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477 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2012 :  09:19:59 AM  Show Profile
Editor's Note: For some reason various characters do not come through properly when pasted to this board. I have tried copying from Word, .pdf and even plain text files. You will see at various points in the text. These were hyphens, - or other characters that don't seem to carry over. Be creative in your interpertation until I can find a way to fix them.

Ed Anderson
Editor, ESL Newsletter.

Eastern Soaring League Newsletter - April 2012


President - Josh Glaab
Secretary/Treasurer - David Beach
Scorekeeper - Luis Bustamante
Web Master - David Beach
Contest Coordinator - Josh Glaab
Quartermaster - Steve Lucke
Hand Launch Director - Frank Nisita
Newsletter Editor - Ed Anderson


Welcome to the April 2012 Eastern Soaring League Newsletter and the 2012 Eastern Soaring League season. This first newsletter is packed with articles and informational references that I hope you will find interesting and useful.

We start with a greeting from our President, Josh Glaab. Then we highlight the new ESL website. For anyone interested in the NATs or World Soaring Masters we have information for you.

Next is the ESL calendar for 2012. John Marien's LSF Corner is next. We have an article on the economics of upgrading a 72 MHz radio to 2.4 GHz. There are two articles related to alternate launching systems and an announcement of some new glider carry bags. As usual there is the "found on the web" section. I have included a few that are just there for fun.

Please be aware that new ESL members are not automatically added to the Newsletter mailing list. If you know of a new member joining the league please ask them to send me their e-mail so I can add them to the Newsletter mailing list.

I hope you enjoy this edition of the ESL Newsletter. And I hope to publish some of your photos, articles and contest reports in future editions.


Today is 3/26 and the first contest of the season is approximately 1 month away! I am looking forward to seeing everyone, old friends and new acquaintances and some old friends who are new to the ESL. The HRSF/BRASS Unlimited season opener will be held on 5/5 and 5/6 in Waynesboro, VA. Following 2 weeks later the DHLG division will open its 2012 competition season with the MARKS club in Salsbury, MD. Both of these events should really be fun and bring in the new soaring year in excellent fashion. In case you may have not heard, Mr. WCx5 (Daryl Perkins) has moved into the DC area and will be participating in ESL events and getting ready for the 2012 F3J WCs.

Regarding the US F3J team, there is a lot to talk about there. The 2012 US F3J team is the largest US team ever sent to the WCs due to the world champion status of both Daryl Perkins and Brendon Beardsley (JR world champion). Adding to the list are Cody Remington, the K-Man (Tom Kiesling), and Bob McGowan for the senior team.

For the JR team we have Dominick Lewis, Tristan Sherman, and Dillon Graves. Jim Monaco is the Sr. team manager and Gordon Buckland is the Jr. team manager. Mr. tow-man extraordinaire Phil Barnes will also be supporting the team along with 3 other tow-men. Overall that is a total of 5 senior pilots and 3 junior pilots for a total of 8 pilots! Definitely a large and EXTREMELY capable teams that will carry the U.S. flag well and definitely make us all proud. Please consider purchasing some US F3J team merchandise and raffle tickets since the team definitely needs support to make it South Africa.

The ESL season opener (HRSF/BRASS), the ESL at Horsefeathers, and LISF are ESL unlimited contests that are before the team leaves for South Africa that I am sure will be good opportunities to support the F3J Team. In addition to the US Team, Dave Bradley JR will travel with the team and be part of the pre-WCs warm-up competition. Go to www.teamusaf3j.com to support the team and stay informed about the World Championships. Gordon Buckland is doing a fantastic job with the US F3J team website and it is a nice piece of work. USA! USA! USA!

This winter our club conducted a series of Radian Fly contests. Overall they turned out to be a lot of fun and have really helped our developing pilots learn a lot about flying, full-house 6-channel sailplanes, and competition soaring. We learned several things along the way that were not readily apparent when we started.

First of all the Radian is an interesting aircraft. It is an electric sailplane but has the weight, wing-loading, wing span and aspect ratio similar to 2M sailplanes. The basic Radian is a 3 channel setup with controls for rudder, elevator and throttle and is an ideal trainer. It is a simple design with surprising thermaling capabilities and replicates the performance of polyhedral 2M sailplanes.

