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By OnlyUpFromHere
Hey all!

I have a question about the size of my glider.

Last year i bought a second hand Icaroo RX2 in a very good shape of 2014 size L
My bodyweight is 78 kg (172 lbs)

In the Netherlands I have my B1, in the US i am signed off in aero-towing and there I an additional 24 solo flights.
In other words.. the fun is just beginning..

Yesterday I flew my RX2 for the first time in thermal air and I had the feeling I was not in control enough. It wasn't as much fun..
I was told that it's possible that my glider is just a bit.. too big. Really too bad, I love this RX2.
Up till now i was doing only winchtowing in the Netherlands and i did not have problems. With aero towing however it was not so easy..

So my question is should I learn to fly the glider, as in being more aggressive in my turns and so on, or should I start looking for another glider?

I am not yet ready for a double surface glider, so then my question is.. what glider should i go for?
My instructor recommended me a Funky from Seedwings?

Thanks for reading and your solutions! :)


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By miraclepieco
You are slightly below the bottom end of your glider's optimum weight range. That has some advantages as well as disadvantages.

Advantages: It will have a slower stall speed making it easier to take off and land. You can soar in lighter conditions, and get higher than heavier pilots. It will be very pleasurable in smooth ridge lift conditions.

Disadvantages: It may be harder to ground handle. You will feel turbulence more and be tossed around a bit. It will require more exertion in thermals.

The lack of control you felt may just have been your unfamiliarity with thermal conditions. Thermals are inherently bumpy and uncomfortable. A smaller glider may diminish that, but not eliminate it. Whether or not you want to change sizes depends on which type of flying you will ultimate do most of. I think it's too early to make that decision - until you get more airtime, you really don't know what type of flying or glider you will ultimately prefer. Keep flying this one until you're really proficient, and by the time it's time to upgrade you'll have a much better perspective on what you really want out of hang gliding and your wing.
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By OnlyUpFromHere
Thanks a lot.

I think you are very right with me being that inexperienced.
Its a big step from flying in calm air to flying in thermal air.
And even so if the glider is just a bit too big I was wondering if it wouldn't actually be good to learn this properly. It will only improve my skills, perhaps even more then when I have a bit smaller glider.

It saves me a hassle too to find another glider. The gliders i like all are in the same weight differences, so not a lot of gain there.

And flying a bit faster! Somebody told me and well.. speed is your friend ;-)
But with speed i am also not noticing thermals that easy, but okay..
That's why I am a beginner..

Let's get some airtime!
By seb
Learn the speeds of the glider. You being a new pilot may be just missing the clues given . Fly a bit faster while thermalling which will allow you to core tighter( greater bank angle). You may be just going in and out of the thermal which means your traveling in up and down air at the same time. Nobody likes that! Good luck! Practice, practice and practice. I remember when I was first starting to thermal fly and I was like this s--- is crazy. Now I just fly thru that stuff and dont bother turning in it. You will gain experience and with that will grow!
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By uvflyer
Hi Fons,

Funny, I´m the exact same weight as you are, flew a Relax 18 (L) for a couple of years and I'm from holland too. I shouldn't change glider if I were you. It's true that you sometimes have the feeling that it is hard to initiate a turn, but that's not something that will change a lot if you choose to buy another glider. If you're flying in active air, one of your wings may encounter strong lift which will make it harder to turn.

What I did (and still do on my new glider) is pick up some speed if you feel lift coming or feel 'resistance' if you want to turn. With the Icaro relax I really had the feeling that I could, and sometimes had to, throw it around which perhaps was because our lower body weight. And perhaps you're not bringing a water and the glider bag yet, but that will make you heavier and automatically a bit faster. So bottom line: make sure to fly faster if you want to turn (in active air) or thermal and practice to make your turn coordinated to not loose 200 meters by picking up to much speed and turn :P
User avatar
By OnlyUpFromHere
Great response, really helpfull.
I flew like 3 times yesterday (and at Wallaby Ranch another 3 times of 23 solo flights) in more turbulent air, but did not take the time to really -feel. I was just playing around finding thermals, but not taking the time to really understand and adjust.
Time to take control!

Thank you all for helping me out!
User avatar
By red
OnlyUpFromHere wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 3:58 am
Yesterday I flew my RX2 for the first time in thermal air and I had the feeling I was not in control enough. It wasn't as much fun.. I was told that it's possible that my glider is just a bit.. too big. Really too bad, I love this RX2. So my question is should I learn to fly the glider, as in being more aggressive in my turns and so on, or should I start looking for another glider?

If you want to add body weight, carry your small packing bags, straps, radio, water, and whatever else may fit in pockets in your harness. Weight attached to the glider is NO help for control, but it will help for control if the extra weight is in the harness. Even a few extra kilos can help. Add these weights, a little at a time, and do not add so much bulk that you cannot launch and land normally.

Add a lightweight video camera to the tail of the keel, so you can watch yourself flying later. Borrow a camera, if necessary. Then you will be able to see and correct any improper turning issues, for the future.

You will need to turn more aggressively, on any large glider. That means to swing your feet forcefully into the turn, then bring your body weight to the same side, to make a turn. Your feet should be beyond the basetube end, at the start of your turns then. Never let the feet go back to center during a turn, as this would cancel your effort to turn, even when your head/chest is shifted to the side for a turn. You may hear this technique called "leading with the feet." You may find that you do not need to move your head/chest so much to turn, when you are "leading with the feet." When you do this move strongly, you cause the glider to turn by starting with a yaw in the correct direction. When one wing is lifting, and you start with a strong yaw, you can actually pull that wing rearward, briefly decreasing the lift on that side, to aid you in turning into that lift.

A somewhat advanced turning technique may help you, also. It is called the J-turn, because your hands create a "Figure J" as you do it. To make a turn, pull in, shift to the side (now you can and should lead with the feet here), then push out as much as normal, to make the turn happen. It may not be necessary to fly faster at all times, if you use this turning technique. It will give you the extras speed that you need, but only when you need to turn, or to correct for turbulence.

Any glider which is trimmed to fly slowly (hands-off) will be more difficult to turn and correct in turbulence. You may want (or NEED) to have your glider trimmed to fly somewhat faster in rough air (thermals), and you may decide to retain that new CG setting at all times, for the easier control ability. See my web page, linked below, for more on "Cruise Control," and consult with your HG dealer or local HG experts about this issue, before you change anything on the glider.

There is a LOT of information in my post, here. You can work through each paragraph, at your own pace. Please consult with your local HG mentors, to improve your understanding (and abilities). It is an old adage in aviation, "When lessons end, the real learning begins." Hang tough, pilot, 8) the adventure begins here.
User avatar
By KTMPilot
Adjust your trim speed a bit higher for thermic conditions. IE, adjust/move the kingpost hangpoint forward towards the glider nose (just one position!) in order to increase the trim airspeed for flying in thermic (turbulent conditions). Also, make certain the two nose battens are not bent (use the oem Icaro batten pattern) as they tend to flatten out very easy. My RX2 needed similar adjustments for thermic air. ymmv
By cheesehead
I flew with a 20 pound bag of lead shot (for reloading shotgun shells) in my harness when I had a significantly oversized beginner's glider. But when winds were light and thermals were expected to be light too, I left behind the lead and the glider became my secret weapon. I could stay up and get higher easier than the hotshots. And everyone got a good laugh at how tiny I looked flying the thing.
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By Wonder Boy
You can ballast up as suggested, that will help.
In the meantime, I personally would find the correct size glider.

(I lost weight on a previous glider, it flew ok but I could tell it wasn't as good as before. You will be happier on the correct size)

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