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Old Oct 31, 2012, 10:29 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Jolly View Post
Sorry for causing such a stir with my thoughts on landing devices. I would like to point out that if you fly from an unimproved surface meaning longer grass or other vegetation you will probably not see the need for a device to arreat the glider. But if you are using a prepared surface closer to a putting green you will see how a properly controlled landing can produce a beautiful approach, touchdown, and then your glider becomes a hocky puck and slides through the circle The only way to land accurately and consistantly on such a surface with no arrestor is to control energy and at the proper point push forward and impact the ground at an angle of attack less than best gliding angle. MY suggestion was a single arrestor like a track shoe cleat placed on the bottom of the fuselage near the wing leading edge. This offers no advantage for a dork landing and at the same time offers drag to stop the slide. I never dork my fullscale Discus B but always use the hand brake to accurately stop my landing at the end of the ground roll... LJ
Good suggestion -- simple, inexpensive and not ugly.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 09:54 AM
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Jim Deck's Avatar
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Landing Arrestors - A retro suggestion

In the early days of R/C soaring, a flatttened piece of knobby R/C car tire was affixed to the bottom of the fuselage. It might be easier to obtain than a cleated track shoe.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 01:22 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Deck View Post
In the early days of R/C soaring, a flatttened piece of knobby R/C car tire was affixed to the bottom of the fuselage. It might be easier to obtain than a cleated track shoe.
I think the notion is to fairly narrowly define what might be permitted.

As to the cleated track shoe, these things are very easy to obtain online.

Whether it is a track shoe cleat or something else, it might be worth trying several very modest, very simple ideas and see how they work. I will be experimenting with a cleat this winter.

Happy Landings,

Don
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:32 PM
turn, turn, turn.
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I was thinking about getting a giant sheet of fly paper and staking it down on the landing circle... I would remove it after my flight.

I don't think it would be against the rules.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 09:51 PM
MrE
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United States, WA, Gig Harbor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Jolly View Post
Sorry for causing such a stir with my thoughts on landing devices. I would like to point out that if you fly from an unimproved surface meaning longer grass or other vegetation you will probably not see the need for a device to arrest the glider. But if you are using a prepared surface closer to a putting green you will see how a properly controlled landing can produce a beautiful approach, touchdown, and then your glider becomes a hocky puck and slides through the circle The only way to land accurately and consistantly on such a surface with no arrestor is to control energy and at the proper point push forward and impact the ground at an angle of attack less than best gliding angle. MY suggestion was a single arrestor like a track shoe cleat placed on the bottom of the fuselage near the wing leading edge. This offers no advantage for a dork landing and at the same time offers drag to stop the slide. I never dork my fullscale Discus B but always use the hand brake to accurately stop my landing at the end of the ground roll... LJ
You bring up a good point about the energy management Larry. In the 7 or 8 contests Ive flown in so far, the guys who consistently get good landing scores are the ones who manage their approach energy the best.

In traditional TD contests where dorking is the thing to do, you DONT need to manage your energy all that well. In fact you generally want to keep a little more energy than you would use for a non-dork landing. That extra energy/speed allows you to maintain better control as your not so close to stall.

So I can see why you would want an arresting device of some sort. It will allow you to fly more like you have been in all along.

On the other hand, those of us who have flown a number of ALES contests have been learning to manage our energy a little better if we expect to get landing points.

You not only have to arrive at the target on time and on target, but you also have to have to arrive with zero energy - which means you have to judge your degree of slide based on head winds and ground cover - all at the same time.

Adding an arresting device takes away those last to levels of difficulty.

I seem to remember you saying that ALES is a landing contest - yet you want to make the landings even easier to do?
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 06:46 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrE View Post
You bring up a good point about the energy management Larry. In the 7 or 8 contests Ive flown in so far, the guys who consistently get good landing scores are the ones who manage their approach energy the best.

In traditional TD contests where dorking is the thing to do, you DONT need to manage your energy all that well. In fact you generally want to keep a little more energy than you would use for a non-dork landing. That extra energy/speed allows you to maintain better control as your not so close to stall.

