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MFA High Sierra

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Shaun Walsh10/10/2018 08:12:13
69 forum posts

I have picked up one of these in good condition very cheaply, there's not much info on the web but the little there is indicates it's not very good, does anyone have any experience/tips to pass on before I throw it off a slope?

Trevor10/10/2018 08:38:43
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320 forum posts
47 photos

The High Sierra was my first model back in 1987. I'm amazed that you found one in good condition after all this time! It flies okay, albeit rather prone to dutch roll at times. Be gentle with the landings otherwise, if landed too fast, it will usually end up on its back. Any rough landing can also result in loosening of the wing joiner bars and/or the tailplane pivot.

It served me well as a primary trainer and then as a standby floater at the slopes. Nowadays though an electric glider of some sort is a better option for those 'not quite enough lift' days - especially since the hills seem to get steeper and higher as the years go by!

Trevor

Shaun Walsh10/10/2018 09:03:17
69 forum posts

Thanks Trevor, the one I have has just a little hanger rash and I replaced the servos as they looked a little tired, also the rudder had been enlarged at the trailing edge, any idea why this might be?

I also have a 1975 Graupner Cumulus, but I am not going to risk that without some experience.

Shaun

Cuban810/10/2018 09:43:34
2213 forum posts
4 photos

Good that you're going to slope the HS, as I recall it wasn't much cop as a flat-field soarer back in the day (mid 80s) and put many new flyers off after they'd been sold them by the local model shop despite us asking them to sell prospective flat field beginners something more suitable.

It's a long time ago, but I seem to recall that the way the wing spars were fitted into the foam wings was a bit odd and could be a problem if not carefully installed - worth checking alignment and strength, just in case.

Alan Gorham_10/10/2018 10:22:18
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637 forum posts
88 photos

The High Sierra was one of my first models as well. I only flew mine from a flat field with a power pod (Cox Tee Dee 049 power).

Yes it had shortcomings but I did a lot of flying with it before I finally pulled the joining tubes through the wings.

I think that an experienced flyer and builder won't have any problems and the advantage of having no instructions is that you can make changes based on your experience and preference.

I always thought the all flying stab mounting arrangement was a bit floppy for my liking as well as the method of holding the wing retaining tubes into the wing cores. Both methods were prone to wear over time and eventual failure.

Just one more personal preference: I'd have liked it with ailerons as well as rudder.

Trevor10/10/2018 12:09:25
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320 forum posts
47 photos

Posted by Shaun Walsh on 10/10/2018 09:03:17:

. ,. the rudder had been enlarged at the trailing edge, any idea why this might be?

Two possible reasons: maybe to increase the rudder response or to help damp down the dutch roll tendency.

Trevor

Shaun Walsh10/10/2018 12:44:52
69 forum posts
Posted by Trevor on 10/10/2018 12:09:25:

Posted by Shaun Walsh on 10/10/2018 09:03:17:

. ,. the rudder had been enlarged at the trailing edge, any idea why this might be?

Two possible reasons: maybe to increase the rudder response or to help damp down the dutch roll tendency.

Trevor

I did wonder if it was to do with Dutch Roll when you mentioned it Trevor.

Is Dutch roll a bit like a French stick but with Edam instead of Brie?smile p

Alan Gorham_10/10/2018 12:47:47
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637 forum posts
88 photos

Now that you have both mentioned it, I remember making and fitting an enlarged rudder to my HS. 30 years later I can't remember if it was to improve rudder response or damp down Dutch Roll tendencies, but I do remember it helped with something....

FilmBuff10/10/2018 19:17:12
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211 forum posts
28 photos
Worst glider I ever built and flew.

Tip stall city.
Alan Gorham_11/10/2018 09:23:13
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637 forum posts
88 photos

What?!

If nothing else it teaches you how to recognise, recover from and, eventually avoid flying near the stall!

I learnt lots from mine

Cuban811/10/2018 09:38:15
2213 forum posts
4 photos

I think it'll be fine as a sloper, where it can be kept moving at a decent speed without hight loss - scratching about on the flat with zero lift is not its forte.

Roo Hawkins11/10/2018 12:38:10
96 forum posts
54 photos
The worst model I have ever had. Sorry to be negative but good luck with it.
Alan Gorham_11/10/2018 12:55:52
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637 forum posts
88 photos

You could always buy a pristine "spare"!

**LINK**

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