SEN 1049 - 10 Nov 2006
- Category: Archive 2006
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SEN issue 1049 10 Nov 2006
Table of Contents
Odessa Meeting Summary - Kaynes
Now I get it... - Leeper
Team Talk by Alex and Biggles
Table Tennis balls to you too ! Sir - Pudney
2006 FF Nats DVD now available. - Abriss
... and the editor talks to Biggles about Alex's ideas
Rule Changes for 2007 - EoB and the FOC
Odessa Meeting Summary
Here is a text file of my FFn description of the Odessa Rules
Meeting which Henning and others suggested I send to you for
----- Original Message -----
From: "Henning Nyhegn"
To: "Ian Kaynes"
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 11:23 AM
Subject: Fw: Odesa
I had a talk yesterday with Walt Ghio, and he want to send your comments
But I told him that I had ask you about doing this.
So I told him to wait a few days.
My question is, do you have time to do this?I know you are a very busy.
Please send me a mail, aqbout what you think.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Henning Nyhegn"
To: "Ian Kaynes"
Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 6:20 PM
Tom and I had a talk to day about your comments from the meetings in Odesa.
Is it possible to send your comments in FFn to Roger Morell so he can print
it in Scat.
Many modelflyers dont know what it is all about.Because they dont get FFn.
I am very surprised, that many of our well known modelflyers dont realise
that the distance our model is flying to day and in the past, is only
depending on total flown sec, and actuel windspeed.
Ps: Hope you understand my not so good English.
RULES MEETING IN ODESSA
The meeting was attended by about 40 people, coming from countries
including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Hungary, Israel,
Poland, Russia, Ukraine and UK.
Victor Stamov opened the meeting by explaining that his idea for the
meeting arose following the submission of proposals from Russia to the
CIAM 2006 plenary meeting for the reduction in performance of F1A F1B
F1C models. This proposal was deferred from that meeting to the 2007
plenary meeting. Victor suggested that any such proposal had a better
chance to succeed if it was made by the CIAM FF Subcommittee rather than
a National Aero Club. The intent of this meeting was to start the
discussion towards reaching an agreed view which might be supported by
the Subcommittee. Ian Kaynes emphasised that the meeting today would be
a useful discussion but had no specific power or authority in CIAM.
Reduced performance summary
Victor Stamov then introduced his ideas of reduced performance which
also accorded with the Russian proposals.
He explained that the reason for wanting to reduce performance was that
there are very few fields large enough for the performance of the
present models. This situation would be improved if performance could be
reduced to allow the maximum during rounds to be 2 or 2=BD minutes and
flyoffs not exceeding 5 minutes using the current models.
For F1A Stamov had experimented with shorter towlines. He found that on
a 40m line the model could be circled and launched satisfactorily, the
altitude gain during bunt was similar to that on 50m line and so the
altitude was reduced by the 10m that had been removed from the line. On
a 35m line it was harder to tow and detect thermals and to launch;
models would need extra gadgets and controls to fly satisfactorily.
For F1B the motor weight could be reduced.
For the first flyoff a maximum of 4 minutes was suggested, followed by 5
minutes for the next round, then then reduce the working time (for
example to 5 minutes, with F1B having 5 minutes to wind before the start
of the period)
Kapetanovic opened the discussion by saying that F1B and F1C were the
classes for which performances most needed to be reduced. He was against
reducing flyoff working time since this would increase the luck element
in the result. Kaynes remarked that reducing the flyoff working time
would not increase luck, since every competitor still had the same
chance to make the best use of the available time and indeed it would
reward the better prepared people.
Salzer agreed that a reduction of F1B motor weight to 20g would be
acceptable, but F1C was harder. The current run is already very short
and rather than reducing this further it would be better to consider
venture or exhaust restrictions. Kaynes commented that earlier in the
week he had already asked Eugene Verbitsky to review the size and
effects of venture inserts.
Herzberg said that it was necessary to reduce performance of all three
classes so that they could be flown on small fields and hence increase
interest. The performance should be less relative to the maximum than
the present models which are capable performance more twice the max. To
reduce F1A performance to 2.30 in order to suit a 2 minute maximum might
require banning bunt. For the other classes propulsion can be reduced.
