I still struggle with the flying bit, but enjoy building and have often turned my nose up at ARTF (Almost Ready To Frow).
 Even though my test pilot, Phil the Fridge, has always been the first to fly my models, I thought that the thrill of that first nerve tingling flight would be lessened by ARTF. Maybe one day, as my flying skill develops, ARTF will mean the same to me as it does to Phil "Any Ruddy Thing Flies"; thanks again for your help Phil.
Anyway, back to the plot, I gave in and bought one, a Highlight. An ARTF 60" span HLG from West London Models. Ordered Monday, Delivered Tuesday, Flyable Wednesday, Repairable Thursday. 
Wings – 
Built up with balsa ribs and carbon ‘D’ box leading edge (which will easily snap bonnet stays Phil). 
The dihedral tipped wing halves are pre drilled for the supplied carbon joiner and rear retaining screws. Location in fus is by means of two pre-fitted brass rods giving slop free attachment. The wings are beautifully covered in multi coloured clear film as tight as the skin on Jordan’s ARTF (Always Ready To Fondle) breasts.

The extreme tips are swept back (I’m not talking about Jordan now) giving the wings a very pretty but slightly aggressive plan form (or maybe I am).
Fuselage – A lovely long, slim and smooth affair like Naomi Campbell’s ARTF (Almost Reach The Froat) legs.
 Of Carbon/ Kevlar make-up it is very light and strong. It is pre-drilled and pre-threaded for wing location and attachment and has the snakes pre fitted. The ‘V’ tailplane seat is pre formed for very accurate location. It is natural finish and really needs a lick of paint to do the rest of the model justice. The canopy is pre-formed in sexy looking carbon weave, but the fitting is left to you. I used a short length of piano wire at the rear and a very short screw (glad of anything these days) at the front. 
Tail plane – 
This is the Almost part of ARTF. Each half is complete and made of something akin to depron with a stiff steel coloured covering applied which also acts as the hinge for the rudders elevators elevons ruddervators flappy bits. The planform matches the wingtips; nice. I fitted a pair of mini plastic ‘v’ tail horns available from W.L.M. with epoxy. The two halves were then epoxied together and into the groove on the fus. I pre fitted the piano wire push rods into the horns with ‘z’ bends and slid them down the snakes before gluing the tail in place ensuring full unhindered movement.
 I used a couple of those micro red union jobbies pre-fitted in a light ply tray, epoxied into the fus. Adjustment is via a threaded stand off that has a cross hole for the piano wire that in turn is clamped by a tiny grub screw giving easy and positive positioning. 
A Jeti micro receiver was an easy fit in the fus to complete the control chain. The battery used was also obtained from W.L.M. and was a 270mA four cell pack in diamond configuration and was a snug fit up the nose. Fortunately, it was also a perfect fit in the fus. With this set up, there was no need for any extra weight to give the correct C of G.

Test Flight – 
Yes, I still got the tingle. Phil obliged, as usual, and sent it up a mini bungee straight and true like Robin Hood’s shaft (home made tow hook about 30° in front of CG) on Minchinhampton common in a fair breeze. Very little trimming was needed, but Phil would certainly look better for it. It proved to be very stable and responsive, but we were out of time. Second flight at Rodborough on a bungee with no air at all showed what a superb flat glide it had. The turn was very flat and it was a dream to handle (exponential would be useful if heavy handed). I am now looking forward to a flight with thermal activity.

Conclusion – 
The quality of this ARTF (A Right Triffic Flier) knocks spots off anything I could build. If you like HLG, this is a superb model but, at £95, not particularly cheap. Instructions are non-existent, so a raw novice would need help with the small amount of assembly. As an addition, an electric fus and tailplane can be purchased separately to double your options (close to 60 quid though).

The poetic bit – 
As the sun melted slowly into the fading horizon the sky flushed crimson in the glory of the sight. 
The air was stilled and the light was softened for fear of disturbing Mother Nature's gift in all its splendor. 
Bird song was mellowed and crickets were hushed as foxes sensed a time to play.
 I dragged myself away from the sight in the valley as wisps of smoke drew fanciful pictures on the nature’s canvas. One last flight.
The glider tensed as she felt the increasing pull warning of impending launch.
 She wrestled free and slipped through the chilling air with the slightest of shivers to glide freely once again.
 The stage was hers and hers alone. She circled gently in all her elegance as the last faint rays of light passed through her multi coloured wings of gossamer.
 Her vanity satisfied, she glided softly to earth.
 It was like the kiss of an angel as her bed of grass gently enfolded her. 
Time for a pint; goodnight.

A good few months have passed since I wrote this and it still gives me great pleasure. I am surprised there are not more in the club (Brian Boucher has the electric version). It is a pleasure to fly in a light breeze, but lacks penetration when it picks up. If you see me on the slope with it, feel free to ask for a test flight. Better still, go buy one, you will not be disappointed. http://www.westlondonmodels.com

Brian Carr