National Free Flight Society

SEN 2008

Table of Contents – SEN 2008

  1. 1000
  2. Cuthbert on C – GBR
  3. Johannes – USA
  4. Pope – AUS
  5. Dino
  6. Arm Chair Ace

Ross Jahnke posted in Free Flight

There are a number of Free Flight groups on FaceBook but the one we work with the most is  just called Free Flight

and it  was set up by Ross Jahnke – F1B and other stuff sportsman who lives in Louisiana and teaches art at Nicholls State University.

An encouraging milestone is that this group has reach 1000 members and the 1000 th member in a young man, Nelson Lui

Quoting Ross ….

1,000 MEMBERS! I’ve received so much valuable information and taken part in the best debates on the current

and future states of our sport. Thank all 1,002 of you for making this page such a success.

Ross Jahnke

Cuthbert’s Comments on C

I have just received the latest issue of Free Flight News here in England in which there is an article by Ian Kaynes on the recent CIAM Plenary decisions. I shall address my observations mainly to the F1C rule changes but also the Contest changes.

Included in his article is a list of those who attended the meetings. Makes for interesting reading because as far as I can see only one of them is a F1C flyer, ( Sandy  Pimenoff) and he has not flown the class for decades. It also includes a guy from GB who flies control line speed models (Peter Halman). WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING ON THE COMMITTEE. The only reason I can think of is his expertise on high powered 2.5cc glowplug engines. But why do we need him? Surely Eugene Verbitsky, Artem Babenko or the manufactures of the Fora and Cyclone engines should have been there. At least they fly the Class. (text removed)

So let’s look at the reasons they have stated for the changes. I quote direct from Ian Kaynes article.”F1C models have a particular excess of performance, being the class coming closest to achieving the ten minute maximum in early morning flyoff’s”  OH REALLY. I have looked at the flyoff results from the last ten years of World and European Championships, 2004 to 2014. I excluded of one freak result in Italy in the 2012 Euro Champs when only one flyoff was completed which appeared to be unlimited as it was won by Leonid Fuzeev with a time off 10 mins 38 secs, apparently in lift.  NO OTHER FLYOFF HAS BEEN WON WITH A TEN MINUTE FLIGHT. In fact the average winning time is 454 secs, 7mins 34 secs and the average flyoff time of the top three places, (sometimes only two flyers took part) was 414secs, 6mins 54secs. So where are these 10 minute maximums in the early morning flyoff’s. THEY DO NOT EXIST. And here is another interesting fact. In those 10 years the F1A flyoff was won with a greater time than the winning F1C time. So why no action on F1A performance reduction. WHAT REALLY IS THE CIAM AGENDER TOWARDS F1C.

So lets examine the decision to reduce the engine run from 5 to 4 seconds to reduce performance. Again I quote Ian Kaynes from his editorial. Quote “Discussions suggested that timing the shorter run should not be any harder than the current run with the model being lower and thus nearer the timekeeper” This statement suggest that CIAM think that engine run timing is a visual thing. NO IT IS NOT. It is an audible thing. The only way to time the engine run is to observe the release and stop the watch when you HEAR the engine stop. Not when you see the prop stop (impossible at any height) or when the model bunts, as so many inexperienced timekeepers do, particularly at major champs. Because of this many contestants bunt their models within the time is takes for the sound to reach the ground. Typically 0.7 secs. after engine stop with a 5 second engine run.  To achieve the same effect on a 4 second run and to accommodate the inexperienced timekeeper, I have calculated that the bunt needs to come in at 0.5 seconds after engine stop thus over stressing the airframe with possible serious consequences.

One of the main benefits of electronic timers is that we now know, very accurately, how long the engine actually runs. In my case this is 4.05 secs. This gives me a safe engine run of 4.70 to 4.80 secs. from timekeepers with various experience. I will increase this time to 4.10/4.15 secs for serious flyoffs but run the risk of being given an overrun by some timekeepers. I wonder how many of the twenty two  members of the CIAM who voted for this were aware of these figures. The vote was 20 for and 2 against. My guess is not very many. Based on these timing requirements I calculate that a safe engine run will be 3.30 secs. to achieve a 4 sec run. HOW PATHETIC IS THAT.

So to the contest changes. To reduce the number of flights from 7 to 5 with the first and last rounds flown to an extended max of 4 mins. Voting was 32 for and 3 against. Where did these extra 13 members come from for this vote, and who were they????  Presumably this is because we are all getting older. So in a few years will they reduce it to 3 flights  to accommodate all the geriatrics. BUT HANG ON  we are supposed to be “reducing model performance” (Ian Kaynes quote) and hence the distance our models fly to accommodate “these smaller sites”  So a model flown to a 4 min max at midday (round 5) in strong lift in windy conditions will still be on these small sites. NO IT WILL NOT. Remember the upper wind limit is still 9 metres per second. WHY WAS THIS NOT ADDRESSED. And to increase the first flyoff max to 6mins, usually flown in lift, again will not achieve any of the above objectives either.

So what is going on here? I wish I knew. I only hope that these draconian measures can be reassessed and reversed. There have been many comments from the FAI fraternity on these matters. NONE OF WHICH HAVE BEEN IN FAVOUR. So I say to you, Ian Kaynes and all the other CIAM members to rethink some of  your decisions, we can all make errors of judgement.  The important thing is to recognise that and put it right.


Editors comment –

Some text was removed from John’s report because it was not in accordance with our editorial guide lines . We do not believe that doing this softens John’s unhappiness and questions about the outcome of the meeting.

From a separate report of the meeting Pete Halman was instrumental in pointing out that changing the F1C fuel to ethanol was not a good idea.

