SEN 1248 2008

Table of Contents - SEN 1247 - 28 Sept 2008

  1. Missing stuff
  2. Report from Kanegawa
  3. @* second Attempt - Kaynes
  4. Wakefield Book - Kaynes and Rushing
  5. FAI second serve - Schlosberg
  6. October Update - Mc Keever and Limberger
  7. More Grace note less - Wallace
  8. and from OZ - Murray
  9. Italian world cup reminder

Missing stuff..

I ran out of time to get everything in this issue - so soon - Dallas Parker's I-Phone equipped F1A ( see it or call it at the USA finals ?), New towline tech and how much you can ot cannot strched it, plus a standard model discussion

Kanegawa San takes a break - and how about Mongolia

Dear Mike,

Are you ready to FF contest? I have to give up participate 2008 Japanese FF
Championship due to many reason. One is busy for work. I have to work for
ground job instead of flight due to flight time is decreasing. Also I have
big project which is R/C endurance model. TV crews came home many times. I
have to follow their schedule. Anyway I am concentrate in R/C endurance
that why I have to give up FF championship.

Please send this article for SEN. I sent Roger Morell This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
but can't send it. Do you know how to send article to SEN?
Anyway I send my article.


MONGOLIA CUP 2 008 was held on August. This year 5 countries participated;
Japan, Russia, Ukraine, D.P.R Korea and Mongolia. D.P.R Korea sent 25
members including team manager and supporters. These are large numbers even
though this is not World Championship. Japan sent only 3 this time. One for
F1H and two for F1B.

Event was well organaized and competition was in accordance with FAI rule.
Unfortunately this has not been approved from FAI as a World Cup event since
Mongolia is not official member of FAI. Mongolia is making an effort opening
official World Cup event on 2010 year. Please visit our web site.

Shigeru Kanegawa

SEN Address - Shigeru and othere - e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Or as a comment on the web site

20 sec attempt rule

I have been impressed and pleased by the number of correspondents coming to the logical conclusions that there is no rational reason for retaining the 20 sec attempt rule. The only thing that puzzles me is the comment by Walt that it "requires people in high places to listen to the flyers and not remember the past". I had no idea we had "high places" in free flight, but remember the circumstances of the brief period when the rule was removed. The removal had been proposed by the CIAM FF Subcommittee and the 1988 CIAM Plenary meeting accepted the proposal by votes of 28 for and 1 abstention (this is the national delegate vote which determines CIAM decisions and the delegates should have been briefed on what their flyers want). The rule change applied from January 1989 but in less than a year Czechoslovakia proposed re-introducing the rule. Note that this proposal did not come from any of the strange people in CIAM but came from a country with the support of at least one of their flyers. The proposal was considered at the 1990 Plenary meeting and it received only luke warm support - the free flight technical meeting voted 7 for 6 against then the Plenary 14 for and 10 against with 2 abstentions. With the absolute majority rule just one vote switching against it would have defeated the proposal. However, it was passed and the 20 sec rule returned in the 1993 Sporting Code and has been there ever since....

Ian Kaynes


Wakefield Book for the 80th
From: Ian Kaynes

Most readers will be familiar with the history of the Wakefield Cup which was compiled by Charles Rushing but now out of print. Some years ago Charles agreed to me converting it into electronic form for inclusion on the FAI web site as a valuable history of the oldest aeromodelling international trophy. This was completed and after various revisions of format and content management system, it is now available at  It is particularly notable at this time since the first competition for the Wakefield Cup was held on September 29 1928 and this is now the 80th anniversary of that event.

Ian Kaynes


FAI’s Second Serve or Reducing the Grace Period

From: Aram Schlosberg


Why should free flight offer a grace period (20-seconds). If one mess up

with19-second flight and gets a second chance, then why not do the same

for a 179 flight as well?


A grace period has many effects. Over time, a grace period has allowed

condireable experimentation, speeding up many important technological

innovations. These range from F1C bunts, F1A bunts, F1B delayed and

feathered props and the current exciting variable camber (VC) F1A wings.

Without a grace period, FAI models might have still been in the late

eighties technologically.


Grace covers the many things outside our control. These include F1B

motors blowing just after the launch; terrible F1A launch by helpers; random

air bubbles the fuel line as well as blowing a plug or even a crank case in

F1C models. I’m sure each of us can add more unusual cases.


Grace also applies to the bumbles of our sport, allowing them a second

change when they are clocked under 20-seconds.


As Jon Somers notes - Tennis has two serves. Confining it to a single

serve (no second chance) will change the tenor of the game. Tennis would

become more defensive, lack crowd pleasing lightening (first) serves.

To a certain extent, F1B flyoffs with the requirement to wind the motor in

the 10-minute window, make it an onlookers’ spectacle.


Dropping the grace period would make more onerous for beginners, make

contests harder (“one drop and your out”) and increase the motivation to

bend rules (“it was just a test flight”).  A less obvious impact would be on

teams. Managers would have to intimately know every model on the team -

watching out for any possible glitch – as any mishap could tank the whole

team. Whether their oversight is limited to the team’s models or applies to

the decision when to fly as well (the Chinese case) will depend on the

personalities involved. Teams will definitely be much more managed.


The length of a grace period has a big influence the tenor of an event.

For example, AMA events prescribe a 40-seconds grace period.

Coupled with a 2-minute max, it make AMA events rather uncompetitive

(in my humble opinion). The 20-second FAI grace period actually worked

well in the pre-RDT days – when F1As accidentally DTed at launch,

it would typically take 21-2 seconds to land.


The legalization of RDT beyond F1C has raised some ethical concerns.

Although what Per Findahl did at the Bulgarian Cup was perfectly legal,

it left uneasiness among participants in the ensuing SEN discussion.

