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    PeteMitchell

    BARCS Early Days

    By PeteMitchell, in Articles,

    Recently a thread on the forum sparked an interest about the formation and early days of our Association.
    This prompted correspondence with one of our earliest members, Martin Garnett membership number 5, who has provided the following very interesting information. He writes:
     
    I may be a lapsed BARCS member but I still keep an eye on the website to see what’s going on, and I see from the BARCS forum that the actual formation date of BARCS has arisen.
    I attended the inaugural meeting at Aylesbury in 1972, along with Colin Thompson and became member no 5 only because I was the 5th person to sign the attendance register. I recollect that there were 11 or 12 of us at the meeting, and I think that Dave Hughes was no 1.
    I attach some pdfs, relating to BARCS and its early days, and perhaps the RM Apr 1972 gives the best indication as to the first meeting. Allowing for publication deadlines, I guess this would have been in the March/April time, but I can’t find anything better than that in my archives.
    I went back through those Soarers I still have, and thought you might to see the attached pdf. Although not specifically mentioned inside, I assume that the 11 people on the cover were those at the first meeting. Sadly, many no longer with us, but I have the advantage of having been a uni student back in 1972 so a lot younger.
    I did some lateral thinking and checked my 1972 RCM&E back issues, as Geoff D wrote the thermal column in those days.
    See attached pdfs – the March 1972 edition gives the date as Friday 18 Feb 1972 for the inaugural meeting. This was followed up with a report in May 1972, interesting showing that 22 people attended. Perhaps BARCS membership nos 1-22?
    Martin has provided a few more pdf's dated after May72 which I will post later.
    Any more memories and info will be good to add here.
     
    RM Jul 1968.pdf RM Jan 1972.pdf RCM&E Mar 1972.pdf RM Apr 1972.pdf RCM&E May 1972.pdf
    Nick Jackson

    eScoring Focus

    By Nick Jackson, in Articles,

    eScoring?
    eScoring  is a way in which a competition pilot or their helper can use a smartphone to upload  their score to a cloud server after each flight. 
    For a longer introduction, have a look at the eScoring explainer escoring_explainer.pdf
    Focus?
    Covid-19
    eScoring is attracting particular attention during the pandemic, as a way to preserve social distancing and minimise risk from handling score cards – no need to approach the CD or pass bits of paper to enter scores. 
    For this reason, BARCS is launching a new Covid and eScoring forum – check it out and post your experiences or questions there.
    Eppler Trophy

    Escoring is a part of the splendid  GliderScore software, developed by Gerry Carter in Australia and used widely in the UK and all over the world. To honour Gerry’s achievement, BARCS was very pleased to award him at its Dec 2020 AGM the prestigious Eppler Trophy.     
    Read Ian Nicholls’ appreciation of Gerry’s work in proposing him for the award eppler.pdf
     
     
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  • Our picks

    • by Sydney Lenssen, July 2018

      Brian Austin has been co-opted by the BARCS Executive Committee as the new President of BARCS. His three year term of office will be confirmed by the membership at the AGM 2019. I am confident that this announcement will be welcomed by all BARCS members. Many, if not all, members know Brian from his long record of achievements and activities in the silent flight field. He is especially known for his friendly cheerful manner, always at hand to help fellow modellers.


      Four years ago, Brian was awarded BARCS’ Eppler Trophy, in my opinion, the association’s the most prestigious award with a long list of distinguished aeromodellers such as Eppler himself.

      Graham James, BARCS President at that time, wrote the following citation: In the early years of BARCS, awarding was often a relatively straightforward decision as new construction methods, materials, wing sections, control methods and launch and landing requirements demanded continuous model development. Today, many of us have moved onto moulded ready builds and the skills of the true modeller are largely being lost.


      One person, Brian Austin, continues to lead the field in home design and build models. Responsible over the years for many familiar Open and 100s designs, his name is now better known in electric circles not only for his planes but also as a driving force behind competition rule progression. Names like Trilogy, Alacrity and more recently the Watts series of electric gliders, of which Watts New is the latest incarnation, will be familiar to us all. For many years, he has also been the responsible for running a very successful series of competitions in Essex.

      Although tempted by shiny plastic models too, he continues to fashion exquisitely beautiful soarers, built to standards that most of us can only
      aspire. They take the latest look and feel of moulded machines, but are built in more traditional ways. Brian pilots competition winning models.
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    • Can F3J survive the treatment meant to save it
      What are the new rules?

      Two weeks ago the RC Soaring Technical Meeting in Lausanne took the bull by the horns and introduced new rules aimed at saving F3J glider contests from sliding off the world and continental championship schedules - the death of what for many soaring pilots is the most popular of silent flight competitions.

