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Size gliders for soaring ?

Maxx

Active member
#1
Allo !
I want to learn to fly and soar a rc glider , but first I need a small trainer . I was looking to buy the small UMX radian , that little thing looks like it could be a good learning plane from what I saw on YouTube but can a little glider like that take thermals and climb ? Is it a good choice for training with thermal flight ?
Thanks !

Maxx
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#2
Maxx,

First off, welcome to the forum :)

Before you learn Thermal flight, you'll want to learn basic flight. Without the ability to direct the plane to where you want it, and recover from bad attitudes and mistakes, hunting the illusive invisible beast will be overcome with just trying to keep the plane from crashing.

For this goal, the UMX radian is ideal. It's gentle in control, the stabilizer is friendly and if something goes wrong, cut the throttle and she'll glide in a bit slower, giving you more time to respond. If you don't respond quickly enough, it's fairly light, so durable in crashes -- fly over grass if you can, and she'll take a fair amount of abuse.

As for the next step -- hunting thermals . . . she will thermal, and has the wingloading to do it well . . .

. . . but . . .

First off, the stabilizer will hide quite a bit of thermal activity -- you'll see the plane physically pop-up or down as it moves through lift/sink, but the stabilizer will resist lifting wings or lifting/dropping the tail as it bumps through. By the same token, the short wings simply don't search as wide of a swath of air as their larger 1.5-3m brethren, so it's not a great hunter. Great, plane, sure, but in this respect, bigger simply flies better.

So first trainer? She's just fine. Secondary trainer to learn thermal hunting? Once you're this far along, you're probably better off with the full sized Radian . . . or one of many other larger friendly sailplanes.
 

Maxx

Active member
#3
Maxx,

First off, welcome to the forum :)

Before you learn Thermal flight, you'll want to learn basic flight. Without the ability to direct the plane to where you want it, and recover from bad attitudes and mistakes, hunting the illusive invisible beast will be overcome with just trying to keep the plane from crashing.

For this goal, the UMX radian is ideal. It's gentle in control, the stabilizer is friendly and if something goes wrong, cut the throttle and she'll glide in a bit slower, giving you more time to respond. If you don't respond quickly enough, it's fairly light, so durable in crashes -- fly over grass if you can, and she'll take a fair amount of abuse.

As for the next step -- hunting thermals . . . she will thermal, and has the wingloading to do it well . . .

. . . but . . .

First off, the stabilizer will hide quite a bit of thermal activity -- you'll see the plane physically pop-up or down as it moves through lift/sink, but the stabilizer will resist lifting wings or lifting/dropping the tail as it bumps through. By the same token, the short wings simply don't search as wide of a swath of air as their larger 1.5-3m brethren, so it's not a great hunter. Great, plane, sure, but in this respect, bigger simply flies better.

So first trainer? She's just fine. Secondary trainer to learn thermal hunting? Once you're this far along, you're probably better off with the full sized Radian . . . or one of many other larger friendly sailplanes.
Thanks crafty Dan ! Can't wait ...
 

dutchmonkey

Well-known member
#4
so the tiny trainer with a little larger wing right balance and weight will thermal real good. here was my first attempt then i moved to a new fuse with the same wing.
tt.jpg

ttbot.jpg

https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/foam-thermic-50x.19074/#post-208479
the thermic 50x i did is a bit more difficult of a build but i regularly out soar balsa models these are both cheap ways to see if you like to soar my 50x uses about $15 of gear and $3 of building material
 

Maxx

Active member
#5
so the tiny trainer with a little larger wing right balance and weight will thermal real good. here was my first attempt then i moved to a new fuse with the same wing. View attachment 148516
View attachment 148518
https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/foam-thermic-50x.19074/#post-208479
the thermic 50x i did is a bit more difficult of a build but i regularly out soar balsa models these are both cheap ways to see if you like to soar my 50x uses about $15 of gear and $3 of building material
Thank you , nice plane !
 

dutchmonkey

Well-known member
#7
@dutchmonkey, nice plane! What diameter is your carbon tailboom, and do you know how heavy is it? I really like gliders, but I haven't learnt to how to thermal good and proper yet. I can't wait till I do, though!
So the tailboom is a cheap carbon arrow from wallyworld not sure on the weight. Thermaling is one of the best forms of flying not much compare to catching lift for hours. longest so far is 3hr and that was rough. Now smaller glider you have to work harder to find lift but you can also find lift easier lower down and fly in smaller fields. Larger you can follow lift farther but like my foam thermic i can out thermal 3 meter balsa in the mid range so much better. For me i have micros to 3 meter and usually take them all with because conditions change from morning to evening.
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#9
So the tailboom is a cheap carbon arrow from wallyworld not sure on the weight. Thermaling is one of the best forms of flying not much compare to catching lift for hours. longest so far is 3hr and that was rough. Now smaller glider you have to work harder to find lift but you can also find lift easier lower down and fly in smaller fields. Larger you can follow lift farther but like my foam thermic i can out thermal 3 meter balsa in the mid range so much better. For me i have micros to 3 meter and usually take them all with because conditions change from morning to evening.
Thanks for the info, it sounds like you are quite the glider guru! What diameter is the carbon tube? What are some of the larger balsa gliders you have? I scratch built a 4m balsa glider a little while ago (link at the bottom of my post). I designed it myself though, and it's only the third ever balsa plane I've made, so it doesn't have super high performance. With your skill level, you could probably out-thermal it with a FT Simple Soarer! It's main issue is I built it just 3 channel (without ailerons), so it is very slow to respond to input and turn into thermals.
 

