Belgium, Walloon Region, Namur
Joined Oct 2013
Fantastic explanation of the competion in Catalonia. As mentionned by others this is worthwhile competion and different classes should be made available to different types of gliders ie; 3m Scale or others.
When and where is the next competion I'm sure I'd like to attend and learn not necessarily compete.
Super exposé very educational; count me in..
Joined Nov 2010
Download the dates for the 2014 season:
And also go here:
It has been a while since writing the last time. Times are quite busy these days, nevertheless I want to use the time and recall some more memories from the World Masters in Tortosa as they are still vivid.
Tappet, the Diana 2 is a real graceful ship. I love that plane as it is engineered with so many new ways of thinking which just recently were pushed further by the Duckhawk. Up to then the Diana 2 definitely was the ship with the widest possible variety of wingloading in the FAI 15m class.
And to my knowledge it is one of the only full size gliders which leaves its moulds already painted!
Technology which is state of the art with our models is not achieved yet by the vast majority of full size gliders!
I guess the Diana 2 will be one real rockstar plane as it is manufactured by the same manufacturer as the Chocofly SB-14.
Compared to the 8m Arcus which comes along with almost 2.5 squaremeters of wingarea this 1:2,5 scale Diana 2 will only have about 1.38 squaremeters of wingarea.
That to me looks like it could take that big advantage from the full size over to the modelflying competition scene - being able to fly at the widest variety of wingloading, as long as it is built light enough for the weak days, which I believe it is!
It'll possible be a very hot plane for the Up&Go class and the manufacturer did right to choose 1:2,5 scale I'd say, because built in 1:3 it would most probably be too small to offer suitable visibility.
I would really appreciate if Marco Mani who already testflew the prototype could give us a report on the flying performance of this plane!
After having him seen perform during the World Masters I'd say that he is without any doubt most qualified to judge and estimate the potential of any kind of GPS-racer.
I can't say it often enough, but he really is a joy to watch flying, may it be while intuitively squeezing out the last climb on an evening flight or purely rocking the sky with astonishing precision and lots of skills!
If you have the chance, try and see him fly, you'd understand that he is around handling these big birds for quite awhile now.
Back to the competition in Tortosa:
After day two there were clearly four people ahead of the pack in the "1:3" class and 3 in the "Up&Go".
It looked like a head to head race between John Greenfield and Marco Mani in the "Up&Go" class with Ueli Nyffenegger short behind. Although no one was "collecting 1000s" - like one can see this quite often on an F3J competition this is not standard in this sort of contest - both showed very consistent flights.
To average in the 900 points zone will guarantee you a top spot in GPS flying.
In the "1:3" class Ueli Nyffenegger, Jakko Weber, Philip Kolb and again Marco Mani were having a grip on the upper end of the score sheet.
Flying both categories so well shows the class of Marco once again. I for example could sometimes take a rest for 2 hours while the "Up&Go" class was flying. I could relax, recharge my batteries and watch out carefully before the next task was announced.
The competitors flying both classes were at least out there 5 times a day flying their 30min slot and 5 times navigating for their partner - every day.
To concentrate on that level is something which needs quite some experience and practise.
I recall one particular flight where I was out on course together with Marco. At that moment we were the top number 2 men on the score sheet and of course we were watching each other.
It was the first round of the third day at about a quartet past ten. Given that I guess Marco quite understood that the thermals already were setting in and the lack of wind could make them lasting quite a bit. I for myself ballasted my plane to a high wingloading according to the estimation that these thermals might not be very strong, but wide enough to prevent circling flight.
Therefore my goal was definitely to avoid circling the heavy plane and trying to stay high, flying through the lift only in straight line.
Marco was up one tow before me and went on course.
I took a little higher tow to watch him on his first triangle while I was waiting in front of the startline. Between Turnpoint 1 and Turnpoint 2 Marco started to circle marking a thermal for me. As he stood there for about four circles I was sure he didn't try to bluff me and he was working on getting high. I could possible use this marked first thermal as a stepping stone flying on straight instead of circling, sticking to my plan and maybe having this 2 minutes more on my clock in the end....?
I entered the course and the thermal was still there
Flying on straight was just working fine, it became even stronger on the way to Turnpoint 2. My log showed that I could climb 175m without making one circle on this very first triangle. I smiled - but I lost Marco somewhere in the sky. I was now concentrating on my own ship to push up the speed and on the voice of Urs who instantly confirmed that we should fly as short distances as possible. We decided to stick with this plan. Although my airspeed varied very much according to the air I flew in (slow and cambered while climbing - fast in neutral flap position while cruising) my average times for each triangle were astonishingly equal. All times were more or less around 2:30min for each triangle, with 2:53 for the slowest and 1:40 for the fastest.
With 32 seconds left on the clock we finishes 12 triangles and had exactly this one triangle more than Marco. Not bad for a round in morning air!
The other class saw John, Marco and Ueli competing for the top spots. As I have mentioned before they really got the cream in one of their flights having three pilots doing 16 triangles in one flight. I am not totally sure what happened to John in his 9th round as he left the field with a "0-score". Maybe he can give us some update on this mishap. Otherwise I guess it would maybe have gotten even tighter between him and Marco, who in the end had that little edge over John. Ueli came in third to complete the podium spots.
