SEN 1269 - 29 Nov 2008

Table of Contents - SEN 1269

  1. Pan American
  2. Free Stuff
  3. Looking for J stuff
  4. Nick Cheersa up John
  5. En Gard
  6. Am X Cup proposal
  7. Let's keep our eyes on the objectives
  8. Non Euro champs goes South?

Pan American Preliminaries

Hello everyone,

I’d like to take this opportunity to formally announce the preliminary details of the new Pan American Open contest, to be held on February 12, 2009, between next year’s Isaacson and MaxMen contests.


As some of you are already aware, there had been extensive discussions over the years of having a North American championship, and I was very eager to see the idea revived and implemented.  I sent a few emails earlier this year, had the opportunity to talk to many of you, and finally got together with a group (Ron Felix, Peter Allnutt, Ladislav Horak, Todor Boidjev, among others) at the last Sierra Cup, and committed with them to formally putting together a contest for 2009. 


I am very thankful to everyone who supported the idea, and to those who gave me helpful advice along the way.  In particular, much gratitude must go to Ron Felix, who had volunteered to act as the contest Director, and has largely been managing the administrative end of things.  I would also like to thank my son Jack, with whom I spent many late nights working out the mechanics of how this contest could work, and who helped me extensively with drafting all the ideas into a cohesive concept.  To everyone who helped makes this a reality – many thanks!

And now, the preliminary details of the contest:


-          It will be a 7 round contest, with F1A, F1B, F1C all flying on the same day

-         It will be both an individual and team event, open to all participants regardless of nationality, and any self formed team, regardless of the nationality of the members

-          Contestants and teams will time each other’s flights.

-         It will work on two levels: as a contest, and as a Pan American Championships – and there will be two sets of prizes to compete for:

1.       the usual contest awards (first, second, third), which would be awarded to any individual or team participating in the contest, regardless of nationality or mix.

2.       titles (in the form of a trophy), which will only be awarded to the top North or South American individual and team in each class. 

This way the contest will crown a legitimate Pan American Champion (with a separate award), without eliminating the incentive for non American participants to take part and try to win.   


-          More on Teams:

-          Teams will be encouraged to be nationally based (with no limit on the number of teams from any one country), although mixed teams will be allowed if that is what the participants want (a group of friends, for example) or in cases where there aren’t enough participants to form a team along national lines. 

-          Allowing mixed, non American, and multiple teams from the same country to participate will get around the “lack of participants” problem often cited in past proposals, and will allow for a larger number of team participants, while still allowing us to crown a Pan American Champion.  

-          The non American or mixed teams would be eligible for the prizes, but only teams from the Americas and purely based on national lines can win the team title.   As noted earlier, there could be multiple teams from the same country (USA 1, USA 2, etc)


-          As an example to demonstrate the team mechanics:

-          Lets say you would have the following teams: 

1.       Team USA 1

2.       Team USA 2

3.       Team Argentina

4.       Team Canada

5.       Team Mexico

6.       Team Ukraine

7.       Team Russia

8.       Mixed Team #1 (1 American + 2 European)

9.       Mixed Team #2 (3 Europeans)

10.   Mixed Team #3 (2 Americans + 1 Canadian)

-          While any of the above teams can win the team contest, only the first 5 listed above are eligible to win the team title, as they are the only purely North or South American Teams based on national lines.  Note that a mixed north American team (the last example) could not win the title either, as it does not represent a unique Pan American nation. 

-          Teams would have to be entered prior to the start of the contest, and would have to be self arranged and registered.

-          The composition of the teams is entirely up to the contestants – particularly in cases where you have multiple teams from the same nations.  You could have teams based on the home states of their members – Team USA (California) and Team USA (New York) for example.  Or teams based on some larger region; Mixed Team (Scandinavia). Or, teams based on no affiliation at all: Team USA (Jim, Mike, & Bob), etc...
For the purposes of the Pan American title, only the national composition of the teams is important, not how the team was composed.  As multiple teams are allowed from the same nation, everyone will have a chance to form a team and compete.

-          Individual participants, both American and foreign, could also always join the contest without a team affiliation and only compete for the individual awards. 

-          Essentially the setup is akin to a mixed open contest/regional championship:  it is open to all, and everyone can win, but only those belonging to the region, namely the Americas, can be crowned with the team or individual Pan American title. 

