New Rigid Pilot

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New Rigid Pilot

Postby Schwabby » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:19 pm

Hi Folks,

I have just acquired a VQ and am itching to fly it.

I have been flying for over 30 years and currently fly a Litespeed, rigids however are a new concept for me.

Any advice appreciated as to what to expect on that first take off!

See you on the hills soon I hope.

Cheers! Rob.
Yay! It's flyable!
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby Randombloke » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:03 pm

Hi Rob,

It's a great glider with better handling than the pre polyhedral Atoses.

The only issue is the lack of nose wires when needing help to take off or after landing in stronger winds.

Trim setting is critical. Advice from Steve E or Sven could be a very good idea.
SteveU
AIR Atos, Avian Amour, Gin Carrera Plus and Pegasus Quantum.
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby chrisjonesbath » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:33 pm

Schwabby wrote:Hi Folks,

Any advice appreciated as to what to expect on that first take off!
Cheers! Rob.


Rob,

Don't get frustrated by the rigging time, it will be very unfamiliar at first. Just take your time and don't force anything. Once you have done it 10 or so times it will become second nature just like rigging a flexwing.

About 3 seconds after take-off you will wonder why you waited so long to join the rigid set. Sure it may not seems to bank and crank as fast as a lightspeed but once you get dialled in you'll appreciate how damn easy it is to control and how well it goes. Just relax and consider you are not weight shifting you are just moving the bar from side to side to activate the spoilers. Old habits die hard and it will take a while to get that fixed in your brain. After 16 years on rigids I still find myself on occasion employing flex wing turning techniques.

Other than getting your approach sorted out earlier and don't make any low slow turns, that's about it.

Get a nice padded rack to transport it, you might need to be kinder to them (two nice light halves) than you may have been used to over the years of flexwing flying.

Oh and land with enough time to de-rig before it gets dark ;-)

Chris
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby Schwabby » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:54 pm

WOW!

I flew the VQ for the first time today, on aerotow at Smeatharpe. I have to admit I was a tad anxious as I sat on the tow cart awaiting the first launch, wondering what it was going to be like. All those doubts melted away within about 30 seconds into the first tow! It is a revelation! All those years of fighting to keep the Litespeed straight and behind the tug were gone, it simply flies as if on rails! What an amazing experience and so, so easy to fly. I admit to having a bit of a wobble for the first 10 or 15 seconds, rapidly wiggling the base bar from side to side and not doing anything except causing much laughter on the airfield. I soon settled down and realised that I could fly with the greatest of ease, incredible.

After release at about 2500ft, I soon fell in love with this fantastic glider. What a joy to fly. So light in pitch and much, much lighter in roll than any hang glider I have ever flown. Awesome! In the pretty light lift we had today I was able to stay up for ages, it just stays up in nothing.

Approaches, a dream, with full flap and bar well in it sinks very quickly and I was able to achieve a reasonable spot, within 50 metres or so consistently. The constant slightline angle works very well. I was pulling full flap pretty high, about 350-500ft late downwind and then flying a long downwind, base and then a constant sightline curving finals turn, to roll out on final approach at about 100-150ft. I did have about 1/2 mile of grass in front of me on the airfield which was comforting for these first few landings, not knowing quite what to expect. I was impressed at how short it actually lands, with full flap and loads of speed it does come down well, but keeping it coming down, well into ground effect was harder than I felt it should be; it just wants to stay up at about 6-10ft. The slightest forward pressure seems to make the glider balloon up again, perhaps I was jabbing too much pitch to catch the descent, as I would have needed to do on the Litespeed.

Landings... mmmmm.... I need help here! It was nil wind, or pretty much. I had 3 flights and Alan had one too. My landings were interesting to say the least. Due to the light airs, about 2 or 3 mph on the surface, I had decided I needed to flare hard. Well, the first one seemed to go well, I flew very low, feet just touching the grass, slowing down, (much more quickly than a topless) and then at the point I felt it right I started a flare and found myself sat on the ground having done a 3 pointer, fairly hard, on the wheels and tail. Hmmm... where did all the energy go. I must have stalled. Landing 2 was better as I had decided to flare a bit faster but unfortunately I flared a bit high too. I flared hard at the right speed and found myself almost vertical, which is perfect on a flexwing, but at about 6 to 8 feet. I expected to parachute down like a flexy but it sank fairly quickly and I buried the tail in the turf. I was unable to get the glider down into the ground effect at the right height of about 1 or 2 feet. 3rd landing was worse, damn it, where was the learning curve? I once again found myself too high. I made the initial round out at about the height I would have done in a Litespeed but instead of reducing the ROD it actually climbed slightly. Efficient wing! Very responsive in pitch, it flares more quickly than a flexy. So, once again I found myself at flare speed too high, about 6-8 feet. I flared and tried to hold the nose up like on landing 2 but it dropped and I nosed in. No damage though, just my confidence in nil wind landings. I'm sure I will hack it soon.

Maybe I have forgotten how to run? I am so used to stopping dead after a massive flare, nil wind on a Litespeed, I was expecting the VQ to do the same. Perhaps I need to start running at touchdown and flaring more progressively but still fully? I was nervous about trying that, afraid the glider would not stop and overtake me and then nose in hard.

Any thoughts?
Yay! It's flyable!
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby chasleton » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:10 am

Brilliant mate. I never full flair my Atos V for fear of damaging a tip. I just jog mine in with full flap.

regards Nick
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby chrisjonesbath » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:40 pm

chasleton wrote:Brilliant mate. I never full flair my Atos V for fear of damaging a tip. I just jog mine in with full flap.

regards Nick

What Nick says is true, I jog my landings out nearly always. Just keep gently pushing out and keep under the glider and it will stop quite nicely. The flaps help with this, and greatly reduce the chance of it overflying you. Be kind to your keel and tips!

