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    • Peter

      BMFA F3J Nationals 2015

      By Peter, in BMFA Nationals,

      How often do we get a combination of high winds and gusty downpours at F3J contests? But no, for the F3J BMFA Nationals 2015, despite the horrible forecasts for the Bank Holiday weekend, Sunday was almost flat calm, wind maximum 3 mph, cloudy with rare glimpses of sun, a few drops of rain for 10 minutes which didn't bother anyone, and almost everyone enjoyed a tricky demanding competition. 
      Almost everyone? Yes I fear that our stalwart Robin Sleight tried to fly someone else's model, convinced that he had everything under control despite several other pilots shouting warnings, ending in the inevitable vertical thump, well out of the field. We have all done it, some of us, like me, more than once. Very sad!
      The only other negative was the continuing reduction in the number of entries, only 15 pilots after two dropped out in the final days for perfectly genuine reasons. The Nats should be one of, if not the peak of the contest season. True the enforced switch from Cranwell to Retford's Wetlands might have dissuaded a few, but if F3J, F3B and other classes are to survive as viable contests, then successful efforts to recruit new enthusiasts are urgently required.

      As the penultimate competition in the series to select next year's team for the F3J World Championships in Slovenia, there were several nail biting rounds before the four man fly off was decided. Peter Allen, Colin Paddon, Mark Devall and Dave East had two rounds of struggle to try to achieve 15 minute flights as required, in conditions which earlier had allowed many pilots to fly the 10 minutes slots out. Surprise to me was that several times pilots found themselves worn out by having to coax their models ever so gently full time to utilise what little and rare lift was available. Peter Allen got closest to flying the full time out, just missing by about one minute, in the first round. This allowed him to decide on a relaunch two minutes into the second round, and he ended a comfortable and well deserved winner.
      By Sydney Lenssen (CD)
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      Rank Name Score Pcnt Raw Score Rnd1 Dur Rnd2 Dur Plty 1 Allen, Peter 1974.3 100 1974.3 1000 974.3 0 2 Paddon, Colin 1626.8 82.4 1626.8 626.8 1000 0 3 East, Dave 1539.7 77.99 1539.7 605.6 934.1 0 4 Devall, Mark 1173.5 59.44 1473.5 619.9 853.6 300 Preliminary Rounds
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      Rank Name Team Pilot Score Pcnt Raw Score Rnd1 Dur Rnd2 Dur Rnd3 Dur Rnd4 Dur Rnd5 Dur Plty Flyoff Total 1 Allen, Peter 1 42 4945.6 100 4945.6 1000 1000 998.8 946.8 1000 0 3 103 2 Devall, Mark 4 31 4909.7 99.27 4909.7 986.9 998.5 1000 990.3 934 0 1 100.27 3 East, Dave 2 46 4874.1 98.55 4874.1 1000 995.9 993.2 885 1000 0 1.5 100.05 4 Paddon, Colin 3 57 4872.9 98.53 4872.9 1000 1000 1000 1000 872.9 0 2 100.53 5 Osbourne, Ozzie 1 9 4698.7 95.01 4698.7 948.2 855.2 993 994.9 907.4 0     6 Jones, Neil 4 55 4671.2 94.45 4671.2 671.2 1000 1000 1000 1000 0     7 Dunster, Chas 1 8 4614.2 93.3 4614.2 983.6 666.6 984.3 996.4 983.3 0     8 Boorman, Colin 3 56 4596.4 92.94 4596.4 995.9 988.8 705.1 906.6 1000 0     9 Beale, Kevin 3 48 4572.9 92.46 4572.9 1000 1000 998.4 1000 574.5 0     10 Lipscombe, Al 2 50 4220.8 85.34 4220.8 662.9 991.4 869.1 990.6 706.8 0     11 Philcox, Cengiz 4 52 4080 82.5 4080 732.8 997.1 582.8 770.1 997.2 0     12 Raybone, Mike 2 32 4067.4 82.24 4067.4 662.8 1000 984.9 645.2 774.5 0     13 Duff, Ian 1 43 3987 80.62 3987 0 997.2 1000 1000 989.8 0     14 Shenstone, John 2 59 3789.3 76.62 3789.3 942.1 848.9 646 792.6 559.7 0     15 Sleight, Robin 4 60 1503.1 30.39 1503.1 0 0 0 678.4 824.7 0     16 Wicks, Graham 3 58 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0    

