SEN 667 - 18 Jan 2002
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SCAT Electronic News 18 January 2002 issue 667
Table of Contents
Fw: Concern over Sifleet's letter to you - Simpson and Dukie
F1C Cost - Boutillier
Button Up - Parker
Shirts - Kerger
Martin Cowley making F1C T SHIRTS ?
Footnote to T Shirts - Ditto
SEN 666 & Max Men T colors - Coleman
Muncie a Cat. ll field? - Morris
Glide for it - Ioerger
F1C Geared engines - Cuthbert
Fw: Concern over Sifleet's letter to you
From: ROGER SIMPSON
To: Sandy Pimenoff
Date: Sunday, January 13, 2002 8:44 PM
Subject: Fw: Concern over Sifleet's letter to you
My Dear Sandy,
Several days ago I received a copy of Bob Sifleet's letter to you and a
copy of your letter back to Sifleet. I have flown F1C for 41 years, I
have known you for 23 years, and during these 41 years I have commented
very few times when F1C rule changes were proposed and/or passed. At
this time I must comment on Sifleets letter, the so called reasons
(certainly not facts) for his desire to have the geared engines banned,
and to question his motives.
First off, I will address his reasons. From his letter............
"failure to do so will result in the number of F1C fliers in the USA to
drop from 38 (those who participated in the last team selection) to
about 15". This is a false statement. I am on the USA team selection
committee, I went back and looked at the records (I can name names if
needed). There were 31 F1C fliers in the last team selection
program............ 24 of which actually flew in the team finals to
select the 2001 team. Will this number drop to 15 if the geared engine
is not banned. Absolutely not! F1C fliers in the USA are buying geared
engines left and right. Fact 1. There are over 20 Verbitsky geared
engines here in the states now, and more on the way. Fact 2. There
have been 36 geared Nelson engines purchased and shipped so far by
Galbreath/Keck with 26 geared nelsons being shipped here in the USA to
American F1C fliers, and the other 10 being shipped overseas to F1C
fliers. Another 9 geared engines have been ordered and currently
Galbreath is assembling them for shipment. The geared Nelson engines
are available for anyone to order right now.
In actuality, F1C flying here in the USA is up from back when everyone
flew aluminum wings. With the advent of the composite wings and stabs
and with being able to purchase components and/or models a lot of fliers
returned to F1C or came into it from the AMA classes.
Sifleet further speculated that participation will drop world-wide, so
banning the geared motor is a must and that such a precedent was set in
1970 when the tuned pipe was banned for the same reason. I never
understood how the tuned pipe was going to ruin Free Flight ONLY ?????
Why is it that the tuned pipe never ruined FAI speed, RC Pylon
Racing, RC Acrobatics, UC Acrobatics, RC Model Boats, and 32 years
later are still in use in these events. I suspect the answer is that
the competitors in those events stepped up to the plate and accepted the
technology challenges offered by their competitors and did not whine and
cry and try to have the new technology banned. What a novel way to
compete. He has it, I don't..... let's ban it!
Excuse me, I digress! Next Sifleet states "EXCESS
PERFORMANCE......... now the geared motor models have greater
performance than previously obtained with 7 second engine run." and
"it is now apparent that there are now 2 classes of F1C, those with
gears and those without gears". Greater performance than that with 7
second motor run. Well, maybe greater that his performance, but the
geared model certainly does not get higher than Archer's 1993 and 1995
F1C models. Sifleet appears to have overlooked the fact that current F1C
models with their stiffer composite structures, smaller stabilizers, and
more highly developed props and engines get higher in 5 seconds (really
only 4.4 seconds), than the older 7 second model would have got in 5
As to the 2 classes of F1C.............. I think Sifleet read this
somewhere, I don't believe he has seen this. At the 2001 World
Championships, Babenko won with a gear, but only about 8-10 seconds
over Leonid Fuzevev of Russia with his folding wing model, and Fuzevev
was only 2-3 seconds of Reinhart Truppe with a conventional (1997)
model. Hardly a run away triumph. And then the next week at the Sierra
Cup, the F1C winner was Peter Watson of England with a conventional
model, followed by Bob Gutai of the USA with a conventional model, and
then in 3rd place was Babenko with his gear. Both of these contests were
settled in the 7 minute round (none of them made the 7 minutes) during
the evening of the event.
