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Old Jul 07, 2010, 11:16 AM
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Vision aids in X/C

Ok - been following all the recent X/C stuff and am getting the itch (that goal and return record looks tasty....) and was wondering with all the commentary on height and wing chord, if wearable low power vision aids have been tried and or used by anyone (besides spotters that is).

Specifically gizmos like this http://www.eschenbach.com/preview.php?pid=42 are what I had in mind. Not at all cheap when I asked at the eyeball doc's place but hey - if they work then the price would be worth it.

Can't seem to find anything in the rules that prohibit their use and if they work without causing some vertigo (read barfing), it would seem to allow better aspect ratio e.g. thinner root chords to be employed in the X/C realm.

Anyone..??
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Old Jul 07, 2010, 12:17 PM
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I have actually looked into this, in fact, the same exact spectacle binoculars in your link. If you look at the specs you will notice the field of view is 13 degrees. That is a problem. If you are sky'ed out and the vehicle hits a bump or you lose visual for whatever reason then you are now trying to re-acquire visual thru a 13 degree cone of vision. your spotter will be useless unless he is also wearing the same device and did not lose visual. A pretty risky game. There is also the problem of still flying to the limits of vision only now you are flying much higher. Many will say simply dont fly as high but it never quite works out that way, especially if you are chasing a thermal that drifts off the road for a distance. Many times when you finally leave the thermal the glider will dissappear when you head directly back towards the chase vehicle and you have to take it on faith that that patch of sky you are staring at will eventually show the glider again as it gets closer. Now, trying that with a 13 degree cone of vision is going to be very risky since you will have no way to keep your vision exactly on that patch of sky unless there is a cloud or something for reference. If it is blue sky you could easily lose it.

that said, I havent actually bought these and attempted an experiment. Could be very interesting and I may still do it someday.
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Old Jul 07, 2010, 01:05 PM
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Good point on the FOV - so back to the vision aid peeps yields these puppies :

http://www.eschenbach.com/preview.php?pid=702 -

~20 degree field so with some helpful web math:

1000ft height = 352ft field of view or about twenty 17ft wing spans
2000ft = 705ft fov
3000ft = 1058ft fov
4000ft = 1410ft fov - seems like a decent patch of sky....

My thought was something that can be pushed up onto the noggin quick if a big jolt hits or when low - be interesting to hear if anyone has done this and put the fov/vertigo/barf factor to the test....
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Old Jul 07, 2010, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r.p. View Post
Good point on the FOV - so back to the vision aid peeps yields these puppies :

http://www.eschenbach.com/preview.php?pid=702 -

~20 degree field so with some helpful web math:

1000ft height = 352ft field of view or about twenty 17ft wing spans
2000ft = 705ft fov
3000ft = 1058ft fov
4000ft = 1410ft fov - seems like a decent patch of sky....

My thought was something that can be pushed up onto the noggin quick if a big jolt hits or when low - be interesting to hear if anyone has done this and put the fov/vertigo/barf factor to the test....
I may try a set with 20 degree FOV and no more than 2X magnification. That just might work. may need to glue on some eyeglasses to it since I have corrected vision.
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Old Jul 07, 2010, 03:24 PM
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Sorry but using anything other than prescription corrective lenses by the pilot are expressly forbidden in the AMA Safety Code, Radio Control section, article 9:

"9. The operator of a radio-controlled model aircraft shall control it during the entire flight, maintaining visual contact without enhancement other than by corrective lenses that are prescribed for the pilot. First-Person View (FPV) flying may only be conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined in AMA Document #550."

I left the FPV statement in as someone might try and get around this with FPV. The AMA guidance on FPV states the pilot operating the FPV system must have a backup/safety pilot on a buddy box who can take control from the FPV flyer in case of trouble. FPV flight, like all RC, must remain line of sight at all times.

tk

P.S. Here are some links:

Safety Code: http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.pdf
FPV Operations: http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/550.pdf
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Old Jul 07, 2010, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkallev View Post
Sorry but using anything other than prescription corrective lenses by the pilot are expressly forbidden in the AMA Safety Code, Radio Control section, article 9:

"9. The operator of a radio-controlled model aircraft shall control it during the entire flight, maintaining visual contact without enhancement other than by corrective lenses that are prescribed for the pilot. First-Person View (FPV) flying may only be conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined in AMA Document #550."

I left the FPV statement in as someone might try and get around this with FPV. The AMA guidance on FPV states the pilot operating the FPV system must have a backup/safety pilot on a buddy box who can take control from the FPV flyer in case of trouble. FPV flight, like all RC, must remain line of sight at all times.

tk

P.S. Here are some links:

Safety Code: http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.pdf
FPV Operations: http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/550.pdf
thanks for this, you saved me some money.

