Michel Leusch, who was 20 odd points behind Simon and Allan at the end of round 3 produced the best results of the day, closely followed by yours truely with 996. Allan was 3rd and Simon 4th. After a very shaky start young Ryan started to get to grips with the challenging conditions to finish 5th. Don, who was having some serious problems with his planes finished 6th and Andre 7th. Andre finished the day in style by wining slot 2 in the final round.
The Championship: As mentioned above, the scores were very evenly poised at the end of round 3. After his victory today, Michelle leap-frogged Allan and Simon and is the BVMT Champion for 2009. Simon Nelson finished second with Allan and Dennis joint 3rd. Ryan, the only junior in the competition finished a very creditable 5th overall.
I would like to thank all of those that participated in the event and hope that we can have even more pilots participating in 2010. Thanks also to Michel's girlfriend (sorry I have forgotten her name) for her assistance with the scoring. With her assistance the results were available before the planes had been packed away.
Cheers for now. Hope to see you at the field in the near future.
The entries have increased steadily the past 4 years for the event. This year we had 13 entries, the second largest number per category following F3J/EW. The models covered the spectrum from the foam ARF models (Wolfie, Zimmy, Craig/Tshepo), Balsa 2m ARF (Lionel), 2m Tsotsi-E (Rudi) , Purpose built balsa/composite 2.5m (Gert), Troodon 3.7m (Simon), Ex-Pro/ shadow with motor pod on wing (Herman, Paul), XPro-E (Johan, Dion used 2 moldies, although I only saw the 20" prop) to a 1.4m E-Hawk (Craig, it always looked high but was only 'cause his model was so small).
All the motors used this year were brushless and in most cases Lipo battery packs were used. The format of the event is similar to F3J where your launch time (motor on) is subtracted from the flying time of 10 minutes. A re- launch is allowed with the penalty of losing the landing points to a max of 30 points. This allows for some strategy to be worked out on each flight depending on the air conditions. The objective would be to reduce launch time and find lift for the rest of the 10 minutes. The choice is yours how high you want to launch and reduce risk of not finding lift.
From the scores I see the motor on times were at best 20 seconds and worst 120+ seconds. The competitive models were averaging 40 seconds and less. My launching time is between 10 seconds and 15 per launch. In order to optimize this, a tradeoff is required between motor /battery size and airframe weight. I would be able to improve my launch times but the lightly constructed airframe would not be able to withstand that. The molded models can withstand higher powered launches, but would need a thick checkbook to afford a power system to do better launch times. As proven with this Nats the launch times is a factor but if you are able to thermal and read air well you will come out tops.
Johan did very well with his eX-Pro. He made his 10 minutes in most flights with only one launch and added the landing bonus. I think Dion missed the podium due to a misunderstanding of the rules on landing points for round 1. I had to use 2 launches most of the flights and lost my landing points, but due to the fact that my motor on times was very short, I gained in score.The moldies with motor pod was most interesting to me. This allows you to convert your standard F3J glider to a motorised electric model with little effort. According to Paul/Herman the pod do not have any significant effect on the model's performance. These accessories can be acquired from SoaringUSA.com at around $400.
Stats of motor setups I could get hold of:Dion: 1. Xperience Pro-E, 4s Flightpower 2150, ESC CC 60A with BEC. Kontronic FUN600 1500 u/V with 2/1 gearbox, Graupner precision spinner, Freudenthaler hand laid carbon 20x16 prop! Problems were experienced due to overheating of the BEC2. Eish 4S Flightpower Green, Hobbywing 65A ESC, Kontronic Fun 480 with 4/1 gearbox, Graupner precision spinner, Graupner CAM prop 13x7.
Johan: Xperience Pro-E, Scorpion motor & ESC, 4S 3300, 12x6 prop.Gert: SP2.5 , E-flight 15, 4 cell 2200, 13x8 prop (details on blog www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=16783)
Simon: Troodon, 3 cell poly, outrunner, 14 x 10 prop (supposed to be a Kontronic 480-33 but it burnt out in another model)
Lionel: Primera "Flaper", 2.7metre span , Axi 2814/16 motor, Scorpion Commander 35A ESC, on Flightpower EON 250 mAh 3S battery. Prop was a Graupner CAM 11x6.
Herman & Paul: F3J Xperience Pro, pod motor, folding 13x8 props, 3s LiPo
I hope our new F5J Rep Juanita Smith will organise more events for us during the next year.
Ranking have also further been split between Snr & Jnr, although we have normalised these together. Scores have been calculated as per the F3J Rules issued by the FAI on 1 January 2009 (20 cm rule).
Qualifier #1 (BERG)
A moderately challenging event hosted in Guateng with moderate wind all day interspersed with strong gusts & a shift by 0ver 90 degrees during the course of the event.
Qualifier #2 (NOODSBERG)
A relatively challenging event, hosted in KZN, with wind swinging by 180 degrees during the days, varying from light to strong conditions.
