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  1. Sydney Lenssen

    Final F3J Festival For Rules Mark 1

    BABENHAUSEN - 15/16 SEPTEMBER 2018 What promises to be a “sweet and sour” weekend of Contest Eurotour flying before the new F3J rules allowing winch towing instead of two-man hand towing come into force - January 2019 - will take place weekend September 15/16 September in Babenhausen just a little way south of Frankfurt. Why sweet and sour? After the biggest set of rule changes by CIAM in Lausanne since the stake was banned, many dedicated pilots, with their deep tradition of friendship and fun, say that the winch and new rules spell the end. Entry numbers tell a similar tale. Contest Eurotour F3J entry numbers are down to less than 200 in total compared with more than 600 in previous years. In many countries F3J meetings are being cancelled. That is the “sour”. One compensation in this sad tale is that F5J is booming. Entry numbers have passed 500 and growing. Pilots who have resisted using propellers and electric motors to launch are expressing surprise at how exciting it is to learn new skills and strategies. When Philip Kolb heard about the rule changes, he hit upon the idea of encouraging F3J pilots old and new to get together for a final celebration of 21 years of FAI contests and FAI Championships under Mark 1 rules, a chance for everyone to enjoy a great reunion, keen competition with plenty of beer and stories old and new. Babenhausen is also the last contest in the 2018 Contest Eurotour series and the new champion will be crowned. That is the “sweet”! Philip’s call for an F3J farewell party did not go down well at the start: even his good friend Stephan Lammlein described his idea as nonsense. “We must make ourselves strong and press for better rules.” Darius Mahmoudi thought Philip’s idea was counterproductive at uncertain times for F3J.Philip backtracked a little. “Let’s call it a retro meeting for F3J and attract as many ex-F3J pilots to come - including me.” Babenhausen is a contest for the F3J family to get together again, and as Erel Cankan says, “if all of us in the family wants, we will find a way to put things back on track again!” At the time of writing 90+ pilots have entered for the two days. Let’s all hope that the weather is kind. The new flying site is planned to allow 120 pilots to compete, so there is still a chance to enter. Flying or spectating come along and help everyone celebrate in style and joy. Cheering our world champions What are our reminiscences? Let’s start with F3J world champions, Starting with 1998 at Upton upon Severn, the winner was Joe Wurts, still flying today in various classes, and still standing on podiums and revered worldwide, always ready to give expert advice. The start of World Championships as opposed to European friendships.Two years later the championships were on the island of Corfu, troubled a little by smoking forest fires and won by Jan Kohout from the Czech Republic. He plays a lovely guitar repertoire but was tempted out of thermal flying a few years later by mountaineering. Next stop was Finland in Lappeenranta where a worthy winner was Arend Borst from Canada who almost won in 1998, and appropriate since the next world championships were already booked for Canada. 2004 Red Deer was a chance for teams to experience the Rockies and compete on a sod farm. The week was almost marred by a typhoon which managed to uproot one of two giant marquees held down by three metre scaffold tubes which were just ripped out of the ground as the cover blew nearly 200 metres and almost onto the main highway. Winner this time was David Hobby from Australia flying in his first F3J contest with no track record in this class. In his job he did fly remote-controlled drones across the Atlantic, a true professional. Back into Europe for the 2006 worlds and flying in Martin, Slovakia one of the worlds most beautiful model flying sites. What happened? David Hobby won again, and not only that, in the fly offs he had a mid-air which increased the dihedral on the port tip by 20 degrees and tore the surfaces but he still flew some 400 metres to land safely near the landing spot. he was so far ahead by this point that he didn’t even need his reflight to become champion again. One country, Turkey, had been F3J keen from the start and had set new standards in how well contests could be organised and managed. The reward was being chosen for the 2008 world championships and again flew on a pristine sod farm at Adazapari. The winner was Benedikt Feigl, younger brother of Sebastian Feigl who had won a team world medal two years before, and son of Peter Feigl who flew models and full-size gliders. The three man Feigl team was and still is a notable force to be reckoned with. The next world event was in France in Dole Jura, 2010, and although the flying site was not ideal, the food, wine and activities were great. Daryl Perkins who had been world champion some four times in the F3B class became world champion in F3J, much to his delight and my surprise. I had always reckoned mistakenly that Daryl did not have the same keenness for J as B. US teams are selected after one trial contest, not a series or league, and Daryl until 2009 had never gained a team place. But his competitive spirit was not deterred. He came and conquered. Since then he has been the driver for F3J in the United States and encouraging to keep it alive and kicking. The world championships in 2012 moved to a new continent, held in South Africa at Kempton Park, still flown in mid summer and so that the weather was a testing mix of snow, wind and cold in the Southern Hemisphere. The event was well organised in an exciting country by Michelle and Craig Goodrum and yet another win for Benedikt Feigl. This was the first WCs that I missed, but I was lucky because I cannot take cold. Vladimir Gavrylko recounted that he looked forward to getting back to his hotel to thaw out, only to find that the bath taps were running cold too! In 2014 the world championships returned to Slovakia and Martin and a new young pilot with the widest of smiles, Jany Littva became world champion. He was to become one of the young pilots with skills that left the established oldies wondering what they could do to match the pilot skills and reactions. Slovenia has always held a strong reputation in the F3J circuit with its beautiful and unique flying site in Bovec, surrounded by a wide bowl of mountains. Sadly the sports airport there was lost to models when a new road widening scheme chopped off space. But the site at Vipava is almost as good, just as friendly and blessed with good wines. Champion of the world in 2016 was Arijan Hucaljuk from Croatia, another youngster with a shy smile, a man who seems to smell thermal lift that others cannot see, a man who stands with his feet forming a V-sign around the landing spot and 9 times out of 10 puts the nose down on the spot. And finally in 2018 the world championships moved to Romania, to Brasov where Arijan Hucaljuk won again, just one of a series of trophies in F5J and F3K which Arijan has won over the last few weeks over the summer. In his comments last week about the Dupnitsa F5J first European Championships, Graham Wicks reports that Arijan’s launch height was 14metres in one slot, he sank to 7 metres and then thermalled to fly out the slot. What a pilot, another win! Having reached the end of the list of F3J world champions, the feature which intrigues me is that there are three pilots who have won twice, David, Benedikt and Arijan which is remarkable considering the number of excellent highly skilled pilots from so many countries, any of whom could have triumphed, but these three have something extra. What? Who will be flying in Babenhausen’s F3J Festival? Not surprisingly most of the entries are from Germany, this year’s end of the Eurotour, and many of these pilots are not people I recognise to date. I hope they will excuse me if I stick to people I know, some going back to when F3J started. Dieter Rybold will be flying along with Knut Bundgen, one of the organisers, Robert Braune has a strong track record and I am pleased to see lady pilots Catharina Schmidtkunz and junior Carolin Weihe. Stefan Hollein will be flying the flag along with Ryan. A keen sponsor/pilot/guru is Thomas Rossner of Servorahmen fame who enjoys beer and seems to turn up at all the best competitions all over the world. Helmut Rohner is another pilot who flies everywhere, takes lots of photographs and make puzzles on Facebook, and always tells me off - “Sydney, du weiss ich spreche kein Englisch.” Next on the list of pilots is the inspiration for this Festival, Philip Kolb who sadly is transferring his loyalties to bigger and better classes of glider models. Karl Hinsch has flown with Philip for many a year. Stephan Lammlein will be there although at this point his son Tobi who now lives and flies for Switzerland, a former German junior world champion. I remember his mother Gabi going shopping in Lappeenranta because she could not put up with the stress of watching Tobi in the flyoffs. Jany Littva and his father Dr Jan Littva are entered, Cederic Duss a more recent star pilot, Jaroslav Vostrel of the Pike family, Martin Rajsner another star, Christian Keulerz, Felix and Willi Parsch, Christian and Manuel Reinecke and the keenly competitive Dominik Prestele. DariusMahmoudi will fly as well as report I suspect for Aufwind. We shall also be pleased to see Arijan Hucaljuk, no doubt keen to add to his 2018 prizes. I am also delighted that Erel Cankan and Salahi Tezel will be flying in from North Cyprus to fly the Turkish flag. Italy could not be left out and Marco and Giuseppe Generali along with the Gallizia family Giuseppe, Carlo and Marco. I am especially pleased to see Vladimir Gavrilko and Oleksandr Chekh from Ukraine, but there will not be time over the weekend to assemble the swimming pool. That’s the list as it stands at the time of writing. There could be and I hope there will be more to come. Apologies again to those pilots I don’t recognise. I do not know how Tomas Bartovsky found out that I was intending to attend Babenhausen, but he did ask me to pass on his best regards to the F3J family and all his friends. I do know that Tomas is a firm believer that F3J will survive and thrive, and will get over the rule changes. “There will always be those keen pilots who wish to become champions!” Finally I am sure that many of us will have lost friends who have passed away over the last 20 years, friends who shared the same enthusiasms and dedication to F3J. I should like to remember Mustafa Koc, Otto Barvels, Utz Giesa, and Hans Fischer, and if my memory was better, others too. Uncle Sydney - really gossiping for the last time. 2 September 2018
  2. Sydney Lenssen

