National Free Flight Society

SEN 1990

SEN 1990 – Table of Contents

  1. Fly – be happy
  2. Good news Dep
  3. F1P
  4. CIAM Proposals
  5. Bernard is right
  6. Shame on you

Don’t worry, fly happy
From: Ken Bauer

Sorry but I find most of the rules talk rather silly. We seem to forget that the world changes and people change. So tweak the contest formats if needed but leave the airplane specs alone for the most part. The diversity in free flight models is already huge so there is something for everyone. You can spend a few dollars on a small glider or rubber model that flies in a small park or you can spend thousands on a high tech marvel that flies high and long over vast expanses of field. All are fun in their own way. Choose one you like and switch to another whenever you want. If you live in a part of the world where FAI events are the only choice then try promoting one of the many alternate events that are already flown in other countries.
Let the guys still flying F1C enjoy them as they are for as long as there is still a guy or two left for the big contests. They fly them because they like them and get a thrill from them. If finally no one is left then other events will fill the void. Just look at E-36. This event reminds us that something new in free flight can still get people all around the world excited about flying. And the response to E-36 helps us understand the demographics of free flight in today’s world. There are hundreds, maybe thousands (someone correct me) worldwide trying E-36. This is great but I’m guessing the average age is still pretty high (Gene, you know?). If free flight were super exciting for young kids there should be thousands flying E-36. Maybe this will happen. But there ARE thousands of young kids flying RC helicopters and 3D stuff because the world has changed. And that stuff is fun too in its own way. Nothing wrong with different generations pursuing what they find exciting and fun.

Good News Dept

Seen on FB – a new F1H kit by the Aringers – modern construction, looks like designed for beginners

Details to follow


From: gil morris

Tony Mathews has correctly put his finger squarely on the type of model Doug envisions. However, the analysis ends there. The F1P model is required of any junior aspiring to become Junior W/C. F1P has remained a junior event because it is flown with F1C and open flyers opt for the larger F1C leaving F1P to the juniors. This is unlike F1J models that got flown by junior and open flyers in an event of its own and not mixed F1J with F1C. I built an F1P and love it but haven’t flown it in competition for fear juniors will put me to shame. No, I think an enlarged F1P type model with a 2.5 cc engine would be attractive in F1C, particularly with a BOM rule.

Editor’s comment – I know that out west Doc Schneider had a fun competing with Juniors Taron and Sevak ?in F1P. Doc did find the kids hard to beat.

CIAM proposals
From: Leslie Farkas

Many of us are seriously concerned about the upcoming CIAM meeting with the scheduled new rule proposals. As most of these recommendations werenot tested, let us not wait to find out that these changes will have an
adverse effect on our sport. The problem with the voting is not new as for the the last
thirty years the representatives of many countries have been voting on a
subject that they do not fully understand. The lack of understanding stems
from the fact that they have never flown in all the categories they are
voting to change. If they abstain from voting on a subject upon which
they are not truly informed we would not be in the present situation. All national CIAM representatives must be informed how to vote by the members of their organization, based on their interest categories. (F1A, F1B, F1C or others) . We here in Canada and in the USA doing just that by preparing the agenda for our representatives. However, we are only a small piece of the puzzle and other nations should do the same. In fact, I would like to see a one year moratorium for any changes which would allow the proper testingof those suggestions. It is the genuine interest of sport that must be considered to create andmaintain a healthy environment for our sport and for future generations.
Leslie Farkas

Bernard is right!
From: omri.sirkis

Bernard is right!
I am referring to the serious part of what he said…
F1Q should replace F1C or at least become a world champs event.
Last year i played with an F1Q built from surplus F1B parts. It used a cheap motor/ ESC and an electronic timer with Rdt.
This thing was the most simple and easy to operate free flight model
I ever had. No winder, stoog , or rubber to mess with.
Just assemble the model and fly it. It has 4 solid climbs on a single battery charge. The battery cost as much as a few F1B motors and should last for many charge cycles.
Another advantage of electric power is the possibility of limiting the amount of input energy in an accurate manner by energy limiters
As opposed to limiting the rubber weight or engine size.
We all buy the rubber ( or the F1C motors) from the same makers and we have no way to know how good it is until after testing. An electric motor is by far more predictable.
The problem with F1Q is the lack of mass participation as most of us, devoted F1ABC flyers, invest a lot of time and money on our main class,
And there is very little space for the relatively new class.
I think that if F1Q will have a world champs status it will quickly become a major freeflight event and even replace F1C like Bernard suggested.

Shame on you (editor that is )

From: Alan Jack

Roger; Shame on you! Can’t you debate the issues without throwing mud? In most fields of endeavour one proposes a theory and then interested parties test it. It is simply impossible to have everyone on the same page, some will be informed and agree, others will be informed and disagree and some simply won’t know anything about it even when it’s in plain sight. I wrote and presented a paper at the 2013 BMFA Free Flight Forum called “In Praise of Simplicity” which espoused changes which where along similar lines and I think objectives as the subsequent BMFA proposals. At the Forum I felt there was a reasonable degree of agreement. There certainly was not a storm of protest. I would say the ideas put forward by the BMFA where quite well known in principle even if the detail was a surprise to some. I find your term “infamous” inappropriate; just because you don’t agree does not mean you can slander them so easily.