Also the attendance at the meeting and the ability to vote as part of the FFTM, I believe depends on the nomination of the person by the NAC, in this BFMA.  For someone to attend he has to be approved by the NAC and someone has to pay that person’s expenses to travel to the meeting.  For example in past the AMA in the USA used to pay for a number subject matter experts to attend the meeting to advise  the AMA’s voting member. But in recent years lack of funds has caused the AMA to stop funding these experts.  However, the year the USA FF community funded Chuck Etherington, the current USA person on the FFTSC to attend the meeting,  represent the view point of the US flyers, vote in the FFTM and advise the AMA’s voting member in the plenary meeting.  As we reported in SEN the NFFS (the Free Flight special interest group in the USA ) got a professional polling person  to collect opinions from the US FAI Free Flight Community and help in their interpretation.  As you may have read not everyone is completely happy with how this was done but there is no question that a sincere effort was made the represent the active Free Flight flyer in the USA, probably better than many other countries..   With respect to Verbitsky, Babenko or whoever, it is really the resonsibility of that person’s NAC to get the right people to the meeting. Perhaps the current political situation in the Ukraine reduced their ability to take part. I know there are NACs that appear to be well organized and well funded that just did not have the budget to send people to this very important meeting.

F1C Rule Changes

From:     David Johannes – USA


Add my name to the chorus of outcries regarding the new, ill conceived F1C rules.

Life has been the primary reason I have not been able to be as active as desired for the last few years.

But I always believed/hoped that a time would come when once again I could get back into active F1C competition.

My models are/were not world beaters, but generally could be competitive with the more advanced designs.

Not any more.

Now it appears my beliefs/desires were but pipe dreams; unless somehow the 5-second engine run can be reinstated for conventional direct/fixed ships.

The models I have available to fly/be repaired will no longer be competitive, and in fact would not even be “legal” without significant changes/retrofitting.

These rule changes make no sense, and therefore seem suspect, as has been alluded to by others.  What are the true motivations/agendas?

Seems like F1C is being treated a bit like the coal and oil industries, being regulated out of existence, to the detriment of many people, based on the emotions/views of a very few.

Perhaps the goal is to kill F1C, with the intention of “driving” people into F1Q?

These changes will not help the sport at all, and if not quickly corrected, certainly will kill F1C for me as well.

David Johannes

RE: F1C – 4 seconds.

From:     gary Pope – AUS


It is good to see all the reactions bubbling up in SEN.

As for me, I think the rule change to 4 seconds is excessive. My five existing models will most likely be junk under the 4 second rule. I don’t think I’ll be flying F1C at 4 seconds. Its a pity as all my F1C’s now have RCDT. I wonder if the pool of F1C flyers around the would will get smaller or bigger during the next 18 months as a result of this rule ?

I would be happy if the 4 second F1C rule was rejected.

Best Regards


Dino POV – again

Wow. That’s a mouthful..

I know I said was signing off, but really didn’t think much of the RDT issue.

So the flyers are now required to put RDT on there models, which of course means etimers. For all the chatter about wanting to control costs and not make flyers have to buy high tech expensive models, not only have they made fixed wings models obsolete with 4 sec, now they have to spend upwards of $2 k just to fly them next year..

So, before I had little chance of winning, but now I have to spend a couple grand$$$ just to fly my model at 4 sec. and have zero chance of winning.. Humm. I’m brain dead , but this one I can figure out.. Yep, these flyers will absolutely QUIT. So here we have the unintended consequences.

I dont believe this is what the CIAM  intended.. So lets fix it.

But to be clear. There is a gizmo that Berbenko offered that will RDT a model with mechanical timer. The problem with this is it doesn’t shut off the motor. Here’s what happens.

Model out of pattern. Flyer hits RDT, wings immediately blow off model and now you have a motorized SPERE heading towards the ground.  Well it will be exciting!

Once again this rule, for all good intentions, not to well thought out.. This happens and sometimes we have to rethink our options.  We have time to do so.. The World govering bodies can in fact resend these rules and maybe vote in by email new ones. It isn’t that hard to do. It’s just one little event. And get it right!

Lets fix it in one email vote. Lets do the right thing for all the flyers while we are at it.. Give the traditional models  .5 sec  more motor run. Those being direct drive fixed winged models. Lets put them back in the game and get people back flying them. By doing this we get the people back that didn’t want to invest in flappers, folders and gears. We hurt no one. We obsolete No models. We create a totally competitive environment again in F1c..

Those with flapper / folders still have there toys to play with and the rest of the flyers still can enjoy the thrill of free flight again. No one should complain. This addresses the pros and cons of both sides of the argument. To be clear 4 sec for flappers/ folders, gears and 4.5,sec for fixed wing direct drive models. Or if u want 4.5 sec flappers/ folder, 5 sec fixed direct drive models.

Very glad to see that some of the Dinos learn to type.. Keep it up and let the CIAM know how you feel. Don’t stop with one posting! Get your fellow flyers to voice an opinion. Everyone that I’ve talked to thinks that this simple handicap system has merit and will be a positive to F1c. If you agree say so. It hurts no one and benefits all.. Good luck. Hates to see a once great event disappear.


Michael Achterberg. – Jurassic Park (aka Waegel Field)

Sitting in the Arm Chair – Ready!

From:     Jim Lueken.

Hi Roger,

This Arm Chair Ace thing sounds pretty good. I’m already working on my presentation. Have any contests been organized yet? I’m willing to travel. I think I will compete in the F1C event….I barely know anything about it so I should score well. Do I need an FAI stamp to compete? How about AMA?

Thanks, Excited in California.


Roger Morrell