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Author Topic: HLG Kits vs. Plans?  (Read 1380 times)
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High Point
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« on: April 18, 2008, 03:25:38 PM »

I've noticed that there are HLG kits you can order online and build. Do you feel building from a plan (where you can choose your materials) has an advantage over a kit that comes with the plan and the balsa?

Thank You,
Curtis
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Dan G.
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2008, 11:36:42 PM »

Hi Curtis,

I've never really examined an hlg kit. Given that, the only advantage I can imagine would be a wing blank which is partially formed. Should that hold special appeal for you, I 'll suspect that you don't have an effective razor plane and the experience of operating one. It can make pretty short work of taking down that back camber.

I do think that wood selection is important, but maybe it depends on how refined a glider you hope to make. If you are just looking to get your feet wet ... or maybe just a taste -- to see if you like it ... you don't need to have the thinnest trailing edges, the very lightest parts, the hardest apex, etc.. A kit may serve you well, save you a bit of work, and get you building one without having to agonize your way though a bunch of uncertain decisions. And, the kit will likely have you shape the wing with a traditionally rounded airfoil which is much faster and less fussy than crafting the "triangulated" ones. You'll definitely be in the air faster, and gaining building experience faster.

For me ... it's different. I have a stock of chosen wood already at home -- I just have to pick the best pieces. In fact, if I don't have to wait until I go to the hobby shop and buy a kit, I can start building right away.

So, go ahead and buy a kit. You can't learn everything at once, and it's probably wise to go through a number of stages; so let the kit producers do some of that work which will allow you to learn certain important things and get one finished ... and get one flying. It is important to stay motivated, and you can always think about the next one while you're building this one. If you try to learn everything with that first one, it will take you forever and you still won't know if you're right. Man ... I know about projects which were too ambitious -- my basement is littered with half-finished ambition.

Dan G.
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flinger
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2008, 12:30:21 PM »

 Wink Hey Stevens Aero has a wonderful HLG kit for $24.95 and it goes together nicely, teaches how to get an airfoil on the wing, and includes guides for gluing the varying dihedral angles, viscous timer, d/t etc. etc. Excellent plans and instructions for building and trimming, fantastic balsa and ply wood parts, expert laser cutting---couldn't be anything better. I have built one and have another on the way. It's great for someone who has never built this type of glider before. Cool
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crashcaley
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2008, 01:59:56 PM »

I decided to purchase a kit just to see what it was like. It's the Straight Up designed by Joe Mekina and kitted by Campbell's Custom Kits. It is very complete. What really surprised me was that the wing is cut to shape and beveled so that all you need to do is sand the leading edge down to proper thickness. It has very good instructions. I am still learning about wood, but what wood is included seems to be very good wood. Only problem I see is the fin is very thin and flexy. I will probably use my own that is a tad stiffer, but still allows adjustments.

Caley
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Dan G.
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2008, 10:55:52 PM »

It's great to hear that you guys are impressed with the kits.  Sounds like they will save you quite a bit of time and hassle, just in not having to search for materials or designs. By the way, do they offer leading edge protection for the wing?

Dan G.
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crashcaley
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2008, 11:40:00 PM »

LOL!!! Guess you just need to find a place to fly that doesn't have any rocks, bushes, trees or whatever. Grin I would guess that what they used to do in the olden days, if you can call it that, is to coat certain areas with cement or glue of choice to harden that area a bit, and then to seal the wood on the model everywhere else. I'm just guessing at that.

Caley
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Dan G.
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2008, 12:05:43 AM »

Yah ... that's one way ... and I do that to my tail surfaces ('cause ya gotta do something), but that won't help the wing much. After you've built a couple and have become tired of the LE damage, you'll probably consider -- if you're still keen -- insetting a hardwood strip in the LE from tip to tip. I use 1/8"sq but that's for a big plane ... and more than half of it will be removed in the shaping --I use sharp leading edges.

It's a pity though ... those kits sounded so complete.

Dan G.
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2008, 04:27:27 PM »

I freely confess, I am an economically enforced cheapskate. I much prefer to build from plans, rather than paying someone to pick wood and hack out rough shapes. (Having said that, I've never owned a razor plane. All my wing shaping is done by sanding.) But, like Dan G., I have used stripped bamboo or basswood leading edges to minimize air-flow disrupting nicks on anything over 12 inches in span. Anything under that I usually has a low enough mass (and thus flying speed) I only "harden" the edge with a coat of glue.
Nightowl
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crashcaley
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2008, 04:54:26 PM »

Dan and NightOwl, The hardwood is a neat idea. I, many years ago purchased a quantity of 1/32 basswood, for waht reason I don't know. But it might work nicely on the leading edge of the larger gliders as you said. By the time sanding is done, it would not leave much there, but might be enough to protect the LE, and it would move some weight, though very little to the nose where it is always needed. So far I've been fortunate not to get any leading edge damage even though almost every flight has ended up in a bush. Got tons of bushes in the lot next to my house.

Caley
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Ployd
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« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2008, 08:03:26 AM »

The choise of kit verses plans depends upon the skill level or economic situation of the individual but there is also a third criteria and that is the competency of the kit manufacturer to supply plans, material and instructions to a standard that empowers the individual to succeed in completing a model and having it fly as designed.

Several names have been mentioned here that have attained that standard and deserve the kudos given and perhaps when looking for a HLG /CLG kit prospective buyers should look at the credentials of the kit maker (mostly cottage industry) and in most cases they are well known in competition circles and have the knowledge to pick the right grade and grain of timber for the job. Support them and you will not de disappointed Wink

For L/E re-inforcing I have either used 3/32 x 1/8 spruce, sugar pine or basswood but another alternative is often overlooked...fibre glass rod. The first 3 are lighter BUT a good wack into a tree or bush and it is instant dent. Bamboo or rattan cane would be excellent substitutes as their characturistics are similar to F/G and a lot more resistant to impact damage so give them a try.

