SEN-384 March 12 2000

News and Reports 2000 - First half
SCAT Electronic News 12 March 2000

Table of Contents

Survey Progress
Walt Wonders
Art's Advice
Free Willy and Free The Flight - Bennet
Round in circles at Mile Square - Thorkildsen
Baby Bee 40 progress - Jahnke
Don't Worry, Be Happy - RDT is no threat - Bauer
RCDT-Answers - Achterberg
Democracy !? - Shailor
Hermann's Homilie - Andresen
Sport class models - Horejsi
F1 Class - Zsengeller
The Golden Age of Aviation eZine is now online. - Wingwalker

Survey Progress

We have recieved about 120 replies to our survey. About half from
the USA and we will publish the results "real soon now" so
if you want to contribute please send in yor response right away.
The questions are on the SCAT Web site under
the Current news and information link.

One comment that has been on the many of the replies is people
thanking us for doing the survey and the opportunity to take part.
There is no doubt a feeling amongst many sportsmen that they are
disenfranchized and cannot affect the rules of the sport/hobby
that they love so much. They feel that this process takes part
in a vacumn completely removed from reality. - See Walt Ghio and
Bill Shailors comments later on.

Lots of people made comments, of all differnt kinds. I've extracted
two of the comments to include in this issue and they are just below.
Think of Art's comment along with Evegeny Verbitski's from
a few days back. I will try and include more but I'm running out of time.

Walt Wonders

Hi Roger,

The last few nights have been donated to our trip next week to Norway.
Also, next year you need to come with us to Norway then the SCAT Annual will
be on a different weekend.

Below is my response to the survey. I guess the toys have become to
sophisticated for the FAI world. l have had a great time over the last
twenty years flying Wakefield models. The last five years have been even
better. Just watching the other events is great. I hope that the rules
makers of the FAI World do not screw them up these events.

Thank you, Walt Ghio

Art's Advice

Art Ellis
- Stability of rules over many years is an important asset. People know
what they are getting into and are willing to make a long term
- Nothing is the matter will current rules.
- People assume that if the numbers of competitors is not growing the
rules are at fault. There is no proven correlation here.
- Try promotion! We have been increasing very successfully the number of
young kids in FAI free flight in the US. Why not try to bring adults in
as well? I have a few neighbors that would love to take a look at this
crazy thing I do. I just haven't thought to ask them. Let's take a look
at the steep "take a look" costs. He or she can use one of our models;
AMA membership $48; FAI stamp $?? When was the last time any of us have
brought a stranger to a contest to fly?

Free Willy and Free The Flight
Author : markb

Free flight captured me because I get to use logic and mechanical
means to trigger a purely aesthetic satisfaction. To fly an airplane
using rubber band power, for example, seems especially pointless;
yet I love it.

I'm often amused at how in our banter, whining, and debate,
we often freely mix a sentimental, aesthetic, or nostalgic value
system with a smattering of objective logic. For example, I often
read threads of thought that we should enact thus-and-so rule
change because it would attract more participation.
The "greater appeal" argument is indeed tried and true. Yet, it
is precisely why country music no longer sounds country, why
Republicans sound as much like Democrats, and why TV
shows are so predictable, profane, and boring.

I accept Eugene Verbitsky's prediction that "we are the last
generation of free flighters." As such, I shall prepare for free
flight's honorable death and proper burial by standing for
its distinction against any kind of radio control. When we argue
any value system down to its core, whether in politics or
aeromodeling, in the end we are left with mere preferences.
My preference, my aesthetic, is to keep free flight free--the
entire flight free.
--Mark Bennett, age 39, occasional F1B entrant

Round in circles at Mile Square
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Mile square is closed to FF control line and RC since they bulldozed the
runways and are going to turn it into a golf course. (like they don't have
enough already)

We had a controlline contest there a couple of weeks ago but they flew off
of the baseball diamonds and that was only because Eric Rule the CD) is good
friends with the Park ranger.

The flyers down there have a lawsuit against the city since the land for
mile square was donated under the understanding that a certain percentage
would be used for nonproft activities. But money talks and it seems to have
gotten to their city council since they thought adding another golf course
to Mile square was in the publics best interest.

