Once again it is my pleasure to collate a report for this year’s Radioglide event. Held at the now familiar Tudor Farm near the village of Edgcott in Buckinghamshire, the winch launch competitions were held in a new field adjacent to the previously used one as this has been ploughed and planted with crop. The weather stayed dry for all three days, a touch windy at times (some might say more than a touch!) and a great time was had by all.
Please find the individual discipline reports below, I hope there are no glaring errors but it is difficult sometimes as a competing pilot to take in all that is going on.
Saturday 28th May
F5J – Gary Binnie
The day dawned fine with a hazy blue sky initially, cumulus developed in the early afternoon with a North Easterly wind up to 12 mph but it was quite calm at times, probably due to thermal influence. It was fairly chilly in the morning requiring light jackets to be worn but warmed up to 19°C later. The air in early rounds featured weak lift with the best pilots making the most of it and flying the slots out. Pilots flew together in groups of four or five with seven rounds flown with a dropped score applied.
Timing and spotting in F5J is a responsible job and you can often be paired up with a pilot that you’ve never worked with before. A lighter moment for me was during a launch with Al Lipscombe, he became unbalanced somehow and launched the model awkwardly and in a downward direction instead of nose up. I heard a faint click which was his right hand coming down to the transmitter to accidentally turn the motor switch off with the model now climbing! The model landed about 50 metres upwind and we walked over to record the flight, time was 11.8 seconds (I couldn’t bring myself to round it up to 12!) with a launch height of six metres. We handed the score card in which bagged him a mighty 13 points, this was handily voided with the drop score applied and we all had a chuckle.
Everybody has their own preference for motor switch position, my own method is to use a latching switch on the left back of the transmitter which operates towards me during motor run with my finger holding it in the on position just in case.
A useful break was taken every couple of rounds to enter the scores with a longer lunch break. The local red kites showed the way as usual, I joined a circling seagull once, I don’t usually trust them but it was going up! Final positions were Colin Boorman winning, Dave East as runner-up with Graham Wicks in third place.
100S – Graham James
The 100s competition was flown concurrently with the F5J in the adjacent field, Alan Morton was invited to CD. We had 13 entries in pre-allocated teams, on the day only 12 turned up so Alan juggled them around to give us four teams of three and flying started around 10.40am.
Five rounds and two fly-offs were matrixed. The warm air and gentle breeze created some good workable lift throughout the day and all but one of the 15 slots flown during the first five rounds were flown out.
Up until round three all models apart from one out of field had landed inside the landing zone, during the 3rd round. John Hullet misjudged and landed out and Neville Warby making his final turn, was grabbed by an innocent looking tree! It was later recovered by the farmer’s cherry picker with no damage. During the rest of the first five rounds we had excellent flight times including one from Dave Leech at 7.54 he came off the line early but still managed to fly out the slot. After a very enjoyable five rounds the top four pilots entered the fly-off, Kevin Newitt, Fozzy Devall, Peter Newitt and Graham James.
All pilots launched and were soon into decent air; Graham lost out and had to settle for 6.45 while the others
continued to fly the slot out. Following a misunderstanding in the second fly off, in which a model was relaunched when it shouldn’t, there was an unfortunate mid-air which resulted in Peter Newitt having to land prematurely. It was apparent that but for this he was likely to have taken a clean win of the event, so in the spirit of good sportsmanship it was decided to award Peter and Kevin Newitt joint winners.
The day ended with everyone in high spirits after what was an excellent day's flying, it was good to see pilots still enjoying a good old fashioned 100s competition.
|Pilot Name||Rnd 1||Rnd 2||Rnd 3||Rnd 4||Rnd 5||Final Score||%Score||Position|
|13. Peter Newitt||1000||1000||861||1000||1000||4861||97.26||3|
|8. Alan Morton||1000||1000||628||1000||1000||4628||92.60||5|
|1st 13. Peter Newitt||1997||100.0|
|1st 11. Kevin Newitt||1997||100.0|
|3rd 4. Fozzy DeVall||1652||82.7|
|4th 5. Graham James||1057||52.9|
Thanks to Alan for running the competition and all the regular 100s pilots who assist in laying out the field and in particular the inimitable Neville Warby.
