Originally Posted by rev.iain
What about the hi-tech string launchers that gain 150' or more from a ZOOM launch when they have already left the line?
Certainly not all planes within a given class
are created equal. Same is true for pilot skills. Both can be and are the reason for awesome zoom launches.
However, if the goal of a good contest is to provide competition that allows for a fair comparison of pilots and their skill levels, then you need to draw a realistic plane class
It would seem there are spurious arguments here because some see e-Soaring as a threat to 'string launch' soaring.
I can only speak for myself when I say e-planes are no threat to anything. I own one and enjoy flying it. The issue is how can you level the playing field in competition so both e-gliders and non-e planes can fairly compete in a common class. While it's certainly possible to throw in any kind of plane into a single contest class, the number of (controllable) plane variables increases and thus makes it incrementally less about pilot skill. That's a problem unless you're just having a "fun fly" contest.
Using a winch in a contest is often a very good skills equalizer. I could describe a variety of weather, wind, and winch equipment conditions that would make it harder to "make altitude" on a winch than e-motoring up to altitude.
Combining e-gliders with non-e in contests, yes, awesome idea, our club proved it works. Flying in the same class, no.