SEN-385 March 14 2000

News and Reports 2000 - First half
SCAT Electronic news 14 March 2000

Table of Contents

RCDT the future - Tribe
Proposals - Lorbiecki
NFFS website updates - Mekina
RCDT - van Dijk

RCDT or why can a dog lick .. - Toto fron Kansas
Info Part One - Bogie
Info part Two - Andre

RCDT the future
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I read Michael Achterberg and Ken Bauer's enthusiastic endorsement of
RCDT, but didn't the note of caution from Aram sink in; if the first
generation of RCDT equipment does not have 'In Flight' trimming
facilities the second generation surely will( purely for setting up the
model in the first place,I'll disable it for a contest, nod nod wink
Well, if I am half a mile down wind with 6 maxes already ( an unlikely
scenario for me) and the model starts to develop a bit of a stall and
two quick pushes on a button in my pocket will sort it out, I could be
And who would care? Ken has already told us in his previous messages
when he introduced the subject that 'he has found out about several
other (other than who?) F1A flyers already using this type of system, in
one case for two years already and in contests as well!' So was this
most grave and deliberate flaunting of the most basic of F/F rules
reported to the contest director, or subsequently to the appropriate
Governing Authority? Best just to draw your own conclusions on that one.
Sadly, although I can see the enormous benefits in using a simple RCDT
system, I can't help thinking that it will be the thin end of a wedge
which will be unstoppable.

Peter Tribe.

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Hi all!

It has been a long time since I have flown competitive FAI events, but
after seeing the proposals, I thought I would comment. I am getting back
into it and have been somewhat in awe of what has happened. The
technology really doesn't scare me, but the cost somewhat has. Even tho
you don't "have" to have the big wings and bunt to just fly, it seems
that no longer can the normal model be constructed by normal means.

The Power (oops, F1C) changes were of particular interest to me. I have
a few older models left from the early '90's, sheeted 80" wings, Rossis,
and "normal" auto surfaces as well as a pair of old Zingos (that I used
to qualify at the Semis at Wright-Pat: In fact, one of these models
nearly DTed onto the XB-70- I bet the USAF would have had something to
say about that!). From what I understand, these models would suddenly be
reasonably competitive. I wonder how many other US flyers have the same
situation? Our club (the Bong Eagles) used to be very competitive in the
FAI events. However, some members passed on while others simply decided
that flying power was too much work and now only fly P-30 or indoor.

Like it or not, FAI events are specialized to the point that you must
WANT to do it. It is just like the drag racing that I do. Some people
will do everything in the power to be competitive while others treat it
like a hobby (maybe that is how it is supposed to be!).

I just wonder how many people really would bring out the old stuff (or
make new stuff for the rules)? Nordic (oops, F1A) really wouldn't change
that much, but here again would more people fly? Same with Wakefield
(there I have used all the old words!!). I would be willing to bet that
there would not be a great jump in attendance. It just is the nature of
the beast.

So, would I like to see the changes? Yeah, I think I would because I
like building sheeted wings. But would it truly help the events? I don't
think so.

And, yes Hardy, I will be building something, but not for this season.

By the way, I write the Power section for the NFFS Digest and would like
to prepare an article on the latest mechanisms that people are using for
auto surfaces as well as bunts. If you have something that I could use,
please send it to:

John Lorbiecki
1508 Valley View Dr.
Hubertus, WI. 53033

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Thanks and sorry it was so long......

The Duke DTs
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For the record, I am not and was not against RCDT. I sure do wish it was in
my model when the power lines hit it.

NFFS website updates
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Fellow Free Flighters,
and Science Olympiads,

After finally completing my move, I have gotten back to the NFFS website
after only doing minimal updates while moving.

At this point there are several "new" things including the addition of a good
many pictures form last years's Max Men annual.

You will also find information on the Science Olympiad (pictures and some
really good tips by Jeff Englert).

There is also 2000 NATS entry forms and information under "Contest Info" and
two three views under "Beginers Corner". There is also information on the
National Cups, with more information on the wings to follow soon. These
entry forms, Nastional Cup info and forms, and three views are in Portable
Document Format (PDF) which requires an Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.
For those of you who do not have it loaded, it is available for free from
Adobe, information and links to Adobe's site is also contained on the website
on pages with PDF formated information.

