23-Feb-24 - 10:24 AM

Thermal Circle Text - Thermal Circle 04

Written by Hayden Daley - 12 September, 2007.
In this edition of the soaring circle we will take a look at composite model manafacturers as well as some information on the new world soaring class for scale sailplanes f3i. To me this extremely exciting as we now have the basis for a new style of contest that will hopefully allow for static judging and soaring flying. Personally I hope this new class will encourage manafacturer to produce radios with more channels and options for scale sailplanes. Personally alot of my scale models run twelve channels as is, and I need two more for water ballast and Variometer control , taking the channel count to 14. Im sure the jet modellers are having the same problems. The need to run more channels is really dictated by the sub trims and other functions that allow the set up of the model, and Y leads dont allow for this programming facility. The new Futaba 14 channel radio will sell well as many pilots will buy these set for the extra two channels available. I think that the next tecnological step is a radio of 16 channels and the channels being of equal importance need to be taken into consideration by the development teams of the major manafacturers, as models get larger and more sophisticated. Now onto composite model manafacturers.

Composite Model Manafacturers

The companys listed are specialist manafacuturers or distributors of composite competition sailplanes as used in the multi-task soaring competitions or f3j thermal events. The firms listed are all reputable firms that I or assosciates have bought models from. The firms were all easy to deal with and the products arrived safely and were up to standard in build quality, weight, and finish.


RnR products are a U.S based manafacturer and produce a number of composite models ranging from f3b sailplanes to open class model pylon racing aircraft. RNR manafacture a number of different competition sailplanes with the stand out aircraft being the Millenium and the F3b Eagle. With the current value of the Australian dollar RnR aircraft are very well priced in comparison with a number of the European companys. Rnr models come in different lay ups and can include full carbon wings to different types of fuselage with hatches or slide on nose cones.There is also a building service that will get the models closer to completion. Being in the U.S the company is easy to call, as the language is English. I ordered my aircraft using Email and a telephone call with credit card details, sealed the order,and the model arrived approximately seven days later. It was everything that I expected, with a supurb finish and with full carbon wings. Rnr products can be found at the following website www.rnrproducts.com

Aero Sport Becker

Aero sport Becker is the manafacturer of some excellent f3b models and as a manafacturer is highly regarded in f3b circles. The Pulse and the two different types of Supersonics, the large and small, are the stand out models from this manafcturer. This company is in Germany, but most of these companys will answer an email in English, if e-mailed. This manfacturers models have all arrived safely from the departure point and were strong, well made, good flying, competition aircraft. Aero Sport Becker can be found at the following website, www.aerosportbecker.de

Air Tech

Air tech is a French manafacturer of some verry succesful designs that are widely used in 7 cell electric competition and f3j thermal soaring events.The stand out models from this manafacturer are the electric Alto and the X-soar or known in English speaking countries as the f3j Giga. Air tech carry an English tranlsation on their web site and will answer corrospondance in English. These Air Tech models are well made light and strong models. The composite construction on these models are a work of art and will satisfy the fussiest of buyers, with excellent moulding and light weight construction. Air Tech can be found at www.airtech-rc.com.


F.V.K modell is a German company that is well respected in soaring circles as a producer of high quality well made models. F.V.K carries a large range of different models, from electrics to competition sailplanes. The stand out models from this manafacturer are the Graphite in its various sizes and I also like the look of the Mistral F3j model. All the people that I know that have dealt with F.V.K have been happy with the service provided and happy with the way the models flew. The F.V.K company has been around a fair while and come highly recomended as a supplier and is constantly releasing new aircraft to its customers.F.V.K modell can be found at the following web site www.fvk.de.

Tun Modellbeau

Tun Modellbeau is based in Switzerland and is the distributor of the Tragi series of competition sailplane. The stand out models from this manafacturer are the Tragi and the New Age sailplanes. Tun Modellbeau are easy to work with when arranging payment and shipping and the model arrived safely within the time specified. A number of Victorians have had a lot of success with Tragis, so these models come recomended as strong, reliable competiton aircraft. Tun Modellbeau are reputable firm and can be found at www.tun.de

H.K.M Modellbeau

H.K.M is a disributor of a large number of composite models. Based in Germany this manafacturers stand out models are the F3j model known as the Sharon and the Pike series of competition sailplanes, which includes the Pike Superior that was used to win the F3j World championship. H.K.M carry an English translation on there web site and were swift in replying to all corrospondence sent by email. This company comes highly reccomended as a supplier of composite models and can be found at www.hkm-modellbau.de

Samba Model

The samba model company is based in the Czech Republic and is the Manafacturer of the succesful f3j model the Pike Superior. Samba models are well made and excellent perfoming competition models. David Hobby used the Pike Superior to win the f3j world championship.This company is reputable and can be found at www.f3j.com.

