It is now time for HLG and DLG to divide…

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    After last week’s contest at Muncie I am a firm believer that the conventional glider no longer stands a chance against the discus model. With all the goodness that the discus has (increased decalage and much bigger) theer is no way that an 18″ span model can compete. I feel that we need a rules change and the sooner the better. Or, do we just leave it alone and let the normal HLGs just go distinct? ‘

    So, what do ya’all think? I would be willing to draw up the proposal….


    What rules change do you suggest? As a seperate event?
    Might be good.

    George Reinhart

    Whatsa’ Matta? Don’t like progress?
    DLG puts my 67 year old, rotator cuff tear arm back in the game!
    Don’t need no rule change, Just a new model.
    And I like building.


    Changing the rules to create 2 separate events achieves nothing, the same “experts” will win that too.
    DLG has been a shot in the arm for Hand Launched Glider with increased participation particularly from those who had to give the javelin launch style away (sore arms) and model size is still in a state of flux (they are getting smaller) so leave things as they are until the dust settles. That’s evolution for you.

    Ployd in OZ

    Bill Shailor

    I have several conventional HLG’s. They are relegated to antique status, just like my carved-wing, 40 gram motor wakefields. DLG’s are cool, easier to throw and perform better. Put a hook on your old HLG’s and catapult them!


    When I first saw Bruce Kimball with the SpinUp it was obvious that it was a superior platform for HLG. At the time I thought that separating the 2 styles was necessary. I no longer feel that way. I do miss the beauty of watching and flying the straight-launch planes. My shoulder doesn’t miss it a bit. Strange words from a Luddite who cannot get out of his own shadow.
    If you want to propose a rule outlawing timer controlled surface changes, I’ll BUILD that bandwagon.

    Dohrman Crawford

    I say leave things alone. I didn’t feel this way until I found out what a rotator cuff was. For a while there, I couldn’t even raise my right arm to shoulder level. Now I am back in the game. I may not win, but I am in the game. Much easier on the bod.
    Try it, you will like it.


    It isn’t as though JLG doesn’t have a chance which is true……it’s that no one is flying them in our area. All the former JLG flyers are now doing DLG and wouldn’t go back. If we had a separate event would people fly JLG? Probably not.

    In our big event here in Colorado, the Rocky Mountain FF Championships, we already have four small glider events if you include OT HLG and CLG and if you want to punish your arm you could just go fly in OT HLG without needing nostalgia JLG.

    Lee Hines

    Bruce-ter & Big John Lorbiecki
    I respectfully disagree with the idea of two HLG rules events.

    The lads responding after yours[Pete, Pelaero, Bill Shailor,
    Dorm & Randy R]are of one mind with me, FYI.
    Also Tim & Stan have said that HLG is HLG, no matter if you
    flung it between your legs or behind your back!
    I’d pay to see that done successfully, btw! 🙄 😯 8)



    I would be willing to bet that the “Three Amigos” from the left coast would come up with a way to do that !!

    My only thinking was that there may be those that like to toss a glider and that a seperate class would allow them to at least compete against their own. I thought the same, what the heck, let the class just deviate to mostly DLG and let the smaller gliders just fester in the background. I agree that it does allow old arms to once again be competitive. That is great….But then we have the “arms” in the group flying the smaller stuff and if they do place, they have really accomplished something. But I feel that that is going to get rarer and rarer.

    I guess it is the same as flying a Starduster in FAI. Nothing stops ya but there is no way you will be competitive.

    So, now I have to get the under the leg launch glider under cotrol and then everybody watch out!!

    As far as timer controlled surfaces, I am now going to propose that all surfaces MUST move….I am going to develope a 12 function timer that will be mandatory….Everything will wiggle, bunt, move, shake, roll, etc…I will get Dan yet….

    BTW, nice article dude. We need more of those!! Now if ya had a radio in it, they would publish everything we would send.

    jim buxton

    It is sad but true John. Javelin Launched HLG’s are now the equivalent of ignition engines, except there is no SAM class for them to fly in. It all happened so fast.

    ~Kibbie 2005, Indoors, Mark Benns beats all the Javelin Launched gliders with a large tip launched model. I tell myself that it only worked because it was over 100 square inches (the limit for indoor AMA HLG), and that it will not work in smaller sizes.

    ~AMA NATS 2006, Bruce Kimball wins handily flying a tip launch model over a field of javelins

    ~AMA NATS 2007, the top 6 or so max out flying tip launch in a field that is dominated by the new launch style

    ~USIC/Indoor NATS 2008, Stan Buddenbohm throws a site record 86 second flight and flirts with the magical 90 second barrier while winning indoor HLG with a tip launch model. Kurt Krempetz and Jim Lewis are very close to each other but a bit back for 2nd and 3rd. Tip launch sweeps the podium. I admit I was very wrong about tip launch working for AMA indoor upon hearing the results.