    • BMFA F3J Nationals 2014

      By Sydney Lenssen, in BMFA Nationals,

      Colin Paddon triumphs as 2014 British Nationals F3J champion
      This year’s F3J Nationals was a real mixed bag, flying in airs which were nicely thermally for one slot, followed by widespread sink for the next. Sunday at the Nationals was a comfortable day with only moderate winds but with the prospect of heavy wind and rains for the second scheduled day. Many of the country’s leading pilots suffered miserable flights while more modest pilots walked away with 1,000 points, much to their surprise.
      Congratulations to Colin Paddon, Mark Devall who had won the 100 inch contest the day before, and Graham Wicks who had also won the F5J contest on Saturday: they came first, second and third respectively in the F3J contest. Colin Paddon who had had a frustrating time at the World Championships a few weeks earlier, hit a consistency with six slots of 1,000 points each, and his dropped round was a 998.3 points flight. Team UK who had fared modestly in Martin, Slovakia a few weeks before, struggled at times but all came in the top six places at Cranwell.
      On a day of real challenge it was good to see Chas Dunster with a 1,000 and four rounds in the high 900s to give himself ninth place, and he spotted well for his team. Another encouraging performance was put in by Andre Borowski with three 1,000s, but he could have done with an extra throwaway score. Graham James, Barcs esteemed President, had a consistent day with scores rather higher than usual to gain 10th place in the field.
      All pilots deserved praise for remaining keen over a long day, 33 slots in an eight hour day kept everyone busy. The big rush was caused by the prospect of high winds and almost continuous rain forecast for Bank Holiday Monday. In the end contest director recommended that the contest should be curtailed and Monday was abandoned, and none of the pilots protested that decision.
      Over the past three years, the BMFA F3J league on which the British team is chosen for the next World or European championships – next year due to be held in Dupnitsa, Bulgaria – has been based on three two day events. Normally this means that the contests can have eight or more rounds and flyoff rounds where slot times go up to 15 minutes, said to be closer to the standards required at international level. Good thinking, but this year the weather has conspired to prevent flyoffs at Radioglide and the Nationals. That cannot be controlled, but good luck to next year’s UK Team!
      Sydney Lenssen.
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      Rank Name Score Pcnt Raw Score Rnd1 Dur Rnd2 Dur Rnd3 Dur Rnd4 Dur Rnd5 Dur Rnd6 Dur Rnd7 Dur Rnd8 Dur 1 Paddon, Colin 6999.1 100 7997.4 1000 1000 1000 1000 998.3 1000 999.1 1000 2 Devall, Mark 6914 98.78 7841.8 1000 997.5 1000 1000 938 1000 978.5 927.8 3 Wicks, Graham 6891.7 98.47 7494.7 991.3 969.9 603 1000 989.8 1000 946.8 993.9 4 Beale, Kevin 6871.7 98.18 7563.5 1000 691.8 892.6 993.2 1000 997.1 988.8 1000 5 Duff, Ian 6782.6 96.91 7459.6 980.8 677 837.5 983.3 994.5 1000 1000 986.5 6 Allen, Peter 6651.3 95.03 7112.1 991 865 1000 460.8 1000 795.3 1000 1000 7 Boorman, Colin 6523.9 93.21 6925.9 402 1000 570.3 986.6 993.7 987.8 985.5 1000 8 Borowski, Andre 6278.7 89.71 6771.7 880.9 1000 627.4 1000 1000 992.9 493 777.5 9 Dunster, Chas 6240.3 89.16 6240.3 995.3 976 1000 608.8 990 0 685.6 984.6 10 James, Graham 6021.7 86.04 6702.3 1000 827.6 680.6 816.2 858.7 699.8 964.6 854.8 11 Philcox, Cengiz 5924.2 84.64 6175.8 383.1 1000 616.3 251.6 1000 986 947.4 991.4 12 Osbourne, Ozzie 5923 84.63 5923 474.8 864.6 874.5 987.8 0 880.5 1000 840.8 13 Glover, Chris 5922.8 84.62 5922.8 890.4 900.6 0 693.2 601 840.1 1000 997.5 14 East, Dave 5545.1 79.23 5931.9 988.1 386.8 594.2 994.6 644.6 1000 852.2 471.4 15 Raybone, Mike 5515.5 78.8 5515.5 997.2 869.4 0 644.2 504.9 594.9 996.2 908.7 16 Binnie, Gary 4876.2 69.67 5297.8 893.6 730.6 631.4 531.6 421.6 655 491.1 942.9 17 Lipscombe, Al 4835.3 69.08 5384.7 955.6 669.4 650.7 721.4 549.4 733 552.9 552.3 18 Shenstone, John 4297 61.39 4504.2 526 399.9 207.2 509.8 912.8 531.8 817.3 599.4

