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Old Jan 29, 2013, 11:16 PM
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davidleitch's Avatar
Sydney Australia
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Competitive F5J models

F5J is still a relatively new sport and for that reason its not completely clear as to what sort of model is required to be competitive. I'm interested to know the models that have been used by pilots finishing in the top 5 places at European and USA F5J comps if anyone reading this has some information they want to share.

Here in Australia we have pilots coming at it from two directions.

(i) F3J and open thermal pilots who are converting 3 meter plus gliders originally designed for winches to electric and

(ii) Electric glider pilots who are typically flying open bay models of the pulsar/ava variety

I attended a large open thermal and F3J event at Armidale NSW Australia last weekend and there were no open bay models used in that comp. My point is that after a few years all the top competitors tend to converge on one type of model in any sport. As another model plane example in F5B about 70% of pilots at the last World Champs used one brand of model. Most tennis racquets look the same etc.

Clearly F5J models do not need to be as strong as F3J models. Initially this leads to the thought that the lighter the model the better.

However in either windy or strong thermal conditions the advantages of a bit more wing loading become much more apparent.

My question is whether F5J pilots will tend to converge towards open bay light, or molded models and what the wing span will be?

For my own part, I've already made some bets with a 4 metre molded Maxa and a 3.7 metre molded Egida.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 05:39 AM
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R.M. Gellart's Avatar
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Dave, I think you are right that 5J airframes will converge, and after seeing DP's 58 oz Sploder that can take full launches, can you imagine how light a full blown dedicated 5J airframe could weigh. My E Tragi even with the 3J wing is only 4 oz heavier than the dry Tragi, and again, you get rid of the full carbon skin and the spar to handle line launches and that ship is sub 60 oz. I do not think that open structures will be required to achieve the light airframes that guys in 5J will want.

Marc
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 08:59 AM
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A second thought David, I think that not only will specialized airframes come along, special airfoils for ver light large models. One comment DP said at the WSM was that a 58oz Explorer is nearly breaking through the bottom of the Reynolds Number envelope. You will see 4M models that will weigh in the 45-50 oz range, and very special airfoils to allow that weight model work. Brave new world is coming, and the simple model will be left behind.

Marc
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 04:26 AM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
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I don't think that the choice of model is as important in ALES, as it is in other multi disciplined events.

There is no speed task.. all a model needs to do, is to be able to thermal well and land well.

I don't think that model choice will be a very important consideration... as all one needs to do, is max the task and land on a large spot.
It's all in the pilot's hands.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 05:39 AM
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ALES was not the question Kenny, and there is no speed task in F5J, it is basically F3J on electric airframes. Light and hangie is going to be required. If those airframes come along for F5J, then they will show up in ALES too. It is like TD and F3J ships, one flies in the other. We are only just starting to see how light and big the same airframe can be and since ALES/F5J airframes do not need to withstand a line launch, it will be no holes barred as to how light some of these large airframes will go.

And hey, if models really do not mean that much, why then does Joe or Daryl just fly first generation Icons or an Insanity at the WC, cause It does matter. I do not expect a Radian, for all the nice things it does, to allow me to do what my Tragi does in many more conditions. As ALES matures, things will tighten up, tasks will lengthen, and the spot will get tighter. Evolution will occur.

Marc
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 05:40 AM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
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That said, I could be wrong, I am just an average pilot.

And yes I realize the airfoils that have a good range, (to be able to scoot over and find lift or come back through the sink and back from down wind, and be able to float), will be preferred.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 05:43 AM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVSS Boss View Post
ALES was not the question Kenny, and there is no speed task in F5J, it is basically F3J on electric airframes. Light and hangie is going to be required. If those airframes come along for F5J, then they will show up in ALES too. It is like TD and F3J ships, one flies in the other. We are only just starting to see how light and big the same airframe can be and since ALES/F5J airframes do not need to withstand a line launch, it will be no holes barred as to how light some of these large airframes will go.

