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Old Jun 12, 2010, 09:56 PM
yyz
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GPS-EuroCup / GPS triangle racing

There appears to be some excitement generated by folks giving this a try at the 2010 JR Aero Tow so it seemed reasonable to restart this thread. Here is the official website:

http://www.gps-eurocup.ch/

And where you can find out more about the gadgets that enable it:

http://www.icare-rc.com/skynavigator.htm

If you like scale sailplanes and you like the idea of racing, this is it. If you like scale sailplanes but don't like competition, you can use this system to improve your flying skills and enjoy your scale ship even more.

A couple of questions to kick off the discussion:

1) Is there any interest in having these kinds of events in the rest of the world, outside of Europe?

2) What is your or your club's monetary pain threshold for participating? In other words, how much would you be willing to spend to play?

3) Would you be interested in posting your flights to a website that other participants could see?

4) Do you like the idea of flying with a spotter/tactician and having him guide you around the course or would you rather participate solo?

5) Should all planes of all sizes fly together or should they be grouped or handicapped by performance and/or size?

Let's get this going!

Mike
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Old Jun 12, 2010, 10:00 PM
yyz
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Hands-on experience and thoughts from the 2010 JR Aero Tow

Reposted from the "JR Aerotow 2010 Pictures" thread to keep it in a findable place:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rshelby View Post
The GPS racing was cool beyond belief. 500 meters to the turn points was not as far as thought it was so the plane was easily visible the whole time. Peter Goldsmith echoed my sentiments exactly after he landed and said, "Man, that was intense!" Congratulations to Len who won the competition by flying his laps faster that myself and Pete.

Once I get home from this trip I will have more to say about it. All the info should be available or linked on the Icare website. We just need some cheaper hardware to make it more affordable.

Rick
Quote:
Originally Posted by s2000 View Post
The GPS racing adds a whole new dimension to what we like to do, while I did not actually participate, I observed how the system worked, it is probably the closest thing to fullsize flying since it is all about the fastest speed on a predetermined race course. Kudos to Etienne from Icare for demonstrating this new technology.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lbuff1 View Post
Rick, I agree with you. The GPS coarse was a blast. At first impressions, when it was being talked about and described, I was not all that interested in participating. On Saturday, Etienne asked if I would fly the coarse so they could get some more video and pictures of guys trying it. I'm glad he did, it turned out to be a blast. The GPS unit is a thin little device about an inch and a half square. It has one lead which plugs into any receiver port or Y connector just to get power. It weighs nothing. Your plane is towed to an altitude of at least 500 Meters, ( 1625 feet ) and you release. I say at least 500 meters because you can not cross the imaginary start line above that height. The best thing to do is go forward of the start line and release at 550 meter and then turn and zoom back picking up speed, turn and cross the start line with a full head of steam. At his point, you fly up the coarse ( 500 meters also ) to turn point, which again is imaginary, so Etienne is standing next to you with a small handheld PDA with the software on it that shows him the coarse, altitude, speed, heading, etc. HE tells you to go right or left based on the track of your plane, wind and coarse layout. Once you make the turn point, you must turn for the next leg. Its a triangle coarse, so once that leg is made, its a downwind run to the last point. Gather as much speed as you can without burning all your altitude, because when you reach the turn point and head to the start/ finish line, you need to do it again. Thats right, two laps around the coarse. This time around you are not so worried about saving altitude. Again, play the wind and ground speed. All this time, Etienne is coaching you on which way to turn and when the turn-points are coming. The last leg to the finish line is a sprint, nose down and full speed ahead, just make sure you will get there. Most importantly, after crossing the line, pull up, dump water and a victory roll!!! oops. sorry, that's the real guys.
Everyone should at least try it once. I hear a rumor that Eagle tree is working on something. Maybe a more affordable system.