Glide performance must also be reduced but increasing the minimum weight
would make models less attractive and more prone to damage. It would be
better to increase the drag of the model. This could be done by adding a
drag plate, for example on the fuselage just behind the wing. Fantham
continued on this theme by saying that it would be easy to vary the
performance of models by changing the size of the added drag. Dilly said
that if the disc was replaced by a sphere it would aid visibility of the
model in all directions.
An attendee (name not recorded) said that it was wrong to reduce
performance and this would kill free flight. The trouble was the fields
and only large suitable sites should be used. Dilly replied by saying
that there were many countries without any sites on which existing
models could be flown satisfactorily, this was killing free flight, it
was necessary to be able to fly on small fields in more countries for
free flight to prosper. Salzer suggested that contests could be run for
2 or 3 minutes maximum under different rules according to the
conditions. Kapetanovic said that even on large field the existing
models could be difficult to retrieve.
Peter Martin pointed out that F1G F1H F1J already existed as models for
2-minute maxes, why not use these. Replies against this idea included
the length of flights which can be made by F1G models in thermals, not
coming down on DT, and the performance of F1H and F1J.
Fantham said that championships should be run over a longer period and
the calmest periods selected for the flying. Stamov said that it would
be possible, for example by starting flying a day earlier. Various
people then commented that there would be insufficient time for
practice, unless arriving days earlier which was more expensive and time
Salzer said that performance reductions should be carefully considered
from the effect on juniors and beginners they would be penalised
more by the difficulty of flying on short lines, with less rubber or
with shorter engine runs.
An attendee (name not recorded) suggested that the 20 second attempt
rule should be removed. Stamov said that this had been done some years
ago and it was reintroduced by popular demand. It would be wrong for
CIAM to again go back to this change. Ree said that there was logic in
both approaches like in other sports: in tennis two attempts are given
for serving, in table tennis only one, both approaches work in their
Post meeting note:
I took the drag idea further and analysed the effect of additional drag
on performance96 a simple configuration chosen was to consider the
drag produced by 2 table tennis balls mounted on the model
(representing light and standard components which would be easy to use).
The reductions these produced were F1A reduced height gain on bunt to
96%, reduced flight time to 79% of still air time of the original model;
F1B climb height reduced to 96%, total flight time to 80%; F1C climb
height reduced to 96%, flight time to 86%. I was initially surprised to
find that the climb was less affected than the glide, but the climb can
be slightly retrimmed to fly slower, whereas the glide at optimum
lift-drag conditions has nowhere else to go but just accept the higher
It is difficult to prove but I have a feeling that they would also act
evenly on good models and less good ones96 on the principle that one
of the differences between good models and others is the design and
trimming have them operating at minimum drag while less good flyers may
not achieve this and have more drag already, when there is an addition
of drag the difference becomes less significant.
(From Free Flight News, see www.btinternet.com/~kaynes/ffn.htm)
Now I get it...
Maybe you explained your TS program proposal in better terms,
but this time I read it closely & can live with it.
One thing not clear to me: the timekeeper situation.
Will it be set up to time one day-fly other days as now?
Team Talk by Alex and Biggles
An interesting chat with Alex.
Being involved with the recent Finals as a non-competitor, I have had
the opportunity to talk frankly with many participants of the event.
Some expressed satisfaction and others dissatisfaction (related to
their personal experience) with the weather, the organization and the
overall program. Ultimately, there probably is not, and never will
be a "right" way to run such a Team Selection, but many interesting
ideas have been circulating.
In a recent conversation with Alex, I asked him about his wide
experience in selecting Teams over the years for Championship events.
Instead, his first response was to pose such questions back to me, as
a way of exploring the subject. He asked, what criteria should be
used to pick "the BEST possible team". (An interesting question for
anyone to ponder before reading further !). Without much thought, I
quickly suggested several factors: Experience, a good history
demonstrating prior achievements; Equipment, a good stock of up to
date models and technology; Performance, recently demonstrated
results to show current flying ability. I also mentioned the
criteria necessary for the event itself: Consistency, in maxing
throughout daytime lift and sink; Extended Performance, in declining
evening conditions; Ultimate Performance, flight to the ground in
final round. In fact these are the normal skills, among many other
factors, needed to win any competitive FAI event these days.
