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Oct 13, 2010, 04:50 PM
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Avaldes's Avatar

Thank you so much for your notes and information on your models and airfoils. We met back in the early 90's when you came out to San Diego for a slope race. I think you flew Joe Wurts' airplane.

I was a teenager in high school but I very much enjoyed spending time with you, Joe and Daryl at that race.

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Oct 13, 2010, 04:51 PM
Deniable plausibility
Shedofdread's Avatar
Just out of interest, back in the day when these 'gorilla' winches were used, what breaking strain line was used?
Oct 13, 2010, 05:21 PM
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Dennis Everett's Avatar
I think they used 280 -300 pound braided nylon....most in the day were using twisted nylon ...
Oct 13, 2010, 08:47 PM
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T.D.'s Avatar
What an amazing thread!

I remember reading the 'White Sheet' back in the 80's (when we could get a copy) and drooling/dreaming over all the work being done on home built gliders and the racing scene...great memories here.

Oct 14, 2010, 02:09 AM
Registered User

F3B WC Achmer, Germany

I found some old photos from 1987 F3B WC in Achmer, Germany.

Nic Wright´s Electra C2 was very inspiring glider for me and it is really fine to see Nic here in the forum.
Hopefully we can see Nic again in the F3B scene.

Another interesting glider was Steve Haley´s orange Merlin.

Oct 14, 2010, 06:19 AM
F3B and F3K
RetoF3X's Avatar
Thread OP
Hi Nic

Thank you so much for the information about your impressive glider and airfoil development. I am really impressed how thin your airfoils were, that 7% airfoil might be thinner than what most gliders use nowadays.

And thanks Yukka for the pictures of the Worlds in Achmer.

@Dennis: we fly indeed with girly winches today (compared to the gorilla winches back then), but it is still amazing that F3B could catch up and even exceed the launch altitude enabled with those monsters.

Last edited by RetoF3X; Oct 14, 2010 at 06:23 AM. Reason: typo
Oct 14, 2010, 08:49 AM
Registered User
Thanks Nic for the history of your airfoils. It brings back memories - not all related to airfoils. I'm glad my model missed you at waikerie in '96 on launch (faulty Rcvr battery) in one of the F3B rounds, and you're still here to entertain us.

Reto - you're right about the winches.Even the '87 winches were potent enough. I launched for Peter Abell at the '87 WC's and my back was a little tender after the second day. We had a brute force approach to launching - hold until the winch was groaning and then release the model for its 4-5sec climb. The winch was a Lucas M50 running a 100mm dia drum and we had the fastest climb that year. it was necessary as the foil did not launch well at slowspeed.

We only adopted the 100mm at practice in Babbenhausen on Quabeck's advice - the preferred drum had been a 150mm up till then. That was a back breaker and battery killer!

Peter's model had been developed from an earlier model used by Phil Bird in 1985 at Waikerie, over the 2 year period. We spent a lot of time in practice and development during that time.

John Haren
Last edited by OZPAF; Oct 14, 2010 at 09:19 AM.
Oct 14, 2010, 08:51 PM
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Dennis Everett's Avatar
Reto , you think so ? The last f3b launches i saw were nothing near as high as gorilla/safety winch launches , of course the guy i saw maybe wasnt the best launcher , his initials were JW .......But could you see what launches could have been if limits wernt put on the winches , id give anything to to one of Joe Manors Dynamic 80s or 120s launched off of a 60 volt winch with 6 motors .....I see your in VA , do you know of a guy named Bob Champain ?
Oct 14, 2010, 09:51 PM
F3B and F3K
RetoF3X's Avatar
Thread OP
Hi Dennis

Dieter Pfefferkorn and Ralph Decker published some measurements (with a laser range system from the german army) back in the days and their launch heights were below 300m with Gorilla power.
The highest F3B launch on the norm winch that I am aware of is 370m. Of course today you need the weather conditions to launch that high, in calm conditions the launches are around maybe 250-260m and then probably closer to the gorilla launches.

With the gorilla winches it was hard to find lines that hold the tension and could be stretched (I was told at least). One should not underestimate how much energy can be stored in the mono that is used today.

Yes, it is an interesting Gedankenexperiment to think what could be done today with the might of a gorilla winch, but the norm winch made F3B much more safe and sane. Exploding planes and flying turnaround pulleys can be pretty scary.

But please back to the old days in this thread!

Last edited by RetoF3X; Oct 14, 2010 at 10:04 PM. Reason: typo
Oct 14, 2010, 09:55 PM
Registered User
Bob Champine was a bit before Reto's time (assuming this is the Bob you're referring to). Sadly Bob passed December 17th 2003. He was an amazing person.

