National Free Flight Society

SEN 2009

Table of Contents – SEN 2009

  1. CIAM Meeting Perspective and Vote
  2. Not just F1C, the number rounds too
  3. SEN Policies and missing articles
  4. FW: Thank you

Missing articles issue

CIAM Meeting Perspective And Vote

From: Chuck Etherington

I would like to offer some perspective on the CIAM Plenary meeting. As usual, the performance-limiting proposals represent the area of greatest interest to US flyers. Of the 12 performance-limiting proposals for F1A, B, C, only one passed. The US argued and voted against all of them per the results of the opinion poll.

Rejected 3.1.1 Definition Germany Ban flappers and folders beginning in 2018
Rejected 3.1.2 Characteristics Poland Reduce the F1A towline length from 50m to 40m
Withdrawn 3.1.11 Launching Devices Austria Reduce the F1A towline length from 50m to 35m.
Rejected 3.1.11 Launching Devices UK Minimum towline diameter 1.75mm
Withdrawn 3.2.1 Definition Germany Ban flappers and folders beginning in 2018
Rejected 3.2.2 Characteristics Poland Reduce the maximum weight of an F1B motor from 30g to 25g.
Rejected 3.2.11 Launching UK Propeller must have been released prior to launch
Withdrawn 3.3.1 Definition Germany Ban flappers and folders beginning in 2018
Withdrawn 3.3.2 Characteristics Austria Standard fuel should use ethanol instead on methanol
Rejected 3.3.2 Characteristics Germany Standard fuel should use ethanol instead of methanol
Accepted 3.3.2 Characteristics Poland Reduce the motor run from 5 seconds to 4 seconds
Withdrawn 3.3.2 Characteristics UK Reduce the motor run from 5 seconds to 4 seconds

Regarding F1C motor run, separate proposals were made by Poland and the UK. The vote turned out somewhat surprising. The preliminary Technical Subcommittee vote (taken prior to April 21) was 6 for, 8 against. Following a discussion in the Friday technical meeting, the vote went 10 for, 5 against and that result was accepted in the Plenary. My feeling was that the subcommittee had made so many concessions in F1A and F1B, they felt they needed to make a stand in F1C (the event with the highest performance).

Two other observations I would like to share:

1. Cultural – All of the performance limiting proposals were submitted by the European countries. The Europeans and North Americans (US & Canada) appear to have very different views on how to achieve a “sporting result.” The Americans tend to want to push the performance envelope with minimal restrictions. Narrowing the gap between the top performers and the average is the responsibility of the individual to raise his/her performance. Europeans tend to be more concerned with fairness and “leveling the playing field.” Thus the popularity of performance restrictions to narrow the gap between the top performers and the average. So it really comes down to where the responsibility lies to narrow the gap between the top and the average; the individual or the organization (CIAM)? There are, of course, other factors involved in limiting performance but this seems to be an important underlying issue. Will this cultural difference be narrowed or resolved any time soon? Probably not, but maybe those differences contribute to bringing balance to CIAM.

2. Political – The RDT for F1C makes little sense. An out-of-control F1C will shed the wings when RDT is activated and become a ballistic missile. The only way it might be viable would be to shut off the engine at the same time as RDT activation (not possible with a mechanical timer). Even then, actual safety benefits are suspect. However (and there’s always a ‘however’), this “safety” requirement may just be the first step toward complying with national/international regulations to keep FF models out of airspace they shouldn’t be in. The FAA, CASA (Australia), and others are taking a hard look at model aircraft. Their concern is UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) that can be piloted beyond line of sight and/or into airspace where they shouldn’t be. Although Free Flight is not currently on the ‘radar’ (pun intended) of most airspace controlling agencies, it is only a small step for them to ask how we keep our models out of controlled or restricted airspace. Is that a good reason to require RDT for F1C now? Not in my opinion, but it’s certainly part of the larger picture.

