As I explained last time the Mercury Marauder had completed her maiden flight without incident. I had now flown her about 10 times and had tweaked the balance and was really feeling quite confident to go to the next level of flight. You must remember that this glider did not have any RC equipment installed; hence the necessity to balance it to fly in circles, ever decreasing hopefully.
After discussions with my friend we decided to tow the plane from behind his bicycle and to use 150ft of tow cord, this I thought would give me the height I needed and to use the de-thermaliser (a device which raises the rear wing to land the glider).
Whilst on the subject of launching a model glider there are many ways that this can accomplished. The easiest way is to just hand launch (chuck) the aircraft into the air, the big downside here is that you seldom get enough height to do your model justice. The second option and the one that I favour is towline launching. This can be achieved by either running with a tow line, or using an electric or manual winch, what you are trying to achieve here is speed which then gives you height, which then means you are able to seek out and ride the thermal air currents.
There are other methods like using bungee cord or if you are fortunate enough an aerotow, where your model is towed behind another aircraft and released when a suitable height is attained. All the above methods work but for me the towline provides the most consistent launch and is very easy to use.
So off to the field with my friend frantically pedalling and the Marauder soars into the sky, reaches altitude, the tow line slips away. Immediately the Marauder begins to circle as before. I have the de-thermaliser set to raise the rear wing after 15 minutes and to my absolute delight all works well and she lands without incident.
I had many a happy day with this glider and with today’s electric motors and light weight RC gear I am sure that a pod could be mounted above the wing to enable this to perform much longer flights. I would strongly recommend one of these to any one interested in balsa construction, they are a real joy to fly and an absolute delight to watch.
So what form of modelling got you started? Rubber powered free flight? Boats? Chuck gliders? Single channel RC? Control line?
Share your stories, tell us what you are flying, sailing, racing or just interested in, and share your experiences and skills.