SEN-485 October 10 2000
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News and Reports 2000 - second half
SCAT Electroniuc News 10 October 2000 issue 485
Table of contents
Nats dates - Brroks
Burford - Bryant
[indoor] F1D World Champs: Slanic, Romania (long) - Andresen & Kagan
Since there is soon to be a meeting to decide future Nats dates, I
thought I'd throw in my $0.02 worth. I hope someone will give some
consideration to moving the date up a month or so. The corn in July is
just way too high!!! It broke my spirit to chase my Mulvi into that corn
on three consecutive flights, so that the next day when I flew F1B, and I
knew that every flight was potentially corn bound, I just gave up. Even
if the corn was only chest high that would be a significant improvement,
but 10 feet??? Each nasty, serrated, knife-like leaf impudently slapping
your face as you struggle blindly though the forest of resisting stalks;
and not a bug or a weed to be seen. What kind of chemical nightmare am I
Had a phone call last night to say that Gordon had taken a stroke
while driving up to see John French. I went up to see him today. He is
ok but has suffered a bit of brain damage. I told him,with a brain like
his, a loss of a little bit wont hurt. I was to take Gordon down to
the Hunter for a eletrice? fly in. Thats off.
[indoor] F1D World Champs: Slanic, Romania (long)
While the outdoor guys were being blown out @ Livotto, TeamUSA was blowing
out the F1D competition 600' underground.
John Kagan, in his first team berth and first visit to the Salt Mine, showed
the big boys how it's done.
6x WC Jim Richmond was 2nd and Larry Coslick 8th for team win.
John Tipper (UK) had highest single flight but came in 3rd.
Returning WC Steve Brown ended up with a box of toothpicks thanks to KLM but
was able to salvage 4th after much repair and retriming.
Former WC Bud Romak gained high praise as team manager.
Organization and facilities were much improved according to reports.
Not having the Gore expertise on the web, I'll include Mr Kagan's entire
report, which you may want to reference for those interested.
Will let you get back to the gym to build up those winding muscles,
>From: "John Kagan"
>Subject: [indoor] F1D World Champs: Slanic, Romania (long)
>Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2000 18:22:37 EDT
>I know I liked reading accounts of the previous World Championships, so
>are some notes from my trip. A little disclaimer to start: everything here
>is quite “John-centric” because, well, I’m writing it. I hope that there
>will be other accounts that can help round out the experience.
>First: the travel. There was a lot of driving and flying - it is really
>exhausting to spend that much time in airplanes and cars. Getting there
>early for a few extra practice days was a very good idea (thanks, Bud
>Romak). It gave those of us new to the mine (well, just me) some valuable
>practice and it gave everyone more time to get over the jet lag - 7 to 10
>I saw many small carry-on airplane boxes at the competition, usually
>containing two airplanes. Mine worked well and I had very little
>getting permission to bring it on board, even on crowded (read “FULL”)
>flights. The rest of my models were in a relatively small Gator-board box
>with all the wings laying flat with folding posts. The whole box was
>wrapped in bubble-wrap and foam for travel. It was given special attention
>on the way over and simply checked as regular baggage on the way back. The
>box took some abuse on the return trip – crushed edges and corners, handle
>pushed in – but the models inside incurred no damage. Small boxes and flat
>mounting surfaces are the way to go. I saw the same method used
>successfully by Larry Coslick, Jim Richmond, Edmund Liem, Vladimir
>Fred Tellier, and many others. Steve Brown used a big box and had all his
>rudders “popped” by an apparent sharp knock and his wings vibrated out of
>their mounting sockets when his box was loaded upside-down (we saw it on
>luggage cart in Frankfurt, but could do nothing about it). He told me that
>large, old-style boxes like his were just simply outdated and not
> After the competition he very generously donated the box and three
>to the Israeli team, making their first World Championship appearance.
