Dynamic Soaring & Pylon Racing EPP Models
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So you finally got fed up going home with bits of broken fibre glass and carbon fibre, spending countless hours trying to achieve that "no one will ever know finish?" forget it! "Didn't you used to do the exact same thing only with balsa?"
How times have changed. What you need is a model built from latest technology materials..........................Packing foam?
Oh yes packing foam has come a long way; it's correct name being "Expanded Polypropylene or EPP" was initially developed due to all the countless parcel delivery staff worldwide who didn't appear to understand words like, "fragile" and "glass, handle with care!" Years later one fateful evening in a cluttered dimly lit garage at the bottom of a garden, some numpty stuck the packaging together instead of their model because they hadn't read the instructions and made..............................................lots of money!
You can now own a model that is very much re usable. The new breed of cutting edge epp models currently available offer a great introduction to the disciplines of dynamic soaring and slope racing. There are some great models to choose from and; if you only end up owning and flying just one of them, you will be guaranteed to have plenty of thrills, spills and fun and lets face it, isn't that what it's all about?
You won't have to spend a small fortune on a model to be competitive in slope racing or dynamic soaring. Choose your model, build it spot on and fly it, practice and hone your skills as all to often we have seen the "right model" but the wrong pilot, because the model had not been set up correctly. This is fairly simple to remedy, the model just lacked a few tweaks here and there and a bit more flying practice, ok maybe a lot more flying practice, but nothing else really.
Then all you require is anything from a two function transmitter with elevon mixing capability, as these models usually require only two servos to control them. The beauty of modern computerised radio control, is the vast control improvements it offers pilots if merely for mixes, rates and exponential settings available to you.
You can purchase an add-on elevon mixing unit (retail approx £14) if you do not own a computerised transmitter. You will just have to make your fine tuning adjustments and throws at the linkage ends etc.
Once your model and radio gear is set up correctly it won't be too long before you carve huge loops, or groove some DS circuits and when you get two or more models blasting round the slope racing you will either scare yourself silly or end up with a smile from ear to ear.
I bet you will become hooked pretty quickly, and so what if you don't win a race, there is always next time, you will either become competitive or lose and sulk. It's up to you, remember someone has to win and someone has to lose..............no big deal unless you are the one who came last, eh? "The swine!"
Below is a short list that should keep you rather competitive in both disciplines, these are by no means beginners models with regard to building or flying, they eat up a lot of sky when on song and a plank type model is no fun if not set up correctly as the C of G and reflex is critical, so don't set these up merely with your finger tips or they will be way off.
To start the ball rolling to model choice, check out the Gulp DS, dynamic soaring and the Gulp SR, slope racing from Steve Drake models, the DS is our chosen model at present. We set up our Gulp DS per instructions and fired them off the Bungee and they flew on rails, we then added small amounts of lead to take the C of G back as far as possible without the handling deteriorating.
Talking of lead, remember that all these models listed will require the use of ballast tubes either in the wings or the fuselage to fly at their full potential when the wind really starts to sing, we initially made the mistake of what we found to be "under ballasting!" by using carbon tubes that would only allow 8 ounces of lead ballast.
Racing some highly competitive home brews we were at a loss as to why we were left for dead on the pylon turns but were faster on the straight. On closer inspection all was eventually revealed with a wry smile on the faces of our competitors. It was 16 ounces of lead, and the ability to carry even more. "Bloody hell that just isn't cricket"
Now sorted, they are as fast as some conventional stuff, much to the annoyance of some! We recently were able to verify a top speed of 65.2 mph............................recorded wind speed at the ridge that is!
As for radio control, just make sure you have enough functions so you lose plenty of sleep trying to programme them. People often ask what mode I fly................."Mode?" when I started flying there only was one mode. "Suffice to say, I am often seen standing around for long periods of time on the slope twiddling my thumbs!"
Double click photos to enlarge.
Steve Drake models
Gulp construction & photos
Check out the NCFM M60, the Moth 48 and the Bluto 56
M60 construction & photos
Bluto construction & photos
Check out the Bowmans JW, where dynamic soaring all began.
Check out the Tuff Planes Electron DS 60
Tuff Planes DS 60 construction
Check out the Super Ronik SBlitz
Super Ronik models
kids on the block
Phoenix models Wanabee
This is by no means a definitive list of epp slope models available to you but a short list suitable for Dynamic Soaring and Slope Racing. Many of the above can be purchased directly from the States, it's quick if not quicker than some UK delivery. You will also get an excellent dollar exchange rate at the moment, so go buy some. If you don't want the hassle or you just want to combat check out this UK web site Soar Ahead Sailplanes
Not only are these models fast but they will also take some punishment, which is exactly what you are going to give them when you push them to their limits. We had one guy fire his "plank" off the Bungee only for it to disappear over the slope and out of sight, he thought it was gone forever and smashed to bits...................."No worries, all in one piece with nothing dented except maybe his pride" He had not set up enough reflex............................Doh!
Just remember though, when you arrive at the slope with your secret
weapon stuffed under your arm and you get those looks of "Not another
Foamie?" from the "You know who brigade" (They are easy to spot,
as they stand in small
groups talking for most of the day)
You know you will be armed with one of the latest cutting edge epp slope models available and not just another foamie, as they will shortly be about to witness.
Of course there is one other model out there that will kick the ass! out of all these, trouble is we and the other hot foam sniffers out there, have not quite finished designing it yet. When we do though, you'll be the first to know. As we speak (or read) right now there are hot wire bows working feverishly to create the ultimate epp slope & dynamic soaring rocket ship.
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