    Final F3J Festival For Rules Mark 1

    BABENHAUSEN - 15/16 SEPTEMBER 2018 What promises to be a “sweet and sour” weekend of Contest Eurotour flying before the new F3J rules allowing winch towing instead of two-man hand towing come into force - January 2019 - will take place weekend September 15/16 September in Babenhausen just a little way south of Frankfurt. Why sweet and sour? After the biggest set of rule changes by CIAM in Lausanne since the stake was banned, many dedicated pilots, with their deep tradition of friendship and fun, say that the winch and new rules spell the end. Entry numbers tell a similar tale. Contest Eurotour F3J entry numbers are down to less than 200 in total compared with more than 600 in previous years. In many countries F3J meetings are being cancelled. That is the “sour”. One compensation in this sad tale is that F5J is booming. Entry numbers have passed 500 and growing. Pilots who have resisted using propellers and electric motors to launch are expressing surprise at how exciting it is to learn new skills and strategies. When Philip Kolb heard about the rule changes, he hit upon the idea of encouraging F3J pilots old and new to get together for a final celebration of 21 years of FAI contests and FAI Championships under Mark 1 rules, a chance for everyone to enjoy a great reunion, keen competition with plenty of beer and stories old and new. Babenhausen is also the last contest in the 2018 Contest Eurotour series and the new champion will be crowned. That is the “sweet”! Philip’s call for an F3J farewell party did not go down well at the start: even his good friend Stephan Lammlein described his idea as nonsense. “We must make ourselves strong and press for better rules.” Darius Mahmoudi thought Philip’s idea was counterproductive at uncertain times for F3J.Philip backtracked a little. “Let’s call it a retro meeting for F3J and attract as many ex-F3J pilots to come - including me.” Babenhausen is a contest for the F3J family to get together again, and as Erel Cankan says, “if all of us in the family wants, we will find a way to put things back on track again!” At the time of writing 90+ pilots have entered for the two days. Let’s all hope that the weather is kind. The new flying site is planned to allow 120 pilots to compete, so there is still a chance to enter. Flying or spectating come along and help everyone celebrate in style and joy. Cheering our world champions What are our reminiscences? Let’s start with F3J world champions, Starting with 1998 at Upton upon Severn, the winner was Joe Wurts, still flying today in various classes, and still standing on podiums and revered worldwide, always ready to give expert advice. The start of World Championships as opposed to European friendships.Two years later the championships were on the island of Corfu, troubled a little by smoking forest fires and won by Jan Kohout from the Czech Republic. He plays a lovely guitar repertoire but was tempted out of thermal flying a few years later by mountaineering. Next stop was Finland in Lappeenranta where a worthy winner was Arend Borst from Canada who almost won in 1998, and appropriate since the next world championships were already booked for Canada. 2004 Red Deer was a chance for teams to experience the Rockies and compete on a sod farm. The week was almost marred by a typhoon which managed to uproot one of two giant marquees held down by three metre scaffold tubes which were just ripped out of the ground as the cover blew nearly 200 metres and almost onto the main highway. Winner this time was David Hobby from Australia flying in his first F3J contest with no track record in this class. In his job he did fly remote-controlled drones across the Atlantic, a true professional. Back into Europe for the 2006 worlds and flying in Martin, Slovakia one of the worlds most beautiful model flying sites. What happened? David Hobby won again, and not only that, in the fly offs he had a mid-air which increased the dihedral on the port tip by 20 degrees and tore the surfaces but he still flew some 400 metres to land safely near the landing spot. he was so far ahead by this point that he didn’t even need his reflight to become champion again. One country, Turkey, had been F3J keen from the start and had set new standards in how well contests could be organised and managed. The reward was being chosen for the 2008 world championships and again flew on a pristine sod farm at Adazapari. The winner was Benedikt Feigl, younger brother of Sebastian Feigl who had won a team world medal two years before, and son of Peter Feigl who flew models and full-size gliders. The three man Feigl team was and still is a notable force to be reckoned with. The next world event was in France in Dole Jura, 2010, and although the flying site was not ideal, the food, wine and activities were great. Daryl Perkins who had been world champion some four times in the F3B class became world champion in F3J, much to his delight and my surprise. I had always reckoned mistakenly that Daryl did not have the same keenness for J as B. US teams are selected after one trial contest, not a series or league, and Daryl until 2009 had never gained a team place. But his competitive spirit was not deterred. He came and conquered. Since then he has been the driver for F3J in the United States and encouraging to keep it alive and kicking. The world championships in 2012 moved to a new continent, held in South Africa at Kempton Park, still flown in mid summer and so that the weather was a testing mix of snow, wind and cold in the Southern Hemisphere. The event was well organised in an exciting country by Michelle and Craig Goodrum and yet another win for Benedikt Feigl. This was the first WCs that I missed, but I was lucky because I cannot take cold. Vladimir Gavrylko recounted that he looked forward to getting back to his hotel to thaw out, only to find that the bath taps were running cold too! In 2014 the world championships returned to Slovakia and Martin and a new young pilot with the widest of smiles, Jany Littva became world champion. He was to become one of the young pilots with skills that left the established oldies wondering what they could do to match the pilot skills and reactions. Slovenia has always held a strong reputation in the F3J circuit with its beautiful and unique flying site in Bovec, surrounded by a wide bowl of mountains. Sadly the sports airport there was lost to models when a new road widening scheme chopped off space. But the site at Vipava is almost as good, just as friendly and blessed with good wines. Champion of the world in 2016 was Arijan Hucaljuk from Croatia, another youngster with a shy smile, a man who seems to smell thermal lift that others cannot see, a man who stands with his feet forming a V-sign around the landing spot and 9 times out of 10 puts the nose down on the spot. And finally in 2018 the world championships moved to Romania, to Brasov where Arijan Hucaljuk won again, just one of a series of trophies in F5J and F3K which Arijan has won over the last few weeks over the summer. In his comments last week about the Dupnitsa F5J first European Championships, Graham Wicks reports that Arijan’s launch height was 14metres in one slot, he sank to 7 metres and then thermalled to fly out the slot. What a pilot, another win! Having reached the end of the list of F3J world champions, the feature which intrigues me is that there are three pilots who have won twice, David, Benedikt and Arijan which is remarkable considering the number of excellent highly skilled pilots from so many countries, any of whom could have triumphed, but these three have something extra. What? Who will be flying in Babenhausen’s F3J Festival? Not surprisingly most of the entries are from Germany, this year’s end of the Eurotour, and many of these pilots are not people I recognise to date. I hope they will excuse me if I stick to people I know, some going back to when F3J started. Dieter Rybold will be flying along with Knut Bundgen, one of the organisers, Robert Braune has a strong track record and I am pleased to see lady pilots Catharina Schmidtkunz and junior Carolin Weihe. Stefan Hollein will be flying the flag along with Ryan. A keen sponsor/pilot/guru is Thomas Rossner of Servorahmen fame who enjoys beer and seems to turn up at all the best competitions all over the world. Helmut Rohner is another pilot who flies everywhere, takes lots of photographs and make puzzles on Facebook, and always tells me off - “Sydney, du weiss ich spreche kein Englisch.” Next on the list of pilots is the inspiration for this Festival, Philip Kolb who sadly is transferring his loyalties to bigger and better classes of glider models. Karl Hinsch has flown with Philip for many a year. Stephan Lammlein will be there although at this point his son Tobi who now lives and flies for Switzerland, a former German junior world champion. I remember his mother Gabi going shopping in Lappeenranta because she could not put up with the stress of watching Tobi in the flyoffs. Jany Littva and his father Dr Jan Littva are entered, Cederic Duss a more recent star pilot, Jaroslav Vostrel of the Pike family, Martin Rajsner another star, Christian Keulerz, Felix and Willi Parsch, Christian and Manuel Reinecke and the keenly competitive Dominik Prestele. DariusMahmoudi will fly as well as report I suspect for Aufwind. We shall also be pleased to see Arijan Hucaljuk, no doubt keen to add to his 2018 prizes. I am also delighted that Erel Cankan and Salahi Tezel will be flying in from North Cyprus to fly the Turkish flag. Italy could not be left out and Marco and Giuseppe Generali along with the Gallizia family Giuseppe, Carlo and Marco. I am especially pleased to see Vladimir Gavrilko and Oleksandr Chekh from Ukraine, but there will not be time over the weekend to assemble the swimming pool. That’s the list as it stands at the time of writing. There could be and I hope there will be more to come. Apologies again to those pilots I don’t recognise. I do not know how Tomas Bartovsky found out that I was intending to attend Babenhausen, but he did ask me to pass on his best regards to the F3J family and all his friends. I do know that Tomas is a firm believer that F3J will survive and thrive, and will get over the rule changes. “There will always be those keen pilots who wish to become champions!” Finally I am sure that many of us will have lost friends who have passed away over the last 20 years, friends who shared the same enthusiasms and dedication to F3J. I should like to remember Mustafa Koc, Otto Barvels, Utz Giesa, and Hans Fischer, and if my memory was better, others too. Uncle Sydney - really gossiping for the last time. 2 September 2018 View full news and information
  3. Sydney Lenssen

