SEN 2460 - Taking a fresh look at DT FO while remembering Bob Norton & looking for ET

Table of Contents – SEN 2460


Taking a fresh look at DT FO while remembering Bob Norton & looking for ET


  1. DT fly offs
  2. Take a Fresh Look
  3. Looking for a particular F1B E-Timer
  4. RIP Bob Norton
  5. Next SCAT Black Cup reminder 


DT fly offs

From: Allard van Wallene


Another 3 World Cup competitions (Swedish, Danish and Norwegian Cups) have been added to the ‘DT fly off’ routine with 2 times 3 minutes and 1 time 60 seconds glide. I have watched two of these fly offs from up close (as timekeeper / spectator) and can therefore present some first hand observations.


-In F1A, DT times moved in the 1 to 20 second range and depended heavily on the way the model came down under DT. A spinning type of DT or a flat DT. Some fly-off participants DT’d ‘flat’ and had a clear advantage over ‘spinning type DT’ possibly despite being in worse air.


-In F1B, all models DT ‘flat’ and without exception, the highest model scored the highest ‘flight times’.


-Time keeper error weighs heavy on the time under DT and rounding-off of the flight times can make or break a win. A slight hesitation stopping the watch might give a 1 second edge over the closest competitor. Same story (but reversed) for starting the watch at launch. A 1 second error is a 10% error in the final ranking (at a DT time of 10 seconds), compared to about 0.3% for a normal sporting code fly off (flight time 5 minutes).


-A typical fly off model should have a very high launch and slow DT descent rate. The air and glide performance becoming less of a performance factor.


-Time keepers are not experienced enough to time both moment of DT and moment of touch-down. Rumour has it that in some cases (not in Sweden) this has been abused by some sportsmen to set the timer to 3:01 up to 3:03 to gain advantage over the competition and where the inexperienced time keeper(s) qualified such times as a ‘valid 3 minute DT’ (see also Achterberg’s comment on F1C engine runs in the previous SEN).


All in all, the DT-type fly off appears to be commonplace although neither being announced in the contest invitations nor according to the sporting code, yet all fly off participants appeared to accept it to ‘force’ a result. Needless to say, only one single protest is required not to apply such system. It is high time the CIAM gives a clear statement as to the allowability of such fly offs.






Take a Fresh Look

From: Martin Dilly

Let’s have a fresh look at the F1 classes, with an eye to the realities of what today’s situation actually is.


First there are maybe two (2) sites in the world where models with the performance enabled by the current rules can be flown to their full potential in a fly-off, and indeed often in the rounds, without some sort of downwind problem, - trees, crops, rivers, swamps, housing etc. One is the World Champs site in Mongolia and the other, in most weather conditions, is Lost Hills. Admittedly there isn’t much known in the West about the sites where some of the Russian World Cup contests take place so there may be a few more.


 We thus see more and more cases where contest results are arrived at by means that may be outside the Sporting Code, e.g. DT fly-offs, and are certainly unsatisfactory for the flyers. In addition a high percentage of entrants often reach the fly-off, leading to problems of finding sufficient timekeepers or to unsatisfactory methods like split fly-offs. Let’s not hear any more about events being run for the competitors, not for the convenience of the organisers; if organizing fly-offs, finding enough timekeepers, fending off protests and preserving flying sites becomes too onerous there won’t /be/ any organisers.


We seem to have given up any hope of attracting newcomers to the three main outdoor FAI classes, as the sheer cost of competing must deter many, while we tell ourselves that flying F1 is like the Formula One of model flying and not supposed to be easy or cheap. That, of course, is a false analogy; Formula One isn’t a sport at all, but rather an advertising medium involving fast cars.


Those who have invested a lot of money in a flock of models (usually four or more) must not be discouraged by any rule changes that make their investment obsolete, so a change of model specification looks like a non-starter. However, one factor that has been responsible for the big performance increases is the amount of energy that gets the models to the start of their glides. Reduce that and models are more likely to stay within the confines of more flying fields.


How to do it? OK, here’s a thought. For F1A a short length of ‘weak link’ monofilament is supplied by the organizer; it could be dyed a distinctive colour. This is placed in parallel with the normal towline so that the weak link takes the launch loads, not the normal towline, which remains slack beside the weak link during launch. The timekeepers check the towline after the flight; a broken weak link is an attempt. That should put a stop to 100 metre launches.


For F1B, how about half motors, as used by F1D indoor flyers, the other half being replaced by a rod of suitable weight.


In F1C is a two second run, with the timer checked first with a demonstration run on the ground, quite impossible?

If our sport is to remain viable we need to do some rapid thinking



Looking for a particular F1B E-Timer


  I am looking for ether a Cooney E-Timer (also sold by Andriukov) at least Rev. E or later or an ADR Timer, later versions,sold by Star-Link

. Must be in good working condition.

You can contact me with details by e-mail  at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



 Paul Crowley



RIP Bob Norton


From: Merry Smith 


It is never too late to say goodbye to a fellow flyer.  Bob Norton passed away on June 19th, 2018 after a long battle with Parkinson's.  He loved his wife, Sue, his children and grand children, his music, his flying, his dogs and his friends in what ever order you want to put them.


Bob was one of the first ones to tutor Norm when he was starting to flying the F1H.  In return, in later years, Norm helped Bob when Bob was having a hard time flying as the result of pre-Parkinson's.  That is what friends do.


He was a wonderful man and the flying community has missed him long before he was gone.


Keep on keeping on, Bob.  Love Merry and Norm



Next SCAT Black Cup reminder 


Please put out a reminder, Black Cup.this Sat ,July 7 at LH,

 Ed Carroll is CD.