National Free Flight Society

SEN 1934

Table of Contents – SEN 1934

  1. What’s Hot 2
  2. The Swedish Idea
  3. P-30 web site
  4. Tom Hutchison Photos

What’s Hot -2 Bamboo and Banana oil ?

A few issues back we reported on a FB discussion around a proposed set of changes to the F1ABC to reduce the performance. The inside scoop is that the FFTSC of the CIAM has taken these off the table. This however gave a rise to a further FB discussion about using various electronic/automated techniques for timing model. These are largely around the use of altimeters or what could be considered a form of flight recorder. Normally we would include some form of transcript but to do this would require extensive editing particularly as the conversation did degenerate into some humor or rather humour that included ROG F1As with the aide of an attached shopping cart and towed by a haggis

If you look at most performance related competitive sports or activity where the measure is objective rather than subjective, automated timing or measuring is common. The most common parallel that we draw is with motor/auto sports where 50 years ago at a race meeting there was a battery of timer keepers with mechanical stop watches who timed every lap by hand (I know because I did it at a couple of Tasman Series races at Levin). And a separate bunch of people recorded the place in the race. Now every car is fitted with a transponder that records all of this information, sometimes at several spots around the track. In an interesting parallel they auto guys still require official to observe the race to watch for infractions in the rules as we would require to watch out for the line tangles, midair collisions and the like. Again as with most technical sports there are bunch of auto sport guys who long for the good old days and race cars of a bygone era, still these auto-luddites do use modern safety gear, modern tools and the latest timing equipment. Sound familiar? Free flight does have some special elements that don’t fit into this parallel and the most notable is flying out of sight, perhaps because of the time keeper eyesight, perhaps because the model flew behind and obstacle, perhaps because dust or cloud., perhaps ….

Going back to our auto friends, why do they do this, people cost and availability (good timer keepers are hard to find and they have to pay them!), fairness and more and better information increases spectator and participant interest. Hmmmm

Clearly we are some way from doing this although lots of the bits are there. For example the (hobby) drone industry has cheap radio data feeds, still a little too big for us that could give a radio feed back to the timekeeper. Maybe a line of sight feed? If we look at a number of R/C events they use a number of different kinds of automation to promote interest and facilitate the running of the event. A few years ago we had a live feed of the results on the Ffab Feb events on line, a World Cup event this year had both data and video feeds. To keep Free Flight alive we need to get outside of our comfort zone and do something, going back to bamboo and banana oil won’t work. Reducing performance without some corresponding move to increase interest and participation is just hammering nails in the coffin. Detail fiddling with the rules like the F1S auto rudder is just a distraction and not a solution. Maybe automated time keeping is not the right thing but it works for Formula and NASCAR, we need to think outside the box and work on some of this stuff.


Likes the Swedish idea
I think the F1ABC-2 rules are a great idea……..But will it happen?
Howard Gostelow OZ.

Derek’s P-30 Web Site
is at –
A work in progress. Derek is to be congratulated on the work with lots of useful information and a nice presentation.

Tom Hutchison Free Flight Picture Gallery

This past week a photograph was posted on Facebook showing Roger Simpson, Pierre Chaussenbourg and Tom Hutchinson. The photograph is part of a collection of photographs from Tom. Tom along with being a well-known designer of several models from the 60’s and 70’s was also a person who loved to take photographs at contest. Tom passed away in the early 80’s and his collection of photographs was given to Bob Stalick for using in National Free Flight Society publications. After I had set up the FAI Power web site with the help of Joe Mekina, Joe made contact with Bob to see if we could use the photographs on the FAI Power web site. Bob agreed and Joe then took time to have them scanned in. As Joe and myself are busy with several different projects in our somewhat busy lives we agreed to take some time trying to identify the flyers in the photographs. Because neither one of us made the time when this site was created some time ago, Joe then decided to just make a web site using the photographs without identifying the pictures on the website. At this time we have not posted any of the photographs on the FAI Power web site where we take the time to include information such as names, locations and dates. Perhaps as time and interest permits we will do this someday for both this website and the one for FAI Power.

I had viewed the web site this past week and saw that only 203 visitors had visited the site. This made me thing that a lot of free flight flyers did not know about the web site. If you like looking at models and competitors from the past take some time and visit the 499 pictures posted on this web site:

The collection includes contest from Taft, 1973 Pierre Trebod, 1971 and 1973 World Champs. Very young looking Eugene Verbitsky, Peter Allnutt, Ken Faux, Doug Galbreath, Thomas Koster and many others are in the photographs. Also, you will notice that not all the models look the same. Back when the competitor’s built then own designs.

The website is set up to view the 499 pictures quickly by displaying clickable low resolution thumbnails with a maximum pixel width or height of only 200 pixels. However, clicking on the thumbnail gives a “half-size” higher resolution picture. These “half-size” pictures can be considered by some to be high resolution, on the order of 1350 x 2000 pixels. If you really want to view a true high resolution version, perhaps to zoom in on a detail, simply replace “half-size” in the URL in your browser with “full-size” and the high resolution on the order of 2700 x 4000 pixels will appear. Use your browsers back button to return to the thumbnails.


Walt and Joe

Roger Morrell