    Bidding farewell to the end of F3J Mark 1

    It was after the CIAM Meeting in Lausanne where the go-ahead was given for winch launching, that many F3J pilots, especially in Germany, expressed dismay that hand towing might disappear. Philip Kolb came up with idea of holding the last Contest Eurotour of 2018 in Babenhausen, 15/16 September, as a special farewell, a chance for pilots old and new, for champions and faithful heroes, for all who have loved F3J over the past 20 years, to get together under the old original rules. There are still 50 or so in the 120 places available. The attachment gives details in German and English. Ausschreibung-Babenhausen-_BadL-F3J-2018-deut-engl.pdf
  4. It was after the CIAM Meeting in Lausanne where the go-ahead was given for winch launching, that many F3J pilots, especially in Germany, expressed dismay that hand towing might disappear. Philip Kolb came up with idea of holding the last Contest Eurotour of 2018 in Babenhausen, 15/16 September, as a special farewell, a chance for pilots old and new, for champions and faithful heroes, for all who have loved F3J over the past 20 years, to get together under the old original rules. There are still 50 or so in the 120 places available. The attachment gives details in German and English. Ausschreibung-Babenhausen-_BadL-F3J-2018-deut-engl.pdf View full news and information
  5. You are invited to Kent Interclub Glider 4 Multilaunch competition to be held at the Invicta club field Sutton Valence. The exact field will be signposted on the day from the A274 running south from Sutton Valence. To enable a enjoyable day please could you add your name to this post no later than Friday August 17th with model class, and frequency if not 2.4 (Glider, Electric, Open, 100" etc) so a matrix can be set up? The Rules are BARCS Multilaunch as used last year where Electric launched gliders must have a Motor stop function set at 175m and 30 seconds. Random checks on this may be made so please ensure you have a reader for your device. For Electric launched gliders the Time Keeper must record the F5J launch height on the score sheet for CD’s information in addition to normal flight times We want to have a full day flying so please check in 09:30 latest and be ready for Pilots Briefing at 09:45 with the competition starting at 10:00 sharp. A minimum of 4 rounds and a maximum of 6 rounds will be flown Non Kent Interclub flyers Entry fee £5 payable on the day Enter by replying to this post Entrants Keith Fisher Open Electric Richard Harris Open Electric Greg Hayfield Open winch Iain Stingemore Open winch Mike Connell Open Electric Ian Nicholls Open Electric Nick Jackson Open Electric Eddy Small Open Electric Tony Wood Open Electric Brian Martin Open Electric Alan Harris Open Electric Keith Benton Open Electric John Postle Open Electric Alan Twine Open Electric Derek Collings Open Electric Bob Ryan Open Electric Gordon Loomes Open Electric Bob Hope Open Electric Phil Ramsey Open Electric Rob Love Open Electric David Yale Open Electric Brian Austin Open Electric
  6. Sydney Lenssen