I've never heard of a team using a buddy box....
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Old Jul 07, 2010, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkallev View Post
Sorry but using anything other than prescription corrective lenses by the pilot are expressly forbidden in the AMA Safety Code, Radio Control section, article 9:

"9. The operator of a radio-controlled model aircraft shall control it during the entire flight, maintaining visual contact without enhancement other than by corrective lenses that are prescribed for the pilot. First-Person View (FPV) flying may only be conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined in AMA Document #550."

I left the FPV statement in as someone might try and get around this with FPV. The AMA guidance on FPV states the pilot operating the FPV system must have a backup/safety pilot on a buddy box who can take control from the FPV flyer in case of trouble. FPV flight, like all RC, must remain line of sight at all times.

tk

P.S. Here are some links:

Safety Code: http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.pdf
FPV Operations: http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/550.pdf

Well - I guess the guy (and AMA observers) that set the F5 altitude record wearing binoc's mounted to a bike helmet (vid is on the net somewhere) was either under the impression that binocs are corrective lenses or that the FAI trumps the AMA - at least for the purpose of records..?? I couldn't find a thing about vision aids in the FAI docs.

Be interesting to get an interpretation of that wording from the AMA home office as it seems to be more targeted at video, radar, gps or other non-pilot vision derived control methods - hmmmmm....

That or everyone competing with polarized non-prescription sunglasses are in violation of that safety prescription because those are clearly "enhancement" devices too.... I think I'll pull that one at nats next year and walk away with all the trophy's - damn rule breakin competition pilots....
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Old Jul 07, 2010, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r.p. View Post
Well - I guess the guy (and AMA observers) that set the F5 altitude record wearing binoc's mounted to a bike helmet (vid is on the net somewhere) was either under the impression that binocs are corrective lenses or that the FAI trumps the AMA - at least for the purpose of records..?? I couldn't find a thing about vision aids in the FAI docs.

Be interesting to get an interpretation of that wording from the AMA home office as it seems to be more targeted at video, radar, gps or other non-pilot vision derived control methods - hmmmmm....

That or everyone competing with polarized non-prescription sunglasses are in violation of that safety prescription because those are clearly "enhancement" devices too.... I think I'll pull that one at nats next year and walk away with all the trophy's - damn rule breakin competition pilots....

Most AMA rules abide by the FAI code. Some additions may be made to conform to local (US) regs, especially when you are trying to keep the FAA and Feds out of our modeling shorts.

I assume your last paragraph is in jest, but if not, you won't get much sympathy at the Nats, TK has been the event director in the past and is still actively involved in AMA/LSF/Nats affairs. We frown on such grandstanding and histrionics.

JT (LSF Treasurer, Nats Flightline Director)
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Old Jul 08, 2010, 12:49 PM
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r.p.

Are you referring to Ray Cooper who set an altitude record in November, 2003?

If so, this was an Australian, not USA modeler making the record attempt and perhaps their AMA equivalent organization allows vision enhancement devices.

I was quoting AMA rules

tk

P.S. Here's a link to Ray's page: http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargra...trec_2004.html
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Old Jul 08, 2010, 02:40 PM
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The other vision aid

So, if you can't use a binocular to find your sailplane how about strobing LEDs on the glider itself?

RichK
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Old Jul 08, 2010, 03:10 PM
yyz
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Desperately need help understanding this

Somebody please help me wrap my head around this. I know we all like gadgets and I'm as guilty as the next guy.

Why don't you flip this visibility "problem" on its head and use the simple and smart solution that will be fair and inexpensive: put an altitude cap on the contestants. We're carrying loggers and most everyone has altitude-enunciating variometers. There is nothing else needed. If you "bust" the ceiling, you get penalized.

I honestly can't believe that the older guys (again, of which I am one) haven't bitched and moaned and screamed bloody murder about the younger guys with better eyes flying their planes in outer space.

This really does make this event a test of vision in almost all but the weakest of soaring conditions. The math has been done and there is a huge advantage to getting and staying high. The problem is that 50+ year-old guy's "high" and younger guy's "high" are two entirely different things.

Put and altitude cap on the events, level the playing field and let's test piloting skill and not vision!

What am I missing?

Mike

ps: this message brought to you by your local optometrist
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Old Jul 08, 2010, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yyz View Post
Somebody please help me wrap my head around this. I know we all like gadgets and I'm as guilty as the next guy.

