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Old Mar 21, 2012, 11:11 PM
Flagstaff, AZ
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Disciplined VTPR Flying... just for fun... or as a competition

I start this thread to open a discussion about implementing VTPR into our normal everyday flying and hopefully some fun competitions. We have all seen the French videos and read many words about what VTPR is. I propose we start trying some things; see what works; and what folks like.

Here are some ground rules and specific ideas to start things going. I encourage you to go out on the slope and try some stuff... and get back to this thread.

Thanks,

Dawson



Disciplined VTPR Flying... just for fun... or as a competition

The Goal: To fly a number passes within the “Box” and stay close to the ground. The number of passes is decided ahead of time... or there could be a time limit.

The Box: 200 feet wide, ±75 feet high, 50 feet deep (an arbitrary size for now, we will change it as needed). The long end of the box is perpendicular to the wind/slope. Pilot stands within the Box. The four corners of the Box can me marked with 10’ poles with streamers on top.

“Close to the ground” means: All or part of the glider is 10’ or less above the ground (again... an arbitrary number. Lets see how it works and adjust if needed.)

The flight begins when the glider enters the Box and ends when the pilots lands (or hand catches). Pilot (or helpers) may relaunch after a crash.

The Basic Pass: (crosswind)

Upright Pass (complete pass at or below 10’)
Inverted Pass (complete pass at or below 10’)

A Pass might also include:

Half Roll (1/2 roll at center of box)
Full Roll (full roll centered in the box)
KE flight (1/4 roll, hold KE, 1/4 roll )
1/2 Snap Roll (1/2 snap at center of box)
Slow Roll (do a 2-3 second roll)
Point Roll (four point roll, holding each point for half second or more)
Touch-and-Go (touch the belly of the glider to the ground, center of box)
Tail Drag (touch the vertical stab (inverted flight) to the ground, center of box)

Downwind Passes:

Some slopes (low angle) allow you to utilize the depth of the box... flying downwind/slope. This allow you to fly very slow (ground) speed maneuvers... like hovering rolls, belly/tail drags, touch-and-goes, landings, hand-catches (belly rubs?)

Combination Passes: (add one or more maneuvers to the pass)

Figure “M” (multiple hammerheads)
KE to KE pass
Two separate snap rolls
Two Full Rolls (normal, slow or point)
Let your imagination run wild.


Passes are linked together by transitions. Typical transitions include:

Hammerhead (1/4 loop to up-line, glider yaws 180° at top to down-line, 1/4 loop to level)
Wing Over (the basic rudder/elevator turn)
Banked turn (half circle... no or minimal altitude gained/lost)
Flat Turn AKA “Shark” turn (half circle... no or minimal altitude gained/lost)
Humpty-Bump Turn Around (1/4 loop to up-line, 1/2 loop to down-line, 1/4 loop to level

Things to add to a transition:

Half roll to the up-line and/or down-line of Hammerhead or Humpty Bump Turnaround
Spin at the top of a hammerhead.
KE drop (Suicide) from top of hammerhead
Half Roll to Banked Turn
Tip Drag on a Flat Turn


Landing:

Land in a designated landing zone (10’-20’ circle)
Hand catch by pilot in LZ


I have tried putting together a sequence of passes/transitions... it is not that easy. I will extremely happy if I can eventually link 10 (easy) passes/transitions and do a landing with out blowing out of the box or crashing. I will post some video of my experiments later. I encourage everyone to try to do the same. See what passes and transitions you think are fun and what looks good to your eye.

Some maneuvers are not too difficult; some are insanely difficult. Eventually we might be able to figure out a rating/scoring system for each pass/transition... and get to the issue of scoring.

So get out there and fly some VTPR. Tell us your experiences... what worked and what didn't. Let's keep it practical and leave the theories and blind opinions at home.

Have fun!

Dawson
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Old Mar 22, 2012, 12:18 AM
Ask me about VTPR
oldscooler's Avatar
America
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Awesome Dawson! Your living up to your new namesake brilliantly lol.

This is great stuff and I appreciate your dedication and guidance laying out some real patterns and figure management ideas. This will be a great help for all who wish to fly Vtpr as we now understand it here in the US. I'm gonna go buy some PVC pipe and lay out our site asap in readiness to the next meeting. Flying season is officially here.

Eric
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Old Mar 22, 2012, 11:21 AM
Semper Fidelis
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For my Dad who is from Missouri, "Show me!"

I'm a visual guy, so looking forward to your video, and the voice over with color commentator.

It seems like a straight forward way fly vtpr with others while taking turns in the pass box, or even coordinating passes with others. It also takes the duck and flinch effect out which was more prevalent than a combat event from the Temple meeting last year.

As I stated earlier, I have to desire to fly for judges. I'm selfish, I fly for myself. However, this system seems tangible if competition comes into play.
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Old Mar 22, 2012, 11:31 AM
Feeling FrSky
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Cool post, D!