    CIAM’S NEW RULES SPARK EXPLOSIVE REACTIONS

    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! In all fairness, while not condoning some of the rude remarks, I still have severe doubts that F3J will survive. What I hope to write here is a sober report on F3J problems and why I believe that rules revision is vital. I remain hopeful that CIAM’s approved changes prove to be a step in the right direction. WHY CHANGE MUST HAPPEN How many pilots and helpers do you need to run an F3J competition? Last summer I was shocked when speaking to Arijan Hucaljuk, world and european F3J champion in 2016 and 2017, to find that he had flown only one new F3J model that year. In Croatia there had been so few pilots wanting to qualify for Slovakia. He now has more F5J models and flew in this class more often than not. In Britain, a survey was made of committed and earlier regular F3J pilots, asking their intentions for 2017. With great regret BARCS came to the conclusion that the F3J league to determine the national team could not be run. In previous years half a dozen or so qualifying rounds were contested. So GBR team 2017 was scrubbed and for the first time ever we had no team entered. Same applies this year for the Romanian world championship. The BARCS committee reckoned that to run a typical one day low-key friendly contest you need to attract at least 16 pilots, and that would only give you four pilots per slot. Any last minute absentees would render the day scarcely possible. The days have gone when winning a place in the national team was the pride and joy of keen F3J pilots. The numbers problem is not limited at national level. Despite the high entry fees payable to FAI championships for pilots, helpers and team managers, reduced entries increase the financial risk of running a championship. Until recently, opening and award ceremonies found the whole host town gathering in the main squares, sharing and enjoying the sight and excitement of pilots from so many countries. But they cost money. The vital point is that to survive F3J must attract more pilots. Why are numbers falling around the world? Main reasons are that as pilots grow older they cannot find the energy, ability and will to tow, and feel uneasy about not sharing the effort. The cost of models - competitive ones - has reached a level that deters all but the richest and keenest of youngsters and dads. When you do find a “youngster” - somebody no older than say 30 - he finds that he is trying to make friends with people 20 and sometimes 50 years older. The chance of an immediate meeting of minds and enjoyment are slim. To survive as a class, F3J needs to go back to square one, the era in the 1980s when pilots from Holland, France, Germany and England found that they could meet to compete two or three times each summer, the birth of Eurotouring. The gliders they flew were often rudder/elevator. Single man tows were in order and the two-man variety was still 10 years away. Why was it popular? The participants were keen to see and watch F3B pilots, but that was a difficult sport taking greater skills, distance, speed and duration, three separate tasks. Why can’t we compete with something much simpler they would ask: simple duration with a 10 minute slot time, plenty of time to natter and swap experiences, and most pilots did not even launch on the buzzer - you waited until somebody bold enough found what looked like good lift. OK, that is oozing nostalgia and we are never to see such times again. But the lesson is that we need to find something much simpler and cheaper if we want to attract new people join the fun. F3J was born to be a simple thermal soaring contest, easy for anyone to join. A look at the new rules In March the CIAM 2018 agenda was published and Uncle Sydney’s Gossip column was revived to comment, and I made a mistake in concentrating on the proposal to allow winches for F3J launching. The main emphasis should have been given to the changes in the model’s specification, size weight and wing loading. The Slovakian proposal for the meeting was that the weight of the model should be at maximum 1.7 kg, a very strange idea aimed at reducing costs. But as most delegates agreed, this did not address the issues. The best and most convenient method of reducing the flight performance of F3J, as spelled out by Philip Kolb two years ago, is to limit the span and insist on a minimum wing loading. What CIAM has decided is to go for a minimum surface loading, 20gm/dm2 and maximum surface area. I am told that other simpler options were debated, higher loading up to 23/25 gm/dm2, or a far easier, simpler to process requiring weight to be divided by the wing span with a minimum weight of say 0.6 kg per metre span. Don’t be surprised if all these numbers in the rules are changed after trial runs in the years to come. I don’t see that the new rules will necessitate many pilots to buy new models. It will be easy if necessary to simply add ballast. It will be interesting if the manufacturers find it necessary to develop new approaches to optimise performance. I have not seen so far any computer simulations to estimate the increase in sinking speeds and consequent loss of flight time. What I understand is that in straight flight the higher wing loading will hardly affect sinking speeds. But flight times will reduce markedly in circular flight when to you fly into a patch of weak lift and you seek to centre the thermal. My own rough guess was to recognise that 150 dm2 max. area at 20 gm/dm2 equals 3 kg which I often ballast to in typical UK winds. Unballasted my two current Supras weigh in at 2.1 and 2.3 kg. Most experienced F3J pilots appreciate the excellent development work over the last 20 years put in by the main designers, producers and their dealers, in aerodynamics and materials and building techniques. CIAM’s new rules appear to protect producers from requiring to retool drastically, although some may not agree with that! When the CIAM agenda was sent out before the meeting the proposal to allow winch launching gave little or no detail or rules to determine the specification of the winch and battery, and how winches would be used in the competition. It was indicated that the same specifications would be used as in F3B and that seems to have been followed in the issued minutes. The minutes also say that for world and continental championships a maximum of six winches and six batteries may be used at any time on the winch line by each working team. Interchanging among winches and batteries…is totally the responsibility of the competitor. This appears to hint at what the rule makers mean to happen. Critics have wanted to know if winches and batteries are to be allowed to stay in place in the safety corridor, and how would the launching spots be arranged along the corridor? For any one round, the three man team will fly from one spot, with its six winches plus batteries. These are then cleared away to be laid out again in the next round at a different launching point along the line. There has also been speculation that if the number of teams competing exceeds the number of flight lines available, then two teams could occupy each launch point and the matrix could ensure that only one pilot would need to fly in that slot. That means two lots of six winches and batteries on the spot. FAI championships progress at a leisurely pace and swapping positions along the line will even out fairness. It all sounds complicated but also feasible. What is not clear at present is what happens if hand towing is taking place also somewhere along the line, a potentially dangerous situation can easily occur. A few pilots I have spoken to feel that it won’t take long for winches to dominate and hand towing to disappear. HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MEDIA The following section contains a selection of edited entries from Facebook, RC Groups and BARCS websites which give a flavour of what the world’s pilots thinking. Darius Mahmoudi: was among the earliest inviting comments on CIAM decisions made by people not wanting us to keep F3J and its quality, or simply don’t understand what we do. Jo Grini: F3K and F5J classes have rocketed sky high, possibly making F3B and F3J smaller. We should have come up with solutions that make it easier for new pilots and younger to enter. Dominik Prestele: That rules are ****. We maybe gain 10 people and lose 100. Massimo Verardi: The new rules are not enough to change something but enough to make a lot of confusion. Thomas Schoenbucher: Better decision would be to allow bungee. The funny fact is, I have enough old planes in the basement. Marco Generali: In many countries the national championships already use winches, a small disadvantage while travelling, but less trouble than bringing a full team of towers. The 20gm/dm2 wing loading is a big limitation given the 1500 gm planes seen in recent years, but only the small amount of dead condition flights will be affected. Marco Juznic: Keep the rules like they are, people who like F3J will continue to fly and help each other. Sooner or later people from F5J will come back because F5J will be overcrowded. Tuomo Kokkonen: In many countries winches are needed otherwise running a 10 pilot competition is not possible. But that does not mean that international F3J rules have to be changed. Eurotour flying as we know it will stop, and there is a danger F3J will die in Europe. Joe Wurts: The conception of F3J was to bring back the “good old days” where stick and tissue open frame aircraft could have a world championship event. Prior to the first WCs I forecast that the event would evolve to very high technology carbon fibre airframes with even higher strength/weight ratios than the F3B planes. It took a while, but this outcome eventually happened. Conny Ulvestaf: Not all pilots can get the super duper light models, now with the 20gm limit all will have the same equipment. F3J has had fantastic development in the last 5 years. Will this stop now? Probably. Is this good? Probably not. Cederic Duss: We need to find a way to push people to come. A winch won’t help. Tobias Laemmlein: Even worse than I was hoping. In a way we need to accept the new rules. I could live with the wing loading thing This will increase the level of competitive challenge and makes the pure thermal task more appealing. The leading edge in aeroplane development anyways has shifted towards F5J already. The winch will kill F3J, at least from the perspective that I, and let me guess many others too, the simplicity and the team. Thomas Kiesling: For those that travel