      Joe Wurts, the first F3J World Champion in 1998 at Upton-upon Severn, UK. Twenty years later with the latest F3J WC about to take place in Romania, many soarers are fearing that this could be the last.


      THE NEW RULES

      From next year pilots can use electric winches - either/or hand held winches - for launching their models. The models must have a maximum surface area of 150 dm2 and a minimum loading of at least 20 gm/dm2. There will be no dropped round in fly-offs, and no reflights for mid-air collisions after 60 seconds into the slot.

      CIAM, the world ruling body for this class is hoping that its new rules will halt the massive fall in numbers of F3J pilots wishing to compete, sixty per cent over the past five years and still falling, and restore its popularity.

      But among many F3J pilots, the bull is still shaking its horns. There has been an extraordinary shock reaction: hundreds of pilots from all over the world have reacted on social media, protesting, angry and forecasting the end of this class. Many pilots are concerned, ranging from previous finalists and champions to your typical enthusiast who enjoys travelling across country and continental boundaries to participate in their friendly sport. Only a few can see the logic and reasoning and are prepared to wait and see how the changes work in practice. More than a few want CIAM to think again!



       
      • 12 replies
    • Rule changes to halt terminal decline
      Uncle Sydney’ Gossip column returns

      FAI’s Aeromodelling Commission meets next month, 27/28 April 2018 in Lausanne, Switzerland. For F3J pilots the main topic on the agenda is how to halt the decline in silent flight contests. What does CIAM want to change?  What chance for these changes to save terminal decline?

      Winches to be allowed.

      If this proposal goes through the “launch of the model aircraft will be by hand held towline or winch.” Ever since 1998 when the first F3J world championships were held at Upton on Severn, pressure has been on CIAM to bring in winch launching. At numerous team managers’ meetings held by Jury President Bartovsky during World and European championships, arguments for and against have raged. Many countries do not have enough people to give one or two man tows, so they run their qualifying comps to local rules using electric winches. I guess more than half of countries do this. When they turn up at FAI championships, their pulleys and hand winches are brought out. In the UK perhaps we had one or two practice sessions at home before leaving.

      Certainly there is a difference between a regulation F3B winch and a two man tows. The best pilots still gain the most height either way. The big difference is what you need to carry on your travels, especially by airline. Winches and batteries are bulky and heavy. So far all votes have been to stick with hand towing.

      In CIAM agendas, any rule amendment is followed by its reasoning. 

      The winch proposal stems from Slovakia and they say: “The majority of pilots are older persons who are no longer physically capable of towing models. ( Uncle’s note: I have not seen anyone on crutches yet!) .....


       
      • 32 replies
    • by Sydney Lenssen, BARCS President and Gary Binnie, BARCS Chairman

      We and the BARCS executive committee wish all members, and indeed everyone who enjoys model flying and thermal soaring, a very happy Christmas, and also a very special year ahead in 2018. May all your achievements, higher scores and hopes be realised.

      Year 2017 has been a mixed year, probably for everybody. The biggest triumph by far has been the successful opening of BMFA’s National Flying Centre at Buckminster. BARCS can be very proud that it was the first group of aeromodellers to utilise the facilities on offer by organising a successful Radioglide 2017 at the end of May. 

      There is still a long way to go until BMFA realises all its ambitious plans for the NFC. Very sensibly, they are taking a careful financial route. Many members will not have even seen the site so far. Don’t hesitate. Many other members are in the band of volunteers, regularly making the Centre bigger and better. Offer to help if you can!

      One of the prime movers to establish the National Flying Centre is Chris Moynihan as chairman of the BMFA and also a member of the BARCS executive committee. Many years ago, it was Chris who tackled the difficult job of persuading BARCS to grow closer to the BMFA. He then went on to become chairman of the BMFA with his dedicated drive and skill at bringing together proponents and opponents. Very sadly, due to health problems, Chris has stepped down from both the BMFA chairman role and the BARCS committee. We shall all miss his wise counselling. 

      All the very best - and plenty of thermals - for 2018!

      Sydney Lenssen, BARCS President
       
      • 0 replies
    • Interglide F5J 2017 Report and Results
      This year’s Interglide over the weekend 24-25 June run by BARCS saw a necessary change from F3J to the electric launch format of F5J which proved to be very popular.

      Cracking flying site. Forty-seven pilots booked in. Prizes acquired, particular thanks going to UK KST agents, Flightech and C & M Rapid (Model Glasses) Ltd. for their generosity. The previous week saw fantastic weather. So what could possibly go wrong at Interglide 2017. Well, being the UK in June it’s no surprise, the weather changed for the week. Full report in the link above
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