The city council has even threatened to outlaw model airplane flying if the
modelers win the lawsuit.

There is a web site for controlline flying that talks about it if you are


Terry Thorkildsen

Baby Bee 40 progress
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Though most of the SCAT readers are embroiled in the most recent proposed
changes to the FAI events I wanted to interject some information on a
simpler aspect of the sport.

The Baby Bee 40 gas event which had its birth in this forum last July, is
moving forward. Two contests are schedule, the Dayton meet in May and the
Pensacola meet in mid June. Bob Stalick will have a plan and article in the
March Digest. Also look for info in upcoming issues of MA. Attached is a
three view of my model (which if enlarged 175% may soon be competitive in

Ross Jahnke

P.S. As an F1B flier I too take the rule change proposals seriously.

Don't Worry, Be Happy - RDT is no threat
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I've been trying to avoid any more comments on RDT, as lots of people
are probably tired of it and Roger is probably spending too much time
on SEN, but it is apparent that many people don't understand it, or
how the systems work and can be used. So here's a few comments from a
guy who has built and flown some RDT systems. Maybe we can then move
on to more aerodynamic topics....

-Some people have said "Go fly RC if you want to use a radio", or
people wonder where the line is between RC and free flight with RDT.
I have flown many free flight models and many RC models, and the
difference is obvious. I offer this definition: an RC model requires
a pilot, a free flight model does not. Most RC models will crash if
the pilot quits paying attention for a few seconds. Free flight
models fly beautifully and stress free with no help at all from the
ground (I could start getting poetic now). Ending a free flight with
the push of a button when one has had his fill of observing the wonder
of thermals and the beauty of nature, does not make that flight RC.
It is not piloting the model. Allard has well pointed out that it is
still difficult to avoid many obstacles by simply choosing when to DT.
This is not spot landing.

-RDT systems are completely different from RC systems. An RC system
transmits constantly, and if that transmission is interupted the model
crashes. A RDT system transmits only for 1 second during the actual
DT command. If that transmission is interfered with, nothing happens.
There is no need for any frequency coordination. In fact, all flyers
could use the same frequency because a unique digital code identifies
each flyer. These systems can be built on license free FCC
frequencies so there are no regulation issues. I have advised against
the use of any RC frequencies, like 72 MHz, so that we never interfere
with any RC flyers or cause them any stress. The most important thing
when using any radio equipment is simply that you not bother anybody.
The very short transmission nature of a RDT system makes it extremely
unlikely that anyone will be bothered, especially on the license free
channels. It should be noted that free flighters everywhere have been
using radio beacons to track models for a long time without any type
of frequency coordination or regulations. This method works because
the low power nature of the systems is extremely unlikly to ever
bother anyone. RDT has been legal in F1C for years without any
concern for frequencies so I don't see why it should be an issue now
that we talk of extending it to F1B and F1A.

-One more note on system operation.. The system I am working on, and
I believe other systems, have a receiver in the model that "sleeps",
or does nothing until it hears that unique code from the transmitter,
at which time it will "wake up" and DT the model. Therefore, there is
no connection between the ground and the model whatsoever while the
model is flying up until the moment the button is pushed.

-I see the main use of RDT for test flying, at least here in
California. People talk of advantages in model retrieval, and while
that may be true for some small fields, my experience so far is that a
radio beacon and a motorcycle are much bigger advantages in finding a
model than radio DT, and of course there are no rules that govern
these things. Even if the model gets very high in a thermal, DTing
the model at say 150 seconds instead of 180 seconds will make the
chase only somewhat shorter, maybe 20%. And, as Allard points out, it
is still very hard to know just where it will land. My feeling is
that very few flights would actually be DTed much before the max, it
it were legal.

-Although Allard indicates the discussion should center on FAI rules,
I do see a great value in flying on a small baseball field for the
health of free flight in general and I think that the topic of helping
free flight to grow is worthy of discussion. My initial excitement in
using a RDT device had nothing to do with contest flying, but rather
the sheer joy of flying a free flight model close to home where kids
and other obsevers could be exposed and ask questions. Granted, I
haven't converted anyone to free flight yet, but maybe after a few
years of this.... Thank you Mike A. and a couple others for
recognizing this. I get worried when I hear things like "No more free
flight". As far as RDT goes, my message to the world is "don't worry,
be happy". Those that have used and understand RDT know that it is no
threat to the sport, and might even help it. To those that worry
about having to buy another gadget, or worry that they don't want
things to get more complicated, guess what, you don't have to use it!
You can fly the rest of your life without it and still win lots of
contests! I have some great hand launch gliders and other models
without RDT and they will always be that way.