Alex then explained historically, in Soviet Union and later in the
Ukraine, that there was the "old" way and now the "new" way. The old
way was authoritarian, in that the "best" sportsmen were simply
"picked" for the Team by the coach appointed by the National Aero
Club, and that was it! However, Alex went on to describe the new
process now used in Ukraine, and how they devised a system that would
also be fair to all the participants.
Alex defined the present Ukrainian system as being a continuous
process, which includes 4 major contests each year, nominated as
Selections. The selection process ends 20 days before the
Championships, at which time the most recent 8 events are counted.
These 8 events will include some from the current year, all the
Selection events from preceding year and the reminder from the year
before to make 8. Each competitor counts their 6 best results. 25
points for the first place; 20 for the second; 15; 12; 11; 10 etc. A
new Team is picked every year by this process, because they compete
in both World and European Championships.
Interestingly, their starting point to develop this system was for a
group of the top competitors to submit their own pick of "the
ultimate team" (a common process in any sport, known as creating "the
Dream Team"). Everyone voted on their own list of names for their
top 3 sportsmen (without being able to nominate themselves) and all
these nominations were then collected together and compiled to create
an overall ranking of likely Team members. Alex said the cumulative
votes turned out to be surprisingly similar, in naming essentially
the same top group of favorite sportsmen.
But now comes the most interesting part (assuming the Dream Team
process is approximately correct). Alex then described the next
phase, in which they tried to create a non-authoritarian system,
which would come close to selecting the same top names for the Team.
They began by searching for actual contest results that might achieve
this same outcome. Previous competition results from past years were
analyzed, and it was found that those at the top of the voting list
were, not surprisingly, also at or near the top of the combined
results list. But if only one or two contest results were chosen at
random, then almost anyone could be at the top of the list (i.e. not
a statistically significant sample), but when any four results were
compared, then the same names started to appear near the top. And
once 6 or 8 events were chosen, then the actual contest results
started to match very closely with what individual sportsmen had
subjectively nominated on their voting list. Thus producing both an
accomplished and a popular Team selection.
Overall, a very interesting concept!
One question I posed to Alex was whether or not such a process would
eventually result in only a handful of top flyers continuing with
FAI, while others would drift away to other pursuits. He said in the
old country, this has turned out not to be the case. Those who are
close to the top may indeed try harder to reach the top, while many
others continued to pursue their events simply for the enjoyment of
competition, at whatever level they could maintain, which still does
not exclude the occasional win against an "expert", just probably not
6 or 8 wins in a row! Alex said that if anything the opposite was
true. Once the certainty of a fair outcome was established then
those who were really interested in being on the Team, would know
exactly what they had to do to measure and achieve success, and as a
result participation in the FAI events in Ukraine has actually
So, just for discussion purposes, here is one interpretation of what
Alex has described, and how such a system might work if implemented
here in the US. Firstly this does not mean that whoever wins the
America's Cup (by itself) is on the Team, because all of the 30
contests are not equally contested, nor run to a uniformly high
standard. Instead, a short list of perhaps 8 Premium Contests, per 2
year cycle, could be nominated from the existing annual contest
schedule. These Premium Contests should be held across the country,
and scheduled throughout the year to account for suitable weather
conditions and geographic locations. For example: Year 1, January
South West Regionals AZ, April Spring Cup TX, July AMA Nats IN,
October Sierra Cup CA, Year 2, February Max Men CA, June MMM 14
Rounder CO, October South West FAI Challenge NV, December King Orange
Obviously there are many other suitable permutations for Premium
event selection that could be devised. And, this list could still
include a special, one-time centralized Finals every 2 years, where
all the top contenders meet face-to-face, but the result would only
be part of a broader Selection process and not a one-time success or
failure event, perhaps with double points being awarded.
Therefore, the final 3 Selected Team members (and alternate) would be
chosen using their top 6 results from any of the 8 nominated Premium
Contests, from the preceding 2 calendar years (say up to December
31st, prior to the year of the Championships - to give the Team at
least 6 months preparation time). For Team Selection purposes, all
events would be scored equal, with NO bonus points (1st 25 points,
2nd 20 points etc). Any ties would be resolved by selecting the
next 1 or 2 best scores, or thereafter by totaling the number of
competitors in those 6 (or up to 8) events. We could start this way
in 2007 to pick a Team for 2009.