Not Just F1C – the number of rounds too

From: Marty Schroedter

It appears by following SEN and reading in other places that many of the current F1C fliers have decided to hang it up because of the upcoming change to their event. I thought the purpose of change was to keep it exciting and allow more people to compete that weren’t competing now. Seems like their untested change has done exactly the opposite of what they were trying to do. Can this decision be changed back to what it was before or are they willing to just let this event die because people don’t like the rule change? Did the powers to be think it was really going to increase interest or was it simply to put a greater gap in performance between the fliers which is what this change is doing? If you know you can’t compete at a level that at least you stand a chance of winning, why fly? It’s clear this change is going to decimate this event, maybe not at first but given time it will.
Mike suggested a perfectly reasonable modification to the rules that might possibly help keep people flying. Why at the time of the decision wasn’t something like that proposed so it would keep models on an equal playing field so to speak? Maybe because no one thought they’d actually change it to 4 seconds without first testing it.

I am also surprised that I haven’t read anyone commenting on the rule change requiring future WC and CC only be 5 rounds. Wasn’t there a lot written up about how many people are in the fly offs now at these events so they were trying to reduce the amount of people making the fly offs so the CD’s would need less timers? Reducing the amount of rounds logically only increases the amount of people in the fly offs. Those extra two rounds helped decrease the amount of fliers on a consistent basis. I don’t follow their decision to change here.

I understand that a 7 round contest can be long but 7 rounds aren’t always mandatory if weather conditions are such that a contest can’t have 7 rounds. Every CD has the discretion to change at any time if the weather doesn’t allow for all 7 rounds, actually in reality there are no minimum number of rounds to have an official contest from what I have heard. I’ve been told that in Europe 5 rounds is standard but, if the weather allowed for it I’m sure the competitors would prefer 7 rounds, maybe I’m wrong here I don’t know. Any contest director can change the amount of rounds to whatever is necessary I don’t think going to 5 rounds is the answer when it was something that wasn’t needed in the first place.

So what am I missing when it comes to the decision made to go from 7 rounds to 5? Was it the same logic used to go from 5 seconds to 4 seconds in F1C, making it so more people would be interested in flying? Are people getting that tired having to fly two more rounds that they felt they should change it? Then what will people do after that 5th round is finished to kill the few hours in between the last round and the fly off? It still makes for a long day either way you look at it. Wouldn’t you rather be flying than sitting around waiting for the fly off to start? Didn’t I also read that the 5th round could be changed to 4 minutes? So you’re asking us to fly a 4 minute flight right in the middle of the day when you’ve been saying that these planes are flying off the field with only 3 minute maxes. Do you really think this is making it more difficult for that last round during thermal conditions? Again the same logic must have been used when coming up with this great idea.

People you need to speak up if any of the new rules will get you to either stop flying or make a change that will make it less enjoyable for you to fly. If we say nothing, then they will think the decisions they made were the right ones. Speak up or it will be set in stone and we all will have to live with it.
Marty Schroedter

SEN Policies and missing Articles

A couple of times recently we had edited out small sections of some articles. Normally we do not do this. Whate we publish is the opinion of the writer, not or SEN or the Southern California Aero Team or anyone else for that mater.

Sometimes we consider some words to be flat out incorrect or have un-unecceasry personal critism of someone. You will all remember some of the discussion around the last event in the 2014 World Cup Series. All kinds of accusations flying left, right and center. The wisest words can from the well known Swedish F1A sportsman Per Findahl who reminded every that the protaganists were just regular guys like you and me with feelings.

We understand that in that case and some of this discussion that’s going on now that some people are very passionate about their flying and get understandably upset when it looks like it is going to be changed for the worse. It does appear that some the people changing the rules are not taking this into account and making apparantly arbitary changes for the good of the sport with out either consulting the participant or explaining why things were done. The days when a patronizing leadership can do this are gone.

We try to maintain a open civil discussion. It is important to remember too that the organizers and officials fron the CIAM down are volenteers too, giving their time to run ‘our’ events

Lastly sometimes with everything that’s going on sometimes a piece that is sent to SEN just gets lost. Leslie’s Chuck’s and Marty’s articles that were sent a few days ago and are now included are examples of that. It’s OK to to write and ask if it was lost or something.

FW: Thank you
From: Leslie Farkas

Hello Roger,
You did not like our thank you???? Ha-Ha-Ha

Best regards,Leslie

Subject: Thank you
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:40:14 -0400

Dear Roger,Your work and contribution to our sport is unmeasurable. We all thank you from Canada.

Editor’s comment

Thanks, even from the frozen North are always welcome. eh?
Roger Morrell