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Old Jul 21, 2014, 09:25 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
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It is the pilot, not the plane, that wins the contest

We held a club ALES contest over the weekend. We had 9 pilots, which is a good turnout for our club. Wind conditions were under 5 mph all day. Heavily overcast, around 77 degrees.

2 molded gliders, 3.4 and 3.8 wings.

1 2M Wood Electra - converted from brushed to brushless.

6 foam: Radian, Radian Pro and an Easy glider electric.


First place and third place were taken by the pilots flying the big moldies. Note that both are Eastern Soaring League Expert class pilots.

However second place, only 3% off the winner's score, was the pilot flying the 2M Electra woody. BTW he is not an ESL Expert pilot. In fact this is only his second season flying and doesn't have a high end moldie. So he spends his time flying his Radian Pro and his 2M Electra.


I post this just to reinforce that it is the pilot, not the plane that gets the score. A pilot that can read the air and knows his glider can do well in ALES.


We get all focused on these big gliders and molded wings and high end high $$ gliders. And the newer contest pilots hear us talking and feel they can't compete unless they have one, so they shy away from the contests. However, even a 20 year old woodie converted from brushed to brushless can do 10 minutes and be landed on an ALES tape.

I will also note that he had an excellent landing performance on the tape as well. His Electra has no flaps or spoilers. It was all pilot skill. We use 10 meter ALES tapes for club contests and he scored landings of 30 or better on every landing. His last flight was a near perfect 10:00 and a 45 landing.

There is no question that the big span moldies have an advantage when the lift is way off field or when conditions get harsh. But in "average" conditions the 2M wood and foam planes can do just fine in ALES.

Note that we have had ESL Expert pilots flying Radians who have won against the moldies in club contests. And we have one ESL Expert pilot, who normally flies a Supra for TD but is deadly with a 2M wood Gnome he converted to electric for ALES. He is usually in the top 3.

Share this with your timid members who feel they can't compete unless they have a $2000 molded glider. It is the pilot, not the plane, that gets the score.

Do you see similar things at ALES contests?
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 08:37 AM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,109 Posts
This is a tired old debate and one very much caused by a simplistic framing of the question and debate. Much discussion of this can already be found on the groups. Do Radians and Gentle Lady's win out on occasion against Supras and Xplorers (but not very often in 15 mph winds). Yes, it does happen if the conditions are favorable and if that's what you fly or like to fly, have at it. But it is always a combination of the plane and the pilot that produces the winning combination. It is neither one or the other alone. A certain well known pilot declined my challenge this spring to fly his Radian against me (flying a moldie) for the full duration of the Nats (and this after he claimed he could beat anyone with his Radian and I'm a middle of the pack kinda guy). So debate all you like, it's really a non-issue. Remember -- it's both pilot and plane. And you would be better served if you were out there practicing with whatever plane you fly instead of debating silly things like this because practice, practice, practice is what gets you to Carnegie Hall or the winner's circle.
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 11:59 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
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Interesting comment since no debate is suggested or implied. I don't think you are suggesting one can buy their way to the winner's circle buy buying some uber e-glider.

Whenever we have a relatively new pilot with a basic glider who does well in a contest I talk it up as an encouragement to other similar pilots. Many of those newer pilots shy away from contests because they feel their glider is inadequate.

The message is simple. You don't have to have a high end glider for ALES. You can still come and play in ALES and do well with a more basic ship.

The mega spar uber launching super glider that has become common at the TD/winch contests is not needed. Nice to have electric versions have some advantage, but no longer on the launch which was a key benefit they brought.

And you don't have to build an LMR ship that is a helicopter with wings where launch height was based on how far you could see. 12 seconds to out of sight is a great adrenaline rush but not really something that encourages the average Radian owner to come compete in LMR.

You can join in the ALES fun with a basic glider and a modest power system. If you can read the air and practice your landings, you can do well.

That's the message. Nothing to debate unless you strongly disagree and wish to discourage participation by those who do not have high end e-gliders.
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 12:06 PM
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United States, CA, Folsom
Joined Jul 2007
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Relax Ed. Sometimes you ask good, thoughtful questions. Sometimes not. This comes under the been there, heard that (more than a few times) category. This would be a good one to let slip away and move on to something more thought provoking.

JT
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 01:35 PM
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jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,109 Posts
How the heck did LMR get into this discussion? Did I miss something?

