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Old Oct 03, 2013, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by apage View Post
As you have posted your opinion that the same old thing gets boring, I have the right to my opinion that a consistent format is a good thing.

So please Don, do not lecture me.

Respectfully out...
Me too. Unsubscribed.

*sigh*
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Old Oct 03, 2013, 12:23 PM
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BTW, this...

"could be adapted to allow TD planes to do distance tasks between two imaginary geometric planes. I am sure that many more innovations will follow."

...would be really cool! I'd do that in a heartbeat. Great example of good change.

It's also similar to something we kicked around here but never implemented (not our original concept), which is to require half the flight upwind and half downwind.

These are things that make good, challenging use of the increased performance of modern sailplanes, without arbitrarily eliminating any of the basic fun elements of RC soaring.
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Old Oct 03, 2013, 01:00 PM
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Good overall topic and discussion. Unfortunate that some people go their nose out of joint but it happens.

I always find these discussions interesting.


So, weathershiptd, what do you plan to do with your proposal?

If you were looking for feedback, I think you got a variety of views.

Do you plan to start running contests with this format to test it out?
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Old Oct 03, 2013, 01:24 PM
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Fresno, CA
Joined May 2005
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my flying site is on the edge of a public park with walkways. Runners, walkers, bicyclists, dog walkers all stop and look and "cant believe it"- there's no engine? You get to explain soaring and then "where can I get one". of course thats a longer explanation....

The hobby itself will attract people if they get to see it being enjoyed.

My site has a lot of rotor and odd combinations of lift due to it's unconventional shape. Its a challenge, and so the "try" for catching is dependent on the lift being in the right spot and getting in to the LZ avoiding trees and a barb wire fence.

I'd like to see some spot landing pros come and hit the LZ at this site. You just about have to be carrier qualified and be able to hit the 3rd wire every time. I have my own little landing contest every time I land.

Soaring is very rewarding, no matter what brand you do
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Old Oct 03, 2013, 01:27 PM
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United States, TX, Weatherford
Joined Nov 2002
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Highstarter said a lot of the same things as the OP... The difference being that Al tried to ram it down our throats... or up our...... Thanks to the OP for at least presenting his thoughts in a civil manner. We've seen and heard all the arguments about objectivity versus subjectivity. In TD competitions. Points is points, and that isn't dependent on a judge's opinion. Yes, someone may be a touch late or early with a stopwatch click, but generally a quarter second ain't gonna hurt your score much. Man-on-man scoring has leveled the playing field as much as it needs to be leveled, in my opinion, with one exception. I have always felt that landing is needed sometimes as a tie breaker... but it's value is too great in our competitions. Landing skills can sometimes overcome soaring skills... and it is supposed to be sport about soaring.

That being said, I believe TD still exists because it works.... in all it's forms... including F3J.
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Old Oct 03, 2013, 01:35 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
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Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apage View Post
BTW, this...

"could be adapted to allow TD planes to do distance tasks between two imaginary geometric planes. I am sure that many more innovations will follow."

...would be really cool! I'd do that in a heartbeat. Great example of good change.

It's also similar to something we kicked around here but never implemented (not our original concept), which is to require half the flight upwind and half downwind.

These are things that make good, challenging use of the increased performance of modern sailplanes, without arbitrarily eliminating any of the basic fun elements of RC soaring.
I am following the development of this system and if a system that can simultaneously work with several planes can be purchased for less than the cost of a moldie I intend to acquire it to make available to ALES flying. If that comes to pass, there is no reason why TD groups interested in it couldn't give it a try.

I am also experimenting with a concept (again for ALES but adaptable in an ALPS type of a scheme) which uses one of the Altitude Switches which also furnishes launch and max altitude for a type of altitude gain competition. What seems to be workable right now is a task where an Altitude Max is set at around 300 meters. The object is to launch to any altitude you please and get to 300 meters and back on the ground inside a hard 5 minute window. Some of the devices already used for ALES and F5J already have the ability to directly read out both the Launch Altitude and the flight Maximum Altitude. Scoring for this task would be based on the difference between the Maximum Altitude attained (or 300 meters) and the Launch Altitude. No penalty (but no additional gain) for overflying the Max Altitude and no score for overflying the 5 minute window. It would be flown Man-on-Man just like TD with normalized scores for each flight group. Like I say, the equipment for this is already available and in use for ALES. It would require the ability to detect release from the winchline for TD. Right now, I am trying to figure out how the numbers work to get scoring that looks something like regular ALES and TD scores.