In general when you are less than perfect rigids tend not to nose in, they fall down on top of you flatish and crush you to death, the nose never touching the ground. If the nose does touch the ground then you have the dynamics of it all a bit wrong. Just remember those flaps are really draggy and more so as AoA increases, so believe it will slow down if you push out progressively and keep jogging, you don't have to run like the wind for too long ;-)

Landing downwind though is a whole new kettle of fish.

Chris
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby Schwabby » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:38 pm

Thanks for the tips. I spoke with Steve Elkins today and he says exactly the same, just push and take a few steps.

After landing on the tail, I did in fact crack the keel, Doh! Just a small crack in the aluminium part around the large hole where the flap retraction bungee comes out. Oh well!

I also had problems with the flaps releasing. I have seen the thread about cleats and have ordered a new one, I haven't looked at it closely but I'm sure it must be worn somewhat, Steve is sending me a new one gratis as it's a new purchase. I must add, I definitely had full flap on for landing, I took my gloves off at about 500ft and poked the rope into the cleat to make sure it didn't come loose at 50ft on finals!

Also, one of the four little lumps on the rear stinger, where the tailplane locates is missing. Has anyone else seen this, any fixes known?

I am so blown away by the lightness of control and ease of flying and the amazing performance, I simply can't wait to get out again soon!
Yay! It's flyable!
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby nev » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:11 pm

Also, one of the four little lumps on the rear stinger, where the tailplane locates is missing. Has anyone else seen this, any fixes known?


I've heard of people making small expoxy resin lumps then simply gluing on.

Try the Yahoogroups RW list - 80% USA coverage, lots of pilts, some will have done it.

Also try http://www.flyatos.com/ Vince is an engineer and has done many mods - they have to be partly self-suffiicent in the USA!


Great to hear you are enjoying the glider - those 'first flight' VR/VQ write-ups are also full of enthusiasm!
Nev
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby chrisjonesbath » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:46 pm

Schwabby wrote:Thanks for the tips. I spoke with Steve Elkins today and he says exactly the same, just push and take a few steps.

Also, one of the four little lumps on the rear stinger, where the tailplane locates is missing. Has anyone else seen this, any fixes known?

I am so blown away by the lightness of control and ease of flying and the amazing performance, I simply can't wait to get out again soon!


My tail has in the past had a missing blob, it used to be a common problem I recall. Mine has been repaired and another blob glued in. Looks like carbon, so no idea how you make a carbon blob, but I assume micro-balloons and resin or super-glue will do the job.

Shame about the keel. I broke the flap on my VR within a few weeks, rigging in wind...now I wonder how I ever managed to do that as they seem pretty tough.

Chris
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby skyhigh123 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:30 am

How to make a carbon blob:

Using an existing "blob" on the tail mount I used a small piece of Blu-tac to make a female mould. I then sprayed the interior of this tiny mould with WD40 hoping it would work as a release agent. It did but it's not really necessary as you can simply peel off the Blu-tac later. I then mixed a small amount of resin and using scissors cut up a small piece of carbon cloth into even smaller pieces which I then mixed into the resin. This paste was then put into the mould and left to cure and when ready stuck in place with epoxy. I have done this for two blobs now and they are still in place and work satisfactorily.

Tony
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby chasleton » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:53 am

you can use epoxy and microballoons or if your stuck epoxy/ baking powder :)
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby Schwabby » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:15 pm

Top tips, thank you.

I wondered what the heck microballoons are but a quick google reveals a potentially magical product, gonna have fun with this!

Cheers!

(Anyone want an awesome Litespeed!! :P )
Yay! It's flyable!
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby WAYNE BEVAN » Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:26 am

hi;
have a read of the thread i posted about landing in thermic/light winds as I to encountered landing issues! I have since reduced the flap settings on landing & come in a little faster & jog a few steps to stop.
On a recent flight at Mercury nr Petersfield I decided to top land in the brisk breeze useing the flap setting which i was flying around at. At 50ft agl above the new power cables [which are higher than previous] I actually stopped & had to release the flaps to progress forwards b4 reapplying for a safe landing!
On Monday at Ringstead whilst top landing in the WSWly/SWly, I encountered rotor,wind gradient/shear & a sink rate which a PG pilot with big ears couldn't match. Fortunate the VR runs on rails & keeping the speed on until i touched down then a few steps sorted things out, the mistake would have been to have slowed things up!
Have fun, enjoy the glider & practice landings as often as possible!
safe flying
wayne
safe flying
wayne
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby WAYNE BEVAN » Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:33 am

re the flaps releasing:- after applying the flap setting chuck the cord over the front of the base bar as it will then apply a little bit of tension to the grip of the cleat & shouldn't come loose. For landings wrap it around the bar at least twice then you shouldn't experience the thrill of accelerating towards the ground at 'warp drive'.
safe flying
wayne
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Re: New Rigid Pilot

Postby skyhigh123 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:57 am

Chris said :

In general when you are less than perfect rigids tend not to nose in, they fall down on top of you flatish and crush you to death, the nose never touching the ground. If the nose does touch the ground then you have the dynamics of it all a bit wrong. Just remember those flaps are really draggy and more so as AoA increases, so believe it will slow down if you push out progressively and keep jogging, you don't have to run like the wind for too long.

A good example of what Chris describes is my landing shown at the end of this video. Nil wind, very slightly downhill and a safe enough arrival though not very dignified.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMkgqvb5k34

Tony

p.s. It will be interesting to see how landing the smaller flap version of the VR is different, when I get back my modified glider next year.
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