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M20FanJesse

New World Record with R/C Glider - Mach .8 545mph

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I thought you guys might find this cool. I fly r/c discus launch gliders. My friend Spencer is an avid aerospace engineer and r/c enthusiast, and he recently broke the record for fastest R/C aircraft with his glider! He clocked 545mph in the mountains above Tehachapi at around 6000ft, where the winds were 60-80mph. He achieved this speed by using the soaring principle called Dynamic Soaring. Here is a video of him making the record flight. 

 

To put it simply, dynamic soaring is where you fly in a diagonal circular path on the leeward side of a windy hill, and use the changing gradients of high wind, and no wind(blocked by the hill) to propel the model faster and faster. Unlike my discus launch gliders, these things need a lot of weight to keep momentum and stability, so they weigh almost 30lbs.

He built the glider himself and has been developing new airfoils and structures for his gliders, pushing the boundaries for whats possible. At mach .8, this is well within the transonic region, which is a difficult region to get past, with the increased drag and all. They had previously put G meteres inside. He said they recorded a max of 125g+ which is the highest the sensors could go.

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47 minutes ago, M20FanJesse said:

I thought you guys might find this cool. I fly r/c discus launch gliders. My friend Spencer is an avid aerospace engineer and r/c enthusiast, and he recently broke the record for fastest R/C aircraft with his glider! He clocked 545mph in the mountains above Tehachapi at around 6000ft, where the winds were 60-80mph. He achieved this speed by using the soaring principle called Dynamic Soaring. Here is a video of him making the record flight. 

 

To put it simply, dynamic soaring is where you fly in a diagonal circular path on the leeward side of a windy hill, and use the changing gradients of high wind, and no wind(blocked by the hill) to propel the model faster and faster. Unlike my discus launch gliders, these things need a lot of weight to keep momentum and stability, so they weigh almost 30lbs.

He built the glider himself and has been developing new airfoils and structures for his gliders, pushing the boundaries for whats possible. At mach .8, this is well within the transonic region, which is a difficult region to get past, with the increased drag and all. They had previously put G meteres inside. He said they recorded a max of 125g+ which is the highest the sensors could go.

Wow that looks like it takes a tremendous amount of skill to stay ahead of the flight and keep it under control!

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How does a person control a model flying at 500+ mph?

near the end... the observer says ‘that sounded different’

Simple math...   30Lbs at 100gs equates to 3,000 Lbs... actual g forces exceeded 125g...

What is the plane made out of to withstand that kind of forces?

Tremendous flight envelope. From hand launch to slow landing with 500+mph passes in between!

Wow!

-a-

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Anthony, there is undoubtedly some fiberglass reinforcement, and maybe a few pieces of carbon fiber along the spar. I've flown RC in the past but never anything approaching this level of performance. You'd be surprised, though, at the level of strength the planes have considering how lightly they are constructed, and that they are built by amateurs in bedrooms and on dining tables . . . .

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4 hours ago, carusoam said:

Simple math...   30Lbs at 100gs equates to 3,000 Lbs... actual g forces exceeded 125g...

What is the plane made out of to withstand that kind of forces?

Tremendous flight envelope. From hand launch to slow landing with 500+mph passes in between!

Wow!

-a-

As things scale down the relative strength gets better.   e.g., ants and other little critters carrying loads much bigger than them.   I'm sure they paid a lot of attention to the structural design to make it hold up, but it may not have been very exotic to handle those loads.

 

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I bet Boeing and Lockheed would be fascinated to learn how to make a straight-wing un-powered aircraft fly at .8 mach.

Let's just say I'm skeptical.

I'd be less skeptical if there was an internal IRS, or even GPS rather than external radar tracking.  You know how reliable those radar guns are, right!  :lol:

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