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Author Topic: TLG Beginner's Launch Guidance  (Read 1997 times)
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Rewinged
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« on: August 13, 2011, 04:27:07 AM »

There seemed to be a bit of interest in some launch suggestions for new flyers.  I think this is important because some simple suggestions make the initial launches pretty safe, and doing things incorrectly make it a bit less safe!

Since most readers don't know me at all, I want to be clear that I know both the failures and successes:  It only took about 5 flights for me to put my first TLG into multiple pieces.  I was depressed, because it took me awhile to build, but fortunately I had some encouragement to keep going.  I'm not a master, but since then, I've had some victories and maxed out 4 out of my last 6 contests.  One time I didn't max out deliberately--I didn't need a 3rd max to win, and it was windy and I was too tired to chase.  The other time I didn't max out, I got the only 2 maxes out of 6 or 7 flyers.  

I've taught a couple of people to throw, including my son, and my "students" haven't had any launch crashes yet.  So here are my suggestions and some pictures.  I hope others will add their suggestions as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~

The following assumes your glider is trimmed decently; this is just about the throws, not trimming.

There are 2 things that I think are the most important starting out:
(1) Throw almost level.
(2) Pick a distant target and reach out toward it as you release the glider.

To expand on these, the safest throw is fairly flat, maybe just up 10 to 15 degrees.  The reason for the second suggestion is to help you keep from bending the elbow on the throw.  Don't bend the elbow!

If you throw the glider upward, and your release timing is not right, the glider may go into too steep a bank, and turn into the ground.  Throwing the glider with a bent elbow can cause you to "hook" the throw, causing a bank and/or the throw to be too low and perhaps into the ground.  Doing both, throwing the glider upward and hooking or bending the elbow, can be a recipe for disaster.  Again, it took me just 5 flights to put my glider into pieces.

Here are a couple of videos my son and I throwing our gliders.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg1NnlJ1LqA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1FeVyAMJcg

Here are some sequences of Roman throwing his glider.  He prefers not to spin, but he still gets a pretty good launch.  Note his arm extension, how he reaches out toward a target--in this case the tops of some distant trees.

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TLG Beginner's Launch Guidance
TLG Beginner's Launch Guidance
TLG Beginner's Launch Guidance
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Rewinged
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2011, 04:33:00 AM »

More minor points:

Use a comfortable grip. Reach across, not on, the sandpaper.  I like to spread my fingers out a bit; others like to grip mostly with the thumb and index finger.  Cock your wrist and reach behind your body as far as you can.  When the glider is all the way behind you, the fuselage should be roughly parallel with your back.

For the most part, altitude is achieved by a hard throw, not so much by the throw direction, and definitely not by bending the elbow.  Keeping the glider as far from the body as possible increases speed.  As you progress, you can gradually throw more upward, adjusting your release timing to get a good recovery.

To obtain a hard throw, the biggest key is use your body like a coiled spring.  Twist back as far as possible.  As you come forward, keep your arm lagging behind.  It's like many things in sports:  First the hips come forward, then the torso, and last the arm.

You can start without the spin, and even without a run-up if you like.  Just remember to throw fairly level, reaching out toward a target, and don't bend the elbow, at least not until late in the follow-through.

Have fun and good luck!

--Bill

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Pappy
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2011, 10:48:23 AM »

Thanks for posting this info Bill. Very helpful.

Pappy
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2013, 03:37:53 AM »

Hello Bill

thank your for the nice guide. I was wondering if you have pics or vids, showing the path the plane follows? how is the transition between climbing and gliding?? I think that can help me understanding the throw technique a bit better

Regards

EZ  Cool
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Rewinged
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2014, 05:33:37 PM »

EZ,

Sorry I did not respond sooner.  I was looking for something and noticed this earlier inquiry.

Unfortunately, I don't have much more than I showed earlier.  The first video linked, at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg1NnlJ1LqA
shows the flight path better than I can describe it.

My launches result in a 180 to 270 degree climbing turn to the left, gradually leveling out and going straight into the glide.  Depending on glider trim, launches can also be somewhat more vertical, with more of a "flop" into the glide than the continuous transition I showed.