Look more updates soon as I begin to get back into the swing of things!

Joe Mekina
NFFS webmaster

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I had the intention not to involve in the RCDT discussion Any more.
After reading the last 2 scat-mails I needed to make a few short

* I'm completely pro RCDT since it is very useful during testflying on
small fields. But this is no reason to change FAI rules! Lets not defer
from the subject and only use arguments that imply to contest flying!!!!

* When reading the latest SCAT-mail even the Pro-RCDT people seem to
agree that the advantages of RCDT during contest can be neglected ; when
the model is 150 m high and 1500 m away you can not tell where it will
land after DT!!!!!! Why make the rules complicated if there is hardly no

* It does not matter how the RCDT system technically works. When looked
at it as a black box is gives the flyer a the possibility to change the
setting of the model during the actual flight! This is in conflict with
the basic definition of free flight! The convention DT systems do not
conflict with this basic definition of free flight since they are set
prior to the actual flight and can not be influenced during the flight!

I realize probably the RCDT will get through. I don't think a lot will
change when it does. I do foresee some problems with the next
discussion. The next step will be to allow other RC functions, like
controlling the model back to the starting line etc. The same arguments
used to allow RCDT can be use on these features. In fact these features
are already being used!!! It can not be right to allow RC functions on a
free flight model!!!!


Maarten van Dijk.

RCDT or why can a dog lick ..


I'm sure you stay awake nights wishing you had more material for the RCDT
discussion! Here's some more:

I was a strong proponent of RCDT for F1A & F1B untill all the discussion took
place. The argument that RCDT takes the model out of free flight is as
specious as John Worth's old argument that a fuse D/T takes it out of FF.

However, after the discussion started, we started hearing about the tactical
advantages of an early D/T and we heard about the concept of changing
programs in mid flight by R/C, etc.

I'm reminded of the old schoolboy humor, "Why does a dog lick his privates?"
Answer: "Because he can!" How many bad decisions have you heard of which
resulted from someone taking an action just because he picked up a capability
he didn't have before technology made it available? This subject of RCDT is
such an idea. If we could insist that any R/C action terminates the flight
immediately with whatever score the model has accumulated at that point, it
would, perhaps, be acceptable. But we can't. The very discussion has gotten
us out of the FF area & into the R/C area. And there would be no way to
police it. If I am a CD & a certain contestant has an R/C device on his
model & I am reasonably certain that he used it to damp out a stall, how do I
prove it?

Jim O'Reilly

Info Part One
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Regarding disenfranchising, I tried many times to encourage early publication
of proposed rules changes so that our input could be considered. In some
cases, receipt of the proposals were so close to voting time that no chance
was there to be heard. Also, there was no way easily to get the changes
published quickly. This newsletter can do that.

However, if our AMA president considers that he can make up his mind, we are
at a great loss. If our technical representative is not questioned, we lose.
We need to present a position with our Academy so that the affected can be

Bill Bogart

Info part Two
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Hi Roger,

Can you put this on SEN:

Several people on this list have complained about being ill-informed about
the current rule change proposals, the decision procedures, etc.. There is a
simple solution to that: take a subscription to Free Flight News. Free
Flight News is edited by Ian Kaynes, the CIAM Free Flight Subcommittee
chairman. Summaries of all the proposals were published in FFN. The
reasoning behind the Sports Class proposal was extensively explained by Ivan
Horejsi in FFn 9910.

Ian does a great job and he is allways very fast in supplying all the CIAM
and World Cup related information. He often manages to get the results and a
report of the world championships on your doormat within one or two weeks.
FFn appears monthly. Subscription data can be found on:

Thedo Andre

[ I, like many FAI sportsmen subscribe to FFn and appreciate it very much.
However I do not think that I should have to do this to get the
news from the FAI/CIAM. I pay my AMA dues and FAI membership and
think that they should between them have some way of distributing
'offically' rules change proposals. In previous years we have
got a note fron George Xenakis jsut at the last moment. The information
was sent by George, personally as soon as he got it and there was hardly
time to get anything back to him before he left for the FAI meeting.
This is not intended to be a critism of George, but of the process
that did not get him the information and required him to distribute it

This year it is a little better as that information is available on the
FAI web site and we have had time discuss it and inform our delegate
of what we think. ]

Roger Morrell