Why don't you flip this visibility "problem" on its head and use the simple and smart solution that will be fair and inexpensive: put an altitude cap on the contestants. We're carrying loggers and most everyone has altitude-enunciating variometers. There is nothing else needed. If you "bust" the ceiling, you get penalized.

I honestly can't believe that the older guys (again, of which I am one) haven't bitched and moaned and screamed bloody murder about the younger guys with better eyes flying their planes in outer space.

This really does make this event a test of vision in almost all but the weakest of soaring conditions. The math has been done and there is a huge advantage to getting and staying high. The problem is that 50+ year-old guy's "high" and younger guy's "high" are two entirely different things.

Put and altitude cap on the events, level the playing field and let's test piloting skill and not vision!

What am I missing?

Mike

ps: this message brought to you by your local optometrist

Mike,
I don't think this is any more practical than putting a distance from pilot limitation on XC. Would you be satisfied with a 1/2 mile radius around the pilot, 3/4 mile, or none? I don't really see the difference between this and an altitude cap. I am one who doesn't really care for the talking varios, and don't choose to use one. I climb until I hit my personal discomfort level, then move on. My choice and one I accept as a 59 yr old competing in XC. Would an altitude cap now force me to spend another 300 on something I have no use for, just to hear it tell me I'm near an artificial altitude limit?

I think the answer lies in the team concept for XC. If you have problems seeing at extreme altitude, recruit a teammate that can help you in this situation. After all, the real time spent above 5000' agl isn't all that much. Most successful pilots will determine their minimum altitude, and strive to always stay above that. This is more practical and brings it back into the realm of pilot's choice.

No matter how much you try to level the field, there will always be pilots/planes that are more skilled, more efficient, and more tactical. Don't fight it, master it.

JT
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Old Jul 08, 2010, 03:33 PM
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YES!!!!!!!!!!!
Maynard Hill used military radar guided vision enhancement!!!!!!~ Altitude ca. 5 miles
There was a big "to do" about two years ago on the record's anniversity in AMA MA.
So what does any AMA rep on this list say on this issue?????

I spoke to this effect at that time and got NO RESPONSE from AMA.
The reason I inquired was: that my son and I held 2M glider records for about a dozen years in the early 70"s. One was for altitude.

I'd truly like to know what is official now.

Maybe an "*" needs to come in play for older records?
JL


Quote:
Originally Posted by tkallev View Post
Sorry but using anything other than prescription corrective lenses by the pilot are expressly forbidden in the AMA Safety Code, Radio Control section, article 9:

"9. The operator of a radio-controlled model aircraft shall control it during the entire flight, maintaining visual contact without enhancement other than by corrective lenses that are prescribed for the pilot. First-Person View (FPV) flying may only be conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined in AMA Document #550."

I left the FPV statement in as someone might try and get around this with FPV. The AMA guidance on FPV states the pilot operating the FPV system must have a backup/safety pilot on a buddy box who can take control from the FPV flyer in case of trouble. FPV flight, like all RC, must remain line of sight at all times.

tk

P.S. Here are some links:

Safety Code: http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.pdf
FPV Operations: http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/550.pdf
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Old Jul 08, 2010, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadzilla View Post
So, if you can't use a binocular to find your sailplane how about strobing LEDs on the glider itself?

RichK
You can put anything you want on the aircraft ... I use small pieces of sticky chrome Monokote and they light up like strobes in sunlight.

I do not care for the multi-colored tapes, but some like them. I find them more dull than the chrome Monokote.

An altitude cap won't work unless everyone has equipment that can be checked, validated and sealed ... who wants to waste time with that nonsense? As JT says, if you have trouble at extreme altitudes, either don't fly there or recruit a teammate who can operate there.

This is supposed to be for fun
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Old Jul 08, 2010, 03:50 PM
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Records: Then & Now ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagesailplnr View Post
I'd truly like to know what is official now.

JL
I doubt you will see an AMA response here, you would need to contact AMA directly. I suggest Greg Hahn, Technical Director.

The National Air Space was not as crowded when Mr. Hill did his altitude record, AMA and the US Navy had very close ties at the time and I don't know if there even WAS a Safety Code in the 1960's. Maynard Hill performed his record flight within military airspace used for weapons testing so there was no civil aviation to worry about, probably no military flights, either.

Times change, rules change, Dave Brown was able to be part of a model flying autonomously across the Atlantic Ocean and now autonomous flight is expressly proscribed due to terrorism concerns ... will we need to start testing our F3J tow mules for steroid use, too?

tk
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