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

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By red

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):


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):


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:

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By maximilionalpha
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.
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By red
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. :)

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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By DMarley
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.
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By maximilionalpha
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.
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By Takeo77
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
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.
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By Takeo77
Flying smoothly when the lift is light is also something I've learned flying Gentle Ladys, Radians and Easy Gliders

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