Jump to content
  • News and Information

    Latest news and information
    • grj
      Radioglide 2018 returns to the BMFA National Centre near Grantham over the late May Bank holiday 26th - 28th. With the centre facilities now maturing, this year’s event should prove to be one of the most exciting with four action packed competitions, the BARCS AGM and the return of the popular Soaring Market Swap Meet.
      Saturday 26th will see the running of the prestigious BMFA F5B National Championships, sharing the field with a BARCS ELG competition. The latter is open to BARCS members only and offers the opportunity to fly a double entry of Open and either 2 metre or electric 100” at a discounted rate. BARCS members who enter both the ELG and the subsequent F5J event benefit from a further £5 discount for the two £25 down from £30.
      Sunday sees the F3K DLG’s take to the field alongside day one of a 2 day F5J competition run to UK variation rules. In the evening, the formal side of proceedings take place in the conference hall with the AGM, as announced elsewhere, commencing at 6.00pm followed at around 7.00pm with the running of a free bring and buy swap meet for you to bring along your pre-loved soaring items to pass on to new homes and pass the time chatting to fellow enthusiasts.
      On Monday, the final rounds of the F5J competition will complete.
      The on field activities are subject of course to the weather.
      Those who wish may camp on the field, whilst those who prefer more comfort should find plenty of local accommodation to suit their pocket. See BMFA National Centre for more information.
      Entries can be made online HERE
      Alternatively enter by completing the form below as per instructions on the form (F5B entries to be via BMFA website at BMFA F5B Nats).
      RADIOGLIDE Entry Form 2018.docx
      RADIOGLIDE Entry Form 2018.pdf

    • Sydney Lenssen

      Can winch approval save F3J?

      By Sydney Lenssen, in F3J,

      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!) 
      “Also smaller teams lack helpers capable of towing. There is also the problem that some pilots are unwilling to assist other pilots because of their physical condition. The winches are widely used in other categories and also at many F3J home competitions.”
      Allow me to remind overseas Gossip readers that the UK has used winch launching for many years. Two years ago BARCS surveyed F3J pilots asking whether or not they intended to continue competing for the next year. About 50 established pilots replied and only eight replied positively. With great regret the BARCS committee decided that contests could not be run with that number: running the qualifying league to select GBR national teams was impossible, and for the time being F3J contests would not be organised. Since then two invitations to resume and run an F3J comp have fallen on deaf ears.
      Returning to the supporting data prepared by Slovakia in the agenda document. “The number of pilots in F3J category is decreasing rapidly. In the last 2-3 years the number of pilots at World Cup or Eurotour competitions has decreased by circa 60%. People are switching to other categories, hence the rules should be designed in the way that motivates them to carry on flying.
      “In case the use of winches would be considered, we propose to apply same rules as the rules regulating the use of winches in F3B category, maximum starting current to be 510 Ah and cable length to be 150 m.”
      In my personal experience and I have attended several FAI championships in Slovakia over the last 15 years, and their organisation of contests is amongst the very best in the world. They are aware that the changes proposed are radical, and they have consulted widely with pilots and trainers from different countries. People agree that the change in F3J rules is inevitable to keep the category alive.
      Rarely have the arguments for change in FAI rules been put so strongly.
      I shall be surprised if the new rule is not adopted, but it is not a foregone conclusion. My query at this stage is that the proposal appears to allow winch towing alongside hand towing which could prove difficult if not dangerous and unsafe. The proposal is also not clear on the location of the winch’s turnaround pulley with respect to the launch line/safety corridor, line length or how long winches and batteries would be allowed to stay on the launch line.
      There are one or two other rule proposals. Australia thinks that the winners of fly-offs should be determined by the sum of all scores with no discards.
      Present rule states that if six or more fly-off rounds are flown, then each pilot’s lowest score can be discarded. 
      This proposal is so sensible and surely it must be approved. The reasoning? If no discards had been allowed, then the senior winners in the 2012, 2014 and 2016 F3J World Championships would have gone to different pilots; Joe Wurts in 2016, Joe Wurts in 2014 and in 2012 in South Africa, Jan Littva would have been champion.
      One other significant change, also submitted by Slovakia, deals with the characteristics of F3J gliders. The new suggested rule is that the minimum flying mass should 1.7 kg, with the added phrase, weight of models may be checked randomly immediately after landing during the contest. I don’t follow this change. The reasoning given does not help either. 
      “The price of models is very high and pilots, especially juniors, can no longer afford new models. As a result the number of pilots is decreasing rapidly. Instead of motivating juniors, the number of juniors is decreasing.” That statement is true, but how relevant is minimum weight?
      Will the rule changes save F3J?
      In July 2014 after the F3J World Championships in Martin, Slovakia, that I wrote a Gossip column entitled “F3J is in terminal decline”. It reported on the team managers’ technical meeting led by Tomas Bartovsky and several topics were discussed: models had become very expensive, fewer junior pilots, accurate timekeeping at glider release and landing, and the steady reduction in pilot numbers. 
      Several experienced pilots suggested way to make F3J more attractive, such as having a maximum wingspan and a minimum wing loading, because the available models produced by skilled manufacturers were now too good. In reasonable weather, in the summer months of the championship season, many pilots find flying 10 minutes is easy.
      The simplest and best summary of today’s falling number problems is that F3J is not the sort of competition which appeals to an ever larger number of aeromodellers. In the early 1990s, F3J set out to be the simple thermal glider competition, easy for anyone to join, contrasting with F3B which demands far greater expertise.
      This Gossip column produced a world-wide response, not only on the BARCS website  but also through RCSD and RC Groups in USA and around the world. More than 100 modellers wrote in, more than a few very critical of my words “terminal decline.” But it was encouraging that many well known pilots - Kolb, Wurts, Paddon and many others - responded with constructive ideas for future action to boost F3J popularity.
      Bob Owston, famous for designing and building his own models, wrote:
      “I am generally against limiting performance via design constraints such as wing loading and areas, there is a case for limiting the international class to a 2.4 metre (100 inch) span. This would reduce costs, particularly for youngsters, be more manageable and render the class competitive for homebuilders. Ailerons and flaps would be permitted.”
      In my view Philip Kolb came with the best solution: Limit the span, (a maximum span limit), and wing loading, (a minimum wing loading), both at the same time.
      Several contributors suggested more efforts to show friends and youngsters the magic of thermal soaring, use non-stretch tow line with one towman and no spotters. Keep everything simple! Whatever change you make, remember that climbing in a thermal is the main reason and attraction of  the sport, not launching or landing. 
      Uncle Sydney’s verdict
      I welcome that CIAM has recognised that unless changes are made, F3J is likely to disappear. I admire the efforts of the US pilots, for example, where over recent years Daryl Perkins and several other stalwarts have cajoled and encouraged enough pilots to travel thousands of miles over a fair spread of the continent in sufficient numbers to run a competitive league. 
      In other parts of the world - Canada, Australia, Japan, Argentina - fighting for a place in the country’s national team is far more difficult in terms of logistics than Europe with its Eurotour events. Survival of F3J depends massively on the efforts of pilots who were engaged from the start of the class and were often in the past amongst the more successful winners. Sadly we are all growing older and less able to cope with the rigours involved. They should now try to identify those who will follow. 
      Allowing winches is perhaps a start in the rehabilitation process, but by itself is not sufficient.  After next month’s meeting it will be two years before new rule changes are allowed. Let us hope that does not turn out to be too late. 

