Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Comparing three gliders

Now that I've flown three different models, I find myself comparing them. I'm sure I'll think of more aspects, but here are several:

Weight: Empty, PW5 about 440 lbs, Blanik about 650, Grob about 880. So PW5 with one person weighs about half the Grob with two. This all affects the feeling of inertia and stability. Rollout distance is influenced greatly by the weight.

Wingspan: P < B < G. Noticeable effect on roll rate! Will have to remember that when trying to enter a thermal in the Grob.

Attitude: B seems to fly level (or maybe it just feels more "normal" since I've flown it so much more. P seems nose-high: if I fly it "level" it's really nose down and flying too fast. G (only once so far) seems nose-low: I had to push it over to get it to fly fast enough.

Roll-out: B is a taildragger with rotating tailwheel. It'll go where you want it on rollout: for example, you can steer it to a desired point to ease the next takeoff. P is a nosedragger with non-turning gear. Once on the ground, it goes in a straight line. G is a taildragger with non-turning tailwheel, also tarcks straight. P and G: better get 'em straight before touchdown!

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