len
Quote:
Originally Posted by xroadie View Post
Yes that is some cool technology! I saw Peter Goldsmith trying it out but did not know what the purpose of it was until after he had flown the course. This could really be a great new impetus for X-country racing!
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Old Jun 13, 2010, 12:57 PM
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Mike,
I think GPS racing is a natural development for scale sailplanes. Whenever kindred minds congregate, competition develops and this looks like the best case scenario to accomodate that at this point. Those that are "game" competitive will embrace it, those that are "wallet" competitive will be able to participate safely, and those who are "aesthetically" competitive may be enticed to uncover a new avenue of satisfaction.
One of the things that is satisfying about scale sailplanes and aerotowing for me is the relaxed atmosphere and commraderie. I enjoy seeing old friends and being in an atmosphere where pressure is limited and you are surrounded by beautiful planes. That is relaxing for me and I always enjoy those aspects. At the base level it appears racing might be nested into most any event without sacrificing those qualities but obviously some events could be organized completely around racing.
There was a push in the late 90's and early 00's to develop sailplane aerobatics in the US. It died on the vine. Not sure why but one could speculate that the level of piloting skill and special planes required, the emphasis placed on competition at events that were small in attendance and few and far between took their toll. Lets face it, once you get over the initial hump of flying a large scale sailplane and aerotowing it doesn't take a lot of practice or skill development to do what is required for a fulfilling day of flying and for those that enjoy the beauty of scale sailplanes, that is a draw. Maintain your equipment and you can fly just 2-3 times a year and do what needs to be done. You don't have to practice every weekend. Every flight you can walk away from is a success.
Having said this, I think GPS racing is something that might fit the bill for ageing, fairweather pilots like me. You don't have to practice maneuvers or spot landings every weekend or have the latest wiz-bang airplane devoted to the task. You can be as competitve as your ability to read air, invest in the required equipment, and time devoted to practice will allow. But you still can run the course without looking too incompetent or risking your pride and joy.
It looks like there is growing interest in this event and time will tell if it finds a home in our field of common interest. I for one will be watching and waiting for the price of entry to drop to my level of competency.
Asher
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 10:36 AM
yyz
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Asher,

In my opinion, you hit the nail on the head. This style of "racing" seems like a nice, low-key way for a bunch of guys to get together and show off their scale planes. As you said, you don't need to go out and devote hours and hours of practice time to shooting spot landings or shaving a second off of a speed run. I think that will be attractive for folks that have done/tried the TD/F3X/whatever competitions and now want a more relaxed (low-stress), fun and asthetically engaging activity.

I really like the fact that there is minimal setup. You don't need 8-10 guys to put together an event and you get to do plenty of flying in the 30 minutes rounds.

Also from what I've read and seen in photos of the European GPS Cup events, it looks like laid back good excuse for folks to get together and show off their planes. Their "rule book" makes me think it's intended to promote comraderie and not intense competition.

Finally, I think making it cheaper is going to be important,

Mike
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 06:58 PM
yyz
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Bringing this back to life

I've been reading some of the contest reports from this year's GPS Euro Cup and thought others might enjoy them as well:

http://www.gps-eurocup.ch/Wettbewerbe/Wettbewerbe.htm

I know that several folks, including myself, are working on making this style of flying affordable for the average scale guy (whatever that is) and am hoping that we can get some momentum here in the US, Australia, Canada, South Africa and other countries.

I just reread the Euro Cup rules and they have opened it up participants outside of Europe so I think it's time to step up and show the originators of our sport how it's done!

I've attached a sample report from earlier this year. It's fun reading and sounds like a blast. Here are some photos to go along with the contest report:

http://www.gps-eurocup.ch/Bilder/Ima...010/index.html

The 1:3 304 Shark and Antares appear to be the ship to have for the "big hitters" but apparently some scratch built ships are also doing well.

Mike
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 03:46 PM
yyz
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2011 GPS World Cup

Yesterday at the flying field, Rick Shelby mentioned a World Championships in Tortosa, Spain next year so I did a little looking around and found this on the TUN web site:

GPS-WC 2011
As part of the GPS Eurocup are increasingly participating pilots and organized competitions. For this reason, in 2011 flew the first time a World Cup! There are from Europe, Canada and Australia expected to pilot! It will be flown three classes: 1:3 Scale, KTW and an open class. Here is the Bulletin No. 1 in German ...

Also, see attached bulletin. Maybe someone would be so kind as to translate it?

Here's what Herr Google thinks it says:

