National Free Flight Society

SEN 2887

  1. 20-20 Hind sight
  2. Altimer section
  3. All locked up – in the past?
  4. Fun meter pegged
  5. What the other guys do
  6. In The Press
  7. Finally

20-20 Hind sight

In reading the reports of a couple important F1Q event on FB it seems they were able to avoid the dreaded altimer flyoff  by tweaking of the energy allocation to reduce performance to suit the field  and conditions.  Oh, wasn’t that Energy limiter the thing that was a really terrible idea?  Maybe but now it looks like a whole lot better decision than the pundits said when it was introduced.  At that time I think the object was to future proof a class where the electric propulsion technology was advancing very rapidly.  Batteries had made a jump from NiCad and NiMH to Lithium, now there are a number of different links of Li batteries and we read in the news about other technologies that will emerge “real soon”.  What it did was give a way of regulating how high the model can get as height is connected to energy used but also gave a heads up to sportsmen that the needed to be able to adapt at an event to the reduced allocation.  Something that would be hard to do with a F1B if you gave it less rubber or a F1C if for example you introduced an inlet ventruri restrictor just for the flyoff.

This made me think of rule changes that were not always universally popular the time have turned out to be not a bad idea.  One was about the use of electronic timers, a plan to ban them because the beginner could buy a model with one and it would fly it self to a max every time.  I did not take part in the rule making sessions but understand that it took some discussion to figure out what was Ok and what was not. The session was helped by the presence of Dan Tracy from the USA.  Dan worked a Boeing at the time and was some form of Exalted Technical Fellow (apologies to Dan for the somewhat flippant description of his senior tech position) . Dan realized that it was not timing that was the problem , it was the possibility of a closed loop control system that could stabilize the aircraft and find thermals. Not everyone was aware of the tech term “closed loop control system“.  So the new rule prohibited the use of a closed loop control system.  This was not popular with some at the because they were already working on that.  Now, that was clearly a good decision, maybe because of limiting performance but more so in keeping Frr Flight out of UAS / Drone class and being subject to a whole bunch more of restrictions.

One other “great idea” that was stopped before it got too far was prohibiting discus launching F1B , C and Q.  At the time people had flown a F1B with a discus launch and what they were working on was how to reduce the vertical stabilizer size from big for the discus part to small for the thermal seeking glide.  A R/C hand launch glider is about the same size as a F1B so imagine how much higher  one would get with a delayed start after the launch. While someone with a “small” F1B whirling on the flight line would have excited the health and safety it would be nothing compared with a twirling Q or C.

Finally one innovation we did not do was stop variable surface area. The first time we saw a folder open up we all admired how graceful it looked and the technical achievement but just did not think of the effect of something that went from a control line speed model under power to a F1A glider …Well may be Leonid did ?


All locked up – in the past?

From:Michael Achterberg

Nostalgia. Think those events are already covered in AMA events.. But to your point… What is your point???

F1 ideals are to create the optimum flying machine.. To push the limits of possibilities. AMA flyers never quite understood these goals and efforts to chase the unattainable.. Anybody can build a Ramrod and make it fly..An F1 flyer can make it better and strive to do so.. AMA flyers content to just fly it as is..  Different strokes for different folks..But I’m curious why post about something you obviously know nothing about??   F1 flyers have the curiosity to think what if?
AMA flyers content with what was…

Fun meter pegged

From: Jerry Fitch


Talk with some of the F1S/E36 flyers to find out how simple and easy it is to trim with no auto surfaces.  🙂  Fun meter–PEGGED!  As Ron would say.

What the other guys do

Seen on FB and maybe the F5J flying field ?

It is a pleasure to announce FAI, #airsports.fai has granted approval to new Fw 1.24 for GliderKeeper- This Fw brings full connectivity to GliderTimer plus a series of other improvements, Now you can enjoy the system in formal constests as well in your day to day experiences- See all details in

Note the is not an EDIC approved device for Free Flight aka F1 events and they are tailored to those R/C events but …..

In The Press

Just got my copy of the NFFS Digest.  Excellent issue around the USA Nats.  I liked the report on each event that often gave ‘the rest of the story” plus the part where the event winner gave details of their top model.  This year the  Nats, both indoor and outdoor had a number of special junior focused activities that are described. Included a number of plans and plenty of photos.  The weather was great and while the turnout was not quite up to pre-pandemic it was still good. Go to for NFFS info.  You can join the NFFS even if you don’t live in the USA. The Free Flight Digest is a class publication and it can be downloaded in PDF form saving postage.


SEN is about FAI Free Flight, we know there are lots of different classes of Free Flight and we respect those that take part in all.  We promote an exchange of ideas.  It is important to respect other peoples views and keep to the subject.  We are creative people and get ideas, supplies, equipment from many different sources, even R/C modellers ?, and more.