After all the discussions I had with you over the last few months, I feel this is the best solution to creating a contest that will allow for a large enough group of participants, interesting enough to convince those participants to attend, and create a challenging and prestigious enough contest to legitimately crown a Pan American champion.  And of course, add an element of social interaction and enjoyment.

We hope to have the official schedule and information posted shortly. 

Hope to see you all there in February!

Chris Lenartowicz

(F1A Canada)

Free Stuff

One of my burdens in life is to figure out how to get rid of all my old stuff.  I got to thinking a couple weeks ago that if my house had burned down the one great consolation would be that all that old junk would be gone and I could start fresh having rid myself of the burden and my new house and workshop would be nice and clean and organized.
So all my old models that I've been holding onto for years have to go, either in the trash can or to anyone who would like to adopt them.  So the following is free to anyone who wants to come pick them up.  The only limitation is that I'm not shipping them anywhere, although it might be possible to bring them to any west coast FF events.  Of course most of these were covered with tissue which has long since gone brittle, but if recovered could still fly well.  I'm holding onto most of the engines, although I might include them as well for a small donation.  Here's a rough list.
Shocer AMA Gas models:
2 1/2A models
1 420 A model
1 550 B model
2 750 C/D models
Orbiteer extended with Cox .09 A gas
Bunch of hand launch and catapult stuff
Old Zenith F1As
CL combat models
Chipmunk CL stunt model, bad shape
Buster CL model with expanded span, very old
Windward RC Glider
Flipper RC Glider
Skylark 76 RC model
F-15 FF glider
etc, etc...
Contact me if interested.
Ken Bauer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Looking for J sized Taco shells etc
From: Buzz Averill This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Does anyone sell taco shells, or other components, suitable for F1J sized models?

Nick Cheers up John L

Hi  John and everyone else,
I thought I had better write you a piece to cheer you up, after reading your brilliant, a well balanced article in SEN re the demise of the FAI classes.
Eventually............ a like minded group will realise and agree that there is a better way, that there is more popular way, a more inclusive class to fly at World Championship level.  May be this class will not have a Global Travelers Trophy, because of the high cost  of competing in the future, but there will be another, different World Championship for Free Flight in due course. 
It would not be surprising following the recent price increases in the ready to fly FAI classes that this will hasten the end of FAI free flight as we know them now, delayed only by the longevity of the current models. Some competitors may have already decided not to build anymore F1C models perhaps?   
Whilst I am quite sure that none of the CIAM subcommittee never ever intended to alienate "average" aeromodellers from international competition, it would appear that the pinnacle of elitism formed in the rush for technical superiority is forcing potential competitors to make a decision.  Does one continue with throwing money at this, or step off the ladder?
What the recent discussions about the Selection Trials might actually be saying, is that the critical mass in FAI FF. has fallen away to such an extent that the Trials are not financially viable. The natural short term reaction is to put up the entry fees.  However this temporary "engineering" fix is not in fact a robust longer term "market driven" solution. 
Rather what may be found is that the "high entry fee-cash prize" merely attracts short termist "bounty hunters" and moves FF into a truly professional competition circuit.  Do we really want this well intentioned idea to evolve into a something else?  
So whilst at the moment whilst there is little point in suggesting that the "Emperor has forgotten to put his clothes on", since currently the FF FAI competition has now moved into its final "last man standing" phase.  There will come a time, when the real questions have to faced:- how to formulate a new set of FF International Class rules, that a larger group will be attracted to, will want to build models for, will want to practice with so that the Selection Trials are attractive.
One of the reasons to run the recent survey on gliders was to try and understand what these new parameters might be.  I have to say that it produced one or two surprising results.  This would suggest that the survey should be repeated, refined and extended to include at least 80% of all FF glider fliers across the Globe.  So that the wishes of FF fliers can be expressed to CIAM in a positive, constructive manner that would facilitate improvements to Free Flight.          Like....."Hi New Zealand what do you guys think about this ?"
Discussion threads are fine for creating a revolution, but in reality a consensus has to be achieved.  The silent majority in the broader base of the pyramid are the ones that financially support the pinnacle of excellence, the former MUST be invited to contribute to this discussion to understand what they would like and support.  The elitists ignore this at their peril, since once these subscriptions fail to be renewed, their organisation will wither. 
Obviously one can expect that there will be some rude comments because these ideas "have not been invented here"; but sometimes it is worth using past experiences to build a better future. 
Must go as the fog is lifting and I am off flying - doing my own thing.  Happy landings.
Kind regards
Nick Bosdet
Incidentally there is no point in the FAI running any survey, since  currently the FAI are upgrading their internet software early next year, to such a degree that my computer and my computer at work will not be able to display the FAI's pages.  That is what I call looking after your membership or real "customer focus" in commercial speak.  

