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Best light wind slope soarer

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Tim Donald28/10/2019 15:08:54
85 forum posts
3 photos

Hi all,

I am just getting back into flying after about 12 years away. Things have moved on a bit since then and I am wondering what model would be best for very light wind (12mph or less) slope soaring. My options really seem to be 2m+ thermal glider or a DLG. I have no experience of DLG (I have no experience with these but have been watching youtube videos and they look interesting). I have build loads of aircraft in traditional construction and few foamies but nothing in carbon.

Any suggestions or words of wisdom?


Anthony Scott 228/10/2019 17:17:42
118 forum posts
9 photos

The Hobbyking Phoenix 2000 is difficult to beat for value & it flies very well.

flight128/10/2019 17:46:57
781 forum posts
37 photos

Any decent light weight glider will do . i have used my dlg (an old longshot 4)for very light winds giving it a spin launch out over the slope to see if you can stay up and if not you got the height to get back better than a e motor as no weight handycap.

You could look for a HLG hand launch glider) or F3j type gliders see the top model range of gliders see what hyperflight sell to get an idea

Andy Blackburn28/10/2019 18:14:17
515 forum posts
487 photos
1 articles

> Things have moved on a bit since then and I am wondering what model would be best for very light wind (12mph or less) slope soaring.

Well... 12 mph isn't really what I'd call "very light", and it depends whether you want to build something in the traditional manner or assemble some glassfibre parts.

  • If the former, I'd drop a line to Phoenix Model Products to see what they recommend.
  • However, if you want to assemble something glass then I'd try a Mini Ellipse - they're really good on normal slopes, will fly in a few (single digit) mph and are ballistic if ballasted.

If neither of those floats your boat, almost any DLG will be fine (but might be expensive if you buy new) but unless they can take quite a bit of ballast they are unlikely to offer the same overall performance as a Mini Ellipse.

Just my two penn'orth...

Frank Skilbeck28/10/2019 21:55:40
4934 forum posts
114 photos

Dream Flight Alula is also great in light winds.

PatMc28/10/2019 22:29:25
4523 forum posts
550 photos
Posted by Frank Skilbeck on 28/10/2019 21:55:40:

Dream Flight Alula is also great in light winds.

I think light weight models like the Alula are over-rated for light wind flying. They will fly in a breath but are not able to do much more than scratch to keep aloft when larger heavier models are able to do some aerobatics.

F'rinstance, here's some video taken in 2011 from my old 100", 5 lb, 14oz/sq ft Diamond. The Alulas couldn't reach the same altitude & were pretty much confined to a narrow band of lift whilst the Diamond was able to do at least some basic aerobatics.

Sorry about the video quality but it was taken by a low res FlyCamOne 2 camera..


Edited By PatMc on 28/10/2019 22:41:42

Tim Donald29/10/2019 14:00:38
85 forum posts
3 photos

Thanks all, some great suggestions there.

Interesting comparison PatMc, That is exactly what I was wondering.

My plan seems to be to build a traditional thermal glider over the winter and to get a lightweight or DLG that I can have up and flying fairly quickly. Now I just need to choose which one. The Mini Ellipse does look good as does this Stiletto Hot : **LINK**

Not sure I can justify the price of a full on DLG like the NRJ or Snipe2 as much as I would love one.

Former Member29/10/2019 14:11:55
2077 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Steve Houghton 129/10/2019 14:26:58
1943 forum posts
129 photos

It depends what model you're trying to fly in a 12 mph breeze. Some will be quite aerobatic in that and others will only stooge around. These days I tend not to go to the slope if the forecast is showing less than 10 mph but, a 10 mph forecast at my local airport weather station may mean 15 mph plus on my local slopes at 1400 ft ASL. But there have been times when I have arrived at the slope and the forecast has been completely wrong and there hasn't been much more than a puff of a breeze, which is where my trust electric power soarer comes in handy for some thermalling off the slope.

Ray Wood 429/10/2019 14:27:59
268 forum posts
44 photos

Hi Tim,

This completely built up 2 function slope/thermal soarer is retro old school, 84" Raven by Jack Headley from the 1970's SARIK plan, has flown but a major handful in 15mph !! only rudder & elevator

Regards Rayraven 1 150419.jpg

Tim Donald29/10/2019 17:58:02
85 forum posts
3 photos

Thanks, the reason I say under 12 mph is because I paraglide and want a model to take with me in case it is too light for that.

Nice Ray, I was going to get a Gentle Lady but they don’t seem to sell them anymore.

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