National Free Flight Society

SEN 3137

  1. VLOS
  2. One father to another
  3. Objective ?
  4. What Next


From:Bernd Hoenig

Hi Roger
About Editors comment.
–  note in the following piece by Peter Barron the mention of how LEDs increase the unaided line of sight. So is one a Can, May or Must for the Eifel Cup ?
Not only Eifel Cup! Al European Competition.
This rule applies to all UAVs. (Include Freeflight Modells). They were issued by EASA. (European Union Aviation Safty Agency) And all European countries have implemented this in their national legislation.
Bernd Hönig

One father to another

From: Can Tezcan
Answer to Mickael RIGAULT

Hi Mickael, on the reading of altimeters part I was not anymore there. I asked some people if Elouan also had an altimeter and they told me NO and Pierre Chaussebourg wrote in SEN 3133 that he had no altimeter. Unfortunately wrong information influenced my answer to Pierre. My sincere apologies to you. And I am very sorry that the altimeter did not work.

Von meinem iPhone gesendet

Objective ?

From: Roy Smith in the frozen North

What is the objective?
I have been following the debate over timing, altitude sensors, OOS flights, etc., and I believe that the FAI Free Flight community has rather lost its way.  The first question to answer in all of this controversy is “What is the objective of what we are doing?”.  I believe that the answer to that should be that we are trying to determine who is the best FLIER of a specific type of model aeroplane.  With that in mind we should be giving a lot of thought to what the specifications are for the model aeroplane that is being flown.  The objective should not be to determine who can manufacture the highest performance machine – the competition is between the human operators of the machines, not between the machine designers and builders.
The point has been brought up that in the 100 yard sprint we don’t hobble the athletes in any way in order to limit performance, so why should we limit the performance of the model aeroplanes?  That really is a specious argument – comparing limiting the specification of the equipment to limiting the performance of the human athlete is a non-sequitur.  There is no logical connection.  It should be noted, however, that the performance of the human IS limited in high-performance competition.  Performance-enhancing drugs (which are equally a technological assistance – just pharmaceutical instead of mechanical) are banned.  Springs in the heels of running shoes are not allowed.  In motor racing the specifications of the machines are routinely limited in order to keep the performance within the bounds of the venues available – and to ensure that the test is of the skill of the driver.  The same is true of any competition in which equipment plays a significant role in the outcome – the equipment is regulated in order to ensure that the contest is between the human contestants, determining WHO is best, not WHAT is best.  Even swimsuits have been regulated in order to ensure that the performance came from the athlete and not from some high-tech material.  The only competition that I can think of where this is not the case is high school robot contests, where the contest truly is to see who can design and build the best machine at a specific task.  Even then, I think there is a limit on the amount that can be spent, and probably other limits too.
Given the performance of the flier as the objective, doesn’t it make the most sense to limit the potential performance of the aeroplanes so that they remain within the bounds of venues that are available in most parts of the world – rather than allowing the performance to be such that there are very few places where these gadgets can be operated.  If the point of the competition is to find the best flier (trimming the model, picking the air, launching properly, etc., etc.) then surely it doesn’t matter if the specifications for the aeroplane make it difficult to achieve a 2 or 3 minute maximum.  Isn’t that really the point – achieving something difficult?  And doesn’t it make it more meaningful if the equipment, and the venues in which it can practically be used, are accessible to the many, not just to the few?
Then there is the argument that “well, this expensive high-tech equipment is only the same as adding an extra (expensive) model or two – if you can’t afford it you shouldn’t be competing!”.  In my opinion that is an unreasonable position to take.  For some, the cost of competing is a struggle to afford, adding even more can simply be the straw that breaks the camel’s back – who benefits if an already small group of competitors is made even smaller?  That doesn’t seem to be the way to grow the activity.

If FAI fliers really want to be able to claim that they are “best in the world” the aim should be to open the competition to as many as possible and to ensure that the outcome is the result of the flier’s ability, not that of the machine.  The requirement to keep the aircraft in sight is also to some extent a test of the flier’s ability – and is in line with the safety requirements that are emerging worldwide.  Although VLOS operation is not yet a requirement of F/F operations in many countries, encouraging that as an objective is surely not a bad thing.

I recognize that a sudden change to a lower performance specification would be incredibly disruptive and would be quite unacceptable.  My suggestion is to run a truly low-tech set of requirements in some new classes (perhaps F1A(p), F1B(p), and F1C(p)), at the International championship level, in parallel with the current classes, everyone being on notice that in a certain number of cycles (say 2 or 3 – 4-6 yrs) the current classes would be discontinued and replaced with the new ones.
Those are my thoughts.  I hope that they will be read in the spirit of constructive suggestion that they were composed with.
Roy E. Smith

Editor’s comment – see remark on VLOS from Bernd above, probably more than half the Nations taking part in the World Champs were from the EU civil aviation area

What’s Next

Get home, think about it, talk about , get ready for the CIAM meeting , talk with you delegate
And I always thought the next champs should have been in Mongolia, no VLOS issue there !