SEN 1959

Table of Contents - SEN 1959

  1. Remembering 
  2. Dino Toys
  3. Ron's Challenge

Remembering Ken Happersett


I've known him since middle '70's, very good friend and competitor

Alberto Dona

My good friend Kenny has passed away. He will be missed by all that knew him. Truly a great person that would help anyone with any model project they inquired about. I will miss our bi daily conversations about F1c stuff, and my thoughts go out to Lorraine , his loving wife for nearly 40 yrs. She is a special lady who encouraged Kenny to chase his passion. We have all lost a great friend and a wonderful man. He will be missed.Sincerely, 
Michael Achterberg

Kenny was one of the really good guys, and a good friend. 
 George Batiuk

Dino Toys

From:     Michael Achterberg

Fellow Dinosaurs;I meant to say thank you Bernard for your insights. They were exactly right.  I am not sure why people keep insisting on cutting rubber weight down or no VIT, or no DPR and two handed launches. I know Im braindead, but they complain about the cost of models so we throw away all our frontends and start over buying new ones?? Must be missing something here, isn't that more costs???  Why isn't just adding a little weight a simple solution?? I don't get it !!  Maybe dementia  is setting on me sooner than I realized!!  Can someone explain this to me.. Please.. Next, F1c.. Now, here we are with the last of the dinosaurs.. Once again the argument for change, is excessive performance and cost. So we have suggestions of banning flappers, folders, new fuel, which requires new motors and props and most likely new wings. The same discussion as F1b. Arent these more costs?? I think so, but have to ponder this a bit. Yep, I figured it.. It will cost more ! Of course everyone but maybe a very few will just quit and that will eliminate the need to deal with the noisy stuff. But here is a plan. We could shorten the motor run to 4.8 or even 4.5 sec and not have to do anything else. Now, there's a thought. Now F1a.. yes the performance has gone up. But they are just awesome to watch climb. Problem is too many in flyoffs, so don't change anything but only allow a 10 minute launch window before it becomes an attempt. This will cut down amount of people in flyoffs and we still get to watch spectacular zooms. These are simple solutions to performance problems with zero added costs to any event. Please let the boys play with there toys !!! Thank you.Michael Achterberg 

Ron's Challenege

Dear SEN,

I would like to thank Roger for publishing the various proposed rules changes and related comments - and to Ian Kaynes for providing details on some of the proposals for the upcoming CIAM Meeting.

My comments will be directed to F1B only, as that is the only event that I fly.  As a bystander in other categories, I have no comments to make on either F1A or F1C.  Bearing in mind that my comments involve only F1B, I find Ian’s presentation in SEN 1953 rational and well thought out.  I firmly agree that many fields are too small – and very few are large enough to be adequate for flying our current high level models to the prescribed contest format.  Many of us also know first-hand that poor conditions can make fly offs impossible or unsporting.   If we are to solve problems involving the lack of suitable fields, uncertainty in timing, and other unsporting issues - we need to make some changes.  Furthermore, I applaud Ian’s position of coming up with proposed solutions to these issues without making our current models obsolete!  Finally, the comments involving contest administration and our present flying format touch upon some very important and perhaps major factors, which will address other shortcomings within our sport.

Now, on to some specifics with SEN 1953:  I disagree with the comment about F1B in that it is difficult or not reasonable to reduce performance for the reasons presented.  Getting back to basics, a reduction in motor weight will reduce the climb performance – practically the models will not get so high.  The elimination of DPR will further reduce performance, because some high-torque turns will be lost during the hand start.  Finally, a hand start will start the climb at the flyer’s height, which is lower than the height that can be obtained by some of the best practitioners of DPR.  In regards to the difficulty or technology for a beginner in F1B – a basic principle is that you control the power released to the model via the chosen number of strands in the motor and the propeller size.  If you currently fly F1B and you stay with the same prop and number of strands- but make the motors shorter to comply with 25 grams, you will have the same power.  I would expect that you will be able to fly that model with the same model adjustments.  If you stay with the same prop and your current motor length, but drop the number of strands to comply with 25 grams, you will reduce your power.   If you choose this later route, less power is usually less difficult to trim than higher power.  The only proviso is that you may have to change the auto-surface timing and/or deflections - and possibly readjust the thrust angles at the front end.  I don’t think either of these scenarios – standard power or lower power, or the elimination of DPR will cause any great difficulties for either beginners or seasoned veterans.  In my opinion, some of the other issues that have been presented may be worthwhile to consider, but I feel that they do not directly address the proposed changes.

