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Libelle suitability for beginners



 
 
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  #11  
Old February 16th 20, 12:00 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Martin Gregorie[_6_]
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Default Libelle suitability for beginners

On Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:24:20 -0800, dtarmichael wrote:

You'll be fine! I'd stick with the 201 for a first glider for a low time
pilot. You dont need the flaps of the 301 just yet.

One of these days, if I'm lucky, I'll get to see a 301. It seems that
most of them are in the US: there aren't more than 5 or 6 in the UK and
none live anywhere I've been.

BEEN It's been a while but if I recall correctly the 301s had a balsa
core and the 201 foam? Not a big deal, but something to consider during
a pre-buy inspection.


Not quite: 201s were entirely balsa until s/n 110 (mine is 82). The
transition from the all-balsa 201 with no water and both-surface airbrakes
to the 201B with all-foam surfaces, top-surface airbrakes and water bags
as standard started with s/n 111 and was complete at s/n 182.

FWIW, the first few 201s had fixed undercarriages too (Standard Class
rules!) but I believe they were all converted to retracts when the rules
changed. I've seen s/n 5, which was converted, but never an unconverted
one.


--
Martin | martin at
Gregorie | gregorie dot org

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  #12  
Old February 16th 20, 12:41 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default Libelle suitability for beginners

I bought a Libelle 201b before soloing and left it in storage until I got my PPG certificate. The next week I flew the Libelle with no prior single seat experience. I trained in a Blanik and had only one or two training flights in a Duo Discus. I had no problems and found the Libelle very sweet, particularly as a climber. Rudder pedal pressure is extremely light, I preferred to fly with thin soled shoes. On landing, don't touch down too fast or it will bounce. Very easy and light to rig. The detachable canopy can be a negative. Make sure nobody steps on it when you are rigging.
  #13  
Old February 16th 20, 12:49 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Nick Kennedy[_3_]
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Default Libelle suitability for beginners

Thanks so much for all the positive responses!
I have a soon to be 14 year old son who has been grilling me about soaring.
This summer I'm going to get him started, and see if he takes to it.
  #14  
Old February 16th 20, 02:11 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Default Libelle suitability for beginners

On Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 9:54:38 AM UTC+13, Martin Gregorie wrote:
On Sat, 15 Feb 2020 11:44:54 -0800, son_of_flubber wrote:

Another 'Club Class' glider to consider is the SZD 51-1. The Junior is
benign, built to sustain hard landings, has very effective airbrakes,
it slips, PU painted at the factory (no gel coat liability), fun to fly
well-harmonized controls, and designed from the ground up to be a single
seat trainer. Limited aerobatics permitted.

Yes, my club owns two Juniors, which are used as the next step after the
ASK-21 for our newly soloed pilots. I agree with all the things you said
about them and have a lot of time on them too: I got my Bronze and did
all legs of the Silver C in our Juniors, so I flew them fore about a year
before converting to our high performance fleet (Pegase 90 and Discus).

The only thing I'd add is that you MUST read the Junior's POH before
spinning one: Juniors have three slightly different spin behaviours
depending on pilot weight and it helps to know which to expect.

Another good glider for low-time pilots is the 205 Club Libelle - there's
one in our club and its owners really love it. Big cockpit, but there
were only 171 made, so they're even rarer than SZD Juniors.


--
Martin | martin at
Gregorie | gregorie dot org


Another strong point is that all of the Juniors that I've flown also have 'automatic' hookups and two Tost releases, one for aerotow and one for winch.. The only con that I know of is that best glide is at 43 knots and the polar drops off fast, and that makes 'buddy flying' with higher performance ships more complicated. That said, the Junior will outclimb high performance ships especially if you're a lighter weight pilot, and suitable for weak lift local flights on days when the high performance ships don't even bother to assemble.
  #15  
Old February 16th 20, 03:51 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
George Haeh
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Default Libelle suitability for beginners

I enjoyed flying the Junior, did my first 3 landouts in Juniors and appreciated the spoiler effectiveness.

But there's some gotchas:

1. The manual softpedals how much forward trim you need for takeoff. I ballooned behind a Pawnee, had one bounce correcting. Then discovered not long later the spoilers had come open.

2. There's a pitch down moment pulling spoilers. A definite change for pilots transitioning from an L-23 which has a mild pitch up.

3. Short pilots with the setback forward pulling full spoilers must watch against twisting their shoulders and inadvertently pushing the stick forward..

I lost a friend who got caught by 2 & 3 close to the ground. She reacted to the unexpected pitch down at 50' by first closing spoilers and subsequently finding herself at 80+ kt. running out of runway and ideas. She yanked full spoilers at ~20' and inadvertently pushed the stick forward.

Do get a proper briefing from somebody who has actually flown the Junior.

Do identify how far back the handle has to go to crack the spoilers open – it's about 1/3.

After release, pull full spoilers to see how it behaves.

