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Old Jan 29, 2013, 06:56 AM
Jim in the Desert
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United States, NM, Las Cruces
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We need a new aerobatics organization

I've been looking at the pattern and IMAC organizations, and there is no way I will ever afford to play in those circles. Entry level classes (e.g., Basic) are not tightly regulated, so not competitive, so not serious or worth investing one's practice time or money in IMO. Sure you can compete against yourself, but you don't meaningfully compete against somebody with a vastly different plane.

We need an aerobatics competition that is fair and regulated but affordable, that has plane parameters that will keep things even and competitive, so that people who want to be serious without spending thousands can do so. There should be gas and electric classes. Maybe pattern and IMAC-like classes. We could use the same rules and flight patterns as current pattern and IMAC, just retooled for this new affordable but competitive class.

Classes therein could be based on cost and size of the complete airframes used, say 50" at $250, 70" at $500, and 90" at $750, and nothing higher. This eliminates all the expensive carbon fiber, fiberglass, or whatever expensive construction techniques, This will cause some more serious and well-healed fliers to stay away and join existing IMAC or Pattern organizations which is the point, and will create a place for people to get into well-regulated, and thus competitive, aerobatic flying who can't or won't spend thousands.

What do you think?

Jim
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 07:01 AM
Fueled by Arabica Beans
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I'd compete in an Ultrasport 40/60/1000 class... same plane, 3 different sizes to pick from. Engine/motor/radio up to the discretion of the pilot. Too bad they stopped making the 1000 kit.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 07:28 AM
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We used to host an IMAC event at our club field but thankfully we're not doing that anymore. Watching a bunch of large, noisy gas planes fly the same pattern over and over again is about as exciting as watching paint dry. And it closes our club field for an entire weekend. I understand it's not for everyone and I have no problem with IMAC itself. But of all the grumbling I hear about IMAC in my area, I'm a bit surprised it's still a viable organization.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 07:39 AM
A man with too many toys
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They need to go back to the 10cc max engine size limit so everyone can afford it.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 07:53 AM
Jim in the Desert
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Engine size limits might accomplish the same thing as airframe cost/size. But I don't think so, because I'm sure somebody will come up with a $5000 airframe for that motor.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 08:19 AM
miniture aircraft pilot
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indoor air races... or park size ...
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 08:19 AM
miniture aircraft pilot
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meaning "red bull" style indoor racing
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 08:50 AM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
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Maybe the likes of:
http://www.seniorpattern.com/

I would suggest staying away from racing. Example 1 - 'Club 20' in England, back in the 1980s. The aim was 20 glow powered racers that a competent flier could handle and used stock small 20 glow engines from a list of cheap engines that came with silencers so the models could be flown as sports models without causing noise issues. Within about 10 years, the dedicated winners had upped the engine list to include expensive 'stock' racing lumps with funny, not quite tuned pipe silencers and not only could few club level pilots handle the models after specification shuffles, no club in their right mind would let them be flown all the time as the noise levels had zoomed.

Example 2. When I moved to the US in 1994, I had an urge to try Quickie 500. I mean, a stock 40, an easily built model that flew fine - what's not to like. Then I found out that in the DC area, they did a local variation on the class by only using one engine - a FOx 40 IIRC. there was one guy to go buy a 'stock' engine from if you hoped to keep up with the rest and that 'stock' lump cost four or five times what it did when it left its manufacturers.

Pattern type comps aren't so bad, though we've all seen the '$10,000 in a hover' pictures from the Immense Model Aircraft Consumers lobby.

However, folk being what they are, say you came up with a class that, say, leveled the cost at a reasonable sum, set a maximum cost for the motor and a maximum battery size. There'd be competitors who'd buy a dozen or so cheap motors, tear them down, 'blueprint' them and come out with two to top performance spec. Batteries? Buy several dozen, set them up on a charger/discharger and computer log them all so you can select the best few to compete with. And who's to argue if this character shows up with a ready-made 'stock' model that cost him $XX - there's always someone who'll write a receipt for whatever sum is needed, never mind what they were actually paid to build two or three identical models from this years' fashionable design.

