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Author Topic: Learning to fly hand launched gliders  (Read 1210 times)
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Sundance12
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« on: March 20, 2008, 01:31:13 PM »

Before really learning properly, I had been building a couple of gliders that were published in Flying Models called Flash and US kid which did not fly very well. I was ok with them but did not really know what a Hand Launched Glider could really do in the hands of a pro, so I struggled. Sometime in 1984, I was in the park enjoying the sunshine and there in the middle of the park was a guy that was flying some kind of airplane. This really piqued my interest and I started over towards him to see better what he was flying. It was a hand launched glider and it flew better than anything that I had ever seen. I was really impressed, it would climb really high and just hang there in a gliding left hand turn to the ground. I was determined to find out more. I went away feeling I could make a glider that would fly that good. This was not the first time I would see this glider flier. About 3 weeks later, I was fortunate to see this person again so I made a point of going over and introducing myself to the glider flier. He responded by saying his name was Dan and began to introduce me to the smoothest finest built gliders I had ever seen. These things were amazing, fabulous, glossy and polished.

"Would you let me try one?" I asked. Sure he said, try this one, and handed me one of the two that he had brought along. It was at this time Dan instructed me how to throw a HLG properly. Over a number of meetings and flying events in the park I began to take an interest in the kinds of gliders that Dan built. Supersweep 22 and Supersweep 24 in spruce and balsa. I learned the importance of balsa weight and grade and how one incorporated these into a better performing glider. Soon after that my education and career took me other places and I did not get back to gliders properly until 1990 where I made another stab at a set of Supersweeps but even then there were too many distractions in my life to stay on station with glider work. In the 2001 and 2002 I compiled a reference library of hand launched glider literature but still come back to wanting to build another supersweep. It's 2008 and I need to get with some kind of glider program for the spring.

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« Last Edit: March 20, 2008, 07:33:52 PM by Sundance12 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2008, 02:42:38 PM »

I am sure that my father can tell you a lot more about me - however, here's one of mine that always comes back.

As you may have guessed, when it comes to hlgs etc, I love them dearly. Anyway, I used to know this young lad who was a terraway on the airfield. If he was not digging in the muck, riding his bike round like a blue assed fly, he was causing problems whilst dad went off and flew. So, one day (end of the season), I turn up at church Fenton loaded with about half a dozen hlgs. These have been trimmed and flown all summer and they are / have been used in most contests throughout the year. The final comp I flew tended to be the models retiring day and after this contest, they would be possibly broken down, new wings made etc. Anyway, I digress.  I had made one extra hlg, a couple of inches shorter in each direction than my comp ones but she looked hot. Terraway comes over and I throw one of mine. Away it goes and so does he. Comes back five minutes later and hands it to me. So I get out the odd model and balance it, trim it and throw it and dt off the top. Perfect. So I gave it to him. Off he goes and suddenly hes walking up and down the flight line strutting as if a seasoned pro (he was between 9 and 10 years old) and chatting away model in hand. So for the hell of a £1, I entered him as a junior and took him under my wing. That day, he also threw against a number of other juniors who seemed to gravitate towards him and he in turn stayed next to me solid like glue. If I took a step - he did. When I went for my comp throw, a few yards behind, I knew it, so was he.

The end of the day saw about six juniors (him included) and four adults throwing that comp. I came out first and as luck would have it, he came second. As he went up to collect his trophy, he was thrilled, a different child and we all clapped. As a parting gift to him - I gave him my cash winnings from the contest. Him and the rest of the juniors all then were allowed to take one of my hlgs each for keeps. My season was over. I would start again. Was it a pleasure seeing him suddenly change, you bet. Was it the fact he came second. Maybe. But - What gave me the greatest thrill as I drove off home that evening was watching all these youngsters waving me goodbye, then each throwing one of my gliders together skyward and them racing after it.
 
You can never ever under estimate the power of creating that right impression to someone new. one of the best days flying I have had in years...... And for the record, he beat me the following year in a contest straight one on one in a flyoff and no one could have been happier for him - and with my model as well.

Kev
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Sundance12
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2008, 07:27:20 PM »

That's a great story Kev, it is different these days, it seems that anything model airplanes catches the interest of youth so little now. I think it is still pretty important to be flying models in local setting more often so that people can see what we do. Model airplanes set the path for my life pretty early on and the hand launched glider was one of the first airplanes to keep me hooked. There was nothing like a Jetco Thermic B glider with those really great elliptical shapes to captivate interest.

I hope with this forum we can share our passion for all types of models. I am glad you are with us to share your experiences. I will go back and continue the story in the previous post. The person in that story is none other than Dan G. who is a member of our forum and he is still a big part of my model building even though we are 1350 Km apart.