Not F3B related, but definitely some history worth reading about in the links below.

Oct 14, 2010, 10:04 PM
Play loud, Fly high
Gil Gauger's Avatar
I don't know if Bob ever flew F3B but he was one heck of a TD flyer. Double LSF V and one of the nicest gentlemen I ever had the privelege of knowing. Roomed with him a couple times at contests in the 90s.
Oct 14, 2010, 10:25 PM
Ricky Windsock
aussief3b's Avatar

and now for a bit more aussie history......

Dug out some old photos from my short time doing F3B in Australia when I was a young fella. I had the good fortune to meet up with some other young fellas from the Brisbane Model Soaring Club in Eidsvold at my first soaring contest. They would introduce me later to F3B and hook me up. The Flamingo in these photos was flown in 1982 by (I think) Alan Baigent. Graeme Taylor is shown below with his red Ricochet who practiced a lot with Gary Jordan who also flew a Ricochet. This pair and Peter Abell flying the LB models (which he and Phil Bird developed), represented Australia at the 87 F3B worlds in W Germany. The Ricochet designed by Ralph Learmont of Southern Sailplanes was a very popular F3B model in Australia in the mid 80's. Along with a Jeff Poulsen O.D. it was a Ricochet that I flew and have enclosed some pics of it. I still have it here in USA and will put her up again at the Gator F3B contest in FL in Feb. The other popular ship during this period in Australia was the Marjali.
The only Australian Nats I ever attended were held in my home town of Warwick in 82/83 and below are the F3B results along with what aircraft was flown by each pilot. This was my first F3B contests and all I had was a Maestro Mark 3 which I pedalled pretty well in my first F3B contest. At least I got through without wrecking it. We had pretty much the entire Brisbane Model Soaring club staying at our home with Cam and Bill Lawrence and Jeff Poulsen running amock and leading us astray. We drank way too much in the evenings. Good memories and good times.
Decr 82-Jan 83 - 36th Nationals Warwick QLD Australia.
F3B Glider
1. Brian Alexander S.A. 11833 Marjali
2. Richard Tapp S.A. 11531 Marjali
3. Robin Badenoch S.A. 9812 Icarus
4. Jeff Poulsen Qld. 9709 T/Tail Sunbird
5. Leo O'Reilly S.A. 9687 Martini
6. W Lawrence Qld. 9658 T/Tail Sunbird
7. G Taylor Qld. 9621 Ricochet
8. Peter Pine Qld. 9574 Sunbird
9. Gary Jordan Qld. 9557 Ricochet
10. W Woolston S.A. 9137 Mod. Icarus
11. C Lawrence Qld. 8844 T/Tail Sunbird
12. G Buckland Qld. 8641 Maestro
13. B Healy N.S.W. 8254 Sunbird
14. B Ohme N.S.W. 6883 Ricochet
15. Ian Avery N.S.W. 6209 Sunbird
16. J Payne Qld. 5944 Ricochet
17. H Kaplan Qld. 5590 Paragon
18.P Kaluschke Qld. 4708 Astral/Sunbird
Last edited by aussief3b; Oct 15, 2010 at 09:13 PM.
Oct 15, 2010, 06:18 AM
F3B and F3K
RetoF3X's Avatar
Thread OP
Gday mate

Cool, so we will see the Ricochet flying at the Gator F3B (Friday practice day maybe)?

Thanks for posting!

Latest blog entry: thoughts on contest flying
Oct 15, 2010, 11:38 AM
Registered User
The highest F3B launches I ever saw were done with highstarts at the 1981 team selection trials in Ithica, NY. The competitors used very small diameter highstarts (about 1/8 inch) and alternated between flying downwind and upwind during launch. It was a very windy day. The planes had captured towhooks and were very light by today's standards. At peak altitude the highstart was stretched vertically and was then released. A surveyor and transit were used to calculate the altitude (no zlogs in those days). The highest launches were a little over 1,000 feet. It was amazing to watch. I wish I had a picture.

Last edited by SaltyOne; Oct 15, 2010 at 08:39 PM.
Oct 17, 2010, 06:18 PM
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Dennis Everett's Avatar
Tom , yes its the same Bob Champain , he was a very good friend of my dad's , my dad worked with him at naca , where did you come up with those story's ? very cool ! In case the thread police are prowling , Bob did launch off of the gorilla winch at cal state dom hills with a 2 meter plane he built ..Dennis

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