National Free Flight Society

SEN 2233

SEN 2233 – Table of Contents

  1. Fab Feb Update
  2. In the press
  3. SEN Archive /SCAT Online web site
  4. Missing SEN articles
  5. Fitting Free Flight into today’s World.
  6. Bob Hanfords F1P

Fab Feb Update

Firstly we welcome some new SEN subscribers who signed up to get updates to the Fab Feb Events.

One very important item is that if you are expecting to pick up something from one of the Free Flight suppliers such as rubber from  FAI Model Supply be sure to contact that supplier well before the event because the supplier may have to ship your order out to Lost Hills ahead of time.   I have already had people contact me for Magic Timers that they want to pick up at Lost Hills.

While not an FAI Class the Ike / Kiwi Cup CDs have been asked to run and Scramble or Aggregate event. This event is popular is New Zealand, Australia and the UK.  Details to be explained in a later SEN but we can say that the World Record holder , sometimes known as 007 will be there.  Another contender from the outback has already planned how to Stowe is magic carpet in his carry on luggage.

In the Press

This is a story in a local Canadian newspaper about Jama Danier flying F1A.  The good news is that Free Flight flying got some press.  The bad news is the journalist managed to get his wires crossed on some key details such as confusing World Cup and World Champs.  But in spite of this the coverage in the regular press

SEN Archive /SCAT Online web site

As we mentioned when we changed the way that SEN was distributed by Email , the web site where we held the SEN archive was also damaged.  This is being rebuilt and re-released shortly.  This site had information about how to contact various free flight suppliers.  While some entries on the site were still up to date and referenced regularly others were out of date with incorrect contact information.  We are replacing all of the information in section. So if you are a supplier of FF suppliers you should send information about what you supply, email, web site and the best way to contact you  to us at  An attached  MS Word Document  would be great.

Missing SEN articles

Not every SEN subscriber got last few issues under the old system. We will include a few articles from those issue s at the end of this issue and one or two more.

Fitting Free Flight into today’s World.


I think John Carter’s recent correspondence on the altimeter debate makes some excellent points. – High performance models travel a long distance in anything but near-calm conditions – there’s no argument there it’s basic physics.- In many countries large flying sites, indeed any flying sites, are becoming increasingly scarce.- the rise of safety concerns generated by inappropriate flying of UAVs/drones means that we should always have models WITHIN OUR SIGHT- Land owners are becoming less tolerant of us wandering over land outside our designated fly site.

Limiting flight times is the only sensible direction of travel, assuming we want to keep free flight alive. To do this we need to think carefully how we organise the contest itself, as well as looking for ways of limiting model performance.I think it is disappointing that championships have been reduced to 5 flights from 7, but in anything but clam conditions it helps with retrieving. However, the reduction in flights has allowed organisers to delay the first round resulting in all rounds being in thermally conditions. Whilst I recognise that it might be difficult to get volunteer timekeepers out on the field early, we really should be trying to maximise rounds when thermals may be scarce and consequently flight times are reduced.
In terms of reducing model performance there have been many ways discussed including banning variable geometry and/or camber, limiting aspect ratio etc. However, John Carter’s idea of using altimeters to measure launch height and penalise those launching excessively high is a really interesting idea and, in my eyes, merits some further discussion and debate.

We’re in very real danger of killing the hobby we all love, if we’re not very careful and address the issues our free flight is increasingly facing. Yes we’ve all spent a lot of money on the models in our box, but by sensible and progressive rule changes to limit performance we can generate rules that don’t immediately ban our best models, purely limit their performance and give us the best chance of saving free flight.
Whilst I will still continue to fly F1A, I am increasingly recognising that I need to fly classes with lower performance in most contests and only fly F1As in the more significant UK events.

The issue about juniors taking up free flight is very complex, speaking as the father of a junior that has flown in the most recent European and World Junior champs, but perhaps that debate is best separated from the performance debate.

Mark Gibbs

Bob Hanfords F1P


Hi Roger. Bob Hanford is the current F1P Amarica’s Cup holder so I asked him about his experience with his F1P model. His replay is as follows, with permission to reprint:
“My F1P is all balsa, geodetic wings, plastic covered pylon model flown Rt-Rt, but it does utilize auto rudder and VIT, although there isn’t much stab movement.  The VIT is a very simple fork type, that catches the stab when the power line is released, and then pivots out of the way for D/T.  It’s an Astro Star rib set built to a Pearl configuration, with a slight increase in wing span from the Astro Star.  The CG came out much farther back than expected when I built it, but since I always cover and finish the pylon last, I was able to sweep it back to accomodate the change without having to add weight, although it did shorten the tail moment a bit.  It was easy to trim, and the only times I’ve crashed it is when I failed to hook up the auto rudder line.  I think the F1P’s are LESS launch critical than F1J’s, but apparently that’s just me.  I’ve flown the same model for 10 years, and won or tied for the F1P cup five times.  It’s almost as big as the A/B Satellite I fly, but only weighs half as much, so it’s one of the best gliding airplanes I’ve got.  It’s been consistent and reliable, and I am confident that I can pull it out of the car and fly it without any test flights, and it will behave properly.  It’s a simple model to build and fly, and much less sensitive than the F1J’s.  Seems like a better entry level event that would allow a younger flyer to make the NEXT step to F1J when ready.  Bob Hanford”
No problem here. It’s hard to beat a testimony like this.


plus a little correction from Bob.
Gil—I checked the back America’s Cup scores, and what I stated previously isn’t correct.  I won or tied eight times in the ten years—the other two years I was second by one bonus point each time.

SEN Status

Our web site is still damaged. back issues on SEN can be found on the NFFS website link is on the center lower part of their front page.

Existing SEN subscribers can update their preferences by following the update your preferences link at the bottom of this page.

New users can sign up at  this link

Reminder :Fab Feb online entry form is available at:
It lets you sign up for all the FAI events at the Kiwi Cup, Ike Winter Classic, North American Cup, California Cup and The MaxMen International.  Held at Lost Hills from 11 to 20 February 2017.

Roger Morrell