Team trial invitations
As per the selection process advised previously, and following the 2 qualification rounds, the individual scores are used to rank the pilots & the top 10 are invited to participate in the Senior Team Trials (venue to be announced) during October 2009:
Each senior pilot has until 9 October 2009 to verify with the F3J representative if they will be participating in the team trials or not. In the event that any top 10 placed pilot is unable to attend, then the 11th ranked pilot will move into the tenth place, and so on.
Whilst there are not 10 pilots competing for the Junior team, the fact that 4 pilots are competing for the team eliminates the 80% minimum score rule:
Congratulations to all these pilots!
Please be advised that all competing pilots need to provide their own team, which may include their Caller, a Team Manager and 2 x Towmen. All pilots must also provide an independent time-keeper who does not fulfil one of these roles, and who will be allocated to the other pilots on a rotational basis. The organisers will not accept times from your yourself/Caller/Team Manager/Towman!
Entry fee for the Team Trials is R200, and will include lunch for the team members.
Friday morning started off with winds gusting up to 30km/h. It got a while to get organized at the field but no one was complaining. Most of the time was used to check out the competition and determine who’s was the largest. (Dion’s 20” prop won this round) The event got off with F5J, RES and 2m rounds with F3K following. By this time we had to change the winch direction already from first setup and clouds moved in followed by mist clouds. A few more slots of F3K was done but F3J launching could not be done safe and flying was cancelled. The AGM was held in good spirit at the country club before we moved off to Wartburg Hoff (What a letdown) for some Eisbein. Zimmy was to happy to have us all there as the place was like a "spookhuis". We were entertained till late by the Italian and had a lot of good laughs.
Saturday morning promised good weather and we had a great day of flying. There was a few spectacular and painful mishaps. Johan lost his Pike in the sun on a launch and it went in full speed. Allen lost his Supra due to a line tangle. Conrad damaged his model when he tried to land on the other side of the sewerage farm. A tree jumped in front of Little Ryan’s model on the way back to the field. I must say the juniors show BIG character flying at this level and performing this well. Lionel tried to destroy his F3K model all weekend but it was repairable every time. All in all the conditions was very challenging and very difficult to read. Most of the day was crosswind launches. We flew the last round of F3K just before sunset. The day was ended by all the tired pilots having a super dinner at the country club.
Sunday morning we were out again early. For the record, myself and Evan was first at the field every morning. Man it is a beautiful venue for gliding. Sunday was probably the best thermal weather of all the days. We had to do cross wind launches but could find lift easily during the morning. The wind picked up later and I think we ended just in time before it became un-flyable again (Evan will disagree).
Lionel. Well maybe I can write a separate chapter about this man. When a model is 5m up in the tree then Lionel will fetch it. When the scores have to be done, then Lionel will calculate. Who is collecting the spots after all has left? Lionel. If there is a major protest, Lionel is in the middle. If you need a 2 man tow, then Lionel will give you that tow all by himself. Who can compete in at least 5 classes (2m, RES, F3J, F5J, F3K and towman) and do a lot of the side organizing and scoring? Lionel! ………………… Gee wiz guys have we become so competitive that we only think of ourselves and can’t help this man.
A note to Wolfie who is organizing 2010: It is not necessary to plan 8 rounds for 2m, RES, F5J, F3K. Only 6 rounds I think is sufficient. Some pressure to start earlier will also help. Best time of year is a gamble but maybe June the risk is lower for rain. The idea of a class per day also surfaced again with a lot of pro’s and cons.
I would like to report on the F5J comp in a separate mail when I have more details as the evolution of this class the past 4 years was amazing.
Now why do we do this every year?
Up to this year I was lucky to be able to take home a memento of the Nats for the past 4 years and it makes it real special. Thanks to everyone who made it possible this year and congrats to all the winners.
PS now I am waiting for your versions!
- Any electric powered RC glider can enter
- The objective is to achieve a 10 minute flight time in 12 minutes working time
- The flight is scored for each second of flight time, one point deducted for every second
over the flight time
- The motor run time is unlimited but will be subtracted from the flight time at a rate of a point per second depending on the motor handicap
- A motor handicap is applied: brushless 95%, brushed Cobalt 75%, Ferrite 45%, and Speed400 30%
- The motor run time is multiplied by the handicap factor before deducting these points from the flight time
- Should the motor be restarted during flight, then no landing bonus is awarded irrespective of the distance to the landing spot
- A landing bonus points of 30pts within 1 metre radius of the landing spot will be awarded
- The landing bonus will reduce by 3 points per metre from the landing mark
- The landing is measured from the landing spot to any part of the plane closest to the spot
- Any type of battery cell is legal
Please be advised that there are different rules for flying competitive electric powered RC gliders: the F5J "Euro" rules that resets the flight time after any motor re-start, but awards a 100 point landing bonus as per F3J, and also a new development which imposes an electronic altimeter within the model which will cut the motor power after 30 seconds or 200 metres altitude. The MGA has not, to the best of my knowledge, experimented with these options yet & cannot comment on them.
Should you have any suggestions or comments regarding F5J, please refer these directly to the F5J representative.