National Free Flight Society

SEN 2807

  1. SEN Who or What
  2. Puzzled on FAI Rule proposal
  3. Southwest Regionals in Eloy, Arizona
  4. Maxmen 2021
  5. F1A:  large catapult launched gliders
  6. F1A – Last Man Standing

SEN Who or What

Normally at this time of the year we publish a reminder or confirmation of who we are or … But this year we  will leave that to a later issue and talk about more about what we are.

Quite simply our objective is to support Free Flight and FAI Free Flight in particular.  We know that sometimes proposed rule changes do not get circulated very well and that it is important to talk about them to avoid any unintended consequences .  We are fortunate to have many top FAI Sportsmen amongst our readers and benefit from their comments.  And even when they write spoof comments so that we take the time to look at ourselves, that is good.

Any international sporting endeavor is always complicated to administer and organize;, generally speaking the people who organize our sport at both a National and International level  contribute a lot of their personal time and do a good job.  As Allard pointed out the submitting of proposals and voting is done by the member NAC (National Aero Club).  It is clear from some of discussions that there is a lack of communications at that level too.

This is a sport/hobby that we like doing and like flying with others who have the same interests. At the recent Hungarian World Champs my grandson Wes came to help me and observed that I have a lot of nice friends, especially those with a bit of Edge. So we like to keep the discussion civil and focus on positive solutions. A while back I got some criticism for publishing or not pieces from a person who was proposing  some drastic but probably impractical suggestions.  It is good to know what the other side or our detractors think because all suggestions may have some benefit (if only to make us actually think!).

So to this end I have figured if I was a F1A flyer and looking for an event to fly in I would not go to Minnesota unless I took my own timer.  I think the last man is not Standing, he is Lying down and his name is not Biggles but Jama. It is taking part that is important.  And I believe some of those (dreaded)  slinky black carbon airplanes already have hooks that do not move.


Puzzled on FAI Rule proposal

From:Peter Tribe

I am puzzled why this rather unlikely event has been proposed for a rule
change; it is not difficult to compose a list of far more likely risks to
life and limb.

Ignoring the really big one, how about motorised retrieval, and bicycle
retrieval. Much more likely to hurt yourself falling off a push bike or
motor bike while carrying an 8 foot span model in one hand than
deliberately falling to the ground.

I once was just about to pick up my line when a motorcyclist rode past me
and my line got caught on the bike and the line was whipped away; I still
dread to think what would have happened to my hand if I had been a few
seconds earlier!!

Despite that near miss, I am not really advocating a ban on Motorised
Retrieval, many of us are to far down the road for that.

Peter Tribe


Southwest Regionals in Eloy, Arizona

From:Peter Brocks


The Southwest Regionals in Eloy, Jan. 16-18 are calling. It is 3 days of Free Flight in the desert in FAI, AMA, NFFS, SAM and FAC events. For information, entry forms, map, photos and 2021 rules go to .

We will have COVID-19 mitigation on the field: keep a good, safe distance from each other, wear a face mask for closer distances, flight timing and recording will be without physical contact.

The weather forecast looks good with temperatures from 42°F in the morning to 70°F in the afternoon – with no rain.

Peter Brocks, FAI SWR CD

2021 Bob White Memorial Max Men “Lite”
An Americas Cup Event
February 8 – 15, 2021
Bissonette Mirage Field, Lost Hills California, USA


F1G, F1H, F1J and F1S:    Monday February 8
Tie Breaker Morning Flyoff:  Glide to the Ground  (Not a Regular Round)
15 minute flyoff windows   F1G & F1J:  7:30 – 7:45 AM,  F1H & F1S:  7:55 – 8:10 AM  (Please help time)
(5) 1-Hour Rounds + (2) Flyoffs  –  Round 1 Start Time: 8:30 AM
If an event is not complete after (2) Flyoffs, Morning Flyoff times will determine unresolved places

F1E:    Wednesday February 10
        F1E California Cup   Organized and run by SCAT  (Separate Bulletin & Entry)
(7) 1-Hour Rounds + Flyoffs  –  Check-In on Holloway Hill at 9:00 AM   Round 1 Start Time: 10:00 AM

