National Free Flight Society

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  1. Hall of Fame Member Henry “Hank” Cole Turns the Century Mark!
  2. 50 km  and missed the water
  3. Altitude, or duration
  4. and …

Hall of Fame Member Henry “Hank” Cole Turns the Century Mark!

From:Fred Terzian
Legendary Oakland Cloud Duster member Hank Cole turns 100 today (August
We have had the honor of seeing Hank at regular Cloud Duster lunch meetings
in Redwood City along with his “Show and Tell” discussions of his long,
extensive aeromodelling background.

You can view photos of Hank on the Oakland Cloud Dusters Facebook page and
also at


Fred Terzian

50 km  and missed the water

[This event was reported on FaceBook of memorable chase in Canada at a World Cup Event. Edited to just comments from the main protagonists]

From : Tony Mathews on FB
This past Friday, Aram Schlosberg had a fly away without DT of his F1B. Bernard Guest and I jumped in a car with his ICare GPS and chased it. At one point it dropped to only 60 meters high and then found another thermal and climbed to 1300 meters! It went down and back up several more times before finally landing in a swamp 50 km from the launch point.! An epic retrieval to be sure!

Aram Schlosberg

When my model didn’t DT my heart sunk. The chances of getting it back were just wishful thinking. But Tony promised me he will retrieve it and he and Bernard jumped into his car for the chase. I waited at the sod farm for hours for any news. Finally Ladi called with the fantastic outcome.
The landing was also fortunate – onto a small raised area in the swamp. And retrieving the model required wading into hip deep water.
No words can describe my gratitude to Tony and Bernard. I also doubt of anyone will break this dubious record’s altitude and distance any time soon.
It’s also amazing how well the iCare system’s direction, distance and altitude worked. Fortunately, the model’s battery and the iCare’s receiver lasted for the ordeal.
And most importantly, don’t refly a model with the slightest doubt about it’s DTing functionality.


Altitude, or duration

From:David Ackery

Altitude, or duration ?

Ever since the beginnings of Free Flight the basis of all  competition has
been duration, who can fly longer wins. We all understand duration as a
result that can be measured, and that determines the merit of the flight,
and therefore the winner.

So I find that I am uncomfortable when there is different measure being
introduced to determine contest results – altitude is not duration, and it
is a fundamental change to what we understand as Free Flight.

How did we come to this ?. On some occasions at World Cup events there were
limits on time, weather, light, the flying site, etc that did not allow the
full flyoff process to happen, and with consent from the fliers, as an
unofficial way to resolve the contest, DT flyoffs were used as imperfect way
to complete the event while people were still on the field.  A few people
objected to the use of DT flyoffs. So an attempt was made to formalize DT
flyoffs in the FAI rule book, but this failed when it became clear that it
was an imperfect method. So now we have altitude flyoffs where you buy an
approved altimeter for your model and that determines the winner. But none
of these methods is ideal because it does not use duration to determine the
winner, as is the normal way for Free Flight.

Is there another way perhaps, for those occasions where a long flyoff flight
will go off the field ?.  If we look at other FAI classes apart from F1A,B,
C we can see that there exists in some categories a method to reduce the
models  performance for the flyoff. In F1S the motor run is 10 seconds for
the  first 5 flights, then the flyoff uses a  5 second motor run.  For F1Q
for the first 7 flights the energy allowance is 3 joules  per gram, then in
the flyoff the energy allowance is 2 joules per gram.  For F1D the normal
rubber motor is 0.4 grams, however it is common to use half size motors (0.2
gram) with a spacer weight of 0.2 grams, this is very useful for testing but
also for contest use to allow use of sites that are smaller than ideal or
have time limits.  For F1E the flights are made from the top of the hill,
but in the case of a flyoff the Contest Director may evaluate the flying
site and conditions, and decide the launch spot would be best repositioned,
perhaps  to half way down the hill.

These methods of reduced performance currently exist, and importantly they
allow the contest result to be determined by duration, how long you fly for,
not altitude.

With a little thought we could have methods of reduced performance for
F1A,B,C. These would NOT be used in the first 5 flights of a World Cup
event, but would be available to the CD as an option to use , (with prior
advice), if he needed to wrap up the contest on that day within the limits
of the field and time available.

And there was another article roughly associated with some of the issues we face today .. but they could not keep up with Hank, and it did not arrive… so another time