Fiddling with spoilers low down makes for interesting landings until you sort out the pitch moment changes.

All that said, the Junior remains my favorite fixed gear single seater, others being PW-5 and L-33, both of which I've landed out in.
  #16  
Old February 16th 20, 04:13 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Gary Wayland
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Default Libelle suitability for beginners

On Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 10:59:08 AM UTC-5, Nick Kennedy wrote:
On W&W for sale recently there have been several Libelles listed, some look very nice.
And affordable.
Are these ships suitable for very low time beginners?
I've heard they are "lightly" built.
I've also never heard of them having any structural problems.
Thought's?


My first glider was a 201B. She's a homesick angel. Loves to thermal and out-climb your friends. I bought mine for 15K and sold it for 15K after two years. Twenty years later, you see them for, 15 K.

You cannot go wrong with a Libelle...

For beginners, I would say the Airbrakes are not as effective as I would like. You need to make sure you have your speed right in the pattern or you will go floating down the strip if too much speed at final.
  #17  
Old February 16th 20, 09:13 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Default Libelle suitability for beginners

On Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 4:51:41 PM UTC+13, George Haeh wrote:

1. The manual softpedals how much forward trim you need for takeoff. I ballooned behind a Pawnee, had one bounce correcting. Then discovered not long later the spoilers had come open.


At 170 pounds with chute, I've never had any bouncing or kiting problems with the Junior trimmed for 60 knots during takeoff. In the Junior I fly that is notch 4/10, with 1/10 being full aft trim. YMMV, but I don't think that it is at all fair to suggest that the Junior is prone to PIO on takeoff.


2. There's a pitch down moment pulling spoilers. A definite change for pilots transitioning from an L-23 which has a mild pitch up.


Huh. I mostly trained in L-23 (which I agree has a distinct pitch up when opening spoilers), then took 3 flights in ASK-21 and one in a PW-6. Then I hopped in the Junior and never noticed any pitching problem. Perhaps I had learned from the L-23 the merits of gradually opening spoilers. I don't understand why top of the wing spoilers would cause a pitch down.


3. Short pilots with the setback forward pulling full spoilers must watch against twisting their shoulders and inadvertently pushing the stick forward.


It's easy to get that final aftward movement of the spoiler lever by bending the wrist and pushing with finger tips on the front of the handle from above (without any body twist). Once you learn that, the difficulty of fully opening the spoilers becomes a feature, not a bug. This is because the spoilers are ridiculously effective, maybe twice as effective as the ASK-21 (this might be partly due to the higher sink rate of the Junior at the same pattern speed), so you don't want to accidentally open them full, and there is rarely any need to open full.

One of few times I've opened the spoilers full (for a few seconds) on a Junior was on the same flight that I set the altimeter 1000 low, such that I entered the pattern at 2000. I noticed the problem immediately on downwind and started correcting, but I flew a very steep final. I did not know exactly how high I was, so I snap decided to ignore the 'broken altimeter', and eyeball the landing.

Even though Best Glide in the Junior is at 43 knots (slower than the ASK-21) it has the same handicap as the ASK-21. I guess that is because it climbs so much better than the ASK-21.


  #18  
Old February 16th 20, 10:16 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Paul T[_4_]
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Default Libelle suitability for beginners

"Gliding Safety" by Derek Piggott, A&C Black (1991) page 109.
Std Libelle not recommended for "inexperienced pilots", e.g., unless
you've already made a few field landings and are an "above average"
pilot.



  #19  
Old February 16th 20, 10:22 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Paul T[_4_]
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Default Libelle suitability for beginners

"Not recommended for inexperienced pilots (from Gliding Safety - by
Derek Piggott)
The Libelle
The beauty of the Libelle is the light weight of the wings and the ease of

rigging and derigging. However, it is not for you unless you have
already made a few field landings and are an above-average pilot.
Although it is nice and easy to fly, the airbrakes are ineffective
compared with those on most other machines-an extra 5 knots on the
approach and you will be in the far hedge or the next field! Because of
these airbrakes, you must be able to side-slip quickly and accurately
while using full airbrake on the final approach. With less experienced
pilots, it is inevitable that the occasional approach will end up a little

high or fast, and only a quick side-slip can prevent an overshoot and an
expensive accident.

The Libelle suffers a serious loss of performance and buffets badly
unless it is flown accurately. This is probably due to the sharply pointed

top of the fuselage which causes a breakaway of the airflow if the glider
is flown with the slightest slip or skid. Having a short, stubby fin and
rudder, the Libelle is also not as directionally stable as later machines,

and this makes it more difficult to fly accurately than most other types.

In the air it is docile and pleasant to fly, but the poor airbrakes make
it
unsuitable for an inexperienced pilot. Larger pilots may find the cockpit
avery snug fit, as the top is rather narrow."

  #20  
Old February 16th 20, 10:25 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Paul T[_4_]
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Default Libelle suitability for beginners


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