Radio Control (RC) gliders (aka sailplanes)
Relaxing or exhilarating -your choice!
RC gliders, also known as sailplanes, can offer the beginner a very gentle introduction to the radio control flying hobby, but can also offer the experienced rc pilot some truly exhilarating aerobatic and racing opportunities – such is the diversity of radio control gliding.
But what are the differences between gentle and exhilarating ?
Well, technically speaking a glider is any motorless aircraft capable of stable unpowered flight, even if over just a short distance. For example, man’s early attempts at flight were done in simple gliders, and flights were no more than a few hundred feet long.
A sailplane is a motorless aircraft specifically designed for sustained unpowered performance, primarily by using columns of warm air (thermals) or wind moving in a consistent direction directed up and over a Ridge or Slope providing lift (Ridge Lift or Slope Soaring) to keep aloft. But in reality, and especially in the rc flying hobby, both of the names “Glider” and “Sailplane” are commonly used to describe a model aircraft without a motor.
The most gentile of the RC Gliders are sometimes referred to as floaters. They can be as simple having only two control surfaces, for instance Rudder for right and left and Elevator for up and down control.
For more performance and exhilaration a pilot might choose a craft that in addition has Ailerons, that can then allow more aerobatic maneuvers.
And for the extreme pilot experience one might try Dynamic Soaring in the vortex of wind behind a Ridge or Slope. Now let me warn you Dynamic Soaring is definitely not for the beginner. The current speed record for a Radio Controlled/Remote Controlled model airplane is XYZ mph and was set not by a Jet Powered Model (there are seriously miniature jet engine powered RC airplanes) but set by motorless dynamic soaring gliders.