I agree, flying a continuous sequence of passes really low is very hard, at least if you're trying to do aerobatics at the same time People who've flown with me can attest to the frequency of my crashes when I'm trying to drag various parts of the airplane on the ground while performing flowing aerobatics at low altitude. If I go for 2min without a crash, I've really accomplished something

As always, the trick is that not all sites will really support a continuous VTPR sequence with the straight lines mainly below 10'. It's really contingent on the site. At Sheba, it appears pretty straightforward (though the thin air and crosswind appears brutal), at Ellwood it would be a dawdle (it's sometimes hard to fly more than 10' above the lip, LOL) and at the Ruins (for example) there's often so much turbulence down low that it wouldn't be any fun at all, nor would the results be very compelling, but if you flew at 15' then you can go all day. Just how it goes.

So, something to consider, but either way, that's normal, not all sites support Fermin-style PSS pumps, either

Steve
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Old Mar 22, 2012, 06:39 PM
FSD
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I'm not strictly a VTPR guy but I really liked what you posted. Back later tonight to digest it some more. Thanks Dawson.

-P
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Old Mar 22, 2012, 07:39 PM
Phil.T-tailer
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Moi? - just for fun

Phil.
2c donated
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 12:29 AM
Feeling FrSky
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My spider senses tell me something is being uploaded right now.

Steve
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 01:08 AM
Flagstaff, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp View Post
My spider senses tell me something is being uploaded right now.
Sorry Steve... The video was a bust (10 gigs!). I did not get my camera far back enough... so my shots were clipped. You could not see my poles. As a result most of the transitions were missed. All I got was a lot of middle stuff.

The wind forecast is for similar conditions tomorrow. I will try again.

I think my biggest problem today was that I got too focused on staying within the box. It was easy to fly too fast and then try to do too much on the pass and transitions. One session I sat down; got comfortable; and flew more within myself. I tried not to focus so much on staying in the box; and instead just tried to concentrate on flying low WITHIN the box; and then do a more relaxed transition (scuffing off speed as needed); and take another pass. That worked much better.

I did enjoy myself... a lot. It was intense though. A couple thousand more passes and it will all feel normal.

Dawson
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 11:22 AM
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Ooof that's super frustrating about the video, sorry man. I got some footage of the Wasabi from last weekend that I just had to delete immediately upon seeing it - it was centered OK but waaaay too small to be worthwhile.

F3A aerobatic box is bounded by lines radiating forwards on a 60* angle to the left and right of the pilot. The upper limit is 60* above the pilot's head. The resulting size of the box is dictated by how near (or far) you fly.

I think in IMAC there is no defined box per se, beyond a minimum safe distance from the flightline (F3A also has something like this, I don't remember the details).

Food for thought: on the slope, our flyable area is already pretty well constricted by the lift band and topography. I would probably allow the box to be as wide / tall as it needs to be to allow the glider to make maximum use of the lift. Having to scrub speed to stay within the arbitrary confines of a box sounds like "doing it wrong" to me... I'd make my uplines taller and spread out a bit wider, and move the poles to match that. It's way more important to be able to go fast enough to get a flow going, and then let that define the size of the box.

When we're talking precision, beyond placement the big challenge comes from trying to keep the figures themselves proportional, with lines on a 0, 45 or 90, and loops circular, rolls with clearly defined straight lines in and out, making sure you don't drift in/out from the slope (i.e. maintain a constant straight line parallel to the flightline), etc. And all of it well placed relative to the pilot, i.e. the middle figure always centers on the pilot, and the turnarounds are always at the same points (regardless of how near or far they are).

Don't feel bad that you're finding this hard. It's quite possible that precision slope aerobatics is the absolutely most difficult form of aerobatics flying, at least, if you try to do it the way we're talking about here, with continuous sequences. We've always got a *gnarly* crosswind to deal with, there's a huge amount of turbulence to contend with, and our "motor" is only as reliable as the wind we're flying in.

I've been practicing this kind of flying for years and it's really great... but really hard.

Steve
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 01:28 PM
Flagstaff, AZ
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I have been thinking about the "box" thing.

The whole concept of VTPR is to fly close to the ground; that is the prime directive. I felt really limited yesterday trying to fly within by self impose 200' width.

Steve: Your idea about an unlimited box makes sense.

Maybe we can have both.

How about we define a "VTPR" zone as a 3D space where acrobatic maneuvers should be done; but transitions can be done outside this zone. This would allow pilots as much time and area to do the transitions... and then set themselves to make nice VTPR runs. This is sort of what the French guys are doing... they are all about the low VTPR passes. If you were in the groove, you could link up a few passes to add some "WOW' factor.

I will try this new box idea today... and hopefully get something on video.

Dawson



P.S. Even though you can't see my poles... and as a result most of the transitions I decided to post this short video anyway. It shows an example of a VTPR "run." In this run I am trying to stay inside my arbitrary 200' by 75' by 50' box. The run includes a launch, 12 passes/transitions and a landing/catch... total time; about a minute and a half.