Free Flight Forever,
Ken Bauer

[Right on Ken - I actually worked on a couple of F1Bs last night
first time in a long time I did some modelling that did not
involve a keyboard or soldering iron!]

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After reading todays scat page decided to inform some flyers about
Americas flying fields.
Lost Hills- Although it is big in area there are major model destroying
obstacle and hazards in two different directions. 3/4 mile west is old
grape vineyards that really tear up models and then to the east 3/4 mile
are oil fields, pipes, ect. that destroy models.
Sacramento- Morning drift towards the canal to the west. Power lines to
the north, which have been hit and caused fires. Ask Stafford Screen!!
Pond and highway to the south.
National Site -Muncie, Ind..- Trees, buildings, 8 to 10 foot high corn
all in a close proximity to the flying site.
Pencolcola- One mile by 1 1/2 mile completely surrounded by houses,
buildings, and busy roads.
Palm Bay- Canals, lakes, trees, and very heavy topical growth.

Now, these are our major flying sites and all are quite nice in there
own right, but none are perfect by any means. And there is not a site
that in certain wind directions that RCDT would not be beneficial. All
these arguments about tactical advantage is so petty it hardly deserves
addressing, but they keep coming, so they must be put into perspective.
Flyers in America go out of there way to run and catch other flyers
model from destroying itself on cars. It is the friendly, sportsman
thing to do. We have all been saved at one time or another. If you see a
flyer gliding into any obstruction, albeit power lines, trees, lakes,
ect. do you not hope his model comes through the obstruction safely?
Isn't it the sportsman like thing to do to allow him to save or at least
have a chance to save his model with any means available without calling
it a tactical advantage????? This is about saving models, not about
tactics. I just love the argument about being able to DT out of a
"boomer" so that flyer can get back in a hurry to sit around for an
extra 30 or 40 minutes to wait for the next round to start.
What a ridiculous argument!! I mean if you want to talk about tactical
advantage, how about helpers, chasers, motor bikes, local field
knowledge and of coarse radio tracking systems. I do not have them and
they really should be banned, as they are a tremendous tactical
advantage!! RCDT is not about tactics, it is about saving and retrieving
models. It is about making small fields more user friendly!!!
Then the other day there was the statement it is not freeflight if you
allow RCDT. It is not freeflight if you use a mechanical devise to DT
your model either. No preset functions of any kind is freeflight whether
they are mechanical or electronic. Now, this could be a little
expensive, so we have said these systems are acceptable, but whether it
is mech.., electronic, or radio, it is still about saving the model!!
This just happens to be a better way of doing it!!!! Winning contests
comes down to the flyer, model, and a little luck, but not what type of
system you choose to DT your model!! I would ask all modelers to think
of the advantages to saving airplanes and forget the mute arguments
about tactics of how you choose to DT. We do not get bonus points for
our style of DT, but we are get a bonus by not destroying a model in a
savable situation. I will end this on a comment made recently by Doug
Galbreathe, who was against RCDT. He was test flying at Sacramento and
he miss set his DT on a test flight and he stated as his model was
heading towards the power lines" God, I would give a $1000.00 for RCDT
right now!" Of course it hit the power lines and destroyed the model!!
Think about it, in one way or another we have all needed it at one time
or other to save a model.
Michael Achterberg

Democracy !?
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I read that the Italian modelling community is not behind their countries'
proposals, nor are the Danish.
Assuming this to be true, how, then, do these seemingly unsupported
proposals see the light of day?
Maybe it's because I live in a democracy where elected officials are
supposed to look to the will of the people; but if the folks you send to
these meetings have their own, self-serving agenda, maybe you should
reconsider who you send.
Maybe I'm just an "Ugly American" and can't understand the nature of these
Bill Shailor

[Bill our democratic process is only a little better as it
was only a few years ago that the AMA did not poll everyone. Aram
is not happy that the AMA chose the 2/3 majority arbitaryily
with out telling us.]