Finally, several years back Mark Drela proposed a wrinkle on the normal TD task which would require planes to cross the launch base line in the middle of the flight. I do not remember the details, but I suspect that it involved a time window (maybe a minute or so) in the middle of the task where each plane would be required to cross the line. The object was to increase the possibilities of flights NOT making the task time, requiring that you find lift twice rather than once to max out.

Happy Landings,

Don
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Old Oct 03, 2013, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharban View Post
I am following the development of this system
A separate thread on this would be interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dharban View Post
Finally, several years back Mark Drela proposed a wrinkle on the normal TD task which would require planes to cross the launch base line in the middle of the flight. I do not remember the details, but I suspect that it involved a time window (maybe a minute or so) in the middle of the task where each plane would be required to cross the line. The object was to increase the possibilities of flights NOT making the task time, requiring that you find lift twice rather than once to max out.
Yes, that's the source of the split airspace task we considered here. I wish we'd done it. I think we talked about a 30 second window for crossing the line.
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Old Oct 03, 2013, 02:38 PM
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We tried an upwind/downwind task at an ESL Friday afternoon practice in PA once, or maybe twice. Interesting but no one seemed to be overly interested in doing it again But it was fun a change for an afternoon.
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Old Oct 03, 2013, 03:35 PM
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Since this discussion has turned from competition formats to bringing in new blood into the hobby I will provide a link to an article I wrote on the subject some years ago, for anyone who is interested.

RC Soaring Digest Article
http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com/pdfs/...SD-2008-04.pdf

> Building the Glider Pilot Population in Your Club
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=833723
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Old Oct 03, 2013, 04:14 PM
Little Red Plane
United States, TN, Knoxville
Joined Dec 2012
498 Posts
I find it VERY interesting that weathershiptd has not made any comments or any more posts, even as we are on page four of this thread.

I'm one of those old guys that has come back to the hobby after a long hiatus. My old club, TulSoar, is long gone. My new club, House Mountain RC tolerates the few glider guiders that are in the club. The other clubs around the Knoxville area that I visited really didn't extend a hand when they discovered that I was a glider guider
.Have things changed, absolutely, but the progression seems to have been constant. 27mghz to 72mghz to 2.4 radios. I was one of the first in TulSoar to use foam and carbon in my planes. I bet that the left over members that Don mentioned don't have a plane that doesn't have a significant amount of carbon in them.

I also can't buy a new car for $2000 like I did in 1971.

I really don't see that cost is the prohibitive problem, nor is it the dork landings or the winches.
To me it's the convenience of flying, that is why ALES and other winches in the nose make so much sense.
Will TD ever go away, I hope not and doubt it, but we will see other events also flourish.
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Old Oct 03, 2013, 04:33 PM
Lou
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United States, VA, Waynesboro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryOgilvie View Post
I find it VERY interesting that weathershiptd has not made any comments or any more posts, even as we are on page four of this thread.
Yep ... I noticed that also. Hook, line and sinker. All I can say.
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Old Oct 03, 2013, 05:04 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
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Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryOgilvie View Post
I'm one of those old guys that has come back to the hobby after a long hiatus. My old club, TulSoar, is long gone. My new club, House Mountain RC tolerates the few glider guiders that are in the club. The other clubs around the Knoxville area that I visited really didn't extend a hand when they discovered that I was a glider guider
.Have things changed, absolutely, but the progression seems to have been constant. 27mghz to 72mghz to 2.4 radios. I was one of the first in TulSoar to use foam and carbon in my planes. I bet that the left over members that Don mentioned don't have a plane that doesn't have a significant amount of carbon in them.
Actually, the carbon TD planes that are left are dwindling quickly. I sold my last Supra at the Nats. I don't mind the cost (heck, I've got two eMaxas). But for us in the sticks we were paying more and more for planes that are getting harder and harder to see and dwindling competition opportunities are less and less fun. Big comps are rare and distant. Setting up a winch on a regular basis to practice would suck if it were even feasible. Electrics have been an absolute savior. An hour and a half of stick time for two hours of effort door-to-door. 20 landings in an hour if you like. This makes it possible to practice enough to justify the cost of traveling to comps. And while there are real ultimate limits to its use in competition, the lowly Radian has provided a sure fire inexpensive entry for guys who might be interested -- whether they have flown for 20 years or 20 minutes.

