I will start this post by admitting, i not only wasn’t a fan of slope flying or gliding, but i actually bashed a thread in rcgroups few years back proclaiming motorless planes are “boring”.
3 years later, having flown fast planes, 3d planes and sport planes, i shamefully admit slope flying which is planes typically having no propulsion and producing lift from thermals or wind hitting a slope, is by far in my opinion, a pretty damn fun and challenging dynamic soaring when it comes to this world of radio control in which we are so addicted to. (sorry for the run-on sentence )
Dynamic soaring is another popular way of providing energy to gliders via wind.
I have always been fascinated with flight, especially that of our feathered friends. You can read my post on Archaeopteryx, the most primitive bird known as of date.
“Alula” a sweet DLG (discus Launch Glider ) radio control flying bird, “urban glider” is what dream-flight.com calls it. I call it a stress reliever, not that i have any stress here in smoggy city of angels.
And i thought that 8 minute of flying powered rc planes was a relaxant…try flinging an Alula into the wind over and over again, and perfecting that exact control back into your hand, boy not only my shoulder is soar,but 2 hours of super duper one on one with the wind, talk about a dream flight.
Most DLG glider kits look like a plane, with a dash of dihedral wings, usually a carbon boom as a fuselage and full elevator and rudder controls that is packaged with a hefty price tag. The Alula on the other hand, comes in a beautifully designed 3 piece kit, center fuse, and its two wings held together by carbon rods. It took me about 40 minutes to assemble the Alula, no gluing required. ( i did end up gluing the tail rudder to the fuselage using CA, but gluing is not required )
The Alula was beautifully packaged, came with all the essentials such as the control horns, rods, and even a strong roll of stretchable 3M tape to fasten the wings.
The effortless side arm launch of the Alula is absolutely a blast. I flew the Alula at the park with steady 5mph winds which i find is the least amount of wind needed for a 10 second lift. Flying over at the beach would be optimal, so i will be heading over to Zuma Beach for few hours of dream flight Video coming soon!!
The Alula is made from lightweight and strong EPO (Expanded PolyOlefin ) foam which is essential, so even if you land hard or stumble the bird into the ground, most likely nothing major will happen, and if by chance you do end up breaking the nose or wing tips, foam safe CA can be used to bond in seconds.
One other suggestion, every time you land the alula on grass ( giving you have not yet perfected the art of the mid air catch ), i noticed the tail section right under the joint slowly starts to break, so 2 strips of tape right under should prevent the foam from breaking.
I painted my Alula with foam safe hobby spray paint and kept the top blank to keep the bird light weight. Here are some pictures below.
The C.G is right at the given marks as stated in the book, but i find it slightly tail heavy, so my suggestion would be to keep it slightly nose heavy to balance the Alula Evo.
Here is a video of the Alula Evo in action over at a local park, there was practically no wind and i was able to keep the bird up for 45 seconds.
The Alula can also be modified with a micro brushless motor, which i am sure has been done already.
I seriously suggest heading over to http://dream-flight.com and purchasing the Alula Evo, you will not regret it. Super affordable, hours of fun and great exercise as well.
I will be posting a video of the Alula sometime this week, so do come back to watch this bird in flight. Continue reading