Marc
Thanks for the info, I was typing as you posted... as I had second thoughts about my post as well.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:07 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
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Kenny,

While there ARE differences in some of the details, the biggest difference between ALES and F5J is that in F5J the competitor gets to choose his launch altitude to make the task time (10 minutes in preliminary rounds). And competitors essentially get time bonus points depending on how low the launch is at a rate of 1/2 point per meter. (Raw flight time equals seconds flown minus 1/2 second per meter for every meter up to 200 and 3 seconds per meter for every meter over 200 meters).

Last year was the first year that the rule was flown and it appears that in a lot of conditions, top tier competitors are CHOOSING to launch for 10 minute tasks to altitudes in the range of 100 to 125 meters. By the time a max flight is normalized to 1000 points, this means that the bonus for launching at 100 instead of 200 meters can be in the range of 75 or 80 points.

While there is nothing in particular wrong with the 200 meter ALES altitude, it is clear that top tier planes are leaving a lot of their performance potential "on the table". The inevitable result of this will be more and more of the top scorers maxing more and more of their flights. And as Marc suggested we will likely evolve to longer tasks and lower launch altitudes.

If our launch altitude was 300 meters, for example, the boxes that most of our planes come in would hang in for 10 minutes MOST of the time. And while I can still rack up 6 minute flights with my Maxa from 200 meters, when I fly it on test flights from 200 meters at dawn, I consistently get 9 1/2 to 10 1/2 minute flights where the Radian is closer to 7 minutes. On any given day when we are not flying "dawn" conditions, the Radian pilot might beat me (yes Paul ). But the new bigger and lighter molded planes will ultimately provide some advantage.

Happy Landings,

Don
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 03:31 PM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
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Don, do you know if there will be any F5J contests around this year?
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 04:14 PM
Tragic case
davidleitch's Avatar
Sydney Australia
Joined Feb 2002
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Quote:
Benedikt and Daryl managed to score
times of 14:58.9 in round one and three
respectively, with Benedikt scoring 100
landing points and Daryl a mere 99,
which placed him second in his round to
Joe. Most of the flyoff pilots were going
for bust from the start. So another lesson
for those who advocate shortening the
towline length to separate the top scores
is simply: that will not work!
Letís say that a good flyoff flight is
14:55.0, which needs a high tension start
and allows insufficient time to get full
towline height. Letís say a reasonable
landing would be within 60cm from the
spot, a 98 or more.
2010 flyoff timesheets show that in
Round one, nine of the pilots scored
more than the 55 (which is what top
pilots say for 14 minutes 55 seconds) and
seven of the pilots scored more than 98
landing points. In Round two, ten pilots
scored 55 plus and eight had 98 or more
landings. In Round three, 12 pilots scored
better than 55 and 13 pilots had 98 plus
landings. In Round four, nearer the end of
the afternoon, nine pilots had 55 plus and
five managed 98 plus landings
The above is from Sydney Lenssen's report into the F3J 2010 world championship. It was different in South Africa where conditions were much worse.

F5J is a long way behind F3J (IMHO) in standard right now but has the potential to catch up quite quickly. It may even turn out to be a better contest because launch height is more easily differentiated than 0.5 seconds on your timer's stop watch.

What does this have to do with model choice? Mainly in the ability to comeback from a long way down wind. Or to hold the model seemingly still for two seconds before landing on the buzzer. Or the ability to scoot across the sky to someone else's thermal. Or to fly in 30 kph winds. A few more thoughts later.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 04:21 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaizon View Post
Don, do you know if there will be any F5J contests around this year?
I hope so.

Right now I have five F5J capable switches -- 3 Altis 3's, 2 #2 RC Basics and 1 Sky Limit. I am just about to add 10 or so more Sky Limits. My intention is to put together an F5J Contest Kit like the ALES kit that I put together.

The kit will consist of F5J capable switches, 10 landing tapes, A disk with Gliderscore on it and a starter template for scoring F5J contests and pre-perforated card stock for individual contestant time cards to use with Gliderscore.