>Next: the accommodations. Simply wonderful. I had such a great time that
>my teammates sarcastically referred to me as “bubbly” and said that I
>consider moving there. The food was very good and quite plentiful. We had
>three course meals morning, noon, and night. I actually skipped one dinner
>because I was eating too much. The hotel was certainly not what an “ugly
>American” traveler might be used to but, as I told me teammates, it was
>better than some of places my collage buddies live in. The room was clean,
>there was always hot water (although one morning there was not much water
>pressure), and the TV programming was interesting – we spend many evenings
>vegging in front of the tube after a long day in the mine. I have to give
>hearty “thank you” you our Romanian hosts. They took very good care of us
>and made our stay quite comfortable. People who had been there previously
>told me that things had improved a lot. Maybe some of those who have said
>they won’t go back might reconsider now.
>Next: the flying site. The mine is incredible. Words and pictures don’t
>it justice. It must be experienced to be appreciated. The temperature is
>cold, as I was amply warned, but I’ve learned how to dressing warmly,
>in the Northeast U.S. as I am. With thermals, fingerless gloves, a hat,
>thermal fleece vest, and a winter jacket, I actually had to shed layers
>days because I got too warm. Flying models while dressed like that wasn’t
>as hard as I thought it would be. Actually it didn’t really get in the way
>The drift was quite minimal, especially for such a large site. I’ve
>experienced far worse at Lakehurst and Akron. In fact, three of my last
>four flights required no steering at all, and the last need just one touch
>and one steer to get centered in the early stages of the climb. There was
>actually a centering effect at the top of the mine. My circle just fit
>between the catwalks, and whenever the model drifted close to one side it
>tended to be centered on the next pass. There was more drift lower down
>in some parts of the mine it moved toward bad places – like a big cavern in
>one section about 100 feet up. But it was much easier to steer at those
>altitudes, especially with the spotlights. I saw that most teams had
>spotlights, a must-have on a team’s equipment list. What little drift we
>saw was almost certainly due to the heat rising off people. It was
>to stall a model at 30 feet by standing under it. The large amount of
>ground lighting, on the other hand, used fluorescent bulbs that generated
>very little heat and hence little turbulence.
>Next: the flying. The cold air and tall site does require more power but,
>based on information Steve Brown published from his previous trips, I
>increased my motor weight (1.9gm .080” x 17”) and used smaller props (21” x
>36”), and everything worked as normal. I climbed to the top in about 12
>minutes and had a nice cruise and descent. However, I ran into what has
>become a standard first-timers problem in the salt mine: no turn on launch.
>My first two official flights found me running after my model steering it
>off the walls until the turn started kicking in. I tried several things to
>correct the problem – more wing wash, more stab tilt – but the one thing
>that fixed it the best was an ample amount of left thrust. It looked odd
>the model stand, but it did the trick. Subsequent launches had a large
>beginning circle, but the model was turning and the circle got small enough
>by the time it got close to the top.
>I saw many models torque-ing around on launch with excessive down-thrust.
>didn’t experience these problems, but I don’t think it was because my motor
>sticks were significantly stronger. I think that the large motor I was
>using allowed me to back-off much of the initial peak, reliving a lot of
>stress on the model (2300 turns in, 170 backed off, 60 left after flight).
>It is worth noting that my motor selection was in stark contrast to Jim
>Richmond’s, who used something like a 1.2gm .065” x 16” loop motor. His
>models climbed to the same height with the same rpm in the same amount of
>time, which doesn’t seem possible, but which I can deal with because I’m
>willing to accept that Jim a magician with these models.
>John Tipper used a motor similar in cross section to Jim’s but longer, with
>a smaller prop (21” x 30”?), to achieve the meet’s high time. John used a
>ceiling scrubbing strategy that it likely not possible with a braced model.
>It might be a good plan for an overall win in a site like the salt mine;
>have 6 tries to get 2 full flights.
>I didn’t use a VP, but with the amount of back-off I used I think there
>might be some potential for an advantage – I could use more of the initial
>turns without out climbing the site.
>I was happy to find that ¼ and ½ motors produced spot-on height and time.
