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LS3 LS4 Differences

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Old August 24th 19, 11:09 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default LS3 LS4 Differences

On 8/24/19 2:19 PM, Chris Behm wrote:
On Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 12:49:20 PM UTC-7, Chris Behm wrote:
On Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 9:43:56 AM UTC-7, Papa3 wrote:
On Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 11:42:44 AM UTC-4, Papa3 wrote:
On Friday, August 23, 2019 at 10:55:22 PM UTC-4, NMD wrote:
Hello, Leaning toward an LS3 or LS4 for my first glider. Are there any practical differences or are they very similar?
How about the flapped 3a? These seam to be the more available and are priced a bit lower?
Also how long does a paint finish typically last if gelcoat removed and refinished?
Thx you for the advise!

As already mentioned, they are significantly different gliders. The original 3 has full-span flaperons and very heavy wings for a 15M glider. On the plus side, it has automatic control hookups for the wings, so no fiddling around in the dark with hotelier connections. Once assembled, it's a very nice flying ship with no vices and all the usual performance benefits of flaps (for high speed flight and landings). We're actually restoring our club LS3 right now and are looking forward to many more years of happy soaring with it.

The LS4 (I owned one for 5 years) is really the perfect first glass ship in most regards. One less thing to play with (no flap handle) but very good landing behavior thanks to extremely effective divebrakes. Manual connections for spoilers and divebrakes require a little more care in assembly, but no more than most other ships of that vintage.

They share many mechanicals including the flimsy LS canopy attachment, captive thumb-wheel stabilizer attachment, many cockpit layout features, etc. The landing gear on both is not as robust as Schleicher designs and the wheel brake is only fair to adequate (if you take care of it). Some people do not like the heel brakes on the LS4 but I actually loved that design as your hands were free to deal with the stick and divebrakes and you could keep full divebrakes while on the ground roll without using the wheel brake (or vice-versa).

Assuming you have some time in a glass two-seater and good briefing, you should have no problem with either. So, it comes down to finding the best on in your area in terms of finish condition (priority 1) trailer condition (priority 2) and instruments (priority 3).

Feel free to pm me directly if you want any other details about either ship; I think I have both flight and maintenance manuals for both around somewhere.

Also, there is a Yahoo group for LS Gliders (google it... hah).

Erik Mann (P3)


What are the differences between LS4 and LS4a?

I found my own answer, thanks Wikipedia.... 4a has beefed up LG for increased water ballast capacity over the LS4. So, it would seem to be something worth seeking?

Yes, but the factory sent technicians to the U.S. to convert most/all
LS-4's to LS-4a's. It was just adding another rubber doughnut to the
gear to stiffen it up. If the paint job says LS-4, it may well be a 4a.
Check the paperwork.

There was also an LS-4b variant produced, very few of them were built.
Automatic control hookups.
Old August 25th 19, 07:02 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default LS3 LS4 Differences

I don't have as many hours in LS3s as Papa3, but owned an LS4 for 7 years after flying a 4 owned by P3's friend "The Scoundrel".
The DG300 was my other candidate before that. Flown a couple of those... They don't have the feel the LS has.
The LS4 is one of the nicest gliders to fly, would highly recommend it as a first glider. It more or less does what you think.
Not automatic hookups, but the 4 you need to hook up are easy and have LS-Sleeves for security.
The ****ty Tost drum wheel brakes (many gliders have them) can be relined and arc'd by a motorcycle brake specialist.
The heel brake control is actually a good thing.
The landing gear handle gets in the way if you grab the air brakes with the gear up. Pretty cool.
And it's a very good choice in Club Class.
As others have said, a good trailer is important.
Old August 25th 19, 09:10 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Peter Wilson[_3_]
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Default LS3 LS4 Differences

... the LS4B variant (if you can find one) has auto connect controls
and a lifting panel.

Old August 25th 19, 05:32 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Nick Kennedy[_3_]
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Default LS3 LS4 Differences

A very nice looking LS4 just popped up on Wings and Wheels classified.
Not cheap but looks like a very nice complete package, for the discriminating pilot.
Old August 25th 19, 09:33 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sergio Elia
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Default LS3 LS4 Differences

I would suggest the LS4, you may decide to compete in Club Class and for this it is a very competitive glider thanks to the new handicap list.

Old August 27th 19, 01:06 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default LS3 LS4 Differences

Thank you all for the excellent comments! Much appreciated.

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