The Radian Pro offers independent flaps and ailerons and provides pilots all the experience of full-house 2M sailplanes when setup correctly. My Radian Pro came in at 31.2 ounces resulting in a 8.4 oz/sq ft wing loading. These are very representative numbers for a 2M sailplane. The basic Radian is about 3 ounces lighter and definitely more of a floater and has more trouble penetrating a breeze. The Pro can run a little better than the basic Radian with reflex, but still much much less than my Sprite for example.

For our contests we used the ESL Score program and ran MOM and R-MOM rounds which provided competition experience similar to what we experience in the ESL. I think this is a significant factor for the new pilots and gives them an idea of what to expect from an ESL event that should help mitigate any concerns they may have. In addition our field in Suffolk, VA, is a nice place to fly, but definitely not large enough to have multiple winches that would be needed to run MOM events. The Radians provided the means to run 4 or 5 person flight groups, again providing the experience of MOM competition.

Radians are also relatively inexpensive and are easily procured leading to pilots being very open to lending their aircraft to other pilots. In addition many novice pilots started with Radians so there were many of them out there when we started. Recently I have had the idea of contacting the local power clubs to see if they have Radian owners and the response has been very interesting. There is a significant number of Radian drivers in the power clubs and are definitely considered potential soaring converts with the right environment.

For our competitions we used 30 second motor runs that gave pilots about 800 to 1000 ft to work with. To balance the different climb rates between the Radians and the Pros, the Pros had a 5-second head-start. FAI landing tapes were used that enabled many pilots to gain some landing points while also providing reasonable separation near the pin. For our first event in December the wind was blowing 10 to 20 mph and flight times were issue. Our more recent events have had nicer weather with lots of 10-minute max flight times.

Overall the events have been well received and have generated a lot of interest. I think other clubs could have a lot of fun and benefit from regular Radian flys and should consider them as a nice one design club event. Sure the performance is not like a Supra but it is the same for all and it comes down to pilot skill.

See you all in May!
Thanks, Josh.

Introducing the New Eastern Soaring League Website

As many of you know the old ESL website has been shut down. A new one has been developed by David Beach. The new site is off to a great start. www.flyesl.org Please note the .org designation. Take a look! I think you will enjoy the updated appearance and find it easy to navigate.

The forum software and data from the old site have been moved over to the new forum and you can now register for the forums. You can post articles, contest reports and can respond to other people's posts. If you have problems logging into the forum with your old ID and password just let David Beach know. You can reach him at the link. Just click on his name.


From: Lucke, Steve
It is my sad duty to report that the ESL pole has gone missing. If anyone has any information on its whereabouts, please let me know so I can request a hostage rescue by SEAL Team 6.
www.flyesl.org/AboutUs/OfficerContactInfo.aspx" target="_blank">www.flyesl.org/AboutUs/OfficerContactInfo.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.flyesl.org/AboutUs/OfficerContactInfo.aspx


477 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2012 :  09:21:24 AM  Show Profile

AMA National Championships -- Soaring runs July 28 to August 8

NATs Entry Form

World Soaring Masters Event - September 2012


Landing Practice - I had these in last year's first Newsletter, but felt they were valuable enough for a repeat appearance. This is how you get good! Note that these guys tape their practice, probably so they can review and learn from what they did, to get even better.

Expert and World Champion Daryl Perkins - Landing Practice
World Class Competitor Brendon Beardsley � Landing Practice

More information and registration can be found here:

For 2012 we have 10 TD and 7 HL contest weekends scheduled. Also note that TD and HL contests can be scheduled on the same weekend. As the ESL season runs from April to the first weekend in November there are 32 TD and 32 HL contest slots each ESL season. If you know a club who would be interested in hosting an ESL contest weekend you can direct them to our TD Contest Director, Josh Glaab, or our Hand Launch Contest Director, Frank Nisita.