An interesting note here. A lot of people called me regarding Sifleet's
letter, no one agrees with him, all disappointed with his actions,
several F1C fliers informed me that Sifleet has purchased a Fuzevev
folder model (or the pre-built parts to assemble a folder model), and
question Sifleet's motive in wanting to ban the gear but not mentioning
the Fuzevev folder.
AVAILABILITY. Sifleet states that are only 2 sources for the geared
engines. That Verbitsky won't sell his geared engine seperately, and
can't deliver a complete geared model until October 2002. Sifleet also
states that Galbreath had made a limited number of the nelson geared
engine which had sold out and that Galbreath does not plan to make more
in the near future. Well, lets look at those statements. Verbitsky
won't sell his geared engine seperately. Politely speaking, Sifleet
does not know what he he is talking about. Fact 1. Eugeny Verbitsky
does sell his geared engine seperately (with pan, prop hub, and 2 sets
of propeller blades), I bought one of them like that this past April
and there were 9 others purchased seperately in the USA this past year.
Fact 2. I don't understand why Sifleet waited so long to ask Verbitsky
about the availability of a complete model. I ordered my complete
Verbitsky geared model in October 2000, at the team finals, Sifleet was
there then as well. Verbitsky delivered mine (and 5 others) in February
2001. I should note here that Verbitsky had extra geared models for
sale in February 2001, and 1 of them was left with another F1C flier
hoping it could be sold that spring................ it was, in about
10 days. Perhaps Sifleet has a problem with Verbitsky, or maybe
Verbitsky doesn't like Sifleet. Fact 3. Only 2 sources for the
geared engine............ Hey, let's be honest here, there are only 2
sources for a competive F1C engine, geared or not, and that is Verbitsky
and the Nelson engine. Now, do we want to make both of those sources
mad by banning there geared engines and end up with no sources for
competitive F1C engines. I don't think so! See Doug's email to Sifleet
at the end of this letter pertaining to Sifleet not correctly saying
what Doug had told him.
Also, nobody was interested in banning the geared engines until someone
else had one that worked. That's right, until it worked, Verbitsky (who
is an aeronautical engineer), first started working on a geared engine
in the 1960's, he showed us an engineering magazine article, that he had
written and illustrated, that was published in the USSR in 1968. In
1981 Evgeny showed up at Taft with a geared F1C model, all cowled in,
but not ready for competition he said. No one said anything as the
geared models were slowly tested, flown in competition, and updated from
1997 thru 2000. Verbitski did not win the 1999 WC in Israel, so no
threat. As the geared engine model became more successful (actually it
was the same successful fliers who were successful...... Verbitsky,
Archer, Happersett), Doug Galbreath and Ed Keck became interested in
developing a geared version of the Nelson .15. Both of them recognized
the amount of developmental work and costs it would take to develope
what is now known as the GK Hummer. They decided to wait until after
the 2001 FAI CIAM Plenary meeting in Switzerland when any type of ruling
might have been made regarding the geared engines for F1C. When the
geared engines were not even discussed, they, and everyone else saw the
rules as being set until January 2006. In fact at the past CIAM Bureau
meeting, the French proposal to ban geared engines was tabled until
March 2005 when rule changes for January 2006 would be discussed in the
technical committee meetings. At that point Galbreath and Keck started
the development of their gear unit, and to date they have between
$40,000 and $60,000 invested in this project.
