National Free Flight Society

SEN 2470

  1. I’m with the Dino
  2. On rounds and altimeters.
  3. About Altmeters – from the Jury Room
  4. European Champs – Thanks for the Memories
  5. Dropping in the 6th and 7th round.

I’m with the Dino
From: ron kreetz

Euro Champs
I do agree with Michal Achterberg on the 7 rounds issue. But: the weather
in the 6th and 7th round plays an important role (the chance of missing).
Up to that it’s an Euro Champ with less competitors than a World Champ or
some bigger WC contests…..
Also the weather in the FO rounds made it easier (for the organisor of
course) this time. Not exceptional long flights.
Ron Kreetz

On rounds and altimeters.
From: Allard van Wallene
On rounds and altimeters.

Michael, the (Dutch) proposal to change back from 5 to 7 rounds has been approved by CIAM and is now in the rule book. So all EC’s and WC’s must be flown according to this concept while World Cup may still use the 5 rounds system if announced in the invitation.

As to altimeters, when the (again Dutch) made the proposal, I contacted the chairman of the EDIC working group a year ago with the question how we should proceed to get approval. There was no reply. So I insisted again in clear terms which steps should be taken to get EDIC approval:

“Dear Steve,

I would like to ask a few questions to move things forward. Currently there are commercial and home-made altimeters in use. The requirements for an altimeter to be suitable for the adopted proposal are:

-Commercially available
-Time base accuracy of 1 second per 10 minutes or better
-Altitude accuracy of no importance
-Possibility to store altitude vs. time data for the duration of at least the fly off working time (7 minutes) plus maximum flight time (10 minutes)
-Data retention after disconnection of power
-Altitude recording frequency of at least 2 samples per second
-Possibility to transfer these data to software using wired and/or wireless data transfer possibilities
-Read-out and processing software availability (e.g. app or software) which can read out the altitude time data with possibilities to zoom in- and out on a generated altitude-time graph and possibilities to name and store these data. The X-axis should clearly show the time. A movable vertical hairline or mouse pointer over the graph should be available to determine the time.

-How does a type approval application work? Which steps to take, what requirements?
-What is a typical time frame for type approval?
-How is type approval of hard- and software checked during competition?

thank you in advance for your answer,

kind regards,

Again silence. I gave up. Then I asked Ian to contact EDIC and now there was an answer:

“Some of us in the F5B side of things have been looking at ways to detect landings also so as to automate the scoring and reduce the number of helpers on the field. Our view is that altitude alone won’t be enough since there could be periods of flight where there is no change is altitude and that not all flight fields are level enough to use the starting altitude as a reference. Movement of the model using accelerometers and gyros might be needed along with the altimeter to detect landings accurately. This is not as bad as it might sound given that for about $10 you can buy a 20mm square board with all the sensors on it. I really think that they need the additional sensors to get enough info to really do the job right. Here is a link to one of the sensor boards [expired ebay link from Steve removed]

Again, not a reply to our questions.
Later Ian had a talk with the EDIC chairman face to face, resulting in the current status: there are no EDIC approved altimeters for Free Flight however this year they can be used in competition provided they comply with the rule requirements.

F1A sportsman, builder of models and electronics, technical expert CIAM FF subcom, chairman Dutch FF subcom. 1994 World Cup winner.

About Altmeters – from the Jury Room
From:Pierre Chaussebourg

About altimeters
At European championships the FAi jury studied carefully the new rule about the use of altimeters. Then this rule has been printed and distributed to all team managers. Four conditions must be fulfilled. If only one is missing then the competitor must accept the time registered by the timekeepers.

  • Altimeters are used only for fly off
  • A signature is given by the CD before each round. This signature must be clearly identified as well as the moment of launching and the moment of landing
  • The data must be produced on a graph at the responsibility of the competitor
  • The graph is used only in case of a dispute

If only one of these condition is missing or not clear then the competitor must accept the time registered by the timekeepers

At Euro champs several competitors had altimeters : 2 in F1A 3 in F1B 7 in F1C
None asked the jury to look at their graph.

In fact none could have been recognized as the moment of end of the flight is quite Impossible to be identified and the altimeters rule is not in full agreement with the rule discribing the end of the flight.
Now we have the rule but apply it is another story !


European Champs – Thanks for the Memories
From: Chris Edge

I would like to thank, via the pages of Roger’s fine organ, the
organisers of the 2018 European Champs for making the whole event such a success. The new (old) field was excellent, competitions were run well, to time, and with a good standard of timekeeping. Catering and drinks were readily available on the field at sensible prices and served quickly. The banquet and prize-giving were very much for the benefit of those present and much appreciated. At the latter, Pierre Chaussebourg rightly asked the organisers to join him and the audience, myself included, gave them a hearty round of applause for their fine efforts. I for one left Hungary with a very positive view of the whole event.


Dropping in the 6th and 7th round.  
From: Aram Schlosberg

Mike Achterberg argues in SEN 2469 that the 6th and 7th rounds in the Euro Champs substantially reduced the flyoff size. However, the contest was held in very windy conditions and only one of the 9 Israelis maxed out. In B only 20 out of 75 (26.6%) maxed out.

A counter example was the B contest at the just completed US Nationals. There were 17 flyers and two dropped out – in the 4th and 5th rounds. The first 4 minutes triggered the most drops. The weather was calm and sunny and 6 maxed out (40%).

The number of fliers with the first drop in each round were 4, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1 and none in the 7th round. The first round 4 minute max claimed the highest number of initial drops. As just noted, only one flyer out of 15 dropped in the last two rounds.

So the 6th and 7th rounds can curtail the flyoff size in highly windy conditions. But this isn’t a general flyoff reduction remedy.