Date Contest

May 05 '12 HRSF/BRASS - Waynesboro VA

May 19 '12 ESL at Horsefeathers - Warrenton VA

May 19 '12 MARKS - Salisbury MD -

Jun 02 '12 BASS - Timonium, MD -

Jun 09 '12 SKSS - Newark DE -

Jun 23 '12 LISF 1 - Syosset NY -

Jul 07 '12 CRRC Hand Launch Classic - Sudbury MA

Jul 14 '12 DBSF - Reading PA -

Jul 28 '12 2012 AMA/LSF Soaring & Electric Nationals - Muncie, Indiana

Aug 04 '12 LISF Hand Launch Classic - Syosset NY -

Aug 11 '12 CRRC Soar-In - Sudbury MA -

Aug 18 '12 CASA HLG - Rockville MD -

Aug 25 '12 ESL Mid-season @ DBSF - Reading PA

Sep 08 '12 CASA Open - Warrenton VA -

Sep 15 '12 SKSS Hand Launch - Newark DE -

Sep 22 '12 LISF 2 - Syosset NY

Oct 06 '12 ESL End of Season - Reading PA -

Oct 06 '12 DESS HLG End of Season - Wilson NC


LSF corner will discuss the League of Silent Flight, the accomplishment program and any news updates that seem relevant. The LSF home page can be found at www.silentflight.org

LSF: Level I
The League of Silent Flight (LSF) accomplishment program Level I skills and contest points are all about getting you out onto the flying field.

* The performance tasks pursuant to Level I are presented in the Soaring Accomplishments Program, Requirements Summary, Section12. Upon completion and documentation of the Level I tasks, the Aspirant must submit the performance documentation voucher to the LSF Executive Board for membership enrollment. After acceptance of the voucher, the LSF Executive Board will award the Member his LSF number and remit a Level II performance documentation voucher. The Member may then display a red I centered immediately below a Soaring Accomplishments Program insignia, and his LSF number.- [Courtesy of the LSF web site]

The accomplishments required for Level I are:

- 1 Thermal Duration flight of 5 minutes, or more
- 1 Slope flight of 15 minutes, or more OR a second thermal duration flight of 5 minutes or more (but on a different day than the first TD flight)
- 5 Precision Spot Landings within 3M (9.84ft) off of the landing pin

For the majority of the ESL members, you're already out there flying at your local field and attending contests. This makes it relatively simple to achieve LSF Level I in just two days or at any ESL contest weekend.

LSF: Level II

LSF Level II picks up where Level I left off and begins to increase the difficulty of your technical performance as well as adding a new element to the picture by requiring contest points.

As in the previous Level, the vouchers are submitted, accepted, and a voucher for the next Level is returned. As earned, the Red II will be displayed to the immediate left of the Soaring Accomplishments Program insignia, the III to the right, and the IV centered immediately above the insignia. [Courtesy of the LSF web site]

The accomplishments required for Level II are:

- 1 Thermal Duration flight of 15 minutes, or more
- 1 Slope flight of 60 minutes, or more OR a second thermal duration flight of 15 minutes or more (but on a different day than the first TD flight)
- 10 Precision Spot Landings within 1.5M (4.92ft) off of the landing pin
- 6 contests with 1 place (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) or 3000 contest points where there are at least 5 total competitors

The technical skills have essentially doubled for Level II. For the majority of the ESL members, you're already out there competing at contests. This makes it relatively simple to achieve LSF Level II in just three contests. The technical skills are fairly self-explanatory.

However, Level II introduced the notion of contest points. On the back of the LSF Blue Sheet there is an explanation of how to compute your contest points. The ESL scoring program automatically computes your LSF contest points for you. If you're not at an ESL contest and are just flying with your friends, why not try a small mini-contest? Make certain you have at least 5 contestants and run for 3 rounds. Select tasks similar to those at the ESL contests, like 10 minute flight time and a 100" tape graduated into 1-point per inch segments. Not only will you be earning LSF Contest Points but you will also be practicing for the next ESL contest!

Let's look at a couple of examples of calculating LSF contest points and let's assume your score was 321 points, the winner�s score is 654 points, there were 7 competitors, and your score means that you beat 3 competitors. The LSF contest points earned for this contest would be:

(321 / 654) * 100 * (1 + 3) = 196.33 = 196 LSF Contest Points Earned.

