HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Nov 23, 2012, 05:06 AM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
10,299 Posts
The big boys are already here, you just haven't met us yet.
Kenny Sharp is online now Find More Posts by Kenny Sharp
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:16 AM
Registered User
R.M. Gellart's Avatar
Joined Nov 2005
3,551 Posts
OK...

Marc
R.M. Gellart is offline Find More Posts by R.M. Gellart
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:24 AM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
10,299 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by OVSS Boss View Post
OK...

Marc
That's right!
Kenny Sharp is online now Find More Posts by Kenny Sharp
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2012, 08:40 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
2,614 Posts
When I read comments suggesting that "if this happens" or "if that happens" ALES won't be fun anymore, I hope that we can all put this in a little perspective. We are talking about COMPETITION and, hopefully competition which is based mostly on skill and not luck or the ability of competitors to gain some equipment edge that is not available to others. Succeeding at competitions which are based on skill necessarily suggests that those who have the most competition experience and who practice the most will have the most success -- to the extent that success is defined as winning. Unless we come up with some kind of rule that resembles Lotto more than ALES, participants with less experience and who practice less cannot reasonably expect to come out on top very often -- especially as those of us who are new actually gain experience and as the event attracts more experienced TD fliers.

BUT SO WHAT? Competition can also be about simply working to improve your skills and taking the time to enjoy the company of other people. I raced sailboats for twenty years. And the first year I raced I finally finished on the same leg as the rest of the fleet ON THE LAST RACE OF THE LAST REGATTA. I got better over time -- a lot better. But it was never the "wood" that brought me back week after week. It was the fact that a week never passed when I couldn't learn something new. And I liked the people.

Altitude limited flying tasks will evolve as competitors seek challenges which will assure that skill levels will be differentiated. It should be no consolation to someone who is just starting out that they can "score" nearly as well as someone who has flown for 30 years and won world championships. At some level, "scores" need to reflect skill levels. Tasks which are RELATIVELY easily achievable may not do a particularly good job of this. One of the things which will keep less experienced (and even less committed) competitors in this event more than easy tasks is the experience of competing alongside more experienced competitors who take the time to encourage newcomers and SHARE their experience. I was lucky to know guys like Don Edberg and Al Doig when I was green as a gourd and their friendship and advice helped get me to a level which has allowed me to enjoy the sport for a long, long time.

I am no more likely to be a national or world champion than 90 percent of those who worry that ALES will evolve in some unsatisfactory way. I do not know how it will evolve, but I know that winning will become more and more difficult as the overall skill level increases. Some people will not like that. But I also know a lot of the people who are doing this and, based on my experience, I am confident that there is a lot of room for fun and friendship here even if I am so far behind that I never see the last boat in front of me finish.

And that is good enough for me.

Happy Landings,

Don
dharban is offline Find More Posts by dharban
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2012, 08:45 AM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
10,299 Posts
Me too Don.

Just give me a set of rules, any set ... and I will practice them.
Kenny Sharp is online now Find More Posts by Kenny Sharp
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2012, 05:21 PM
Red Merle ALES
Curtis Suter's Avatar
United States, Mt, Helena
Joined Apr 2002
5,564 Posts
Right on Don.

Remember folks, it's all up to the "Contest Director" what he/she makes the task to be. You don't even need to be an "Official" CD to hold a non-sanctioned contest. Becoming a CD is easy.

How to Become a CD.
http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/e...tobecomecd.pdf

Curtis
Montana
Curtis Suter is offline Find More Posts by Curtis Suter
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2012, 05:35 PM
Registered User
R.M. Gellart's Avatar
Joined Nov 2005
3,551 Posts
Curtis is right, we need CD's, CD'ing is not hard, helps the sport!

Marc
R.M. Gellart is offline Find More Posts by R.M. Gellart
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2012, 06:46 PM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,108 Posts
I did become a CD this year - in particular to run ALES events. The more the merrier.
jaizon is offline Find More Posts by jaizon
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2012, 07:35 PM
launch low, fly high
New Zealand, Hawke's Bay, Havelock North
Joined Dec 2004
1,837 Posts
Excellent post Don!

I have successfully climbed the competition mountain, with the attendant laurels. But, what really matters is the journey rather than the destination.