by air, winches are far cheaper than bring dedicated towmen. I’m not sure winches will save the class, but I also don’t think they should be a reason to kill it. There still will be a team aspect. It will just be different. Not necessarily better or worse, just different. Graham Wicks: I have a nice Hollenbeck winch for sale. The 20 gm wing loading is like trying to take a step backwards. In the modern world you don’t reverse technology. Joe Wurts: Lots of heartfelt comments. I remember making similar proclamations of doom when HLG transitioned to DLG nearly two decades ago. Then I flew some DLG and got on board with the concept and my negative thought went by the wayside. One of the reasons why I’m not attending this year’s F3J WC is that we could not sort out a full team with helpers. Tuomo Kokkonen: What do you think will happen to F3J Eurotours. Is there a practical way to continue despite the rule change? Darius Mahmoudi: I just can speak for my Contest in Riesa. If we continue next year, there will be local rules to mitigate this. But my concern is that there won’t be a lot of pilots left to participate. Erik Dahl Christensen: It will always be valuable for subcommittee members to receive as much information and perspective as possible from pilots with hands-on knowledge from all classes. I know that Ralf Decker has made and tested a system to detect the exact release point and height. It was tested 2/3 years ago and can be used to make F3J look even more like F5J with more than time gain from low launches. Is anybody interested? Daryl Perkins: I for one am good with the winch rule. In this country (US) we had to fly off winches to keep F3J from dying. I do understand that many of you will be against winches. At some point you will have to face the fact that without new blood coming into soaring, the use of winches becomes a necessary evil. I am quite disappointed with the minimum loading rule. It accomplishes nothing but shifting optimum design for each given condition. What it has done is turn the clock back 10 years….I don’t like to see technology going backwards. Ryan Hollein: It would be a pity if we change the rules and start with winches. We were flying in a German/Cyprus mix team (in Lviv) and had no problem getting our planes up. If we needed something there was always someone who offered us his help. This year I participated in 3 competitions flying with pilots from 7 different countries and we had lots of fun - and some problems understanding each other. Philip Kolb: A minimum weight limit has little or no meaning as long as it does not come along with a maximum span limit. To emphasise thermal flying skills my proposal would be to implement a “sporty” definition of minimum weight and maximum span - say 2 kg and 3 metres??? - FUN! Joe Wurts: 2kg and 3 metres kinda reminds me of the very first F3J planes! I like the span limitation concept, maybe even more than a minimum weight limit. My only concern is visibility. My eyes aren’t getting any younger! Jim Soars: Holy crap, winches are approved. I can’t wait to see the logistics of the flight line in a large competition. isoaritfirst: I would be looking for the thrill of a nice thermal or the fun of hanging onto a small one. I’m less interested in sticking my nose in the dirt. Flying gliders is an attractive and competitive game. Perhaps F3J has concentrated too much on the comp at the expense of the grace, which attracted most of us into flying gliders in the first place. Maria Freeman: If it is about “thermalling”, then reduce launch heights or increase slot times. Bob Dickenson: I guess that we all ought to just get on with enjoying our flying as much as we can, while we can. Austin: If they are serious about saving F3J, then this comes to mind… Wing span max 3.1 m Minimum weight 2100g Maximum weight 2200g Nose radius should be fat to reduce dart board landings Single man tow with pulley and 130m line Line thickness max 1.15mm Pilots must use timer/launcher from opposing teams when not flying Pilots must not receive any advice or spotting from their timer/launcher unless it is a safety matter Bring back discard after six rounds flown I am taking models back in time I know, but wasn’t it great then? Richard Swindells: Austin’s ideas are great had they been implemented 10-15 years ago. However the bird has already flown the nest for F3J. Models we are flying today launch higher, travel further and sink slower compared to what we were flying 10 years ago. Although sink rates might not have halved, overall performance has at least doubled. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? There is still a long way to go to sort out a whole host of questions. It is fortunate that these new rules will not be required until 2019, but I hope that opportunities will be used to test any new systems. We do not want to see a real championship frustrated by having to stop and debate how to proceed. I think it would also be sensible to clarify the best way to continue with Eurotour events. It would be simple to just carry on with present existing and tested rules. There is a strong and important link between FAI and Contest Eurotour, and most of the Eurotour events carry the FAI symbol and flag. No reason to run championships and Eurotour with the same rules. Sydney Lenssen
  7. 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! In all fairness, while not condoning some of the rude remarks, I still have severe doubts that F3J will survive. What I hope to write here is a sober report on F3J problems and why I believe that rules revision is vital. I remain hopeful that CIAM’s approved changes prove to be a step in the right direction. WHY CHANGE MUST HAPPEN How many pilots and helpers do you need to run an F3J competition? Last summer I was shocked when speaking to Arijan Hucaljuk, world and european F3J champion in 2016 and 2017, to find that he had flown only one new F3J model that year. In Croatia there had been so few pilots wanting to qualify for Slovakia. He now has more F5J models and flew in this class more often than not. In Britain, a survey was made of committed and earlier regular F3J pilots, asking their intentions for 2017. With great regret BARCS came to the conclusion that the F3J league to determine the national team could not be run. In previous years half a dozen or so qualifying rounds were contested. So GBR team 2017 was scrubbed and for the first time ever we had no team entered. Same applies this year for the Romanian world championship. The BARCS committee reckoned that to run a typical one day low-key friendly contest you need to attract at least 16 pilots, and that would only give you four pilots per slot. Any last minute absentees would render the day scarcely possible. The days have gone when winning a place in the national team was the pride and joy of keen F3J pilots. The numbers problem is not limited at national level. Despite the high entry fees payable to FAI championships for pilots, helpers and team managers, reduced entries increase the financial risk of running a championship. Until recently, opening and award ceremonies found the whole host town gathering in the main squares, sharing and enjoying the sight and excitement of pilots from so many countries. But they cost money. The vital point is that to survive F3J must attract more pilots. Why are numbers falling around the world? Main reasons are that as pilots grow older they cannot find the energy, ability and will to tow, and feel uneasy about not sharing the effort. The cost of models - competitive ones - has reached a level that deters all but the richest and keenest of youngsters and dads. When you do find a “youngster” - somebody no older than say 30 - he finds that he is trying to make friends with people 20 and sometimes 50 years older. The chance of an immediate meeting of minds and enjoyment are slim. To survive as a class, F3J needs to go back to square one, the era in the 1980s when pilots from Holland, France, Germany and England found that they could meet to compete two or three times each summer, the birth of Eurotouring. The gliders they flew were often rudder/elevator. Single man tows were in order and the two-man variety was still 10 years away. Why was it popular? The participants were keen to see and watch F3B pilots, but that was a difficult sport taking greater skills, distance, speed and duration, three separate tasks. Why can’t we compete with something much simpler they would ask: simple duration with a 10 minute slot time, plenty of time to natter and swap experiences, and most pilots did not even launch on the buzzer - you waited until somebody bold enough found what looked like good lift. OK, that is oozing nostalgia and we are never to see such times again. But the lesson is that we need to find something much simpler and cheaper if we want to attract new people join the fun. F3J was born to be a simple thermal soaring contest, easy for anyone to join. A look at the new rules In March the CIAM 2018 agenda was published and Uncle Sydney’s Gossip column was revived to comment, and I made a mistake in concentrating on the proposal to allow winches for F3J launching. The main emphasis should have been given to the changes in the model’s specification, size weight and wing loading. The Slovakian proposal for the meeting was that the weight of the model should be at maximum 1.7 kg, a very strange idea aimed at reducing costs. But as most delegates agreed, this did not address the issues. The best and most convenient method of reducing the flight performance of F3J, as spelled out by Philip Kolb two years ago, is to limit the span and insist on a minimum wing loading. What CIAM has decided is to go for a minimum surface loading, 20gm/dm2 and maximum surface area. I am told that other simpler options were debated, higher loading up to 23/25 gm/dm2, or a far easier, simpler to process requiring weight to be divided by the wing span with a minimum weight of say 0.6 kg per metre span. Don’t be surprised if all these numbers in the rules are changed after trial runs in the years to come. I don’t see that the new rules will necessitate many pilots to buy new models. It will be easy if necessary to simply add ballast. It will be interesting if the manufacturers find it necessary to develop new approaches to optimise performance. I have not seen so far any computer simulations to estimate the increase in sinking speeds and consequent loss of flight time. What I understand is that in straight flight the higher wing loading will hardly affect sinking speeds. But flight times will reduce markedly in