    • F3J Is In Terminal Decline

      By Sydney Lenssen, in Articles,

      Uncle Sydney’s comment column
      F3J is in terminal decline
      Can rule changes save the sport?
      After one of the most exciting and well organised F3J World Championships in Martin, Slovakia earlier this month, it seems a little harsh to talk of the popularity of this thermal soaring class declining. But in most countries F3J is failing to attract new enthusiasts, especially among younger pilots.
      If nothing changes, the class will inevitably follow F3B and become a specialist competition, attracting only a handful of faithful and successful pilots straining to improve the technologies of exotic materials and manufacturing techniques, aerodynamics and weather skills, deterring all but the wealthy and dedicated.
      Today’s F3J is not the type of competition which appeals to ever larger numbers of pilots. F3J set out to be the simple thermal glider competition, easy for anyone to join in the early 1990s. Nobody wants to deny development. We cannot go back. But perhaps rule changes can boost numbers again.
      One evening at this year’s F3J WCs, Tomas Bartovsky, the jury president and CIAM’s soaring sub-committee chairman responsible for F3 classes of competition, called a technical meeting of team managers and pilots to discuss ideas which might improve the sport. He does this at every FAI championship.
      In earlier days of F3J, attendance at this opportunity was exciting with debates about whether to replace two man towing with winches, how to make landing points more discriminating by splitting the landing tape into 20cm rather than metre sections to gain or lose points, and other issues which have found their way into the rules.
      This year’s gathering was at the end of an exhausting very hot day and only 40 people or so came along. Most surprising to me was that there was a majority feeling that the joy of F3J competition – not the friendships – is definitely waning.
      Models have become expensive if you want to compete at the highest level, typically Euro 2,000 or more to get into the air, and you need three to be a serious contender. You require high quality towlines in abundance, capable of exerting very high tension before launching, so that heights of 200 metres plus can be gained with one to four seconds from launch.
      In Slovakia 26 senior teams entered but only seven full teams of three juniors. All countries are finding it difficult to encourage young pilots to join the sport. Overall entries in all but a few countries are dropping significantly. I can vouch for the United Kingdom. A few years ago it was normal for qualifying BMFA competitions to attract 60 or more entries; today even leading events struggle to get 20 late entries, very close to the minimum required to organise a fair matrix.
      The one saving and welcome blessing for soaring contests is that F5E has gained ground and attracts new recruits including those pilots who for one reason or another have given up on F3J. Even at FAI level, more delegates foresee F3B and F3J becoming extinct in the foreseeable future.
      Technical meeting
      Tomas started the technical discussion by tracing progress he has made over many years with different methods of starting the timing of the flight automatically when the towline comes away from the towhook. Getting this precise time is the most vulnerable for timekeepers because it depends on recognising the hook release.
      He has also worked on a device which accurately stops the clock when the glider touches the ground, which again can fool the timekeeper. Both these times are key to a fair competition where duration is measured to one tenth of a second, and margins between winning and losing are often down to one point.
      Tomas is not alone in exploring better methods of timing flights. Thomas Rossner in Germany has gone a long way with gadgets for the start and close of competition flights. The problems are legion, mainly due to cost and convenience and the financial rewards do not seem commensurate.
      Maximum wingspan and minimum wing loading
      The second topic was introduced by Philip Kolb, one of F3J’s handful of top world pilots, successful as Eurotour’s Contest winner numerous times, previous European champion and contest winner countless times. His suggestion for a possible rule change is to introduce a maximum wingspan for F3J models together with a minimum wing loading, at figures yet to be decided.
      This change would complicate the processing and registration to ensure compliance with such criteria, but similar rules apply in other competition classes. To make it work easily, pilots themselves would need to compete in a sportmanlike way, but careful scrutiny would probably be needed at international events.
      The effect of such changes would be twofold: in still kind air, a four metre ultra-light model weighing say 1.6 kg and launched to 200 metres can usually float out the 10 minute qualifying rounds. But at 2.2 kg or more with less than 3.5 metre wingspan, that duration at present is unlikely.
      If the model’s wingloading is increased to let’s say 28 or 30 gr/sqdm instead of the typical 20 gr/sqdm of today’s gliders, then fast tows in good weather would be slower due to acceleration factors. Timing accuracy would become less of an issue. These smaller models will be heavier by at least half a kilo, and that extra weight could be used to strengthen the wing and other parts far more cheaply than the current use of high tech materials and mouldings. Competitive models would be cheaper to produce.
      By coincidence I had heard arguments in favour of introducing minimum weight rules among teams from two countries earlier in the week when the early morning and late evening rounds in the championships had seen very calm and seemingly unlikely thermal help and yet many models flew out the time.
      Several pilots at the technical meeting spoke in favour of trying the effect of span maxima and wing loading minima, and at the request of Tomas, Phillip agreed to explore calculations on his various computer programs, then produce suggested weight and wing loading figures. He would then try to arrange a trial contest where volunteer pilots could test the ideas and check what effect they might have. Another distinct advantage to this idea is that it would not necessitate buying another set of suitable models because present models could be ballasted. Glider producers would not need to tool up quickly with different designs, although different models would inevitably come along in time.
      Taming one second rocket launches
      A couple of days earlier, I had been chatting with my friend Andre Borowski, one of the UK team’s towmen, about how to curb the current vogue for rocket launching, which has become an ever more common feature of F3J contests.
      For those not too familiar with high level contests, expert pilots can and often do take the opportunity to launch off the line at less than a second. They do not achieve the same height as a full tow, but they do reach sufficient height to fly into a patch of lift, 100-300 metres away, without too much risk for they are experts at reading air. Away they go to fly out the slot, often reaching the same height or more than their rivals in less than a minute.
      When they land on the 100 spot in the last second, they can record 9 minutes 58 seconds to claim their 1,000 points. It is not unusual these days for several pilots to use this approach in the flyoffs, and indeed if you don’t, you will probably never win the contest.
      My guess is that a rocket launch requires two mighty towmen and a launcher/pilot capable of holding a model on the towline pulling 40-50kg before kicking for the towmen to start running two seconds before the starting signal, by which time the line tension has been boosted 10-20 kg more. The line is a complete 150 metre bungee.
      It is spectacular, it is risky if the line breaks or if you don’t catch that low level lift. At championship level, half the senior pilots and several of the junior pilots used rocket launches safely and successfully. Some pilots claim that this technique adds to what is already part of the thrill of F3J, the mass launch of 12 or more gliders at the start of each slot.
      In my view it is also the feature which strikes fear and deters newcomers and especially young people from trying the sport.
      At the technical meeting I spoke unexpectedly and briefly about the idea which my friend had outlined a couple of days earlier. Why not have a rule which specifies that the towline must be lying on the ground at the start of working time with the model also on the ground near the end of the line?
      The towmen can be holding the towbar and hooked up to the pulley or direct tow if chosen. When the start signal is given, the pilot must hook his model to the line, at the pilot’s signal the towmen start to run, the launcher lets go when he decides the line tension is sufficient for his style of flying.
      If the pilot wants a really high tension, then he will need to wait for a second or two or three. If his glider will launch sufficiently fast and high with lower tension, then he can gain a second or two. Any reduction in line tension and speed of ascent will certainly mean that wings can be less strong/lighter, and models can be cheaper. This same method of starting slots can be employed in those countries who cannot raise sufficient numbers of towmen and need to resort to winch launching.
      I made the mistake in outlining this new start method as the “Monte Carlo” style launch, and many pilots at the meeting envisaged pilots racing across the safety corridor to hook up and signal the towmen. Not so. There is only a race to pick up the model and hook up. The pilot can stand by his glider and simply needs to bend down- if he is able!!!
      The immediate reaction at the technical meeting was that models would be flying dangerously from side to side with low tension and wind gusts, and there could be a risk of that in the early days. In the earliest days of thermal contests launching mid-airs were far more frequent, and some pilots held back to minimise destruction.
      I was invited to try to organise a trial of the technique in the UK, and I would be grateful if BARCS could find a way to trial the method.
      There are numerous ways of achieving the same objective, eliminating any advantage from rocket towing, for example, only starting the flight time five seconds after launch, and other variants.
      No change before 2017
      Last but not least, as Tomas stressed in his meeting, CIAM only considers rule changes to the various classes in a phased two year pattern, and F3J rules can only be changed in 2016 for implementation in 2017 – unless such changes are made for safety reasons.
      Sydney Lenssen
      Read on...
      Joe Wurts, in his habitual bare feet, about to launch at Martin’s F3J world championships this month where in the final flyoff round of the contest he was pipped into second place by Jan Littva of Slovakia as 2014 world champion.
      Joe was one of the earliest protagonists of rocket launches. In this case, I heard him saying to his crew that he was going to take a safe launch. It lasted about 2 seconds. But during the week I saw him demonstrating a very high tension launch where he held the model with the tow-men running until the line broke, he fell to the ground but was still able to keep the model safe because he had had practice for this eventuality.
      He remains for me the world leading thermal pilot, he coaches his New Zealand team to continuing successes and willingly spreads his wisdom and skills in North Cyprus and other countries. Indeed he moved to New Zealand, some years ago now, from the USA after spending a few visits coaching and giving lectures in what became his new home country.

