Get the Lead Out! Fore and aft balance is critical on sailplanes... not only for safety (tail heavy aircraft can be vicious, nasty, tip-stally weapons of massive destruction), and for optimum performance. A nose heavy sailplane can be a real "Dog" (pardon me, Chaco!)... plowing through the air and putting a huge drag load on the horizontal stabilizer. So how do you secure the lead weight in the nose of your sailplane, yet still have some flexibility in changing the amount ? The traditional method is make up a batch of "lead caviar"... with lead shot, soaked in epoxy. You can pour this mess into the nose of your sailplane, and when the epoxy hardens, it is certainly secure. But we've found a better method, that is secure, but that can be dug back out with a screwdriver, is to melt some candle wax, and pour the shot into the wax. Pour this mixture into the nose of your sailplane, and in a few minutes, it will harden and hold it in position, but it can still be easily removed.
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Airfoils… The “Engine” of Un-Powered Flight
When man first tried to build a flying machine, he tried to copy the wings of a bird. Great idea, except that birds are constantly changing the airfoil, planform, angle of attack, and sweep of their wings. In the process, copying what appeared to be a highly cambered, very thin section airfoil just Didn't Work Out Very Well. Want to learn more about airfoils? Check out our "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Airfoils" video. Click on the Products link above....