circular flight when to you fly into a patch of weak lift and you seek to centre the thermal. My own rough guess was to recognise that 150 dm2 max. area at 20 gm/dm2 equals 3 kg which I often ballast to in typical UK winds. Unballasted my two current Supras weigh in at 2.1 and 2.3 kg. Most experienced F3J pilots appreciate the excellent development work over the last 20 years put in by the main designers, producers and their dealers, in aerodynamics and materials and building techniques. CIAM’s new rules appear to protect producers from requiring to retool drastically, although some may not agree with that! When the CIAM agenda was sent out before the meeting the proposal to allow winch launching gave little or no detail or rules to determine the specification of the winch and battery, and how winches would be used in the competition. It was indicated that the same specifications would be used as in F3B and that seems to have been followed in the issued minutes. The minutes also say that for world and continental championships a maximum of six winches and six batteries may be used at any time on the winch line by each working team. Interchanging among winches and batteries…is totally the responsibility of the competitor. This appears to hint at what the rule makers mean to happen. Critics have wanted to know if winches and batteries are to be allowed to stay in place in the safety corridor, and how would the launching spots be arranged along the corridor? For any one round, the three man team will fly from one spot, with its six winches plus batteries. These are then cleared away to be laid out again in the next round at a different launching point along the line. There has also been speculation that if the number of teams competing exceeds the number of flight lines available, then two teams could occupy each launch point and the matrix could ensure that only one pilot would need to fly in that slot. That means two lots of six winches and batteries on the spot. FAI championships progress at a leisurely pace and swapping positions along the line will even out fairness. It all sounds complicated but also feasible. What is not clear at present is what happens if hand towing is taking place also somewhere along the line, a potentially dangerous situation can easily occur. A few pilots I have spoken to feel that it won’t take long for winches to dominate and hand towing to disappear. HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MEDIA The following section contains a selection of edited entries from Facebook, RC Groups and BARCS websites which give a flavour of what the world’s pilots thinking. Darius Mahmoudi: was among the earliest inviting comments on CIAM decisions made by people not wanting us to keep F3J and its quality, or simply don’t understand what we do. Jo Grini: F3K and F5J classes have rocketed sky high, possibly making F3B and F3J smaller. We should have come up with solutions that make it easier for new pilots and younger to enter. Dominik Prestele: That rules are ****. We maybe gain 10 people and lose 100. Massimo Verardi: The new rules are not enough to change something but enough to make a lot of confusion. Thomas Schoenbucher: Better decision would be to allow bungee. The funny fact is, I have enough old planes in the basement. Marco Generali: In many countries the national championships already use winches, a small disadvantage while travelling, but less trouble than bringing a full team of towers. The 20gm/dm2 wing loading is a big limitation given the 1500 gm planes seen in recent years, but only the small amount of dead condition flights will be affected. Marco Juznic: Keep the rules like they are, people who like F3J will continue to fly and help each other. Sooner or later people from F5J will come back because F5J will be overcrowded. Tuomo Kokkonen: In many countries winches are needed otherwise running a 10 pilot competition is not possible. But that does not mean that international F3J rules have to be changed. Eurotour flying as we know it will stop, and there is a danger F3J will die in Europe. Joe Wurts: The conception of F3J was to bring back the “good old days” where stick and tissue open frame aircraft could have a world championship event. Prior to the first WCs I forecast that the event would evolve to very high technology carbon fibre airframes with even higher strength/weight ratios than the F3B planes. It took a while, but this outcome eventually happened. Conny Ulvestaf: Not all pilots can get the super duper light models, now with the 20gm limit all will have the same equipment. F3J has had fantastic development in the last 5 years. Will this stop now? Probably. Is this good? Probably not. Cederic Duss: We need to find a way to push people to come. A winch won’t help. Tobias Laemmlein: Even worse than I was hoping. In a way we need to accept the new rules. I could live with the wing loading thing This will increase the level of competitive challenge and makes the pure thermal task more appealing. The leading edge in aeroplane development anyways has shifted towards F5J already. The winch will kill F3J, at least from the perspective that I, and let me guess many others too, the simplicity and the team. Thomas Kiesling: For those that travel by air, winches are far cheaper than bring dedicated towmen. I’m not sure winches will save the class, but I also don’t think they should be a reason to kill it. There still will be a team aspect. It will just be different. Not necessarily better or worse, just different. Graham Wicks: I have a nice Hollenbeck winch for sale. The 20 gm wing loading is like trying to take a step backwards. In the modern world you don’t reverse technology. Joe Wurts: Lots of heartfelt comments. I remember making similar proclamations of doom when HLG transitioned to DLG nearly two decades ago. Then I flew some DLG and got on board with the concept and my negative thought went by the wayside. One of the reasons why I’m not attending this year’s F3J WC is that we could not sort out a full team with helpers. Tuomo Kokkonen: What do you think will happen to F3J Eurotours. Is there a practical way to continue despite the rule change? Darius Mahmoudi: I just can speak for my Contest in Riesa. If we continue next year, there will be local rules to mitigate this. But my concern is that there won’t be a lot of pilots left to participate. Erik Dahl Christensen: It will always be valuable for subcommittee members to receive as much information and perspective as possible from pilots with hands-on knowledge from all classes. I know that Ralf Decker has made and tested a system to detect the exact release point and height. It was tested 2/3 years ago and can be used to make F3J look even more like F5J with more than time gain from low launches. Is anybody interested? Daryl Perkins: I for one am good with the winch rule. In this country (US) we had to fly off winches to keep F3J from dying. I do understand that many of you will be against winches. At some point you will have to face the fact that without new blood coming into soaring, the use of winches becomes a necessary evil. I am quite disappointed with the minimum loading rule. It accomplishes nothing but shifting optimum design for each given condition. What it has done is turn the clock back 10 years….I don’t like to see technology going backwards. Ryan Hollein: It would be a pity if we change the rules and start with winches. We were flying in a German/Cyprus mix team (in Lviv) and had no problem getting our planes up. If we needed something there was always someone who offered us his help. This year I participated in 3 competitions flying with pilots from 7 different countries and we had lots of fun - and some problems understanding each other. Philip Kolb: A minimum weight limit has little or no meaning as long as it does not come along with a maximum span limit. To emphasise thermal flying skills my proposal would be to implement a “sporty” definition of minimum weight and maximum span - say 2 kg and 3 metres??? - FUN! Joe Wurts: 2kg and 3 metres kinda reminds me of the very first F3J planes! I like the span limitation concept, maybe even more than a minimum weight limit. My only concern is visibility. My eyes aren’t getting any younger! Jim Soars: Holy crap, winches are approved. I can’t wait to see the logistics of the flight line in a large competition. isoaritfirst: I would be looking for the thrill of a nice thermal or the fun of hanging onto a small one. I’m less interested in sticking my nose in the dirt. Flying gliders is an attractive and competitive game. Perhaps F3J has concentrated too much on the comp at the expense of the grace, which attracted most of us into flying gliders in the first place. Maria Freeman: If it is about “thermalling”, then reduce launch heights or increase slot times. Bob Dickenson: I guess that we all ought to just get on with enjoying our flying as much as we can, while we can. Austin: If they are serious about saving F3J, then this comes to mind… Wing span max 3.1 m Minimum weight 2100g Maximum weight 2200g Nose radius should be fat to reduce dart board landings Single man tow with pulley and 130m line Line thickness max 1.15mm Pilots must use timer/launcher from opposing teams when not flying Pilots must not receive any advice or spotting from their timer/launcher unless it is a safety matter Bring back discard after six rounds flown I am taking models back in time I know, but wasn’t it great then? Richard Swindells: Austin’s ideas are great had they been implemented 10-15 years ago. However the bird has already flown the nest for F3J. Models we are flying today launch higher, travel further and sink slower compared to what we were flying 10 years ago. Although sink rates might not have halved, overall performance has at least doubled. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? There is still a long way to go to sort out a whole host of questions. It is fortunate that these new rules will not be required until 2019, but I hope that opportunities will be used to test any new systems. We do not want to see a real championship frustrated by having to stop and debate how to proceed. I think it would also be sensible to clarify the best way to continue with Eurotour events. It would be simple to just carry on with present existing and tested rules. There is a strong and important link between FAI and Contest Eurotour, and most of the Eurotour events carry the FAI symbol and flag. No reason to run championships and Eurotour with the same rules. Sydney Lenssen View full news and information
  8. Sydney Lenssen