Limiting certain functions, such as auto-rudder, auto-stab, and wing-wiggler will also reduce performance - as it may force some portions of the flight to be less than optimal.  There are issues here, as solutions involving limited auto-surface functions for small field flying versus large field flying, can be very different from each other.   For example, if we are allowed only one (1) auto function, consider the following:  In the big-field case, I feel a single function for Autostab with a right-left power and glide pattern via a fixed rudder will be best for performance.  In contrast, a solution for small fields almost mandates a right hand power pattern, followed by a relatively tight right hand glide.  To get this, it usually requires an auto-rudder function - but you are then left with a fixed stabilizer setting.  As to why would you want to fly this right-right setup - years of experience in flying on small fields has shown that a right hand climb, followed by 30 second or tighter right hand glide circle, is the prudent setup when flying close to tree lines or forests.  This way you stay over the field, and ultimately land on it!   In contrast, when a right-left pattern model is flown on a small field, the model can transition to the left glide at prop fold, but if this is at an unfortunate location (because of wind shifts, thermals, or a weak motor) - the left glide could take you out over the forest, and about three minutes later - into it!   To finish this contrast, the model with the auto-rudder and fixed stabilizer may not climb as high as a model with an auto-stab, and it may result in being a poorer performer in terms of the attainable still air time.   Anyway, dependent upon your field size and you’re your chosen flying style, one trim setup may be best for you on your field – but this same setup may not be suitable for you elsewhere.  I feel that the issue of limiting functions needs to be reviewed more carefully.   I feel that the rule makers should consider these examples and the ramifications involved when deciding on which, if any, or how many functions should be allowed.  I feel this way because whatever setup is allowable by the rules, you should be able to fly it on any field - anywhere.   Finally, I think this issue should be carefully reviewed and addressed - but only after the other proposed changes are adopted and other methods of performance reduction are considered. 

Monopolizing round time has been a problem on some occasions.  Personally, I do not fly with a helper as a personal timekeeper for an entire 60 minute round.  I prefer to fly with a team of two or three, each of us taking 10 – 15 minutes to get off a flight, and then we retrieve.   Although the current rules do not forbid monopolizing a timer when this can be done, I feel we should ethically do what is fair and sporting as a matter of courtesy to our fellow competitors.  However, when the CIAM reviews the contest format, I think that they should consider this carefully.  The USA Team Finals format is a very good example to consider in my opinion.

Anyway, to address what is presently being officially proposed for the upcoming CIAM Meeting:

First:  I am in full agreement with the German Proposals:  25 grams, and release the prop before the model is launched!

Second:  in regard to the FFTC’s thinking  on going from 7 to 5 rounds, and allowing CD’s to select round times and/or longer maximum flight times to suit weather and field conditions & ndash; I think this will help very much to assure fairer sporting results.  If we do this, I feel that the combination of the best flying model and best flying tactician will have a better chance of coming to the top of the results list.  To make this clear, I don’t believe that competition should include a retrieval contest - or that flyers should be penalized because their models fly out of sight or land in some hazard and are impossible to retrieve!  Let’s do what we can to keep our models on the field so we can see them, accurately time them, efficiently retrieve them, and not disturb our neighbors.