    • By Colin Paddon
      Over the past few years I have campaigned a Cluster for a lot of my F3J competition flying. During this time it has notched up many high level competition wins for myself and others in the UK. Its always been my “Go To” plane when the wind gets up, ie most of the time here in the UK. However it is an excellent all rounder that really deserves more recognition on the world F3J stage than it gets. I have always thought, along with others, that the moment arm on the standard Cluster fuselage was a tad short and that the rudder was a little small in area. The short moment arm has since been addressed by Heino, producer of the Cluster who has introduced a longer moment arm fuselage but only so far in V Tail form, which for me, wasn’t the way I wanted to go. We are all hoping that Heino will be producing a 3.8m Cluster wing sometime in the near future too.
      Whilst attending the European Championships in Turkey last year, a potential solution to both my own and Graham Wicks thoughts appeared in the form of a new beautifully made Spread Tow (ST) cross tail fuselage that was being produced by renowned TRNC flyer, Eser Kismer. The fuselage Eser produces is in fact an alternative for Nan’s own Xplorer fuselages which, of course, have a different wing section and mounting screw placement to the Cluster wing so some work to retrofit it would be necessary. Having seen the fuselage all the UK team immediately placed an order for one and then awaited delivery. After a short delay due to sorting out some logistical issues, the fuselages duly turned up in the UK courtesy of TNT. Courier costs spread between the three of us ended up being pretty reasonable all things considered.

      Eser’s ST fuselages are light, small in cross section, extremely strong and look great! The fuselage came supplied with a nice carbon ballast tube which can accommodate up to approximately 700g of lead ballast if required. They come with a very novel servo tray/carrier which is completely pre-assembled in high quality laser cut ply and is designed to be held in place by a large single rear positioned bolt. I modified the servo carrier slightly to provide an additional fixing at the front for extra security. See pics.
      We also bought matching spread tow tailplanes with the fuselages but it was obvious that it was designed/sized for 3.8/4m wings and therefore looked “wrong” with the smaller Cluster wing. Fortunately the existing Cluster tailplane was a good fit without modification to the new fuselage so it was decided to use this which looked absolutely “Right”. The pictures tell the whole story of how it was modified and ended up looking so nuff said.
      The new Cluster wing being mated to the fuselage was Heino’s extra strong lay-up meaning that it can take anything you throw at it. Total AUW ended up at 1840g which meant that it had the potential to not only be a great windy weather model with ballasting but that it was light enough to be a good all rounder too. With some further modifications I have in mind I hope to get this AUW down to below 1800g .
      A week or so later it was ready to fly. Of course, on the day, it was blowing a gale but as they were the very conditions the wing had shown itself to excel in, we went ahead. A full-on F3J Ober winch was duly set-up on the field and we were ready to go and go we did!
      What can I say other than that the performance has exceeded all expectations. The on board testing vario confirmed that the average launch height ranged from 205 -215 metres without any “dialing in” or ballast being used. Penetration has improved with there being less fuselage cross sectional drag too. Ease of circling/thermal turning has without doubt also improved making it extremely easy to fly at distance. Stability/behaviour on tow is exemplary whilst its landing tracking/behaviour is first class.

