National Free Flight Society

SEN 2889

  1. One clarification, One Example
  2. It’s there already
  3. Carl Bogart’s thoughts
  4. About 20 years ago

One Clarification, One Example

In the Tipping, Crossing article with it’s business references I should have included a third, a book on sales.  But being a simple techie, I did think of that or have one. The point was there but maybe not obvious enough.  The principle from  the head of sales and marketing is that it is always easier to keep your existing customers than to find new ones.  That’s why I said that any effort to a change must include all the stake holders.  I got a note from a friend who put it differently and more bluntly.  – we have too few flyers today so must not do anything frighten them off.

In the article I talked about the importance of actually testing any proposed rule change.  A very good example of that in fairly recent history is E-36.  Prior there was a USA class called E-30, this was so bad that even in these days where people want fly something from the “good old days”, no one flys E-20. What the NFFS did was get a group of experienced modelers to make the rules for a new small electric class and actually build and fly some to make sure it worked and was better than E-20, it clearly was.

It’s there already

From:Ross Jahnke

I would like to reply to Dean McGinnes’ suggestions for FAI. In his post he
suggested the following:
1.  F1A–no circle tow, zoom or bunt.  DT and auto rudder only.  50 meters
of line.
2.  F1B–prop stop and DT only.  Also no auto surfaces.  40 gram motors
3.  F1C–engine stop and DT only, no auto surfaces. 7 seconds engine run.
4.  Keep the 3-minute max
5.  Introduce (the) same changes to the “lesser” classes.
6.  Models would be simpler and within reach of more younger modelers.
Some might actually build them themselves (horrors!)

There are events in place that address much of what Dean recommended in 1,
2, & 3. Classic Towline, Vintage Wakefield, and F1P, B gas, or E-36.
Participation is towline and wake is good and growing, and you can choose a
wake that has no auto surfaces, and even one that has 50 grams of rubber.
F1P is close to locked up and E-36 is just motor run and DT. E-36 is one of
the most popular and accessible events in power (gas and electric). A
complete kit that you must build, including the drivetrain is under $200.
so anyone who does not desire to engage with the current technology in FAI
events has an accessible event to fly.

The 3 minute max is central to the large FAI events, and sets them apart
from the mini-classes and AMA, so I agree it needs to be kept. However, a
modern model and a vintage model will drift the same distance downwind in 3
minutes, so this does not address the flying field problem we all face.

The younger modelers are evenly divided between current FAI and AMA
classes, but they aren’t flying the vintage events much. They fly F1P only
because FAI rules require it for juniors. Once the juniors can fly F1C
again, F1P will likely go away. Outside of FAI, juniors and seniors are
flying E-36, P-30, Mulvihill (often with P-30’s) and CLG/DLG, events that
have the characteristics Dean calls for.

The subtext of Dean’s thesis, and others like it that have been posted over
the years, is that he wants to enter the FAI events, but on his terms, not
ours, or FAI’s, using the argument that others like him are clamouring to
do the same. For Dean and others of a similar mind I recommend either
flying the alternative events that I listed earlier, or enter F1A/B/C with
home built locked up models. The 4 second engine run in F1C is clearly a
problem for a B gas model, so maybe F1P would be better since any good 1/2A
will suffice. for F1B, the 30 gram motor is less of a problem than you
think, so go for it. Vivchar and W Hobbies both sell locked up beginners
models at a very low price. A few Nats ago I flew an original Dragmaster in
F1A, you can too, and again, locked up models of contemporary design are

Everything Dean asks for already exists. There is nothing stopping him or
others from flying the type of models they desire, but please don’t force
everyone else to do the same.

Carl Bogart’s thoughts

From:Gilbert Morris

Very good to hear from you Carl. Carl is a many times F1C team member, par
excellence, always with a forward innovative approach and
distinctive designs. I concur entirely with you and with Roger’s added
editorial of bridging the chasm that exists in  F1C, a great event if ever
there was one. I think the technology is ripe for a leap in advancement.
I’m almost of the mindset that F1C should become a team event in and of
itself because of the breadth of technologies involved — team of
specialists — and format something like The America’s Cup in sailing
where a contest would stretch over several days with only limited flights ,
say three per day.

You might balk, but I would like to see the
feedback circuit clause in the rules rethought (see 20 years ago part 2 in an upcoming SEN).


About 20 years ago

From Mr. Magic
About 20 years ago Victor Stamov, Ken Bauer and I met to have a radical discussion. Ken is very good RF engineer and had a prototype radio D/T. Victor was using the special Red Magic Version of my Black Magic timers that I had made for him. He wanted to try an RDT with his model for use when trimming and training.  At that time RDT was not allowed in competition.  So, Ken suggested how his RDT could signal to a Magic timer that it should D/T the model.  The way we did it is that the timer has an input signal line that the timer sets high with a weak pull up, when the RDT detects and validates a RDT command it will pull the signal line low.  Electronic speak for connecting it to ground.  The timer supplies power to the RDT unit and they share a common ground.  Since that date in 2000 quite a number of other people have made timers and/or  RDT units and have used that same standard so these are interchangeable.  This is a good thing for the flying community. When all of this started there was a gloom and doom community saying the RDT was the end of Free Flight.  Before the FAI approved RDT Victor put the RDT in a bright red box that strapped on the outside of his model and those of his customers so people could see when it was there of not so there was no confusion. Nowadays we all understand that an RDT is a big advantage as it can save a new model from a crash or some form a fly away into bad country when test flying on a small field and the wind changing it mind and blows the wrong way.

Taking one step forward we got the Energy Limiters for F1Q a few years back and the same situation arose , the EL could cut off the power to the motor and not involve the timer but typically when you cut the motor on a F1Q model you need to make some other trim adjustment, move the rudder, wing wiggler or decalage.  So, the EL signals to the timer the same way by pulling a signal low.

Now we are moving forward again with the All-Tee altimeter and possibly further follow on devices, some of these starting with the All-Tee collect valuable information that we want any way. In the case of the All-Tee we can take the altitude information after the flight and use to possibly improve performance. So, while there might be a cost for the All-Tee many of us have an altimeter anyway so we save the expense of getting another altimeter. There is clearly not point in having 2 altimeters on the aircraft.  Now some timers have a crash detection system, the way this works is that if there is not an increase in altitude at launch time the timer will D/T the model. This can save the model and perhaps some of the spectators !  But to do this an altimeter is required. This is a little different from the RDT and EL cases in two ways, firstly the timer needs more detailed information that it will use to make a decision and secondly the information is not simple yes or no like the RDT or EL bit rather a stream of data is used.  So, we can’t do this by a simple yes/no on a signal wire.  Going forward we could see where a flight timing device might want a signal from a F1A model that it has come off the line or the  timer in the aircraft  might want information that the “Super” All-tee has such as altimeter, GPS , flight termination, etc.  In the model flying world around other disciplines such as some R/C classes and Drones have developed some ways of sharing data and connections between different devices, maybe we should think about this too, it will save us time and money.  We need a way to connect and data format?

The advantage in separating the EDIC or “enforcement” part of the electronics from the controlling part is that the ‘enforcement” part has to be certified  and it has to a have a particular sensor and a way for the official to read the sensor. This gives more flexibility to make the controlling part, the timer to suit the particular model, e.g. number of servos, robustness, start management, mounting,  etc. without the need or cost of having it certified.  Dare I say that’s what the R/C guys do already because their part is certified but the controlling part i.e., the radio is an off the shelf non EDIC item.

So how about it?