Bulletin No. 1
17th 5th 2010
Date: Saturday 3rd 9th 2011 10th to Saturday 9th 2011
Location: RC airfield of the Club de l `Ebre in Tortosa (Spain)
GPS coordinates: 40 45'24 "N 0 26'10" E
Website: www.clubrcdelebre.com
Schedule: Arrival from 31 Wednesday 8th 2011, free flight possible!
Thursday / Friday 1 / 2 9th 2011 free flight possible
Saturday 3 9th 2011 model control, registered mail, free flying
Sunday 4 9th 2011 Test Competition: 2 rounds in each class
Monday 5 9th 2011 9 to Friday 9th 2011 daily from 10:00 clock
18:00 clock ever flown two rounds per category.
Before and after the official rounds free flying!
Saturday 10 9th 2011 Reserventag, free flying.
Saturday 10 9th 2011, evening the square Rangverlesen
Sunday 11 9th 2011 Check
Categories: Scale 1:3
KTW
Open class
Regulations: All regulations are available on-www.gps eurocup.ch
Infrastructure: 300m x 15m runway hard surface
20m x 300m grass runway
Large hangar for towing and sailing models
Small hangar for catering / food
Power supply for battery chargers and Camping
Space for campers, caravan and tent
WC, shower in the square
Food for catering company every day in the square
Organisation: towing Walter Kalberer / Silvio Meier
Theres communication Mejstrik
Accounting Office Adrian Sit / Peter Truffer
Treasurer Victor Nell
Infrastructure Margot & Willi Reist, Pedro
OK Chef Ueli Nyffenegger
Cost: (provisional data for 10 days / person!)
Airport use (Hangar, runway, etc.) EUR 80 -
40th entry fee money 1:3 class towing including EUR 50 - (EUR - for towing pilots)
Entry fee KTW Class EUR 10 -
Open class entry fee with tow EUR 50 - (EUR 40 - for towing pilots)
Open class entry fee of EUR 10 E-drive -
Use toilet, shower EUR 30 -
Pitch Caravan / RV 220 including EUR 50 -
Pitch tent EUR 10 -
Only port 220 EUR 20 -
Lunch buffet with salad / meat / water / wine EUR 12 - / day
Free flying: chips are sold EUR 1 - / Towing
Participation: attend any modeller with proof of insurance can not! No
prior qualification.
Registration: Registration deadline Thursday 30th June 2011
In Bulletin No. 2, a detailed registration form will be available.
Questions, suggestions etc. please mail@tun.ch Ueli Nyffenegger
Media Partners:
Location:
Sponsors:

Mike
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Last edited by yyz; Sep 19, 2010 at 03:51 PM.
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 07:07 PM
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Hmmmmmm


len
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 02:41 PM
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In English: http://www.gps-eurocup.ch/Wettbewerb...etinNr1-EN.pdf

Jan
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 02:59 PM
yyz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DingoII View Post
Thanks Jan!

BTW, I checked on airfare from SFO to Barcelona and it's only around $900 US r/t on Swiss Air. That part of Spain is gorgeous!
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 09:43 PM
SOARMINDED
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United States, OK, Mannford
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Eagle tree GPS

Hey Mike,

Do you think the Eagle Tree GPS would work in this case? I am thinking of buying one.
Jerry
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNX430 View Post
Hey Mike,

Do you think the Eagle Tree GPS would work in this case? I am thinking of buying one.
Jerry
Currently there is no way to get the GPS data from the Eagle Tree ground receiver into the PDA. I have asked them to add a bluetooth module for that purpose but it is not a top priority for them. Perhaps once we get this up and running that priority will change.

I have finally put together a hardware system that works with the existing software. It is still a bit clunky so I need to refine it and also try a couple of other ideas. At least I have something that I can use for demonstration purposes now. The hardware I have now costs about $500 compared to the $1500 needed for the original system. It may eventually get a little cheaper, but not much. I still need to do flight testing with the whole system to make sure everything works together, but from the testing I have done so far I am confident it will work. Hopefully I will have some good news to share in a month or two.

Rick
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 09:46 AM
SOARMINDED
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United States, OK, Mannford
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Yeah!

Rick,

Will you be bringing it to Visalia in a few weeks so we can see it in action? I would also like to see how the course is set up.
Jerry
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNX430 View Post
Rick,

Will you be bringing it to Visalia in a few weeks so we can see it in action? I would also like to see how the course is set up.
Jerry
Oh, you betcha. I will be practicing with this unit whenever I fly the Ventus from now on. Once I know it works, I will build up another unit to loan out to anyone to try.

Rick
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 07:46 PM
mosquito303
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I like this type of racing. To me, crashing a glider into the ground, nose first, and calling it skill, is an oxymoron. One can take the hints of what is to be accomplished, as well as those things that need to be safety items, from the full size glider rules. Good loggers and telemetry will make it work.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 07:48 PM
yyz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rshelby View Post
I have finally put together a hardware system that works with the existing software. It is still a bit clunky so I need to refine it and also try a couple of other ideas. At least I have something that I can use for demonstration purposes now. The hardware I have now costs about $500 compared to the $1500 needed for the original system. It may eventually get a little cheaper, but not much. I still need to do flight testing with the whole system to make sure everything works together, but from the testing I have done so far I am confident it will work. Hopefully I will have some good news to share in a month or two.

Rick
Excellent, Rick! Does the $500 include the PDA?
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