      The strength of the fuselage was fully tested out early on when for the first time in over 15 years I managed to get the towline hooked around the tailplane after a somewhat over exuberant launch dip/zoom. The plane ended up inverted despite my best efforts to untangle it whilst providing a great impression of a spinning falling leaf until it hit the ground flat pancake style from some height. Only damage was a small crack at the base of the fin where it meets the top of the fuselage which was easily fixed along with a minor cut line into one half of the tailplane’s leading edge, again easily fixed. Very annoying as it always seems to happen to brand new planes rather than old one’s. Why is that!
      Although I may be a little biased being a designer myself, I think this has to be one of the prettiest looking models I have ever owned. Others can make up their own minds on this of course from the pictures.
      I feel this plane will be a welcomed addition to my existing competition models hanger.
      In the coming weeks I will be fine tuning the models set-up to optimise performance.
      Colin Paddon.

    • BMFA F3J Nationals 2013

      By Austin, in BMFA Nationals,

      A betting man could well have forecast the winning trio of this year’s BMFA F3J Nationals at RAF Cranwell over the Bank Holiday weekend. The two day event was won by Peter Allen, second was Colin Paddon, and third from the five man flyoffs was Ian Duff. Although the official ranking has yet to be formally ratified, it certainly looks as if these three will be selected as the UK team members for the 2014 world championships to be held in Slovakia at Martin, a super friendly and testing venue.
      And Peter Allen’s reaction to his triumph: “What a pity it is that we cannot get younger pilots into the team to give our rivals tougher competition.” He is right that the UK team trials, for the first time this year based on three two day contests, at Radioglide, Interglide – Britain’s Contest Eurotour – and the BMFA Nationals, are shrinking in number of entries and failing to attract new younger blood other than the stalwart efforts of Johnathon Wells.
      All the pilots were relieved that Sunday and Monday did not see a repeat of the foul rainy weather. Saturday was a real washout with the F3B pilots setting out their course and then failing to complete one complete round. Sunday was a puzzle to predict accurately the wind direction, but the rain held off and the sun strived increasingly successfully to produce tricky thermals, warmth and six rounds of enjoyable competition.
      The strong winds and the number of missing thermals made each slot different and only later in the day did most of the pilots manage to fly their slots out. By that time there was the usual gaggle of experienced F3J pilots closing in on the five places designated for the flyoffs. But it was also good to see that all of the weaker pilots has enjoyed a couple or more of fine flights close to the magical 1000 points, and a few of the experts failing to return from downwind thermals and having to settle for throwaway scores after eight rounds.
      Monday promised better conditions, but the winds hardly slackened and were still reluctant to stick in the direction that the lines and winches were set. Four more rounds followed to shift a few places. Fossie managed to confound everybody by finding a super thermal which left all the other pilots in his slot three or more minutes short and scored 99 for his landing. But it was far too late and the flyoffs started with Ian Duff, Chris Glover, Peter Allen, Colin Paddon and Ozzie Osbourne with a range of 400 points between them.
      Flyoff rounds started around 3.00pm and as three of the pilots were from one group, fresh helpers were needed and some launches were staggered. By fluke this turned out to be crucial to the results. Peter Allen agreed to launch with a slight delay only to find that his first two launches pinged off early and by the time his third launch succeeded, he had lost three minutes out of the fifteen. It turned out to be a strategic masterstroke for he found a good thermal and flew out the round as his rivals came down for one or two relaunches without finding the necessary good air.
      The following two rounds were far kinder, with pilots flying high and far downwind, sometimes beyond the range of reliable vision, and most returning in time to make it a landing contest. Not the most exciting of flyoffs because we missed the more usual moving up and down the ranks. Nevertheless a well deserved win for Peter Allen for he had put so much effort into the organisation in the week before the event and on both days of the contest with his usual small band of dedicated helpers.
