Radio Control Gliders
Radio Control Gliders or Sailplanes
RC Gliders come in a variety of sizes and types, everything from exact scale of there fullsize counter parts to planes that are designed to take all the advantages that a light weight model can offer.
Many are very stable in flight and make great first time RC Planes.
There are 2 basic types of rc glider flying. Thermal Soaring and Slope Soaring.
Thermal Soaring is possible when air close to the ground is heated. As the land heats up with the warmth of the sun, the air above it will begin to warm by the heat radiating from the land. This causes the warm air to rise creating lift for the glider.
Slope Soaring is generated by a breeze hitting the face of a cliff or sloping land. As the breeze hits the vertical surface, it has no where to go but up. As with thermal soaring, as long as the upward movement of the air is there, lift is created for the glider.
Gliders by there nature normally do not have a engine to get them in the air. Full size gliders are generally pulled to altitude by a motorized tow plane.
This is also a great way to launch RC Gliders, but does require a tow plane and another RC Pilot.
Hand launching is possible with smaller models. Hi Start launching is using a long rubber band and launching just like a sling shot. Winch launching with the use of a powered winch works much the same way as hi start but with much more power, enabling the launching of large gliders.
The easiest method for those who do not have to have a perfect scale model is to add a small electric motor with a folding prop. There are many combinations on the market designed exactly for this purpose. Using batteries only large enough to get the model to altitude keeps the weight down and gets the job done without any extra equipment to set up and fuss with at your flying site.
RC Gliding can be a fascinating aspect of Radio Control Modeling. The building and flying of these models efficiently requires some study and understanding of how model design, operation and the flow of air currents interact to keep the aircraft in the skies.
There is a large amount of info here on the RC Universe Forms.