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All things hang gliding. This is the main forum. New users, introduce yourself.

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User avatar
By red
#404299
Campers,

Anybody who has been here a while will know that I recommend RC gliders, or RC motor-gliders, for anybody who is stuck to the ground at the moment, for whatever reason. You can learn to fly RC on a desktop PC with "RC simulators." These PC simulators can be free like FMS (and worth it):

https://modelsimulator.com/

or fairly fancy, and maybe a bit pricey:

https://topratedanything.com/reviews-of ... imulators/

So, you can get started for almost no money. The Simulators can prove to you that you want a trainer-class RC plane to start, and not a hot jet fighter . . . [reset] . . . [reset] :lol:

Any RC builder can make decent-sized foam trainers from toy-store "chuck" gliders that cost around US$5~10. You can spend around US$100~200 on a complete foam electric motor-glider, and all you add is the battery and radio. You can go far cheaper there, but that approach may not be realistic. Local RC clubs there can help with your choices.

You can get hundreds of free plans to build foam RC planes of every description as .PDF files on the Internet, from lazy trainers to screaming swing-wing Tomcats. They mostly use foamboard or fan-fold construction foam, so the material prices are cheap. These designs are typically braced with Carbon Fiber spars and planks from the local hobby shop.

As mentioned elsewhere lately, RC is not like it used to be. You can buy your radio gear with 6~8 channels, and even a vario capability. You can add FPV (First Person Viewpoint) to fly the plane with virtual-reality goggles, as seen from the cockpit of the RC. You can fly every plane you have with the same radio controller, and just buy a cheap receiver and servos for each extra plane. Most RC radios now can switch between dozens of planes (it's a trick called BNF (Bind-And-Fly). Radios, extra receivers, FPV and Varios once cost a ton of money, but if you shop around, all of these things can be had at somewhat reasonable prices now.

More stuff here (sorry, some links are old now):

http://user.xmission.com/~red/RCbeginners.htm

This is the easy-flyin' Guppy-T trainer, free for the FMS Simulator (unZip and add it to the Models folder in the FMS program folder:

https://user.xmission.com/~red/FMSguppyt.zip
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User avatar
By maximilionalpha
#404300
I've been flying rc sailplanes for over 7 yrs now. I mount my cameras onto them so that I can view the videos on the computer, later. Really exhilarating.
:)
User avatar
By red
#404301
maximilionalpha wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:17 pm
I've been flying rc sailplanes for over 7 yrs now. I mount my cameras onto them so that I can view the videos on the computer, later. Really exhilarating. :)
Campers,

No doubt, there. 8) If you mount your camera on a servo wheel under the canopy, you can "turn your head" to look out both sides of the plane in flight.

You can make large clear bubble canopies from certain plastic soda-pop bottles.

This trick would work great with FPV in an RC.
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User avatar
By DMarley
#404303
I got into RC a few years ago, before I started flying HG. What got me into it was that my younger brother had been flying RC and GA for many years before, and Red's site hinted that flying RC could hone some skills that could be later used while flying HG. What could be a better excuse?!?
My first plane was a 1.1m (43") wingspan T-28 by Horizon Hobby, along with a Spektrum DX-6 radio. Got it home, opened it up, assembled it within an hour, and said to myself "There's no way I'm gonna experiment with my stick-skills on this beauty!" So back to the local hobby shop (LHS) and purchased myself a nice 2.0m Radian powered-sailplane. A much better choice to learn with. Too bad it had such good thermalling properties, for while thermalling with a bunch of buzzards, I couldn't tell which bird was mine, and lost control. It landed about a mile away in a 100' tree, never to be retrieved.
Back to the LHS.
This time I purchased the same sailplane, again, along with a box containing RealFlight 7 (flight simulator). After a few days on RF-7, I was a pro (in my mind)! Actually, I wasn't too bad at flying the Radian after some simulator time. I continue to use the simulator to keep my stick skills current when I can't fly the R/C stuff. I can't recommend RF-7 or RF-8 strongly enough for the first time or experienced R/C pilot. Heck, you can fly first-person-view as well, in all sorts of aircraft, in all sorts of scenarios and scenery.

After a few weeks of flying the radian, I got the T-28 up in the air successfully.

Since then, I've been messing around with quad copters with FPV, and putting the same FPV system in the T-28. What an awesome platform for exploring new LZ's and approaches! A 5% power setting on the T-28 seems to have a similar glide slope to the Falcon.

I tried using the FPV goggles with poor success. The field of view is terrible (for me) so I traded those in for a 9" flat screen with a hood over it. Mount that to a camera tripod, and the visual clues and details pop out at the viewer(s), unlike the very expensive goggles I had. Your results may vary depending on your eyes/brain interface.