    I have filing cabinets full of Javelin plans and articles. I have custom-built model boxes packed with treasured javelin launch gliders. They are all junk taking up space now. Chances are none of them will ever fly again. Not only are they not competitive, they are not as fun to fly either. Tip launch gliders launch higher and are more impressive.

    Last year the night before NATS HLG Bruce Kimball and I pulled out a couple javelin launch gliders when we were done flying our tip-launched gliders. After we launched together I said, “Mine did not go up very high”
    He said, “yours went up higher than mine and my arm already hurts after one throw” We put them back in the box. That was the last time I ever threw a javelin glider outside, and probably ever will.

    It is tough to fathom that javelin is dead, but it is. Tip launch has one stark difference from what the glow engine did to the ignition engine. Tip launch will make guys that had retired due to age and arm competitive again. Nobody would have thought that Stan had another indoor Nats win in him a few years ago. Now not only has he done it, he may be chasing down Wittman’s 90 second mark….that is progress you cannot deny.

    I surely loved javelin launched glider, but once I get over its passing I am not sure I am going to miss it.
    ~Jim Buxton

    jim buxton

    I inadvertently left out Tim Batiuk’s amazing 21 max national record performance during October of 2007 in my list of milestones. This is of course one of the major milestones. I missed it because it is one of the few that I did not witness first hand.


    Hi Glider Folks,

    With all due respect to the opinions already quoted here, I want to post a dissenting view–traditional HLG (which I will refer to as JLG for “javelin launched glider”) should be given the chance to thrive and flourish into the future, and if it needs to be declared a separate event to ensure its survival, I strongly advocate that this be done.

    JLG is one of the most fundamental of all the FF events and represents one of the deepest roots of the sport. We have successfully preserved Old Time HLG in the SAM rules, and I would suggest that the NFFS add a traditional JLG event to the NFFS special rule book. I personally would advocate allowing any design, including new ones, but an event limited to designs published before a specified date would be OK. I personally think that anybody who wants to design their own glider should be free to do so.

    I see this as a case of history repeating itself. When circle tow came on the scene, the traditional simple towline glider was lost to us for nearly 20 years. This was not healthy for the sport in my opinion. Many people who enjoyed the simple traditional models were simply disenfranchised and had no event for the models they wanted to fly. Eventually the pent up demand for the old simple style models resulted in the adoption of the new NFFS special rules, but I really don’t want to wait nearly two decades for people to finally realize that they want their traditional JLG models back before they adopt rules to maintain them as a viable form of Free Flight. Time and time again we find that the models made obsolete by new innovation (and I love innovation!) are models we don’t want to lose because of their importance in the context of the history of our sport, as well as for the fact that they still appeal to many of us on their own merits.

    I continue to find joy whenever I unearth an old HLG design in an old magazine–I want to build and throw it. And I for one am not content to declare my carefully carved and trimmed contest models to be junk. They have as much intrinsic worth as they ever did and have the right to compete fairly with other models and flyers in the same class.

    Bill, your suggestion about turning old HLGs into new HHCGs has merit, but most traditional HLG designs are too big to be effectively launched with the current loop of rubber mandated by the rules. Perhaps we could allow more hefty rubber loops in HHCG?

    The reason we have so many Old Time and Nostalgia events is because time and time again people realize that they want to fly models from a certain era limited to a certain level of technology. It will be so with JLG, only this time let’s do the right thing up front instead of waiting nearly two decades. I for one don’t have that many more decades left for waiting on new rules to preserve old events I still want to fly.

    Finally let me point out that for decade upon decade back to the dawn of Free Flight, simple balsa HLGs have been used as an introduction to Free Flight for young flyers. In a time when each new young flyer we can interest in our sport is precious, let’s not remove one of the most important, accessible and basic entry level rungs at the bottom of the competition Free Flight ladder.

    Thermals to All!


    Andrew Tomasch
    AMA 61444
    SAM 2509L


    Way to go John. ❓ This should make for some good reading!!I’m sure somebody can arrange protection for your home and Kidds. 😉
    Interesting…Bloody battles over $$$$$$$ F1A-B-C-D-E-F-G’s and now the same over $ chuckies. Stay Tuned. 😀


    There are popular and successful events for rubber catapult or javelin launched glider events here in England as well as DLG.
    Its good fun having several flights with your old chuckie when you have failed to make the flyoff in F1A,B,C,H or G .
    There are an awful lot of fliers with a spare model chuck glider lying around.Separating the 2 is better than letting the inferior method die off.
    You just have to specify an appropriate length of rubber for the size of model that is most popular and equivalent to the stress required to tear the relevant ligaments and tendons in your elbow and shoulder.We use a 12″ loop of 1/4.

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