[Courtesy of Bill Grenoble, Denny Maize and Joel Foner]
One day, we had an idea... What if we could design a pretty high performance HLG that 'non-experts' could build and fly successfully, and could be built for about $20-30 of materials? Many tries later, here it is! The Terminator performs almost as well as some of the expensive "super HLG's" yet costs only a tenth as much to build.
We've introduced dozens of new flyers to HLG with this ship, and can attest that it flies well, people love to fly it, and it has drawn many new people to the sport of radio control soaring. Take a look at the construction notes - you'll be amazed how easy it is to build your own Terminator!
Here are a couple more pictures (these are thumbnails - click on each thumbnail to view the full-size image).
Is the Terminator right for me?
We assume a couple of things about your experience and skill level in these instructions. The completed Terminator is docile, and you don't need to be an expert to keep it in the air, by any means. Terminator fuselages are strong enough to withstand a large number of "surprising" landings without coming apart, and just about the only thing that can outlast it in a true beginner flyer's hands is an EPP trainer like the MAD Highlander EPP sailplane trainer. We do assume that you have built some sort of RC aircraft kit(s) before, and hopefully have some experience building something from balsa built-up style kits, as opposed to EPP "foamie" slope soarers or ARF-style planes.
The Terminator is very easy to build if you have some previous building experience. Having a local experienced builder to ask questions of will go a long way to getting you in the air with a minimum of 'fuss and bother'.
If you're an experienced builder, but haven't tried HLG before, or have been looking for a straightforward project to jump-start you into building composite-winged ships, or are curious about HLG's but haven't wanted to spend 'big bucks' to try one, then the Terminator is probably for you!
If you don't have much experience building, and you have or can find an experienced builder to help you, don't worry - you'll do fine!
If you don't have much experience building from built-up kits, and can't find anyone local to help, you might find the Terminator a bit challenging. By all means - give it a try. If you are looking for a challenge, and are willing to experiment and try things until you figure out how to work the details, then go for it - you'll have a blast! One thing to note, in terms of expectations - on the Getting Started page we mention that Terminators can be built in two or three evenings. If you're starting from scratch, without building experience, and maybe without basic tools, you should expect it will take longer. How much - well, that depends, but once you've built a few you'll be able to crank them out quickly too. In addition, if you are starting from scratch, you'll find that buying the parts will cost more than the $20-30 that we note - this assumes that you are pulling from your workshop for some of the pieces. (For instance you have bits of plywood floating around that you can cut up, instead of having to buy a whole new sheet just to use a small part of it, and other such things.)