National Free Flight Society

SEN 2499

  1. Ike wisdom
  2. Highest not always best
  3. Free Flight Quarterly #69 for October 2018 has appeared
  4. Finals with 5 thermal rounds

“After the finals there are 9 happy guys and 90 who want to change the selection rules”
Bob Isaccson many years ago – this is one thing that has not changed

Highest not always best
At the recent USA Team Selection event in what was to be  the last F1B flyoff a number of the sportsmen had launched, all with very impressive climbs with virtually no noticeable “bump” in the transition into cruise and the air looked good. This was late afternoon and was the last fly off of the day, wind dropped and temperature readings were a flat line.  Blake Jensen was in the group. But as he was cranking in that last hand turn before launching Alex Andriukov’s motor broke.  Time was running out in the round. Alex had his back up model ready, I think even with a motor wound. There was no time to risk all the Andriukov hand turns and Alex launched, his transition to the cruise had a noticeable dip, possible because the motor was not wound quite so hard. This was noticeable to me and another pundit watching and we commented on it.

When the round was over and all the scores in Alex was the only person who made the 8 minute max with 480 seconds, two other flyers (Jace and Brian) made 364 and 363 and Blake 303, 3 minutes less than Alex.

Later back in Denny’s (where else) Blake and Alex compared their on board instrumentation (i.e. altimeters) and Blake had climbed to 115 meters and Alex only 110. Normally in a situation like we (the F1B “experts”) would have expected Alex to do about 125 meters.

What does it show – how much altitude those extra hand turns are worth ? How much better Alex’s F1B glides? (not 3 minutes or even 2 minutes) , that the air was just better at the end of the round, not readily visible on the various gadgets.

It’s Free Flight … that’s what it shows. But if Alex had not had that second model primed and ready to go … zero

Free Flight Quarterly #69 for October 2018 has appeared

Could you please include this short notice in your next SEN?
with thanks
The new issue of Free Flight Quarterly for October 2018 has appeared. As usual, there is a good mix of articles, the old and the new.

Interested Listers can view the cover, table of contents and extensive summary of the articles in our website:

Sergio Montes

December Arizona Champs and SWR
From:Peter Brocks

On December 1 and 2 the Arizona Free Flight Championships will be held in Eloy, Arizona. This is the last America’s Cup and National Cup contest West of the Mississippi for the year 2018. There are FAI, AMA, NFFS and SAM events. On the desert flying field in Eloy it will be cool in the mornings but should warm up to about 70° during the day. The fliers (FAI and AMA) can be downloaded from the NFFS Contest Calendar website –

For information on the 3-day 2019 Southwest Regional Model Airplane Championships on January 19-21 go to the new SWR website– please use the Entry Forms there to pre-enter before Jan. 1, 2019.

Please fly with us in Eloy!

Peter Brocks

Finals with 5 thermal rounds

Aram Schlosberg
Looking back at the just completed team selection Finals at Lost Hills, I came out with the strong feeling that 7-thermal rounds on each flying day are TOO CORROSIVE. 7-rounds means flying all day including moves without a break and then waiting till 4:30 pm for the flyoffs. However, flying the 6th and 7th thermal rounds does not “prove” you are a better thermal flyer after 5 clean rounds, but it definitely reduces the number of flyers in the first flyoffs as you can see in the following presentation:
F1A  Day-1
Clean after 7 rounds:  (1) Bauer, (2) Limberger, (3) Thompson, (4) McQuade (33% of 12 A flyers).
Clean after 5 rounds: (5) VanNest (42%).
F1A Day-2
Clean after 7 rounds:  (1) Parker J, (2) Thompson, (3) Barron A, (4) Limberger (40% of 10 A flyers).
Clean after 5 rounds: (5) VanNest, (6) McQuade, (7) Rosenzweig (70%).
F1B Day-1
Clean after 7 rounds:  (1) Simon, (2) Malkhasyan S, (3) Schlosberg, (4) Davis (24% of 17 B flyers).
Clean after 5 rounds: (5) Pivonka, (6) Fitch, (7) Jones R, (8) Booth (47%).
F1B Day-2
Clean after 7 rounds:  (1) Andriukov, (2) Pivonka, (3) Paceli, (4) Jenson, (5) Fitch, (6) Booth (38% of 16 B flyers).
Clean after 5 rounds: (7) Davis, (8) Ghio (50%).
F1C Day-1
Clean after 7 rounds:  (1) Parker F, (2) Chesson, (3) Roberts (30% of 10 C flyers).
Clean after 5 rounds: (4) Ellington (40%).
F1C Day-2
Clean after 7 rounds:  (1) Ellington, (2) Malkhasyan T, (3) Mennano, (4) Carrol, (5) Chesson (56% of 9 C flyers).
Clean after 5 rounds: (6) Mc Burnett (67%).
The selection process should test flyers’ thermal flying AND performance flying. But when thermal rounds eliminate too many flyers, it comes at the expense of testing too few flyers’ performance.  The Finals have enough timers to time the larger first flyoffs after five thermal rounds and more flyers would have a shot of making the team in their event.
A five round format (with 4-minute maxes in the first and fifth rounds) matches the World Cup and World Championships format. In addition, about 50% of the flyers are clean at World Championships, better matching the portion of clean flyers after 5 thermal rounds above.
We have opted for 7 thermal rounds at Lost Hills because most of us use motorcycles for retrieval (a sore points for those who fly-in – like me).  But retrieval in Europe and the rest of the world are done on foot and most flying fields are much smaller. 5 thermal rounds are here to stay.
So, switching to a 5 thermal rounds per day would be a significant improvement to the current Finals format. ///