I later mentioned to Alex that he has never won an America's Cup, nor
does he attend many of the possible Premium Contests randomly chosen,
and many other competitors who attend Team Finals also do not
typically enter these nationwide events either. He said he expected
if such a Program was adopted, that participation would generally
increase in all these Premium events, in an attempt to secure points
for a Team place.
Others I have spoken to have also raised similar ideas, that a
single-event Finals should not be the sole source to select a US
Team, and they have also suggested that other major events, such as
America's Cup, or World Cup events should provide a percentage of the
overall Team Selection scoring process.
Simply put, a single point failure, or success, is not the best way
to select the most competitive Team, because it is not statistically
based on high performance, in a variety of conditions, over a
significant period of time. Therefore, using a broader process could
help overcome the one-time, bad weather anomaly, as recently
experienced by those who attended Lost Hills this year.
Just to see how this might work in practice, I quickly reviewed past
results data from the America's Cup to compare different sampling
methods (NOTE: no corrections were made for the effect of any non-US
participants in published AmCup results, so this quick review may
contain errors). Obviously such results have no meaningful
significance, because the entrants to these contests could not have
expected the results to be used for such a purpose. Therefore, I
chose 2003 and 2004 results to create a theoretical 2005 Team, and so
that nobody is offended it should be noted that I would not have made
the F1A Team by any such sampling process. However, the results do
provide interesting analysis of which sportsmen happen to have been
on form throughout this chosen period, as reflected by them
consistently achieving good scores at the AmCup events they chose to
attend (not counting the Finals) and also indicates a process by
which others may have come close to a successful Team outcome.
BEST 6 from 8 PREMIUM
Jim Parker 80
Mike McKeever 55
Bob Sifleet 40
Ben Coussens (Alt) 35
Tom Coussens 30
Dick Wood 50
Bill Booth 45
Bob Biedron 40
Rich Rhorke (Alt) 40
Martin Schreodter 30
Bob Gutai 85
Randy Archer 65
Gil Morris 35
Reid Simpson (Alt) 35
Dave Shirley 30
BEST 6 from all 2 YEARS
Jim Parker 150
Mike McKeever 150
Andrew Barron 150
Bob Sifleet (Alt) 145
Peter Barron 140
Jim Bradley 150
Bob Biedron 145
Alex Andriukov 135
Dick Wood (Alt) 130
Rich Rohrke 115
Bob Gutai 150
Andrei Kirilenko 150
Randy Archer 145
Roger Simpson (Alt) 145
Dave Shirley 140
TOTAL of BOTH AmCup 2 YEARS
Jim Parker 220
Mike McKeever 213
Andrew Barron 191
Bob Sifleet (Alt) 186
Tzvetan Tzvetkov 170
Bob Biedron 198
Jim Bradley 197
Dick Wood 170
Alex Andriukov (Alt) 155
Rich Rohrke 145
Bob Gutai 202
Henry Spence 174
Dave Shirley 174
Randy Archer (Alt) 168
Faust Parker 167
TOTAL of BOTH AmCup 2 YEARS
F1A Placing Total
Jim Parker 2
Mike McKeever 4
Bob Sifleet 7
Andrew Barron (Alt) 8
Tzvetan Tzvetkov 11
F1B Placing Total
Bob Biedron 4
Jim Bradley 6
Dick Wood 8
Alex Andriukov (Alt) 15
George Batiuk 19
F1C Placing Total
Bob Gutai 4
Randy Archer 10
Faust Parker 10
Henry Spence (Alt) 11
Dave Shirley 11
It would indeed be interesting to start by running an appropriate
questionnaire on the Team selection process, with similar "Dream
Team" voting to start the ball rolling, and with Premium Contest
nominations and perhaps similar analysis comparisons from past
results, as an indication for how such a system might work here in
Table Tennis balls to you too ! Sir
I've just read a scan of the article published in FFn which appears to
support putting table tennis balls on models to reduce performance.
My first few reactions shouldn't be mentioned. I found it hard to
believe that a proposal like this could actually be discussed, let alone
discussed seriously. The discussion made me think of something that
might have happened between Basil Fawlty and Sir Humphery.
