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Design Philosophy

I've been in the hobby of RC gliders for a couple of years, and love it.  But as you know, this hobby can become quite expensive.  When I was first starting out in RC gliders, I was amazed at how much glider kits can cost.  Built-up kits made of balsa and monocote can cost anywhere from $30 to $200 on up, and this doesn't include the radio or the many additional accessories you need to buy, just to get your plane in the air.  I was expecting to pay $150-$200 for the radio, but I never thought that things like monokote, cutting boards, epoxy, sandpaper, heat gun, sealing iron, and paint, to name a few, would substantially increased my initial investment.

What also turned me off about those built-up kits was the amount of time it took to build one.  Can you imagine spending two or three months building your first glider and then crashing it on your first solo?  I once saw this man throw his 2m built-up off a cliff and fly it for several minutes before nose diving it right into the side of the cliff, ripping the wings right off.  He yelled, then dropped to his knees.  You know, to some degree, I felt his pain, and at that point decided I would never build one of those kits.

So my very first glider that I built was a 'foamie'.  I bought it from a guy I met at a flying site for $25.  The glider was billed as a combat foamie.  This class of glider, has become very popular in the past few years, kinda like how snowboarding became all the rage in just a few short years.  I think the main reason that combat foam gliders became so popular is because it was so much fun crashing your plane into someone else's.  But I think this type of plane could be the long-awaited answer for the beginning pilot too.  Now most veterans of RC gliding always recommend that a beginner start off with a built-up 2 meter glider, like the Gentle Lady.  But I think if you're reasonably coordinated, you can start learning with a foam, aileron-controlled glider, as I did.  Don't get me wrong, I still needed someone to show me the ropes for a few weeks, but that would also be true for a 2m also.   And the thought of crashing a glider that took 5 hours to build, hurt a lot less than something that took 50 hours to build.  Besides, I think you'll progress a lot faster and be more proficient if you start flying an aileron plane from the very start.   Of course, all of this is my opinion, so please take it with a grain of salt.

The problem I had with the first kit I bought was that it was really designed to be a reasonably high-performance glider for air combat.  In fact, most of the foam-built kits that I came across were billed as high performance, agile gliders for intermediate or advanced fliers.  There really weren't any designs that I found that were for the beginning slope flier.  That's when I decided to see if I could do something about it.