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Old Oct 05, 2010, 12:15 PM
Don Harban
Guest
n/a Posts
Altitude Limited Flying

I would like to make a few observations here.

1. I did not create the idea for altitude limited flying -- nor did
Gordy or anyone else in this country. The Europeans have been working
on this for several more years than anyone in this country.
Originally, the interest in this country was for data logging
capability and in addition to the several devices manufactured in
Europe, an American manufacturer developed and sold a device called
Zlog. Barry was the U.S. vendor for it and more or less at the same
time the Europeans were modifying their loggers to include switching
capability, Zlogs were developed to do the same thing. My only claim
to fame with regard to "innovation" is that I bought a unit from
Barry's first batch and have been flying and testing it for the last 2
1/2 years or so. Many guys have been working on this since switches
first became available. While they may go unnamed, nobody should put
them in the shadow of their own efforts by pursuing a contest of who
did what first. (But thanks anyway, Ed and Jack:-))

2. The first attempt at flying altitude limited competition was at
the Nats (I think) two years ago. Progress in this country has pretty
much tracked progress in Europe but about two years behind. Getting a
critical mass of switches and a critical mass of interested parties
was sort of a chicken and egg thing in Europe and it has been here.
Zlog, quit making the units and the European units are a bit pricy for
the current level of interest and not always easy to find. Randy
Brust introduced the CAM this spring and Barry has just recently
started bringing in a new device within the last couple of months.
These are both dirt simple devices which cost around $50. The event
held this year at the Nats and using the CAM units was a very
substantial success -- by electric soaring standards. Two more events
have been flown since, a Polecat event and an event in Albuquerque.
Another is scheduled for Dayton. Our start pretty much looks like the
UK a couple of years ago and part of what got them off of the dime was
the willingness of individuals and groups to make the experience
available on a trial basis to interested parties. I am trying to do
my share to make this happen.

3. I have acquired 5 Cam units and 5 of Barry's units, prepared 10
landing tapes and have written 3 dirt simple MOM scoring programs for
contests accommodating 1, 2 or 3 flight groups for up to 5 rounds.
These materials are available for the cost of shipping and insurance
to any interested group. I still hope to get some events going here
in the dustbowl this fall or early winter.

4. I have flown and logged many flights testing the various switches
that are available. Dave Register and I have had a few ad hoc
sessions with similarly equipped planes. And I would observe that
until people get hands-on experience at this, they may not fully
understand what we are looking at here. It is surely not everybody's
cup of tea. But, for people willing to give it a shot AND THINK OUT
OF THE BOX, altitude limited soaring has a great deal of potential.
With qualifications, it CAN reasonably emulate many of the aspects of
TD soaring with which we are familiar. But it can also allow
competition opportunities that are not practical with the gliders and
winches that we are familiar with. The first and most obvious
advantage is the simplicity of setting up and running MOM events. MOM
with electrics is MOM writ large -- everybody can easily launch at the
exact same time. So we can emulate our launch and land paradigms to
our hearts desire. But like two guys sitting at an intersection
challenging for the pinks, getting more than one guy on a field with
these things and a bit of imagination opens a variety of new
challenges which can open the sport up. Surely, we are preoccupied
with writing rules for events which are similar to the "beef" we are
used to eating. And it will be done. But somewhere out there is the
soaring equivalent of the brave first soul who ate the oyster. There
is a wider world. How about a MOM enduro task where the object is to
log the most flying time in a one hour (or whatever) window for one
point per second? Relaunch as many times as you see fit -- but lose
360 seconds for each relaunch. Or maybe a cross country event which
is compatible with our more or less urban and suburban settings.
Launch from one of the many smaller sites that become available when
you aren't stringing out winches. Fly for speed and distance to a
turnaround site -- relight all you want, but take a hefty penalty for
every relight (the altitude switch determines the maximum "energy" you
can use to get where you are going. Yes, height limited flying can
emulate TD flying. And it should. But it can offer other things that
TD flying cannot.