There has to be a better way, and I think John Lewis' recent post has
far more value than sticking table tennis balls to the model. Reducing
the maximum "legal" windspeed to 5m/s would be far more appropriate,
especially if combined with banning thermal detection equipment, the
need for big flying fields would largely be avoided.
What do other people think???
2006 FF Nats DVD now available.
Fellow Free Flighters,
Many of you have been emailing me asking when the 2006 Nats DVD would be
available. Well I'm happy to announce that the 2006 FF Nats DVD is ready
Purchase details can be found here:
Hoping to see many of you at the King Orange, and at the 2007 Nats.
I'll now let everyone get back to serious Free Flight matters.
Regards and thermals,
Free Flight Videos now has secure internet credit card facilities.
My Plane of Thought is miles above!
... and the editor talks to Biggles about Alex
Editor to Biggles
Your description of the Ukranian team selection is not 100%
correct - my understanding is that encumbent team team members can
also include the previous World and Euro champs results and some
World cup contests outside of the Ukraine can be included - can
you ask Alex - both are important details.
Biggles to Editor
* All good comments for general discussion.
* However, the US cannot fly in the Euro Champs, and so we are only
talking about anyone who places 2nd through 5th at the most recent
World Champs - quite a rare situation.
* Similarly, other than the 2 US World Cup events (which are both
West Coast biased), few US competitors fly in any overseas World Cup
events, and to count those that do would probably be unpopular in the
US as tilting the results towards what the Brits would call retired
Editor to Biggles
But I believe that counting both world/Euro champs and some
World cup does improve the quality of the team as is born out by
the top results that the Ukranian team has in Eorld and euro champs.
So not talking about it mis-representing the way that the
Ukranians do it.
As a side comment the Ukranian systems has come under critism from
some of the flyers - people lwho have not been team members do
do not like the system that favors encumbents. Also people with
less money do not like including World cup and
to some extent World and Euro champs because they cannot always
take part in those events those events.
Actually, old boy I wish those Ukraqnians would change
their system as it would give us a greater chance of beating them.
Reading the past writing on SEN - any system that espoused an
elitist element [i.e. the true Ukranian system] would not be
The rolling systems works better for Euro countries because they
have the Euro champs - so there is an event every year.I
agree we could/should have the American/Pacific rim/or even a non-Euro
but the travel costs would be high and we would have get our act
togther with other non-Euro to do this.
Finally the comment about the date of the final contest is
interesting - but not really cricket even though a bit of a red herring
with respect to the selection process itself because
A. with the world champs yopu are supposed to submit the names
of the team memebers much longer before the champs than that,
every other country does it and the organizers let the
uKraine get away with it.
B. It does not give us Yanks time to get the democratic process
into gear to design our t-shirtS
C It favours professional sportsmen like in the
Ukraine who are always ready to fly again an elitist situational.
Biggles to Editor
Tally Ho !
* One last thought - it is not the current Selection process that
the Ukrainians use which is important, it is the process by which
they analyzed what they wanted to achieve, and how to statistically
arrive at such an outcome, that is most interesting. It would be
ideal to create such a process to meet the US expectations, for the
kind of Team that US sportsmen wish to represent them. Maybe we
already have it ? But an open dialog such as you provide on SEN will
help verify this, by comparison to any other ideas.
[over and out - to the pub]
Rule Changes for 2007
As many of your readers will know, in parallel with the FF World Cup is the Food
Ordering Championships. This has been run successfully for many years
and has been previously reported in your esteemed organ, SEN 537, 2/11/2001
The Food Ordering Committee (FOC) is now proposing rule changes for 2007
to encompass newly developed ordering techniques predominately founded in the
Celtic regions of the world. These are documented on the FOC website
(see http://www.gregorie.org/freeflight/stories/food_champs.html) but are also
published below in full with the current rules for 2006. Note that the proposals
for a reduction in the ordering time to 4 seconds per item has now been withdrawn as
it favours those with quicker speech patterns such as Glaswegian. We are now
opening a debate on the views of you fine sportsman to the suitability
changes prior to ratification at the December FOC meeting in The Gulshan
Tandoori House, Farnham, Surrey.
