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Old May 02, 2014, 07:49 AM
Chuck 'Em and Chase 'Em
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United States, NY, Plainview
Joined Aug 2005
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Anyone ever think of using an F5J - LIKE altitude limiter in hand launch?

Guys,

With all the discussion about altitude why don't we take the advantage away and have a level playing field like F5J.

We could put an Altis in our planes and set it for like 100, 130 or 150 feet or whatever the CD defines. If conditions are easy, this would add challenge. They could set it real low.

Now we would need some way to indicate that max is reached and to pop the flaps or something instead of cut off the motor (since we leave our motor on the ground).

Even if it does nothing other than indicate max altitude so a penalty for going over is determined would be cool.

It would also get all those guys who cannot throw real high to once again be competitive.

What do you think?

Frank
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Old May 02, 2014, 07:59 AM
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United States, CA, Tehachapi
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This has been brought up numerous times already and my opinion hasn't changed. If you want to compete with everybody starting at the same launch height then ALES or TD are for you. The launch is a part of F3K and is one of the biggest differences that separates it from other classes of soaring. Why would we take that away? Would you ever set speed limits on competition runners? Or penalize a discus thrower for throwing too far?
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Old May 02, 2014, 08:05 AM
SCSA - Nick Wu
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an auto pushover? sounds interesting. but what if it "over" push...
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Old May 02, 2014, 08:34 AM
Chuck 'Em and Chase 'Em
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United States, NY, Plainview
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwill6 View Post
This has been brought up numerous times already and my opinion hasn't changed. If you want to compete with everybody starting at the same launch height then ALES or TD are for you. The launch is a part of F3K and is one of the biggest differences that separates it from other classes of soaring. Why would we take that away? Would you ever set speed limits on competition runners? Or penalize a discus thrower for throwing too far?
I can think of several:
1. It adds another facet to flying. Sometimes scores can get close. this could help separate them more.

2. Levels the playing field. Might bring guys back. With many feeling they cannot compete due to lack of altitude, this could make them want to come back

3. Reduces throwing effort. If you do not/can not get so high, we all will be throwing lighter resulting in less injury.

4. It is fun! Have you ever just gently thrown a DLG just to see if you could work low lighter lift? Why not have that fun in a contest? We have done that several times as a on the spot competition.

5. This could also open the avenue for other interesting tasks where height IS important. I could imagine, like golf requires you to know your distances, where a task doesn't care about the time but about hitting an altitude. Maybe it is a ladder event where you need to hit within a certain height 3 or 4 or however many altitudes. Add 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 throws and various ballast amounts, I bet you could tune rather well to hitting certain heights.


As for methodology, it could simply be a penalty fort going over an altitude. We do not necessarily need something to stop the plane. Maybe just an altimeter is all that is needed and we only look at the max altitude for the first 10 seconds. It could be that we need to learn the skill of throwing to a particular altitude like a golfer needs to hit a target distance with each club. Go over and lose points. Also, they may WANT to go over since there is no lift and the deduction will be less than the gain. It doesn't need to be done for all tasks, maybe only for Last Flight and All Up.


Frank
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Old May 02, 2014, 08:45 AM
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ALES for hand launch? Frank, you come up with the most interesting ideas.
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Old May 02, 2014, 08:49 AM
Chuck 'Em and Chase 'Em
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Originally Posted by aeajr View Post
ALES for hand launch? Frank, you come up with the most interesting ideas.
Either that or more reasons why I should never have been let out of the padded room!!
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Old May 02, 2014, 08:52 AM
Chuck 'Em and Chase 'Em
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickbox View Post
an auto pushover? sounds interesting. but what if it "over" push...
Make it tune-able. You set the amount of push over or, if it were on flaps or elevator, how much deflection you would get.

As long as you have an altitude penalty, it really doesn't matter. You would simply take the max altitude during the first 10 seconds of flight and base penalties for over height on that.

We do not really need to have a auto pushover flap/elevator gizmo, just an altimeter. But having one, could allow for more tuning ability.

Frank
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Old May 02, 2014, 09:06 AM
Plastic Buddha
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One thing to consider with limiting the launch height as I see it (I am a n00b though) is that the planes themselves are all designed around being as light a possible while still being able to withstand forces of a really hard throw.

So, if you have a contest where the plane doesn't need to be thrown so hard, then you could possibly make all kinds of design changes to optimize for this. Not saying it's a bad thing though...I'm all for buying as many planes as possible and I won't ever bother competing.
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Old May 02, 2014, 09:16 AM
rug
Matt Cook
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Joined Feb 2014
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I think bwill6 hit the nail on the head. The unique aspect of DLG is the DL bit. There are plenty of disciplines to compare abilities to find and use thermals already. DLG adds the ability to launch high as another variable in the mix.

Having a competition, and then making it so everyone stands the same chance of winning, means you don't have a competition any more. It has become a lottery.

If you have good thermalling skills, then work on improving your launch. Ditto the other way around. If you can out-launch and out-fly the other competitors, then you really should be the winner at the end of the day.

Matt
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Old May 02, 2014, 09:19 AM
"...certainty is absurd."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly2High View Post
Guys,

With all the discussion about altitude why don't we take the advantage away and have a level playing field like F5J.