En Gard ?

Hello Roger,
Has anyone out there in the  wide world of Free Flight the coordinates of John Gard Airfoil?
If yes, please forward to Arik Donde : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Am-XCup Proposal.
SCAT has drafted the following Am-XCup proposal and will be voted on at our Dec 13 SCAT Holiday Party to determine if the proposal will be enacted for the 2009-2010 season. Comments can be shared via SEN, The NFFs forum where it is also posted under FAI Models and Flying or directly to me, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I would be interested in hearing from the  Clubs / CDs  of the 30 current AmCup contests that would drop out of the AmCup program due to the increased of the 25$ sanction fee to50$ for 2009.
The current AmCup program will continue as it is. The current Perpetual Trophies, first place trophies and certificates will be maintained for the AmCup program. One change is the sanction fee will be raised to 50$ for all 30 AmCup contests.  
The mission statement for the AmCup remains:  
To foster the development of flyers and models across North America in the FAI FF. This coast-to-coast competition requires flyers to attend multiple contests each year in the United States and Canada in order to win.
Am-XCup will be a Provisional addendum to the current AmCup program. The purpose of the Am-XCup:
To selected the best North American flyers in FAI FF over a two year period using the most competed AmCup Contests. This Provision program is to provide data as to the practicality and applicability of such a selection program for future USA Team Selection Program consideration.
7 counted contests of 16 contests over two years, 2009 thru 2010.
16 contests or 8 contests a year and 12 contests or 6 contests a year formats were discussed. In F1A&B, the top 15 AmCup flyers score in 4 or more contests in a year, it’s likely they fly more but do not always score points so do not show. In F1C it’s the top 10 flyers. 8 contests a year was selected has “stretched goal”. Should the Am-XCup continue past 2010, the number contests will be reviewed.
First, Second and Third place awards of trophies, certificates and cash of   $500, $300, $200 will be awarded. While we flyers are not motivated by money, cash does spark interests. We also do not want to make or buy perpetual trophies at this time, and the cash prize discriminates Am-XCup from the AmCup. Even with the increased sanction fee, SCAT will still need to supplement the AmCup and Am-XCup costs.
In the body of the draft rules, the xx, yy in the brackets in front of the contests are the F1ABC entrant totals for 2008 and 2007 as a way to define the "most highly competed AmCup contests".
Because there are greater number of highly competed AmCu p contests in the West, the Am-XCup contests are used once in the West and some central and eastern contests are used twice over the two year cycle.
There will be no site restrictions-- this is to determine the Best flyer(s) and so the requirement to travel to win to "Foster" FAI FF has been dropped for Am-XCup. However, under this construct, it would be difficult to win without some out of region travel.
While the Am-XCup was conceived in the post finals "change the program" discussion, there is no direct link to the Team Selection Program. SCAT, looking forward seeks to determine if a small select set of highly competitive contests will be supported by the serious FAI FF competitor and so provide actual experience for the post 2010 Finals Team Selection Committee consideration.
Thermals, JIM
Draft #3 Nov. 27, 2008
The SCAT Am X-Cup Competition is supplemental & provisional to the AmCup program.
The Am X-Cup’s purpose:  
To selected the best North American flyers in FAI FF over a two year period using the most competed AmCup contests. This Provision program is to provide data as to the practicality and applicability of such a selection program for future USA Team Selection Program consideration.
1) Am-XCup designated contests must be flown in accordance with the provisions of the Am Cup rules, FAI Sporting Code and as follows:
a) First round max durations will require the current extended flight times as at the next World Championship. Allowances for site and weather will be made. The events must have discreet rounds and must be flown from a launch line.
b) There is no Am X-Cup Sanction fee.
Operational cost will be covered by the AmCup program.
[$50 a year sanction fee for all AmCup contests]
c) The maximum number of Am X-Cup contests is 16 over a 2 year cycle.
The designated contests for the 2009-2010 seasons are:
[xx,yy designates the F1ABC entry totals for 2007 and 2008]
59/55—Feb, Winter Classic, CA
36/38—Mar, SCAT Annual, CA
20/19--- End of May, June Skyscraper Challenge, NY
16/15— Last week June, 1st week July, MMM FAI Annual Denver, CO
46/55—1st week Aug, NATS, IN
23/13---2nd week Au g, Huron Cup, Canada
20/24—End Oct, SW Challenge, Las Vegas
30/43—Nov, Patterson, CA
[xx,yy designates the F1ABC entry totals for 2007 and 2008]
40/20—Jan, SW Regional, AZ
80/84—Feb, MaxMen , CA
42/44—3rd week May Big Al , CA
20/19--- End of May-June, Skyscraper Challenge, NY
16/15---June-July, MMM FAI Annual Denver, CO
46/55---1st week Aug, NATS, IN
19/19— 3rd week Aug, Tangent, OR (which of the two, tbd)
57/60— Oct, Sierra Cup, CA
2) Any number of designated contests can be entered and at any contest site.
3) The highest scores from a maximum of 7 contests will be counted.
4) Points are scored a follows:
            1st Place                        25 points
            2nd Place                       20 points
            3rd Place                       15 points
            4th Place                       10 points
            5th Place                         5 points
5) Extra "Bonus" points are scored on the number of contestants in an event:
            1-5                                0 poi nts
            6-8                              +1 point
            9-11                            +2 points
            12-14                          +3 points
            15-17                          +4 points
            18-20                          +5 points
            21 or mo re                  +6 points
6) Ties for first place in the final scoring are settled by counting eight contests in the totals or more if necessary. If this does not settle a tie, then taking the scores from the seven best contests and multiplying by the total number of contestants in the seven contests in the competitor’s event determines the winner.
7) 'Entry' means - entrant making one official flight and scoring at least 50% of the regular round (ie no fly-off ) winning time except for flyers that placed in the top ten in the 2007 or 2008 AmCup standings will be counted regardless of time if.
8) The three Am X-Cup first, second and third place winners will receive a trophy, certificate and $500, $300 and $200. Awarded will be given at the SCAT AmCup banquet on Saturday night of the 2011 Max Men International Contest in California.