Even if everyone had a RDT at the tips of his/her fingers, I surmise that

the uneasiness would still remain. Why? Because RDT – designed for

safety reasons (protect the model or spectators) was de-facto used as a

means to overcome a poor launch. But, as we are all know, it’s impossible

to practically  distinguish between the two. Neither is this issue confined to

F1A, as F1B fliers could also use RDT for second attempts – at the cost

of destroying a pair of blades.


Eliminating the grace period, as noted above, would completely change

the tenor of FAI events.  Indeed, an attempt to abolish it the past raised a

wide rebellion. On the other hand – rolling back the clock and confining

RDT to F1C again will forego RDT’s legitimate benefits – the ability to fly

in small or tiny fields, save models and protect spectators.


The problem could be mitigated (but not completely fixed) by shrinking

FAI’s grace period. A shorted grace period would make it riskier to use

RDT as a back door for second attempts while hopefully preserving its

good attributes (allowing random events and retaining the relaxed tenor of

FAI events).  A grace period of 5-seconds, for example, is definitely too short,

spilling out the baby and the bath water. It would make RDTing for a second

attempt almost impossible, eliminate of almost all random events and

most importantly, change the tenor of FAI into an onerous sport.


Since the length of the grace period is such a fundamental variable, with

associated unforeseen consequences, reducing it should be done very

carefully.  A 15-second grace period should be tried before reducing it

to 10-seconds.



October Update

I'm busy checking off the lists for Livotto, Sierra Cup and the Finals. Have a pretty good turnout for Sierra Cup but it's not too late to sign up, just drop me an E-mail and let me know you're coming. We have a little more time to get ready this year so I'm not in as big a rush to get the poles assigned. Remember A,B C and P on Tuesday Oct 7, with Minis and FAI Nostalgia Power on Wednesday. Banquest Wednesday night at Elks. I like the shirt this year and if you want to see it, it's at:
Looking forward to it and see you all in Lost Hills!



More Grace not Less ..

From: Rob Wallace


Hi Roger,
I have been watching the debate on RCDT  and the 20 second rule with interest.
The 20 second rule I would personally like to increase to 25 seconds after my trip all the way to the Ukraine to have my model DT in the fifth round on launch in F1A and take 22 seconds to reach the ground.
It would have been nice to have had a sporting chance to get another flight to try and get a placing after that mishap after travelling such a long way at high cost to compete and I noticed others who had mid airs etc suffer the same fate.
Re the RCDT I use it either for trimming or a test flight but not for the competition.
I believe it to be a good safety feature on F1C models in the event of a serious mishap where the model starts hurtling towards the ground and could cause serious injury or damage but am opposed to people using it deliberately to get another refly for tactical reasons or having the ability to adjust the trim in flight during a contest.
I am bound to have provoked some discussion on the first part at least. I would like to know what others who have experienced that situation think.
Rob Wallace
New Zealand

And from OZ
From: Neil Murray

Well said Gene Ulm. Nice to hear a bit of reason amidst all the emotive talk.

Surely one of the concerns of competitive FIA classes is dwindling numbers and ageing competitors?. Many fliers do not actually give up but become sidelined by the sheer attrition of regular contest flying – the time (and cost) of repairs , rebuilds and retrimming after you recover your best model from the bottom of a river,or in pieces from the top of a tree, or shattered by bunting into the ground after an undetected unlatch in the wind. RDT is for most of its users a wonderful safety device – saving models, allowing trimming on small fields and giving one a chance of avoiding trees, rivers and other disaster zones – all of which means we can spend more time flying or building and less time repairing.

To have rules that prevent a flier DT’ing early (at his own risk) to stop a ten minute flight in a boomer does not make any sense.Does this give any more advantage than allowing motorized retrieval? And if RDT is not to be used to assist in retrieval what about a team mate or friend retrieving for a competitor – should this be ruled out as well?
We need to ask ourselves if this is the spirit we want to see in free flight in the future, because it is not the spirit that pervades most of FF at the moment. Take for example our good friend, Henning Nyghen. Despite a serious knee problem, Henning can still come to Australia and in spite of motorized retrieval being banned, fly F1A for seven grueling rounds, because fellow competitors are willing to fetch for him. They do this because most of us want to see great flyers flying, not being sidelined by injury , equipment failures, or rules. The fact that Henning can, and often does, beat us all is what real competitive sportsmanship is all about .

For my money,the rules as they are at the moment are just about right, if you think through the potential scenarios.

The idea that one can perform a bunt launch, observe the model for a few seconds, decide it is in sink and DT for a refly all within 20 seconds is nonsense – you would be lucky to achieve this in 30 secs. Try it for yourself

The two most common F1A RDT emergencies both result from undetected unlatches, usually in wind. The worst is what happened to Per, you unwittingly initiate a circle within the bunt bail out time, and the model bunts in. Without RDT, you get a flight of about 3 seconds, and a reflight – but with a second model as your first is usually shattered. Sometimes the model manages to pull out of the suicide dive at very low level – still better to RDT than mow down the spectators. Rules that let a competitor save his model and live to fly another day have to be good for the sport..

The second scenario occurs when you tow through the bail out time and launch. Instead of bunting the model now loops on release ending up at about 40m instead of 70+.Usually it takes a few seconds to comprehend what has just happened and by the time you have found the RDT button the chances of getting down in under 20 secs are far from sure. It is very easy to get 21 or 22 secs from this situation and is usually better to hope your air choice was good.

The 20 sec attempt rule has stood the test of time – let’s leave it alone. And RDT will keep more of us flying and later in life than would have been possible without it – let’s not fetter the use of it.

Italian World Cup Reminder..

World cup Event in Capannori

lasts days for inscriptions FAVLI wc in ITALY

see you
Maurizio Tomazzoni

Roger Morrell