5. I've been at this, off and on since 1974. I remember in 1974
that there was no "shared wisdom" that there was one perfect way to
compete. And in the beginning, there was not even much pretense that
"one perfect way" would or should exist. We have moved from
revolutionary to evolutionary, and I think it is fair to say, that the
pace of evolution has tended to slow down. This is not unnatural
given how much older and experienced most of us are -- a lot of the
changes we see simply suck. For those who may be interested, it is
reasonable to measure eSoaring against what we do now. But for minds
that are still supple enough to embrace new ideas, eSoaring is right
now where we were with TD soaring in 1974 -- except to the extent that
there are those who would simply like to stop the clock and make this
as comfortable as the binky we know.

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Old Oct 05, 2010, 01:41 PM
GordySoar@aol.com
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Altitude Limited Flying

Barry's units are not re-startable, they are launch only winch
replacements, and are in the second generation phase to insure off at the altitude is
off.
That means the sensitivity of the trigger to the air pressure and switch
reaction time.

When I win the first F5J Alt limited contest using the re-startable, I'll
look everyone in the eye and ask....did I turn the motor on when you weren't
looking or did I not? ;-)


Actually both ideas are good ones... and should be fun. .
Gordy
And yes it was Americans


In a message dated 10/5/2010 1:15:57 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
misterharban@cox.net writes:

I would like to make a few observations here.

1. I did not create the idea for altitude limited flying -- nor did
Gordy or anyone else in this country. The Europeans have been working
on this for several more years than anyone in this country.
Originally, the interest in this country was for data logging
capability and in addition to the several devices manufactured in
Europe, an American manufacturer developed and sold a device called
Zlog. Barry was the U.S. vendor for it and more or less at the same
time the Europeans were modifying their loggers to include switching
capability, Zlogs were developed to do the same thing. My only claim
to fame with regard to "innovation" is that I bought a unit from
Barry's first batch and have been flying and testing it for the last 2
1/2 years or so. Many guys have been working on this since switches
first became available. While they may go unnamed, nobody should put
them in the shadow of their own efforts by pursuing a contest of who
did what first. (But thanks anyway, Ed and Jack:-))

2. The first attempt at flying altitude limited competition was at
the Nats (I think) two years ago. Progress in this country has pretty
much tracked progress in Europe but about two years behind. Getting a
critical mass of switches and a critical mass of interested parties
was sort of a chicken and egg thing in Europe and it has been here.
Zlog, quit making the units and the European units are a bit pricy for
the current level of interest and not always easy to find. Randy
Brust introduced the CAM this spring and Barry has just recently
started bringing in a new device within the last couple of months.
These are both dirt simple devices which cost around $50. The event
held this year at the Nats and using the CAM units was a very
substantial success -- by electric soaring standards. Two more events
have been flown since, a Polecat event and an event in Albuquerque.
Another is scheduled for Dayton. Our start pretty much looks like the
UK a couple of years ago and part of what got them off of the dime was
the willingness of individuals and groups to make the experience
available on a trial basis to interested parties. I am trying to do
my share to make this happen.

3. I have acquired 5 Cam units and 5 of Barry's units, prepared 10
landing tapes and have written 3 dirt simple MOM scoring programs for
contests accommodating 1, 2 or 3 flight groups for up to 5 rounds.
These materials are available for the cost of shipping and insurance
to any interested group. I still hope to get some events going here
in the dustbowl this fall or early winter.

4. I have flown and logged many flights testing the various switches
that are available. Dave Register and I have had a few ad hoc
sessions with similarly equipped planes. And I would observe that
until people get hands-on experience at this, they may not fully
understand what we are looking at here. It is surely not everybody's
cup of tea. But, for people willing to give it a shot AND THINK OUT
OF THE BOX, altitude limited soaring has a great deal of potential.
With qualifications, it CAN reasonably emulate many of the aspects of
TD soaring with which we are familiar. But it can also allow
competition opportunities that are not practical with the gliders and
winches that we are familiar with. The first and most obvious
advantage is the simplicity of setting up and running MOM events. MOM
with electrics is MOM writ large -- everybody can easily launch at the
exact same time. So we can emulate our launch and land paradigms to
our hearts desire. But like two guys sitting at an intersection
challenging for the pinks, getting more than one guy on a field with
these things and a bit of imagination opens a variety of new
challenges which can open the sport up. Surely, we are preoccupied
with writing rules for events which are similar to the "beef" we are
used to eating. And it will be done. But somewhere out there is the
soaring equivalent of the brave first soul who ate the oyster. There
is a wider world. How about a MOM enduro task where the object is to
log the most flying time in a one hour (or whatever) window for one
point per second? Relaunch as many times as you see fit -- but lose
360 seconds for each relaunch. Or maybe a cross country event which
is compatible with our more or less urban and suburban settings.
Launch from one of the many smaller sites that become available when
you aren't stringing out winches. Fly for speed and distance to a
turnaround site -- relight all you want, but take a hefty penalty for
every relight (the altitude switch determines the maximum "energy" you
can use to get where you are going. Yes, height limited flying can
emulate TD flying. And it should. But it can offer other things that
TD flying cannot.