      To round off the prize giving ceremony, Ian Duff, who chairs BMFA’s silent flight technical committee, asked for comments or ideas on the latest system for choosing team selection, the three two day events, for pilots’ views on the suitability of RAF Cranwell for the silent flight nationals, and for all F3J fans to feed their views through to SFTC to help them establish what the majority of pilots want. The only significant request to come forward on the day was the urging of one European Contest result should be allowed along with the three two day UK competitions, which would make it possible for any pilot forced to miss one date to still qualify with a reasonable chance.
      Despite a few minor interruptions at Cranwell for full size aircraft departures and a civilised, later than usual, starting time of 10.00 am each day, the airfield belonged to model gliders and electric models covering all the main classes other than slope. Mike Proctor who was responsible for coordination between the various events on each day and with the RAF officials deserves considerable praise and thanks for his efforts.
      Sydney Lenssen
      Fly Off
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      Rank Name Score Rnd1 Dur Rnd2 Dur Rnd3 Dur Plty 1 Allen, Peter 2986.4 1000 1000 986.4 0 2 Paddon, Colin 2927.1 929 998.1 1000 0 3 Duff, Ian 2770.1 793 985 992.1 0 4 Osbourne, Ozzie 2641 715.2 992.2 933.6 0 5 Glover, Chris 2193 406.8 994.5 791.7 0 Preliminary Rounds
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      Rank Name Score Pcnt Raw Score Rnd1 Dur Rnd2 Dur Rnd3 Dur Rnd4 Dur Rnd5 Dur Rnd6 Dur Rnd7 Dur Rnd8 Dur Rnd9 Dur Rnd10 Dur Drop1 Dur Plty 1 Duff, Ian 8942.4 100 9613.5 1000 995 1000 993.9 986.1 1000 990.8 992.4 984.2 671.1 671.1 0 2 Glover, Chris 8842 98.88 9444.6 984.6 1000 1000 987.4 602.6 998 991.7 994.6 885.7 1000 602.6 0 3 Allen, Peter 8794.7 98.35 9519.2 889.6 1000 930.1 977.3 1000 1000 997.7 1000 724.5 1000 724.5 0 4 Paddon, Colin 8600.5 96.18 9272.9 672.4 1000 912.1 1000 1000 1000 1000 993.2 1000 695.2 672.4 0 5 Osbourne, Ozzie 8592.9 96.09 9329.5 1000 945.8 945 989.3 946.3 736.6 1000 1000 766.5 1000 736.6 0 6 Raybone, Mike 8463.1 94.64 9002.4 948.1 968.9 1000 987.7 989.4 980.9 539.3 991.1 599.9 997.1 539.3 0 7 Beale, Kevin 8450.4 94.5 9141.8 865.8 942.6 998.5 1000 1000 945.7 849 1000 691.4 848.8 691.4 0 8 Wicks, Graham 8143.9 91.07 8504.6 524.6 989.7 996.8 1000 976.5 991.6 1000 680.8 360.7 983.9 360.7 0 9 East, Dave 8055 90.08 8671.4 1000 988.5 998.4 968.3 616.4 635.8 749.6 991.1 985.5 737.8 616.4 0 10 Wells, Johnathon 7884.9 88.17 7884.9 1000 1000 417.1 973.2 1000 1000 919.3 0 1000 575.3 0 0 11 Dickenson, Bob 7810.9 87.35 8307.6 965.2 981.3 1000 535.5 986.3 721.7 641.2 980.9 496.7 998.8 496.7 0 12 Boorman, Colin 7808 87.31 8356.9 1000 1000 575.4 622.5 548.9 998.1 733.9 1000 1000 878.1 548.9 0 13 Binnie, Gary 7786.5 87.07 8360.9 858.3 720.7 764.2 1000 594 987 574.4 970.2 1000 892.1 574.4 0 14 Devall, Mark 7569.3 84.65 8422.2 956.3 552.9 987.4 973.7 570.9 630.5 1000 751.8 998.7 1000 552.9 300 15 James, Graham 7258.1 81.17 7258.1 0 970.9 656.2 861 983.8 978.6 772.1 852.1 517.3 666.1 0 0 16 Warby, Neville 6778.9 75.81 7230.6 681.1 579.7 802.7 960.9 598.3 791 902.8 944.7 517.7 451.7 451.7 0 17 Lipscombe, Al 6737.8 75.35 7046.3 952.4 684.6 986.9 949.9 648.1 562.3 989.2 308.5 473.5 490.9 308.5 0 18 Shenstone, John 5917.8 66.18 5917.8 713.1 673.1 642 914.8 642.9 363.2 907 650.7 411 0 0 0 19 Borowski, Andre 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 Sykes, Alex 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

    • Interglide 2013

      By Austin, in Interglide,

      Although the entry was a little down on previous years, some 30 competitors enjoyed an excellent competition using the new venue at Edgecott, not far from the traditional Marsh Gibbon site. The conditions were challenging although there was often excellent lift around but the strong (15 to 20mph plus) wind did limit how far anyone could follow lift downwind. However, essentially, it stayed dry and all competitors really enjoyed the event.
      We had six German competitors, our faithful four regular attendees from the Netherlands, one Norwegian and the remainder made up by the UK pilots.  As this international event is one of the three events which comprise the UK team selection contests for the 2014 F3J World Championships it might have been expected to have had a slightly larger UK entry but the date selected in August did not suit some – it is of course difficult to fix the dates for all the F3J Eurotour events in a way which matches everyone’s diary. No radically new models were on display but the field offered the normal crop of Maxas, Xplorers, Shadows, Tragis, Pike Perfects and Tobias Lammlein was flying one of the Pike Perfections which were being used. The choice between Vee and Cruciform tails was fairly even, the cruciform layout being (just) in the majority.