The tenth and last round of the competition was announced as a speed task to get the tension high for everyone.
I think this is even amazing for all the spectators on the field - even when they don't belong to the soaring crowd by passion. Watching each and every of these huge ships howling across the sky combined with the tension of a kind of showdown of a Worlds championship ....
We pulled out the calculators and figured we need 840 points to stay ahead. As the fastest average speeds on a speed task recorded nowadays are close to 150kph, getting 125kph or more would mean I'd have the championship in my pocket.
But this is easier said than done - I can tell. I don't know about the others but I was quite a bit nervous I tried to stay cool showing as least signs of stress as possible, but I'm sure if someone watched me he could easily tell that I was not relaxed through and through at that time! Trying to tell myself not to fly at any risk helped quite a bit. I said to my self to just try an fly a smooth speed task, avoiding to cut a turn or, even worse, getting a penalty. Then I sat back and "preflew" the task in my mind two or three times before I actually hooked up the tow line to the nose of the Antares..
And I flew very conservative.
Making one more full circle than necessary before crossing the startline as I was about 520m high - regularly you can push through the startgate from that!
I crossed supersafely at a very moderate 460m and 85kph to finish after a uneventful flight with 133kph average.
And in the end, like estimated, that was enough for winning the competition. Ueli was faster in that last speed but I had enough points to stay on top.
I need to admit that this was one of the most amazing competitions I have ever been part of - and this in first degree not because of having been able and lucky enough to win it.
It is - as I need to point out over and over again - one of the finest competition you can attend with a model glider!.
And honestly, It feels like this is still just at its beginning.
Have a great time:
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Philip, thank you very much for the flowers, it's really nice to hear from that authoritative source And by the way, it was really hard to fight against you! ;-) And thank you for this great report about this really great GPS contest class. I fly this contests almost from the beginning 10 years ago and to me it seems it's the real reason for modelgliding... ;-)
About the new Diana 2. At the modelglider-fair in Schwabmünchen Germany i saw this plane the first time and before i didn't knew about it. So i didn't had any influence of development this plane. The owners of Chocofly asked me to do some testflights and make the setup especially to compare in GPS-Triangle flying. Unfortunately the weather was so bad this autumn i could fly this plane only one day. After some meansettings i can say it flies very smooth and very stable because of the long tail. It's quite simple to fly and in every range easy to handle, that's very very important for contest flying. Because during the contest you don't have to care about to flying your plane, you have to care about the tactics ;-) First i flew with empty plane, that means flying weight 11kg = 81g/sqdm, which is light for a 6meter plane. Especially in this configuration thermaling is great, it's almost possible to turn around the wing tip and even in weak thermals it climbs quite good. Compared to my old contest battleship the 1:3 scale Arcus from H-Model the Diana 2 is a little bit slower. This is because of the airfoil has more camber. For that the Arcus has not the climb performance in weak thermals as the Diana 2. Ballasted to 97g/sqdm (1840g) the glider is around 4km/h faster in average speed around the triangle. At this weight surprisingly the Diana 2 is still flying like an angel, even in narrow thermals. As Philip already wrote, the official rules for GPS-Triangle flying only allowed to start with 1:2.5 scale gliders in up&go class. The weight there is limited by 25kg. So with an up&go power unit the plane will be around 95g/sqdm at around 12,5kg, so it's possible to ballast more. Of course i flow until now only day, there's still a lot of test flights and settings necessairy, that's means it will be only better. But sure i can say it will be a really hot machine for GPS-Triangle Contest flying!
and from the Worldmasters here:
Joined Oct 2013
Thanks again for such a good write up on the competition.
To pick up on one of your points as to why I recorded a "0" in the 9th round, the story is as follows :-
I had done all my pre flight checks and taken off to climb up to the start height and then only a few seconds later my navigator told me he had lost the GPS signal. We initially thought it may have been a momentary drop out so continued climbing but it did not reconnect. I have never seen this before with the RC Electronics T3000 kit I use but it was clear something was wrong so I elected to land and check it out as there was still a short amount of time left in the launch window. After landing we checked connections etc but the GPS would not connect so we took the decision to swap the unit over for a spare. This was done in record time and I managed to take off, climb and enter the course with just a few seconds on the clock. It was a good flight but part way through Kurt, the contest director came over to say I had broken one of the rules which say that no part of the model or equipment can be changed after take off.
It is my fault that I was not aware of the rule and so I was awarded a "0" for the round.
Ironically later that day the GPS unit started working again and has been fine ever since. I can only assume that maybe it had got too hot sitting in the sun even though I always left my model with the canopy open.
With respect to Marco I do not think getting a "0" in that round made much difference to the final score. Over 10 rounds the lowest 2 scores are dropped and looking at the overall scores even if I had won that round Marco would have still just been in front of me due to his superior flying skill.
Every flight is a learning curve, especially for me as I am very new to this competition. The World Masters was only the second time I had ever entered this type of competition and to watch the experts flying so well was an honour.
My model is now equipped with 2 sets of GPS kit to avoid any possible problems of the same type again and I am also wiser to the rules. Interestingly Peter Nemec had a GPS unit fail in his Skynavigator kit and as I also have that kit but was not using it in the competition I lent him my unit. His unit however had failed before he had taken off so was legal to change. My unit started up ok but failed just after take off. A small but important detail in the rules.
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