But what if you beat 6 pilots instead of 3 pilots? Then the calculation would look like this:

(321 / 654) * 100 * (1 + 5) = 294.49 = 294 LSF Contest Points Earned.

If you are going to earn 3000 LSF Contest points with only 6 contests, you'll need to average 500 points per contest. The first example above doesn�t meet the �place� rule and is below the average of 500 points. So you might want to hold onto this contest rather than including it into your top 6 contests - used for LSF Level II.

However, in the second example you placed second and that can count toward your Level II requirements. The larger the number of pilots you beat and the closer score you make compared to the winner, the larger number of LSF Contest Points you will earn. If you had won the above contest your points calculation would be (654 / 654) * 100 * (1 + 6) = 700 LSF Contest Points Earned. Now it might be easy to game the system by competing against 4 or 5 pilots you know you can beat. By the strictest interpretation of the LSF rules, you can do this. However, the LSF is an honor-based system to help you improve your soaring and competition skills. In my book, you learn more from losing to great pilots than you do from beating inexperienced pilots.

The strategy I used to gather my LSF Contest Points for all my levels was to print out a contest sheet which had the contest name, location, date, a space for the number of contestants, a space for my ranking against those contestants, a space for the LSF Contest Points earned, and a signature place for the CD to sign. I collected these contest sheets from every contest where I competed. Once I was certain I had enough LSF Contest points and the required "place" I copied the data from my contest sheets onto the back of my official LSF Blue Sheet. When I submitted my Blue Sheet to the LSF, I included the original contest sheets which contained the original signatures of the CDs (I made photo copies first). This strategy has worked well for me all the way through my Level IV rating. I'll let you know how well it works when I get to Level V.

Next time, we'll talk about LSF Level III and Level IV.
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477 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2012 :  09:22:02 AM  Show Profile
The Economics of Upgrading Your Radio from 72 MHz to 2.4 GHz
A Research Project - Part 1 - Originally written for the Long Island Flyers Newsletter
By Ed Anderson

I am in constant research mode. One of my latest research projects has been to look at the entry or upgrade costs of moving into 2.4 GHz. This article is focused on newer sailplane pilots who have not yet purchased a sailplane radio or club members who are flying on 72 MHz and thinking about moving to 2.4 GHz.

This will be the first in a two article series. This one is going to look at used 72 MHz sailplane radios vs. new 2.4 GHz sailplane radios. Part 2 will be about a new approach to radio systems based on an open source hardware/software approach using the SkyFly TH9X, also marketed as the Turnigy 9X. Watch for that next month.

If you are flying 2 or 3 channel RES gliders or 3-4 channel electric RES gliders, any 6 channel computer radio will serve you well. And you can fly a full house glider or e-glider on that same 6 channel computer radio, but you won't be able to do all the things that glider pilots want to do with full house six servo gliders or full house e-gliders. For that you need a radio with at least 7 channels and sailplane mixes. A radio like a Spektrum DX7 has 7 channels, but it lacks the sailplane mixing to be called a sailplane radio.

If you are still learning about sailplanes and sailplane radios, this article on the Eastern Soaring League web site might be of interest.

Selecting a sailplane Radio, What to consider

The sailplane radios I normally recommend include the JR9503 ($550), Futaba 8FG Super ($480), Airtronics SD-10G ($440) or the Hitec Aurora 9 ($400). Each comes with a receiver. Add on receivers cost $70 to $150. Don�t forget that these also include at least a 1 year warranty which you won't get with a used radio.

There is a large market for used 72 MHz radios that are great sailplane radios. I can't cover them all, but I will look at two that I know to be typical of the market, the JR9303 and the Futaba 9C Super. These will allow me to illustrate the economics of buying a used radio and upgrading to 2.4 GHz. An upgrade to 2.4 is not required but as the trend is to 2.4 that will be the basis of my analysis.

RC computer radios are made up of two components. The part that we think of as the radio is the box with the sticks and dials. It houses the main circuit board which includes a processor that runs the program that displays the menus and translates stick and switch input into signals that are sent to the radio frequency, RF, section of the radio to be transmitted to the receiver in the plane. Some RF systems are one way and some systems are two way. Two way RF systems enable telemetry back to the radio.