To even think about banning the geared engines is reprehensible and
inconsiderate to both sources. You just don't go around trying to get
something banned when you have to know that considerable amounts of
money have been invested by people you know and who know you. And I am
talking about both the people who have developed the geared models as
well as those fellow F1C fliers who have purchased the geared models and
or geared engines.You have to be a certain kind of person and have some
very selfish motives to try to pull something like that. Also, I do not
want F1C to become like F1B where they have only 1 source for their
rubber, and no good rubber being produced right now, and knowing there
is a danger they could lose their only manufacturer at any time. And you
talk about what a new F1C flier does now, what about the new F1B fliers
who must compete against those more experienced competitors who have a 5
year supply of the best rubber in their refrigerator.
COST. This is not an issue. How is my ability to buy something an
issue, and I refuse to accept that Sifleet is qualified to decide what
is to expensive for any FAI competitor. I was also informed that
Sifleet just recently purchased 3 new Mogle Electronic Timers (cost is
$350 each) and spent $800-$900 for a laptop to program these timers.
But of course Sifleet is not trying to get Electronic timers banned.
Competiton in any world class level of competition is expensive. In
1993 or 1994 I read an article about the U-control world championships
held in Singapore. The article was published in Aero Modeler, look it
up. The article spoke of the Speed event where the competitors were
delivered speed engines from Russia at the cost of $1200 each and
complete models (already test flown if I remember right) for $1500. I
don't remember any great howl about the exhorbant costs, and that was 7
to 8 years ago. Also, consider the latest full electronic F1A Bunters,
(Stamov model), they cost $1900 each and then you must buy a Palm Pilot
computer to program it. And NO ONE wants these banned. Most F1B fliers
use a variable pitch propeller with delayed prop release, (the Andriukov
model is the most popular...... most successful.......... and most
expensive........ $375 each) many fliers have 4 or 5 of these in their
model box, many have a model box full of F1B's they have purchased at
the cost of up to $1300 each............ and this is not just American
fliers who have these models.
The point I want to make is this No F1A Fliers........ No F1B
fliers........ are trying to get anything banned in their class. They
accept that the events are always evolving, always getting more
technical, the world is getting more technical, what do you expect.
There are only 2 F1C fliers here in the USA who have whined and cried
about the Geared engines and want them banned, i.e., they want to hold
the event back, or to drag the event down to their level.
SAFETY Wow, all the "reports of vibrations", "Reports of structual
damage to models", "reports of vetical fin coming off models", and
"large carbon fiber propellers subject to damage on landings" I hear no
factual occurances here, only "reports of". Everything said above is
what I have witnessed with all types of conventional FAI and AMA classes
(both power and non-power events) over the period of 46 years I flown
free flight in competition. I have seen models sling peices of
one-piece propellers, I have seen models sling propeller blades from a
2-bladed folding propellers, I have seen rubber models throw blades and
then shake themselves to pieces, models crashed, towed into crowds,
launched in the bunt position, come-in in the bunt-position, we have all
seen this and that is why we don't fly near crowds or cars, we fly
alert, we keep our eyes open. Sifleet makes it sound as if those
competitors who have the geared engine models are the dumbest people
alive, we don't pay attention to anything, never check anything out. By
the way, those large carbon fiber propellers are really very strong and
resist damage like Sifleet can't imagine since he has never owned one or
flown one. If he has heard all of these things, it is apparent that he
has selective memory and heard and retained only what he wanted to hear
and has reported to you only what he wants you to hear. By the way, Ed
Keck DT'ed one of his geared models on a paved road at Palm Bay 2 weeks
ago, it landed on the blade......... with no damage to the blade, just
a minor scuff on the corner of the metal propeller hub.
All Aviation is a safety situation, as soon as the airplane goes
airborne it is subject to safety situations. But don't take minor
reports and turn it into a full blown safety situation when it is NOT.
