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Experiences with a 2m glider,

Or how I just don't get it!

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Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator03/06/2013 11:58:06
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This thread came to mind following some comments in another thread.

I recently (Christmas time) took delivery of a Phoenix 2000 powered glider. Its my very first glider - yes, all these years and I've never owned a glider! smile o I've had a go on the sticks with other people's a few times - but not seriously.

But everyone was so enthusiastic about the P2000 and it was a very reasonable price, so I thought I'd give it go - see what the fuss is about. So, let's be clear,... I want to like this, but....

If you were to ask me what my first impressions are, then I'd have to say that in my view this model is a serious waste of a good receiver! I have had about twenty flights with it and frankly I just don't get it! I can't see what's so fantastic - I think its possibly the most boring aeroplane I have ever flown - it does nothing well as far I can tell.

Gliding - rubbish. My mate has a Weston Cougar converted to electric that would glide the pants of the Phoenix any day of the week - much lower sink rate and more positive control. I know of several Hypes that would embarrass it as well.

Aerobatics - Ha, don't make me laugh, it hurts! Its roll response is pathetically slow - ponderous would be a good description. Loops? well if you dive like a looney for speed (and I use the term "speed" in a very loose sense you understand) it might pull a decent sized loop - then again it might not. Oh- sure you can pull it "end over end" - but that's not my idea of a loop.

Energy management - what energy? It doesn't seem capable of accumulating very much!

Thermaling - well OK marginally interesting - and we have some very strong thermals where I fly off the AC units on the roof of the local hospital; so it goes up - hurrah! Then it comes down again - boo! What's that about? Do you just go up and down? Is that "it"?

I can't see the pleasure in climbing under motor power and then just gliding down again. Then climbing again,...and gliding down again. Then climb,....well - I'm sure you get the picture!

Now, I am fully prepared to be informed - this isn't intended as some sort of "getting at gliders", honestly - I genuinely want to know what it is that I'm missing. Because logic says I'm missing something at the moment. You see there are no glider pilots at my club - I'm "it". I have no one to ask, so I'm asking you. I recently even bought a book on soaring and thermaling to see if that would enlighten me. No joy so far.

So, here's your chance to convince me that there is more to gliding than just a mean spirited, undignified, scrabble around for bits of lift. I'm genuinely prepared to be convinced; because if I can't be shown something I'm missing I've got a much better home for that receiver!

BEB

Tom Wright 203/06/2013 12:33:44
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BEB.

In general terms your assessment is probably fairly accurate but ! it depends what your powered glider aspirations really represent .The Phonex is not a floater or an efficient go places machine . I think it is more of a introduction to powered gliding at a very low price.At the other end of the scale you could pay a grand for an AVA, and come to similar conclusions other than the fact that the AVA has a superb l/d , so will stay up for very long time for minimum use of power . What do you expect for £38 lol, smile.

Tom.

Bearair03/06/2013 12:44:16
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Im not familiar with the aeroplane so its difficult to comment, but if you check out Roger's (cliffhangers) flying on the Pheonix 2000 thread it looks pretty good aerobatically and seams to have a decent roll rate. possibly a set up issue then?, cofg too far forward?. Often the cofg given on these models is way to far forward for an experienced pilot to have fun with.

"Diving like a loony" isn't the best way to pick up speed, try 40/45 degrees. As I said I don't have one of these but for me the skill of a model like this is to thermal up to a great height after using the motor to get a launch of about 50 feet, doing aerobatics on the way back down, and then finding lift to go back up again. Often flights of well over an hour are possible like this.

Edited By Bearair on 03/06/2013 12:45:26

Tim Mackey03/06/2013 12:46:52
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Slope is where its at Dave.smiley

Tom Wright 203/06/2013 12:54:08
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Bearair.

I assume you meant aerobatics from 500 ft ? wink 2 I will get my Phoenix out of the hanger and go fly this afternoon , to remind me of it's merits or other wise .

Tom.

Bearair03/06/2013 13:01:04
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Tom,

I meant get a launch to 50feet, thermal up to a speck and aerobatics back down.

Roger

Olly P03/06/2013 13:10:21
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BEB - pity you couldn't make the orme over the weekend, then some 'praticed' glider guiders could have 'helped' your view

I have seen P2000's being highly aerobatic, but within the hands of experianced glider pilots. I know you are a very good, experienced pilot Dave, but gliding is, like scale flying or aerobatics, a particular skill set, and this is only built through experiance.