We could put an Altis in our planes and set it for like 100, 130 or 150 feet or whatever the CD defines. If conditions are easy, this would add challenge. They could set it real low.

Frank
Frank,

F5J does not set a launch altitude. It gives a launch height penalty (1/2 point per meter up to 200m, 1 point per meter past 200m). The pilots launch as high as they want in F5J. It is a far more interesting task than ALES with it's very high set launch altitudes.

Perhaps the F5J model would be better, and easier to implement in F3K? Basically you would be rewarding pilots for launching lower.

Kevin
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Old May 02, 2014, 09:34 AM
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You are right about design changes. We are seeing this on the ALES side.

ALES seemed to gain popularity among the foamy and woody pilots. It's real value is that you don't need a super powerful motor to get to height and you don't need a super strong spar to handle the winch. In both cases everyone lauches to the same height, +/- 10%.

A radian with a changed prop and a better battery can make the height.

Now they are redesigning some of the winch planes for ALES/F5J leading to lighter spars and ligher planes or optimized configurations tuned to the ALES format.

Same would happen with the DLGs. If you max out at 140 feet, for example, then you don't need to throw super hard and you don't need a plane that can take such a forceful throw. Now the relatively new pilots are launching with the experts and it is back to a soaring contest.
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Old May 02, 2014, 10:06 AM
Mike M.
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United States, UT, Eden
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I must strongly agree with bwill and rug. Trying to limit launch height on F3K is like trying to limit how how far a competitive golfer can drive a golf ball. Totally absurd, and makes absolutely no sense at all in a competitive situation.

Throwing a major part of the skill set needed to be a top F3K competitor, and it should stay that way. I am definitely NOT one of the top launchers in this sport, and probably never will be. But I would never agree with trying to put a limit on those that are, in a feeble attempt to give myself a better chance in competition. I like having a goal to shoot for, to constantly be improving, and something to inspire me to reach the next level, even if I never do. It's all about the journey, not the end result. Yes, I know some other sports do employ field leveling tactics (like NASCAR racing, ALES or F5J soaring, or other "one design" situations). Some sports are also subjectively "judged" instead of "measured" (figure skating, gymnastics, etc.). I will fight to the death to never let F3K become one of those! Accurately measure our performance with a stopwatch, period. And let the sky be the limit! No 'style' points, no limitations on physical skills or equipment innovations. Just let the best competitors do their thing and win.

Of course I'm talking about a competitive situation here. The casual recreational DLG flyer can still enjoy all the other aspects of it without having to be the very best, and should be satisfied with that. If this bothers them then perhaps competition isn't for them.

Sorry Frank, but you hit a nerve with this one. There are plenty of other activities for those that need to be coddled into feeling they can be competitive at the highest level. Plus, trying to put limiters in our planes or penalties for launching too high would greatly increase model cost and complexity, and contest management. Bad, bad idea.
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Old May 02, 2014, 10:35 AM
Chuck 'Em and Chase 'Em
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United States, NY, Plainview
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I hear you and trust me, I am all for throwing as high as possible. This idea came to me because of two things.

Hand Launch is dieing or is dead on the east coast north of Delaware. Contests are gone. Pilots are burned out or not competing.

Secondly, a level playing field brings us back to why we fly any kind of thermal related glider. To find lift.

Also, most, not all, of the world class or national class pilots tend to throw rather high. We already have a level playing field amongst those pilots when they are in a single competition be it a national or international contest.

So we would rather have an arms race (pun intended) and have no one fly hand launch?

I do not care why someone flies hand launch all I care is that the kids see us doing it and want to join our ranks. That the senior just out of retirement want s DLG because he could hit that altitude.

It is out of the box thinking to try to get more guys flying in any way I can think of doing it.

Hey, even our current beloved F3K that I defend tooth and nail to my last breadth came from some group of sport flyers trying something new.

Hand launch was a bad idea for a long time. Composites weren't around really in the 80's. 90's was javelin and we all have sore shoulders and rotator cuff issues because of it and it wasn't until DLGs came on the scene that hand launch was even viable and it didn't really take off until some little MIT engineer made a Super Gee that was able to be built by the masses rather inexpensively, for a composite, and be competitive that the game really changed. As bad as it it, I gave my left knee to it and tore my medial meniscus but you won't see me stop throwing until they take it off at the hip.

I want hand launch not to just be a world class competition but to have lots of people flying them. Hand launch is not just F3K. F3K is just one competition. Why not have more formats for the little plane?

I do not feel it has a long history left if things are not added. Sure, Leave F3K alone. but does it really hurt to use the same plane for more than one contest format?
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Old May 02, 2014, 10:40 AM
Time for me to Fly...
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United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
8,595 Posts
Just curious.... Are some of you guys seeing people leave F3K because they cant launch high? I don't think Ive seen any of that. In fact, it's quite the opposite. We're still seeing growth out this way.
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Old May 02, 2014, 10:48 AM
Eggcellent...
tewatson's Avatar
United States, CA, Orange
Joined Oct 2006
2,447 Posts
Maybe the rules could also be changed so that everyone gets a trophy...that way no one is left out. Good grief...



Tom
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