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View Poll Results: What is your interest in ALES XC competition
What a ridiculous idea! Are you kidding? 1 1.64%
OK for some, but not me. 2 3.28%
Iím interested, but only if Iím not penalized for using my motor for a safe off-field landing. 13 21.31%
Iím interested and prepared to take a zero flight if I power up anywhere on the course. 40 65.57%
Great idea, Iíll help put rules together and run a contest. 11 18.03%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 61. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jan 14, 2013, 07:58 PM
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dbeach's Avatar
Amherst, NH
Joined Apr 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr View Post
I presume this is ALES vs. ALES not ALES vs. winched gliders.
For 2013 (at least) the competition will be separate classes. But plenty of folks, myself included, will be interested in side by side comparisons. Cross country soaring is all about the flying. Any launch that is good enough to find a thermal is 'good enough' to get you started. The points come from flying, not launching or landing.

This is going to be fun.

David
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 06:36 AM
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Maryland
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If you were not worried about the batteries I could see launching an ALES XC plane and then linger/search until someone finds the Big One, at that point you could power-up and fly on over.
With a winch there is a time penalty for not getting away on the first launch and for ALES there is a power penalty for not getting away. I guess sandbagging ends up with the same result.
Not sure it's a big deal just thinking out loud.
Kerry

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbeach View Post
It's official. We will have an ALES XC competition class at this year's NATS.

As long as the 200 meter motor shutoff occurs, does the motor run time matter? Or putting it another way, should ALES ships be required to land prior to each 'power up'?


David
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 05:27 PM
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Sandbagging is not a term you hear at an XC event Kerry. It is the flier's call of when to launch in most cases and you can be adventurist or conservative and sit and watch till the sky really starts to happen. I have seen both senarios work.

Marc
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 07:17 PM
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I figured I would never be able to get into XC because I really don't have a large open "safe" area to practice. But, with an ALES set-up I would feel much better about giving XC a shot where I live. Going to have to think about this.
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 09:24 PM
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Ed, practice is a realitive term, good thermal skills are the only skill needed. It does help to have a team with someone that has been-there-n-done-that, just to keep from doing some simple mistakes. Altitude is an absolute, time does not matter, and have lots of batteries in the plane (some LV flights have taken hours, some less than one). Around here, practice is your LIV XC flight, 1.2miles, and that gives you a taste and then the biggest deal is just finding the day, which the Nats gives you 2 days, and folks to help and a vehicle.

Marc
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 11:39 PM
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Flying from a moving vehicle would be somewhat different from standing by the winch, I would assume.

Traveling down the road, a mile from the field, and finding no lift would present some different challenges. I would not try it with a pure glider where I live. But I might try it with an ALES set-up where I can reclimb on the course if I had to.

Piloting the glider at extreme height and having to keep pace from the car is something I read about. Or going under a bridge or below a canopy of trees. I hear this is a bit different from flying stationary at the field.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 02:46 AM
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United States, CA, Novato
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Here is a link to an article I wrote on XC for the February issue of Model Airplane News. I love TD, but XC takes the best of TD and cranks the dial up quite a bit. The first few paragraphs try to capture some of the excitement of chasing your plane during the run towards the finish line with vehicle speeds approaching 80mph.

http://www.modelairplanenews-digital...02/?pg=48#pg48
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 11:56 AM
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Actually Ed, a couple of bean bag chairs make XC flying to me more comfortable than just stairing up at the ship. The biggest issue for a lot ofguys is just getting in and out of the truck if you like. Many times, I have seen guys when they are working hard or scratching low, just get out of the vehicle. Flying while moving to me is not that big a deal.

As far as obstacles, if the course is a good one, it will not have any 100% coverage sight blocks. That is one reason we moved the XC sight in Muncie, we finally had a tree tunnel that was nearly 1/4 mile long and a transmission line that crossed it as well. Now, it is very usual to have a side of the road have trees that might take some flight changes as you pass them, but that is minor.

I can imagine that flying on LI or close could be an issue, I can imagine that it is pretty tight on space. We are lucky to be here in fly-over-country where we do have space near almost any metropolitan area that could be accessed.

But Ed, as you know, XC is introduced at LIII for a reason, to enlarge your ability to fly and manage situational awareness. You have the ability and aircraft to start doing XC, it is not that tough.

Marc
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:00 PM
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Thanks Marc. Geat insights.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 08:44 PM
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Afton VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbeach View Post
For 2013 (at least) the competition will be separate classes. But plenty of folks, myself included, will be interested in side by side comparisons. Cross country soaring is all about the flying. Any launch that is good enough to find a thermal is 'good enough' to get you started. The points come from flying, not launching or landing.

This is going to be fun.

David
The big thing will be that you can't restart on the course at all. Knowing you can save your plane means you can take chances on some marginal air far away. From what I know of the traditional ALES equipment, it shuts off and can't be started until you land and re-set. Is that the case?
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tbroeski View Post
The big thing will be that you can't restart on the course at all. Knowing you can save your plane means you can take chances on some marginal air far away. From what I know of the traditional ALES equipment, it shuts off and can't be started until you land and re-set. Is that the case?
Restarting before landing is a settable parameter on some ALES units.

Probably the most popular ALES unit, the CAM from Soaring Circuits, will allow a restart once you get below launch height. That, at least is the default setting. I don't know if it can be set to prevent restart.

One of the reasons our club standardized on the CAM was because you could relight. Better to save the plane and take a zero then have half the club in the woods looking for planes or trying to get them out of trees.

It is my understanding that some of the others will not allow relight and some can be set.

I won't be at the ALES XC a the NATs so my comments don't count. But I would vote for allowing a relight with the understanding that you take a zero for the flight, whatever a zero means in XC.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 11:58 PM
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Okay so its not a contest so ...

I've got a big ole XC ship that bumps close to the "normal" 11lb limit...it doesn't need any lead in its nose so putting power package in it likely will put it over a bit.

Does anyone care? Its not stressing a winch or line and its not likely going to give it any speed advantage.

So?
Gordy
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 04:20 AM
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How big is this bird that it is so heavy? Isn't there a wing area limit too?

I would think it would only matter in a sanctioned contest. Afterall, that is why they call it a limit.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordysoar View Post
I've got a big ole XC ship that bumps close to the "normal" 11lb limit...it doesn't need any lead in its nose so putting power package in it likely will put it over a bit.

Does anyone care? Its not stressing a winch or line and its not likely going to give it any speed advantage.

So?
Gordy
I think that one is not a CD decision. In my XC experience, they are pretty fussy about that. This is a competition, not a fun fly, so I would think everyone will need to be on a equal footing.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 07:35 AM
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Afton VA
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[QUOTE=
I won't be at the ALES XC a the NATs so my comments don't count. But I would vote for allowing a relight with the understanding that you take a zero for the flight, whatever a zero means in XC.[/QUOTE]

It would still be an advantage if they combined the two categories, but as long as they are separate, and all ALES pilots have the opportunity to save their planes equally, then just zero miles on that flight makes sense.
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