CARL GOLDBERG PRODUCTS SOPHISTICATED LADY ARF
washout (slightly higher at trailing edge
than leading edge) can make a huge difference between a sweet-flying sailplane and
one that tracks poorly and even tip stalls.
The two inner panels should be flat when
pressed to a workbench, and the two outer
panels should be 1⁄ 4 to 1⁄2 inch off the bench.
This allows the center of the wing to stall
before the tip, and reduces the chance of a
tip stall. Washout is easy to set up with a
heat gun, especially with a helper. I also substituted larger Tower Hobbies no. 64 rubber
bands for the wing mount.
Construction and setup took me 6. 25 hours
spread over six building sessions to let paint
dry and epoxy cure. I was happy with the
quality of the parts supplied, especially the
covering job. The ARF has been designed for
rapid and error-free assembly. While painting the pilot figure and trimming the parts
to fit the canopy assembly to the airframe
was time-consuming, the model was easy to
build and my guess is it will present no big
problems to even those with just a little
In the Air
My three Sophisticated Lady flying sessions were launched from
open areas of local parks. A field the size of two football fields is
sufficient, although a larger space may make it easier for less-experienced pilots. The plane is agile enough to hand-launch and
circle back for a hand catch, which we did for trim-check flights.
Other flights were launched with a small rubber high-start, which gives about a 2-minute
flight to search for thermals. This sailplane signals rising air clearly, with a tipped-up wing or
simpler: just head into the wind and let it descend on its own until it
meets the ground. A flare is optional.
General Flight Characteristics
STABILITY This plane is completely predictable on launch, in level
flight, through thermal turns, and on landing.
RUDDER ±1.5 in.
ELEVATOR ± 0.375 in.
TRACKING It will enter and hold a thermal turn
effortlessly, with only a hint of up-elevator needed.
General Flight Performance
My Sophisticated Lady is highly stable in flight;
it flies like a training glider. This is not a surprise, given the design elements it shares with
the venerable Carl Goldberg Gentle Lady, a
well-known starter glider for many soaring
pilots. It will launch hands-off from a high-start,
will easily fly itself for 5-, 10-, or 20-second
periods, and will land itself if you have the
space to let it land where it wants to. Given the light wing loading
and high-lift airfoil, it delivers excellent glide performance.
Aerobatics are limited by design to chandelles and inside loops.
Large and small loops are solid and predictable; just enter the
maneuver with sufficient speed gained in a shallow dive. It has
enough elevator authority to hold inverted flight, but the polyhedral
wing works against us when inverted, and this is more of a stunt
than an aerobatic maneuver with this glider. Landings couldn’t be
RADIO Futaba Skysport ss3
Single Stick w/Futaba R124H
receiver & two Futaba S3003
servos ( futaba-rc.com)
BATTERY Futaba NR-4QB
AEROBATICS Loops and chandelles are easy to
GLIDE & STALL PERFORMANCE The
Sophisticated Lady resists stalls in its normal
flight routine, and when forced into a stall, its
nose drops 2 to 4 feet then it immediately starts
to fly again on its own.
Three sailplane pilots flew this Sophisticated Lady, and agreed on its
pleasant launch, flight, and landing characteristics. I handed the
transmitter to one flying buddy who is relatively new to soaring and
launched it on the high-start for him, taking care to release the
plane with wings level. The SL climbed, released itself from the line,
flew in great lazy circles and made an extremely smooth approach
and landing. I complimented him on his smooth flying. He replied, “I
didn’t touch the sticks the whole flight, not even for the landing.”