Since the need to change channels went away when 2.4 GHz arrived, most new 2.4 GHz radios have the RF section built in so you cannot easily change it. But most 72 MHz sailplane radios were module based so you could change from one 72 MHz channel to another to avoid channel conflict. It is the module based nature of these 72 MHz sailplane radios that will allow us to easily upgrade them to 2.4 GHz to bring them into the modern age of radio control. So let's look at the economics.

The JR 9303 was one of the top competition radios only a few years ago. Looking on the RC Groups radios for sale area we see that the 72 MHz 9303 going for about $225 to $275, often with several 72 MHz receivers. A new JR 9503, including a 2.4 GHz receiver costs about $550.

Let's do the math to buy a radio and put 4 full house gliders into the air.

New JR 9503 ($550 with 1 receiver) and 3 add on AR7010 receivers at $90 each.
$550 + $270 = $820 for a new radio and 4 receivers to put up 4 full house gliders.

Used 9303 + Spektrum 2.4 GHz module/receiver package and 3 add-on AR7010.
$250 + 110 + 270 = $600. A savings of $190

Let's do the same with the Futaba 9C Super. I fly the 9C Super which I have upgraded to Futaba FASST 2.4 GHz using Futaba modules.

Looking at the Futaba line today we see the Futaba 8FG Super would be the new alternative to the used 9C Super.

New Futaba 8FG Super $480 including 1 receiver and 3 add on receivers at $90 each.
$480 + $270 = $750 for a new radio and 4 receivers to put up 4 full house gliders

Used Futaba 9C Super, FASST module/receiver package and 3 receivers at $90 each.
$200 + $200 + 270 = $670 - A saving of $80. Perhaps not enough to justify buying used based on the high cost of the Futaba FASST module/receiver package.


What if we go to a third party 2.4 GHz module and receiver system? There are several available, but research has shown that the FrSky system, available for Futaba, Hitec and JR and others, is rock solid.

Insert Image:

Futaba 9C shown with a FrSky Module

FrSky also offers an extensive line of telemetry products for their module based system. I have seen many posts by giant scale pilots, glider pilots, gas and glow pilots and electric pilots. They say this system is every bit as good as Futaba's FASST system, but much less expensive.

The module and receiver package is $40 at www.HobbyKing.com. Additional receivers are about $20 to $30. FrSky products are also available from www.alofthobbies.com , a US based distributor. Since we can put this FrSky module into a JR 9303 or Futaba 9C let's look at the numbers.

JR 9303 + FrSky module/receiver and 3 more receivers.

$250 +$40 + $90 = $380. That is about half the price of the new JR 9503 DSMX and Spektrum receivers and almost 40% lower than a used 9303 using Spektrum DSM2 module and receivers.

We see even better savings when we look at the Futaba set-up.

$200 + $40 + 90 = $330. That is a $420 or about a 55% saving over a new Futaba System and a $340 or 50% saving over the used system.

Note in both the JR and Futaba cases a LOT of the savings comes from the lower cost of the receivers that we can use as a result of using the FrSky module. At a $50 to $60 saving per plane, the more planes you put up the more you save.

So, you ask, is FrSky as good as Futaba FASST or Spektrum DSM2? According to RCModelReviews, the answer is yes. In fact the reports suggest that the FrSky system is every bit as good as the Futaba FASST system and is better than the Spektrum/JR DSM2 system that the JR/Spektrum module provides.

