Let's Discuss ALES at SVSS here! - RC Groups
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Aug 27, 2011, 10:18 PM
Registered User
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Let's Discuss ALES at SVSS here!


Chris set this up just for this kind of discussion. Why don't we move ALES comments over here and let the thread grow? Certainly easier on Dudley since he does not have to moderate.


OK, I'll start. The optimization of climb is an interesting problem. How can we build a sailplane that soars like a top moldie but rockets up to 500 ft, shuts down the motor but has hellatious speed so that an enormous zoom brings the plane to a much higher altitude. Clearly we need a light powerful motor and a battery that delivers enormous power for the short time of the launch. The battery should be no larger that necessary to deliver the energy necessary for just one launch. Any larger than that is just excess weight which hurts both the climb and soaring phase. I am thinking here of a launch like the F5B folks use. Three years ago I saw Steve Neu (of Neu motors) and the USA F5B team practice their event at Mission Bay in San Diego. Think of a hotliner like Kip's, only a bit larger, rocketing at blinding speed straight up. 30 sec motor run? Heck no, think 3 sec motor run to speck out. More like an F3J launch, only by motor and prop. Clearly this scenario is battery limited. One would need a discharge rate of many hundreds of amperes but for only a few seconds for a large soaring oriented plane. The brand name of this battery is Unobtanium. But the point is made. Go look at Neu Motors web site and the astonishing motors and batteries he sells just for F5B.

Above is one extreme approach. Another extreme is to have a small, low power motor and a small battery that will just pull a plane to 500 ft in exactly 30 sec. Again, battery empty at 30 sec for smallest size and thus weight. This approach would give the lowest weight and thus the best soaring plane.

OK, I have marked two extremes. Is there an optimum in between?

Of course we don't have to make this an FnX international event. I'll join in with my old e- Easy Glider and struggle to stay with the Radians.
I don't think I'll invest in an e-Supra.

Jonathan


Jonathan
Last edited by jpherit; Aug 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM.
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Aug 28, 2011, 04:13 PM
Registered User

My thanks to Jonathan et al


I want to thank Jonathan for getting this ALES discussion in the right place. I had talked to our moderator on a similar issue before writing my first message about ALES but the short term memory seems to be going a little south on me. I also wanted to thank all the folks that responded and started the flurry of emails. I want to especially thank Aric Walmunder for taking the bull by the horns by stepping up to CD the contest and be the front man for the group order of the altitude limiting device (more to come on the how and when). As I stated earlier, I think this is a great concept that SVSS can be an integral part of in bringing this concept into mainstream soaring in the USA.

RonK
Aug 28, 2011, 07:50 PM
Registered User

ALES-LMR Info. in RC Soaring Digest


The July-August edition of RC Soaring Digest had some nice articles on Altitude Limited Electric Sailplane - Limited Motor Run stuff including a scoring spreadsheet (pg 40) by Curtis Suter in Montana. There's some nice links at the end of his article. There's also coverage of the Polecat/Soaring Circuits 2k11 ALES open soaring event (pg 52).

http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com/pdfs/...-2011-0708.pdf
Aug 28, 2011, 10:58 PM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar
To keep things competitive for all types of e-planes both cheap and expensive, what about some kind of score multiplier based on wing loading? (or a variation on that theme)

I realize that getting an accurate measure of each plane at contest time is unrealistic but maybe this could be simplified into classes. Just throwing it out there so the stock Radian Pro's have a chance.
Aug 29, 2011, 02:47 AM
Good for what ALES you
awilmunder's Avatar
As Ron posted, I am organizing a group purchase of CAM limiters so our costs would be $45 or less instead of $54 if purchases separately. I would like to place the order by Thursday this week and have the limiters available for distribution at the SVSS contest on September 10th. Please send me a PM if you are interested.

I also have the go-ahead to organize an ALES contest at the SVSS field on Saturday, October 22nd. I am still working on the details but here are my current thoughts:
The goal is to have a man-on-man electric launch thermal event using ALES limiters. The contest will be open to anyone with a current AMA membership and to all electric sailplanes with limiters. Pilots will be organized into flight groups that will launch simultaneously. Limiters will be set for a 30 second motor run or 200 meter altitude. Each flight will be judged based on 10-minute flight times with the flight scores being normalized by taking the ratio of the contestants score to that of the highest score for that flight group and multiplying by 1000. Landing points will then be added using a 25 foot, 100 point tape. I am still looking into whether to set up for one or two classes (open and foamy).

