SEN 949 - 30 May 2005
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SCAT Electronic News 30 May 2005 issue 949
Table of Contents
World Champs, the short story - McKeever
F1B at the World Champs - Morrell
Frank Zaic, one of the great pioneers of model aviation passed away 26 May.
He was 92 and had been in declining health. Frank, through his company JASCO,
provided hard to come by supplies and kits. The Thermic series of gliders and
rubber models were outstanding performers and for many of us, our first
His yearbooks and books on model aerodynamics were a valuable resource for
better understanding and knowledge of what we were trying to accomplish in
the hobby. The little drawings in the books and the plans done by Frank were
works of art.
We've lost a treasure of knowlege and talent.
- Norm Furutani
World Champs, the short story
As the team returns from Argentina, I thought a short summary would be
appropriate from my view. First, congratulations to the organizers.
This is not an easy event to run but I found the contest well run, the
timers fair and the people of Argentina very friendly and open to our
little invasion. Great work by our whole team as the results would
indicate. Blake did a great job additional assistance from Hector Diaz
and Brian Van Nest as well as our AMA are significant reasons for our
result. Three Star Spangled Banners out of 6 anthems, not too bad!
The weather was typical of what we experienced in practice for F1A.
Calm morning, wind to 15+ MPH or so in the middle of the afternoon and
then calming to 6-7 in the flyoff. I guess I had three "moments" but
otherwise a fairly conventional day. My long Stamov was easily up to
the task in rounds 1 and 2. Switched to a short Stamov as the wind came
up but no problem in round 3 as my helper Brian Van Nest called the
upwind launches. Round 4 I had another moment as a competitor tangled
my line but the air was good so I launched with the tangle and it was
an easy max. The other guy apologized which was nice as that doesn't
always happen at this level of competition. Moment two, the model
got blown around after DT and broke the boom in half, a new model was
required and I started to have visions of not having enough models (4
max processed) to finish the contest as the wind was up at this point.
Round 5 I used the short Stamov I used at the Finals, no problem
finding lift while "flying with other sportsman" downwind. Same in 6,
while windy, I could circle, get down wind and wait for good markers
and at this time of the day, the thermals were dependable. Moment 3, I
was a little late in round 7, which prompted an "Oh, come on!" or words
to that effect after launch but it was well away after 30 seconds
so I didn't suffer long.
20 or so flyers in the 5 minute flyoff, still a little windy, but a few
minutes into the round a nice marker model came over my downwind
position and I was move worried about the model ending up in the
nuclear power plant downwind than maxing. That was the last flight
with a short model as the winds came down to less than 10 MPH.
So, we know what happened in the final flyoff. Thermals were gone or
only slightly helpful, I was with 10 other flyers, a short and a long
"hooked up" for the 7 minute flight which looked like it would decide
the contest. I towed the long near Stamov and Makarov and their longs
in a slightly uphill position. Probably 4 minutes into the round, the
air felt better that it had, a couple of guys launched up wind and
looked at least neutral, Brian said they looked pretty good so I spent
a circle making sure I was set up and banged off a nice launch. I'd
like to say my launch was so much higher than any other competitor and
that's why I won but the reality is my #8 long is just a bit better
than others I have had or flown against. After I launched all but 2
flyers launched nearby, including Stamov. The two late launchers in
the round found little and my 4:55 was good enough. First Team, First
World Champs, World Champion, who would have thought?
I had always told myself and a few others who likely didn't believe me
that if I could get #8 into the last flight, I'd have a chance. Of
course, after the win I felt no pain as the glider boys, Jim, Ken and
I, chased a very windy "B" day on a team win. Alex would have won had
his model not hit 20 feet up a brush covered slope. The next day, I
had a long chase of Randy's 7 minute flyoff but got it back for his
fine second place the next morning and another team win. Great result
and a fine team effort, just seconds away from an overall team win and
an overall 2nd place in Team.
Thanks Team, great teamwork on strategy, chasing, and just being a
team. I'm not saying their were not obstacles in Argentina, there are
more stories to be told, but we always worked as a team and I am proud
to be a part of the 2005 Team that went to Argentina. That's the short
story, more to come by others.
F1B at the World Champs
The first big surprise for the USA F1B team came in round 4 of the
World cup event. That day had been completely different prom proceeding
days in that no wind came up later in the day, rather very still
condition with very tricky thermal conditions. Alex was #1 on the line
and broke a motor putting in hand turns so I wound and took his place.