Cheers

Bruce Feaver
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« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 07:42:40 AM by Sundance12 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2008, 03:48:18 AM »

Look forward to reading more of it Bruce. I dont think people realise just what an effect they can have on others - maybe we should start a thread, how did you come into modelling and who was your first mentor/influence?

Keep writing as am sure Dan would welcome what you have read. It takes so little these days to reach out to someone.
 
Kev
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Dan G.
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2008, 11:44:58 PM »

I've become more astounded by the minute, because while reading these postings, I've gone over who started me and I'd forgotten what a turn-around it was.

I had abandoned free-flight for ten years, having had no earlier success, and was focused on plastic kits -- it was still building and it was still airplanes. We were newly married, newly parenting, in a tenement on Decarie Blvd., in Montreal. when a small boy from up the street appeared with a busted balsa plane. I had so much fun repairing that thing and getting it flying (I have no recollection of the details) that I started rummaging through an old collection of Aeromodeller and Model Aviation (I think) mags I'd inherited, and started working up a real steam -- a steam that hasn't yet fully exhausted itself more than forty years later. Yaaaaaaaaaaay!

I guess that little kid was my inadvertent usher.

Dan G,

Oh ... and thanks Bruce. Nice story ... heart-warming. Thanks.
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2008, 01:15:03 AM »

Quote
Model Aviation (I think)

Probably 'Model Aircraft' in those days

However, there were about five issues of a publication from Ian Allan, loosely under the general title of 'Model Aviation' and edited by Ron Warring and Bill Dean; good books with many plans.
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Sundance12
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2008, 01:28:11 AM »

You are welcome Dan, it is the way it was and still is, my model aviation career goes in waves, strong and then light. It covers all the areas of model building, but there are times I crave the simplicity of Hand launched gliders very much. I am kept away by other building activities that range from RC to scale Free Flight and I want to come back. As I get older I feel that I need to be out more but in being out I want to be flying something, not just a RC controlled machine. I go through the file folder on the HLGs and have many to choose from which include the Supersweep 22 but I know that I will return to that design because of my relationship with it. I have all that I need to build one, except the final motivation that is needed to make the task of building happen. Perhaps this forum business is the key, and a group of understanding people like we find on the forum is what I need to maintain a project through to completion. I am bad for the 2/3's project and I have not been subscribing to "off the table - on the table" building habits until now. So a supersweep project just moved up a notch on the short list of projects for this spring.

Sundance12
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2008, 01:28:07 PM »

No, no, no ... applehoney ... you're right, it would have been "Model Aircraft". I had almost as many of those as I had Aeromodellers, all from the late forties and early fifties. And then Model Aircraft was incorporated into Aeromodeller. Before I knew modernity, in 1968 I built my first A-2, measured up from an Aeromodeller magazine, of a BG 44, Bora Gunic's 1952 world champ. Bill Pettigrew (you may know him) almost flipped when he saw it ... thought he'd been trough a time-warp.


Hi Sundance, I found that the procedures and dexterity required to master building an hlg were so specialized and intense that each one seemed to take forever, re-learning each step along the way. I found that building chuck gliders in pairs seemed to allow the second one to move along quite a bit quicker, with my having been freshly warmed-up. Actually, I don't build them sequentially, but simultaneously; but by the time I start the same procedure to the second piece, it goes much faster and surer. I recall spending 21 hrs on my last hlg, which seemed typical for me.

I do hope that you'll build one or some ... which of course you would bring with you, when ever you visited these parts.

Do let me iterate one more time, that the Supersweeps, being indoor gliders in design, are not the best choice for thermal-hugging outdoor gliders. These are just the ones I chose because I do like the way they fly and I'm not flying competitively.

Dan G.
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 10:42:04 PM »

Hey, Sundance, about a month ago in some other thread you posted that you would build a Dan G spec Supersweep and post a build thread on it. I haven't found it but hope you did it, and it's just that I haven't found it.

I suspect that Dan G's dedication to this plane has resulted in his perfecting it, at least for calm weather hand launch gliding. I suspect his way of skewing his parallel tip dihedrals clockwise, while skewing the whole wing counterclockwise, and maybe a L wing washin wedge or not, and what he does with the tail, works wonderfully well. But it's different enough from others' builds that I guess that everything must be there together. So I'm hoping that someone has or will soon do a build thread that includes everything together.

Is it out there?

John
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Sundance12
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008, 11:54:26 PM »

Hi John

I started it, with images but got stalled on it... I will collect what imagery I have and post some progress soon. Sorry, I did not mean to lead you astray.

Cheers

Sundance12
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