I got back into TD 10 years or so ago after a 20 year hiatus. When I first looked into it I would not have bitten on a full house plane even back then -- they were too expensive at maybe $700. But I am a very good builder and started with a Bubble Dancer and worked my way up to full plastic ARF insanity. Cost DOES make a difference in attracting new people -- at least until they get the bug. And bang for the buck makes a difference.

I know a few things about starting clubs -- I helped start IMSF in Salt Lake City back in the day. But I do not have the answers for starting a club now. We just fly on a great flying site which is nicely adjacent residential traffic. We get a lot more walk-ons than we ever did at Blue Springs out in the boondocks. We can recommend a entry cost of less than $200 and we fly a lot -- a whole lot. Maybe guys will join in -- maybe not.

I will continue to work my rear off to help get things going on a regional and national basis for our planes. Not so much energy for starting another club. I have kind of distilled my interest down to flying a lot and to helping to implement new things mostly related to eSoaring around the country.

Happy Landings,

Don
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Old Oct 03, 2013, 08:07 PM
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St. Louis, MO
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Yes the St. Louis club is growing and very vibrant. We take a different tack. We suggest folks start out with something basic but quickly suggest they move up. The reason for this is that as we all know bigger, better designed planes fly better. They are easier to fly and the owner gets satisfaction quicker in their hobby quest. I have seen folks suggest that someone start with a Gentle Lady/Wander type plane and make steps through the wood ranks. All to often the flier becomes frustrated both with the amount of repair crash cycles to flying that they go through. We try to keep that to as small amount as possible.

There are so many great used molded or RES hybrid planes out there at a reasonable cost. The thought that the $2,300 molded airframe is killing the hobby is false. Those $2,300 AIRFRAMES WILL BE $1,000 airframes in a few years and will help bring new folks into our club. A good Pike Perfect or fist gen Supra can be had easily.

Great example is my son Brendan. We started him with a Multiplex Easy Glider. That was about the worst money I ever spent in the hobby. His interest lasted about an hour. We moved into a Resolution. Things got better. Then a Soprano. Better again. Then a used Pike Superior. Another Superior. Then a few Espadas. Then his first new plane a Zenith XL. Then a Tragi 801. He is hooked and a good stick. If we had gone the woody route for an extended period of time he would have been bored because it's not his thing. He likes the moldies. The key is to find your interest and do it. Don't let people tell you how to do your hobby.

As for the club we have seeded man on man TD contest with modified mass launch once a month from March to November. We fly Unlimited each month and alternate 2 meter and RES every other month. DLD contests 2 weeks later. The Gateway Open 2 day. 6 club winches and maybe an additional 4 privately owned. Plus maybe 4 F3B winches privately owned. It also helps to have Chris Lee in the club. 3 time consecutive OVSS champ and leading again this year. NATS champ and on next years USA F3J team going to the worlds. He is very free with his time and skill as well as enthusiasm in getting folks off their butts and out of their comfort zone. Our monthly contests and hard fought and he does not win them all. We also have Glauco Lago who is very active in F3B in the US and has helped the US F3B team the last two cycles. Mark Nankivil, Bob Gill, Art Frost, Mike Johnson, Adam Quennoz, Nelson Itterly, Alden Schipp among many others call MVSA home. I am also a proud member.

Keeping a club alive is about the people involved. It's nothing you can buy or legislate. It's chemistry. Folks who want to change everything to solve the hobby's ills are usually the types that kill a club with their overbearing, inflexible, know it all attitudes. Watch out for those folks.
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Last edited by Mark Miller; Oct 03, 2013 at 08:18 PM.
Old Oct 03, 2013, 08:30 PM
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Thanks for everyone's input. This thread was intended as a sort of opinion poll to see if it's worth moving forward, but I did not state this beforehand so as to get honest reactions. The results are inconclusive, about 50/50 pro/con.

I regret using "Fixing" in the title, the article originally had a different title. There was never any intention to replace the TD format, the introduction specifically stated that the TS format should be viewed as an alternative.

I think I should have emphasized the high entry-cost for high-performance non-electric soaring more. My concern is that this is an existential threat to RC Thermal Soaring where my experience is nothing but decades of decline.

I agree that electrics are doing fine and growing, I have a Radian myself.

I made a conscious decision in the article to make my pet peeves of launching high and dorking clear. To paraphrase, why would any soaring enthusiast choose to maximize the external energy applied to a flight [i.e. by always launching as high as possible] instead of maximizing the use of the energy in the atmosphere [by launching just high enough to get-away]. And if George Moffat was watching, would anyone be caught-dead dorking?
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