First UK Slope Flights for the Alpenbrise

Initial impressions from pilot Iain Medley-Rose after the third airframe from the production moulds is committed to the air.


The Alpenbrise, the latest design from Aeroic Composite’s James Hammond, has been seen flying on a slope in the UK. A modern take on the classic four metre Alpina from Multiplex, this brand new glider looks like a significant step forward in many respects. The New RC Soaring Digest was provided with exclusive access to the pilot Iain Medley-Rose’s initial comments:

“Because of the poor weather there was no one to launch for me, so I had to do it myself. It’s always a slightly nervous moment, the first seconds of a new plane’s flight. This is even more pronounced when you are embarking on flights of a new design,” said Iain. “Of course, the Alpenbrise has already been flown in Germany, so I know it works, but calculating the CG and setting your control settings from scratch adds a little uncertainty. Obviously the basic concept of —if it looks right, it’ll fly right, applies here — but having the controls well balanced on the first flight would be nice.”

“Waiting for the clag to burn off in the weak winter sun was frustrating and we nearly gave in…luckily the third round of ‘let’s give it another twenty minutes’ payed off” as Medley-Rose went on to further describe the days events. “Obviously it’s a moulded plane so it’s no surprise that no pilot interference was needed after launch. The conservative first flight CG only needed a few beeps of up trim.”

“Once a few metres of sky had been arranged under the glider, a few stall turns and wing overs showed good pace and energy retention. Normal turns need very little rudder input. Loops and rolls were all pretty easy, but adding a bit more snap flap will be done for the next flights,” Medley-Rose continued. “A quick dive test confirmed the feeling about the forward CG. Stalling was quite hard to achieve and it took full up and some effort to get fully into the stall. Crow brakes were also given a quick test — just a slight change to the down elevator mix and a bit more up aileron are required.”

“A few very weak pockets of lift appeared and thermal flap showed that the Alpenbrise has a good climb. A bit more swooping and whooshing around showed that the turn of speed is good and the low level of noise suggests that the drag from the airframe is low. It feels and flies like a thoroughly modern design, so it has good tracking and holds its line beautifully,” said Medley-Rose. When asked what was next, Iain said:

“I’m really looking forward to getting the Alpenbrise out again and giving it a damn good thrashing!” And we’ll be here to write about that, too, Iain!

©2022 The NEW RC Soaring Digest Staff

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