Glassair HLG Review

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The Glassair HLG

Cliff top Flying

The Glassair HLG

I ordered this glider from Hobby Lobby in the States. The glider that I originally ordered was called a Hacker 'Ray', but they sent me the Glassair. The Glassair is the ARF version of the ARC Ray, so I ended up saving a roll of covering. This HLG is built in the Czech Republic and is very popular there. The kit comes with all major assemblies covered and ready to glue together. Everything looks well made and is extremely light.

I started the assembly by installing servo mounts in the fuse. I had bought a couple of Hitec HS-55 servos which I mounted side by side, but mini servos can be used if mounted in-line. I installed a 110 mAH battery in the nose and a 2ch receiver (minus the case) behind the servos. I tried to get all the gear as far forward as possible. Throughout the assembly, I used the hardware that was included with the kit.

The wing consists of a flat centre panel, outer panels and tips or winglets. these need to be glued together. The instructions say to use CA, but I epoxied all the wing joints. The wing bolt holes needed to be drilled and tapped (with the included tapping screw) in the top of the fuse.

The only work needed on the tail surfaces was to tape all the hinge lines using 3M-600 tape and gluing in an elevator joiner.

The Glassair needed about 1 oz of lead in the nose to balance it. I haven’t weighed it yet, but I would say it is around 12 oz flying weight.

After the first few throws, it became obvious that I needed a throwing peg. I made this from some 8 mm carbon fibre tube. I reinforced the area on the inside of the fuse where the peg would go through with some balsa and fibreglass. As it turns out, I didn’t reinforce it enough. This fuselage is made from very light cloth and is very soft and prone to cracking on anything but the gentlest landing. After several sessions with the Glassair, the inside of the fuselage was full of patches covering cracks caused by dorked landings.

This HLG flies extremely well in even the lightest lift. I wouldn’t take it out in anything more than a gentle breeze. It is quite fragile and too light for strong weather. It is not the fastest HLG, but it is very stable and looks great in the air. Only the slightest control inputs are required, and anything more tends to slow it down too much. So far, I have not tip stalled it. This may be a result of the fairly large winglets, but I’m not sure.

The blue and white colour scheme is quite visible, but at long distances it tends to become a silhouette. I am not worried about flying this thing too far away. I have always been able to make it back, even when the lift drops off completely. The 110 mAH battery gives me about an hour of flying time. I am reluctant to push it beyond this.

I am very pleased with this glider. It looks and flies great. The only improvements that I would make would be more reinforcement on the inside of the fuselage, particularly around the wing area.