Very early in my competition career, my wife learned that the better question to ask in regards to a contest was "how did you fly?" rather than "how did you place?" Some comps I flew very well, and someone else flew better. Other comps I flew poorly, and everyone else that flew made more mistakes. For me, the former was more satisfying (except at the trophy announcement!). It was all in relation to how well I flew in regards to my skill level. Improving ones skill level (and understanding) is a wondrous thing.

After more than a third of century with RC soaring, I still enjoy the wonder of it all. Competition serves many people to provide focus on their journey to better their understanding of how to improve their flying skills. IMO, it shouldn't be a quest to fill out a trophy cabinet.

A large aspect of attending many competitions is the social scene. I consider the annual event in Visalia to be a prime example of this. Another is the annual glider camp in Muncie each year.

In regards to evolving competitions, it is important to have rules that discriminate skill, but also do not unduly discourage newer flyers via very poor scores. ALES appears to be on the same path as F3J, without the challenges of mastering the details of the high energy launch. I suspect that the discriminator will become landings, unless the conditions are very difficult. In other words, mastering thermal skills buys one entry into the landing competition that sorts out the top flyer placings.

Incorporating launch altitude into the scoring (F5J) reduces the overall importance of the landing task. Whether this is the right choice for the soaring public is something that will be decided by contest entries.

BTW, there are some issues with F5J in terms of luck factor, I am curious to see how the event evolves, just as I am curious to see how ALES evolves.
Joe W is offline Find More Posts by Joe W
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25, 2012, 10:21 AM
Registered User
Larry Jolly's Avatar
Joined Oct 2003
1,813 Posts
Hey Joe,
My best regards to you and Jan... Interesting to note your interest and precontest strategies being formulated for F5J... Do I see the strategy of a "Soaring Trifecta" waiting for F5J World status ????? LJ
Larry Jolly is offline Find More Posts by Larry Jolly
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25, 2012, 10:50 AM
Registered User
sneu's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Dec 1999
7,344 Posts
F5J will need to go through a few years of sorting out the rules before it is ready for a WC status if the latest proposed rules are any indication. The proposed technical rules for just checking the altitude logging/limiting devices are enough to give make your head hurt.

Larry--the Aspire managed to smother the locals at the club glider event last Saturday--not a fair fight

Steve Neu
sneu is offline Find More Posts by sneu
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25, 2012, 01:06 PM
launch low, fly high
New Zealand, Hawke's Bay, Havelock North
Joined Dec 2004
1,837 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Jolly View Post
Hey Joe,
My best regards to you and Jan... Interesting to note your interest and precontest strategies being formulated for F5J... Do I see the strategy of a "Soaring Trifecta" waiting for F5J World status ????? LJ
and best regards to you and Carolyn!

I suspect that I'll be a bit on the old side by the time F5J gets to a WC status... the eyes aren't what they used to be.

I do like the air reading aspect of F5J, it shares a lot with F3K in that regard. Just a bit different in the strategy/execution.

As to achieving a "Soaring Trifecta", already a done deal for both team and individual!
Joe W is offline Find More Posts by Joe W
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25, 2012, 01:50 PM
Red Merle ALES
Curtis Suter's Avatar
United States, Mt, Helena
Joined Apr 2002
5,564 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe W View Post
In regards to evolving competitions, it is important to have rules that discriminate skill, but also do not unduly discourage newer flyers via very poor scores. ALES appears to be on the same path as F3J, without the challenges of mastering the details of the high energy launch. I suspect that the discriminator will become landings, unless the conditions are very difficult. In other words, mastering thermal skills buys one entry into the landing competition that sorts out the top flyer placings.
What an excellent comment!
"Hightlighted text is mine".

Curtis
Curtis Suter is offline Find More Posts by Curtis Suter
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25, 2012, 10:23 PM
Dave Register
okiesoar's Avatar
Bartlesville, OK
Joined Jul 2004
908 Posts
A Comment or Two

Guys, I've been a bit out of the loop for almost a year. Had to skip this last season for repairs so I could walk around a field again and, with that now under control, I'm looking forward to the 2013 season and flying with as many of you as possible.

I do appreciate Joe's comments about the journey - although for me it's still a long one. But Joe's got that little squirrel up there and all I've got is a manic gerbil.

