View Full Version : "No trim" parasite boost-glider design

09-06-2009, 07:51 PM
Hello All,

Has anyone here ever built and flown the Estes Condor parasite boost-glider? I have not, but I have read through the instructions for this kit (Cat. No. 0807 see: http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts/ClassicParts.asp?ID=134 ), which was designed by Bill Simon. I have never built and flown any of his other designs that did not perform as described. (Some worked even better--I swear my first Estes Mosquito is still up there!). :-)

The Condor's profile-fuselage canard glider is designed so that it does not require trimming, nor does it have airfoil-sanded wings, just flat sheet balsa flying surfaces. (From my experiences with hand-launched canard gliders, they are pretty "forgiving." So is Quest's Q-EZ canard boost-glider, although its glide duration is rather short due to its stubby, low aspect ratio main wing.)

If the Condor glider is nose-heavy after assembly, the instructions just call for sanding an airfoil shape into the small forward canard to counteract it. The catalog description says that the glider achieves flight durations of up to 90 seconds (and this is off its big, heavy, "draggy" 13 mm mini-motor powered booster that has large, delta wing-like fins), so who knows how long it could stay aloft if carried up higher by a normal, low-drag 3-finned or 4-finned rocket powered by 13 mm, 18 mm, or 24 mm motors?

Even if the Condor's 90 second glide duration figure is somewhat over-optimistic, a good-performing parasite glider like this that can fly "right off the workbench" would be a boon to new rocketeers who may have shied away from trying boost-gliders because of their greater complexity. (There are even very experienced rocketeers on this board who would say of their experiences with boost-gliders: "If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all; Gloom, despair, and agony on me!") :-)