dutchmonkey

Well-known member
#10
Thanks for the info, it sounds like you are quite the glider guru! What diameter is the carbon tube? What are some of the larger balsa gliders you have? I scratch built a 4m balsa glider a little while ago (link at the bottom of my post). I designed it myself though, and it's only the third ever balsa plane I've made, so it doesn't have super high performance. With your skill level, you could probably out-thermal it with a FT Simple Soarer! It's main issue is I built it just 3 channel (without ailerons), so it is very slow to respond to input and turn into thermals.
Thank you i think its 8mm. my currrent hanger has 24 gliders ranging from balsa micros sub 300gr, some old school 1 meters, hand full of DLG's, a 18oz electric gentle lady, 3d printed model v and 3dlabgang SZD to my biggest a bird of time. It sounds like you need more rudder or dihedral to give you the control you need. Only 2 of my gliders have ailerons one is a blaster DLG the other is the SZD. Play with the CG on your glider you can get away with a more aft location if you look at my thermic thread you will see how far back I fly that model.
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#11
Thank you i think its 8mm. my currrent hanger has 24 gliders ranging from balsa micros sub 300gr, some old school 1 meters, hand full of DLG's, a 18oz electric gentle lady, 3d printed model v and 3dlabgang SZD to my biggest a bird of time. It sounds like you need more rudder or dihedral to give you the control you need. Only 2 of my gliders have ailerons one is a blaster DLG the other is the SZD. Play with the CG on your glider you can get away with a more aft location if you look at my thermic thread you will see how far back I fly that model.
I agree, I should have built it with more dihedral. I will have a fiddle with the CG and see what happens. Where is the CG typically located on your big balsa gliders?
 

dutchmonkey

Well-known member
#12
I agree, I should have built it with more dihedral. I will have a fiddle with the CG and see what happens. Where is the CG typically located on your big balsa gliders?
Each glider is very different. the best method i have found is to do hand tosses the last 10 feet of the glide with no control input will tell you a lot if it noses in its nose heavy if the tail drops its tail heavy it should touch down in the level range.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#13
Allo !
I want to learn to fly and soar a rc glider , but first I need a small trainer . I was looking to buy the small UMX radian , that little thing looks like it could be a good learning plane from what I saw on YouTube but can a little glider like that take thermals and climb ? Is it a good choice for training with thermal flight ?
Thanks !

Maxx
UMX Radian is a great little powered glider. You can definitely use it for slope soaring and catching thermals, but it's kinda tricky to hunt thermals with, as mentioned previously. One of the guys in our club just got one through our annual club auction, and let me give it a quick glide. It's great for light wind situations, and will definitely get you out flying in the wind. It's fun, and a great trainer, but don't expect it to turn on a dime - it's meant for those sweeping turns where you can just hunt for wind.
 

Piotrsko

Well-known member
#14
Theoretically, you can thermal a loaded 747 since the L/D is better than a Schweitzer 1-23 even with the engines off. Will you? Probably not because at 300 it needs a lot of airspace to circle and probably ridge or standing wave lift. On hot days with the cruise prop, I had to thermal my '50 Piper Pacer to leave some airports.

everything can and will thermal to some extent. Nothing like finding a big fat 500ft up thermal with my slow stick, stopping the motor, and extending the flight for a 1/2 hour. My KFM prefers to thermal inverted (that's annoying) my OV-10 was in, through it, and spit out before I could react.
 
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Maxx

Active member
#15
UMX Radian is a great little powered glider. You can definitely use it for slope soaring and catching thermals, but it's kinda tricky to hunt thermals with, as mentioned previously. One of the guys in our club just got one through our annual club auction, and let me give it a quick glide. It's great for light wind situations, and will definitely get you out flying in the wind. It's fun, and a great trainer, but don't expect it to turn on a dime - it's meant for those sweeping turns where you can just hunt for wind.
Since , I came across a good deal I think is better than that cool little glider . It's a FMS 182 cessna trainer , 1400mm wingspan . It's double the price , but I think a better trainer . With this one I can put floats or skis if I want ... For 215$ canadian . It has position lights and flaps , it's beautiful . I will go to my local club to learn to pilot this one ... LOL !
Thanks man !
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#16
Since , I came across a good deal I think is better than that cool little glider . It's a FMS 182 cessna trainer , 1400mm wingspan . It's double the price , but I think a better trainer . With this one I can put floats or skis if I want ... For 215$ canadian . It has position lights and flaps , it's beautiful . I will go to my local club to learn to pilot this one ... LOL !
Thanks man !
HIGHLY recommend assistance with learning to fly that Cessna trainer. Instructors can point out little things that you might be fussing with, help you trim it out for the first flights, and give you tips and tricks. That Cessna will fly differently than a glider, but when you get the Cessna down to where you're comfortable, transitioning to a glider is a lot easier. :)
 

Piotrsko

Well-known member
#19
The valiant looks faster, I am not qualified to critique the radio they selected, but suspect it is inferior. The SN hobbies is a traditional cessna but you have to get extra stuff. Both are too pricey for me. Both will self destruct if you don't have someone skilled assist the learning process. Hard to say which one repairs easier or flies better from the data they provide.
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#20
I learnt to fly on a Horizon Hobby Super Cub S. It is reasonably priced, has gyro stabilization and auto leveling features that you can turn on and off, and it flies really well! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to buy their first plane. It's awesome!