Jaro Muller

Jaro Muller is one of the most highly respected makers of composite models, world wide. The finish and parts fit on these Muller made models are of the highest quality and is one of the reason that many people will only buy molded models made by Jaro Muller. The stand out aircraft from this manafacturer are the f3b model the Ellipse4,the f3b Elita and the f3j Model the Escape. You will find Muller models at pretty much every contest world wide, they are that popular amongst competive flyers. The Mini ellipse is also made by this manafacturer and is an excellent performing slope soarer and very popular amongst slope flyers in Australia. Jaro Muller comes highly recomended as a supplier of composite models, you will not find better constructed composite models from any other manafacturer. Jaro Muller can be found at www.profi.sk

Icare Sailplanes Icare sailplanes based in Canada and carry a large range of models from competion sailplanes to scale models. Icare has excellent customer service and its products are of good quality. The stand out models from this supplier are the Nyx Furio and the Eraser. Icare sailplanes is based in Canada so there is no language difficulties when ordering.This company can be found at the following website, www.icare-rc.com.

Shred Air

Shred Air is based in the United States and is a supplier of competition and other sailplanes. The stand out models from this supplier are the Tsunami and the F3j Stratos. Shred Air is well respected as a supplier of composite models and were polite and easy to deal with whern ordering over the phone. Shred Air can be found at the following website www.shredair.com.

European Sailplanes

European sailplanes are based in England and are a supplier of composite and other models. The stand out models from this supplier are the f3j Starlight 3000 and the Nyx in its various layups. European sailplanes were easy to deal with via email and the orders were filled promptly and arrived in excellent condition. These models are of good quality and the Starlight is a competive f3j model. European sailplanes can be found at www.euro-sailplanes.co.uk/

Flugmodell- Technik Fischer

Fischer is the manafacturer of the very succesful f3b sailplane the Estrella. This particular design has been widely used as an f3b competion sailplane by many competitors and has been very succescful design in competions held world wide. Fischer also manafacture the V-Ultra competiton sailplane as used by American competition pilot Daryl Perkins to win an F3b world championship in the mid 1990's. Fischer models are strong and well made and used by a lot of competive pilots for these reasons. Fischer can be found at the following web site www.fmt-fischer.de.

Competition sailplane are some of the best flying models you can buy. They are strong,efficient, exciting to fly and because of the computer cut molds are very accurately made with no warps or other inacuracies in the finished product. Molded models have a very high strength to weight ratio and are very durable the only down side is that they are difficult to repair. Remeber when ordering, to insure all shipments, no matter how small the order is and also ask for the freight tracking number when paying. Most of these companies will take credit cards over the phone, however occasionly you will find that you may have to transfer funds into acounts in foreign countries. This can be done at pretty much any bank. Also remember to check and confirm what lay ups are available and other different options when ordering your model. Also when ordering take into account the Australian dollar, being patient can save a large amount when buying new composite models.

New world soaring class f3i

There is a new class of contest rules that are currently being voted on by the FAI,f3i. F3i information is hard to find at the moment but I believe the FAI is looking at multi task style of event similar to the f3b rules. Personally I believe that f3i should include static judging, with judgings for scratch built models and models built from a semi kit and have a soaring element with a vario and non vario class. The event would entail scale judging and an equal launch height for say a 15 minute flight with a non vario model and say thirty minutes for a model with a vario, with one hour working time to completete the flight. Acheiving the required flight times would result in 1000points and all pilots acheivng the times will receive a maximum score, with no landing bonuses. I think that f3i with these rules would be an interesting event and allow for the construction element that makes scale soaring such a challenge.

The soaring circle now has a contact point, an email address so feel free to send any suggestions, questions or topics that you would like to see covered in this magazine to, soaring@newlitho.com.au. Thats it for this issue, happy soaring.Hayden Daley


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