So I can see why you would want an arresting device of some sort. It will allow you to fly more like you have been in all along.

On the other hand, those of us who have flown a number of ALES contests have been learning to manage our energy a little better if we expect to get landing points.

You not only have to arrive at the target on time and on target, but you also have to have to arrive with zero energy - which means you have to judge your degree of slide based on head winds and ground cover - all at the same time.

Adding an arresting device takes away those last to levels of difficulty.

I seem to remember you saying that ALES is a landing contest - yet you want to make the landings even easier to do?
Your point is well taken, but it is underlain by the assumption that landings will not evolve more toward dorking as time passes.

While ALES and TD are similar, they are not the same. Typically, in TD we are talking about 40-50 points per meter in 1 point increments for a maximum of 100 points. In ALES we are talking about 5-10 points per meter in 5 point increments for a maximum of 50 points. The ALES landing is intrinsically much easier, but for the concern we have for the motor in the nose. And with experience in the event, much of the concern for the motor will diminish. First, contestants will discover that our drive systems are much more robust than we are assuming (maybe with the exception of setups like the Radian which ARE pretty easy to mess up.) Second, we will discover that once everybody really gets into this that the current ALES landing -- even the 5 meter tape -- will function more like a 2 meter diameter "qualifying zone" than a precision graduated landing. That is, most pilots will, either by controlling their energy or by mildly thumping it in, need to hit the 2 meter circle. Perhaps this isn't so different from TD, except the TD circle rewards thumping because it is so intrinsically difficult. The ALES circle will reward thumping because it will become an easy default for pilots who are not so good at energy management.

I fly on pretty good sod most of the time and, even at my relatively low skill level, find that the right combination of energy management and thumping is pretty easy to do. I think part of what Larry is saying is that when you are faced with landing on very hard slick surfaces, that even for people skilled at energy management, the range of variability for controlled landings gets out of hand. And what I believe is that this will push more competitive individuals (and possibly less skilled people) to rely more on thumping which approaches true dorking.

When Larry first suggested a landing cleat, I shared the views of many that skegs really would not add much to our concept. And if you look at TD, where skegs are allowed, dorking is still prevalent. But the more I reflect on his suggestion, the more I like it. He IS NOT suggesting a nose mounted device that is both ugly and which would seem to promote nose-first landings. He is suggesting a device of limited dimensions which is only effective if the pilot DOES NOT DORK the plane.

Finally, I would observe that one of the tools that is available to us for "energy management" is money -- that is, a full house plane. Nothing slows down and maintains control quite like a full house glider. And while I am sure that someone out there will argue the point, with regard to landings, bringing a RES plane to a landing contest versus a full house plane is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. My Radian is infinitely harder to land than the Maxa. My AVA is much harder to land than the Maxa. On the other hand, something like Larry is suggesting mounted on the bottom of these simpler planes would go a long, long way toward equalizing the landing capabilities of these planes with the big money planes.

Happy Landings,

Don
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 09:21 AM
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After my recent experience flying with the guys up at Sacramento Valley, my advice is to make sure you use a fender washer fortified motor mount , use a proper approach and dork the model. Even the maxxon gear box is strong enough for this type of impact. I shot 4-50's and had to take a 40 when I skipped off the metal center plate. The conventional touch down and slide which would benefit from an arrestor while very scale is a sure way to give up points, as it offers a wide variation in slide potential. As a competitor I will practice and take advantage of the method that offers the most consistant results. LJ
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 10:04 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Jolly View Post
After my recent experience flying with the guys up at Sacramento Valley, my advice is to make sure you use a fender washer fortified motor mount , use a proper approach and dork the model. Even the maxxon gear box is strong enough for this type of impact. I shot 4-50's and had to take a 40 when I skipped off the metal center plate. The conventional touch down and slide which would benefit from an arrestor while very scale is a sure way to give up points, as it offers a wide variation in slide potential. As a competitor I will practice and take advantage of the method that offers the most consistant results. LJ
Exactly

