Xplorer Version and Variations Differences

After much discussion on the “X3” thread on RCGroups.com I decided to come up with the following article discussion the evolution of NAN’s Xplorer.  The Xplorer from NAN Models started flying in 2008. It was an immediate success in F3J competition. Over the years the Xplorer underwent three major revisions. Along the way there were some intermediate variations that changed up the current offerring. In this article we’ll explore the differences in the Xplorer’s versions and variations as well as looking at the evolution in the model over the years. NOTE: This article is a work in progress. Xplorer 1 Link … Continue reading

Xplorer Mark 3 Servo Install

In my previous post about my new Xplorer Mark 3 I detailed how I setup the wing for pushrod exits. Now that I have each of the exits cut, the linkages measured, and the servo frame locations set it is time to glue those frames onto the inner skin of the wing. Let’s talk about a Xplorer Mark 3 servo install! Each step in this build, especially when it comes to the wing has been one where once undertaken cannot be undone. It really isn’t more evident than gluing in those servo frames. Once cured those frames are impossible to … Continue reading

Xplorer MK3 Build

I recently purchased a NAN Xplorer Mark3. After looking and marveling at the craftsmanship I knew it was time to put it together. I’m very lucky to live in an area with some amazing sailplane pilots. Jody Miller, Jeff Duval, and Dillon Graves are all local pilots that have a great track record for building great flying models. Jeff and Dillon are current USA F3J Team pilots and Jody was on the 2014 team. I’ll be enlisting each of them for help building my model. Starting Xplorer MK3 Build The first thing I decided to do was to cut the pushrod exits for the flaps. Even … Continue reading

Purchasing an Xplorer Mark 3

Mike and His Xplorer

I finally did it! Six months of saving and a bonus from work allowed me to pull the trigger on an Xplorer Mark 3! This model is out of this world in terms of quality. Everything seams are sealed. There is no molding marks. The tail group! Oh, the tail group! When I picked up the rudder I thought there was something wrong. It was so light! For a 4 meter (154 inches) glider I am amazed at how light it feels. The size really makes this impressive. Here are the weights: Center Panel 591g Right Tip 234g Left Tip 225g … Continue reading

Gracia Maxi Obituary, Xplorers Are Expensive!

The Xplorer Mark III by Nan Models is the pinnacle of thermal duration gliders. It’s light, weighing only 1700g for the 4 meter version. The Xplorer line has a number of championships and wins to its name. I consider it the defacto standard for F3J gliders. Here’s a picture from the last Florida Soaring Society event in 2015 in which I participated: Of the eleven people which participated, eight of them flew some version of the Xplorer. This glider is so popular that I often ask other RC pilots who are not flying it why they chose something different. The reason … Continue reading