SEN 2334

SEN 2334 -  Table of Contents

  1. Eddie Carroll's World Championship Report 
  2. Love your battery but replace when it fails to perform!
  3. As a F1B participant, my personal opinion about 2017 Budapest FF World Cup and 2017 FF WCh - Part II
  4. Comments on : SEN 2332

World Championship Report

Eddie Carroll, USA F1C Team Member

August 21, 2017
This was my first World Championships as a contestant in F1C and it was an incredible experience.  Since I represented the USA, I thought it would be appropriate to give a report on my performance, the team and my overall experience.

Team Management:  The team management task was most ably led by Jim Parker, with assistance by Randy Secor and Jace Pivonka, Assistant and Junior Assistant Team Managers, respectively.  Jim did outstanding work in preparation for the World Championships and worked very hard during the whole trip to insure the maximum opportunity for success of the team.  I am very thankful for all of Jim’s help to the team as a whole and me as an individual.  Randy was very helpful to me in preparations in the USA, coaching me during two contests and many practice sessions, as well as helping on site in Hungary for which I am extremely grateful.  This is the first time I had met Jace and he was very helpful during practice on site especially with respect to chasing my models during testing.  Bob Piserchio and Chuck Etherington were with us during the trip all of the World Championship events.  Both were very valuable in thermal picking and Chuck was especially helpful to me in preparing for each flight.  We also had the help and support of Andrew Barron, Jana Van Nest, Geralyn Jones, Julie Parker, and Mary Ann.  I do not have other World Championship experience as a contestant, but I think we had a great Team Management group and I am personally extremely grateful for all of the support and help I received.  Any team member who needed help had only to ask and help was available.

Team Members:  We had a very experienced team of flyers in all of the events, and I know we all worked well together.  On F1C day, the non-F1C team members, spouses and helpers were stationed across the field to insure models were tracked after launch, and successfully retrieved.  This was no small task given the wind, extreme heat, field conditions, and the small river which ran through the field.  I was simply amazed at how efficient communication and retrieval worked after every flight.  Models were always brought back to the line well before the next required flight.  When flyoffs took place the entire team was at the line or close by to support those taking place in this phase of the competition.  This was true team spirit.

Organizers and Logistics of the Competition:  The field was large, but had a very uneven surface due to cattle pockmarks in the soil and small rivulets of erosion in the soil, concealed by the surface grass.  These field conditions made walking and especially running more than a bit challenging.  The small river running through the field was an added complication for chasing and timing due to the trees at the bank blanking low models.  It also was apparent that the river and trees were not kind to descent of low models.  The rain two nights before F1C day made it impossible to get on the field for practice until the road and field dried.  Thankfully, the road and the field dried quickly and we were able to get on the field for practice the day before F1C day for a great practice session.  There were several shortcomings of the competition and events which were unfortunate, but these challenges did not dampen the spirit of the competition.   The shortcomings included a mediocre opening ceremony, poor banquet logistics, which were not helped by the power outage and rain, inconsistent management of the placement of the flight line and inadequate timer training.  I have two major critical comments; the first is that the flight line was not moved to be perpendicular to the wind direction prior the F1B flyoff.  There was plenty of time to move the line, and competition had been suspended to move the line on at least one occasion during the rounds so I do not understand this failure.  This concern is not meant to take anything away from the skill of the competitors and the top placers in the flyoff rounds.  The second criticism is the apparent poor training of the timers with respect to the timing of F1C engine runs. My experience detailed below shows the timers used the bunt transition for the engine run if several models were launched at the same time, making hearing a specific engine run impossible.  The same experience happened to Faust in the fifth round, but the overrun was overruled by Ian Kaynes and the Jury and his max stood, which was the correct action.  Timers need to be trained didactically and with a practicum so they understand how to time correctly.  I understand that this problem will be given careful attention by the organizers of the 2019 World Championships at Lost Hills.