We are particularly proud to announce the awarding of a Perpetual Trophy
in the form of a Burgos Tortoise. For those who attended the contest at Burgos
in 1981 (my personal first experience of a world event), the Burgos Tortoise is
an item of almost mythical proportions, a true legend in one's lunchtime. This
item still holds the record of defeating everyone who has tried to perform a
perfect ordering sequence. The rules for determining the winner of this fine
trophy are also defined below.
Food Ordering Rules
The following rules shall apply to the purchase of foodstuffs at any designated eating
establishment during FF open internationals in 2003. The aim of the competition is
to obtain the smallest number of points from each set of designated establishments
during the period (practise plus flying) of each open international. The winner of
each event will be the local champion with an Eating Cup winner being based on
the aggregate points from at least three venues. Ordering shall be done in
groups of at least three people. Points are awarded for a non-perfect ordering
of foodstuffs as follows :-
One point is awarded for each question asked by the waitress during an
Example: "What kind of cheese would you like on your jacket potato?"
NB Multiple options for the same question are scored as a single point.
Example: "Would you like cheddar, jack, Amphibian Blue or Iraqi cheese
on your jacket potato?"
Ordering on behalf of a group incurs the same scoring rules;
be careful when ordering beer!
Attempts to elicit questions from a waitress on behalf of another
orderer will be allowed.
Example: "Aren't there some different salad options with that, Chris?"
If a member of the group asks a legitimate ordering option not offered
by the waitress
but while they are present then this will score -1 point on their total
and +1 point on the orderer.
Example: "Mike, did you want herb, English muffin or toast with that set
Going on hunger strike for the duration of the ordering period is not
allowed; at least one course must be ordered per meal.
If questions are asked but not heard by another member of the group then
they will not be scored unless the orderer volunteers them.
If an orderer asks the waitress for option and she has to refer
elsewhere for clarification then the orderer will score -1 point.
Example 1: "Do you have French mustard please?"
Example 2: Chris Edge asking the waitress if he could, ".....have that
on a yellow plate".
NB No-real ordering such as for Jugged Hare will not count but could
result in a slight snigger or general mirth.
Designated Eating Establishments at Lost Hills
The list of eating establishments considered for scoring at Lost Hills
is as follows.
Note that further ones can be added with the agreement of at least two members
of the ordering group but must be communicated to all group members
before scoring is allowed.
Rule change proposals, 2007
The changes listed below have been submitted to the Rules Subcommittee
of the Food Ordering Committee (FOC) for approval and, if accepted, to take
effect from the 1st of January, 2007.
Additional rule proposed by: C.Edge.
If an orderer uses an incorrect technical description and the waiter accepts
it without comment no penalty will apply. If the waitress queries the
requirement, laughs or casts aspersions on the orderers intelligence or
parentage the orderer will be awarded +1 point. Reactions of other
members of the group shall not affect the score.
Clarification proposed by: M.Fantham.
That the final clarification clause "NB No-real ordering such as for Jugged Hare
will not count but could result in a slight snigger or general mirth." in rule
7 be replaced by a new rule:
If a patently ridiculous request by the orderer gets the "I'll have to check",
reaction from the waitress rather than general mirth from the group a DOD of 5
shall apply. This technique is known as poker: you are penalised +5 points if
there is no follow-up or you corpse. You score -5 points if there is a follow-up.
Example: "I had the special at Dennys in Oxnard last week. Do you have it
here? It was 'steamed mouse paws in aspic'?"
Additional rule proposed by: M.Fantham:
If the orderer selects a standard meal and then requests a set of substitutions -1
is scored for each change that is accepted but a penalty of +1 applies each
time a change is rejected. A bonus of -2 is applied if you can end up with a
completely different meal. An additional bonus of -2 is applied if the
revised meal already appears on the menu in exactly the same form.
This is ploy is known as a Total Switch.
Award of a Perpetual Trophy, proposed by C.Edge.
A Trophy, in the form of a Burgos Tortoise, shall be awarded annually to the
orderer who accumulates the lowest average score at designated Ordering Events
during each calendar year.
The Convenor of the Rules Subcommittee has kindly agreed to enquire if
Mr. W. Hartill
will donate his signed Tortoise for this purpose.
Signed, M. Gregorie, Convenor, the Rules Subcommittee, FOC.
[ And where does the Grand Negus of UK Free flight commerce,
Professional Gadfly and
Gourmet resturant authority Woohouse fit in this scheme.]