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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:35 PM
lincoln is offline
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United States, MA, Waltham
Joined Dec 2001
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I've been to 3 or 4 ALES contests. Lots of fun, and appears to be much easier on the CD, which should be a major point in it's favor.

As far as landing goes, I've seen all the arguments before, ad nauseum. If there will be no real landing task, I'd like to be issued a suit of armor unless my flying area is at least 50 yards away from the other guy. On a good day, it's almost inevitable that some sort of landing task will be required to separate the leaders, and IMHO it greatly increases the safety by providing an incentive for good control.

Dorking will happen much more if some kind of skid or arrestor is not allowed. In that case I'd like to be issued a pair of greaves, as even a woodie 2 meter smacking into your leg can hurt quite a bit. If you don't believe that eliminating skegs and the like causes harder dorks, look at video of F3B or F3J landings on the international level. A compromise might be a skeg that is behind the t.e. of the wing.

I think the existing 5 or 10 points per meter is not a bad compromise for now. Later, it will be found a bit lax, I expect.

I think that a glider optimally designed for ALES will be a pusher. Much less fuselage drag that way, and the prop won't be damaged in any landing that isn't a crash. One could do a twin boom job or put a little motor pod, probably on the wing, on either side of the fuselage. Makes launch a bit dicy if you don't turn on after the throw, but there are probably solutions for that. Maybe a pressure switch when you hold it while throwing, with a 1 second delay after its released.

One feature of ALES that brings the cheaper gliders closer is that the airframe doesn't have to be as strong, and it doesn't have to be strong or a moldie to launch about as high as the other guy. I expect a builder who is very careful and precise won't be at much of a disadvantage if he builds something like an electrified Bubble Dancer. And for a while at least it may be a use for some old contest gliders that are considered a little obsolete.
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