Safety is a big concern when you parachute, when you fly a sailplane at
14,00 feet over the Sierra's, when you fly acrobatic aircraft, when you
fly RC pylon racing at over 200 mph, when you fly FAI speed at over 200
mph, when you fly 1/4 or 1/3 RC acrobatic models ands hoover at a near
standstill on your tail 5 feet off the ground. Sifleet cannot report
that one of the big carbon fiber propellers have been slung off a geared
model because it has not happened. The geared engine models are very
safe, you are only turning the prop at 7,500 to 8,000 rpm at launch, the
gears are safely encapsulated in a steel case, the G-forces are the prop
blades are much lower that the G-forces on a 7" prop turning at
30,000RPM at launch.
To wrap this up Sandy, I find very little truth in Sifleets letter,
only a very transparent effort to get a new inovation banned so that he
does not have to compete against it. There is no support for banning the
geared engine (a total of 3 F1C fliers world-wide...I consider this as
nothing), his argument against only 2 sources certainly hold no water,
this is not good but is so typical these days when individuals produce
speciality items for a limited amount of competitors (companies want to
produce 10,000 items not 10 or 100 items that the FAI community buys
each year), and what Sifleet wants to buy is available, he just needs to
do it, or to shut up and quit whining. The cost factor is a non issue,
what each of us spend is our business, and as Gerd Aringer of Austria
stated, the costs for the models is nothing compared to the costs
incurred in competing (travel, lodging, food, entry fee's) in World Cup
competitions through the year. As to the safety problems, I saw none
defined, only reports of stuff that happens to all models at various
times and which the competitor see to. Think about this Sandy, if I
notice something wrong with my geared model, am I going to fly it and
endanger everyone as well as wiping out my valuable investment, I think
not. Sifleet would have you believe that we would and that he is the
ONLY person that recognizes such.............. therefore he is an
appointed one man committee who will can identify this situation and
what, he is trying to save us from ourselves???
I have not even mentioned where F1C will go in the future, that is for
another letter, another time. The one thing I do know, and I have flown
F1C since 1960, if there is ever to be a rewrite of the F1C rules, it
will have to be with a future changeover date so that everyone who
currently competes will be willing to change over gradually, not have
their current models and investments made obsolete overnight and that is
what a banning of the geared model would be right now.
Thank you for reading this lengthy letter, I thought it necessary to
write it with as much detail and clarity as possible.
Sincerely, Roger Simpson
P.S Here are Doug Galbreaths comments to Sifleet.
Subject: Doug's comments
Date: Wednesday, January 09, 2002 2:23 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: F1C & F1J MODEL AIRCRAFT REGULATIONS
Boy, you sure know how to make your point with uninformed info. Your
inference in "the letter" that I will not make any more engines in the near
future gives the impression that I am out of parts and there are perhaps no
more to be produced. This is NOT what I told you when you asked about
availability at or about may 2002. I stilll have enough parts to make at
least 25 more units.
Now, about the cost. Please read this carefully. The complete unit, less
props is $790. This includes everything you need for the engine. An optional
prop installation tool and a prop balancing hub is $85. That is it.
Sorry for the unwanted disinformation about Ron Mc Burnett's props,
my memory failed after having discussed with him 3 monthes ago in
Lost Hills. My apologies to Ron.
The rest is not disinformation: I have paid 245$ my last .15SE Nelson
I really pay 30$ my props from Russia, but most of the time I produce
them myself for a very low cost ( have got a big free roll of carbon tow).
My motor pans and engine brakes have been produced free of charge
by my good friend Alain ROUX when he could do that during his
working hours, and will last a lifetime.
That the way I conceive model building: not buying, but making all what
is in my possibilities. This way I can use my money to make travels for
diving in Red Sea every year and to always have a good recent motorbike
( for now I ride a 944 ST2 Ducati, I used it to go to my home on the
mediterranean seashore last summer, crossing the Alps and Central
Mountains. I enjoyed so much).
Yes I must confess that Free Flight is not ALL my life, I will even go
skiing in 2 weeks.
Martyn and Roger,
With regard to Red MaxMen shirts-- it's not gears vs no gears.
It's buttons vs no buttons. As I pedaled the 2001 USA FF Team shirts
last October, 50% of the Power flyer responded-- "I don't wear T-Shirts".