    Can winch approval save 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.
  9. Sydney Lenssen

    Can winch approval save 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. View full news and information
  10. Sydney Lenssen

    RIP F3J UK

    WITH RELUCTANCE AND SADNESS With great regret, the BARCS Committee has to announce that they will not be organising any F3J league competitions this year and are unlikely to start again until further interest in participation emerges. This means that F3J will not be held at RadioGlide, the BMFA Nationals and other venues which had been announced on the Forum. Some contests to be run at RadioGlide and the Nationals will be rescheduled and provide alternative opportunities to compete. Your committee circulated a question to some 40 pilots who fly F3J: “Do you intend to enter any F3J competitions this year?” Replies were received from 19 pilots within 24 hours. Seven members replied positively: Yes. Another replied: Perhaps. Others said: No. Your committee had stated in the questionnaire that it believed that a minimum of 12 pilots was required to run contests which form the basis of awarding UK team places for the World Championships next year 2018. Some positive replies noted that they believed that at least 16 pilots was a minimum, probably more realistic. No F3J pilot who has competed over recent years would want to see this form of competition shrivelling and dying a slow death, especially in the country which provided the original thinking to and established F3J as a recognised FAI activity. Hence the decision to stop. Sorry.
  11. Sydney Lenssen

    RIP F3J UK

    WITH RELUCTANCE AND SADNESS With great regret, the BARCS Committee has to announce that they will not be organising any F3J league competitions this year and are unlikely to start again until further interest in participation emerges. This means that F3J will not be held at RadioGlide, the BMFA Nationals and other venues which had been announced on the Forum. Some contests to be run at RadioGlide and the Nationals will be rescheduled and provide alternative opportunities to compete. Your committee circulated a question to some 40 pilots who fly F3J: “Do you intend to enter any F3J competitions this year?” Replies were received from 19 pilots within 24 hours. Seven members replied positively: Yes. Another replied: Perhaps. Others said: No. Your committee had stated in the questionnaire that it believed that a minimum of 12 pilots was required to run contests which form the basis of awarding UK team places for the World Championships next year 2018. Some positive replies noted that they believed that at least 16 pilots was a minimum, probably more realistic. No F3J pilot who has competed over recent years would want to see this form of competition shrivelling and dying a slow death, especially in the country which provided the original thinking to and established F3J as a recognised FAI activity. Hence the decision to stop. Sorry. View full news and information
  12. Hey everyone! A question most likely for F3x competitors, what type of boxes do you use to get your models on a plane, or what have you seen in use? I've been trying to find something big enough to take a few F3K size planes, but not dramatically expensive neither. I looked at the type of transport box Hyperflight is selling, though it doesn't fill me with confidence as to the strength of one (selling a damaged box at half price now). I thought of adapting one of the Ski plastic boxes that can accommodate up to 4/5 sets of skis, but getting one big enough in UK, not to mention the price, is giving me a headache. I'm not desperate for one yet, but by next year I will. Thanks for help in advance Eryk
  13. Good luck to Kevin Beale, Mark DeVall, Neil Jones and the rest of the British Team, travelling to Slovenia for this years World Championships. Full details and results can be found here
  14. Gary B

    Radioglide 2016 Report and Results

    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 Colin Boorman. Radioglide F5J winner 2016 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. Peter Allen launches his Tragi with Ian Duff on the watches (Photo Graham James) 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. F5J Results Rank Name Score Pcnt Raw Score Rnd1 Rnd2 Rnd3 Rnd4 Rnd5 Rnd6 Rnd7 Drop1 1 BOORMAN, Colin 5904.4 100 6676.7 959.2 1000 975.8 992.2 1000 977.2 772.3 772.3 2 EAST, Dave 5874 99.49 6409.8 995.7 960.7 1000 935.8 535.8 1000 981.8 535.8 3 WICKS, Graham 5844.5 98.99 6757.5 940.1 1000 956.9 990.4 971.9 985.2 913 913 4 DUFF, Ian 5827.6 98.7 6196.9 961.6 913.6 369.3 1000 1000 1000 952.4 369.3 5 ALLEN, Peter 5774.5 97.8 6283.2 508.7 994.6 1000 906.6 1000 873.3 1000 508.7 6 RAYBONE, Mike 5343.1 90.49 5690.8 1000 996.4 621.6 921.2 347.7 803.9 1000 347.7 7 AUSTIN, Brian 5139.7 87.05 5448.9 1000 309.2 1000 959.1 521.2 739.1 920.3 309.2 8 BEALE, Kevin 5104.7 86.46 5118.9 423.3 999.1 747.2 1000 935.9 999.2 14.2 14.2 9 PADDON, Colin 5076.2 85.97 5502.9 426.7 954.6 601.8 1000 891.1 976.5 652.2 426.7 10 GADENE, Ray 5054.9 85.61 5496.9 442 966 632.9 967.8 627.9 1000 860.3 442 11 BINNIE, Gary 4983.1 84.4 5345.4 530.6 949.5 918.3 741.3 922.9 362.3 920.5 362.3 12 DICKENSON, Bob 4973.3 84.23 4973.3 1000 1000 498.5 998.3 0.0001 476.5 1000 0 13 LIPSCOMBE, Al 4059.4 68.75 4073.3 13.9 372.6 690.8 736 945.2 906.3 408.5 13.9 14 PHILCOX, Cengiz 4007.2 67.87 4007.2 830.2 0.0001 530.5 886.3 970.9 789.3 0 0 100S – Graham James Kevin & Peter Newitt. Radioglide 100s Joint winners 2016 (Photo Alan Morton) 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. Nesting Tracker (Photo 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. Results Rounds Pilot Name Rnd 1 Rnd 2 Rnd 3 Rnd 4 Rnd 5 Final Score %Score Position Kevin Newitt 1000 1000 1000 1000 998 4998 100.00 1 Fozzy DeVall 1000 996 1000 1000 1000 4996 99.96 2 13. Peter Newitt 1000 1000 861 1000 1000 4861 97.26 3 Graham James 970 967 955 976 988 4856 97.16 4 8. Alan Morton 1000 1000 628 1000 1000 4628 92.60 5 David Leech 647 696 984 961 1000 4288 85.79 6 Robin Sleight 467 850 1000 704 988 4009 80.21 7 Neville Warby 998 752 0 988 1000 3738 74.79 8 Ken Goddard 776 998 996 478 435 3683 73.69 9 John Hullet 994 688 512 515 900 3609 72.21 10 John Shenstone 915 996 675 0 0 2586 51.74 11 Dave Fogg 0 657 0 0 0 657 13.15 12 Final Positions 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 Multilaunch Fly-Off Pilots (Photo 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 Rank Name Score Pcnt Raw Score Rnd1 Rnd2 1 ALLEN, Peter 1964.4 100 1964.4 964.4 1000 2 BEALE, Kevin 1934.7 98.49 1934.7 1000 934.7 3 BOORMAN, Colin 1728.2 87.98 1728.2 752.7 975.5 4 PADDON, Colin 1544.3 78.61 1544.3 606.9 937.4 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 Neil Jones. Radioglide F3J winner 2016 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 Rank Name Score Pcnt Raw Score Rnd1 Rnd2 1 JONES, Neil 1993.7 100 1993.7 993.7 1000 2 BEALE, Kevin 1786.9 89.63 1786.9 1000 786.9 3 PADDON, Colin 1522.4 76.36 1522.4 848 674.4 4 DEVALL, Mark 1515.7 76.02 1515.7 979.5 536.2 Rounds Rank Name Score Pcnt Raw Score Rnd1 Rnd2 Rnd3 Rnd4 Rnd5 1 JONES, Neil 5000 100 5000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 2 BEALE, Kevin 4457.1 89.14 4457.1 1000 782.6 1000 674.5 1000 3 DEVALL, Mark 4432.6 88.65 4432.6 780.3 1000 975.2 1000 677.1 4 PADDON, Colin 4415.2 88.3 4415.2 968.5 498.6 948.1 1000 1000 5 PHILCOX, Cengiz 4411.2 88.22 4411.2 991.2 798.9 905 1000 716.1 6 DUFF, Ian 4260.1 85.2 4260.1 1000 688.7 717.5 862.2 991.7 7 OSBOURNE, Ozzie 4168 83.36 4168 864.8 821.5 892.4 796.3 793 8 DICKENSON, Bob 4034.5 80.69 4034.5 850.5 690.4 652.4 993.2 848 9 BOORMAN, Colin 3961.1 79.22 3961.1 942.4 810.1 582.6 822.6 803.4 10 BINNIE, Gary 3719.9 74.4 3719.9 785.1 1000 934.8 0 1000 11 JAMES, Graham 3560.3 71.21 3560.3 888.2 657.2 694 920.7 400.2 12 SHENSTONE, John 3542.9 70.86 3542.9 730.5 972.7 511.9 489.4 838.4 13 DUNSTER, Chas 3517.1 70.34 3517.1 483.7 1000 694.1 788.2 551.1 14 EAST, Dave 3305.3 66.11 3305.3 1000 938.5 632 0 734.8 15 ALLEN, Peter 2990.9 59.82 2990.9 998.5 992.4 1000 0 0 16 RAYBONE, Mike 2676.1 53.52 2676.1 861.8 814.3 1000 0 0 17 LIPSCOMBE, Al 2449.4 48.99 2449.4 666.1 643.2 0 692.8 447.3 18 SLEIGHT, Robin 661.7 13.23 661.7 661.7 0 0 0 0 "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.
  15. Austin