This will be available to groups who want to give F5J a go. Or perhaps for groups who would like to try a sort of F5J-Lite. The Lite is a simple blend of ALES and F5J which runs like our ALES meets but scores like an F5J meet. This might be a good way to break the ice.

In addition to these club tests I would really like to see 3 or 4 "real deal" regional F5J meets this year and, to the extent that it fits my schedule, I would be willing to do the grunt work at my cost for these meets.

One of the things that I hope we can accomplish this year is to sort of overcome FAI fear. F5J is really not any more difficult to stage than ALES. It consists of entering ONE MORE NUMBER on your score card (launch altitude) and entering ONE MORE NUMBER into your scoring program. You score flight time, landing score and launch altitude. The launch altitude is read from your plane immediately upon landing.

F5J will not be everybody's cup of tea. But it IS interesting and challenging. And, in the context of this thread, it will be the source of the high performance planes that will perform well in ALES meets.

Happy Landings,

Don

BTW: If you have a group that wants to give this a go, let me know. And if your group wants to just try out some of these other devices, I will make a sampler available for your evaluation. In addition I will be at Polecat and maybe Nats if interested parties want to get together.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 04:42 PM
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David, I totally agree with your apprasel of F5J and where it can go, and as a very prominent flier told me, F3J is as far as a person can time. And that is the limiter of F3J, not the radios, airframes, etc; it is the timer and the reflex of ones finger to punch that clock. I think that there will finally be a very unique answer to the timing issue for F3J, but it is no where on the near horizon from what I know.

The airframes I think will go as far as designer imaginations and the market will allow. The market and demand are a question I would guess, but guys will have some imaginative solutions.

Marc
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 04:43 PM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,109 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharban View Post
I hope so.

Right now I have five F5J capable switches -- 3 Altis 3's, 2 #2 RC Basics and 1 Sky Limit. I am just about to add 10 or so more Sky Limits. My intention is to put together an F5J Contest Kit like the ALES kit that I put together.

The kit will consist of F5J capable switches, 10 landing tapes, A disk with Gliderscore on it and a starter template for scoring F5J contests and pre-perforated card stock for individual contestant time cards to use with Gliderscore.

This will be available to groups who want to give F5J a go. Or perhaps for groups who would like to try a sort of F5J-Lite. The Lite is a simple blend of ALES and F5J which runs like our ALES meets but scores like an F5J meet. This might be a good way to break the ice.

In addition to these club tests I would really like to see 3 or 4 "real deal" regional F5J meets this year and, to the extent that it fits my schedule, I would be willing to do the grunt work at my cost for these meets.

One of the things that I hope we can accomplish this year is to sort of overcome FAI fear. F5J is really not any more difficult to stage than ALES. It consists of entering ONE MORE NUMBER on your score card (launch altitude) and entering ONE MORE NUMBER into your scoring program. You score flight time, landing score and launch altitude. The launch altitude is read from your plane immediately upon landing.

F5J will not be everybody's cup of tea. But it IS interesting and challenging. And, in the context of this thread, it will be the source of the high performance planes that will perform well in ALES meets.

Happy Landings,

Don

BTW: If you have a group that wants to give this a go, let me know. And if your group wants to just try out some of these other devices, I will make a sampler available for your evaluation. In addition I will be at Polecat and maybe Nats if interested parties want to get together.
Don,

We held our first ALES last year. I will be at the Polecat and the Nats for ALES. This F5J stuff does look interesting. Thanks.

Preston
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 06:17 PM
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Beaverton, OR
Joined Apr 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharban View Post
... A disk with Gliderscore on it ... and pre-perforated card stock for individual contestant time cards to use with Gliderscore..
Don,

pardon my ignorance but where can one get Gliderscore as I'm new to this and we're having several ALES contests this year?

Thanks,

- Bob -
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:56 PM
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United States, Mt, Helena
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http://www.gliderscore.com/

Curtis
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