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Old 08-09-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
Flyfalcons
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Default EXTREME REBUILD: Old beat up Gentle Lady glider

As the title implies, this project is going to kick some serious ass. I've wanted to get an electric 2M lightweight thermal glider for a few years, but have never gotten the motivation to actually shell out for one. Because I just moved to a small farm property, I really wanted a glider to fly at home (my 4M glider and Siren aren't suitable for my property). This combination of living at a potential glider port and apathy toward actually purchasing something made me decide to rebuild my Gentle Lady.

A little background first, if you will. Back in 2003, someone I had been giving RC instruction to had been given or sold a bunch of RC stuff. As a thank-you to me for the instruction, he gave me a Gentle Lady glider that was in the lot. I had intentions of flying it on some family property in Eastern Washington, but that never materialized. I did fly it a few times at my home field using a bungee launch, but never had a lot of success with it. Did I mention the GL was old, beat up, worn out, etc? I threw it up in my attic and that was the end of that for a while.

Before we go further, here's a picture someone took of the GL getting bungee launched on one of the very few days I took it to my field.
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Last edited by Flyfalcons; 08-09-2012 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:43 PM   #2
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So where were we, oh yeah. The beginning of something grand. After getting a work bench set up at my new house, I picked up the Gentle Lady and brought it over. No wonder I haven't flown it in so long; the thing is a piece of crap. The tail is beat up, the covering looks like crap, and the old 72mhz receiver, standard servos, Nicad battery pack, and lead ballast weight up front add some major weight to the glider. How much? Dunno. But a lot. I recently purchased an honest to goodness postal scale and set the glider on it with all the gear in place. Well except for the forward hatch, that piece is long gone. Total weight (going by memory now) was 792 grams. Let's call that 28 ounces. The plan is to replace the heavy radio gear with a 2.4 receiver and micro servos. With the weight saved there, and adding a Hacker A20-20L motor, ESC, and a 1000-1300mah Lipo, I'm hoping for a finished weight very close to that. We'll see if I can make that happen.

Here are some shots I took of the glider as it came from the attic. Excuse the quality of the pics as I took them with my cell phone.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:53 PM   #3
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First order of business was to remove the electronics, strip the old covering off the plane, and lose weight where I could. Parts of the covering came off easily, and other parts were a total nightmare. I spent a lot of time in the garage scraping old covering off with a razor blade, as well as sanding some areas to get some persistent color out of the wood. In the end there was some covering I simply couldn't get removed, but it's on the bottom of the wing where it shouldn't get noticed too much.

Upon inspection of the parts I determined that the stock pushrods were sufficiently light to keep, and the vertical stabilizer was so beat up and patched with epoxy that it wasn't worth saving. I also decided to change the wing mounting system from rubber bands to small bolts. Rubber bands go bad and I don't feel like going to the hobby store to buy them. So I'll work on that part later. I removed the bungee launch hook and the landing skid on the bottom of the forward fuselage, as these won't be needed anymore. The wing is about as light as can be (although modern construction techniques would probably have 1/3 of the wing ribs gone), but there were some cracks in the spars and sheeting that I repaired with wood glue.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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subscribing to this EPIC build, I built a GL from a kit many years ago, put a cox black widow on the nose. Might still have it actually...
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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Subbed for awesomeness.
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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HS-81 work well in a Gentle Lady. I wouldn't go with lower power.

You'll pretty well end up same weight with a modern brushless + LiPo setup as the plane weighs now with the heavier servos and lead in the nose.

I recommend use of a folding prop for better glide performance (set ESC brake function on)
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:03 PM   #7
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Subbed for super coolness reasons and out of control unrecoverable complete lack of respect flat spinnage's!
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:08 PM   #8
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Here's my first attempt at shaping the nose to handle the Hacker. I shouldn't have even bothered. Sure it looks pretty but at 30mm (the size of the spinner I ordered, which I had READ ON THE INTERNET WORKS FOR THE HACKER......), there was no friggin way the motor was going to fit inside. Which is probably for the best anyway, as the strength of the balsa nose block was severely compromised by sculpting and hollowing it out anyway. You can even see I was forward thinking enough to even carve out some right and down thrust. I was pissed. Ordered a 36mm spinner (the biggest I could find that would fit the Hacker's 3mm prop shaft), and changed the plan to removing the nose block altogether and installing the firewall there.
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:16 PM   #9
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The last pics I have on my computer now are of the beginning of converting the wing mount setup. I glued a lite-ply plate to the top of the trailing edge of the wing to spread the load of a bolt, and cut a section of the fuselage out to install a lite-ply plate to receive the bolt. The original plan was to use a 1/4-20 nylon bolt in the back and a dowel up front, but later I decided to use a 4-40 bolt on the front and back of the wing, with blind nuts holding them in place. While this actually requires a tool to put the wing on (instead of a quarter from my wallet to screw on the nylon bolt), it was the best solution for ensuring a solid grip on the fairly thin ply plate on the fuselage.

Will there be more potential for damage during landing if I catch a wing on something using the bolt mount? Yep. But like I said before, I really don't like rubber bands. I have a pretty good landing area at my house, and the beauty of the electric motor is if I dork up my approach, I can go around and try again.
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:17 PM   #10
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Quote: Originally Posted by FHHuber
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HS-81 work well in a Gentle Lady. I wouldn't go with lower power.
Micros should be fine. I'm using a micro for the elevator on my fast Siren glider, and I beat the crap out of micros in 3D foamy installations with little trouble, so I'm thinking the small surfaces and low speeds of the GL shouldn't impose much load on the micros.
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:43 PM   #11
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EPIC!

Not that you need the inspiration, here's my Wanderer from almost a year ago.

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Old 08-09-2012, 04:51 PM   #12
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Oh hell yeah! Now I'm inspired. I'm about ready to leave my post at work right now to go home and finish this bad boy.
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:54 PM   #13
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I think it needs an HK light kit for evening ops!
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:56 PM   #14
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I think it needs an HK light kit for evening ops!
My Wanderer is a night flyer now...

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Old 08-09-2012, 05:19 PM   #15
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now just hang a disco ball from that thing. haha.. I wouldnt want my lights to flash at night if thats all I get to see.
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