SEN 1245 - 14 Sept 2008

Table of Contents SEN 1245 - 14 September 2008


  1.  Radio DT - Editorial
  2. F1A Rules - Findahl   *** Featured Article ***
  3. Use of radio in Free Flight - Aberlenc
  4. Orbiteers and Fresno Ice Cream


 Radio DT - Editorial


There has been much discussion recently about the use use of Radio D/T.  Some of this has used the expression Radio Control DT. This is incorrect and and should not be used.  This is an emotional term that can be used to excite the purist free flighter.  More importantly it will create confusion with our national associations and real Radio Flyers who have spent considerable effort and money securing the parts of the spectrum for model use. In a number of aspects of free flight, walkie talkie, tracker, thermal detection and radio d/t we use radio technology and this is all clearly different from radio control. We do not want to have these confused or intermingled.

While the discussion has been centered around the F1 classes there is interest from other flyers, including no-competition free flighters who are with increasing fuel costs and encroaching urbanism using smaller fields. We have a responsability to these people as well to arrive a cost effective, equable solution.

There is an article from Per Findahl. Per understandably was not happy about being falsely accused of cheating as he a very serious and honest sportsman with an excellent reputation and competition record. But what is more interesting is his discussion of many of the aspects around this. As one would expect from a flyer of his level he has thought about the issues and discussed them with other sportsmen at his level.  You can see that the matter is by no mean simple.  In a time where many thing are encroaching on our flying space and time it it appropriate to use technology to make things better, we need to apply it wisely. Before launching a witch hunt we need to make sure we understand the issue and take advantage of experience of those top level sportsman deal with the issues on a daily basis.




 F1A Rules

 From: Per Findahl

If I was going to call anyone a cheater, and not following the rules, I would take the time to read the rules first. Mr Dave Edmonson, who in this case has called me a cheater after what happened in the last flight at Bulgaria Cup, has probably not read the rules, or perhaps just not understood them. So my advice to Mr Dave Edmonson is to read the rules, and if you don’t understand the text, please ask a friend to explain the text for you before making such a remark again and accusing someone that is not guilty of cheating.

I guess it is just as good that I give my opinion on the RCDT rule and the 20 sec rule now that I have started writing.

Anyone who followed the changes in the rules the past years can remember that at first there was the discussion about if we should allow RCDT or not. I was totally against this, and my argument was the following. I was thinking myself in the position as a CD for a contest. Then I thought that I can never prove if someone is doing other things then dt’ing the model with the RCDT unit. Perhaps one model is stalling and suddenly recovers from the stall, how do I know if someone has done anything more with his RCDT to correct the flight? I think you get my point. If we allow RCDT, we also open a possibility for anyone not so honest to make, quite easily, corrections of his model during the flight. What can a CD do in this case? I would say “nothing”. Can the CD tell the flyer to take out the timer and all the electronics from the model to check them? I don’t know much about electronics, so perhaps we need electronic experts as CD’s? As the rules are now we can just hope we have honest flyers that don’t cheat!

Then we had the rule that said something like, “if you dt a model during the first 20 sec of the flight it is a zero score”. But what is a dt? Is a model that flies with 10 degrees +, stalling like hell on dt or not? Should a timekeeper really turn off his watch when the model dt’s to have proof that the model dt’ed before 20 sec? Let’s say it turns out the dt time was 21 sec, then the timekeeper has no official time for the flight. This rule was removed by obvious reasons and the text is now written as it is written.

We like to use RCDT, it is allowed in the rules, we like to have the 20 sec rule (it was also removed for some years as you perhaps remember). So we have to decide what we want. No shit with “it is not allowed to dt the model within the first 20 sec of flight”. The rules have to be clear, black or white. In my opinion we have to choose. Either we accept the rules as they are now, which means that anyone who has followed the rule changes can not be surprised about someone dt’ing the model and having a re-flight, it is so clearly written in the rules. Or, if we don’t want the rules to allow this, in my opinion we have two options to solve the “problem”. We can ban RCDT in all freeflight classes, or we can remove the 20 sec rule. It is just to choose.

A little bit more about the contests in Bulgaria. In my last flight I had an accidental hook opening that I didn’t see. My model came off the line when I started a circle and bunted for a certain death towards the ground. I reached for the RCDT, but I wasn’t quick enough, so the model would have crashed if I was not really lucky and the model recovered only 1 or 2 meters over the ground. I wanted to take the model down quickly and save it from landing downwind, and also from certainly getting damaged in the 9 m/s wind. I dt’ed the model and ran to get it quickly before it got damaged. I was also lucky that all this happened before the model flew 20 sec. Perhaps the model would have got more time then 20 sec without the RCDT perhaps not, I can’t tell for sure.


The funny thing is that what happened to me during Bulgaria Cup also happened at least once more during the contests in Bulgaria. A good friend of mine, Laszlo Patocs from Hungary, did exactly the same thing as I did during Bulgaria Cup, but in class F1C during the European champs. His folder was also diving for a certain death after the engine run, but he pushed it down with his RCDT and landed at 19 sec. He had a re-flight, finished 4 in the contest, and also the Hungarian team won the gold medal. Should Laszlo also be called a cheater then? Or perhaps all the flyers in the Hungarian F1C- team are cheaters? Of course Laszlo or the team is not cheaters! Read the rules! Mr Dave Edmonson or anyone else that are not happy with the rules, try to change them, but don’t drag honest people’s names in the mud.

Per Findahl, winner of Bulgaria Cup 2008, class F1A, after a perfectly OK re-flight in the last round.


Use of radio in free flight

The only way is to prohibit radio during contest. I am sure that in the future we will have some people using the trimming capabilities during a contest. I know that 99% of flier are honnest but...
It is time to move now.
Another problem: Is it really fair to DT in huge thermal after 2mn and to have an easy retrieving when your friends are running ne hour, I am not sure.

Radio is a perfect tool for training but is not compatible with the free flight during a contest (except for F1C)



Editorial Comment. For those who are not aware Frederic makes and sells a very high timer/GPD/radio system. Using Frederick's system you can adjust the trim of a model from the ground.  As you can see he does not advocate this in competition, where it is  forbidden.

He does bring up an interesting point about being able to D/t a model early. However there are many things that than give a competative advantage, such as the use of a tracker, or a better tracker, or a motor bike or a bicycle or having a firend retrieve which is ok ? which is not ? This 1s a very gray area.



Orbiteers and Fresno - with Ice cream


Please post about the San Diego Orbiteers 50th Annual/Fresno Gas Model Club's 69th Annual contests, aka, the Dual Clubs Annual. Lost Hills, Sept 27th and 28. FAI, Nostalgia, Old Timer and AMA events. Great 50th Annual T shirts for only $10.

Flyer on the Orbiteers site at

Thanks so much.

Bob Beecroft




Roger Morrell