Flying Events Gliders
One very popular category for Radio Controlled aircraft is the glider or sailplane. It is also an excellent way to get into the RC aircraft hobby as it can be less expensive and somewhat less complex than powered aircraft. Gliders can sustain flight for quite long periods of time and can reach high speeds, depending on its design. Many gliders are light and very stable making them an excellent choice for a beginner to learn to fly. What is the difference between a glider and a sailplane? Well, technically speaking a glider is any motorless aircraft capable of stable unpowered flight, even if over just a short distance. For example, man's early attempts at flight were done in simple gliders, and flights were no more than a few hundred feet long. A sailplane is a motorless aircraft specifically designed for sustained unpowered performance, primarily by using columns of warm air (thermals) to keep aloft. But in reality, and especially in the RC flying hobby, both names are commonly used to describe a model aircraft without a motor. Simpler RC gliders are excellent for introducing newcomers to the hobby. The majority of conventional beginner RC gliders are 2 or 3-channel, with control to either rudder and elevator, aileron and elevator or rudder, aileron and elevator. By conventional I mean gliders with a wing, fin and tailplane. The alternative is the delta-wing type (or 'flying wing') and these are common for slope soaring. These gliders are usually just 2-channel with both aileron and elevator controls mixed in to control surfaces called elevons. Having aileron control means that the glider can be rolled more easily, and it just makes the glider more aerobatic and fun to fly. A foam delta-wing type glider is fairly durable, generally speaking, which makes it very beginner-friendly. The more advanced RC gliders and larger sailplanes can have more channels still, with additional controls for flaps or spoilers, air brakes and even tow line release hooks in the nose and retractable nose wheel. Simpler 2-channel conventional RC gliders like the timeless Goldberg Gentle Lady for example, are not at all complicated to fly and their design makes them inherently very stable, making such gliders perfect for the novice. Flying RC gliders of this type can be a very peaceful and relaxing experience. Typically flying speeds of such gliders are much slower than the speeds of powered airplanes and their stability gives the pilot plenty of time to react. Gliders like the Gentle Lady are very forgiving in the air and won't punish you for making mistakes with your TX sticks!