Part 1 - Learn The Basics First!

Don't be in a hurry to attempt those landings - learn the basics first!

Its taken me many years to get to a point where I can land an RC glider roughly where I planned to land it but saying that it still goes wrong at times. I want to share the thought processes which I use when landing an RC glider on the slope. I am no expert and every time I land I hopefully gain a little bit more understanding on how and why things have happened and this helps me to build experience and confidence with the glider I am flying and the slope that I am flying from.

Like with anything in life we need to learn how to do something. We learn through repetition and we learn through mistakes along the way and unfortunately there will be many mistakes made but the main thing is that we learn what and why things went wrong and try to get it better the next time.
These days you can choose from a wide range of EPP foam flying wings slope soaring gliders. These are relatively cheap to buy and simple to build. They offer stable flight and a good base to start out when learning the basics of RC soaring.

Before we get to the landing stage of RC slope soaring we need to get the fundamentals right first. We need to have gained sufficient experience and stick time out in the lift in front of the hill. Don't be in a rush to learn to land. Learn to control your glider and when you start flying in a proactive manner rather than a reactive one then that's the point that we can start to look at our landings.  Now what do I mean by reactive and proactive flying?

When we first start out someone else generally gets your model established up in the lift and in most cases you will crab back and forth trying to keep the model in front off you and turning away from the hill. To win this part of the battle you need to learn the basic stick inputs to keep the model in the air and to keep in the lift. This type of flying I like to refer to as reactive. With time and as your experience and confidence grows you will start thinking ahead. moving the model around the sky and putting the model where you want and at the height you want to fly at and this is what I call proactive flying. You have the control and experience to fly the model confidently on the slope. You're reactions start to become automatic in situations that before would have caused the model to loose control. A little bit like when you start to learn how to drive. You have to get the feet working together with your hands of the steering wheel and look at the road plus change gear. At the beginning its all a bit much to take in but with time and practice it starts to become easier and you then start doing these difficult things subconsciously and without to much thought. This is where you need to be before attempting your landing as being in control will take away just one off the difficult elements you need to worry about when trying to bring your model back to earth.

When you are feeling reasonably in control of your flying in the air and you feel confident having the model flying where you want it and at a fairly constant attitude and speed then it might be time to try and think about those landings.

Now move onto Part 2 of our briefing notes........

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