National Free Flight Society

SEN 2535

  1. weighed, weighed, NUMBERED and divided
  2. Bill Giesking
  3. Simple F1C engine run solution
  4. Remembering Bill

Numbers, numbers, and more numbers
In processing the Fab Feb entries there has been some confusion around the various IDs, membership numbers, licenses etc that are on the online entry form. Most people have figured this out so bear with us on the explanation.
So this is an explanation.  First some history….

Back in the good old days to fly in international events you need an FAI License, this NOT issued by the FAI but by your NAC or National Aero Club.  In the USA for example the NAC is the NAA and the AMA is an affiliate of that this looks after model aircraft.  In those days your FAI License number was typically your national membership number preceded by the 3 letter country code.  So for an American if their AMA number was 12345 their FAI license would be USA 12345.  At that time was very difficult to check if a FAI License was valid because there was no database with all FAI License numbers

A few years ago the system changed to a FAI Sporting License issued by the FAI.  To get one of these you still went to your local NAC and applied.  The NAC sent the information  to the FAI and got the License, they sent the License back to you, typically by email.  This new License has 3 numbers on it.

NAC License number , this is the same as national membership number, the 12345 in the above example

FAI License number ,  this number is not used in our world.

FAI ID  this is a number that uniquely identifies each sportsman.  It is the same ID for life.  If you took part in two different aero sports e.g Aeromodelling and Hang gliding you would have a sporting license for each and they both would have the same FAI ID.  This number is important for our sport. It is used by event organizer’s to verify that a person has a valid sporting license and in the allocation of points to that person based on the participation in World Cup events.
The sporting license also has validity dates, the name of the particular Aerosport e.g Aeromodelling, a photo, the name of your NAC, your date of Birth, your country and gender.  It is signed by the License person in your NAC and you sign it .
For Aeromodelling this is required to enter in events on the FAI international calendar. Typically these are the World and Continental Championships and the World Cup

Here we are interested in the use in the Free Flight World Cup.  Here the number identifies valid World Cup participants.  This is important for two reasons, it is used to accumulate points that you score based on your placing in the World Cup events and secondly it is used to calculate the bonus points awarded in an event based on the number of valid participants. The more participants the more bonus points.

So when a World Cup organizer reports the results of his event he has to include the FAI ID for every participant in the results.

Avid followers of the World Cup will have noticed the protests and resulting kerfuffle at the end of  2018 where in the critical last events a significant number of participants did not have valid FAI IDs with current license for Aeromodelling.  This resulted in the change of allocation of bonus points.

In this case the NAC said that every model Sportsman in their country has a FAI Sporting License.  But not all of those people in that event were in the FAI database.  What this meant was that while the NAC would give them a FAI Sporting License (at no cost in this case) the NAC had not actually sent the license information to the FAI for everyone so some people did not have valid sporting licenses.
This brings up a larger question on the actions of the individual NACs .  Some NACs are very organized and submit the information correctly in a timely manner others not so much.  Sometimes the errors are simply clerical, for example one male Fab Feb contestant reported to us that he had checked his sporting license and found that his gender was indicated as female. So allow plenty of time and verify the results.  Some NACs may not give you your FAI ID but you can get it, see the next paragraph.  There are cases where the NAC may have ignored an existing FAI ID and issued 2 licenses for one person.

You can check if you license is correct and current by going to the web site. The link may change but at time of writing it is on this page some where in the middle of that page is a link. . Because of data privacy laws you can’t just browse the FAI database but you give it your family name and the information is sent to the email address registered for you.
One side comment is that the FAI does not charge for the Licenses, your local NAC may charge what is really an “admin fee” for their work in issuing the FAI Sporting License for you.  From casual observation this amount varies widely by country.

Now with respect to the Fab Feb events.

You need a FAI Sporting Licenses for the World Cup Events – F1ABCEQ and F1P for juniors only

You do not need it for the FAI Mini events,  F1P for a FAI senior – not a World Cup Event, the AMA events at the Ike or the Ladies Tea Party (sorry I could not resist that )

On the Fab Feb online Entry form there is a place called Sporting License Number here you enter your NAC sporting license i.e. old style FAI License for example USA 12345 or UKR 102 etc.

The FAI ID is asked for in the FAI ID field.

If you are a visitor to the USA you must have  AMA Associate membership.  This signs you up for a year of the AMA’s insurance while flying in the USA.  This sold to visitors to the USA who want to fly in the USA.  You need to supply your home countries Sporting License number to qualify for this  e,g in the example just above the UKR 106.  Some visitors already have an associate AMA membership from a previous visit that still may be valid (or even it is expired) there is a place for that AMA number.
Americans have to have full AMA membership.

So there are 3 different numbers we need

NAC Sporting License Number
AMA number

Finally there is a sometimes a question from a flyer who says, “well I’m not going to fly in another country and anyway if a I get on a National Team for the World Champs I’ll get my license then”.  Well our sport/hobby is one of the few where you can compete with the World’s Best, it’s not very likely that one of us is going to drive in the “other” F1 with Lewis Hamilton and friends. But we can fly with the top guys in our sport. By competing with the best you get better.  And this being Free Flight, that thermal you find does not know if your name is Albert, Anton, Anne, Allard, Alan, Antony, Anastasia, Abraham, Adelaide, Alexander, Alfredo, Anders, Aníbal, Aram, Artavazd, Artem, Aviv  ….nor if the wings on your model are covered , carbon, Icarex, Polyspan or tissue.  What attracts the top guys is how well the event is run, the field , and the number of participants. The latter is key because it can get them more bonus points.  So just by taking part you are encouraging more top sportsmen to make the trip to your local event.

Bill Giesking
From:gilbert morris
Bill was a genius at model airplane design. I attended a FAI team selection
qualifier in Denver, 1987. Bill was flying the first ever folding wing F1C
– his invention. He missed a few rounds but he proved the viability of the
folder. Now it’s common. Rest in Peace, Bill. We will miss you mightily.

Simple F1C engine run solution
When you stop and think about it most, if not all, of the weakness in the
present stopwatch method is knowing when to stop the watch. The start is
easy — you synchronize with the flyers motion and you press the start
button when he lets go — right on.  Now, suppose there was some warning
when the engine is about to stop so you can synchronize with the stop —
perhaps a bright yellow LED comes on followed by a bright green LED,
followed by a bright white LED that comes on concurrently with the engine
stop — Bam, your right on. Reaction time (the big bugaboo) is eliminated.
Problem solved. Everyone installs a simple LED circuit  and we are in
business – just like that. Even a rooky timer would be a pro. What do you

Gil Morris

Remembering Bill

I knew Bill from our early (1950’s) High School days in Denver. His parents home was right across the street from South High. We’ve flown together endless times since then. Of special memory were the times when he and Anne were a Team.   Bill had an inherited, inventive ability which lasted throughout his active free flight career. Such things as VIT and variable CG were among his earlier innovations. He was an incredible innovator. Most active fliers have no memory of those early days. Tom Koster might?

Bill Lovins