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Vulcan

Glider flying

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Hi All, This may bit a tad bit long, but I was sparked to write due to a post in the MSFS Forum concerning coordinated turns in jets. I took three glider lessons a couple of years ago and being an avid aviation enthusiast, I was excited at the prospect. But in doing so I learned that either I was totally inept at controlling the craft, or that the instructor was a total buffoon with a death wish. I have been at the controls of Cessna (150, 172) and a Piper Cherokee but did not use the rudders when flying those, I never did takeoff or land a powered aircraft. I was so disappointed in my inability to control a glider that I felt I was destined to fly a Dell for the rest of my life. After reading the post in the MSFS forum it seems that rudder use in big craft is minimal and not too taxing in smaller GA craft. I do have rudder pedals for MSFS and have flown the Cessna

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I flew in gliders for several years. Yes, they do tend to need significantly more rudder than a powered aircraft, especially the slower trainers. This is because there is so much less airflow over the rudder of a glider than over that of a Cessna, say, due to there being no propwash. As far as 'slow' goes..... this is what I first flew in (The model, not this actual airframe). It's a Slingsby T-21 http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/74060.jpgRichard

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Steve,I have both a power and glider ppl.In *cruise* flight, you don't need much if any rudder for light power aircraft. Any adverse yaw is very minimal.When *landing* a light power aircraft, with *no* wind*, you might also get away with little to no rudder inputs. With any kind of crosswind, though rudder inputs *will* be neccessary. This is true whether you crab-and-kick or "into-wind-wing-low" land.For a glider, "cruise" flight is typically anywhere from 40-60 kts. At these slower speeds, and especially because of the much longer wing-span, the adverse yaw is much more pronounced, and therefore more rudder is required.When landing a glider, the rudder inputs are similar to a powered light aircraft.When *taking off* in a glider, you might need to use rudder instead of / in addition to aeilerons during the ground roll, as the rudder typically becomes effective before the ailerons do. The rudder is used to "pick up" a wing that is dropping on the take off roll.What particularly did you find difficult about the glider? Was it mainly the "sluggish" roll behaviour?What was the instructor telling/ not telling you?I urge you to try again, possibly with a different instructor. Soaring is fantastically fun, there's nothing like *climbing* in a thermal without an engine !Mike

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Hi Mike, What you say makes sense, I had three lessons and I think the instuctor (he was old enough to teach Orville and Wilbur to fly), was trying to get me to solo before the end of the day, He was giving me control of the craft on take-off, had me try to land once, and kept screaming "God gave you feet to work the rudder pedals!". I was trying to go about it systematically, straight and level, then shallow turns, understand the glide profile, etc. but he kept pushing me to do steeper turns, and I think I was just too unfamilar with the craft and concepts to try to master the craft in such a short time. Maintaining the proper attitude in a turn was the most difficult, he kept screaming that I was about to stall (nose too high, or turn to steep) and they were anything but coordinated. The task that petrified me the most was the take-off, the field (north of Reading PA, cannot remember the name) had a runway that started on a rise, then sloped downhill, then rose again), so trying to stay a few feet off the ground while the tow plane gained speed meant actually flying up and then down and then up again. I was well aware of the danger I was to the tow plane and trying to concentrate on my position and the tow at the same time was nerve racking. After I told the instuctor (several times) that all I wanted to do was be able to maintain stable flight and if time allowed work on turns, but he had a different agenda, I told him "no take-offs!", but as soon as the wings caught wind during take-off, he would let go of the controls and yell "you have the aircraft!". Near the ground (on take-off) I found myself over correcting, and in the air, un-coordinated (the piece of yarn on the windsheild was almost never vertical in a turn).I think a little ground school before hand would have helped, your explanations make a lot of sense and the only craft I was already famailar with were light powered aircraft (flying with friends).Thanks AgainSteve

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Hello Steve,The way the instructor was teaching you, gets you solo very fast. The more you do, the more you learn. But i guess he was a bit overenthousiastic. A glider really needs allot of ruder input, during the complete flight. Usually the hardest thing for students is to be able to fly coordinated turns, so don't feel to bad about it. I encourage you try some lessons with a different instructor, because flying gliders is so much fun :) You can probably buy some groundschool material at your local glider club. Here in Holland we got a good small booklet, explaining everything you need to know before you can go solo (including turns). Something similair will probably be available where you live to.

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That brings back memories Richard :-)I went on a week's gliding course many, many years ago and also learnt in a T21.About 5 years ago I decided to have another try at a fairly local hill field in a more modern design glider. After about 10 very short flights I gave up. The difference in performance was amazing and this old codger could not keep up with the glider, or I had forgotten everything I learnt all those years back.Mind you it doesn't help when you are scared stiff four rungs up a ladder :-)

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