• January 22, 2022

Radio Controlled Glider

The most basic radio controlled model airplanes are gliders which are a great way of gaining radio model airplane flying experience before moving on to powered craft. A radio controlled glider uses the natural air currents and basic aerodynamics to fly. The flyer controls adjust the various control surfaces on the glider.

Getting into the air.

By hand, which must be the simplest way to get a model glider into the air. Throw it horizontally, giving it sufficient speed to get it to fly. A slope or hillside comes very useful too.

Towline launch. A person runs along the ground with the glider,pulling a long piece of string with the glider attached to the other end, while the pilot steers it.

Bungee launch. This launch use an elastic band attached to the ground.

The spectacular ‘Piggyback’ launch.

This method uses a ‘tug’, which takes the glider into the air. A ‘tug’ is powerful radio controlled airplane which either tows or carries the glider into the air. This just like the real thing but it requires a very experienced pilot to steer the ‘tug’ or towing airplane.

For more advanced flyers, there is what is known as the Discus launch.

This uses a special type of glider – a DLG (Discus Launch Glider (DLG), Radio Controlled). Here the pilot holds the model by the tip of a wing, spins 360°, rotating the model around and then releases hold of the model allowing it to launch at high speed. DLGs are a fairly new type of gliders. They are gaining popularity due to their ease of launching and efficient flight characteristics.

OK, so we are now in the air with our glider. Things you can do now that you are in the air. The most basic of course is to learn how to fly your glider. Try and find the warm rising air currents or thermals, to gain hight. For the more aggressive and quite entertaining, there is combat. Combat, is quite simply trying to knock the other guy out of the sky.

Another activity is Ridge racing or pylon racing when using marker. Use the slope lift to race along the “lift zone”, which where you can gain hight. Here 2 to 4 planes compete against each other on the same course. The first pilot to complete the course receives one point, second two and so on, with lowest score winning.

For the dedicated radio controlled glider racer using the is F3F. This is one of many competition categories for model and full scale aircraft that are defined by the FAI. Here the pilot is against the clock, timed on the course for 10 legs of 100 meters for a total distance of 1 kilometer.

If you thought fly a radio controlled glider was dull, try it it may surprise you.

Have fun.

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