[Courtesy of Bob Baxter, baxterr "at" us.ibm.com, January 2000]
About 3 years ago I built Spirit 100" glider. Flew it for a year or so as a glider off the hi start. Became lazy and for the past couple of years it has been hanging in the basement just asking to be converted to electric. I took the plunge and finished the conversion last week.
I got the idea when I went to KRC98. There was a fellow there that converted his Spirit 100 to E. Seems like every time I looked up it was in the air and flying beautifully. I spoke with him at KRC98 and he loved it! He was using a Astro G-15 and 10 cells.
That was my intention too however, I happened to have a Astro G05 and a spare 7 cell 1700 pack so I used them instead.
I was a little apprehensive on the first flight. I was concerned that the power system would be too wimpy. Not to worry. Took it out on New Years day at around 4 PM as winds were down to "at" 5 mph.
With a deep breath and four steps I launch the big bird. More accurately, I opened my hand and it flew out-straight and true, climbing out at about 25%. Within a minute or so I was at 500-700'. Cut the power and let it do what it does best-soar. I ended up climbing two more times to about the same altitude. Deciding that a dead stick landing would not be a good idea on my first flight I decided to bring the plane in, that was the real challenge.
This plane does not want to land-it loves to float. It has a tremendous glide path. I ended up making two approaches before it finally settled in (about 300 yards past the planned landing area). That was the only flight due to darkness. When I got home I cycled the motor pack down and found that I still had 850 mah's left. This is a very nice setup. The Astro G05 with this inexpensive ($9) folder is silky smooth, almost sounds like a direct drive.
I did not use the plastic canopy after the mod, instead I built a flat hatch from balsa. I can replace the motor battery without removing the wing. The 1700 fits perfectly in the fuse. A 10 cell would be no problem either.
Click the small thumbnail images below for larger pictures.
The other thing I like about this plane is that you can build with the "advanced" wing. It is a different airfoil, with ailerons, flaps, spoilers etc. You have to pick one or the other when you build the kit. Ribs for both airfoils are provided. If you are looking for a nice 100" sailplane to convert to E, one with different wing options, the Spirit 100 is a great candidate!
Unsolicited comment: I covered the wing in transparent orange monokote-looked great but with no stripes etc was rather boring. I ordered some lettering from Vinyl Graphics by Greg (EZONE advertiser). I got "Spirit 100 Electric" done is 3" white cursive lettering. Folks it looks great! So pleased was I with it that I order lettering for my 80" Playboy, LT-40, Seniorita and Flyin King. Greg was a pleasure to do business with and was quick in delivering the product. End of unsolicited plug.