Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gert se Supra

Gert het vandag sy nuwe Supra by die vliegveld gehad vir 'n paar oefen vlugte. -- from hyper7pro - (?) Winch launch: -- from hyper7pro - (?) Die Supra is 'n 3.4m TD (Thermal Duration) sailplane. Meer informasie (en planne) hier. -- from hyper7pro - (?)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hobby shops with specialised equipment

I had a hobby shop run the other day and would recommend the following for electrical and small parts and support.

1. Dion Liebenberg in Benoni (Sarel CIlliers 105, Reinfield, 0825701053. He is the SA Graupner agent (Look at and can help with many small parts like clevis, special horns, carbon push rods, etc. (German) and electric setups.

2. Mad Models ( (Jonathan) the best hobby shop I know of for electric models but also have many other parts and materials for building etc. From the Pomona offramp close to Kemptonpark.

3. Radio Control Repair Centre (Dave Armatage) for any custom battery packs, JR equipment and some small parts like servo plugs and wire. Garsfontein, Pta.

4. In Cape Town the only shop I will recommend is the Hobby Warehouse who is a true hobby shop. Sad to say Clowns is not what it was.

Most of the other shops are toyshops nowadays, but if you know your prices you may find a bargain.

Cheers Gert

Choosing a model Glider (Part 2)

The normal hobby shop does not have experience in advising you on gliders or stock models that can be used successful for gliding competitions. There are how ever a few knowledgeable shops and fellow glider pilots who can assist. The trusty old Gentle Lady has been used by many to learn the basics of RC aero modelling. I have seen a few available as ARF kits. Another model is the Spirit which comes in 2m RES (Rudder Elevator Spoiler) or aileron versions. Another alternative is to scratch build a model from plans. There is many plans available for sale from RCM, Traplet, etc. or freeware on the internet. The construction methods can vary from balsa and film covered models, foam and veneer to composite materials (consult a glider pilot before choosing a plan). A combination of these construction methods is normally used to achieve the best results nowadays. There are some gliders available from the local cottage industry which are built by fellow glider pilots or building groups. The Thotsi is one such example of a composite 2m glider (Foam /fibre glass wings and Fibreglass fuz) which takes most of the local competition places. Some kits are available from over seas which are worth exploring. (try

There are many classes of gliders each with its own purpose or flying conditions. On the thermal side you will find the small 1m to 1.5m wingspan models which is launched by hand (Discuss side arm or javelin style). The larger 2m span models would be a wise choice to start with. These models can be launched by bungee or winch. The construction of the model should be carefully designed for the method of launching. In South Africa we have the RES/100 class which allow you to use larger wingspan models. These models can be constructed relatively inexpensive and can compete on a fair basis with the open class models. To be able to fly well in all conditions (wind or calm) you may have to chose a model which has a better wing section. This is not always possible with built-up models (balsa wing ribs). This is how model glides have developed from the 70’s where mostly built-up models were available up to today where the most competitive model is made of composite materials which have been moulded. The composite models are mostly imported. There is a few local designs available like the Eish!, Shongololo, Makulu and Inkwasi which all fly very well and is about half the price of the imported models. Open class gliders with full house control can be scratch built from plans as I and many others have done (even up to World Cup standard pilots do this). These models is just as competitive if built correctly and cost a fraction of the imported models, but come at a price on time.

Depending on your proficiency and available budget you will be able to find a model which suits you best. Ask for help if you are interested to take the step.