The link below goes to a discussion on the Flying Giants forum that includes several posts by XJET. In this case he is talking about the FlySky 9X radio but he is talking about it with the FrSky module system I discuss above. His comments are quote revealing and typical of the reports I have received. BTW, in part two of this series I will be talking about the FlySky 9X radio as an even lower cost sailplane radio option.
www.flyinggiants.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62466" target="_blank">http://www.flyinggiants.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62466

Glider pilots talking about FrSky for a Supra
www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1552991" target="_blank">http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1552991

RFModule Shoot-out
www.rcmodelreviews.com/2.4ghzshootout.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.rcmodelreviews.com/2.4ghzshootout.shtml
More pilot reports on FrSky - Airtronics, Futaba, JR, ACE and others
www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_10935796/tm.htm" target="_blank">http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_10935796/tm.htm
www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_9994819/tm.htm" target="_blank">http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_9994819/tm.htm

Insert Image:

Image from www.alofthobbies.com - US Distributor

Of course, if you read the forums you will find negative posts too. But you can say the same for JR, Futaba, Hitec, Airtronics or Spektrum. Based on my research of the major brands and the FrSky system, the positive reports far outweigh the negatives

The FrSky receivers are about 1/4 to 1/2 the price of the comparable Hitec, Spektrum, Futaba and JR receivers. When you take this into account the economics of upgrading a 72 MHz module base radio to 2.4 GHz looks very attractive. And there is a DYI kit to upgrade radios that are not module based.


You might ask why I did not go to the FrSky system when I moved my Futaba 9C Supers from 72 MHz to 2.4 GHz. The answer is that I did not know about the robust nature and rave reviews that FrSky was getting at the time that I bought the Futaba FASST system. I learned about the FrSky system while doing the research for the second article in this series. By then I had already purchased two Futaba FASST modules and four 7 channel receivers at a cost of $570.

If I had purchased FrSky to upgrade my radios I would have only spent $140 for the same two modules and four 8 channel receivers. It was this discovery that leads me to write this article so that you could make a more informed decision than I did. But I will note that I am very happy with the Futaba FASST system. It works great. However I have already purchased one Orange (relabeled FrSky) FASST compatible receiver and plan to buy a couple of FrSky FASST compatible receivers as I continue to covert the fleet to FASST.

So, you have to ask yourself if you would be comfortable trusting your glider to a third party 2.4 GHz system. Only you can make that decision. Many pilots have put Spektrum 2.4 GHz modules in their non-Spektrum radios. I have a Spektrum module for my Futaba 9C Super. Hitec markets their Spectra 2.4 modules for Futaba and JR radios. And many Futaba pilots have used Hitec Spectra 72 MHz synth modules in their 72 MHz radios. Using third party modules is not new. There are probably a dozen makers of 2.4 GHz modules and conversion kits for our radios.

I have provided references from reviews and pilot discussions about the FrSky system. I have plenty more. But in the end, you have to make the decision. Every launch is an act of faith and every landing a moment of relief. What makes you comfortable is up to you.

I will close this article on this note, whether you fly JR, Futaba, Spektrum, Hitec, Airtronics, FrSky or something else, no one will guarantee you won't have a problem. And none of them will reimburse you for a crashed plane. So, you fly at your own risk no matter which system you use.

Clear Skies and Safe Flying!

Sources of products mentioned:

www.towerhobbies.com (Futaba and Hitec Products)

www.horizonhobby.com (JR and Spektrum Products)

www.alofthobbies.com (FrSky System)

www.hobbyking.com (FrSky, Spektrum and Futaba Products)

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477 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2012 :  09:22:30 AM  Show Profile
Little Big Winch - A lower cost option in electric winches

There is something special about putting an aircraft into the air and keeping it there without having a motor onboard. However you do need a way to get it into the air in the first place. Hi-starts are good. The OneWinch works very well too. You can read more about the OneWinch later. But many feel the electric winch is the gold standard for glider launching.

One of the benefits of being a member of a sailplane club is having access to the club's winches. These are expensive systems, especially when you add the retriever and batteries. To buy one of these winches new would likely be over $1000. And the winch and the batteries are each over 50 pounds. The next time there is a winch at the field; thank the guy who brought it.

Insert Image:

Photo from http://www.irfmachineworks.com/lbwinch/

But what if you wanted a light weight winch of your own? A personal winch, or a sport winch, is much lighter, lower in cost and can be run from a much smaller lighter and lower cost battery. The best example around is the Little Big Winch. At 17 pounds it is 1/3 the weight of the ESL winches and easy to transport. It can run from a garden tractor battery, about 19 pounds and $35. It will launch your foamy and your unlimited sailplane. A full system, including winch, turn around, pedal and line is about $685. While it is not suitable for ESL type contest work it will support a couple of glider guiders for an afternoon of easy launches.