If however you don't enjoy it, then perhaps gliding just isn;t an aspect of the hobby which you will enjoy, we all have different interests, otherwise this would get very boring.

In all seriousness, it might be worth organising a day/some time with Tim or Simon, or any of the 'local' experienced glider guiders, to see if they can show you what you are missing...

Tim Mackey03/06/2013 13:47:58
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Pah! - Ive offerd the proffessor a meet up at the Orne several times Olly - but he's always refused.

Obviously, glider flying is just not in this man's blood cheeky

Seriously though Dave, gliding is a different arm to this varied hobby of ours, and of course, its NOT just about the flying as you well know. Its also about the many types of gliders, and their very varied assortment of pilots! Almost every single one I have ever met - and thats a few, are great guys ( and gals ) and the chats and commaderie (spelling?), not to mention the fantastic views and surroundings we get when up the Orme on a good day are second to none. The weekends PSS meet was a good example - Saturday we all flew almost every model we had with us, and the early evening shift of wind direction and increased velocity saw all the usual suspects trucking along at a great rate of knots! Huge 30lb Canberra, equally large B52 bomber, 2 x BAe hawks, Saab Gripen, and an F16 and a large F18 all flying formations together in the dying sunset, was a great sortie!! Sunday was a very calm day, where we had to resort to the electric assist models, including a few Phoenix models too, but the sunshine, food and drink, together with great company and lots of laughs made for a great time in its own way. Late afternoon brought a nice gentle 9MPH Northerly breeze which saw myself and another pilot or two exploiting the super lift right out over the sea towards Anglesey, flying huge circuits whilst sitting on a smooth rock overlooking a lovely blue sky and seascape...... chatting and generally putting the worlds to right.

Beautiful day, great to be out in it, and arrived home tired, sunburnt, and hungry - but very happy.

Come on Dave, give it a try, you will love it I know.

Bearair03/06/2013 13:54:57
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Posted by Tim Mackey on 03/06/2013 13:47:58:

Pah! - Ive offerd the proffessor a meet up at the Orne several times Olly - but he's always refused.

Obviously, glider flying is just not in this man's blood cheeky

Seriously though Dave, gliding is a different arm to this varied hobby of ours, and of course, its NOT just about the flying as you well know. Its also about the many types of gliders, and their very varied assortment of pilots! Almost every single one I have ever met - and thats a few, are great guys ( and gals ) and the chats and commaderie (spelling?), not to mention the fantastic views and surroundings we get when up the Orme on a good day are second to none. The weekends PSS meet was a good example - Saturday we all flew almost every model we had with us, and the early evening shift of wind direction and increased velocity saw all the usual suspects trucking along at a great rate of knots! Huge 30lb Canberra, equally large B52 bomber, 2 x BAe hawks, Saab Gripen, and an F16 and a large F18 all flying formations together in the dying sunset, was a great sortie!! Sunday was a very calm day, where we had to resort to the electric assist models, including a few Phoenix models too, but the sunshine, food and drink, together with great company and lots of laughs made for a great time in its own way. Late afternoon brought a nice gentle 9MPH Northerly breeze which saw myself and another pilot or two exploiting the super lift right out over the sea towards Anglesey, flying huge circuits whilst sitting on a smooth rock overlooking a lovely blue sky and seascape...... chatting and generally putting the worlds to right.

Beautiful day, great to be out in it, and arrived home tired, sunburnt, and hungry - but very happy.

Come on Dave, give it a try, you will love it I know.

Pretty much the same down in Cornwall this weekend, apart from the Pss but we did have just about every type of glider flying, from my HM F15 to vintage Minimoas. And a couple of impromtu barbecues in the evenings. Maybe its a Celtic thing!!!!!

Tom Wright 203/06/2013 14:00:18
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Posted by Bearair on 03/06/2013 13:01:04:

Tom,

I meant get a launch to 50feet, thermal up to a speck and aerobatics back down.

Roger

thumbs up.

Tom.

will -003/06/2013 14:36:00
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Do you just go up and down? Is that "it"?

surprisesmile oembarrassed

BEB yes that can be it. Slope flying aside, if you're working the thermals the challenge is to climb using thermal lift alone. What you do with the height thereafter is up to you (could be aeros could be cross country etc etc).