      As there were 30 pilots, that allowed a neat division into six teams and five groups per round. This helped significantly in allowing five rounds to be flown on the Saturday even although there were two re-fly slots and a 20 minute or so hold for a light shower.  We were lucky in that although the wind never abated, a couple of serious looking spells of rain tracked down on both sides of the field without affecting the contest.  The re-flys were triggered by mid -air collisions on launch, unfortunate as, at these launch speeds, significant damage is in general done to expensive models and this factor may yet prove the “Achilles Heel” for F3J as similar collisions are less likely with F5J models. John Stanswood was one of the unfortunate pilots to suffer a launch mid-air but he did not realise, at the time, his model was damaged and he continued to fly albeit with the increasing understanding that the model was not responding quite as it should.  Colin Boorman was also affected by a launch mid-air – the launches at the time were directly into the sun, but he landed immediately and found that he still had a relatively unscathed model.
      At the end of day one the top pilots were Fred Thijssen, Colin Paddon, Mattias Schumacher, Peter Allen, Tobias Lammlein and Michael Clauss with Wim Niewenhuizen from the Netherlands bring up the seventh place. Day two featured very similar weather with a forecast for rain later in the day so a brisk start was made to complete three more preliminary rounds and so allow (after seven rounds) for a dropped score.  This actually did not make a huge difference to the leader-board and the top six pilots going into the fly-off were Tobias Lammlein, Fred Thijssen, Peter Allen, Daniel Probsfeld, Colin Paddon and Michael Clauss.
      Three fly-off rounds were flown and these were amongst the most interesting fly-off rounds which spectators have witnessed, the air was becoming progressively more challenging and the pilots were taking advantage of the multiple re-launches now allowed so that it was very hard to keep track of relative standings. Tobias won the first fly-off round convincingly and Fred Tyijssen the second.  In the second round Tobias made a rare error in re-launching to head initially for Fred’s model but he then moved downwind and dropped out whereas Fred stayed upwind in lift. Meantime Colin Paddon had clocked a couple of reasonable scores in these two fly-off rounds and, come the third (where lift was very hard to find indeed), Colin with the aid of a re-launch, managed the best time so coming once again the winner of BARCS Interglide.  As the results show, Colin was followed by Tobias, Peter, Fred, Daniel and Michael – this is the fifth time that Colin has won Interglide – a quite outstanding achievement!

      Off the field we broke new ground with the evening BBQ. For a few years past Jim Wright of Invinghoe Soarers and his wife have produced an excellent on-field BBQ however this was becoming an onerous task so Gary Binnie had arranged that we could all join the evening BBQ being hosted by the full size gliding club at Bicester. With the much greater numbers involved (and an on-site bar) the facilities were excellent and a wide choice of food was provided however in the crowd one had to search for the model flyers but, once found, the arrangements worked well.  Many people, including the German contingent, also took advantage of the gliding centre to camp there – temptation of course was to stay at the bar longer than most but with three Germans out of the six in the fly-off, it did not affect their flying performance on the following day!
      Robin Sleight – Contest Director
      Fly Off
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      Rank Name Rnd1 Dur Rnd2 Dur Rnd3 Dur Score Plty 1 Paddon, Colin 762.7 808 1000 2570.7 0 2 Lammlein, Tobias 1000 633.7 751.9 2385.6 0 3 Allen, Peter 741.9 840.4 746.5 2328.8 0 4 Thijssen, Fred 591.3 1000 573.2 2164.5 0 5 Probstfeld, Daniel 499.1 780.8 729.5 2009.4 0 6 Clauss, Micheal 798.4 572.2 579.5 1950.1 0 Preliminary Rounds
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      Rank Name Rnd1 Dur Rnd2 Dur Rnd3 Dur Rnd4 Dur Rnd5 Dur Rnd6 Dur Rnd7 Dur Rnd8 Dur Score Pcnt Plty 1 Lammlein, Tobias 1000 1000 958.6 999.7 775 1000 1000 1000 6958.3 100 0 2 Thijssen, Fred 1000 958.3 1000 1000 986.6 988.7 977.1 716.5 6910.7 99.32 0 3 Allen, Peter 967.6 1000 805.5 1000 1000 949.3 984.8 1000 6901.7 99.19 0 4 Clauss, Micheal 856.4 856.4 1000 1000 1000 1000 979.7 815.8 6692.5 96.18 0 5 Paddon, Colin 927.4 992.6 988.7 1000 998.7 591.8 1000 740.3 6647.7 95.54 0 6 Probstfeld, Daniel 1000 673.1 657.3 822.2 994.9 1000 993.6 998.8 6482.6 93.16 0 7 Glover, Chris 995.9 993.6 1000 891.1 797.8 618.3 965.4 703.4 6347.2 91.22 0 8 Duff, Ian 809.1 0 806.8 995.5 709.1 986.9 996.1 1000 6303.5 90.59 0 9 Nieuwenhuizen, Wim 957.1 984.8 808.4 973.1 958.1 832.4 616 786 6299.9 90.54 0 10 Boorman, Colin 1000 0 546.2 1000 1000 831.4 913.8 989.8 6281.2 90.27 0 11 Schumacher, Matthias 1000 991.3 1000 842.8 1000 708.1 682.6 636.8 6224.8 89.46 0 12 Raybone, Mike 922.7 991.3 773.2 982.1 829.7 718.7 1000 703.7 6217.7 89.36 0 13 Jones, Neil 1000 865.4 727.6 780.9 989.3 855.2 998.2 662.8 6216.6 89.34 0 14 Golly, Dennis 986.9 808.7 705.7 665.1 1000 1000 1000 710.1 6211.4 89.27 0 15 Dart, Kevin 998.1 1000 733.4 791.8 904.1 482.1 839 893.7 6160.1 88.53 0 16 Binnie, Gary 820.6 795.7 903.2 506.4 943.2 691.2 988.2 978.7 6120.8 87.96 0 17 Beale, Kevin 936.5 676.9 677.4 979 810.8 863.4 1000 851.7 6118.8 87.94 0 18 Bundgen, Knut 991 815.1 779.8 616.5 944.3 481 845.5 1000 5992.2 86.12 0 19 Kort, Albert 694 658.1 1000 1000 768.6 494.3 866.9 1000 5987.6 86.05 0 20 Johnson, Brian 862.3 1000 945.2 634 703.6 1000 742.5 675.7 5929.3 85.21 0 21 Obschonka, Charles 774 850.8 903.5 939.8 618.2 890.3 796.8 760.3 5915.5 85.01 0 22 Dickenson, Bob 978.3 1000 664.5 822 748.2 693.2 964.3 511.9 5870.5 84.37 0 23 Osbourne, Ozzie 888.3 852.9 938.4 732.3 802.6 995.6 575.9 449.3 5786 83.15 0 24 East, Dave 951.3 343.3 654 915.8 708 607.2 777.9 899.5 5513.7 79.24 0 25 Philcox, Cengiz 670.5 572.2 0 843.7 986.3 875.1 774.6 751 5473.4 78.66 0 26 Kooy, Jaap 679.3 737 751.6 689.8 779.2 1000 745.1 751.2 5453.9 78.38 0 27 Sykes, Alex 551.4 437.3 306.3 682.1 766.6 936.4 707.9 851.2 4932.9 70.89 0 28 Stanswood, Jon 411.3 915.4 603.3 759.1 754.6 648.4 435.9 794 4910.7 70.57 0 29 Shenstone, John 504.3 751 495.1 470.8 445 488.2 929.2 954 4592.6 66 0 30 Dunster, Chas 613.5 926.1 482.9 564.2 534.3 0 0 0 3121 44.85 0 A full report and more pictures on the Interglide website http://www.interglide.co.uk/2013-results

