Practice locations

SPP SciO
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Practice locations

Postby SPP SciO » February 2nd, 2016, 1:32 pm

Hi glider folks -

Are any other teams having difficulty finding time and space to practice this event? Our school has one gym, and it's shared with another school in the building. Before and after school, sports programs have the space reserved. The best we've managed so far is to wait until 5:30 PM on Friday afternoon, and get as many flights in as possible. Surely, there are plenty of other teams with this problem.

I have approximately zero experience with gliders, and forgive me if these questions have been answered elsewhere -

1. What's the minimum ceiling height needed for worthwhile glider testing? We've got a cafeteria and an auditorium that are more open than a classroom, but probably only 4 or 5 meters before the ceiling.

2. How well can you judge a glider's performance by hand tossing?
2b. If a flight log was filled out with only hand tossed launches, would it receive credit?

3. What about outdoor launching - is this worth trying, or would even the slightest wind negate any value from collecting data?

Thanks for any information!
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Re: Practice locations

Postby jander14indoor » February 2nd, 2016, 2:54 pm

First, for the rule related question, this isn't an official forum, anything you see is ONLY an opinion...

Answers match your questions by number.

1. Depends on what the ceiling height is where your competition will be held. I'd say a minimum of 20 feet, and you want SOME practice (at least a couple of hours) at a location with a height near what you will compete at.

2. Limited. You need to hand toss the glider before you glide it to check basic trim. But best glide trim often does NOT match trim needed to transition well near the ceiling and that is key to the event! A so so trimmed glider that transitions near the ceiling will beat a well trimmed glider that doesn't transition to glide until half way down from the ceiling.

2b. Possibly OK. One of the required parameters is length of the elastic, doesn't say you have to use it for the data recorded... Should get you credit for at least an incomplete flight log. Might be stretching things with some event supervisors. Why not do 10 hand glides and 10 elastic launch glides, even if the ceiling is short. There is nothing wrong, and a lot right about far exceeding the minimum flight log requirements. Data collection and analysis are the HEART of this event.

3. If the weather is suitable outside testing is certainly OK as a supplement. Some wind is OK, you don't want a lot as it may confuse your results making it hard to separate the effects of wind from control and launch changes. Outside can be nice if you launch in a grassy field, fewer broken airplanes while you get the trim right to transition where you want it. Try to figure out some way to measure or estimate max height so you can practice at controlling launch to specific heights. You will still need significant testing indoors for accurate transition height, but you can learn a lot outside about how to get a glider to transition at max height and glide ALL the way down.

Jeff Anderson
Livonia, MI

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Re: Practice locations

Postby chalker » February 2nd, 2016, 3:27 pm

Other places I've heard of teams practicing:

-Churches (which usually have very high ceilings and minimal obstructions)
-Movie theaters (which don't always show movies in the middle of the week on screens)
-Elementary school gyms (which don't usually have athletic teams using them after hours)

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SPP SciO
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Re: Practice locations

Postby SPP SciO » February 3rd, 2016, 6:33 pm

Jeff, chalker, thank you for the information and recommendations. Today was rainy, but we are going to hopefully get the basics down outdoors tomorrow and get some gym time Friday afternoon. Once they get the idea down, we will have to source out somewhere they can work on their own time.

One more question while I'm at it - at the entry level, is it really beneficial to order specialized rubber, or will the chain of rubber bands (plentiful, free) be sufficient?
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Re: Practice locations

Postby MathemagicalWasp » April 24th, 2016, 6:02 pm

Wow! Churches and movie theatres. I would have never thought of that. Our school gives us only decent gym time.
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Re: Practice locations

Postby bernard » April 24th, 2016, 8:06 pm

If a flying club meets in your area, they may be willing to have you as a guest at their site during their meetings. Lots of searching may be needed since not all flight clubs keep their websites up to date. Here's a thread with some clubs around the nation from last season (viewtopic.php?f=191&t=6938#p275179).
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Re: Practice locations

Postby Terbin73 » May 1st, 2016, 11:32 am

Wow, I guess my school has it easy. We are a private school with no sports programs. We can launch whenever. (Still funny since we placed 52nd in ELG at Nats) :oops:

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Re: Practice locations

Postby Unome » May 1st, 2016, 3:01 pm

Terbin73 wrote:Wow, I guess my school has it easy. We are a private school with no sports programs. We can launch whenever. (Still funny since we placed 52nd in ELG at Nats) :oops:

It was a 57th I believe. 3 four-second flights.
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Re: Practice locations

Postby Terbin73 » May 2nd, 2016, 2:32 pm

Unome wrote:
Terbin73 wrote:Wow, I guess my school has it easy. We are a private school with no sports programs. We can launch whenever. (Still funny since we placed 52nd in ELG at Nats) :oops:

It was a 57th I believe. 3 four-second flights.



Hmmm, close enough.


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