The wonderful aspect of flying foamies is that they can be repaired very quickly and be put back into service within a few minutes, depending upon the extent of the boo-boos.
:shock:
User avatar
By maximilionalpha
#404305
Too crowded under my canopy, so I mount in between the wing saddle. My first sailplane, I mounted a camera onto a pan/tilt servo mount that I had designed and would maneuver it around as if I were fpv'ing. The only problem with that way of mounting, is that if the servo spindle is plastic, a hard landing with snap it off.
User avatar
By Takeo77
#404308
That's why you tether external gear with fishing line. But yes FPV is pretty good eye training. Crab angles, ground track, "the spot that doesn't move" are all just as applicable in RC as they are in any full scale flying. I had my issues learning to hang glide but they were mostly related to handling the glider. The aerial navigation stuff was cake as a result of 30+ years of RC.

My brother and I were doing FPV formation flying nearly 10 years ago before it became a thing. Helped me with full scale flying tremendously

By NateHallahan
#404318
Flying an RC glider reinforced a few facts for me: Rotor is bad, rotor in strong wind is really bad, the inability to penetrate in strong wind can take you into bad rotor, if you get tossed or turned in a direction you don't want to go put the nose down and roll the opposite way, getting wings level while ground handling is done by yawing, not forcing the high wing down.
When there is no space to land catching the glider in your hand works great... but I'm not sure how that applies to hang gliding.
One surprising thing is discovered is that when thermals are small doing wing overs is more effective than circling (when the thermal is smaller than the diameter of a coordinated turn). Probably not gonna test that out on the hang glider.
User avatar
By Takeo77
#404329
Flying smoothly when the lift is light is also something I've learned flying Gentle Ladys, Radians and Easy Gliders
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#404547
maximilionalpha wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:17 pm
I've been flying rc sailplanes for over 7 yrs now. I mount my cameras onto them so that I can view the videos on the computer, later. Really exhilarating.
:)
Ditto. The Radian (not Radian Pro) is a good way to go for an electric motorglider well suited to thermals and light ridge lift. It is very easy to fly, assembles really quick, and if someone throws a hang glider harness on top of one of the wings when it is sitting in your rig you can go to the hobby store and get another pair for not too much $. 2-meter wing span-- on a typical flight I do multiple climbs to 2000' above flat ground. For thermal flying, having an on-board vario and altimeter definitely opens the door to a new level of fun (and altitude). I use Taranis / FrSky radio equipment for this reason.

Zagis or similar are good for testing ridge lift and they stand up to abuse really well.

I've had my 2.6 meter Radian XL a mile in the air-- however that glider is NOT one I would recommend for bouncing around in your car on a pile of hang gliding gear or going together quickly. I save that one for days when the mission profile is going to be RC flying only.

I've never done the FPV thing-- if I'm SEEING the action first-hand in real-time from the pilot's-eye view, then I want to be FEELING it too--

PS going to a slope site to fly RC gliders was what got me into hang gliding.

PPS getting off topic here, but even after mastering RC sailplanes/ gliders I found it not entirely trivial to transition to power RC planes with landing gear, tailwheel configuration, and full 3-axis controls. My progression was Hobby Zone Super Cub > HZ Super Cub with ailerons added to wings > 1.3 m Valiant > Efite 1.5 m AT-6 Texan. This is was a good way to go-- learning three-axis control usage on a tailwheel plane with lots of dihedral built into the wing forces you to learn to do the right thing with the rudder, both on the ground and in the air. Plus the HZ Super Cub can take an incredible amount of abuse. The Valiant is very sturdy too, but I've managed not to abuse it much, so far. It's also very aerobatic. I had some sailplanes with full three-axis controls too but I always handled the rudder usage via a mix to ailerons and that worked fine for that, so I was essentially a one-stick flier w/ the gliders. (In contrast to full-scale gliders where learning good rudder coordination is absolutely essential!) One of my favorite things to do w/ the power RC planes is practice touch-and-goes w/ a significant (but hopefully not too gusty) crosswind component, using the same techniques as are used by full-scale aircraft.



Steve
Last edited by aeroexperiments on Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:58 am, edited 5 times in total.
By blindrodie
#404548
Gentle Lady and Sophisticated Lady here! Loads of fun and learning...

