SEN 2449 - Flyoff Brainstorming

Table of Contents – SEN 2449


Flyoff Brainstorming


  1. At the Equinox
  2. DT Flyoffs and Altimeters
  3. Flyoff ideas
  4. DT-flyoffs expounded
  5. Qbserved


At the Equinox

From: Stuart Darmon


Hi Roger, 


              sorry if the DT flyoff theme is dragging on a bit, but it's an important subject, especially now that discussion is beginning to include potential revision of the sporting code.        I was present at the Equinox Cup although thankfully I had to leave before the flyoff due to vehicle problems. I like and respect John Cuthbert, and although I disagree with his decision there is no question that he acted in what he felt was the best interests of the flyers in a difficult situation. It's easy to sit at home and pontificate on what should have happened, less easy to make the call with a couple of hours of light remaining and the wind blowing the scoreboard over. And that's the first point. The rules don't constrain a CD so much as protect him. If we accept by precedent that it is part of the CD's job to make judgement calls on which bits of the sporting code to ignore and when, we open him up not only to trial by social media after the event but aggressive lobbying by interested parties during it. It's hard enough finding guys of John's calibre to run our events as it is. If we think the sporting code isn't fit for purpose the answer is to change it, not ignore it, or we'll end up like the Wild West (no offence...)       I am not convinced that the code is as broken as some people would suggest. For example, the Equinox flyoffs would not have seen models going into "a forest". Several competitors in the final 3 minute round landed in a small strip of trees. A long max would have overflown these, and while not all the models might be seen to the ground, the result would have been just as "sporting", would have complied with the rules, and quite possibly provided an opportunity for some of the altimeter wrangling that everyone was so keen on this time last year. As it was, both participants in the F1C flyoff ended up DT'ing into that very strip of trees(!), and to add insult to injury, for exactly the same score so they ended up sharing the prize and points anyway. Nobody is forced to fly off if they don't want to, and nothing I've found in the sporting code states that models have to cost $3000. Already it's been suggested that we fly off with a two-minute working time (no opportunity for air picking so all down to ultimate model performance) and 30 metre towlines (humungous launch essential, see above). Those trees would stll have been 2 3/4 minutes downwind where they always were. At least some of our perceived problems are in our heads.                                      Regards, Stuart



DT Flyoffs and Altimeters


From: Gil Hagay


DT Flyoffs and Altimeters


I too prefer an evening fly off, low breeze, with the sunset as a background and a clear winner. Unfortunately this romantic view can't be achieved in all events.


The use of DT flyoff on the other hand is not according to the sporting code and therefore must receive the consent of all flyoff participants beforehand. It is also not equal since the DT descending rate is different between the models.


But a winner must be declared. This is what a competition all about.

The use of an altimeter should be implemented in cases when another regular flyoff can't be flown. The winner is the one that the altimeter readings will show it is the highest a minute (or another determined period) after the launch (and in case of equal readings 10 seconds after that and so on). This exception should be added to the code. The rules of altimeter use in flyoffs are already in it (even though it was not implemented to my knowledge in any event yet. FF flyers are very conservative).


Gil Hagay


Flyoff ideas

From:Michael Achterberg


Flyoff ideas. This is a difficult situation to fix. Just a thought for all 3 events. But each event should be decided by a consensus of the people that fly that event and they should make a proposal to Ciam. F1a is fairly easy I think.  

First off shorten the flyoff round to say 3 min. 


Then the F1a flyers should decide what length of tow line to use. I was thinking 30 meters. 


This is easy to solve.F1c. This is simple. 3 min.  Flyoff round. And then shorten motor run to 3 or 2.5 sec. The models have enough speed to bunt as they climb straight up anyway. All have Etimers so no major changes need to be made. They will only get 90m. or so. 3 min round limits thermal picking. But once again let the flyers of this event propose the rule.  


Now, the problem event. Rubber!!We can use 25 or even 20gr motors, but this requires many test flights and many timing changes of functions and so on. And in the wind less power very problematic. Very difficult and time consuming for this event. I suggest we just add 30, 40, 50 gr to the model. The CD can easily make up a sticky back lead weight that is stamped for identification and allow the flyers to stick to bottom of motor tube at the CG. We all use shorter motors in windy conditions, so the adjustments needed won't really be that much. The model just won't burst as high or cruise well. This will probably keep models in the 70/80 meter range and of course won’t glide too well. 

Just some thoughts, and none are perfect but manageable. All the above are just suggestions and hopefully there will be few contests that this needs to be done. An like I said just some ideas. And of course go back to 7 rounds as this will reduce the numbers in flyoffs. This is a no brainer..


Thermals, Michael


DT-flyoffs expounded

From: Aram Schlosberg 

On the last day of a contest or under exceptionally poor weather conditions, with the jury’s approval, a DT-flyoffs of 1 or 2-minute maxes is allowed, provided 3 regular rounds are completed.


A flight exceeding the DT-time by more than 3 seconds disqualified.


When there are more than 12 clean flyers DT-flyoffs will be held in shifts. The top half/third of a shift will proceed to the next flyoff when there are at most 24/36 clean flyers. Those who qualify will fly in a second DT-flyoff.


The final ranking of those in the second DT-flyoff is based on their absolute times. (Their first flyoff times are ignored.) The ranking of those who did not qualify for the second flyoff is based on their absolute time in the first DT-flyoff across all shifts. Only ties in the top three places will require a tie breaker.


If DT-flyoffs are permitted, flyers would be required to post a model’s stab DT angle on it’s fuselage. Models that spin, rock or tumbling during their DT-flyoff decent will be impounded. If their stab’s angle deviates by more than 3 degrees from the posted one, or if the model’s DT angle is in the top 95% or the lower 5% of DT angles on models in that event, the flight is disqualified.


Rational: the DT time is part of the flyoff. Trying to slow it down by risking the model is an unsporting behavior.


Overall rational: DT-flyoffs are simple to administer and entail short retrieves. Models are flown as is, without modifying their propitious source - motor weight or engine run or shortening the towing line. This also skirts to “excess performance” issue.

DT-flyoff’s outcomes are not arbitrary. Placing well is a combination of performance and air picking.






The Editor


Firstly thanks to people sharing ideas and opinions. What is very important is that people contribute ideas, not matter how crazy the ideas are, … and that we treat the ideas we don’t like or think are crazy with respect.


Secondly that John Cuthbert,  Ian Kaynes and Per Findahl indicated some of the issues that have happened and this should be kept in mind.


Whatever we come up needs to practical with the constraints of the FAI Free Flight community.  Clearly the FAI has grandiose expectation in moving to the closer to the IOC and for example including adherence to WADA and drug testing but all our events are run by people just like you and me who do this fun and to help our friends as John Cuthbert and Per point out. So it to be something that is easily implemented by us, just regular guys, there is not some paid, specially licensed official at each contest making sure that all is above board. Some of the goings on FIFA, the IOC , etc don’t necessarily make them good role model.


Finally it has to be perceived to be fair.  What start all this discussion off was someone who thought it was not fair that an event was not run according to the rules.  The sporting code and following it is supposed to make it fair. And it must appear to be so to all concerned.


Now the Q part of Qbserved


But I did notice that no one has suggested ideas for F1Q a class where there is a way of ‘diluting’   performance in Fly offs by reducing the allotted energy.  In his article Ian Kaynes mentioned that some contestants persuaded the CD not to do that in the Saltonta Cup, that did cause some the contestants some considerable retrieval difficulties for some, including the winner. Is that fair ?