Uhm-- I think there is a correlation between those that wear buttoned
shirts and those that don't do gears.
GEARS OF COURSE.
Martin Cowley making F1C T SHIRTS ?
T Shirt for F1C !.
Here's the idea :
It's a cartoon, professionally rendered:
The flight line..
Verbitsky, center ( scale exagerated ), launching his gears...the model
about two lengths out, straight up...
Flightline, right and left, F1C flyers, various postures, holding
Each one giving a salute...
In the background, just above the horizon, a spec in the sky....
probably a folder....testing
In the foreground....someone buried up to his neck.......The name tag
clipped to his
ear not quite legible.......( funny hat )...
These shirts are 50 USD each.
Excess profits on sales go to rat's assed F1C flyers...
( 10% of sales, off the top, go to Brokenspar, Inc.)
Footnote to T Shirts
More, to the cartoon...
.....and in the far sky....shapes as if it were McLaughlan...his
and the foreward pointng folding prop.....
....and folders...McGilivray....Geisikieng....others annonimous.......
SEN 666 & Max Men T colors
I hole heartedly agree with Bob Gutai, Chris Edge, Hermann Andresen, Ron =
McBurnett et al.........do your homework, then, check your math before =
you engage your mind on changing F1C rules, as obviously Mr. Sifleet did =
Martyn...as a member of the power FF community, color's are neat as =
they not only cover fuel stains, they sell better and at Lost Hills =
become practical as they don't draw the pesky flies like the yellow or =
white T-shirts do. So your red or blue color Max Men T's sounds good to =
Muncie a Cat. ll field?
Those who truly believe Muncie is a 3 minute field for large contests should
urge NATs officials to make it a Cat ll instead of Cat lll contest as in the
past. If successful, then try for an big International FAI contest at Muncie.
Those who truly believe Muncie i
s a 3 minute field for large contests should urge NATs officials to make it a C
at ll instead of Cat lll contest as in the past. If successful, then try for an
big International FAI contest at Muncie.
Glide for it
In reference to the glide tests desired by Mr. King, my company just
happens to own a blimp hangar left over from WW 2. The hangar is 800ft.
long, by 280ft wide by 165ft. high. We build and test our aerostats here,
but it is not in use all the time. The hangar is located in North Carolina
about 5 hours from my place in Maryland. I can arrange to use it for tests
on a noninterference basis.
If some one would like to build a rail launcher with a weight and pully
for consistant launches and some test articles, I will perforn the tests.
My time is limited but a couple of weekends should do it.
Bob Sifleet and I conducted some tests on F1C glide times with various
propellor configurations outside on a hill side some years ago. It took a
mighty lot of hand launches to get any kind of reasonable results. These
tests convinced me that a mechanical launcher and indoor tests are the way
Is anyone interested?
A comment regarding the geared model letter.
I was taught early in my 33 years of flying free flight, a large diameter
propeller turning slower outperforms a small propeller turning faster. (My
F1C model engines turn slow and perform well.) This is in any elementary
aeronautics or propeller design handbook! This theory was reinforced from a
family acquaintance who designed propellers for Curtiss Wright and Hamilton
Standard. The problem, back in the 70's and early 80's, the manufacturing
methods would have made the precision gear train and high strength propellers
a problem to make the gear train an option. Today, with CAD (can but at home
for under 250 dollars) and CNC machinery (available at your local machine
shop), this makes the manufacturing of planetary gear trains much easier to
produce at a reasonable cost. Just pick up a good machine design textbook and
you (technical or nontechnical types) can design a planetary gear train
required for these models (with some help from a gear manufacturer). The
problem comes when you make only one, the cost would be 3 to 4 thousand
dollars. This is because of the costs to make the engine case, crankshaft,
propeller hub, sun, planet and ring gears, and then to purchase the high
quality bearings. So, a few creative modelers have passed the savings to us,
if we choose to play with them, as a benefit to their hard work and effort,
for a cost savings. So, the 800 to 900 dollar cost is high, but it is
reasonable for what you get in increased performance.