I am currently putting a contest flyer together and will send it out once it is proofed. I am also expecting participants from SBSS, Modesto, and Fresno so this will be a great opportunity to learn, and most importantly to have fun.

Again, let me know ASAP if you would like me to add you to the order for the CAM limiter. With the order going out at the end of this week, we should have about six weeks to practice and prepare for the contest.

--Aric
Aug 29, 2011, 02:39 PM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar

Landings


I assume it would be legal to hover over the landing area/circle until your exact time has elapsed. If so, how about bonus hover points?
Aug 29, 2011, 02:45 PM
Good for what ALES you
awilmunder's Avatar
If you would like to sign up for the SVCC ALES event on Saturday October 22, please send me the following:

Name
Email
AMA Number or confirm that you are an SVSS member.
Transmitter Frequency.
Class (I am considering both open and foam classes).
ALES Experience (Yes/No).
Are you interested in Lunch? Probably hot pulled-pork sandwiches, potato salad, chips and a drink. Lunch cost should be $5.

There is no cost for the event itself.
Aug 29, 2011, 03:34 PM
NCSS / SVSS Flyer
gee , no dork / lawn dart landings !!!!

You mean you have to turn onto final approach and judge your momentum accurately and then slide to a stop, OMG it can't be done! ! ! !

Oh wait, we used to do it that way ALL the time......never mind.....
Sep 04, 2011, 11:14 AM
Registered User
bosco49's Avatar
This looks like a lot of fun guys.......But with the'' man-on-man '' thing
Mar 07, 2012, 02:05 PM
Registered User

Is this what we want for ALES?


Ok folks, here is what concerns me about ALES.

Go buy yourself an F5b plane. What is F5b? It is a FAI contest for electric powered gliders. Three parts to the contest.

Part (1) how many laps can you do in 200 sec between two pylons 150 m apart and with 10 motor runs. Motors runs can not be executed while between pylons, only outside. They do well over 20 laps (40 out and back). Basically they rocket (and I do mean rocket) straight up for 3 or 4 seconds, shut down motor and glide back and fourth 4 or six times, then repeat 9 more times. Score based on how many complete laps you make.

Then on the same flight (part 2) a 10 minute soaring duration task with motor run deducted from flight time, a little like F3j. There is a total stored energy limit on battery as well. Then finally (part 3) a landing for points. (must be exciting as these planes are fast).

So what is my point?

Get an f5b plane with a high end Neu motor, put a smaller battery in it, one for each launch in an ALES contest. These things can easily get to 120 mph straight up in a few seconds. Now let it go up 200 meters. Yikes it is going fast. If the drag is low and the vertical speed is 120 mph the zoom is enormous. A little high school physics gives an estimate of a total altitude achievable about 1100 feet. It could be more for a faster airplane. Who can't make 10 minutes from that altitude, even in a high wing load glider?

By the way, I saw Steve Neu and the USA F5b team practice in San Diego at Mission Bay a couple of years ago and the speeds and flying skills required are awesome. I stood behind my car and was ready to duck in an instant.

So, now my concern. This is a direction ALES could easily go under the existing rules, at least as I understand them. Is that what we want? It seems more like a power contest than soaring.

Jonathan
Mar 07, 2012, 02:59 PM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar
Jonathan, not sure from your post whether you're concerned about super e-planes in our ALES-only contests or whether you're concerned about what can happen from our club mixing ALES and TD in the same venue.

As to the ALES-only contests, after reading other RCG threads on the topic I think clearly defined classes is the only way to fairly score and handle the potential for huge performance differences in those planes.

For our TD contests, that's a bit of a different matter. I must confess my first reaction to the announcement yesterday about Radians being allowed to fly in our 2012 TD contests was negative. But on further reflection I realized there is one big positive: namely, it should be great way to get new club members into our TD contests (who eventually decide to buy a non-E plane and learn to really fly ).

I won't elaborate on the main problems I see with allowing Radians to join our TD events but I'm sure others will share some of my concerns.

Anyway, great topic.

