The ‘Gentle Advancer’ came about when the wings from my ‘Quiet Advancer’ were married to the fuselage from a ‘Gentle Lady’. The Quiet Advancer was my first ever RC aircraft. I built it in my bedroom when I was fourteen, it was launched by a Cox .049 glow engine on a power pod, guided by a 2ch Futaba Attack II AM radio and ably test flown by my physics teacher! He would teach me (and others) on afternoons after school and I gradually improved.

This lead to me plucking up the courage to fly it purely as a hand launch glider at the local oval, trying to get the longest flight possible off a javelin style launch. I would often fly with a mate who was a much more accomplished RC pilot and had a Brolga (I think). He had a bungy and we would get some great launches off that. We would spend hours tooling around with the gliders. I don’t think there was such a thing as a ‘parkflyer’ in those days and a glider was the slowest and safest thing to fly in a public location.

I learned a lot from that model, including repairs! Eventually the fuselage was too far gone to salvage but the wings were kept ‘just incase’. Not long after I picked up a part built Gentle Lady for a song, which I completed and flew. I have to say I can’t understand why this make is so famous. To look at it’s almost identical to the Quiet Advancer but it flies like a piece of snot. In fact I think I may have flicked some boogers in my time which flew better!

One day I put the beat up old QA wings on the Gentle Lady and it was like having an old friend back again. Even with a crunched up leading edge and uneven polyhedral angles it flew so much better. Now that I’m a better RC pilot and a full size glider pilot I’ve even been able to find thermals and climb successfully – something I never achieved in the early days.

Recently I spent a few days refurbishing the old bird. The nose got lopped off and treated to a brushless outrunner with a folding prop / spinner. The wings were completely stripped and refurbished. Bad repairs were cut out and re-done. Some new ribs manufactured, the leading edge re-shaped to try and improve the speed range and then re-covered again. I’ve given it one test flight so far and found a thermal first time out Woot!