Happy Landings,

Don
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 10:09 AM
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Hey Don, Thanks for your contributions, and have a great Thanksgiving. LJ
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Amen!!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by larry jolly View Post
after my recent experience flying with the guys up at sacramento valley, my advice is to make sure you use a fender washer fortified motor mount , use a proper approach and dork the model. Even the maxxon gear box is strong enough for this type of impact. I shot 4-50's and had to take a 40 when i skipped off the metal center plate. The conventional touch down and slide which would benefit from an arrestor while very scale is a sure way to give up points, as it offers a wide variation in slide potential. As a competitor i will practice and take advantage of the method that offers the most consistant results. Lj
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 10:51 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
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One observation:

Notwithstanding all the stupidly expensive and complex planes that I fly, the Radian is my go-to fun plane. I would be the last one to suggest that in the long run that Radians are or, at least, will be the ultimate ALES competition plane. But I will observe that the pilot who learns to land this thing with speed control and precision will think he has died and gone to heaven if he ever flies a full house plane.

Simply put, this plane -- and other simpler planes -- is a beast to land RELATIVE TO THE MORE COMPLEX PLANES. If its soaring characteristics were equal to the Aspire or Maxa, it would still consistently give up landing points -- even in the hands of skilled pilots. In the years that I have been testing planes, motors and stuff to figure out how ALES might be "gamed" I have spent a lot of time seeing how much "thump" the motor ends of our planes would take. The full house moldies will not be a problem for reasonably skilled landers. They will take more thump than you would ever need to hit the target. Built up RES/REF planes are a little more problematic. They are probably as tough but not as precise. Some (like the Electron) are actually so light that you can full out crash them on the spot without any damage.

But the simplest planes we fly, like the Radians are fairly difficult to slow down and land precisely and they have a very limited threshold for thumping before you bend a motor shaft or break something. This is not speculation. Have pretty well intentionally destruction tested my Radians to see just what they would take. And they will not take the thumping that a Maxa or Ava will -- period. I have pretty well concluded that the Radian can only thrive when it is landed on its belly.

While I wholly support Larry's observation that thumping will probably evolve into the most likely ALES mode of landing, I would suggest that the planes that would benefit the most from his original suggestion of a track cleat arrestor would be the Radians and other simple planes that we fly. This will certainly not equalize the landing capabilities of these planes with the more complex ones, but for a few dollars it might certainly reduce the advantage that the more complex planes have. And this can be done without fiddling with flap modifications and such for planes whose biggest charm is their simplicity.

Just saying'

Happy Landings,

Don
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 07:20 PM
MrE
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Don, Larry isnt talking about skids or cleats any more. He is advocating full on dork landings, which he was opposed to on safety grounds earlier in this thread.

Dorking isnt prohibited in the rules where as skids or cleats are prohibited, so I guess people can dork if they want to. I personally think it goes against the spirit of the rules aside from any safety issues.

Its too close to turkey time to argue right now though, so I will save further comments for later and wish you all a happy holiday
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 07:16 AM
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Mr. E, you realize that dorking can occur when you even are not intending to it sometimes. I have the fender washer on my Tragi as well. and I hate to stick it, but the few times it has happened nothing has been hurt.

And remember, one man's dork is one man's great landing. You are correct, dorking is not against the rules and guys have figured out how to do it and not structurally compromise the ship. As with any event, there is alway a progression of how to play the game, and you will see even more things change in the next couple of years.

Happy T-Day to all!
Marc
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 07:17 AM
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Just curious where the concept that in competition the "spirit of the rules" trumped the
"letter of the law"? Never has, never will. Happy T Day.

JT
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 08:48 AM
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Let me explain my thought process..... We have contests to provide an organized flying day which hopefully produces a fun competition,mentoring from experienced pilots to interested others, and to pick a winner. If you look at the ALES Rules established for the Nats and consider the best route to win then you will have an internal struggle. The scoring method is biased towards the landing because it offers the greatest differential for scoring. Since duration is scored 1.67 points per second and the landing has a 5 point per segment reward, the event is biased to the landing score. So if you fly the ALES League Rules it is a landing contest. Hence logic dictates practicing a technique that will offer consistant high scoring landing points. My preference would be a runway landing with single point per segment delta so that there is a more balanced score between glide and landing......
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