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Old 08-31-2013, 10:33 PM
K'Tesh's Avatar
K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Question "Red Baron"ed in? What does that mean?

I've read a couple of posts relating to boost gliders, and on more than one occasion someone says that their BG does a Red Baron. I can't find a definition or a description of what that means, nor was I able to find a video on YouTube that shows one happening.

Any help here would be appreciated.


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Old 08-31-2013, 10:56 PM
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When your boost glider gets caught on the separating pod and the whole mess comes down tangled in the streamer like the scarf on the Red Baron...

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Old 09-01-2013, 05:17 PM
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Did you just now make that up?
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:25 PM
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Scott speaks truth. I've been flying gliders since 1968 and have suffered a few "Red Baron's". I believe that the phrase came from the Peanuts comic strip where Snoopy would yell, "Curse You, Red Baron" after his imagining being a World War One flying ace. A deployed streamer from a hung up pod would bring the glider down at an angle like it had been shot down and was trailing flames.

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Old 09-02-2013, 05:27 PM
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It is a phraseology that I have heard, not sure if it is because of the trailing scarf analogy or the fact that the (Squirrel Works) Red Baron was/is notorious for doing it.
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffyjeep
Did you just now make that up?
Speak not heresy! This wisdom, like so much in our hobby, issueth from G. Harry Stine, who--in his "Handbook of Model Rocketry" (Sixth Edition)--spake thus on pages 217 and 218:

"The pop pod shown in Figure 13-18 incorporates a streamer for recovery. Some of the larger pop pods for larger motors use parachutes. But I've learned from long and hard experience that a parachute will often cause the pod to get tangled with the glider. This happens often enough anyway, even with a streamer recovery pop pod. It results in what is known as a "red baron." The whole model spins slowly to the ground with the streamer, pod and glider tangled up and looking like the Red Baron himself shot the whole works out of the sky." Also:

On page 147 of this same tome, he made mention of the Red Baron in another way:

"Many years ago, inventors and 'aeroplane' builders learned that some shapes have less drag and create more lifting force than others. A tremendous amount of information is available on the subject of aerodynamics, some of it going back more than a century. For example, some of the data used by James S. Barrowman in developing his simplified CP [Center of Pressure -- blackshire] calculations came from research done during World War I for biplanes such as the Sopwith Camel and the SPAD. Thus, our Space Age hobby of model rocketry has technical roots that go back to the days of the Red Baron and Eddie Rickenbacker. All of this data is readily available to model rocketeers in textbooks and technical reports. Many of them have used it." In addition:

Anyone who has never read G. Harry Stine's "Handbook of Model Rocketry" should, as it is entertaining (containing personal anecdotes) as well as informative. Copies of it can be ordered cheaply from booksellers. As well, Frank Zaic's classic 1964 book "Circular Airflow and Model Aircraft" (which Stine listed in the bibliography of his "Handbook of Model Rocketry") is also well worth reading, as it is highly relevant to boost-glider (B/G) and rocket glider (RG) design and trimming.
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