Sunday 29th May
Multi-launch – Graham James
Sunday’s weather was a bit of a disappointment by comparison, overcast with a chilly North Easterly breeze turning to broken cumulus later in the afternoon.
Five preliminary rounds were flown plus two fly-off rounds. There was a fairly even split of winch and electric launch gliders and one DLG flown by Mike Fantham. The ‘sailboat start’ meaning that all flights are timed from the start of the slot (or end of the individuals launch phase) and electrics set to 175 metres leads to a very level playing field and some long flight times the best of which being a 9.59 by Al Lipscombe. This parity was further borne out in that the four pilots in the fly-off used a 50/50 mix of winch launch and electric gliders.
Good air in the first fly off slot saw flight times of 14.53 for Peter Allen (Electric) and 14.46 for Kevin Beale (Winch). In the second round, with the lift not so good Peter and different winch launcher, Colin Boorman produced times of 11.25 and 11.07 respectively. But in the end it was Peter Allen (Electric) who proved triumphant followed by Kevin Beale (Winch), Colin Boorman (Winch) and Colin Paddon (Electric). As well as the presentation of the FACCT Trophy to the overall winner, prizes were given for Best Winch, Electric and Hand Launch competitors.
We were delighted to be visited by the legendary Geoff Dallimer, BARCS No. 1, who showed a keen interest in the model development over the years since his days of designing models such as the Zephyr 100s design featured in RCM&E.
Multi-launch Fly-Off Results
DLG Pilot's Perspective of Multi-launch – Mike Fantham
I entered Multi-launch partly out of curiosity and partly because I had helped Jef Ott to prepare a rule change proposal aimed at getting more hand launch pilots out to ML events - so I thought I'd better try one!
The first thing I noticed was that I was quickest into the air on arrival at the field. The model was fully assembled in the car when I arrived and I just had to step out onto the field and throw. That was to be the only advantage I had because the weather seemed a bit breezy for hand launch to be the best option for me to win the event. Chas Dunster kindly volunteered to time for me and he wasn't flying himself so I had a dedicated helper. I soon got into the swing of things except the 'finding good air' part. The hand launch flyer gets four flights added together to make up the slot score and a two second bonus for each re-launch. I hoped to 'get away' on one of these and fly out the slot each time. However, from a 35 metre launch in the breezy conditions, I only really got any help on a couple of flights all day, making about four minutes each time. It was a bit galling seeing the others making 200 metres and having plenty of range and time to find air.
In the end, I was pleased to see that I was 12th out of the 14 at the end of the day and I took home a bottle of wine as the best (only!) Hand launch entrant.
I need to practice my spot landings. I can easily catch the model on most flights normally but I can also easily change my position to meet the model! When you have to stand still and land at your feet, it gets much harder!
The best part was meeting and flying with some of the 'names' from the 'big glider world' - nice bunch of chaps and I was made welcome and to really feel part of the event. The top Hand launch pilots, launching almost twice as high as I can would be competitive in this class. I was 7th of the 8 the next day in Hand launch.... Come and try F3K flyers.
Monday 30th May
F3K – Mike Fantham
We had a low entry of eight - one original entrant had to drop out because a long struggle to finish his model had not worked out. He still came out to help and time on the Monday which was very welcome! We were pleased to see Liam Hawes out again and to welcome Jason Bioletti at his first F3K event - he retired early but said had a good time and that he'd be back. The forecast had been dire all the previous week and I had posted a warning of cancellation the BARCS forum on the Saturday promising a decision by midday Sunday. On Sunday morning, I was busy with the MLG contest but checking the weather as well. Rain looked unlikely and the wind was high but below the limit so I decided to go ahead with F3K - we had the minimum eight required for a league-counting event and would need four rounds for the score to count.