Here are discussions about light weight winch approaches


The OneWinch is a human powered launching system that gives you a launch comparable to a hi-start, but in much less space. It is about half way between a hi-start and an electric winch in its method. This report is a composite of several field reports. You can read the reports in this thread starting around post 53 and again around 135 with several videos posted around 159. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1473778

First Field Test

I was at the ESL contest in Sudbury MA, at the CRCC field, with Mike Lavelle. We arrived Friday around 3:30 and decided to break out the OneWinch and see how it works.

Insert Image:

Photo Courtesy of www.onewinch.com showing what comes in the box.

While I set-up my 122" 60 ounce Thermal Dancer, Mike set up the OneWinch. The box was opened for the first time. Mike took a quick look at the instructions and headed to the field. Neither of us had tried this before but Mike said it was very easy to set-up.

There was very little breeze so this would be a good first test with no real wind assist. You can use this to launch by yourself using a belt. We did not use the belt for this test. It seemed better to have one focus on the OneWinch and one on the plane.

On the first launch he pulled while I flew. I have to say this thing works very well. It was like a good hi-start launch. The plane went up steadily and I got a mild zoom at the end. Mike only had to pull back about 20 feet or so and said it was not hard to pull. I was pretty pleased.

Now we switched. He launched while I pulled. Note that I have my tow hook set at a pretty aggressive position so the plane tends to climb pretty steeply. You have to keep up the pressure or the plane will stall due to this hook position.

Insert Image:
Photo courtesy of www.onewinch.com , showing the belt harness.

We did about 8 launches and everything worked well. I think I am going to like the OneWinch. As the pilot the feel is more like a hi-start than a winch. But you don't need as much room on the field. Also you don't have the 300 foot stretch walk and the 500 foot walk to get the chute. And there is no holding the plane against a hi-start's pull while you get ready. So in that respect I like it better than a hi-start. Also, it is not bothered by temperature so using it in the winter is not a problem like it would be for a hi-start.

This video is by the inventor

Here is the page with my launch videos:
www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1473778&highlight=onewinch&page=11" target="_blank">http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1473778&highlight=onewinch&page=11

When the day is done there is a very nice attachment for a cordless drill that makes it really fast to reel in the line and put it all away. Well, I forgot to bring a drill. While we had no trouble winding up the line, and the process is very easy, the attachments are provided to use a cordless drill. The drill makes the take down and wind up a piece of cake. This process is well designed and very well thought out.

After several days of using the OneWinch at the field with members of the club I can summarize my findings.

What it is not - It is not a replacement for a Ford Long Shaft based competition winch. The OneWinch simply cannot generate the pull that a FLS winch can generate. And it is not advertised as a replacement for a FLS winch.

What it is - A clear alternative to a hi-start or an electric sport winch.

* The OneWinch is easy to use
* Just like alternative launch methods, you have to work on your technique
* Proper tuning of the plane to the launch method will improve results.
* The average guy can easily manage the pull and the coordination
* I was launching in fairly rapid succession and I did not feel at all fatigued
* It was more work to walk to get the chute than the launch
*If there is a breeze you need to walk back very little, as shown in some of the videos
* There is a lot less walking than when using a hi-start
* You can use it on a shorter field than a hi-start and get a full launch
* shortening the length is very easy if you don't have room for the full set of line
* You get similar power to a hi-start but you can control/sustain it throughout the launch
* A properly set hook position will give the best results.

If you are interested in an alternate launch method, I would suggest you visit this thread, read the comments, my two field reports and play the videos. It is a good system. www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1473778" target="_blank">http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1473778

Best regards,
Ed Anderson
Long Island Silent Flyers
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477 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2012 :  09:23:08 AM  Show Profile

John Marien, one of our ESL members, has introduced The Jack Pak brand of RC Sailplane Carrying Bags. Two Jaci PaK carrying bags have already been donated to the USA F3J Raffle to support the US team.