    • Nick Jackson

      BARCS AGM 2018

      By Nick Jackson, in BARCS,

      BARCS 2018 Annual General Meeting will be held at 6pm 27 May, Buckminster Lodge, Sewstern, Grantham. NG33 5RW
      Venue is the BMFA National Centre and timing is the Sunday evening of Radioglide. The AGM will be followed at 7pm by a glider swap meet. (Swap Meet details tba).
      Nominations for officers or member of the Committee should be sent to me by 28 March.
      (I need to know the proposer and seconder and to have the agreement of the nominee. Please PM me - ‘Nick Jackson’ - or email jackson272894@yahoo.com with any nominations or queries.)
      Proposals for the AGM should be sent to me by 27 April
      (I need to know the proposer and seconder. In some cases (as indicated in the Constitution) more than one seconder is required. Please PM me - ‘Nick Jackson’ - or email jackson272894@yahoo.com with any proposals or queries.)
      Please do attend the AGM if at all possible and have your say there. Please also consider joining the Committee, which is keen to have additional members.
      Nick Jackson, BARCS Hon. Sec.

    • Sydney Lenssen

      Tribute to Chris Moynihan

      By Sydney Lenssen, in BARCS,

      CHRIS MOYNIHAN - November 1945-February 2018
      Recently chairman of both BMFA and BARCS
      Always looking for lift: Chris Moynihan on the visit of the Barcs committee to Buckminster Lodge, the BMFA’s National Flying Centre, in preparation for RADIOGLIDE 2017. The event was the first major competition to be held at the Centre.
      From the left, Gary Binnie, Barcs Chairman; Chris, already ill although few knew it at the time; Manny Williamson, BMFA’s key leader in NFC’s development and side view of Peter Allen, now Barcs treasurer.

