National Free Flight Society

SEN 2891

  1. Rebutal – No rules is ideal?
  2. Lesson from the past
  3. I want Mr Findahl as my school teacher

Rebutal – No rules is ideal?

From:Gil  Morris

Roger, thank you for your viewpoint although I’m not fully clear about your
direction. Question: What is a STEM event? [STEM = Science Technology, Engineering  and Mathematics– See Below] My position is: no rules is
ideal. Free Flight is a problem solving event. Yes, we are being boxed in
by ever smaller flying space. A feedback circuit, as an example, might
permit returning to the launch site and maybe  prevent an otherwise OOS
flight and all autonomously (performing by a device capable of operating
without direct human control).

We have seen in recent years several “WOW” advancements; eg: what
the wing flap can do for an F1A to propel it to unbelievable heights
previously thought to make an F1A untowable;.what the folding wing of F1C
did to eliminate tucking and make new heights possible; what carbon
construction has done for us all. Is the solution to eliminate the flap,
the folding wing and carbon construction? We first feared the geared engine
would finish F1C. It pretty much finished itself. I blame it for the
chasm you point out — a case of natural cause and effect. Remember when
football was “3 yards and a cloud of dust”. Now the passing game is all the
rage and scoring is out of control. Eliminate the pass?

FAI was never meant to be easy. So my grandkids may be tempted to favor an
electronics pursuit where the need is now.

Lesson from the past

From: Mike Schwartz

Lessons learned from the past. In 1959, the AMA, in its infinitive wisdom? decided to change the existing 100 oz. per cu. in. engine displacement to the International standard of 174.3 oz. per cu. in. for its Free Flight gas classes. This meant that a .35 cu. in. powered model under the 100 oz. rule which had to weigh 35 oz., now had to weigh 61.0 oz. under the 174.3 new weight rule. The thinking behind this decision by the AMA was if US fliers flew to the International standards that this would lead to the US fliers to have better results in the World Championships events. This heavy weight rule caused a major problem as most of the existing models that were flown became obsolete and the models built to the heavy weight suffered severely in performance despite the use of a 20 second motor run with the 5-minute max in effect at that time.. Faced with that problem, a very large number of fliers simply stopped flying Free Flight. A heated argument then started in articles in the various model magazines against the new weight rule and the AMA’s part in it. After a couple of years of arguing back and forth and faced with falling Free Flight club membership and less dues revenue coming to the AMA from Free Flight membership which at that time was the largest part of funding for the AMA. The AMA decided to drop the heavy weight rule to a no minimum weight rule. This history lesson from the past,  shows that making it harder to fly with a heavier model leads to less participation which is something we don’t need. The idea of having a heavier model to limit its ability to make longer fly off flights as an answer causes more long-term problems then it’s worth.


I want Mr Findahl as my school teacher

We talk about not enough Juniors, which is always true. But the FAI as well as our National programs are making an effort.  Per Findahl from Sweden who is a school teacher, a World class F1A sportsman is the chair of the CIAM’s Education sub-committee. This link gives the CIAM sub-committees with education at the top of the list and other classes starting with F1 are there too.

We see on FB pictures of the various youth programs around the World, including Per flying with the kids at his school in Sweden (keep it up everyone and give more details). Plus the recent NFFS digest and AMA reports on youth  at the USA Nats. Here, besides reasonable participation in many events, include a top spot there was a building session by GTS Free Flight and a Special Science Olympics event at the Indoor Nats.  One CIAM related activity is Rookie capacitor fueled ? powered? Cute little electric model from Holland that is also sold by Hummingbird in Canada.

Many STEM programs in schools [STEM = Science Technology, Engineering  and Mathematics] today day include an aeronautical component.  An example in the USA is the Science Olympics.   This includes a Free Flight indoor event among many other not aeromodelling related  in all the STEM categories.  A recent positive development in increased cooperation between Science Olympics, AMA and NFFS. An  important issue for us outdoor types is it is easier to get youth to gym for indoor contest than to an outdoor free flight site like Lost Hills that is a long way from civilization, but it is in the right direction.  With an increasing interest in STEM there is an opportunity.  The challenge is how to get the young to maintain an interest after the STEM program on to mainline Free Flight.  We have seen Science Olympics graduates at the World Indoor Champs.  Interestingly going back in the past, before STEM was fashionable some governments had activities promoting Model sport, for example the US Navy hosted the USA Nationals and many of the top Eastern European flyers are graduates of the former Soviet Union DOSAAF program see After the break up of the Soviet Union the DOSAAF program has continued in to some countries, including Russia.