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Adventures of a DLG newbie


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I'm mostly a free flighter - wind it up, chuck it, fetch it. Or, with the FF gliders - bungee launch then fetch it. I'm used to long and casual downwind retrievals. I've also done a bit of RC power and sloping. All fairly gentle and relaxing stuff.

I'd seen a DLG once or twice and was always intrigued and have recently spent many hours watching videos on youtube. This eventually led to me looking to buy one. I looked at all the cheapie artf's available, umhed and ahhed, found this website, found one for sale and bought it. 

So now I had a very nice and good as new Stream NXT! After seeing all the videos I figured my old DX7s wasn't going to cut it so I got a Taranis 9XD to go with the glider. Okay, all great... Except... I know nothing about this new fangled open sauce radio and my viewing history doesn't count as DLG setup experience and I missed the DLG clinic at Buckminster. Cue much more video watching and downloading of settings and fiddling with the glider and radio (and a few questions on here, thanks guys! BTW the vario won't run off a Y-lead through the reciever) and I've got everything moving, it seems, correctly. 

Then, the weather. Being only a marginally 'jump right into things' kinda person I opted to wait for a calm day to 'maiden' this thing. Weather's great and I had to work, days off and the weather's rubbish, we all know that too well. Until this past bank holiday weekend Monday!

Firstly, it was successful, eventually. Secondly, I have muscles that hurt in places I'd forgotten there were muscles!

I was on a private strip with family doing some free flighting and fullsize microlighting with a BBQ inbetween, perfect day, sunny, hot, just the slightest breeze, but more importantly, no one else around to witness any glider shaped carbon fibre being reduced to non glider shaped carbon fibre by me learning the ropes.

I fired the thing up, checked the control surfaces were all correct, checked the switches and then checked all the surfaces again. Good to go. I started with a gentle javelin launch to get a feel for it and all's good so I wound up and let rip with an almighty overhead throw that I'm still smarting from today. Nice stable 15-20 second flights getting the thumbs going. Still all good so I thought I'd give it a little whirl - Pulled the preset (see, I'm getting the lingo), did a gentle spin and launched it, didn't let go of the preset, this thing is inverted above me in a split second and now heading straight at me! I manage to miss me, miss the microlight, some panic stricken thumb inputs and it's down in one piece. Okay, so I need to adjust the trims on the settings to suit MY glider, duh.

I fiddled about to what I thought looked about right and let rip again, this time telling myself over and over to let go of the preset pronto. Woohoo! Or Whooosh and up she went! Only about 20m but still, woohooo success! The rest of the afternoon saw me doing awkward spin hop launches to what looked like 30m or so, gliding down slowly and even managing to catch it a few times. There was the temptation to try a quick turn around but I thought better of it...

Tuesday saw me back at work aching all over from said muscles reintroducing themselves to me. Sore but happy.

I managed to finish work early today and with the weather closing in I headed to a park here in Stevenage for some more flying. A quick check everything goes up and down correctly and whoooosh (I love the sound it makes as it leaves my hand)! It was very bumpy and gusty but still quite thermally and I managed to catch some, more by luck than anything, for a few couple minute flights. I'm still doing the awkward spin hop thing but it is getting better with some launches getting higher than I had before. With the confidence in the launch and the glider increasing I began playing around with the launch and zoom on the preset. This is where I need to work on trimming the glider properly for the different phases. I was getting consistently higher just launching clean - no preset to rotate and no zoom to climb. When I did use those it was rotating too quickly to vertical and by then it had lost too much energy for the zoom to be effective. So I'll work on that and then also using thermal and speed modes and getting those sorted. I do have a minor repair to do on the pod about an inch ahead of the wing leading edge where I stalled it about three feet off the deck and dorked it in, nothing major, just a couple little cracks that I can sort with some tow and cyano.

Still, I'm learning and this is sooo much fun!

I am going to be so sore in the morning.




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Great to hear!  You picked a superb DLG as well.  Hooking up with some one experienced or coming along to a contest or event will do you wonders.  Don’t be intimidated by the word ‘contest’ .  It’s a great place to learn. 

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Good to hear your exploits. I’m still practising with an old 1m topsky.  Somehow managed to give myself a grion strain last week. You’re dead right about aches and pains, but  it’s great exercise. 

I can concur with forgetting to let go the launch preset. I didn’t manage to get out of the way - ouch!!

Hopefully see you at a comp. We could have a  newbys match. The pros at the  buckminster workshop where very good, in a different league. 

I learnt more there in one day than 3 years on my own. 

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