      Farewell to the best friend of all British aeromodellers
      The death this week of Chris Moynihan is very sad. He will be sorely missed. Graham James who has known Chris, flown in the same club together and worked together for BARCS over many years, has written an worthy tribute. I would like to add a few words. He was a good friend and such a hero.
      A few years ago, the UK F3J world was in a turmoil because of arguments over the lack of rules for winches. Some pilots had more powerful winches than others - seen as an unfair advantage. All winches and batteries must be certified as in F3B contests said some pilots, others reckoned the extra burden of testing would deter recruits with pilot numbers already dropping. A majority of the existing league competitors were not bothered one way or other.
      A ruling had to be made by SFTC, the silent flight technical committee of BMFA, Britain’s body responsible for FAI soaring affairs. Although I was not on this committee I was invited to attend the meeting to help resolve the impasse which had arisen. Only a few SFTC members flew F3J, but they were all eager to make their ruling.
      After a couple of hours of stalemate, Chris said that he would review what had been argued, and picked his way carefully and accurately through all the arguments. He patiently demonstrated that we were not at loggerheads but indeed very close to agreeing a solution. He was masterly at resolving a vexatious issue. For me it was a lesson and technique that I had not been conscious of before. He would certainly help the current Brexit shambles.
      At BARCS committee, Chris kept us up to date with relevant BMFA developments, especially the new National Flying Centre. He always seemed to have simple solutions which would help progress matters to everyone’s advantage. He was always able to name people who had expertise and could help. He seemed to know every flying site across the country.
      I shall miss his expertise, humour, common sense and intellect. Aeromodellers in this country are the poorer without him.
      Sydney Lenssen, February 2018

    • grj

      Chris Moynihan

      By grj, in BARCS,

      It is with great sadness that we report the passing, on Tuesday 6th February, of the former BARCS President and BMFA Chairman Chris Moynihan at the age of 72, following a long battle with cancer.
      I stood alongside Chris for many years in his roles on the BARCS Committee as Secretary, Chairman and President of the organisation. He was a man of great integrity, drive and ambition, always pushing to improve the lot of aeromodelling in the UK. He fought hard to form close alliance between BARCS and the BMFA sacrificing his position as BARCS Chairman to re-election on a platform of affiliating BARCS to the BMFA. In more recent times he has been a strong advocate for the BMFA  National Flying Centre, bringing his ambition to fruition, as the Chairman of BMFA, with the opening of Buckminster Lodge last year. He also bought his negotiation skills to the table in discussions with aviation bodies including the CAA.

      Many will remember competing against Chris in Open Competition, where his dogged determination to win would be ably demonstrated. In particular he was well remembered in fly off situations, on occasion campaigning what might best be described as ‘behind the edge’ technology, in large floaty ‘free flight’ style models and beating more sophisticated designs. I remember him talking at a Thames Valley Silent Flyers meeting about tips on lift detection and spoke somewhat tongue in cheek, of allowing his neck hair to grow, so that he might feel the change in wind direction that indicted lift in the flat calm of a late afternoon fly off. He was winner of many competitions at national level particularly in Open and 100s classes, taking Midland League, Radioglide and Victor Ludorum awards on several occasions and was awarded a Fellow of BARCS in honour of his services to the organisation.
      Although primarily known for his thermal soaring prowess, his love of aviation ran deep in both modelling and full size. He was a member at the Shuttleworth Museum often attending their summer evening flying displays. As BMFA Chairman he attended many flying events and was enthusiastic about all aspects of the hobby, particularly fascinated by the skills of the free flight scale modeller and the ingenuity of the ‘heavy lift’ student challenge. He enjoyed all forms of slope soaring, organising trips to North Wales for TVSF where he would fly everything from Phase 5, 60” slope racers and quarter scale gliders through to a pioneering PSS SE5a. He also enjoyed Sunday flying of electric aerobatic and oldtimer models at his local club field, followed by some lively debate with the pub crowd on a Sunday lunchtime
      Chris was a Manchester lad who had great affection for the Red side of his home town. Having worked for many years in human resources, Chris’s career saw him move around the globe and in particular South America. A geography graduate, Chris had rekindled his interests in recent years and studied Geology, participating in field trips on coastal walks and welsh mountain scrambles to indulge his passion.
      Chris is survived by his wife Anne-Marie, two Children Paul and Amy plus grandchildren.
      His funeral will take place on Monday 19th February at St Joseph's Church Gerrands Cross SL9 8RY, followed by a service at Chilterns Crematorium, Amersham and a reception to follow, details will be confirmed at a later date. If you would like more information on this, please contact me directly grjinflight@yahoo.com
      Rest in peace Chris. Your friends will remember you.
      Graham James

  • Activity Stream

    1. Norman Turner

      November 2023 'Special' postal

    2. Stewart Walker

      FxRES November 2023 F3L/F5L Monthly Duration Challenge

    3. martynk

      November 2023 'Special' postal

  • Tell a friend

    Love British Association of Radio Control Soarers? Tell a friend!

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.