    • We were lucky that the Sunday 12th May was the best day of the weekend for weather, but best is a comparative term!
      This was a chance to try out the new flying field between Bicester and Aylesbury and it proved to be popular with plenty of space and short grass.
      The day started bright with a moderate breeze and even round 1 slot 1 found strong lift and went full length. As the day progressed many slots were still being flown out in spite of the increasing cloud and the breeze picking up. There were also some patches of strong sink which ruined several potentially good scores!
      By mid afternoon the first spots of rain fell so flying was curtailed and as the rain increased it was decided to scrap the fly off and give out the prizes based on the round scores.
      Fozzie Devall chose to enter both his F3J model and his 100" as a second entry. He surprised everyone, including himself, by winning the event with his Tracker and finishing 5th with his 'full house' model. It only goes to prove it is the pilot who counts and that to be successful it is not necessary to spend big money on exotic new designs.
      Results are below
      Thanks to Phil Hayward for his excellent pictures which can be found on the forum and to the South Midlands BMFA for their ongoing sponsorship of this event.
      Peter Allen.
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      Rank Name Score Pcnt Rnd1 Dur Rnd2 Dur Rnd3 Dur Rnd4 Dur Plty 1 Devall, Mark 100" 3982.9 100 1000 1000 982.9 1000 0 2 Osbourne, Ozzie 3949.6 99.16 1000 988.4 961.2 1000 0 3 Allen, Peter 3893.4 97.75 1000 902.5 1000 990.9 0 4 Duff, Ian 3829.1 96.14 1000 999 1000 830.1 0 5 Devall, Mark 3770.3 94.66 959.2 1000 909.1 902 0 6 Boorman, Colin 3704 93 882.4 1000 997.5 824.1 0 7 Raybone, Mike 3626.5 91.05 643.8 987.7 995 1000 0 8 Chas Dunster 3554.7 89.25 950.8 906.1 990.5 707.3 0 9 Wicks, Graham 3514.6 88.24 946.9 919.2 692.5 956 0 10 Lipscombe, Al 3482.9 87.45 552.6 963.5 995.2 971.6 0 11 Paddon, Colin 3158.9 79.31 458.9 1000 1000 1000 300 12 Glover, Chris 3103.7 77.93 702.7 700.1 964.6 736.3 0 13 Binnie, Gary 3067.6 77.02 621.6 753.7 1000 692.3 0 14 James, Graham 2438.4 61.22 0 647.9 975.9 814.6 0 15 Binnie, Gary 100" 2109.1 52.95 829 409.5 575 295.6 0 16 Hayward, Phil 390 9.79 0 390 0 0 0 17 Beale, Kevin 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 Kevin Dart 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 East, Dave 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 Jones, Neil 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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