Monday morning saw me on the field at 08:45 choosing a site for the launch and landing 'box'. It was fairly near the chicken farm edge of the field to try to keep the F3J field downwind, ensuring a 'friendly' area for any land-outs. In the event nobody dared stray that far downwind. The wind was strong but it was flyable and I could range upwind on my test flights - helped by 84 grams of ballast in my already-heavy 'Bonus' – a 400 gm total weight!
I had some problems with the sound gear but we got going soon after 10:00 with an initial aim of completing four rounds. Pilots soon found that there was 'help' over the edge of the field - possibly slope lift from the trees/hedge. Michael Stern only dropped 20 seconds in the 5x2 in round 1.
He would hope to drop around five seconds in perfect weather so it was an excellent score in the rough conditions. There was turbulence of course but we coped and I wasn't aware of too much in the way of damage.
After three successful rounds, I had decided to go to five rounds before lunch and before I did any scoring because a fifth round means that there's one dropped round score available to pilots. The usual suspects were building a lead and Richard Swindells was ahead at lunch with Michael Stern second and Simon Barker third. Conditions still seemed pretty much the same so we decided to press on after lunch and see what happened. I started the sixth round and it soon became apparent that conditions had become more turbulent and the wind had increased. I saw some flights upset badly and only some fast –reaction piloting got them safely back on the ground - usually 'in the box'. After slot two of that round, I called it a day. Nobody complained!
As to models, the top four all used a Stream NXT for at least some of their flights. The trend continues to solid core moulded wings and lighter models with lower wing areas. Full slot-by-slot results are available in the F3K and Hand launch section of the BARCS forum.
1. Richards Swindells 4994
2. Michael Stern 4905
3. Simon Barker 4599
4. Liam Hawes 4347
5. Alex Holswilder 4330
6. Lorry Green 3142
7. Mike Fantham 2661
8. Jason Bioletti 1404
F3J – Gary Binnie/Graham James
More overcast still than the first couple of days and a stronger NNE wind requiring thicker jackets than Saturday (motorcycle jacket for me!). The forecast was to be dry all day which it was but moisture could be felt in the air but not seen. With the strong wind most pilots used the technique of hanging into wind and ‘bouncing’ any lift with the occasional circle. Conditions improved and more and more people were venturing further afield. I noticed from the lunch break scores that I was doing quite well and decided to ‘go for it’ in the next round by circling off merrily down wind, unfortunately my plan failed with my trusty Xplorer not quite making it back to the field against the headwind, c’est la vie! Landing itself quite neatly in the next field I have at last broken my duck of landing ‘au vache’ and plan to risk it more in future.
Kevin Beale with Spotter Colin Boormann
The familiar Xplorers, Maxas and Tragi's dominated the models used but Pike Perfects, Shadows and Xperience Pros were also in evidence and still very competitive. Also on show were a couple of the new Optimus machines which look very good and are likely to prove popular in the future.
Five rounds were flown followed by two fly-off rounds, all under the familiar, watchful eye of BARCS President, Sydney Lenssen. The preliminary rounds saw the top four pilots going onto the fly offs. Appropriately, Neil Jones with a maximum 5000, Kevin Beale and Mark Devall, who comprise the UK Team for the forthcoming World Championships, all made it through along with Colin Paddon who is a helper on the team. Neil didn’t have it all his own way, with Kevin winning the first slot but by only 6.3pts. In fly-off two however, the roles were reversed and Neil came out on top overall.
And so to prize giving. Neil Jones took the Humbrol Trophy for F3J. Additional Radioglide prizes also went to Colin Boorman for the highest place competitor over the whole three Days (Victor Ludorum) and to Jason Bioletti as the Best Newcomer (Lillienthal Trophy).
F3J Fly-Off Results
"Uncle" Sydney Lenssen
Congratulations to all Winners in the four events over the weekend. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves. Many thanks go to all the CD’s for running the event and to the organisational team behind the whole weekend.
Long may Radioglide continue.