National Free Flight Society

SEN 2884

  1. All the best
  2. Pre-Flyoff
  3. Flight to the ground
  4. Duration is the Target
  5. Altimeter Flyoffs
  6. Leonard “Len” Kendy

All the best

From:Michael Achterberg

Congratulations Hank! Happy Bday.



From:Charles Markos

The longest flight wins!

Ackery’s wish is already in place at some FAI competitions.   It is
simple.  No max for the first round…timed to OOS or to the ground.  First
round flight time over “normal” max is added to score only if remaining
rounds are all max flights.

Chuck Markos

Editor’s Comment.  People do it in some FAI events, in particular for the Mini events that tend to be held on the last day of a weekend so no chance to do it the next day. I have used it for the Mini events in Feb, when on more than one occasion the F1J flyers complained about increasing the fly off time because of wind so it was at a time where a Dino F1J could easily attain it , so no conclusion.   The difference is the Altitude Flyoff is in the Sporting Code so can be used for a World Cup event this form of tie-breaker is not.


Flight to the ground

From:Michael Achterberg

Altimeters . It is not important how high you get. Although nice to know. It’s about time to the ground! This is the best function of these altimeters. No more last model out of sight declared the winner. No more best binocular declared winner. The real winner wins! Dont understand why someone would want it any other way?  Boggles my mind.  Thermals. Dino


Duration is the Target

From Roy Smith

Hi Roger,

_Duration is the Target_

This is as a follow up to David Ackery’s thoughts on duration being the aim of free flight, not altitude, as expressed in SEN 2883.  In support of this thesis I relate a tale of being in competition with a well-known power flier, who consistently manages to achieve prodigious heights in the power phase.  I watched him launch into yet another flawless power pattern and as the engine stopped and the model transitioned into its glide, in what seemed to be good air, I thought to myself (probably not quite accurately) that he could DT from there and still make the max.  I turned my attention back to the model I was preparing, for just a few seconds, and then glanced back up to see how the competition was doing.  It wasn’t where I expected to see it.  I scanned around the possible area of the sky where I thought it could be, I still couldn’t see it.  Thinking that perhaps it had found a colossal boomer at that height and was already a speck in the sky, I asked the flier where it was.  He pointed it out, at some distance from us, not 25 feet above the ground.  It landed far short of its max.  I’m sure that everyone has experienced the same thing, or at least witnessed it.  Air doesn’t just go up rapidly, it can also come down just as rapidly.  That model had obviously flown out of the good air it was in and found the rapidly descending cool air, probably between two nice boomers.  Altitude is no measure of future performance – as followers of the stock market will ruefully tell you.  Surely the objective of free flight is to consistently find the ‘good’ air and avoid the ‘bad’ air, and the measure of our ability to do that is in the duration that we can achieve, not how high the model gets.  The objective isn’t to build a model whose performance is so extreme that, even in bad air, it will achieve some arbitrary duration limit or, in good air, will achieve performance that is far beyond the limits of available fields, or our ability to see the aircraft.

David, quite rightly in my opinion, proposed that fly-offs should be conducted with increased restrictions on potential performance – providing an ever-increasing challenge to the search for air that is good enough to achieve the objective.  I would go further than David, however, and question “why demand such extreme performance even in the qualifying flights?”  In the SEN 2816 of January this year I raised that same question.  Doesn’t it make more sense to limit the potential performance of the machines to the point where it is still hard to achieve a reduced duration target that is consistent with fields that are readily available to many around the world?  Duration is the target (or should be, in my opinion), but the potential duration of the machines that have been developed, designed according to the rules in existence today, far outstrips the confines of most fields.  By deliberately forcing the designs to be such that the potential performance is considerably less than current aircraft they will mostly stay within the confines of a field that is available to many.  It will still be just as much a test of the flier’s skill in achieving the best flights possible from that equipment, by judicious picking of air, trimming of the model, consistency of launch, etc., that currently determine champions, but it will be able to be done on a field that many can find within their purview, and no-one will have to resort to artificial means of trying to determine who would have won if the flight had been allowed to proceed to its ultimate conclusion.  In my view the simplest way to limit the performance is to put a limit on the wingspan and to eliminate moving surfaces during flight.

Roy E. Smith

From the Aeronut    Free Flight Forever

Editors Comment

the simplest way would render virtually every current model  FAI FF in the World Champs classes ineligible.  So all current sportsmen would be …….


Altimeter Flyoffs

From:Aram Schlosberg

Altimeters on models are the best thing that has happened to free flight (IMHO). There may be only a handful of unlimited flying fields in the world, often in faraway places. Instead, we have to contend with the available fields, typically surrounded by forests, corn and bean fields, high power lines, water hazards like rivers, lakes, swamps as well as roads and housing etc.
Timing errors increase with the flight’s duration – as the distance to the models increases particularly in dawn and dusk. A related issue are the large number of models in the air particularly in the first flyoff.
The issue is the correlation between the model’s altitude as say 2-minutes and its time 4 or 6-minutes later. Those higher at 2-minutes are most likely make the 6 or 8-minute maxes. In other words, the likelihood of a model being in good/bad air at 2-minutes and then flipping to bad/good air during the next 4 or 6 minutes is very small. Of course, unforeseen events such as early DTing (which I’ve done) or mid-air collisions do happen.
In altimeter flyoffs models are likely to remain on the field. But there is an overhead to check each model’s altitude after the flight. The top %X percentile in terms of altitude in the first flyoff should qualify for the next altitude flyoff.
And finally, an altitude tolerance should be defined for ties. ///


Leonard “Len” Kendy

From:Fred Terzian

I was notified by Jason Kendy, that his father Leonard “Len” Kendy passed
away on August 18th at the age of 94.
Len will be remembered as an active F1B Wakefield sportsman during the
Seventies, Eighties and early Nineties. In later years he enjoyed building
scale rubber and compressed air free flight models at small field venues.
Below is a shortened obituary sent by Jason:

Leonard Kendy said his goal in life was to make 100. He got close, passing
away from natural causes in Monterey, California at what he would call “the
very respectable age” of 94. He loved life and people and was entirely
reluctant to leave.
Len was born in New York, served in WWII, and on the G.I. Bill became the
first in his family to attend college, ultimately receiving a Master’s
degree in Engineering. He had an almost four-decade career in aeronautical
engineering in Los Angeles before he happily retired at 61 to Soquel,
He was an avid builder and flyer of free flight model airplanes–a hobby he
first began in his youth in the 1930s. He was also a great lover of jazz
and classical music, and played both piano and guitar in a number of styles.


Fred T.