The conditions looked difficult but not as bad as they were; I let a
couple of small thermals past and decided to go on the next indication
of lift. The fill breeze stopped immediately after I launched and I
really sagged to miss the max. Bob Tymchek came to the line and was
much more cautious and fared better than but did not max either. Next
was Alex's turn and he was naturally super cautious and made to Max. We
made the rest but only Alex made it to the flyoff. The only comfort was
that those with sophisticated thermal diction engines such as Amselmo
Zeri did not make it either.
After a 5 min round the evening when came to the 10 min flyoff the next
morning there were only 4 sportsmen left - Alex, Stepan Stefanchuck,
Pim Ryter and Bror Eimar, all very experienced F1B men. There was an
incident where Alex was "accosted" by another contestant [not one of
the fly off 4] who claimed that he was behaving improperly in warming
his motor in his helper's jacket. We made the contestant go away as it
was not his place to behave in such a way to someone getting ready to
fly. This later led to a protest and a ruling that what Alex did was OK
and only heating of motors on the line by electrical, chemical or
mechanical means was prohibited. As a side comment Alex should have
maybe listened because he broke all of his competition motors and ended
up by flying in the last seconds with a test motor. He suspects that
maybe they got too hot! inside Oleg's jacket? In spite of this nail
biter Alex won the event.
We spent some anxious days figuring how we were going to find thermals
should the conditions repeat during the "real" contest. Also we knew
that the 5 min super max was going to be tough. One morning it was -9
degrees C on the field. My hands were so numb I could not grip the
model properly when launching, so I trip to the local hardware store to
get sand paper and contact cement to glues extra grips was the order of
Come to the main event the first big surprise was that we were flying
from the "practice" field. The is really the only thing that I can
fault the organizer's on. Up to this point all the flying had been on
the former La Cruz airbase. There was a field adjacent but that was
being used for testing. We did not realize that that it was to be used
for all the World Champs flying. Had we known so we would have
practiced there more? This field was on the side on the hill and have
different early morning conditions.
On setting up we found that our end of the line was in a hole, the jury
had noticed this too and swung the end of the line by a few feet to
give the timekeepers better visibility. The first round went off very
well for the US team, but quite a lot of people just missed it as there
quite a number of 280s and 290s. Notable amongst those was Ivan
Kolic who retired immediately. Igor Vivchar also dropped, with his
model stalling all the way down, Igor had practiced extensively that
"other field" through out the week and knew what settings were needed
at each time of the day, but was misled by the site change.
The second round was also under ideal conditions. I flew my early
morning model with an extra 3 grams on the nose. All the team made it
With the third round things changed quickly. The breeze started to come
up and the models go in a less favorable direction. After that round we
moved location and the wind velocity increased again. While it was
never over the 9 m/s for an extended time the wind did gust to at least
10 during one of the rounds. The remaining 4 rounds were some what of a
blur. Retrieval was very difficult. I went into a corn field twice,
past the corn another time and into the field with the bull. By guess
was that I was going about 3 Kms. I nailed thermals every time which
made it tough for the chasers and was just as well on one flight as the
launch must have been off and I tail slid but shot down wind and caught
the thermal any way. On the flight I when past the corn field my model
tumbled and I broke the boom and tweaked the wing. On one I heard a
radio message from Ken Bauer who was chasing my model saying it was in
sight but across a canal and in a field with a bull. The helpful advice
from the rest of the chase crew was for Ken to make sure he was not
wearing his RED USA Team jacket! In spite of the conditions the guys
got the models all back on time for the next round and flyoff. They
slipped the flyoff time by one hour to the time of the 7 min flyoff,
just before 6 pm, but in the end decided to do the next morning. At
this time the USA Team was the only one that was clean. Igor Vivchar's
perseverance, in spite of dropping the first round put the Ukraine in
the #2 spot as the Ukraine with Oleg Kulakovsky and Igor's brother
Vladimir with the only country with 2 clean.
Next morning the ground drift was away from the road and down the slop.
But at any altitude it was in the opposite direction. Alex and Oleg
Kulakovsky seemed to be playing chicken to see to see who was going to
launch last. I had flown earlier in the 10 min window so watched them.
Alex was a little unlucky as he hit a tree some distance from the
ground. His model was being chased my Mike McKeever and we teased Mike
that World Champ was expected to do better and should chopped the tree
down ahead of the model ! Ken Bauer had told me I D/Ts at about 5 and
half but when he got the model the stab was still down but the
underside torn! I had clipped the top of a fence with the stab pitching
the model up and into the ground. For a moment it looked like Alex had
been Vladimir Vivchar but it turned out that Vladimir's model had flown
behind a bus and only one of the timekeepers kept the watch going to
see it out the other side. The jury rightly resolved this in favor of Vivchar.
And then all the noise started with F1C! And because of thermal picking
efforts the previous day Tymchek and I got to help the F1C team team
do a repeat performance.