5. I've been at this, off and on since 1974. I remember in 1974
that there was no "shared wisdom" that there was one perfect way to
compete. And in the beginning, there was not even much pretense that
"one perfect way" would or should exist. We have moved from
revolutionary to evolutionary, and I think it is fair to say, that the
pace of evolution has tended to slow down. This is not unnatural
given how much older and experienced most of us are -- a lot of the
changes we see simply suck. For those who may be interested, it is
reasonable to measure eSoaring against what we do now. But for minds
that are still supple enough to embrace new ideas, eSoaring is right
now where we were with TD soaring in 1974 -- except to the extent that
there are those who would simply like to stop the clock and make this
as comfortable as the binky we know.

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Old Oct 05, 2010, 04:32 PM
Tom G
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Altitude Limited Flying

I am definitely interested in trying this type of competition as I have ONLY
flown Electric Sailplanes. This would be a chance for more guys like me to
get into competitions which can only make better pilots out of us. As far as
restarting the motor, it's an option that I would like to have "if needed"
but knowing that if I re-start I lose would keep ME from thinking about it
unless it will SAVE a glider.

Hope this makes sense
Tom

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Old Oct 05, 2010, 04:44 PM
Jim Deck
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Altitude Limited Flying

This has been one of the most interesting RCSE discussions in quite awhile. A comment was made about the brave pilots who went way downwind at the Masters. For what it's worth, it's easier to be "brave" when one has a quiver of expensive moldies than when one is flying a lone sailplane that has stretched one's budget to the limit.
About restarts, Gordy has a point, it will take a while to develop the will power not to reach for the throttle stick. Probably about the same amount of will power as it takes to practice landings when the lift is strong.
Lastly, electric launched soaring makes practice flying more practical as one doesn't need a sod farm,one doesn't have to set up and take down launch equipment, and suitable fields may be closer to home.

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Old Oct 05, 2010, 06:46 PM
Don Harban
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Altitude Limited Flying

One of the most constructive things that everyone can do is to refrain
from measuring this by what we have become accustomed to over the
years. It is similar. But it IS different. For many people it will
be too different to be of interest. And that is just fine. We have
guys that fly aerotow, slope, discus - whatever. Some cross over and
some don't.

I have always paid attention in my life to doing what I could do when
I could do it. And boy oh boy, my bucket list is really, really
short. And I realized that each of us has a sort of deadline for when
the things we are accustomed to doing are no longer entertaining, or
in some cases, even possible. So I have seen for several years (with
nothing really visible on the horizon) that I wanted to fly and
compete for a lot longer than I expected my constitution would
support. Little did I know how astute that observation would be. A
broken leg resulted in massive pulmonary embolisms which changed my
lifestyle drastically -- temporarily, I expect, but I got a real peek
at the future. And until this week, winch flying was not a happening
thing. As it was, I flew my e-planes -- the usual soarers, a Radian,
an Electron and and AVA-E. I flew them a lot. And this week when
D.O. and I strained to tote the battery and such, I discovered that
flying my AVA was pretty much like flying my AVA-e. And the Supra
worked pretty much like it did last year before all this health crap
hit me. I even flew a few twitchy little park flyers and learned
stuff I never knew and stuff which I had forgotten, not the least of
which was how much fun it is to just get out and fly.

We are blessed here to have 160 acres of bermuda grass sod about 6
miles from the house. But I also discovered that I can take any of my
planes to a flood control area about 900 feet from my house and get an
hour of stick time in about an hour and ten minutes of clock time.
Charge the batteries, stick the wings on, launch, fly, land, repeat.
When it is hot you can do it at dawn or dusk. It's not all bad. And
it certainly provides a means of organizing Wednesday night contests
at close in fields and with tasks which can remind us that fun is more
than a three letter word.