8)
User avatar
By DMarley
#404549
Yes, I love my Taranis/FRsky radio gear. Very reasonably priced and far more advanced options compared to most any other advanced radio, and it's open-source. Very easy to program once you get the gist of it, and endless control possibilities. All for the price of a basic, cheap 6-channel Spektrum (or around that range).
The only thing I don't like about the Taranis is that it's made in china. Oh well.
I initially thought that because the units were so low-cost, I'd have longevity / durability / glitchy issues. Not at all. It has been perfectly reliable even when the pilot is not. The receivers have experienced some rough 'landings', but never have had problems with them after the aircraft was again airworthy. The Tx/Rx and Rx are very ruggedly built. I've had mine for four years now.
User avatar
By maximilionalpha
#404553
Ditto. The Radian (not Radian Pro) is a good way to go for an electric motorglider well suited to thermals and light ridge lift. It is very easy to fly, assembles really quick, and if someone throws a hang glider harness on top of one of the wings when it is sitting in your rig you can go to the hobby store and get another pair for not too much $. 2-meter wing span-- on a typical flight I do multiple climbs to 2000' above flat ground. For thermal flying, having an on-board vario and altimeter definitely opens the door to a new level of fun (and altitude). I use Taranis / FrSky radio equipment for this reason.

Zagis or similar are good for testing ridge lift and they stand up to abuse really well.

I've had my 2.6 meter Radian XL a mile in the air-- however that glider is NOT one I would recommend for bouncing around in your car on a pile of hang gliding gear or going together quickly. I save that one for days when the mission profile is going to be RC flying only.

I've never done the FPV thing-- if I'm SEEING the action first-hand in real-time from the pilot's-eye view, then I want to be FEELING it too--

PS going to a slope site to fly RC gliders was what got me into hang gliding.

PPS getting off topic here, but even after mastering RC sailplanes/ gliders I found it not entirely trivial to transition to power RC planes with landing gear, tailwheel configuration, and full 3-axis controls. My progression was Hobby Zone Super Cub > HZ Super Cub with ailerons added to wings > 1.3 m Valiant > Efite 1.5 m AT-6 Texan. This is was a good way to go-- learning three-axis control usage on a tailwheel plane with lots of dihedral built into the wing forces you to learn to do the right thing with the rudder, both on the ground and in the air. Plus the HZ Super Cub can take an incredible amount of abuse. The Valiant is very sturdy too, but I've managed not to abuse it much, so far. It's also very aerobatic. I had some sailplanes with full three-axis controls too but I always handled the rudder usage via a mix to ailerons and that worked fine for that, so I was essentially a one-stick flier w/ the gliders. (In contrast to full-scale gliders where learning good rudder coordination is absolutely essential!) One of my favorite things to do w/ the power RC planes is practice touch-and-goes w/ a significant (but hopefully not too gusty) crosswind component, using the same techniques as are used by full-scale aircraft.



Steve
[/quote]
LOVED THAT SPIRAL OF DEATH, DIVE!!! :mosh: :ahh: Here's one more of my highest flights with my Radian and one of my first experiences with the death dive, earlier on in my flying experiences.

User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#404573
maximilionalpha wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:49 pm

LOVED THAT SPIRAL OF DEATH, DIVE!!! :mosh: :ahh: Here's one more of my highest flights with my Radian and one of my first experiences with the death dive, earlier on in my flying experiences.
Actually mine (what you see in the video of the Radian XL) was an intentional spin. With my smaller 2-meter Radian at my normal CG I can't get a full-blown spin -- I still put the stick full aft and full (or mostly) to the right side but the result is more of a non-stalled spiral than a spin-- that would probably result in destruction of the Radian XL but the smaller 2-meter Radian can take it-- NOTE it does sometimes happen with the 2-m Radian (and also the XL) that if you get into too steep/ fast of a dive things flex in such a way that it wants to tuck steeper and steeper and the best escape is to shove the stick forward and push through to inverted flight-- NOT an intuitive maneuver for a hang glider pilot!
User avatar
By Takeo77
#405458
Local HG instructor John Simpson gave me a pile of busted gliders and a almost new cocoon harness for my wife so I repaired and re-covered one to give back to him. the scheme was inspired by the Wills wing purple sail hang gliders (of which John has one).
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User avatar
By red
#405460
Takeo77 wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:35 pm
Local HG instructor John Simpson gave me a pile of busted gliders and a almost new cocoon harness for my wife so I repaired and re-covered one to give back to him. the scheme was inspired by the Wills wing purple sail hang gliders (of which John has one).
Takeo77,

Sweet! 8) Is that a Spirit?

RC radios from Spektrum now can have telemetry, which for a glider means a vario. Something like that with a vario in it can make long flights, even on flat ground with a hi-start.
User avatar
By Takeo77
#405461
Yessir, a Spirit 100. Both the Taranis and Spektrum radios have a vario capability, however in this case I doubt it will be needed since the owner of this refurb is a committed sloper =).
User avatar
By TjW
#405464
Takeo77 wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:35 pm
Local HG instructor John Simpson gave me a pile of busted gliders and a almost new cocoon harness for my wife .
Aren't you going to miss her?
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