National Free Flight Society

SEN 2086

Table of Contents – SEN 2086

  1. Sympo 2016
  2. Rubber
  3. Drone on – FAA ruling and Fab Feb etc

Call for Papers for the 2016 National Free Flight Society Symposium.

Every year Free Flight modellers receive an invitation to participate in the writing of that year’s Sympo. Their response has been excellent, and this high degree of cooperation has continued through the nearly five decades of existence of the Sympo. Free Flighters realize the importance of this volume, a volume that continues to define progress in the corner of aeromodelling that we have made our own.

Our time is a most exciting one, in positive and negative senses. Great technical developments abound, many new and superlative materials have been introduced, the flow of information has never been easier, yet youth participation is low and the confrontation with law and regulatory committees makes our flying more difficult every day.

We would like to reflect this mixed reality in the areas of interest and topics for articles that we suggest below. Throughout its history the Sympo has been a unique tribune for technically minded authors, as it can offer more space, and a larger audience than any other alternative outlet. We encourage contributions in this area.

Areas of interest

1) Technical articles
Lost models, flight logging, energy or altitude limiters, timers, thermal detection, etc
Aerodynamics, Airfoils, Turbulators, Flight Simulation, etc
Combining theory and flight testing

2) Electric Power
Everything, from the ground up ….

3) Materials, Structures and Construction:
New and Novel versus Tried and True

4) Promoting Participation
Social aspects: flying alone, flying buddies, local clubs, special interest groups, national and
international organizations
Impact of rules and regulations
Pro Am format participation in contests
Flying fields: fields large and small – where are existing field and how to develop new ones
Synergy: joint efforts with schools, national STEM programs, civic groups, etc

5) History, book and article excerpts
Discussing historic references of value

6) Scale Models

7) Short and Long Range goals for NFFS
As defined by the President’s Message at end of volume

In addition to this list, we would like to offer to interested authors a longer list of possible subjects for articles. The list with these themes can be downloaded from the National Free Flight Society website (, or Free Flight Quarterly’s website (

You can contact any of the members of the 2016 Sympo Editorial Committee (e-mail addresses below) for further information and support. The preferred medium of the article is electronic, text in .doc format and separate images in .jpg or .png formats.

Louis Joyner
Dave Lacey
David Mills
Sergio Montes
Chris Stoddart

Symmetrical rubber motor comment:

From: Jim Lueken

Aram’s findings for spliced rubber motors was very interesting. However, I didn’t notice any mention of variation in thickness over a given length of rubber which should be included I would think, unless, the term “bit lumper” covered this subject.

Have fun, Jim

Drone on – Recent FAA Ruling

We have got some questions about the recent FAA ruling to register Hobby Drones and Model Aircraft.

Disclaimer – We are not lawyers and cannot offer a legal opinion.

Firstly the notice is very new and there are parts that are not clear yet. Some organizations, including the AMA are working resolving some of these. It appears that the AMA would like to get registration included as part of AMA membership but this is not done yet.

In a FAQ on the FAA web site they talk about sUAS – small Unmanned Aircraft Systems and this is what has to be registered. The FAQ states that term UAS implies not just a flying machine but a complete system that also includes the communication system with the pilot of the aircraft. They state that machines without the communication system do not have to be registered and site examples such as a paper airplane and a Frisbee. An AMA announcement also says the requirement to register is for aircraft that have an associated transmitter. This sounds like Free Flight aircraft do not have to be registered. This does need to be clarified.

Part of the logic/justification for the FAA/DOT to register the sUAS is an extension of the requirement to register full sized aircraft. The US DOT can only register American full sized aircraft so by extending this argument they can only register American sUAS. Because the initial registration is for Hobby sUAS that are owned by private individuals it follows that the owners must be US Citizens or permanent residents. So the non-resident goes to the FAA web site and gets a certificate of ownership.

Note that it is not necessary to “register” every airplane. You get one FAA issued number that covers all of your airplanes. Should this be required for Free Flight aircraft you could put this on the sticker that has your name and address.
With respect to the Fab Feb Contests. Not with standing all the above For sUAS that were owned prior to 21 December 2015 they have until 19 February 2016 to be registered. This is after the end the of the Fab Feb events.

Roger Morrell