Hermann's Homilie
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The discussions are heating up.
A few comments:
With progress in small RC equipment, it seems like some sportsman would make
a a 2 channel RC package to replace the Black Magic timer for test flying
on their F1B or other, go down to the local schoolyard and do 99% of the
testing required. 2 channel has advantage that trimming can be done in
flight and the model can make repeated passes over the field as conditions
allow. Also is always better to fly into the wind than DT with the wind and
be able to steer when avoiding objects,
These 2 channel setups are actually cheaper than RDT proposals. If you have
the bucks you can go the AeroVironment route and end up smaller than current

If one doesn't think sport FAI is naive they should review EZB which has a
catchy name to lure in the unsuspecting beginner. Considered by many to be
the most challenging indoor event. Fuselages are tuned to twist the wing to
control the burst, props flare to obtain VP effect. Jim Richmond 7x WC used
a scaled up EZB to win his first WC approx 2yr after his first EZB. He
still says thats where he did most of his learning.

As single surface wings take over, weird skewed hinged props do an automatic
VP, twisting the wing with torque and using assymetry, the performance could
exceed existing without the expected simplification. How far behind is Bob
White in Coupe with his Luddite model?

Did anyone read Randy Archer's article in SYMPO 85. VIT actually simplifies
trimming in power as climb & glide are independent.

The tubing fuel limit would certainly make it easier to round up F1C
timers, but it should be thorouly tested before it goes very far, especially
with spray possibility and it would probably reduce participation and
diminish spectator interest.

Maybe we should listen to Mr Verbitsky and not screw up what's working.
Don't see a groundswell of AMA FF or even RC activity. If anything FAI
activity, at least relative to AMA increased when BOM rule was dropped.
Those that didn't buy models either joined the Cactus Squadron or got a

Them's my comments,

Sport class models
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Dear Roger, Eugeny and others,

I feel to be at last partially responsible for the "Sport classes"
idea (and fully responsible for the "Sport" name). So, I would like
to add some comments to the subject.

First: There is no intention to kill the current models behind the
idea of the "sport models". The current top models are the essence
of the best people can develop and they should not be substantially
changed. They should live as they are, certainly some small changes
from time to time are inevitable. This is why I am against the
Italian proposal.

The "sport" models are intended to live in co-operation with its
"big" brothers, allowing our friends, who can not fly from any
reason the best breed of models, to stay competitive.

The "sport" models should allow to open the fascinating world of free
flight for newcomers. No doubt free flight needs newcomers.

I am not sure the idea will work, but it is so simple that it is
worth to try, I believe.

Ivan Horejsi

F1 Class
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Hi There,

I'm Gabor Zsengeller F1C flyer in Hungary. I've sent my votes too.
I jus read your's prvious letter, with Eugene's notes.
I am absulutly agrre with him.
We would'nt build sport toys, we would like to realize our minds - if we
Don't forget: FF is a technical sport like Formula One car racing - a little
bit better :))

Here is my extra opinion about RCDT:
That is the best thing what I get in the last few years.
Why should I launch other model, if the timekeeper say - overrun?
Why should I dt to the middle of the woods, the mice field, the lake if I
can dt earlyer - or later?
Why should I crash my model, if a make a mistake anyway?
Ok, that is expensive - yet.
But I see on the contests more and more.
I think we don't need to freeze the technical rules, and don't need to
truncate them.



The Golden Age of Aviation eZine is now online.
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The Golden Age of Aviation eZine is now online.

We will add many more historical aviation short stories, airplane photos and
our internationally acclaimed airplane 3-view scale airplane drawings by
Paul Matt in the weeks and months to come.

We thought you might want to have a link to the
Golden Age of Aviation eZine
for your members and/or customers:

We believe your members will appreciate your adding this "bonus" service
We suggest you title this link: The Golden Age of Aviation eZine

We are providing this link as a service and are offering it to you to use as
you wish. We will regularly add more eColumns.

If you would like for us to link to your website, contact:
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Aviation Heritage
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Roger Morrell