National Free Flight Society

SEN 2351

  1. Lost Hills lessons
  2. 1/2A and 1 cc engines and props in stock

Lost Hills lessons
This past extended weekend we had 2 F1ABCQ and 3 F1E World Cup events at Lost Hills plus mini-events.  The last time we had a World Champs in October was in 2001 and some international sportsmen showed up to see how October conditions compared with what they have been experiencing in the Fab Feb events.  They found out that it is very different.  On top of that the conditions for the Kotuku Cup on Saturday was very different from the Sierra Cup on Sunday

Saturday was Lost Hills on it very best but challenging behavior.  There was virtually no wind all day and the wind direction changed often.  So much so that many F1A flyers had difficulty deciding on the best direction to tow.  The most important lesson was learnt by the Hong family from China,  Liu is a university student in the USA but had not flown at Lost Hills. He flew well, with a little coaching from dad to make the flyoff along with Alex Andriukov and Charlie Jones. But he was not able to fly the following day because he had not physically recovered from the event.  This is almost certainly due the extreme dehydration.  The likelihood of that rises very quickly because of heat.  When the temperature is about 20 C or 68 F a change of one or two degrees is not so significant. But when it is at 32 C or 90F a change of even one or two degrees is very significant. Once you start getting dehydrated it is very hard to catch up. I learnt a lesson from getting dehydrated at an event earlier in the year and consulted my daughter-in –law Christy, who is a triathlete.  My problem was that I was out of the country and could not find any sports drinks like Gatorade that  contain electrolytes that help with hydration.  Christy suggested a couple of products that you mix with water so that that you can take them with you to any event.  I used them in the 40C conditions in Hungary this year to good effect.   There are a number on the market and it is important to try them out at home before you leave so that you know they work for you.  The product that I ended using is called Tailwind, it has some calories as well as electrolytes.  Some flavors have caffeine and some not. Wes, the boy with the crazy grandparents agrees with me that the lemon flavor tastes a bit like swimming pool water but Mandarin Orange and Mixed Berry were Ok. As a side comment the boy with the crazy grandparent thinks that his mother is crazy too, after all who would want to go the New Zealand  to do a Half Ironman or go anywhere to do any kind of o triathlon for that matter.  The conditions of this day as it went to the evening gave perfect calm fly off conditions, buoyant air but no serious thermals with Andriukov just achieving 10 minutes and not going very far.

So lesson 1 – drink plenty of fluids, something at least every round and include some with electrolytes.

The second day was a bit more classic Lost Hills October conditions.  Stronger breeze, stronger thermals, some broom stick thermals and turbulence. Broom stick thermals are very narrow and it is easy to be knocked of them of them.  Long periods of no apparent air movement. Sometimes this is because the whole field is going, sometimes the whole field is going down, how do you tell ….?  I noticed a number of new models that flew very well on the previous with the milder conditions have trouble with the increased turbulence and get knocked out of what looks like good air.  So what do about it, do like Lauri Malia (F1A), Bob Sifleet (slow F1A sized Q), Alex Andriukov, (new design F1B), etc. and do extra tests and contest flying in turbulent, thermal conditions. Next year we will have these 2 events again at 2019 World Champs time so it will be a chance to check it out.  The F1B flyoff was very different than the evening before with only 3 of the 7 making the first 5 minutes flyoff and I was the only person to make the 6 minutes second fly off round.  Because of the tricky thermals, turbulence, the kind of trim that worked the night before probably would not have made it.  The Flyoff rounds has shorter Max times then the previous day because increased wind speed and more dust in the air hindering visibility but there was not difficulty in getting a sporting result.  Both days finished at sundown

Lesson 2 – nothing beats on site practice

The Columbus Day holiday on the Monday had the mini-events and forecast of wind.  However while it was windy in both Northern and Southern California with serious and tragic wind driven fires some residential areas and there was high winds at the South end of the San Joaquin valley near the base of the Grapevine no bad stuff made it to Lost Hills

Lesson 3 – The weather is the weather as always and sometimes it’s better than others.

The final F1E contest is today and all results will appear in SEN soon.

1/2A and 1 cc engines and props in stock
From: Alberto Dona

1/2A Green and Blue Fiberglass Props in stock now, also 1/2A and 1cc Fora & Profi engines.

1/2A Blue Fiberglass Props


Alberto Dona

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Roger Morrell