailboom. If you have spring actuated tail surfaces, you can cut those rods down to .020 piano wire, at which point they weigh a couple grams at most. I think they're also recommending larger servos than I'd use, simply because I'm not asking for that lightning response--I don't fly competition, and I haven't seen where faster servos really improve my flying. A major goal, after all, of soaring, is to use as little control input as possible so as to reduce maneuvering drag which kills altitude.
 
#4
supermini topsky build difficulty

Thank you for your input. I was looking at the build manual for the supermini topsky and noticed that it looks pretty difficult to build. I wouldnt want to buy it and then mes it up while building it. It seems like you have to cut the wings with exactly the right angle so as to give the plane dihedral. I feel like i would mess that up. Is the supermini hard to build and do you have to have special tools to do it.?
 

PHugger

Church Meal Expert
#5
I believe you need to cut pockets in the wing for servos.
Some 'glassing' is also required.
The link you posted also states that these are 'seconds' with some defects (why they are so cheap).

The Libelle does not require these more advanced building skills to complete the kit.
Another compelling feature of the Libelle is the availability of spare parts.


Best regards,
PCH
 

kwak

New member
#6
I am mainly looking for the best thermalling characteristics and which one can thermal better.
Any DLG can thermal. I looked at the link you provided for the Super Mini Topsky and in the flight video the guy launches directly into lift. From the first few seconds showing the ground he may be even flying in slope lift.

I've been away from DLG for a while but I started flying it shortly after it became popular. There are a few things to consider in choosing a DLG. 1) How long does the plane stay up in dead air? 2) What is your flying site like? 3) Are you worried about durability?

1) Dead Air Time - The 43" DLGs I had were on the ground in 45 seconds. One was a 3.5oz plane and the other an 8oz plane. This was back before Drela airfoils. The lightweight one had a terrible sink rate. My 60" planes were 75-90 seconds in dead air. The longer dead air time does two things. Your minimum flight time is longer which is more fun. And you have longer to find a thermal. I don't know anything about the hang time of modern 43" DLGs.

2) Flying Site - Where I fly across the street is a very difficult area for catching thermals. With the neighboring buildings, trees, and bushes thermals don't form all that well. In a site like this dead air time becomes important if you want to do lots of flights. Otherwise you are standing around waiting until you feel a thermal and then launch into it -- maybe once every 10 minutes. On the other hand, if you have a site with good thermal production or light slope lift it doesn't matter what the plane is.

3) Durability - For learning and sport flying there is less worry if the wing is not fragile. Those planes with a blue foam wing covered in extremely thin fiberglass are prone to dimpling if you grab the wing roughly. Your fingers can cause dimples. The plane doesn't really fly any worse. It is just something helpful to know about beforehand.

I think DLG flying is a blast. Launching puts no stress on your body, so you can keep doing it all afternoon if you want.
 

Mid7night

Jetman
Mentor
#7
I can be impartial about both the Supermini Topsky and Libelle, since I haven't flown either! ;)

From what I DO know about their setup and abilities though, I'd go with the Libelle, especially if you're just testing the waters of DLG. It's a good performer, REALLY easy to setup and get flying, and if you don't care for DLG (or if it's too windy) it's an excellent sloper.