Al's HLG - 'The Gambler'

This is my personal Gambler page, and mainly a history of the early development of my HLG/DLG. If you're looking to buy one of my Gambler HLG or Parkflyer kits, please go to my commercial website:

April 12, 2006

Gambler-AG Released! I've been derrilict in updating this page. Gambler AG has been in production now. For TONS of up to date information on the Gambler-AG please follow the thread on the Lift Zone discussion forums.

April 9, 2004

I took several new photos and movies. All of which can be found in the gallery section over on my commercial site: Wright Brothers R/C.

March 30, 2004

I mounted a peg in the wingtip and went out on my lunch hour for some tests. It was so overcast that only one video came out even half decent, and at 34 degrees F, we only stayed for a few flights. Launches with the peg were great and the peg held up fine to the stress. I'm looking forward to better weather so I can get some good flights in and better video.

Launch Movies PegLaunch1.avi

March 28, 2004

First test build of the next generation of the Gambler, called the Gambler+. The + is for the shape of the tail which has a pylon-mounted stabalizer and vertical tail both above and below the boom to stand up to full DLG launches. Test launches were excellent - probably twice as high as the V-tail version and straight up without the need of a rudder preset or gyro. The wind was swirling and gusting 5-10 mph, and I haven't installed a launch peg yet, but still I was quite happy with the first tests. I'll install a launch peg tonight and try again as soon as the weather cooperates. Below are some sample photos and a movie of a launch.

Launch Movies: Gambler_Plus_Launch1.avi   --   Gambler_Plus_Launch2.avi

September 13-14, 2002

Robert and I flew our Gamblers at NEAT fair, wind was not optimal, but we got some good thermals on Saturday late morning. Several other club members also had Gamblers there including Chuck's Electro-Gambler speed 280 powered version.

September 1, 2002

Robert Anderson and I did some flying at our company picnic and my boss was kind enough to take some photos of the flying. There are some nice in-flight shots of us formation flying. You can view them at this URL:

July 12, 2002

Shipping on the first run of production kits will begin Monday July 15th. This page may not keep up with all the developments, so check the commercial home of The Gambler at the Wright Brothers RC page listed above. A big 'Thank You' to all my pre-order customers. Those still waiting, I appreciate your patience. Our second run of kits will be more than enough to sastify all demand.

June 2, 2002

Robert finished his Alpha kit, without D-tube and brought it to the club meeting. Mike has his fuselage pod finished, waiting to glass it. In the first photo above from left to right are: My Prototype #1, Rob's build of the Alpha laser kit, My build from the Beta kit (wing) with beta scratch-built fuse and tailfeathers.

May 29, 2002

My friend Chon took a digital movie of a side-arm launch and flight with my 2nd prototype last Wednesday. I just got the file. The wind this day was 5-10 mph, so I was getting some puffs of ridge lift off some low-lying trees that border our field. The wind caused me to stall the plane a couple of times in this flight, but it gives you a good idea of the flight charateristics. Movies are in Quicktime Movie (.MOV) format.

May 5, 2002

Laser-cut parts came on Friday. I built up a new wing with S3021 airfoil and D-tube construction with a solid spar. The entire lentgh of the wing is reinforced with carbon-fiber ribbon above and below the main spar and along the trailing edge. This along with the D-tube makes the wing VERY strong.

First launches proved the S3021 to be superior and the wing to be completely up to the task of handling side-arm and discus launches as hard as I was able to throw. I programmed my transmitter's flight condition switch to allow me to add in some right and up trim momentarilly on launch and now I get excellent launches.

I'm having my friend Robert build the other 'kit' I had cut on the laser. Once that's done I'll be able to finalize the design, but this looks like 'it'. Photos of prototype #2 coming soon. Total all-up weight is 5.9 oz with all the strength improvements, bringing the wingloading up to a still respectable 3.4 oz./ft2. Not bad for a stick-built that can discus-launch!

April 30, 2002

New fueslage worked well. Side-arm launches weren't as straight because the boom flexes less (which is what I think was making them launch so straight before). It still flies well, although I'm working through trimming out the plane still. There was a lot of wind last night but I did get some nice flights using some slope lift. I need to figure out how to program in some launch presets into my transmitter now.

April 29, 2002

I built another fuselage pod with new sturdier CF boom from a target arrowshaft. Total weight of complete glider, ready to fly is 5.5 oz now. We'll see how it will fly as soon as the weather cooperates. New fuse is 1" longer in the nose to allow battery to be positioned to balance the extra weight of the new boom. Pod is glassed as before.

April 27, 2002

Flew the HLG at the club field. I let many of the members there have a go and everyone was very excited about it. I did have some transmitter trouble that caused me to get full down elevator on a discus launch. The resulting crash ended up shattering my boom. The fuselage was not harmed because of the fiberglass I added. Well I used some fiberclass cloth and thin CA to try some field repairs, which eventually worked, but only after a few crazy launches where the boom would let go in mid discus launch.

Jim Sarette immediately gave the plane it's new name..... "The Gambler". With a built up wing and ultra light boom, discus-launching the plane was a gamble! LOL! Well I've started designing a new longer nose for the fuselage so that I can put the battery further forward to balance the new sturdier boom I'm going to use. This with a D-tube wing and plenty of CF ribbon should take the risk out of the discus launches, but the name will stay.

April 20, 2002

After checking the internet, E-zone, RC Groups discussion boards, and several friends I found out that there are no plans out there for a larger hand launch glider, other than the mosquito class 'The Bug' plan from RCM magazine. I like 'The Bug' but I wanted better performance, so I set out to design my own HLG. I settled on 1.25 meter span for two reasons. The primary reason is that it will fit into my Mustang's trunk, and the second, is that it would be lighter than a full 1.5 meter HLG and hopefully easier on my tired shoulder.

Although the Bug's design is quite good, I wanted my design to use traditional build up wing to keep the cost down. The only carbon fiber tube is the one used for the boom. The Pod is a typical slab-side design with lite-ply formers but I decided to use .75 ounce fiberglas on it to add strength. I didn't plan on the prototype's wing being strong enough for side-arm launches, but in fact it handles them quite well, and the polyhedral wing flattens out the torque from a side-arm launch beautifully.

All up weight is 5.4 ounces with an FMA Extreme 5 receiver, 2 GWS Pico servos, and a 1-cell Lithium battery. Similar weight could be achieved with 3x110 mAh NiCad cells. With this weight and 256 in2 of wing area, the wing loading is a mere 3.09 oz./ft2. The airfoil for the prototype is the venerable S3014, although I'll be trying a couple thinner airfoils before finalizing the design. I am also considering drawing up a fuselage pod that i could carry a speed-280 motor with a folding prop.

In-flight Movies

These were the very first flights while I was trimming the plane out. It got too dark to film by the time I got the glider fully 'dialed in' and the performance started to really show. The wind was 5-8 mph and the sun was setting so a lot of sink was happening. We still managed to get some impressive flights. Lower numbered movies have better lighting but the plane was less 'tuned'. Movies are in order of quality, best at the top. Some movies require that you have the Intel Indeo 5.1 codec installed.

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