Sounds like you're spoilt by a good thermal source - for most folks hooking a good thermal, staying in it and climbing high enough to reach the next one before you drift too far downwind is a challenge.

Couldn't comment on the performance of the P2000, but if you want an aerobatic aircraft, buy an aerobatic aircraft not a glider. Also don't confuse L/D (aka glide angle) with minimum sink. Sure a 3Der might have a lower minimum sink, but how far forwards will it be able to go per foot of lost height.

Sadly I live in the Suffolk mountains so at my club there's just me playing with gliders and the nearest soarable hill is +1 hour away. Still I do plan to get a 2m together and get out the bungee as all this electric (and or I/C) assist stuff is great but real glider pilots don't use engines. cheeky

Olly P03/06/2013 14:38:42
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will -O - actually some of us do - it's called an aero-tow or even power assist built into gliders....

Oh, and I've flown both off aero-tow and power assist on full size...

will -003/06/2013 14:44:25
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Posted by Olly P on 03/06/2013 14:38:42:

will -O - actually some of us do - it's called an aero-tow or even power assist built into gliders....

Oh, and I've flown both off aero-tow and power assist on full size...

Yeah me too, but you put your skills on the table when you don't have a motor to get you home.

Same with models, but electric/ motor assist are so much more convenient!

will -003/06/2013 15:37:04
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PS Olly, did you ever fly Discus 506?

Olly P03/06/2013 15:41:19
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Not one that I remember Will, much of my Gliding was a few years ago now so might have done....

will -003/06/2013 15:44:14
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Juniors at Nympsfield 2003?

Olly P03/06/2013 16:07:49
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nah, mostly in Cyprus when I was posted there....

Tom Wright 203/06/2013 20:44:56
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Back to the Phoenix 2000 , I dragged mine from the hanger this afternoon , after a it had had a one year rest . Every thing checked ok so it was launched off at two thirds throttle ,and it went away at at good climb angle that was easy to maintain without undue stick twiddling . Levelled and cut the motor at around 500 ft and found lift that kept it up for 20 mins without further use of power . Roll authority was good and rolls were achieved but required a lot of down as it went through inverted . Stall turns and loops were a breeze ,and really slow flight in a very light wind was achieved by using flaps . With the flaps up a perfectly reasonable turn of speed was possible while maintaining a low glide angle . Using full flap for landing enabled accurate touch down positioning , but! a word of warning apply power with full flap and you could be in trouble as the pitch up is alarming .Other than that I found the model very well thought out ,and very practical due to the polypropylene fus .The canopy is very good for a cheap model , with plenty of room for the gear and a 2.2A lipo. All in all I found it to be a rugged good around performer at a daft low price . But look out for the power via full flap problem .

Tom.

kiwi g03/06/2013 22:01:47
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Reading your post BEB reminds me of a guy I know who bought a glider. He would power it up and glide?? no thats wrong, fly it back to terrafirma. he said gliding was boring and slow..then went back to power flying ..........

That same guy said my blue nose mustang didnt do aerobatics as well as his MX2.. wonder why ..Answering him politely was said as .....WEELL DERRRR... Its not meant too.Its a scale warbird.Very narrow minded some people.

I enjoy all aspects of aeromodelling and was bought up with slope soaring . its in my own opinion that alot of glider pilots make better pilots due to the nature of unpowered gliding .. I see alot of people have an engine out and end up panicking with a wreck as the result....

Take the parkzone stryker mk1 .. lots of guys including me love tearing up the airfield at full noise ,but very few of them can throttle back and soar .. I find my stryker soars and thermals not too bad..

Ido admit some gliders are shockers for thermalling , but thats design over flying experiance . Im sure if you looked deeper into the aspects of gliding BEB you would find that gliding is very skillfull and enjoyable, a form or pure flight even . a challenge ,maybe even exciting . try telling a dynanic soarer his hobby is slow and boring .. 450km ..yip dont think its slow..

First impressions arent always the best..

KIWI G

Edited By kiwi g on 03/06/2013 22:02:32

kiwi g03/06/2013 22:10:08
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1258 forum posts

One question BEB

How do you veiw you aeromodelling . Do you see and build it from the way a aircraft looks , or from the view as to how an aircraft flys ..

my reason is some people build for looks and some for flight..

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