Thermals,  JIM

Let's keep our eyes on the objectives
From: Roger Coleman

All of the discussion on FAI/AM Cup/ is becoming sophomoric at it's best.

Please remember, we are trying to "grow" our sport/hobby. Rules to govern the design and timing, of the models should be tough/extreme. The rules that govern participation should be so simple, that, those who would be interested in trying FAI/FF out, would not be chased off by a bunch of selfish jerks who assume the rest of the model community to be inferior to ours. We NEED to make entering our FAI programs fun. The "extreme" will come from within when newcomer joins in the challenge.

BTW we are looked at as over the top by most of AMA's members........that's about 150,000 to 1 or 100................

Roger C

Non European Champs
From: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear Senator SCAT
Referring to SEN 1267:
As a peripheral observer of your quaint art of sporting performance (ie Free Flight), and respectfully referring to the current verbal spat between the USA and Britain (which had its origins in the 17th century), may I, again respectfully suggest that you hold your Non European contests in the perfect climate of the South African Highveldt. a visit to Johannesburg provides first world facilities, the Rand Model Aircraft Association has demonstrated on numerous occasions, World Championship classorganisational abilities, and you have the added attraction (for the other family members), of a visit to one of the finest game reserves, The nearby Kruger National Park. Distance travelled for all the Non European countries would be similar.

Like FIFA, who is organising the Soccer World Cup here in 2010, you may bring contest officials, jury members, and a technical team to aquaint the Gautengers (ie locals) in your requirements. It Has been a long time since the black art of free flight has been practiced here, too long!

with respectfull thoughts and wishes for a satisfactory end to your dispute

I Chingachkook (AKA Sean McCullagh)
Last of the (african Free Flight)Mohicans.

Roger Morrell