One of the things that may go unnoticed in all of the blather in these
threads is that most of the actual participants fly in places and with
clubs where the burden of keeping a field, maintaining and setting up
winches is spread out over a relatively large and healthy population.
Whether many of you realize it or not, you don't have to go very far
into the sticks before those things go away. I would love to be able
to drive up to the field on any particular day and expect that
somebody would have charged the battery, set up the winch and would
take it home. It doesn't happen here. You want to fly you do the
work. The fun factor can diminish pretty fast.

Gordy made a cogent observation concerning fiddling with motors and
such. And it can be a problem for guys who are unfamiliar with all
the new gizmos. And it will be a problem if the class evolves into
tasks which reward optimizing power systems more than thermal flying
skills. This is one of the things I have been studying since I got my
first limit switch 2 1/2 years ago. And I am convinced that it will
be possible to structure tasks around the altitude switches which will
minimize the time that competitors have to devote to figuring out
props, motors, ESC's and batteries. Development of these tasks will
not necessarily be smooth and perfect from the beginning. A lot of
choices can have unintended consequences. But it can ultimately be
done where the outcomes will be determined by flying skill, not
fiddling skill. And if participants approach the development of this
kind of flying with an open mind the frustration of futzing with
motors and stuff will go away. Selecting a drive system will be no
more difficult than selecting a radio.

This is not for everyone. And it is not a replacement for TD
soaring. But I had a dog once. She lived to be 14 years old. And
she died in her sleep two days after Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf
coast. I can tell you without shame that I cried. And that I knew
that she would never have an equal. Nine months later I got another
dog. One who I knew would never be Manda's equal. That was 4 1/2
years ago. And my new dog has indeed not proven to be Manda's equal.
But I wouldn't any more trade Louella for anything in the world than I
would have my old dog. eSoaring will never replace your old dog. But
maybe that's not all bad.

On Oct 5, 4:44 pm, "Jim Deck" <james.d...@comcast.net> wrote:

>     This has been one of the most interesting RCSE discussions in quite awhile.  A comment was made about  the brave pilots who went way downwind at the Masters.  For what it's worth, it's easier to be "brave" when one has a quiver of expensive moldies than when one is flying a lone sailplane that has stretched one's budget to the limit.
>     About restarts, Gordy has a point, it will take a while to develop the will power not to reach for the throttle stick.  Probably about the same amount of will power as it takes to practice landings when the lift is strong.
>     Lastly, electric launched soaring makes practice flying more practical as one doesn't need a sod farm,one doesn't have to set up and take down launch equipment, and suitable fields may be closer to home.


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Old Oct 05, 2010, 08:45 PM
jcarlton3@cox.net
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Re: Altitude Limited Flying

Don, good words...
---- Don Harban <misterharban@cox.net> wrote:

> One of the most constructive things that everyone can do is to refrain
> from measuring this by what we have become accustomed to over the
> years. It is similar. But it IS different. For many people it will
> be too different to be of interest. And that is just fine. We have
> guys that fly aerotow, slope, discus - whatever. Some cross over and
> some don't.
>
> I have always paid attention in my life to doing what I could do when
> I could do it. And boy oh boy, my bucket list is really, really
> short. And I realized that each of us has a sort of deadline for when
> the things we are accustomed to doing are no longer entertaining, or
> in some cases, even possible. So I have seen for several years (with
> nothing really visible on the horizon) that I wanted to fly and
> compete for a lot longer than I expected my constitution would
> support. Little did I know how astute that observation would be. A
> broken leg resulted in massive pulmonary embolisms which changed my
> lifestyle drastically -- temporarily, I expect, but I got a real peek
> at the future. And until this week, winch flying was not a happening
> thing. As it was, I flew my e-planes -- the usual soarers, a Radian,
> an Electron and and AVA-E. I flew them a lot. And this week when
> D.O. and I strained to tote the battery and such, I discovered that
> flying my AVA was pretty much like flying my AVA-e. And the Supra
> worked pretty much like it did last year before all this health crap
> hit me. I even flew a few twitchy little park flyers and learned
> stuff I never knew and stuff which I had forgotten, not the least of
> which was how much fun it is to just get out and fly.
>
> We are blessed here to have 160 acres of bermuda grass sod about 6
> miles from the house. But I also discovered that I can take any of my
> planes to a flood control area about 900 feet from my house and get an
> hour of stick time in about an hour and ten minutes of clock time.
> Charge the batteries, stick the wings on, launch, fly, land, repeat.
> When it is hot you can do it at dawn or dusk. It's not all bad. And
> it certainly provides a means of organizing Wednesday night contests
> at close in fields and with tasks which can remind us that fun is more
> than a three letter word.
>
> One of the things that may go unnoticed in all of the blather in these
> threads is that most of the actual participants fly in places and with
> clubs where the burden of keeping a field, maintaining and setting up
> winches is spread out over a relatively large and healthy population.
> Whether many of you realize it or not, you don't have to go very far
> into the sticks before those things go away. I would love to be able
> to drive up to the field on any particular day and expect that
> somebody would have charged the battery, set up the winch and would
> take it home. It doesn't happen here. You want to fly you do the
> work. The fun factor can diminish pretty fast.
>
> Gordy made a cogent observation concerning fiddling with motors and
> such. And it can be a problem for guys who are unfamiliar with all
> the new gizmos. And it will be a problem if the class evolves into
> tasks which reward optimizing power systems more than thermal flying
> skills. This is one of the things I have been studying since I got my
> first limit switch 2 1/2 years ago. And I am convinced that it will
> be possible to structure tasks around the altitude switches which will
> minimize the time that competitors have to devote to figuring out
> props, motors, ESC's and batteries. Development of these tasks will
> not necessarily be smooth and perfect from the beginning. A lot of
> choices can have unintended consequences. But it can ultimately be
> done where the outcomes will be determined by flying skill, not
> fiddling skill. And if participants approach the development of this
> kind of flying with an open mind the frustration of futzing with
> motors and stuff will go away. Selecting a drive system will be no
> more difficult than selecting a radio.
>
> This is not for everyone. And it is not a replacement for TD
> soaring. But I had a dog once. She lived to be 14 years old. And
> she died in her sleep two days after Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf
> coast. I can tell you without shame that I cried. And that I knew
> that she would never have an equal. Nine months later I got another
> dog. One who I knew would never be Manda's equal. That was 4 1/2
> years ago. And my new dog has indeed not proven to be Manda's equal.
> But I wouldn't any more trade Louella for anything in the world than I
> would have my old dog. eSoaring will never replace your old dog. But
> maybe that's not all bad.
>
> On Oct 5, 4:44 pm, "Jim Deck" <james.d...@comcast.net> wrote:

> >     This has been one of the most interesting RCSE discussions in quite awhile.  A comment was made about  the brave pilots who went way downwind at the Masters.  For what it's worth, it's easier to be "brave" when one has a quiver of expensive moldies than when one is flying a lone sailplane that has stretched one's budget to the limit.
> >     About restarts, Gordy has a point, it will take a while to develop the will power not to reach for the throttle stick.  Probably about the same amount of will power as it takes to practice landings when the lift is strong.
> >     Lastly, electric launched soaring makes practice flying more practical as one doesn't need a sod farm,one doesn't have to set up and take down launch equipment, and suitable fields may be closer to home.

>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "RCSE" group.
> To post to this group, send email to rcse@googlegroups.com.
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to rcse+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
> For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/rcse?hl=en.
>


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Old Oct 05, 2010, 10:16 PM
joe schnur
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Altitude Limited Flying

I have a radian. I have used it to improve my flying skills I put a
cam altitude limiter in to give me a consistent height much like my
winch launch planes. It also allows us to learn to range out and try
for those thermals and hell if you get out too far instead of loosing
the plane you fire back up and come back and learn that the range of
the plane is not where you thought it was but. I don't have the money
to buy new airplanes as a learning tool or build new ones as a
learning tool. Also the europeans if you refire you restart the clock
and only get say 10 minutes of working time for a 10 minute task so if
you refire you loose all the time before you refired the engine. I
would rather refire the engine than loose the plane.


I am sure there will be a lot of hashing out of this issue i also have
a switch to disable the motor when i hit the altitude limit so I don't
accidently restart the motor..That should be a requirement to use them
for competition so the timer can monitor the switch and the additude
of the plane.
Just my 2 cents.


Thanks
Joe (Tree Frog) Schnur

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