F1A, F1B, F1C, F1P & F1Q:    Saturday February 13
(7) 1-Hour Rounds + Flyoffs  –  Round 1 Start Time: 8:00 AM
Round 1:   Extended Max 240 Seconds
Reserve Day:  Monday February 15

Medals & Perpetual Trophies Awards will be presented on the field at the conclusion of flying

Entry Fees:
F1A, F1B, F1C, F1P & F1Q:  $30.00 Per Event, Second Event $20, Juniors Free
F1G, F1H, F1J & F1S:  $20.00 Per Event, Second Event $10, Juniors Free

All fees will be collected on the field.  Please bring exact change.
Be respectful of Covid-19 Protocol and your fellow competitors
Non-AMA Members from out of the US must pay AMA Affiliation Fee or show receipt from prior payment

Deviations from the FAI sporting code and special instructions:
Flying will be from a “line” with no assigned Pole Positions
Competitors must provide their own timekeepers.
Round Max Times, Fly-off Max times and Fly-off start times will be decided depending on the weather.

Contest Director:  Bill Booth Jr.
27842 Whisperwood Drive, Menifee, CA  92584    USA
(760) 889-3201 or e-mail: 


F1A:  large catapult launched gliders

From: Dave Edmonson

Before circle tow and bunt, the straight tow models would be typically launched at 173 feet (164 feet plus height of modeller with out-stretched arm and maybe a little leap).

With the advent of carbon composite wings and stretchy lines, the objective has been to double the launch height with catapult launches.  The idea of towline gliders has been abandoned to catapult.

So why keep fooling yourselves and just get rid of the running nonsense and just bungee launch your models?

Who really wants to time a flyer out there playing with himself for a half hour waiting for a thermal to flow through and then to see him/her fly into climax in a diving ball of dust!

A better approach to getting that guaranteed thermal is to line up a dozen high powered motorcycles to zoom underneath your model for that max.

Dave Edmonson from Minnesota, where no one will time a F1A model.

SEN 2806 – F1A Last Man Standing


F1A – Last Man Standing.

Congratulations to our modern F1A influencers who have created the excessive performance we now enjoy in our contests. Jama Davier for creating the unique ‘Body Splash’ launch technique to amplify the model’s potential energy by use of his body mass. Brian Eggleston for his development of two-speed LDA wing sections which can maximise the kinetic energy generated from the potential energy to achieve maximum altitude gain from an ‘explosive’ launch. They are the culmination of a short list of innovators who have sought to maximise the flight performance within the FAI regulations. LDA sections are not as new as many think, having been used in F1C for several years, and a quick look at the Vartanian HLG record holder published in 1941 reveals an LDA section.

‘Splash Down’ is a high risk technique but does not require extreme athelticism. An alternative is the Gym Bunny approach of developing an arm and upper body strength of simmian proportions, combined with sprinting. Some argue that athleticism is a feature of our sport but the FAI makes no mention of this in its regulations. Basically, if it works for you in increasing your performance you can use the technique. But is the technique dangerous?

F1A is the least regulated major class. The specifications are still the same as 70 years ago except for reducing the launching cable to 50 metres, and banning launch devices from being attached to the cable during the launch phase. Compare this to F1B in reducing motor weight and the ban on motor heaters, or F1C with reducing engine runs and a ban on exotic fuels (nitromethane). Perhaps it is time to bring F1A into line with B and C.

The original F1A rules anticipated a level flying field for the competitors with the model starting its glide at a maximum altitude defined by the launch cable; initially 100 metres now 50 metres. If the FAI decided to reinstate this objective through the regulations then the immediate choice is to make the cable attachment to the model (towhook) fixed in relation to the fuselage.

Swinging hooks enabled controlled circle towing in a wide range of windspeeds. Releasing the launch cable enabled a post release altitude gain – 5 to 10 metres on circle tow, 20 to 30 metres with bunt, and 50+ metres on bunt with LDA sections. All of these height gains would be eliminated by a fixed hook rule. Banning the moving hook, of whatever type, would return F1A to a glide contest just like it was back in 1970, the Golden Age of F1A.

Biggles Abroad