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Start with a 2m span model - bungee launched from large flat field. Simple, Close to nature. Plenty of exercise setting up and fetching bungee each launch.

Recommended plane for beginner: 1.8 metre (6 foot) to 2 metre polyhedral rudder/elevator model.

Launching: 30 metres of rubber bungee, then 100-120 metres of fishing line, small parachute with ring on top - hooked on to a hook fixed to the underside of the fuselage. Plane pulled back 60 metres - launched into wind - sails up to 80 metres and drops line.

Construction: usually balsawood with harder spars, covered in heat-shrink covering. Takes about 40 hours to build, cover and fit the electrics. Some mentoring required.

Pre-built kits are available.

Radio Gear: Basic 2 channel radio - or higher quality multi-channel radio (see RADIO articles covering this.).

Flight Times (See also Catching Thermals article)

This will depend on the conditions, the thermals and your ability to stay in them. Expect 2-12 minutes for your average flight, sometimes many more!

Location requirements: Plenty of wide open space for stretching bungee, few trees to tangle bungee line or crash plane into. Separate space from power fliers

Degree of difficulty: Most docile plane to fly - excellent model to be trained on.

Comments: Very relaxing; requires most exercise; flights 2-20 minutes plus; Fragile if crashed heavily. Excellent for slope soaring when winds not strong.

Most glider pilots retain one of these for light days on the slope.

Alternatives for the beginner: none recommended, this model fits the requirements of the beginner particularly well.

Approximate cost of first plane and gear - from around A$400 including radio; plus club fees.

is contained in the
ADVANCED ARTICLE on this topic.

Buying ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) - sometimes heavier and not as strong, but far less construction time

Moving on to other planes:

- Larger models of similar design

- Aileron models

- Higher performance fibreglass models (generally winch launched)

- Larger scale gliders (generally aero-towed, sometimes winch launched)

Further reading on this type of flying: Advanced and Other articles on this site.

The bungee pulls the glider into the wind and the glider "kites" up and the line drops off the tow-hook by itself.

The glider is about to be launched. Line is attached to a parachute which has a ring attaching to a hook under the fuselage of the plane.

Don't catch the tailplane on your head in the launch!!

Up she goes!


Bungee kit, pegs, rubber line (on the reel) and chute.

 ADVANCED ARTICLE ON THIS TOPIC - includes table of requirements and costs


BUNGEES (Hi-Starts)

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