F1C Day:  As recommended by Team Manager Jim Parker, we decided that the flying order would be Faust, Richard, and then me.  This order worked well and I felt there was no time stress to prepare and execute our flights.  I was using Babenko folders with Sidus electronic timers powered with Babenko engines.  For the first round, I launched a bit to the left, but the model still got high and easily made the 4 minute max.  On the second round, my launch was good and I easily made the max.  On the third round, the timers timed the whole round short of a max, but gave me a 5.5 second overrun.  I had set my timer at 3.4 seconds, and with 0.4 seconds for the speed of sound to travel back to the ground this left 0.1 seconds for timer reaction time.  The timers had clearly timed the bunt transition, which they acknowledged.  For the refly I used my next model which was prepared and ready before the start of the round.  I had a good launch, but the left wing opened shortly before engine shutoff and spiraled vertically.  I thought I would get away with this problem as the other wing opened, but I did not and the model spiraled to the ground.  The timers then gave me a second overrun for a zero score for the third round.  In previous competitions in the USA and in practice in the USA and on site prior to the World Championships, I never had any problem with premature, unilateral wing unfolding.  I will be test flying the model in the USA soon to see if I can determine what happened.  For the fourth round, I had a good launch and made an easy max.  For the fifth round, the air was very difficult to pick and Faust had to wait a long time for a thermal, but made a good flight and max.  Richard was next and had a good power pattern and looked good for the max, but fell short.  I had a good launch with just a few minutes left and made the max.  Mechanical problems can appear at any moment and I wish the premature unfold had not happened, but I feel good in that I was well prepared and did everything within my control to insure top performance.  It was an honor to be on the team and represent the USA.

Comments on F1C Models:  The models used by competitors included carbon Babenko folders, standard Verbitski geared and non-geared versions of his standard models, and a few Verbitski flappers.  I thought the performance of most of the models was quite good, and most were trimmed to good effect.  The models of Volodymyr Sychov were a departure.  He had a personally designed and constructed flapper/folder with carbon D-box up front and a fiberglass covered foam rear section which compressed upon folding.  The model was powered by the latest Fora engine, and it was quite strong.  Volodymyr won the Budapest Cup with the model, and he was in the F1C flyoff at the World Championships.

Future of F1C:  I am as stimulated today by flying F1C as when I started flying this event, skillfully mentored by Doug Galbreath over 54 years ago.  I have watched the inevitable  evolution of the event during the ensuing years with concerns.  While I would prefer the “good old days” where I could build my own design and be competitive, this is no longer possible (Volodymyr Sychov as described above is an exception).  As the engine run was decreased from 10 to 7 to 5 to 4 seconds, and with the loss of the builder of the model rule, the models have become increasingly more complicated and technical.  It is largely impossible for any single individual to design, build and equip a competitive F1C model.  Thus factory models are purchased by nearly everyone.  The same factory trends are also prevalent in F1A and F1B.  

The latest F1C rules include the requirement of a remote engine shutoff.  With the use of electronic timers this is not really an issue as it is easy to effect an engine shutoff at anytime (the supreme example of increased complexity).  Given that, it is my firm conviction that a rule needs be written which allows the contestant to show the timer (and or organizers and Contest Director) the setting of the engine run programmed into the timer and forgo thereafter the timing of the engine run by the timers.  This would allow the true spirit of the 4 second engine run, i.e., that it can actually be 4 seconds without compensation for the speed of sound and the reaction time of the timers.  In F1A and F1B, the contestant is allowed the full 50 meters of towline and 30 grams of rubber, respectively, that parity does not exist with respect to F1C engine runs being 4 seconds.  Finally, I do not think any further rules changes which decrease the performance of F1C models are warranted and I disagree with those who believe no performance reduction is necessary in F1A or F1B.  Further, I do not understand why this issue has not even been discussed by the CIAM Technical Committee.

Conclusion:  Again, I thank all from the USA who participated in helping the team be successful at the 2017 World Championships.  Overall, the experience for me was great and I will always remember the people and the events.  What a joy it was to see representatives of over 40 nations come together to share fellowship and love of modeling in an intense competition.  I can say for myself is that I am enthused to prepare for upcoming competitions, including the next Team Selection Finals and I will give it my all to make the team again and fly in the 2019 World Championships in Lost Hills. 

If I can paraphrase a sentiment expressed regarding the athletic Olympics, I believe that ... “the point of world championship competition is not to win a gold medal, but it is to participate.”  That is what I will remember most.

Love your battery but replace when it fails to perform!

From: Magic Timers

At the recent World Champs there was an incident where an F1A model failed to bunt.  The Sportsman feared that he had failed to turn the timer on, however when the retrieval crew got to the model they found it had D/T’d.

In talking with the sportsman he remarked that when charging the battery it had only come up to 3.8 volts per cell (a LiPo Battery) rather than the normal 4.2 but seeing the nominal operating voltage for a LiPo is 3.7 it should be OK.

Not good.  The low voltage indicates a failing battery and should have been replaced right away.  The LiPo batteries a so much better than the NIMH and NICAD we used in the past that we forget that they do last forever.  