Regards,
Bill
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2014, 01:37:01 PM »

Hello,

Apparently my first post did not take.  Anyway, I recently completed a small TLG having a 20" span that I intend to use for learning purposes (see picture).  I have not flown it yet, so reading this thread has been very helpful.  I did not add sandpaper grips, so I will wear a neoprene rubber glove when launching, which I will most likely regret on warm days.  Does anyone have experience with wearing a glove while launching a TLG?

Regards,

Dave
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rbrpwr
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2014, 08:01:39 PM »

Quite a bit!  I first saw Stan B using them a number of yeqars ago.  I've been using a variation since then.  Most of the guys I've flown with no longer use pegs, gripping the wing thumb up.  I grab it with my four fingers on top. Tne glove I've been using was picked up at the local lawn store.  It is just a cotton garden glove with little black 'rubber' grippers applied every 1/10th of an inch or so all over it.  Doesn't slip and breathes real well.
Jeff
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2014, 04:41:58 PM »

Hey Bill

thanks for the reply. I am veeeeeeeeeeeeeery slowly starting on a TLG I hope to have it ready in a couple of weeks

EZ 8-D
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ScienceGuy
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2014, 05:12:16 PM »

This helped so much, the other issue was I did not have enough right rudder trim to roll out to the right.

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ScienceGuy
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2014, 11:17:40 PM »

It just keeps getting better. Transition still not perfect but I am not breaking the glider any longer.

Bill Kuhl
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 02:02:53 AM »

Bill and EZ,

I'm glad that this is still providing some help to people.  I appreciate the posts.  Not much flying happening for me...nonstop work right now.  Hope I can build and compete with a new glider this summer--a SpinF1N from Stan B.  But if not, my old Mumbo Jumbo is still flying very well. 

--Bill
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ScienceGuy
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2014, 04:57:55 PM »

Work and weather prevent me from doing more flying than I have. The thing with the DLG is I don't to bring along a stooge, winder, and extra rubber so I can just grab the airplane to go to a field that is close.

My next big challenge is putting the glider up in thermals and making sure my DT is reliable.

Bill Kuhl
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2014, 03:28:08 PM »

I still have my TLG glider in one piece, any repairs have been pretty minor lately.  Sometimes I can launch pretty well and other times not so well. When the launches are not good it seems hard to get corrected again being frustrated.

It also seems like the launch starts the turn radius and if it is too sharp the glider doesn't always correct.  

Still having fun with this.

Bill Kuhl
 
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Rewinged
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2014, 11:02:35 PM »

Bill,

"It also seems like the launch starts the turn radius and if it is too sharp the glider doesn't always correct."

For a right hander, the glider is set up to climb right and turn left in the glide.  The right turn is set with stab skew and a minor amount of rudder.  It climbs left because of the roll due to sideslip and higher wing speed on the outside wing at launch.  This doesn't sound like your trim setup?

--Bill
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ScienceGuy
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 08:58:56 AM »

I set it up just like the plans call for with rudder wedge to the right. Think the NFFS video shows that too.  When I launch well it starts to the left and then starts right. The glider flies pretty well most of the time now.

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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2014, 09:50:23 AM »

It also seems like the launch starts the turn radius and if it is too sharp the glider doesn't always correct.  

Climb turn radius, or glide turn radius? If it's spiraling in after transition, add more washin to the inboard wing (I assume you're right handed and that as such that's the right wing).

If it's on launch, verify that you're not snapping your wrist and that the rudder is big enough and has enough offset. You also might have too much incidence.

Final remark: the Maxima is a bit outdated. A Turnup or Din-O-Mite would be a lot more user friendly.
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2014, 09:57:44 AM »

There is a washin wedge, this only happens on occasion so probably my throwing technique. It would be interesting to try a different glider.  I have to say building a TLG glider for this flying season has really been fun.

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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2014, 11:32:04 PM »

Whoa...I totally messed up my prior post.  My post should have read,

"For a right hander, the glider is set up to climb LEFT and turn RIGHT in the glide. The rest of my post was OK.

Bill, Your follow-on post sounds good.


--Bill
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« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2014, 12:22:57 PM »

I still have my Maxama TLG flying and enjoying it very much.  The last couple of times out I was starting to feel that I could launch pretty consistent. Not super high every time but at least not crashing the glider. On the 4th of July I flew early while the wind was low, and it was fun to have the glider land close to me every time although I did not appear to be any lift yet.

http://youtu.be/p_nyW_miR5Y

Bill Kuhl
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