Even if your competition class is only flown by a large-ish club, you will get folk who will spend lots to win. It happens, life's like that.

Gary Wright, of E3D fame, once described a club comp he came across that involved a season long string of comps using a single design that had been chosen at the start of that year's building season. It sounded a lot of fun and that it was only for a year minimised the effects of the well heeled hobby buyer type. Several events were flown - racing, aerobatics, goofing around events - balloon busting, touch and go, that sort of thing. One year, they used the Sig Four Star 40, which is one of the best for sports aerobatics.

Now, a club could pick a cheapy BARF - that would bring in the buyers as well.

The best solution to the 'dedicated competitor' syndrome I've ever heard - an association would watch their events for someone winning several times, then drop that event and come up with another. Okay, it was an indoor free flight association, where a model costs maybe ten bucks in materials but has to be hand made in all areas, but the concept has merit

In reply to the OP - if a local club did something like he's suggesting, I could get interested in competing again. Not even sure if you need glow and electric separation - even the Senior Pattern Association allows both, but their models can be flown on either at reasonable cost.

D
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 09:04 AM
Jim in the Desert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dereck View Post
Maybe the likes of:
http://www.seniorpattern.com/

However, folk being what they are, say you came up with a class that, say, leveled the cost at a reasonable sum, set a maximum cost for the motor and a maximum battery size. There'd be competitors who'd buy a dozen or so cheap motors, tear them down, 'blueprint' them and come out with two to top performance spec. Batteries? Buy several dozen, set them up on a charger/discharger and computer log them all so you can select the best few to compete with. And who's to argue if this character shows up with a ready-made 'stock' model that cost him $XX - there's always someone who'll write a receipt for whatever sum is needed, never mind what they were actually paid to build two or three identical models from this years' fashionable design.
Yes, but don't you think a really good flier could compete with them using the same plane specs, but without the obsessive stuff? It would seem to this far-from-RC-expert that this thing I'm talking about would keep things even enough, despite such obsessors, so the best flier had the advantage?
Quote:



Gary Wright, of E3D fame, once described a club comp he came across that involved a season long string of comps using a single design that had been chosen at the start of that year's building season. It sounded a lot of fun and that it was only for a year minimised the effects of the well heeled hobby buyer type. Several events were flown - racing, aerobatics, goofing around events - balloon busting, touch and go, that sort of thing. One year, they used the Sig Four Star 40, which is one of the best for sports aerobatics.
That sounds like fun and like it might do the same thing. Note that the Four Star is affordable. I also am going to check into the Senior pattern Contest to see if it may reach to New Mexico.
Quote:

Now, a club could pick a cheapy BARF - that would bring in the buyers as well.

The best solution to the 'dedicated competitor' syndrome I've ever heard - an association would watch their events for someone winning several times, then drop that event and come up with another. Okay, it was an indoor free flight association, where a model costs maybe ten bucks in materials but has to be hand made in all areas, but the concept has merit

In reply to the OP - if a local club did something like he's suggesting, I could get interested in competing again. Not even sure if you need glow and electric separation - even the Senior Pattern Association allows both, but their models can be flown on either at reasonable cost.

D
I agree then about not separating glow and electric. I think it would be important to write into the rules in big letters that this organization or class is all about keeping costs down, and the new rules will be implemented as needed to do so. This might keep people from getting into serious and expensive upgrade paths...because if they start dominating the class their wings will be clipped.
So to speak.

Wonder how hard it is to start a new AMA class. But I fear AMA rules and organizational momentum would make it hard to remain fleet of foot enough to keep ahead of the ones who want to turn the class into another IMAC or Pattern class.

Maybe better not to be in AMA for this (although I'm a card carrying member).

Jim
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 09:07 AM
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As in ANY racing; money wins; ALWAYS.