Ployd in OZ
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Dan G.
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« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2008, 11:59:37 PM »

Mmmmmm ... I like the thought of bamboo ... because I do want a sharp leading edge (pet theory). Thanks.

Dan G.
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Simplicate & add more lightness. Keep sanding!



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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2008, 12:40:44 PM »

While I generally build my own or friends designs, I prefer to start from a 'kit' which has some partial shaping done, then use the design outlines of my choice.
 
My reasons are: it speeds the build AND reduces sawdust in the air. [Cough, cough!] I have used basswood LE protection on even my 12" gliders.It helps control the shaping process as well. I suggest 1/32 bass for 12-18 span and 1/6-1/8 for larger ones. My SW36D TLG has 1/16 bass and no LE dings yet. Ployd has good suggestions as well, although I find spruce too resistant to forming around any curved outline.

I would use bass as it is tough but has no 'memory', whilst spruce wants to return to straight again. It will crack easily, more so than bass. As with any LE protection, as you carve/sand to its desired shape, keep an eagle eye out that it has not come adrift anywhere. Re-glueing is easy and usually needed along the way. The last thing to do is, run a bead of CA to coat and secure the protector material, then wipe it quickly before it goes off.

As for me, I love Stan B's kits. He is close by for one reason & his quality is first rate. That said, if I was in OZland, I would no doubt find Ployd's kits the same high quality.
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Leeper
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2008, 12:55:23 PM »

Gosh Lee! You reminded me that I need to get one of Stan's kits. Problem is I am involved in another project which is eating my available mooolah. But I do want one to see how it is made and especially for the instructions and that special fuselage with timer. I've not a clue about those and seeing will educate me. I will have to stick with my Sweepette 12 for the present. It is giving me loads of fun and loads of exercise chasing it down. Smiley

Caley
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Dan G.
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2008, 12:03:10 AM »

Hi Leeper,

I used to have separation difficulties with a spruce leading edge until I tapered it (in plan view, same rate as the wing) before attaching it.

While looking for other stuff on the Web, I found a plan for this year's British hlg winner (I don't remember if it was their Nationals or what ... I went by really quickly) and it seems to be a doppelganger of a Supersweep.

Dan G.
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2008, 08:31:35 AM »

Hi Dan G

This years British OHLG winner's model was an own design TLG (image below) so it would have been their indoor champs.
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Re: HLG Kits vs. Plans?
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Dan G.
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2008, 01:23:19 AM »

Okay ... you're probably right and I'll buy that ... thanks.

Boy ... look at the size of that monster in your photo ... I mean the plane.

Dan G.
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2008, 08:59:45 AM »

Hi Dan

That's a normal size one Grin

Ployd in OZ
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Dan G.
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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2008, 08:26:25 PM »

Yah ... I'm so yesterday ...

Dan g.
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« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2008, 07:40:19 AM »

Let me stick my two cents in on this one.

I think kits are a great way to start in HLG.

The quality of wood in the kits I have bought so far, ranged from good to great. The use of incidence screws takes away the frustration that comes from getting the incidence right. One turn of a little screw and things start to improve. Without incidence screws, every time you want to change the incidence you will probably need to take the elevator off and reglue.

The use of a carbon boom means that you aren't heading for the cyano every time you do a bad launch. Super hard balsa for booms is hard to come by - carbon booms are the way to go.

I found with the Sting javelin launch models, the 21 and 24, that they are very forgiving of different incidence settings, and that they transition well. The clever wing design has the right amount of washout built in to it.

A purist could argue that beginners need to work out the washout/washin balance for themselves - and yes - incidence screws can be bumped out of place, and possibly by raising the whole elevator profile drag is increased by an incidence screw set up more than if you bend the rear of the elevator up or down: these things are trivial compared to the value of building a kit that gives so much providing it's built with a bit of care.

Sooner or later most of us want to do our own designs and modifications.

flyingfish
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« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2008, 12:24:01 PM »

The photo of Ivan Clarke was taken at the nats and in the wind, the model would not behave at all. He wrote two off I think before getting the third one to behave. I was too soaked after taking the pics to stay from there on - so did not see the flights. However, his other two were stable in the wind but damaged badly in unforgiving launches. I wanted the photo so we / he had one that he could look at in case it got damaged.
It was not going as high as the Spin up design - wonder if that was to do with its shape. Also, you may or may not know - its a box fuz nose end. Its not - if I recall right - solid through and through and i think its hollow.
K
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Dan G.
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« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2008, 07:13:31 PM »

Hi flyingfish ... can you direct me to a picture or plan for a Sting 21 or 24?

Dan G.
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« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2008, 11:16:58 PM »

Hi Dan G,

Peck aren't selling the plans separate to the kits. http://www.peck-polymers.com/store - scroll down until you find Sting Aeroproducts.

Cheers,

Keith (flyingfish)
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Dan G.
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« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2008, 11:24:07 PM »

Thanks, Kieth ... do you suppose the two gliders in question look like the clg in the photos?

Dan G.
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« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2008, 04:10:28 AM »

Hi Dan G.

They look similar but not the same. I've just noticed that on the A2Z corp page they have used a Sting 21 as the logo for Sting Aeroproducts - the one in the pic has yellow inner panels and red outer panels on the wing. A tiny pic though unfortunately. If you send me an e-mail at [email protected] I'll send you a pic of a 24.

cheers,
Keith.
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« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2008, 07:44:52 AM »

Dan

Here is an URL that shows pics of probably all the larger Stingaero products, the sting-18,21 & 24, spinup and a few more besides.

http://www.stingaeroproducts.com/kits.htm
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