Ya it's off topic but since it's my passion I don't mind talking about it here in this thread as long as we aren't breaking any rules...
My throws are generally in the 150'-180' range. The best guys are now getting up in the 240' range. These planes are 1.5' meter wingspan and they weigh about 10 oz. They are mostly carbon fiber and kevlar because a tiny plane like that thrown that hard needs to be strong.
Yes, we catch thermals with them. Ideally every launch but not always. You don't have to be way up there to catch a thermal. I've caught them as low as 10 feet. Of course, at that level they aren't strong thermals but a well setup plane will signal even the slightest lift, if you know what to look for. Then you just work the thermal on up. F3K (technical term for this type of glider competition) is task driven and there are several tasks given in a competition. For instance, we have one event we call the ladder. We start out with a 30 second flight. You have to make the 30 seconds and then the next flight is 15 seconds longer on up to a 2 minute flight. You are given 10 minutes to complete as much of the ladder as you can. The pilot with the most time logged wins the round. Most one day contests are 8-10 rounds of similar but different tasks.
Some guys are good enough in one event to log a 9 minute 59 second flight in a 10 minute flight window. I'm not one of those that has that ability.... yet.
One good thing about being an Administrator is that you get to break---as well as make rules!
I looked at a video that you had a link to previously, and was amazed at what appeared to be perfectly sane people trying to throw away perfectly good gliders--unsuccessfully, I might add- the gliders seemed to always come back.
Seemed about as easy as trying to toss a dry Kleenex a hundred yards.
____________________ Fix it again, Mr Gates--it still works!"
Actually, the cool thing about DLG (Discus Launch Glider) flying is that it's very easy to do on a basic level and have a lot of fun. It only becomes difficult when you have a desire to do it very well. That kid in the video (Nick Tasto)is one of those guys that can launch into the low to mid 200' range. He's no brute, as you can see. Launching is a speed and technique thing. You first start slow and work your way up. I'm not as fast as he and at nearly 50 I never will be so I don't get it up there that high. Still, there are plenty of gentlemen in their 60s and 70s that are very competitive pilots. They still launch high enough to give the young guys a run for their money, especially because over the years they have developed a keen ability to read the air. That's key in this sport.
Last edited on Fri Jun 15th, 2012 06:28 pm by mwiz64
All this talk of aircraft reminds me of why I decided to make model railroading my hobby. Many many years ago, I built free flight models. My last one, a cool 4 foot span with double dihedral wings was my favorite. I got the .049 fired up, and lit the thermal fuse (popped the tail assembly up and allowed the plane to slowly circle down). I launched the bird and happily watched until I noticed a small smoking piece of something falling from the tail. The fuse had dropped off and my most favorite plane flew off with a full Tatone tank into the unknown. That's when I went to narrow gauge and forgot how to fly.
These days, I have a little park flyer Tiger Moth electric r/c plane but it has more dust on it than my layout after a dust storm.
____________________ It doesn't matter if you win or lose, its' how you rig the game.
I have a buddy that built a 0.49 powered free flight helicopter. I asked him, what do you do with that, start the engine and run like h#ll? I never did the FF thing. I cut my teeth on control line stuff. These days RC equipment and aircraft design are so well done that anybody can have success and a rugged all foam model that forgives crashes quite easily.
Anyway, I came here to Freerails because I like trains too. Actually my fascination with them predates my R/C interests by many years. I once had HO layout I built on a chunk of plywood in my bedroom. The design came from an Atlas track plan book. It never got beyond track on the board but it was fun.
Now, I want to explore my ability to create some of those scenes I see some of you pros build. I know I won't get there over night but some day I hope to at least be half as good as you guys. That will be quite an accomplishment and fulfill a lifelong dream of mine.
Last edited on Sat Jun 16th, 2012 12:55 am by mwiz64