What probably happened was at the moment of launch of the  F1A the force on the servo at the pitch up caused the battery voltage to drop to a level where both the servo and timer stopped working, it turned them off.  Freed of the load the power came up and the imer powered up and the timer was in tow position.  Because the model was off the line the hook was not being pulled forward so after flyaway time out lapsed the model D/T’d.  

The battery looks even a little  bad it probably is – replace it! One check to read your battery’s voltage at the end of a flying session and get a history of what it should typically be so you can know if you see any falling off.  While you cannot simulate easily the conditions of a F1A launch on the bench nor towing for half an hour you can “fly a contest” on the bench including leaving the model during the time it would take you to get  to the model.  If you used the timer’s buzzer you need to let that run so you might have to do this test out in the garage as not to annoy the rest of the house hold.

As a F1B participant, my personal opinion about 2017 Budapest FF World Cup and 2017 FF WCh - Part II
From: Ismet Yurtseven

Dear my friends,

Many thanks for your valuable contributions to my report with the heading of "As a F1B participant, my personal opinion about 2017 Budapest FF World Cup and 2017 FF WCh".

There are a lot of words to say. I like free flight because I like nature, green fields, blue sky, birds, friendship, fairness, freedom, challenge.

We should work to transfer the spirit of free flight which is a heritage transferred to us by older generations to new generations. In order to achieve this goal, there is a need for refreshment in free flight I believe; fair friends with more energy, spirit, willingness who does not expect tangible benefits should get more responsibilities in the guidance of free flight society before they become too old.

Today, we have internet. Communication and transportation is much easier than ever. We can use internet for discussions and voting. We can meet once per year/two year periods in a central place (e.g. middle Europe) and discuss all the issues freely.

I want to complete my review with the passage from the articles of former free flight volunteers emphasizing the spirit of free flight.

With my respects to all people contributed to free flight.

Ismet Yurtseven

By Bob Hatschek,

What's Free Flight?

A thrill, a challenge, a puzzle.

It's other guys like you, the world around, striving for the same graceful beauty of flight.

It's comradeship across all human barriers. It's bull sessions through the wee hours.

It's fierce competition with the highest of sportsmanship.

It's a battle against nature, her perversity, her law of gravity.

"Free as a bird," describes God's most unchained creation. Man's is a model airplane soaring birdlike in a thermal. You created it. Vicariously you soar with it, with its freedom.

Free Flight is the mist of the dawning's calm as you test. It's the noonday sun as your model thrusts for the heavens. It's the cool drink after a dusty chase.

It's the piercing scream of a peaking engine, the silence of the glide.

It's sunburn and poison ivy and weariness to the marrow, made worthwhile.

It's skill in your fingers. It's knowledge learned for the knowledge alone.

It's perfection sought, never attainable. A goal everlasting.

Free Flight is all of these, yet much more! I tell you this, and you may believe. But, you cannot know, unless you know.

By Frank Zaic,
Free Flight
Be it so long ago, none of us can forget the wonder of our first free flight. - Be it only a minute ago, all of us look forward to the next flight.
How clean the mind; how weary the body after a day of thermal hunting. - How much more exciting life can be for us because of Free Flight.
Some would have us believe that the price is not worth Free Flight. Could it be that it takes a special kind of man to do all the things that need to be done before Free Flight can become a reality?

Comments on : SEN 2332

From: Michael Achterberg

My apolizes to Ismet Yurkseven.  I am very sorry I wrote a comment in Sen about WC.  I was not there and should not have said anything at all. There is always comments made about every Big competition and mostly negative. We have so few host countries just didn’t want to drive away future bidders for WC.  I also assumed that Andres Rees who ran the 1995 WC in Hungary and 2005? in Hungary would be involved or at least be a guiding light to past issues they had encountered.  After reading Mr. Kaynes and your articles that apparently was not the case..   Hope that this doesn't detour you from continuing to fly freeflight in the future. I know from personal experience, my first WC changed my whole attitude about persuing being at WC. I wish I had not taken such a negative attitude from my first experience. The friends you make at these events are for most of your lifetime and are worth the experience even if the competition was poorly run.  The next WC will be run in a very professional manner. Very experienced people will make sure the next WC will be handled in a way that will leave you with a good feeling and positive memory about what a WC should be like.    Hope you will continue flying in WC
Michael Achterberg
Editors Comment

Andres Ree was on the Jury at this event, he contributed and clearly helped in the communication between the organizer and both the Jury and Sportsmen