To my observation free flight is in serious decline amongst the youth and this trend is the most prevalent in what is commonly termed “the developed nations”. Britain follows this trend, a great shame and at least to my view a serious loss to modern youth who could get so much from this great sport of ours just as the plane mad baby boomer generation did/do. I don’t see any reason to kick lumps out of us for following this sad trend.

For me at least the major reasons to restrict performance have very little to do with bringing youth into the sport. I don’t think that youth are put off or turned on by the level of complexity of models. Mostly it is simply that they don’t have the opportunity to see it and as a consequence none of their peers do it. Being a “one off” is a very hard path for any youngster to follow. I certainly agree that we should closely observe and copy those who are successful in encouraging youth participation but I strongly suspect that it has nothing to do with specifications.

My principle reason for supporting new restrictions in the specifications is simply that the performance has outstripped all but the largest of fields and the best of weather. Ten minute flyoffs simply go too far! OK we can get away with it sometimes but even at Lost Hills we have models flying off the field. Yes a model in a thermal will be in the air for a long time if it dt’s at 3mins but at 10mins its gone a heck of a lot further and rdt changes the game on big thermal flights. In this day and age it’s irresponsible to deliberately fly a model onto property for which we don’t have permission. Surely for organisers of a competition to sanction a round in which they know that the models will travel outside their permission is acting recklessly and at least in the UK there are laws which deal with reckless actions involving safety.

The idea that the only problem with a long fly off is the issue of timing is surely misguided – where are we going to land the model; if we launch it from the field at Lost Hills is it acceptable that it lands on the I5 because we know that it has landed because the GPS says it has? A comparative flight in the UK from Salisbury Plain might well land on Stonehenge – that might be amusing for a dawn flyoff on a mid-summer dawn. In the UK and from recent events I know Australia too, the air laws suggest that models should always be in sight of the flier. I suspect that flights that can only be seen with binoculars already contravene this regulation. In these days of “drones” we surely must act?

The idea that the F1 classes are “pure” and should allow any level of technical development is also far from sensible and does not fit the facts, we have acted to cut motor runs, restrict rubber, ban closed loop control, ban tuned pipes, restrict the fuel etc etc. New restrictions would only follow that inevitable trend. I f Peter was making golf equipment he would know that there are strict limits on the volume of the club head, the bounce of the ball and the way a putter is held – and many more I am sure.

Talking specifically of F1C, I have always liked it because the models were fast and went high. Yes we need less noise so let’s have silencers, combat shows that this can be done without increasing engine performance. Models of today are only going as high as F1C’s did in the past with longer runs. The biggest difference is the vastly improved glides. These in turn have mostly come from higher aspect ratios made possible by composites and/or hard alloys. The other set of developments that make the modern F1C glide so well are folders and flappers that allow a much better gliding section to be hoisted aloft. The thing I would most dislike is a move to emasculate the models. I want an F1C to be fast and go high that means that the only avenue is to act to reduce gliding performance. So what that might be – no flaps, no folds, aspect ratio limits so why is that direction “infamous” Roger?

New restrictions don’t act to stop innovation more likely they encourage it. New restrictions don’t mean a return to bamboo, balsa and tissue. I would say those who oppose new restrictions are the ones who are really opposing change. Can we have a debate in which we see a way to keep models more often on the fields we have without making them feeble? Can we find ways to make our models harder to fly so that winners are the best at flying?

alan jack

Editor’s comment

Alan, In both SEN and the social media there has been comments and questions on the “BFMA” proposal but up to this point no one has made any comments supporting the proposal or providing additional information on the logic behind it. Maybe it required by obnoxious comment to get a reaction.

I agree that some debate / discussion needs to be done but the proposal puts some drastic changes that could have very negative effect if voted in. It would seem that time should be spent on that discussion without making accidental rules changes.

If we look at the proposal for F1A – there are two items for the first phase, these are proosed as immediate rules changes and the changes for future years mentioned in the explanation of the change. I’m assuing that those other changes would not take effect automatically an another vote would be takemn later.. The first item makes the towline diameter 1.7, this suggestion has been tested by others and it is suggested that it makes the models very difficult to tow and tough for the begineer and less atheletic.

But the second item seems even less thought out or tested. It requires that the tow line come off the model before the modeller lets go the line from his hand. From the point of view of the time keeper I’m not sure how it is possible to watch both the flyer and the model to make sure the launch is
in accordance with this rule. While not a F1A flyer I think that this would affect virtually every serious F1A models as the flyer lets go the line as the model pitches up to bunt and the line falls of the model a few moments later. It is probably possible to figure a hook design and timer set up to make this work but this could mean replacing every hook and/or timer in the F1A field. Or maybe it was well thought out because the stated objective is to make the still air time of 150 seconds – this change could make bunt launches difficult with the current models. If as a simple F1B flyer I do not understand someone explain this.

Roger Morrell