National Free Flight Society

SEN 1930

Table of Contents – SEN 1930

  1. John Oldenkamp
  2. looking for 1/4 inch rubber
  3. Simple FAI Rules
  4. For Sale
  5. Weak Link
  6. Another POV
  7. F1A Towlines

John Oldenkamp

A phone call early Sunday from Larry Bagalini delivered the sad news
that another legend of Free Flight had sailed over the horizon.

John Oldenkamp passed away on Saturday. In true John fashion, none of
us knew the details or significance of his illness until he was gone.

To me John was a friend, fellow Orbiteer and sometimes travel
companion. A fabulous sense of humor and a creative genius. He was the
first person to put a Wakefield in my hands and say “go fly this, I
think you’ll like it”.

To free flight he was one of the creators of the P-30 event, a member
of the NFFS Hall of Fame and for a time the Editor of the NFFS Digest.
An innovator, a prolific designer, a contributor, a pioneer, a teacher,
an understated leader and someone always pushing the envelope, sometimes
in unconventional directions. John was dedicated to making the cutting
edge of technology understandable and reachable for the common modeler
and above all else committed to the future of free flight.

My heart misses my friend. Free Flight will miss a Giant.

Take a minute & Google “John Oldenkamp”. You will find there was a lot
more to the man than Free Flight.

Bill Booth Jr.

Looking for 1/4 inch rubber

Does anyone out there in SEN Land have any amount of 1/4″ wide tan rubber?
Super Sport or older vintage should be fine, as long as it has been reasonably preserved.
I want it for Cat Glider launch shooters.
Let me know what U have, and how much U want for it, plus shipping $, if applicable.



Hi, I’m a not terribly good F1A flyer from the UK, and I’ve been following the latest discussions about possible rule changes with interest. As usual, a polarisation is starting to appear between those who feel that the sport would be impoverished by restricting performance, and those who fear that more and more flyers will be excluded if nothing is done. This polarity has characterised-and gridlocked- all serious attempts at rule reform for decades, and as things stand is intractable, since both arguments are correct.

The bottom line is that we are simply asking too much of a single set of rules. One look at Robert Lesko and his models proves that as far as selecting champions is concerned, the rules are working perfectly. Can anyone seriously be suggesting that this guy shouldn’t have won? Conversely, if that’s where the bar’s set, is there any point in most of us getting out of bed?

In sports like football or athletics, this isn’t a problem, because participation is large enough to sustain tiers of ability from school to club level, through national to world class, with the opportunity to advance (or retire) to suit each individual. The stars at the top inspire, rather than deter, newcomers who know they won’t be pitched straight in to direct compete against them.

There aren’t enough of us to replicate this process, but it is possible to emulate the major benefits without detriment to what we already do. For a couple of years I have been hawking the idea around the UK (with little response, I have to confess) that FAI contestants whose models comply not only to the current rules, but also a further set of restrictions (no flaps, fixed pitch prop, whatever) qualify for their own classification and prizes AS WELL as a placing in the overall contest. While this idea may not directly address the issue of oversize fly offs and models out-performing available fields, it does tick pretty much every other box, and would insulate ‘mere mortal’ flyers from the effects of solutions such as draggy lines, rubber reduction etc., which only put even more emphasis on athleticism & model performance.

This idea has no down side. It does not affect any existing model- in fact if done properly could give a second lease of life to models currently retired as un-competitive. It would require minimal effort to implement. If it was not popular, nothing would be lost, and if it was, it could be a working model to investigate reducing performance of the ‘full blown’ classes. The definition of models eligible for this additional classification should not be too retrogressive, and should allow scope for development- vintage classes already exist for those who want them. As a starting point, what about;

GENERAL; Horizontal surfaces fixed in area & camber.

F1A: no more than one irreversible movement of horizontal surface (other than DT) after release from line. (Rudder unrestricted)

F!B: Prop fixed in pitch & diameter (other than fold), no more than one irreversible movement of horizontal surface except DT (rudder unrestricted)

Direct drive engine.

This could of course be tried unilaterally by contest organisers under current rules- why not? If it ever became officially sanctioned, perhaps each Nation fielding a full team could be required to have one flyer per class in this category?

Stuart Darmon

For Sale

Radoje Blagojevic from Serbian team sales his models.
2 Stefancuk models,700 euro each ,ready to fly
2 wings (profil Andriukov), 160 euro each
Haraza F1A wings(benedek profile) 200 euro
excellent condition
contact at fb profil Radoje Blagojevicÿ
tel.- +381648021251

Thank you
Best regards

F1A weak link

Dennis Phelan

I barely fly f/f towline now. While I do like the idea of shortening the towing period for a pilot I’m not good on the weaklink in the line. It has been used in another soaring discipline and did not work nor has it gained favor again. I’m sure a better solution will come up.

Another POV

All the different ideas are aim to limit the performance of the models…
This is wrong.
It started not long ago when prohibiting discuss launch for F1B’s.

So many years that inovations, creativity and outside the box thinking has
brought free flight to where it is today.

Almost 10 years ago I had a vision of a free flight competition without
timekeepers but with a big screen where it is possible to track the models
during flight as dots on a map.

Competitions in Hangliding, Paragliding, Gliding and many other aviation
sports do not use referees to keep the score- each competitor (or aircraft)
is issued a logger and it records the performance.

Allthough I am not a technological person, I am sure that technological
solutions are at hand. It is up to the comunity to adjust it to our needs.

It will solve many problems we have today (finding timekeepers, reduce
significantly the mistakes timekeepres do or allowing to track longer

It is true we still do not solve the flying sites problem but I do not
think we need to stop the progress of our sport and limit the performance.

The problem is not the performance. The problem is us can’t keep track of

Again, Just my POV.
Mickey Furman

F1A Towlines
If the object of a rule change is to limit the altitude gain realised after
the flier releases the cable then why note think about the method of
launching rather than trying to specify the launch cable by ‘diameter’ or
‘tension limiter’.
One simple rule change that requires the flier to be in contact with their
launch cable at all times until 10/20 seconds into the timed flight would
eliminate the ‘throwing the line’ which is current practice and results in
the height gain. Quite simply all F1As will then leave their launch cable
at 50 metres altitude at which point the timed flight begins.
To encourage good towing practice perhaps a flier who releases the launch
cable would have their flight recorded as a Zero rather than an attempt.
David Brawn – Biggles FFT

Rogrer Morrell