What I would like to see is the modeling community help these persons out by
performing calculations and tests to make these geared engines safer and more
reliable. Specifically, the aluminum hubs should be made from titanium (6Al
4V titanium) to improve the safety margin from working strength to vibration
effects. I have done some dynamic loading calculations and the geared
propeller hub needs design help to improve the strength from the fatigue
loading of the propeller spinning at 1/4 speed of the engine, and then being
stopped like a non-geared model with flood-off and the brake. I have read on
this WEB site and from casual conversations, that fatigue effects have been
cropping up from split carbon blades at the blade hub (bobbin) and elongated
holes in the aluminum geared prop hub. As a note, for my non-geared models, I
have always used titanium hubs for my folding props, for safety reasons. If a
choose to purchase a geared model, I will convert, at additional expense, the
aluminum hub with one made from titanium, to make it safer and to reduce the
weight. I do not have a geared engine yet, because as with Windows (tm)
software, you never buy the first release!
I salute the effort and expense in taking the design of the engine assembly
to new heights. Please leave the large F1 events alone. If you do not want
to, or cannot afford to play with the big dogs in Glen Rock, then take up
F1C Geared engines
My views on geared engines
I would like to add my observations to the great F1c geared
First and foremost, F1c is not a beginners class, it is the premier
powered glider event throughout the world. It decides the
World ,European and World Cup Champions. It is not meant to be easy
(or necessarily inexpensive) and to make it so would
be to degrade and devalue the event. F1c has always been at the
cutting edge of development and technology, and to
consider banning or stifling the work of our
innovators would be to rob the event of it's soul and that does not bear
thinking about. Anyway, I am not yet convinced that
a geared model gives one such a great advantage, and I have got two of
them. They have only won one major event, the 2001 World
championships, by a mere 7 seconds. Second place going to another
true innovator Leonid Fuzeev and his folder. If he had won would we be
discussing the banning of folders, I think not. To suggest
there is a surplus of performance in F1c with a 5 second engine run is a
nonesense, and is not born out by the facts. Only 33% of the
entry at last years Champs made the flyoff. Compare this with F1A and
F1B where 52% of the entry made the flyoff. Why no talk of banning
Tan II rubber or reducing tow line length? At the 2000
European champs in Romania only one flyer maxed out. Hardly a
surplus of performance here. To achieve the first round 4 minute max you
need a good model and perfect climb. If you miss the air in
the 3 minute, thermal rounds, then you are dead. Excess performance
-- I don't think so.
The final observation I would like to make is on the perenial question :- How
to attract newcomers to the event, and free flight in general. My
feelings on this are somewhat contraversial and might shock.
Nevertheless, I truly believe that free flight has a limited
life span, perhaps 10 - 15 years. I take no pleasure from this thought
and it saddens me greatly. But I am a realist, there are no
youngsters taking up the sport, certainly not enough to replace those
flyers we are losing each year. I, like many others in
England, have tried everything to try and attract new blood. Going into
schools, model clubs, individual coaching etc with little or no
success. This unhappy state of affairs also applies to control line and
radio control. Think ahead 10 years, and how many of the current
flyers will still be flying, sadly not many I'm afraid.
Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see 100 new flyers
coming over the horizon, with a free flight model (purchased or self
built) tucked under their arm, wanting to fly,but it ain't going to
happen. So lets have no talk of "banning" or changing rules that
would make existing models obsolete. This would certainly excelerate the
demise of the event. I have 7 F1c's. Make these obsolete and I don't
think I would carry on, and I'm as keen and enthusiastic as almost
I suggest there is no need, or mandate, for change and I
sincerely hope that the custonians of the rules take this on board.
It ain't broke so don't mend it.
John Cuthbert (England)
Thanks to the orginal SCAT Plan and Joke Master Craig Cuisik,
now residing in the wilderness of Northern California for his
donation in support of SEN