But I do take a slight exception to concerns about landing. I agree that eventually most TD events hinge on landing skills. That's almost inevitable no matter how much they are de-emphasized. The standard task for ALES was set at 10 min to make the thermal task a bit more challenging and we've seen wide spreads in many contests that could not be compensated by landing alone. As the skills and aero technology develops, the CD has the option within the provisional rules, of lowering the altitude and raising the time. I think more experience with the format is necessary before suggesting too many modifications but the current proposal was written with some room for experimentation.

I think it's also been noticed that a landing lane option was added - based on feedback from the 2010/2011 seasons. That was specifically in response to the concern about needing to 'dork' at the center of a target. So there are ways within the rules for a CD to experiment with both the task and the landing options to see what contestants prefer.

I'd also recommend Don Harban's comment about a full-house plane being a good way to manage energy in the landing phase of the task. I have not yet been required to 'dork' a plane in an ALES contest and have relatively reliably hit decent landings with flap and glide slope management. Response to the type of landing surface can be minimized with approach technique and effective flaps. Most guys flying F3K realize a premium by optimizing glide path control. ALES can emulate that experience - all it takes is practice.

For now there aren't any classes established for ALES, although there is nothing to prevent a CD at a local contest from trying that out. Classes come and go - a few us still fondly remember 'standard' class - so this is (to me) a moving target. But if enough folks want various classes, it's within the AMA rules cycle to make that happen (sorry Randy - that complicates the League but not necessarily for this year). A key milestone was to achieve AMA provisional status and Tom K was instrumental in supporting that initiative for several years now.

From the first ALES-like contest in Albuquerque in late 2009 through the initial Polecat Challenge and NATS in 2010 to where we are today has been a terrific journey. We're not all going to agree on the specifics but if enough folks try a few things each year, it will continue to evolve and grow. It's been a heckuva great ride so far. Looking forward to a few more years trying to catch up again.

- Dave R
okiesoar is offline Find More Posts by okiesoar
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 26, 2012, 09:34 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
2,614 Posts
Just to throw the proverbial Baby Ruth into the swimming pool, I would suggest that ALES still retains three of the four disciplines that comprise TD -- thermal flying, precision landing and precision time management -- the fourth being launching which ALES pretty well cancels out.

Coordinating the landing time and landing place is a function of the speed of the plane (which is more or less similar between ALES and TD) and the size of the target. Typically in TD 5 points is more or less the equivalent of 10 inches. In ALES, we have chosen 78 inches (or sometimes 39 inches) as the size of the 5 point zone. This substantially changes the value of coordinating space and time in our landings.

Perhaps we can alter the challenge of the landing task by changing the emphasis we place on precision time management by implementing a precision time bonus to our scoring. This is not a new idea by any means. In the olden days we occasionally flew a Precision Duration Event which scored something that resembled an exponential advantage for landing within 10 or so seconds of the target time. Back in the day, we did not fly man-on-man and figuring scores this way required the use of conversion tables. Today, our computers can handle this -- even in man-on-man -- very easily.

With this concept, pilots might earn something like a 50 point bonus for landing precisely on the target time and nothing for missing the target by more than something like 10 seconds (pick your own numbers). This would require everybody to trade off their landing score for some time score. As it is right now, we are trading a second or so to get to a big fat maximum landing score. With a precision bonus, the decision making becomes a little more important.

I suspect this would not do much to reduce the frequency with which the top competitors hit the spot -- but it would be an interesting mechanism to spread the scores a bit.

Happy Landings,

Don
dharban is offline Find More Posts by dharban
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Contest 2012 LSF/AMA ALES Championship R.M. Gellart Electric Competition Soaring-F5J/ALES/e-Soaring 64 Aug 15, 2012 06:48 PM
Discussion ALES Integrated Into a TD Event jtlsf5 Electric Competition Soaring-F5J/ALES/e-Soaring 48 Jul 06, 2012 10:52 AM
Discussion How accurate are AMA Event dates? erh7771 Electric Flight Events 6 Apr 03, 2012 09:45 AM
Discussion XPS Xtremelink banned from an AMA event? firstmanson Radios 481 Jan 04, 2008 09:57 PM
Discussion XPS Being "Snubbed" by an AMA Event!?!?!? tlh101 Xtreme Power Systems 66 Aug 26, 2007 08:20 PM