In a later issue of SEN, I was very pleasantly surprised to read about the British proposal for ultimately a 2:30 maximum flight time for models with 4 minutes of still air performance.  The surprise was because this was virtually the exact same subject that came up over 40 years ago!  At one contest in 1970 or so, we American and Canadian F1B flyers talked together about 40 versus 50 grams.  The people included Henry Struck, Don Edson, Charlie Learoyd, Mike Segrave, Jerry McGlashan, and several others whose names I don’t remember.   We concluded that we actually liked 40 grams better than 50!  The reason was simply that the reduction in rubber now provided for what we honestly thought was the right amount of challenge!  Specifically, it was a very good balance between efforts required versus model performance attainable.  Yes, at that time we could make a reliable three minute still air model, but you had to do some work for it.  It was also clear that you could no longer be sloppy and get away with it!  Specifically, you needed to adjust your model better, have a good prop and rubber combination, and get to the point where everything was reliable and consistent.   A 4 minute model at that time was considered the Holy Grail - and nobody at that time appeared to have one.  (Note:  This is four minutes in damp, cold Northeastern USA/Canadian air with the rubber of that era).  As such, we tried different trims, airfoils, propellers, and prop-power combinations.  In this process we had to do some thinking, make some changes, and then follow up with testing - but we had fun.  Why was it more fun?  It was because when we worked harder, we were far more satisfied when we succeeded!   

Although the above story is a short digression, I feel it was worth telling as I am sure something similar will transpire again.  So, I say to the people decrying the German and British ideas because they think it will “ruin” the event, I say to them the following:   I am sure we will go even higher tech than you can currently imagine.  We will have to build even better wings, make better props, take more advantage of electronic data loggers, and do more testing in our search for the ultimate. 

In regard to hand starting the propeller, the Mulvihill Trophy (USA) was first awarded in 1919 for a competition involving early variants of our Unlimited (Open) Rubber models.  It is awarded annually at our US Nationals – and it will be 100 years old in four years time.  Over all the years since its introduction, involving many thousands of models built, and possibly dozens or more flights made with each model since then - virtually everyone has flown or flies those models with a hand start!  Let’s also add to this list the people who fly P-30’s, Flying Aces models, SAM Old Timers, the previous generations of F1B sportsmen - and today’s F1B flyers, who make test flights with less than full turns.  We all hold the model with one hand, hold the propeller with the other, let the propeller go, and then launch the model.  The questions for Alex are:  Why is there a problem now?  Who are these people who can’t do this?  What is reason for their inability?  Why don’t they speak up for themselves? 

I would like to offer those F1B flyers who will be attending the upcoming Fab-Feb week at Lost Hills a little challenge.  Some years ago, I build two hand-start F1B’s to challenge two flyers at Wawayanda.   (To use Tom’s words, I effectively said to them, “I’ll dumb down so we can all compete on an equal basis.  Look, here are my models, look at the front ends, no DPR, no VP, no fancy stuff, no excuses now – so let’s fly F1B together and stop complaining!).  I flew these models exclusively for three or four seasons in F1B contests at Wawayanda up until a few years ago.  I also brought them to Lost Hills last February waiting for Larry - He was a no-show.  I have newly re-furbished these models for the Fab-Feb week.  In addition, I am also cutting up thirty or so 25 gram motors (I’m going shorter - same number of strands).  Weather cooperating, I will re-ballast and adjust my simple models with 25 gram motors after the Canadian World Cup event.  To test the German 25 grams and hand start proposal - I will bring these simple F1B models out to the flight line on Sunday, the Max-Men mini-day.  I plan on joining the group, and hope to fly on the official F1G flight line – that is until someone protests or the CD assigns me my own pole.  I will welcome anyone who wishes to fly along with me.  Let’s fly our F1B models in a 25 gram hand start competition.  Let’s do five rounds of 180 second maxes, and then let’s do the fly-offs as needed.  There will be no prizes, we can run the competition among ourselves, but let’s watch each other’s models and be in a position to make objective comments about the German Proposal.  We can go out to dinner afterwards and talk about it – How about Chinese food at Wasco, BBQ at Willow Ranch, or Denny’s close by – your choice.  Let’s also write up our experiences and conclusions and send them off to Ian Kaynes for his and the FFTC’s review.  Furthermore, let’s also submit these experiences and conclusions to SEN so everyone else can read about what happened.   Come and join me on the flight line - I don’t care what language you speak - I will find someone who can translate.

Sincerely yours,

Ron Felix

p.s. Larry and anyone else out there - No $75 USA FAI Stamp required!

Roger Morrell