Dynamic Soaring with an HLG
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Home > Articles & Tips Index > Flying > Dynamic Soaring with an HLG

[Courtesy of Rob Crockett rcrock "at" ncws.com, November 1999]

In a way, it's a pathetic statement of the winds here these days, but I've been having a kick lately with my Wizard doing a little dynamic soaring. At a local hill near here in Auburn, CA (check it out http://www.ncws.com/rcrock/auburnst.htm) the winds have been reliably blowing, but only just blowing, somewhere around 2 to 4 mph up and over a saddle on the hilltop. Ouch, but this turns out to be plenty to hum around on the back side of the hill, making those cool sounds, and pumping up the speed where there is no lift. When the wind drops to zero, I shoot the plane to the front side, find a thermal, wait for it to summit the hill, then dip to the back side in the draft of the thermal, and crank it up. Hmmm . . . wondering just how strong that glass tape and epoxy is at the dihedral. A lead sled it is not, but WAY more exciting than scratching for thermals and waiting for the wind to pick up enough to fly a heftier ship.

A couple of notes. Stirring the sticks like that uses up the battery about twice as fast. With a 80mA pack and four servos, that's pretty fast, and I wouldn't do it without a low voltage alarm (new design 0.07oz and 0.01mA). S-80's don't cut it with the turbulence, so I have 4 HS-60's in the plane at the moment. After a couple of sessions, the S-80's were quivering protoplasm, and had to be retired. The rudder part of the ruddervadors turns out to be very helpful since the plane spends a goodly part of its time trying to go sideways when passing between the bushes. After a few sessions, I had the ply front and back wing mounts pull out on a launch which resulted in a nasty dork--I think the epoxy/microballoon mixture finally just gave it up. I replaced the wing mounts, this time with polyurathane glue (Elmer's ProBond) that sticks great and remains a little flexible.

I hear there is a front passing through tomorrow--maybe some serious wind will smile on me. If not, I'm gonna warp my Wizard in a tight orbit some more.

Rob Crockett

Grass Valley, CA

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