>That is, once I started using them correctly. I had over ballasted the ¼
>motor stick the first competition day and subsequently hit the walls at the
>top on the full motor flights, breaking two wings in the process (ok, I
>know, it was stupid). Once that small oversight was corrected things
>started working properly.
>Finally: the contest. Steve Brown did a good job getting several of his
>models back into flying condition, although he was very displeased about
>abundance of patches. His models did well once he worked out the climb
>issues, and I believe he would have placed much higher given a bit more
>I was helping him for some of his flights and he let me pick the launch
>location for round 4. I chose to put his model into the “L” at the end of
>the mine and it worked out very well. He put up a 44+, I think, that
>required no steers. From that point on almost all the US flights went up
>in the same area.
>Larry Coslick put in good times, but lost his best model to a steering
>mishap in the early rounds. He also was sick for most of the contest,
>leaving him pretty tired (Fred Tellier and Bud Romak also caught something
>and look in less-than-peak form for much of the contest)
>After an unskillful first day I managed a 42+ and 43+ in rounds 3 and 4,
>flying in the “L” area. I felt much better going into the last day with
>good team times “in the bank”.
>Jim Richmond had a commanding lead after the second day and put more
>distance on the field with a 46:39 in round 5. He chose to fly under the
>new salt section at the very beginning of the contest area. He was the
>person that I saw fly there. The centering effect was working well, but he
>drifted close to the side at one point while he was very high. He put his
>balloon up and pulled off a perfect steer, centering back up nicely. I
>heard him comment sardonically “nothing to it…”.
>I had backed off about 200 turns and then deadsticked in rounds 3 and 4, so
>I made a couple of changes that I hoped would slow the prop and reduce the
>climb, leaving more turns at the end and allowing me to back off less: I
>raised the front wingpost about 1/8” and opened the circle slightly. I
>launched round 5 with 20 fewer turns backed off and 80 more turns put in
>(2240 - I was using the slightly over-strong motor from rounds 3 and 4 and
>it was stretching out nicely). The flight was 45:34 and during lunch I
>started thinking that I “only” needed at 46:36+ to move into first.
>Having the high time on the team, Jim got to select when to fly in the last
>round and he chose to go last. Knowing that I needed a minute more than
>last flight I put 60 extra turns in and backed off 10 less. I had to steer
>once slightly on the first circle to clear the left wall, and then once
>to get it centered during the climb. The flight looked to me like it was
>between the catwalks while I paced around nervously, but judging height in
>the mine is deceiving and the model probably had about 10-15’ to spare.
>After about 44 minutes I knew it was going to be very very close and I
>couldn’t actually watch the landing. I heard Bud cheering and he told me
>was 46:42. Now the pressure was back on Jim, who commented “I guess I
>Jim needed a 45 and-a-half something, certainly achievable. He launched
>into the “L” area was centered for most of the flight. However, at around
>20 minutes he started drifting toward the left side, the first time that
>happened in about 6+ flights I had watched in that area. There were two
>spotlights on his plane, but he was pretty far away down the hall and was
>having trouble with visibility. He ended up snagging the plane on the
>monofilament below the caulk backing and ruined the flight. It was a tough
>way to end the contest.
>About this time a big cheer came up from the British camp and I heard a
>of mumble-mumble-7. There couldn’t have been that much excitement over a
>37, so it must have been 47. I remembered seeing John Tipper’s plane
>bumping around the ceiling, but that seemed like such a long time ago. But
>that’s what it turned out to be, John made the high time of the meet with a
>47:21. That sent many of us scrambling to check his backup time, which was
>good enough to put him on the podium.
>Overall, the trip was very comfortable; the flying was challenging and
>competitive; the site is one of the world’s best; and there was friendly
>camaraderie – both within my team and with other countries. Thanks go to
>Bud Romak for being an excellent team manager (and having “contacts”
>everywhere we turned); to Aurel Popa and our other Romanian hosts for
>such good care of us; and to the organizers for running a great contest.