Chris B.
Mar 07, 2012, 03:15 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoaringDude
Jonathan, not sure from your post whether you're concerned about super e-planes in our ALES-only contests or whether you're concerned about what can happen from our club mixing ALES and TD in the same venue.

As to the ALES-only contests, after reading other RCG threads on the topic I think clearly defined classes is the only way to fairly score and handle the potential for huge performance differences in those planes.

For our TD contests, that's a bit of a different matter. I must confess my first reaction to the announcement yesterday about Radians being allowed to fly in our 2012 TD contests was negative. But on further reflection I realized there is one big positive: namely, it should be great way to get new club members into our TD contests (who eventually decide to buy a non-E plane and learn to really fly ).

I won't elaborate on the main problems I see with allowing Radians to join our TD events but I'm sure others will share some of my concerns.

Anyway, great topic.

Chris B.
Chris,
My concern has to do with where ALES could end up as folks realize the power of big power and how high the launch can be. I already think 200m is too high a launch. Part of the amazing performance of the Radian is how high it starts its thermal search. Even Bob McGowan on Bayrc noted that the Radians start higher than winch launches. The example I give is to take the electric launch to an extreme and see where it might end up. I claim it can end up in a race to add more and more power to zoom ever higher at the expense of actually soaring.

Fortunately, the foamies are not likely to go that direction as I doubt they are strong enough to take all that power. But a moldie can and does, just look at F5b.

I don't object to having separate electric and winch launched contests interleaved in time, provided the winch rules are what everyone follows and that both contests are soaring contests

At the moment I think bringing in the electric folks is a good idea as, so far, they are pretty much all flying as nose launched sailplanes. My concern is they could easily morph into high speed vertical rockets and, by necessity, high speed gliders. The combination of two distinctly different flight patterns/styles could be dangerous or at the least, troublesome.
Last edited by jpherit; Mar 07, 2012 at 06:21 PM.
Mar 07, 2012, 04:40 PM
Good for what ALES you
awilmunder's Avatar
I was reading a thread that brought up this issue. I believe it was in the UK that some are flying with a limiter that monitors your climb rate and rather than cutting you off at a given height, cuts you off so you will arrive at that given altitude.

I think that what we will see over the next few years will be a wide variety of innovation in attempts to develop the ideal ALES plane. I had originally thought that an electrified moldie would be great, but why fly a plane with a wing spar designed to withstand a full zoom launch when an ALES plane doesn't require it. Ultra light airframes may be what we see with the ability to ballast as necessary. I was wondering about a giant 'Penny' light plane. The ALES rules even allow variable geometry, so you could have very fragile wings that extend after launch.

Innovation is good, and it won't surprise me to find that in a few years, an ALES plane bears little in common with a current TD plane. I'm just happy to be involved at the beginning so we can watch what happens.
Mar 07, 2012, 05:05 PM
Soaring Circuits
rcbrust's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpherit
Ok folks, here is what concerns me about ALES.
.
.
.
So, now my concern. This is a direction ALES could easily go under the existing rules, at least as I understand them. Is that what we want? It seems more like a power contest than soaring.
Hope you guys don't mind me butting in here. The solution is actually pretty simple. The CD states that there is no zooming allowed. Period. If I'm CD'ing and you show up with a ship like you've described, you'll get a zero for that round. Don't want to play by the spirit of the rules? Then you can sit and watch. ALES is all about seeing who can thermal soar the best from a 200m launch, not here are a set of rules, let's see what loophole we can find. The limiters make it pretty easy to follow the rules. As long as you don't have a grossly overpowered ship, you won't zoom appreciably.

Randy
Mar 07, 2012, 05:55 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcbrust
Hope you guys don't mind me butting in here. The solution is actually pretty simple. The CD states that there is no zooming allowed. Period. If I'm CD'ing and you show up with a ship like you've described, you'll get a zero for that round. Don't want to play by the spirit of the rules? Then you can sit and watch. ALES is all about seeing who can thermal soar the best from a 200m launch, not here are a set of rules, let's see what loophole we can find. The limiters make it pretty easy to follow the rules. As long as you don't have a grossly overpowered ship, you won't zoom appreciably.

Randy

That is fine. You as CD can so specify the contest rules. But no other CD is obliged to follow your rules. The whole ALES movement could still become an abbreviated F5b without some uniformity imposed on all contests.


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