Joe Chovan and Jim Harrigan fly Dave Sanders’ Dave’s
Aircraft Works 1-26s at Antelope Island in Utah. Great for
traveling, but long out of production, the kit might soon
be reintroduced and/or updated.
designs that are amazing, but I always
seem to resort to the beginning when I
first started flying, which was the most
impressionable time for me.
Fred Maier: Polecat Aeroplane Works
A great sailplane is one that can
be flown by novices to experts that
meets or exceeds their expectations in
enjoyment and performance. Examples
would be the Carbon Big Bird or
Leading Edge Gliders warbirds.
Michael Gantner: SlopeSlayer
An efficient design that has gone
through an evolution of refinements, and
is perfectly balanced and weighted, is a
great Slope sailplane.
Larry Renger: Toucan (
Forward-Swept Flying Wing)
I am biased, of course, but as a sport
flier, my ideal models have the following
characteristics: a broad range of Slope
conditions for acceptable flying, smooth
stability and ease of control, aerobatic
capability, good looks, and a wide speed
Several models in my experience meet
these criteria: James Renger’s Soar Ace,
my two Toucan versions (42-inch and
60-inch wingspans), the CR Aircraft
Turbo, Gentle Lady, Windrider, and
House of Balsa 6 x 6. Also the Ridge
Hawk, Spider, and Thermal Hawk from
Cox, Astro-Blaster from Estes, Hobie
Hawk if you can find one, and Sig Ninja,
but not the Samurai (a great glider, but
usually too hot to handle).
I just can’t get into the zoom-zoom
heavy-metal thing. About five minutes of
that and it is “been there, done that, have
the T-shirt” time.
Wayne Roberts: Tough Jets
We all want great performance
speed, aerobatics, and stuff like that,
but equally as important when we
venture into that is airspeed and flight
attitude outside [of] the flight envelope
where the gravity-defying magic stops!
We want a sailplane that can recover
quickly and easily without even saying
abracadabra. That makes a great-flying
Mike Pratt: Sig Ninja, Sig Samurai
Regarding the Sig Ninja, it had to have
outstanding flight performance. The
model had to be very forgiving and easy
to fly with no bad habits for low-time
pilots. It had to be aerobatic enough to
please even the hottest fliers. Also, 1° of
wingtip washout was incorporated into
the foam wing cores to give the Ninja
outstanding low-speed stability.
It had to be easy to build. Modelers
who value their leisure time want to
spend less time in the workshop and
more time flying.
Appearance: We must have made
a hundred different drawings before
deciding on the final design of the Ninja
(I can’t stand an ugly model). Our goal
was to maintain a low frontal area for
the best possible performance, while
keeping the lines simple and clean.
Larry Blevins: Magnum Models
I’m standing on the hill, getting ready
to throw my sailplane out into the lift
band. I have a flight with all [of] the
loops, rolls, and inverted flight that I
can stand. I land my sailplane with a big
smile on my face.
Was I flying an all-glass composite
sailplane, a small aerobatic sailplane, a
warbird, or a big scale sailplane? It really
doesn’t matter, because at that moment
I flew the perfect sailplane.
104 Model Aviation AUGUST2016 www.ModelAviation.com