If I were to fly the box as proposed above, I would have had more time in the VTPR zone and the total fling time would have been a bit longer. I am thinking a launch, 10-12 pass run and landing would hit the two minute mark... which might be perfect for a competition event with multiple runs.

VTPR Practice at Sheba Crater, 03-23-12 (1 min 37 sec)
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 02:20 PM
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Wow I think we found our Ménez-Hom...when is the first rencontre?

In the context of VTPR, it would make sense (to me anyways) that the main VTPR stuff would take place in the center of the box, right in front of the pilot, where the drama and excitement would be highest for all involved.

The turnarounds would really be there to demonstrate the pilot's ability to gracefully and artfully manage energy while setting up each pass.

I've attached a picture of a hypothetical "black belt" level precision VTPR sequence.

It begins at the upper right corner at the circled dot marked 1

Here's a text description:

1) Upright 45* downline to pick up speed
2) Two points of a four point roll to inverted
3) Inverted entry Half Cuban to upright exit
4) Upright entry hammerhead with 1/2 turn negative snap on downline to upright exit
5) Upright entry reverse diagonal bump to inverted exit
6) Inverted single slow roll to inverted exit
7) Inverted entry hammerhead with two point roll on downline to upright exit
8) Loop
9) Upright entry bump with 1/4 roll on upline, 1/4 roll on downline, inverted exit
10) Inverted low pass (fin drag?)
11) 90* turn with 1/2 roll to upright; landing

This would be a super fun sequence. Can anybody get it on video? I'll try, I'm pretty sure I can swing it. Obviously this could be made much longer; this is only 5 passes. But it's pretty demanding!

Steve
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 02:36 PM
Ask me about VTPR
oldscooler's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawsonh View Post
Maybe we can have both.

How about we define a "VTPR" zone as a 3D space where acrobatic maneuvers should be done; but transitions can be done outside this zone. This would allow pilots as much time and area to do the transitions... and then set themselves to make nice VTPR runs. This is sort of what the French guys are doing... they are all about the low VTPR passes. If you were in the groove, you could link up a few passes to add some "WOW' factor.

V-Cup Challenge would benifit from being more free to use more airspace to WOW the spectators. Lets do it here guys...

P.S. Even though you can't see my poles... and as a result most of the transitions I decided to post this short video anyway. It shows an example of a VTPR "run." In this run I am trying to stay inside my arbitrary 200' by 75' by 50' box. The run includes a launch, 12 passes/transitions and a landing/catch... total time; about a minute and a half.

If I were to fly the box as proposed above, I would have had more time in the VTPR zone and the total flying time would have been a bit longer. I am thinking a launch, 10-12 pass run and landing would hit the two minute mark... which might be perfect for a competition event with multiple runs.

10-12 passes seems like enough to me. And how many "runs or heats" per pilot per class. Im thinking 2-3. 3 min elapsed time slot per run sounds good. Thats what they are doing in France. I spoke to Michele Leroyer this week and he confirmed the video here was in fact a competition which confirms the 3 minute rule. Guillaume took 1st, Michele took 2nd..
Eric

VTPR Sonic 2.5m - Leroyer (3 min 8 sec)
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp View Post
This would be a super fun sequence. Can anybody get it on video? I'll try, I'm pretty sure I can swing it. Obviously this could be made much longer; this is only 5 passes. But it's pretty demanding!
This is all good but where does the "freestyle" aspect of VTPR fit in? Maybe have both classes for guys to have a choice. One precision, one freestyle that will attract both types of flyers. I for one prefer freestyle improvisation but could benifit with some precision from time to time but its not a priority for me to be that disciplined. Starting off at Black belt level is a bit much for the average pilot and may just shoo them away. Yellow belt maybe LOL. Maybe have skill level classes as mentioned in the V-Cup thread.

Im picking up some 10' poles...

E
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 03:36 PM
Feeling FrSky
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That was posted in reply to Dawson's comments about using the center of the box to highlight the VTPR stuff, while allowing more space on the ends for the turnaround figures.

It's a flowing sequence that would allow a good deal of speed an energy for the center box low VTPR stuff, while still having interesting things happening on the turnarounds to demonstrate pilot skill and precision.

It could easily be someone's freestyle routine, or it could be a compulsory, it really doesn't matter either way. Merely describing figures using Aresti doesn't make them any more or less "free" - Aresti is just the best practice means of unambiguously talking about aerobatics. Any routine can be described with Aresti.

It would be a fun challenge for pilots to try and attempt, none of the things are very difficult in and of themselves, but stringing them together, one after another, is where it gets interesting

Steve
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 04:30 PM
Ask me about VTPR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp View Post
It would be a fun challenge for pilots to try and attempt, none of the things are very difficult in and of themselves, but stringing them together, one after another, is where it gets interesting
Sounds good to me... Could possibley bring the poles more near the center area say 100' apart in a box or whatever works per each slope then enter "the show" real estate and leave the outer realm's of the fly box open without feeling so constrained. Just a thought.

Got my poles and headed to GP.

E
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