    BMFA Silent Flight Nationals 2016

    Without a suitable field being available to hold an event with all SF classes being represented in one place, this year the SF Nats competitions will be held at various locations. 4 classes will be hosted at Wetlands over August Bank Holiday weekend 27th - 29th August Saturday – F5J; Sunday – F3J & 2M eSoaring; Monday – Open eSoaring Camping on site will be available. (Note - dogs are not allowed at Wetlands) Entry to these events and camping reservation, will be by website topics (BARCS & eSoaring), from mid July, with payment being made at the first competition attended. 100S will be held at Twywell on Sept 4th – look for website announcements. F5B League event on July 16/17, will also count for the Nats trophy. F3B League event on July 30/31, will also count for the Nats trophy. F3K will be announced later. Links to the forum entry topics will appear here shortly. Mike Proctor
  16. Austin

    BMFA F3J League Event

    until
    F3J League event in place of Interglide. Please see the topic below and enter via the forums or directly to Peter Allen. Email. lammacot@hotmail.com
  17. As last year the BMFA South Midlands Championships will be run over 2 days on Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May. The Saturday will be an F5J event and the Sunday F3J. Prizes for the winners each day but the overall South Midland Championship will be awarded on an results of both days. Entries here or to me by E mail to lammacot@hotmail.com
  18. Austin

    Interglide 2016 Cancelled!

    With regret we announce the cancellation of the 2016 F3J Eurotour contest Interglide. Unfortunately a number of factors have conspired against organising the competition this year and the latest is the petrol shortages in France plus the air traffic controllers strike which mean that many European competitors may not be able to attend. Rather than allow entrants to book travel and accommodation which may have to be cancelled and not refunded we have made a decision to cancel the event. Instead we will be running a one day BMFA F3J league competition on Sunday 26th June, the Sunday scheduled for Interglide. It will take place at Edgcott using the F3J rules with UK variations which permits the use of winches. The entries which have been made for Interglide from UK competitors will be carried forward to this competition unless I hear otherwise. Any money paid for Interglide entry fee. camping, meals etc will be refunded less the entry fee for the revised competition.
  19. Austin

    Interglide 2016 Cancelled!

    With regret we announce the cancellation of the 2016 F3J Eurotour contest Interglide. Unfortunately a number of factors have conspired against organising the competition this year and the latest is the petrol shortages in France plus the air traffic controllers strike which mean that many European competitors may not be able to attend. Rather than allow entrants to book travel and accommodation which may have to be cancelled and not refunded we have made a decision to cancel the event. Instead we will be running a one day BMFA F3J league competition on Sunday 26th June, the Sunday scheduled for Interglide. It will take place at Edgcott using the F3J rules with UK variations which permits the use of winches. The entries which have been made for Interglide from UK competitors will be carried forward to this competition unless I hear otherwise. Any money paid for Interglide entry fee. camping, meals etc will be refunded less the entry fee for the revised competition. View full news and information
  20. Ribs

    Design data needed

    Hello F3x people, I'm working on a little design project, to come up with a dedicated set-up stand for f3f and f3b and maybe also f3j models. One aspect of it may allow super easy measurement and set up of CoG, integrated with the stand. I would be really grateful if people could share with me some design data, to help with the fine tuning of my ideas. Specifically 1. Approx Range of CoG for your F3f/F3b/F3j model. Ball park figures needed - no need to give away your winning edge ;-). At the moment I am working on 95mm +/-10mm - would this cover most competition models? 2. Range of flying weight would be very useful for stiffness and strength requirements. 3. Wing chord if you know it - there are a lot of good drawings out there, so this parameter is something that is reasonably easy for me to gather. 4. Fuselage width and depth, behind the wing TE. This list is a 'nice to have' - if you can just share the CoG range , that would be great. many thanks, Chris
  21. Peter

    BMFA F3J Nationals 2015

    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) Results Fly-Off table.tableizer-table { border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #4297C9; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; } 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 table.tableizer-table { border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #4297C9; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; } 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
  22. Austin

    F3J National League

    Wetlands, Retford, Notts F3J (Counts towards League) Entry: Bob Dickenson rfadickenson@yahoo.co.uk Note* F5J on Saturday to make a long weekend
  23. The 2015 F3J European Championship is underway in Dupnitsa Bulgaria. The British team of Peter Allen, Graham Wicks and Colin Paddon with helpers Kevin Dart, Ian Duff and Andre Borrossi. Have finished the first day with mixed results but the team is bonding well. Colin damaged one model on the practise day when the back of the fuselage left the rest of the model in a high wind launch, the rest of the model landed safely inverted. Although he wanted this model as one of his three a located model he did bring 4 so is still in the game. In the comp Peter had a mid air which removed his fin. He got the model down safely but has lost his light model which will make it harder in the morning light winds and light lift. the weather is very hot, 38C yesterday and will be the same all week. At lunch time the wind gets up and it gets harder to find and stay in lift. I will try to get some more information and photos when time permits, it's quite hectic being a manager.
  24. Austin

    Interglide F3J Eurotour

    until
    Interglide F3J Eurotour 2015 http://www.interglide.co.uk
  25. Radioglide 2015 report by Garry Binnie is now on the main website. https://www.barcs.co.uk/home/news-and-information/radioglide-news/radioglide-2015-report-and-results/
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