Side Trip: Model Gliders

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The Pelican Soaring Club

I belong to The Pelican Soaring Club, and offshoot of West Pasco Model Pilots Association, Inc, which flies out of Starkey Field in Odessa, Florida.  Our club is dedicated to and promotes the flying of radio controlled model sailplanes\gliders.  These models vary in size from about a 36 inch wingspan to models with ten foot wingspans.

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    The Pelicans own a winch system that runs on a 12 volt automotive starter motor and a 12 volt battery.   The starter motor has a spool that holds a nylon line that plays out in a continuous loop to a turnaround (pulley) that is positioned upwind about 100 yards.  The plane is hooked up to the winch line, the winch is engaged, the plane rockets up to 300 feet in several seconds, is released, and the pilot begins his search for thermals!


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      Ed O'Keefe launching his unlimited (over 100" wingspan) sailplane.  Bob Bingham is waiting and next in line for the winch.  Roger Mann (dark shirt) and Jeffrey Goodman (white shirt) are flying in the background.  Herb Jautze is sitting next to the winch and is operating the retriever system.

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Mike Dezik flying his Sagitta 100" standard class competition sailplane.

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Mike Dezik with a close-up of his Sagitta excellent flyer and a very competitive RES (rudder, elevator, spoiler) design. 

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Paul Berry kneeling next to his original design and scratch built unlimited T tail sailplane.

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Leon Kincaid with one of his many excellent original designs.  This a scaled down old timer powered with a speed 400 electric motor on 7 Nicad cells.


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Here I am (on the right) preparing to launch my "Duck" sailplane. Vic Tyber (Pelican President/point of contact) is shown holding my sailplane.

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Ed O'Keefe and Jeffrey Goodman standing near 4 sailplanes on the grass. 


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Looking inside the delicate body of a discus launch sailplane.  The two blue items are servos, tiny electric motors which are used to move the rudder and elevator.  In front of the servos is the receiver.  Not shown are the battery, and a tiny gyroscope which steadies the plane during launch.

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                                                     Going...................                                     Going...............

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Jack Harper of the Houston Hawks demonstrates a discus launch using an "Avenger" by  the Janco.  Jack visited our club on April 16, 2003, and wowed the group with discus launches that regularly reached 80+ feet.


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