SEN 2272 - 1 March 2017

Table of Contents – SEN 2272

  1. Re: SEN 2271 F1a restrictions   
  2. Continued FB Discussion
  3. Just Curious
  4. Tone reminder


Re: SEN 2271 F1a restrictions 

from ron kreetz
Don't spoil the game and let devellopment go. Like other (soaring) sports
introduce an F1a (F1b and/or F1c) Standard class with e.g. fixed wing
without flappers, wigglers, restricted wingspan, non geared etc.
Ron Kreetz

Editor’s Comment : Ron’s post is interesting because it indirectly proposes a form of ‘natural’ transition to another class.  So taking F1A as an example you have a model with limited span and no variable area or camber wings. This could be flown in a regular F1A event where the person would qualify for both the overall prize and a standard class prize.  Do this for a trial period  would see if this type of model was practical, attracted interest and how performance compared.  From reading it appears that some countries Sweden ? Already do this.  Note that we tried this at the Kiwi Cup with the Frank Zaic awards and while we got a few hardened Luddites we did not get much interest. Maybe promoting this on a wider scale such as a World Cup or at least a ranking of ‘standard’ models.

There is clearly some discussion about what complex features contribute to the performance. The most obvious are variable camber and area.  It is not so clear if span is a real issue.  While carbon wings are required for longer wings, using carbon in shorter wings makes then more robust and last longer so in the long run they may well be cheaper that all wood wings

Continued FB discussion

Constantin-Aurelian Brînzoi I believe there is no need to nerf f1a class... it's the most challenging and spectacular class.

Tony Mathews Limiting span only and not the airfoil will have a small effect on performance. A short wing with the correct airfoils and structure can still reach high launches (over 100 meters) and glide well. Same with F1B. True limits on performance can only come by limiting the technology available and creating a more highly regulated design (similar to motor sports). The question is whether this is both truly desirable to the majority of F1A sportsmen and whether it would have any significant effect on participation. F1P and "Classic" Glider (USA event) have severe restrictions on the technology and are have the lowest popularity of the classes. If limiting technology to make the models simpler was the answer to get more people flying, you'd see big numbers in those events. You do not. That said, P30 and E36 are both popular and have limited technology so show that it can work. However, I wonder if people are attracted to events with strong competition? If there is an event with only 1 or 2 people to compete against in the world why bother?

Don DeLoach Not true about Classic Towline Glider. It consistently has 15-20 entrants at the AMA Nats. Slightly more than F1A in fact.

Ken Bauer What problem are we trying to solve? FF power models have been getting over 100 meters high for more than 50 years so that's not a problem! Judging from the 3 F1A events just completed at Lost Hills the event seems as healthy as ever. About 50 to 60 participants in the contests (Tony check me on this) and all three were won by fixed wing gliders with no flaps and just the typical surface movements.(Tony check me again please) And all contests were completed on a field with trees on two sides thanks to responsible relations between the flyers and owners. Innovation in wing designs, hard work, and thermals result in contest winners. What could be more pure free flight than that!
Tony Mathews Ken, yes large contests in Lost Hills. 2 of the 3 won by decent models (not extreme at all) flown into good air. Flappers did not dominate this time. And I agree, I'm not sure why F1A achieving 100 meters is somehow more troublesome than F1C or F1B. F1C's have climbed over 100 meters for many, many years.

Bernard Guest Key statement: " this could bring F1A models back into the realm of the "average" FAI flier." This is the crux of the matter I think. This is why some people talk about rule changes and limiting performance. So, setting good reasons for reducing performance aside (for example: "all the flyoff models flew out of sight in the 10 minute F1C flyoff") we are left with a general gripe amongst a portion of the FAI crowd that the performances of the top flyers are basically unattainable. So the thinking seems to be, "if you can't beat em, hobble em". I couldn't disagree more. F1A should not be brought "back into the realm of the "average" FAI flier". If the average flier wants to stand on the podium then the the average flier needs to put the effort in to bring his or her level up to the performance of the best fliers. This may mean equipment upgrades but if you want to win you have to make the necessary sacrifices just like any other sport. If the average flyer does not want to make the sacrifices needed to be a better than average flier then they should accept that they are not going to stand on the podium most of the time. There is nothing wrong with competing against yourself and your last best performance. You can do this happily with whatever gear you have on hand. There is something fundamentally wrong with trying to argue for a rule change so that everyone is forced to be the same as you. Some call that socialism ??
Don DeLoach Are you positing that F1A is basically the same as it was before the LDA/flapper revolution?

Bernard Guest Not at all. LDA was/is a revolution no question, but I don't see a crushing need to limit performance. At least not yet. As for flappers, I have yet to be impressed by flappers. I have not seen them do anything that is that much better if at all than a good LDA model.

Bernard Guest As Ken says "what problem are we trying to solve?" Someone tell me that answer to this and then we can talk. The answer can't be "well my models aren't good enough and my back hurts so I need you guys to stop launching so high".

Don DeLoach Fair enough. Thx Bernard.

Alexandre Cruz Would a mechanic fuse in the line limiting maximum pull solve the issue?
[Editors comment – Alexandre – these was a discussion about this in SEN  sometime back with input from those involved a similar situation with F3B plus some addition Free Flight aspects that showed for a number of reasons including safety that this was not a workable approach] 

Just Curious

At the Feb Lost Hills Contests we saw a number of very spectacular launches but it is very difficult estimate the height of the launch and that why people have altimeters.  The launch height is also affected by other factors such as the wind and firmness of the ground.  A number of F1As have altimeters that record every flight.  Are there are any SEN readers that would like to submit for publication their altimeter readings from the actual contest rounds and fly offs at the Lost Hills Fab Feb contests ?

Tone reminder

We got a comment that a reader considered the tone of some of the previous FB F1A discussion to harsh or disrespectful.  We did not consider it so otherwise we would not have published it.  But we remind everyone that SEN and FB are special  places where we can have a discussion amongst Free Flight Sportsmen world wide because after all this is about FAI Free Flight , a Word Wide sport. This discussion is very critical for the survival of Free Flight as we are facing many issues today.  It is important to be polite and it is important to remember that for many people they are writing in English, which is not their first language so the choice of words may not always be the best.  But it is important then we encourage the sharing of ideas. Many current flyers have a lot vested in their F1 class airplanes.  While there is no doubt that monetary cost of the models is important, the real cost has two more important elements – the time we have spent on the model, thinking, working on it, trimming  and the emotional involvement.  This sometimes will give rise the nature of the comment or reply.