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Glider Kits

Posted: November 8th, 2018, 2:11 pm
by prd06
Hi everyone,

I wanted to know whether or not you all are making your gliders from kits?
Are any of you buying the Ward Science kit or are you using something else?


Re: Glider Kits

Posted: November 8th, 2018, 2:47 pm
by Kai0721
I would definitely recommend kits as a good starting point for ELG. I have the freedom flight kit which makes a very good glider bu can be difficult to build. Other offerings as you mentioned are Ward’s Science but also Guru tech and J and H aerospace have ELG kits.

Re: Glider Kits

Posted: November 8th, 2018, 3:32 pm
by prd06
So the Freedom Flights kit is the best?
What about J and H aerospace and Guru tech?
Is it possible to just buy the important parts and make the glider by myself? (that's what I did for Wright Stuff B last year)

Re: Glider Kits

Posted: November 9th, 2018, 4:57 am
by Kai0721
I don’t know if freedom flight is nessacarily the best because I have not done side by side comparisons. I just know their kits from years past have done well in competition. I don’t know much about the guru and J and H kits I just know their out their you might want to do a little more reaserch into them. With gathering materials and building it’s definitely possible however if your new to the event the kits can serve as a good starting point which you can modify and test. I’m also new to this event but I did wright stuff last year so I’m sill starting with a kit.
Side note kits are not a gimme out of the box perfect solution they still take a lot of time to build and test to get to a competitive level.

Re: Glider Kits

Posted: November 9th, 2018, 7:09 pm
by retired1
I have built both the Freedom Flight and Guru gliders.
The Guru is a moderately quick build. The freedom flight glider requires a bunch of sanding , precision measuring device and precision weighing device.
The freedom flight builds at 4.1 g with nose weight. Guru built at 5.4 with the nose weight. John will tell you how you can lower the weight which will make it a bit more fragile.
Freedom flight is reinforced with carbon fiber tape.

If you are new to building, the guru or J & H might be a better first choice.

For me, the freedom flight flies better, BUT I have not lowered the Guru weight yet.

Dave has extensive coaching and kit building experience. John has had good coaching experience. This is his first year at selling kits.

J & H is Joshua Finn, a very experienced builder that has held at least 1 AMA record. He also has a MS in aeronautics.
His basic glider is very similar to Guru. At the end of his catalog he has a glider that looks a lot like the freedom flight one.
He has construction and flight videos on line for the simple one as does Guru.

All 3 will provide a reasonable amount of help.

Flying practice is highly necessary!! The freedom flight glider will take (my estimate) 3 - 5 times longer to build very well.

A well built glider from any of the 3 ,with lots of practice, should place at most regionals.

My biased opinion thinks that the freedom flight glider has a better chance of placing at invitationals and national tournaments. With diligent construction modifications, the other 2 will also do well.

The last I looked, the Wards kit is intentionally low tech for beginners. At that time, the description was very vague, and had outright misrepresentations in it. It also costs the most.
Also, the kit would be assembled after you ordered it (I think)

Having broken several gliders, I would absolutely recommend getting either the Guru or freedom flight launcher. It will probably save many people broken gliders.

Re: Glider Kits

Posted: November 9th, 2018, 7:16 pm
by retired1
prd06 wrote:So the Freedom Flights kit is the best?
What about J and H aerospace and Guru tech?
Is it possible to just buy the important parts and make the glider by myself? (that's what I did for Wright Stuff B last year)
There is no most important part. If you get plans from one of several sites and modify dimensions to SO requirements, you can build a competitive glider. It will probably take more effort and time, but is very doable. Proper balsa for the wings might be a bit hard to find in many places. Hip Pocket and AMA are the first places that I would explore.

Re: Glider Kits

Posted: November 11th, 2018, 2:03 pm
by prd06
Thank you for the responses!
I do have some experience with building, as I did Wright Stuff B last year.
I looked at all the different kits you mentioned, and I am considering all the options.
I notice that J & H aerospace has 2 different products: the Protege and the Carbonette. Is the Protege the one typically bought for SO?
I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere that the flaps help the plane transition from the high speed phase to the low speed. So, does a plane with the Styrofoam flaps in the back perform better than a plane without the flaps?

Thanks, prd06

Re: Glider Kits

Posted: November 11th, 2018, 2:43 pm
by Kai0721
I believe the protege would be the one most people would want. The carbonatte is meant for higher ceilings 40+ feet. Also you can find more info on J and H aerospace models on YouTube their are videos of both models.

Re: Glider Kits

Posted: February 15th, 2019, 11:49 am
by fifty_missions
Flaps are very good for low ceilings. Gliders without flaps have less drag so can be launched higher so better for 50' and higher. Actual high ceiling gliders will generally use at least three dihedral joints. These extra angles help induce the transition high up. Flappers tend to transition by a stall and are lightweight enough to make this work. Higher ceiling gliders have higher mass so the transition must happen at the launch apex and the glider's momentum and almost no stall carries it right into a glide.

Many SO gliders are relatively heavy for their sites and these must be launched at about 45 degrees, the GURU has this tendency. If you lighten that glider, it can be launched close to vertical. Tapering the fuselage aft the wing trailing edge to the aft end is a good idea. This could be a side taper down to 1/16" aft. If the stabilizer is mounted on the bottom of the GURU.
taper top down as well. Any fuselage flex aft the wing is good for absorbing nose impacts.

More on the GURU-
Match up the wings to assure one is not highly flexible compared to the other. Also, to minimize fracturing at the flap "hinge", use a 1/2" stripe of classic airplane cement (Duco, Amroid, Testors) under the wing panels, near the root between the hinge area and 1 cm from the trailing edge. This runs fore and aft. Apply sparingly with your thumb and press into the wood. Stroke and press slowly against the grain until the glue dries. This will reinforce the basa fibers so there is less flex or even flutter on launch. It can also be used to get a consistent bow or camber so that each wing matches. Do not use CYA for this technique as the wing will get stiff and its difficult to apply safely.

The layout of the tail parts puts the stabilizer and fin with a bias angle on the grain. This was mostly done for product yields. I highly recommend making templates with similar shapes but aligning the grain to be perpendicular to the fuselage. This will allow critical manual trim adjustments on the trailing edges. Add all this together and the GURU can be very competitive ELG.

Good Luck,
50 Missions

Re: Glider Kits

Posted: March 20th, 2019, 5:07 pm
by NewSciolyer
Fifty missions,

Your response helped a lot! But I have a question on tapering the fuselage. If you sand the end of the fuselage to 1/16 of an inch, wouldn't that make it weak and break more easily? And I didn't quite get on the part where you said to minimize fracture at the flaps. I have a Guru glider kit and this is my first year at ELG, and so far things aren't that good. One of my gliders does a 12 second in a 25feet ceiling (not state competitive) and another one where I followed the step to decrease the weight by cutting the fuselage in half and using only 1 wing support. The single wing support breaks very easily and the plane will divebomb when launched with the right wing pointing at the ground. I think the problem is that when I sanded both wings I didn't do it equally. Would you suggest putting carbon fiber on the fuselage or wings? Would you recommend splitting the wing in half first and then sand them individually and weight them to see if they were sanded equally? I am new to this event and need some tips on building and launching. Thanks so much!

Many thanks,