Insert Image:

Photo from http://www.ne-aero.com/jackpak.html

ESL members can get free shipping (a $10 savings) if I deliver your RC Sailplane Carrying Bags to an ESL contest for you to pick up (or local pick up).

The Jack Pak RC Sailplane Carrying Bags have the following feature list:
- size will support 3.5m-4.1m sailplanes - Designed with by the KISS principle
- Heavy Duty 600 Denier Nylon outer covering to prevent damage to your sailplane
- Double layer of foam padding inside the shell of the carrying bag to further protect your model
- Four internal compartments store your 3-piece wing and fuselage parts separately from each other
- Internal dividers are removable to suit your needs or for ease of cleaning your carrying bag
- Each internal divider is stuffed with a foam sheet to protect each compartment
- One internal pocket to safely store your horizontal stabilizer halves, or V-Tail, safely from the other parts of your sailplane
- The inside of the bag is a light nylon, tough enough to prevent tears and to protect your investment
- One Heavy-Duty zipper goes around the bag so that it can open and lay flat on the ground for ease of access to your sailplane
- Two Heavy-Duty zipper pulls allow you to open the bag in the way that is most convenient to your style!
- The carrying handle is wrapped around the bag to provide and even pressure on your carrying bag for ease of transport either hand-held or tossed over your shoulder
- One end of the bag has a short strap for hanging your carrying bag by one end for storage
- Comes in Red with black straps and black lettering OR Blue with black straps and yellow lettering

Looks like a great way to protect those expensive contest sailplanes.


The link on the ESL forum takes you to a place to post local motel information or to offer or request room shares. If you are unable to post to the discussion, feel free to send the information to Ed Anderson, and I will post it for you. Information about local motels is always helpful.


The newest issue of RC Soaring Digest is now available for downloading from the RCSD web site. http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com/highlights.html


Tools, Construction and Repair

Construction Tips and Tools from Dr. Mark Drela

Safety tips on working with epoxy

Spectrum Analyzer for 2.4 GHz - $39
Allows you to scan the air for interference and band usage in the 2.4 GHz range.

Soaring - General Interest

This article was written for aerobatic pilots but all the same principles apply to gliders, just at lower speeds. Where they are worried about the axial nature of a roll, we are more concerned about minimizing drag. Aileron differential helps us both in our quest for better flying aircraft.


DLG Comparisons video
Steigeisen vs. FW5 Vs. Helios Flying Characteristics

Kennedy Composites Maxa

Pike Perfection

Topaz SV2

World Soaring Masters � Forum discussion

Video of Soaring Nats 2011

Building a Supra

Performance Tuning Your Glider � Everyone should have this DVD

Classic Glider Kits

Rigid Wing Hang Glider � The ARCHAEOPTERYX

Take-off from a hill
Wheel Landing
Foot Landing
Car Tow Launch
Trike Hang Glider Aerotow
Aircraft Aerotow
Bungee Launch
Home Page


AMA Insider

Expert Landing - Looks like 100 points to me

Congress moves to protect Model Aviation

FAA Cracking Down on UAS Use

How Gliders Are Made

Tribute to the US Armed Services

A Warning from the Horizon Hobby Website

Attention: Horizon Hobby has confirmed that all Spektrum Products being sold by KoKo Technology are counterfeit. We consider it a danger to use these products, waive all liability and will not support any warranty or service in regards to them.


Ormie and the Cookies � Just for fun!

Dead Squid Walking

World Record Paper Airplane throw



ESL logo items can be ordered from Cafepress. They have t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs and mouse pads. If you would like to show off the League logo, you can order whatever you like. There is no minimum order. T-shirts start at $9 and sweatshirts start at $33. S TO XXL. http://www.cafepress.com/FlyESL


I hope you have enjoyed the ESL Newsletter. Send your notes, photos, compliments or complaints to Ed Anderson, ESL Newsletter Editor.

Previous editions of the ESL newsletter can be found here:

If anyone would like to become involved in the Newsletter please contact me. If you are a writer, please offer some articles. If you are a graphics or format guru and would like to spice up the appearance, I would welcome the assistance. Photos are always welcome.

Best regards,
Ed Anderson
Long Island Silent Flyers
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