Les
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by rcshirt View Post
indoor air races... or park size ...
20 years ago, when "battling robot machines" was a splash hit, I thought RC combat, in dome stadiums, presented for TV would be popular.
Get 3 guys up at a time... last guy with ribbon or flying advances to the next round.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 09:15 AM
Snappy Title On Backorder....
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In my experience there will never be any way but one to truly level the playing field. Someone will always try and skirt the rules. The only way that I have come up with is to have a spec airframe, power system/engine, prop etc. Then when everyone shows up you number each plane and then put all those numbers in a pot and each pilot draws a number and flies that plane. Completely removes the motivation to cheat with your own plane because someone else will get to fly it anyway. That being said something like this would likely never happen because of all the issues associated with crashing a plane, differing building abilities, etc. My .02.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 09:56 AM
Thermal Junkie
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Originally Posted by tsymonds View Post
In my experience there will never be any way but one to truly level the playing field. Someone will always try and skirt the rules.......
No matter what the class or chosen discipline,this seems to be the nature of competition. Most people will comply with the rules in a sporting manner and participate in the spirit of an event, but some get caught up in the winning part a bit too much. Sure, everyone likes to do well in a contest, it only natural and if you don't, why bother? As a CD enforcement of the rules is part of the job, but you don't want to be babysitter or a buttwipe either checking everyone for legal setups and busting on pilots.

Competition is supposed to bring out the best in a persons skill in building,flying,preparedness,attention to details and so on. The big picture gets lost sometimes however,that of the gathering of fellow modellers with common interests, the 'spectacle' if you will, of the whole contest environment. Watching the leader board,checking out other planes,planning a contest strategy and adapting to conditons along with meeting old friends are all part of contest.

With 40 some years of contest flying behind me, I've seen just about every personality type from gracious friendly helpful guys to mean nasty and full of cheat arses. How to have a true everyone's equal with equal aircraft contest is beyond me. Sportstman like conduct should not have to be addressed in my opinion, it should be common and foremost showing respect for your competiton. If you win by cheating or skirting the rules, did you really win anything,other than the jerk of the day award?
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Very well said.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 10:46 AM
Jim in the Desert
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United States, NM, Las Cruces
Joined Aug 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leadchucker View Post
No matter what the class or chosen discipline,this seems to be the nature of competition. Most people will comply with the rules in a sporting manner and participate in the spirit of an event, but some get caught up in the winning part a bit too much. Sure, everyone likes to do well in a contest, it only natural and if you don't, why bother? As a CD enforcement of the rules is part of the job, but you don't want to be babysitter or a buttwipe either checking everyone for legal setups and busting on pilots.

Competition is supposed to bring out the best in a persons skill in building,flying,preparedness,attention to details and so on. The big picture gets lost sometimes however,that of the gathering of fellow modellers with common interests, the 'spectacle' if you will, of the whole contest environment. Watching the leader board,checking out other planes,planning a contest strategy and adapting to conditons along with meeting old friends are all part of contest.

With 40 some years of contest flying behind me, I've seen just about every personality type from gracious friendly helpful guys to mean nasty and full of cheat arses. How to have a true everyone's equal with equal aircraft contest is beyond me. Sportstman like conduct should not have to be addressed in my opinion, it should be common and foremost showing respect for your competiton. If you win by cheating or skirting the rules, did you really win anything,other than the jerk of the day award?

Well, I don't really see it as detrimental that people will try to make their planes fly better. But my point is if we keep it to a certain airframe size/cost, and/or motor size/cost, then they can go ahead and spend that extra 1000 but their plane is not going to be that much better, that flying skills won't dominate. And if somebody does come up with some expensive mod that dominates, the next year, it will be illegal.

If we keep racing out and aerobatic excellence in, wouldn't the mods be less important than time-on-stick? It seems like there would just not be that much motivation for getting extreme if you are limited to a certain size/motor/cost just for aerobatics.

Definitely, we'd have to leave racing out of it. That's when it gets crazy. Racing would be fun but this is about aerobatics.

Maybe the slower you fly the pattern the more points you get
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