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Here we have a list of different styles of flying.  We will try and explain the best we can.  If you would like more info please contact us.

SLOPE:   This is our most common form of flying.  We stand on top of hill and throw the gliders off into a head wind.  The hill we need should be a reasonably steep hill clear of any trees.  A nice big clear area behind is very helpful for beginners but not a must.  The wind hits the slope of the hill and pushes upwards.  This generates wind lift for us to throw the gliders off and into.  Have a look at this drawing, it explains it a bit better. Click for a bigger picture.

BUNGEE:   The bungee or “high-start", as it is often called in other countries. This is basically a length of surgical rubber tubing around 33 metres long, attached to 90 or so metres of 30 – 50lb monofilament (fishing line) or high-strength braided line. The rubber end is staked into the ground, and the line (with a ring attached) is hooked onto the sailplane tow hook. This may appear to be a violent method of launching, but it is actually one of the more gentler ways of launching a sailplane.  We always launch the glider into the wind.


WINCH:      In Australia, a very popular method of launching a plane these days, is the electric winch. Although not a cheap system (typically $850 plus, without a battery), it is very dependable, strong and easy to use. In its simplest form, a winch consists of a car starter motor, with a drum attached to its shaft. This is then mounted to a frame. Power is provided by a deep-cycle l2V battery and activated through an automotive solenoid. The solenoid is triggered by a foot pedal, which is connected to it by a cable. Step on the pedal, and the motor spins up immediately to about 2,000rpm, pulling the line in, and winding it onto the drum.  Again we always launch the glider towards the wind.  Here is a picture of a hand winch method where a person walks with the line instead of using an electric motor to wind it in.


TOWING:    This is where we use a powered plane to tow a glider.  The powered plane in known as a tug.  It can be powered by a combustion engine or an electric motor.  The tug we use is an Ugly Stick 60 size.  The wing span is 1.7m and is powered by  a Scorpion S4020-16 electric motor. For more info have a look at the build thread. The tug has a mechanism mounted in the centre of the fuselage at the trailing edge of the wing.  The tow line connects here and can be released by the remote control in case something goes wrong.  The glider also has a tow mechanism mounted in the nose for the tow line to connect to.  This is controlled by the remote control so the line can be released when the glider is at a good height to fly on its own and look for thermals.  Both pilots stand beside each other so they can talk constantly and tell each other what they are doing.  The glider pilot needs to remain behind the tug and ensure the tow line remains tight.  Similar to when two cars are towing each other.  Once up to a good height the glider releases the tow line and can start looking for thermals.  A thermal is a warm pocket of air and because it is warm it is rising air.  Unfortunately you can not see a thermal you have to watch the glider to see if it starts to rise. This is how all gliders get their height.

COMBAT:      This is similar to slope flying but we use models made out of EPP Foam.  They are cheap to make or purchase and they are covered with coloured packing tape.  They are very strong and can handle high impact with the ground.  Once in the air the fun begins.  We deliberately try to hit each others plane in mid air and try and force them to crash.  If you crash 9 out of 10 times you can just pick it up and get back in to the fight.  This is a whole lot of fun once you know how to fly.  One of our sites has the added fun of a Wedged tail Eagle joining in.  Have a look at the photos.

ELECTRIC:     These days there are a large number of electric motors available.  Some of our gliders have them fitted in the nose so on calm days we can hand launch and use the motor to gain height and then turn it off and glide.  If we drop quickly we can start the motor again and climb.  This makes gliding very easy, although some of these motors are very fast and make the glider travel at high speeds.



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This site was last updated 23-Sep-2011