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1. Fast Q and R/C and FF Compared
2. Volunteers for the 2021 US Outdoor Free Flight Nationals (July 25-29, 2021)
3. Q for the World Champs

Fast Q and R/C and FF Compared

From: Urs Schaller

Fast Q and the difference between RC flying and Free Flight
I’m reading with interest the discussion about a fast Q class. As a member of the working group to create the F5J class some arguments about height limitations and the difference between RC flying and Free Flight as we know it.

The F5J class is for electric duration RC sailplanes, flown in groups and counted in the final ranking list not as seconds flown, but as percentage against the other competitors. The final height at motor stop +10sec. is not entirely limited, it is only strongly penalised if overshooted. The idea of the height limit was to level the playing field AFTER motor stop. In Radio Controlled flight it is the piloting of the competitor that determines the result, exactly the contrary of Free Flight. In RC it is the pilots ability to find a thermal, keep the model in it, land it at exactly the landing spot at the right instance. The pilot is constantly stressed to fly his model.

In Free Flight, once you released the model, you can only hope that the models trim is right and that it may escape an eventual downdraft. Today you have the opportunity to finish the flight by pressing the RDT button, nothing else. In Free Flight, as I understand it, the obtained height is dependent on the flyers ability to choose the right propeller, motor, battery and connectors and trim the model to go higher than his competitors.

With that in mind a height limit in Free Flight means, in the last instance, to create a one model class. Build by factory XY and sold as a closed system gadget, not to be touched by the owner. There’s no competition to do better, get higher than the other’s.

Urs Schaller

PS: more to come about fast Q’s


Ed Carroll: Volunteers for the 2021 US Outdoor Free Flight Nationals (July 25-29, 2021)

As many of you may know, I am the Contest Director for the Nationals this year. Unfortunately for all of us, the Nationals 2020 was cancelled due to issues with the COVID 19 pandemic. It is my hope that the vaccination situation and the comfort level of everyone will be such that the 2021 Nationals will happen as planned and all with have a successful competition. I was also the Contest Director for the 2016 Nationals and I came to appreciate how important the AMA staff and a host of volunteers are to the success of the competition.

At this time, I ask that anyone who would like to assist at the Nationals please contact me as soon as possible. I am in need of people to help run events, and assist in scorekeeping and other tasks. If you are planning on coming to the Nationals and are not flying every day, help on even one day or part of the day will be appreciated. Please contact me by the email address below (preferred) or text/call me to chat about specific details. If you made a commitment for helping at the Nationals 2020 and would like to make the same commitment this year, please let me know.

Best to all and stay safe,
Ed Carroll
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Q for the World Champs

Jukka Juslin and Andreas Lindner
F1Q & Electric Free Flight

Editor's Comment: This was posted in FB and we posted because Andreas has been a F1Q flyer since the beginning of the class and gives the point of view many regular Q flyers.

Message from Andreas Lindner. Andreas is not on Facebook and I am carrying the message:

I followed the last days the discussion here about the fast climbing electric FF models.
Everybody who know me, know that I very like these pattern of climb. Regardless this is in my opinion a very contra-productive discussion.

Why? It seems it should be create a new, third electric FF category. Actual we have two electric FF categories. F1Q- these is the “official” category in continualness of F1ABCE and F1S-, the “two minutes“ event comparable with F1HGJ. As I know from the most of active F1Q fliers it is the big target to reach the World Champs status for F1Q as soon as possible.

As F1Q was in the early stage of development we have had fast climbing models alongside of spiral climbing models. Because only battery weight and motor time was limited, the fast climbers was in advance, at least in fly off. Then it came up some rule changes to equalizing the performance of different model types, with introduction the energy limit and, as compromise for a wide acceptance, an increasing of motor time to 40 seconds. This was causing in an advance of the slower climbing models because this climb is more energy efficient AND the models reach the maximal altitude more then 20 seconds after fast climbers.

If we create now a new category of fast climbing models, should it be in the future the designated category to participate on World Champs ? Or should it be F1Q ? Or F1S? What will happen with F1Q then? All the effort for nothing? Again ten years until stable rules? I think not a good idea!

My opinion: We should go the way for F1Q as WCh category, until today enough effort done and time gone. If we came to the conclusion we should have serious in F1Q different model (climb) types, so let us think about a way to equalize the performance of it WITHOUT to change to much in the rules.
This will delay in my opinion the process of participating with electric models at Free Flight WCh.
Maybe this can work: Reduce the motor time to 21 second for 3 Joules and 14 seconds for 2 Joules.
Yes, this will decrease the efficiency of slow climbers a bit, will need little changes at the most models, but not complete new models. At the other hand it will also decrease the gap in time of reach the maximum altitude. And we don’t need a complete new rule founding process and a new category. Let’s find out which model type will have the best performance as soon as possible at WCh with electric models!

Thermals Andreas


Comment: Per Grunnet
Andreas - this is a good idea. I agree - let’s test it. I will trim my models to 20 seconds motortime on 3 Joule/gram energy and publish the results.


Comment :Jack Murphy
Limiters are a bad idea going forward, as are other complex proposals, imho. I will be proposing using commercially available motors, not to be rewound or tinkered with, with limits on the Kv rating. Batteries will be limited to a 4.2 volt charge per cell, 3 cell max. While we anticipate advancements in technology, most of that will be in battery development, again in imho... a Moore's Law dynamic if you get my drift... but if the charge in voltage is limited in the rule, hotter batteries wouldn't matter much, they will just get lighter but with a wing load rule it would be compensated. Someone questioned how would re-winding etc be policed... Claimer rule, a concept borrowed from some divisions of American auto racing. At the end of a World Cup event, the winner would provide the motor from the winning model to the Contest Director. At that point it would be for sale to the last place contestant, who would have the first opportunity to purchase the motor. If no interest, the next to last place competitor, and so forth. The winner can either provide a receipt to establish the value of the motor, or if no such info is provided, value can be ascertained on the internet. If no interest in purchasing the motor, the winner gets it back. Don't whine... in the auto racing classes I mention motors weigh 600-800 lbs and involve the twisting of a lot of nuts and bolts, before anyone can go home...


Comment: Matti Lihtamo

It must be understood that the power of electric motor and battery can only be limited electrically! If there is no electrically implemented power limit, these can be loaded until damaged with operation for up to 5 sec. This would be the trend in championships, ie motor and / or batteries would become disposable. Compare the uses of the current F1B rubber motor. One competition flight and then the battery is only valid for a trim flight. If this is accepted, then OK.

Now the F1C motors are special Motors. I am sure that the commercially available F1(X) special electric motors appears, for example Ukraine, price 1000 usd, silver wire windings, cobalt magnets etc.
When the power of motor and battery is limited to an electrically acceptable level in one way or another, the rules do not need to define motor and battery at all (only that there is an electric motor).

Comment: Jukka Juslin

Matti Lihtamo
defining motor and battery would be quite a nightmare, as I understand you saying here. True. In history is sometimes was considered wise, like "speed 400", but even that was not very good idea.

Editor's Comment

For FAI competitions requiring "commercially available" or even a specific model is not really practical. Different countries have different commercial regulations so what might be valid one place could not be valid in another and we use a lot of specialist suppliers that can be very small organizations that are quite capable of putting a valid “commercial” label on a battery or motor. On a specific model of motor or battery this might not be universally available and the process to choose one could be somewhat fraught. Then there is issue of the part being no longer available. The CIAM does have a process for certifying devices such as the Altitude limiters use in ALES classes but this group does not select devices only approve ones that are submitted. They have requirements on physical labelling and firmware identification that some commercial suppliers may not want to satisfy