No matter. R/E Radians are pretty much the only plane I recommend for those interested in getting into ALES (if they are not already a TD pilot) or if they are just interested in soaring in general. Nothing wrong with them and they offer so much for the money it really is a no brainer.

And of course I never said you could buy your way into the winner's circle. Don't even know why you suggested it. My thoughts about getting into the winner's circle were clearly posted in post #2, above.

The name of this thread is "It is the pilot, not the plane, that wins the contest". That topic has been debated many times on RCG and phrasing it that way is pedantic and just flat out wrong, as I have already stated. It's a combination, always has been, always will be. A plane such as a Radian is at a distinct disadvantage under certain conditions. For example, it cannot range as far as a moldie in the search for thermals, it cannot come back from as far down wind, less control in the landing zone, harder to see at higher altitudes and others. This information should be given to any newbie planning on attending an ALES contest so that they don't have unrealistic expectations, can set realistic goals and have more fun.

It's also great to attend contests at clubs other than your own. You get to meet new folks who may have some ideas you haven't heard before and get to see a variety of different planes. At the Sudbury ALES contest this past weekend we had folks from western Connecticut and New Hampshire and the second day was won by a Gentle Lady flown by an old geezer. hahahahah
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaizon View Post
snip...

It's also great to attend contests at clubs other than your own. You get to meet new folks who may have some ideas you haven't heard before and get to see a variety of different planes. At the Sudbury ALES contest this past weekend we had folks from western Connecticut and New Hampshire and the second day was won by a Gentle Lady flown by an old geezer. hahahahah
Jaizon, you have confirmed and reinforced the point of my original post.

It was not my intent to create a debate, just to reinforce a point about the opportunity created by ALES and to encourage people to share that with new pilots and those who have been afraid of contests in the past.

And I wanted to celebrate the success of a fairly new pilot flying an entry level glider.

Sorry my post upset you. If you don't like it the best thing you could have done is not post so it floats down the list and into history.
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 07:07 PM
Mesa AZ, it's a dry heat!
USA, AZ, Mesa
Joined Oct 2004
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Yes, it is more pilot than plane. Although those of us of lesser skills can gain some slight advantage over others of similar skills by spending some more bucks.
I have seem many examples of Pilot over Plane.

I remember many years ago watching D.E. win the Florida Soaring Society Expert trophy for the year using a BOT and a 2 channel AeroSport Radio.

Some time back in the 1990s J.W. won the Pasadena Soaring Society 2M event with a borrowed 2M DAW foamy.

Our local club events are dominated by C.M. who regularly bests everyone with a Radian in ALES. and J.A. is usually close to the top with a Radian also.

Practice, practice, practice, repeat.

Iain
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Old Jul 23, 2014, 08:31 AM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
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there is no doubt about it, a better plane will help you place better in a contest.

in fact, it can make an average pilot, highly competitive.
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Old Jul 23, 2014, 09:35 AM
I'm all about that bass
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
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Come on, Ed, stop spreading false information! Everybody knows that what really determines contest outcome is the color and type of the pilot's underwear.

Ryan

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Old Jul 23, 2014, 09:52 AM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
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Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush
On a cold and frosty morning.

Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush
So early in the morning.
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Old Jul 23, 2014, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by rdwoebke View Post
Come on, Ed, stop spreading false information! Everybody knows that what really determines contest outcome is the color and type of the pilot's underwear.

Ryan


Shhhh, not so loud. People will hear you.
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Old Jul 23, 2014, 10:12 AM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,109 Posts
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush
On a cold and frosty morning.

Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush
So early in the morning.
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Old Jul 23, 2014, 10:14 AM
AMA7224 LSF1832
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United States, DE, Seaford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwoebke View Post
......Everybody knows that what really determines contest outcome is the color and type of the pilot's underwear.

Ryan

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Old Jul 23, 2014, 10:30 AM
I'm all about that bass
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
15,218 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr View Post
And I wanted to celebrate the success of a fairly new pilot flying an entry level glider.
There are a lot of misconceptions out there by folks and I agree it is great to celebrate the success of individuals.

Ryan

P.S., Chuck, I like the use of TLJ!
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Old Jul 23, 2014, 11:02 AM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,109 Posts
Well it certainly is great to celebrate the success of individuals. Yes, it is. But I want to know who is against celebrating the success of individuals? I think they should step up and tell us why they are against celebrating the success of individuals. I can respect that and will celebrate their dissent even thought I am against it.

P.S. I am wearing red underwear. Maybe that's why I did so well this past weekend.
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