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May 01, 2012, 12:43 PM
VTPR & Slope Aerobatics
surfimp's Avatar
Thread OP
Cool

The Ultrabatics Manifesto celebrates its 2nd anniversary


I wanted to let you know that upon much reflection and discussion amongst myself, Peter Richner, and Dawson Henderson, we have decided to label our unique style of ultralightweight slope aerobatics as UltraBatics.

We call this UltraBatics not because it is better than any other form of aerobatics – it most definitely is not, and we have absolutely no interest in such comparisons – but because it is oriented towards ultra-light, ultra-maneuverable, and ultra-durable gliders made from EPP and/or Depron that fly in a unique ultralight style, very often in ultralight lift. Hence, Ultra-Batics or UltraBatics.

The previous phrase “California Style VTPR” doesn’t really capture everything we are doing with these gliders, in the sense that people outside of California are actively building and flying them, and that the gliders themselves can be adapted to a range of flying styles, sites and pilot preferences. More importantly, we do not limit our approach to only flying close to the ground (although we frequently do that); in fact, our preference is to merge traditional aerobatics, VTPR and Madflight – all performed with the unique capabilities of an extremely lightweight glider of 4-6oz/sq.ft. (12-20g/dm^2) wingloading – into the same flight routine.

The core focus is to explore this new realm of possibility opened up by ultralight gliders. What are the limits of what we can achieve in slope aerobatics? We want to find out. We want to fly in a radical style everywhere, to engage with the terrain in new ways that are more akin to skateboarding, surfing or snowboarding than traditional aerobatics, but also to see what new artistic possibilities arise when the wingloadings become so low that the airplane can hang in the air for long, fascinating moments, creating the illusion of slow motion in realtime.

We of course cite the French influence as being very central to the development of this style of flying. Without the French having perfected the aerobatics glider – specifically via specialized airfoils such as the SB96V/VS and TP42/29, the development of the Madslide-style full flying stabilizer, the “fish shaped” fuselages, the inspiration of the VTPR videos, amongst many other examples – we would not be where we are today. We will always make reference to the French inspiration for this flying style and if nothing else, we intend UltraBatics as our own contribution to the larger effort of pushing slope aerobatics forward that the French have lead for so many years now.

In addition to the French aerobatics tradition, the Weasel and Alula by Michael Richter of Dream-Flight have been tremendously influential for Dawson, Peter and myself. Those gliders were our introduction to ultralight flying, and in many ways that experience is what set us down the path to exploring glider aerobatics and thereby discovering the French aerobatics scene. For my part, my own Le Fish design was meant to be like “a Weasel with a rudder and perfect inverted” first and foremost. Here in Santa Barbara, we have always flown in an “in your face”, close to the ground style; when Pierre Rondel first introduced the term VTPR to us on RCGroups in 2005, I immediately understood the core idea, because it was how we already flew.

UltraBatics is our attempt to synthesize all of these significant influences into a new and exciting flying style. We are only at the beginning of the beginning, and the possibilities are limited only by our imagination.

See you in the future,

Steve Lange
SlopeAerobatics.com

- - - - - - - - - -

Core examples of the style:

(4 min 15 sec)


(2 min 47 sec)


(6 min 57 sec)


(3 min 3 sec)


- - - - - - - - -

A copy of this letter was posted on SlopeAerobatics.com previously: Introducing Ultrabatics
Last edited by surfimp; May 01, 2014 at 02:06 PM. Reason: Second anniversary
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May 01, 2012, 12:45 PM
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Woodstock 1's Avatar
Consider the "like" button pressed !
May 01, 2012, 01:13 PM
Phil.T-tailer
Phil.Taylor's Avatar
Way to go !

now, is that Ultrabatics-lite?
or, dare I say - UTPR?

or Flippin-Ultralite-Crazy-Knifedged-Elwood-Dragging Ultrabatics-Pure ?
(dont run the acronym checker on that one)

thinking out loud - how to do Weasel-flips?

Phil.
May 01, 2012, 01:14 PM
Registered User
Ward Hagaman's Avatar
I like it! You guys have been such an inspiration to me...I find myself laying awake at night trying to add a bunch of lightness to a design.
May 01, 2012, 01:20 PM
VTPR & Slope Aerobatics
surfimp's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil.Taylor
Way to go !

now, is that Ultrabatics-lite?
or, dare I say - UTPR?

or Flippin-Ultralite-Crazy-Knifedged-Elwood-Dragging Ultrabatics-Pure ?
(dont run the acronym checker on that one)

thinking out loud - how to do Weasel-flips?

Phil.
No more acroynms! Just... UltraBatics

I would love to figure out how to do flips with a flying wing, as well as perfect inverted flight. There are so many less pieces to break off, and they tuck under the arm so nicely when walking.

Steve
May 01, 2012, 01:20 PM
VTPR & Slope Aerobatics
surfimp's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Hagaman
I like it! You guys have been such an inspiration to me...I find myself laying awake at night trying to add a bunch of lightness to a design.
You can't add lightness, but you can remove heaviness

Steve
May 01, 2012, 03:10 PM
Registered User
Snewk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp
You can't add lightness, but you can remove heaviness

Steve
We have yet to explore the possibilites of Mylar skins and Helium purging of the EPP!

Throw some aileron pectorals and elevator pelvic fins on these suckers, eh?

Indoor Flying Air Fish (0 min 13 sec)


I like "Ultrabatics" but acronyms sprout up spontaneously. Can ya' live with "YouBee"?

Ken
May 01, 2012, 03:47 PM
VTPR & Slope Aerobatics
surfimp's Avatar
Thread OP
You can propose acronyms once you have an UltraBatics glider built and flown.



Steve
May 01, 2012, 03:48 PM
VTPR & Slope Aerobatics
surfimp's Avatar
Thread OP
Also, this style of flying is spreading already... our own pgts is experimenting with it with his The Poisson design in France

(1 min 17 sec)


Paige Anderson has been working towards this style of flying for quite a long time. His new Flow design is one of the very first purpose-built UltraBats and shows the beautiful possibilities inherent to combining an ultralight airplane with new control possibilities.

(3 min 3 sec)


John Scahill and Dan McCleary have been very busy working on ultrabats, too. Here are some of their experiments:

foolfest 2012 (1 min 16 sec)


(2 min 2 sec)


(3 min 54 sec)


Jlink and his dad have just maidened a 2m, 33oz plane called the Acro that screams "ultrabat" to me:

(2 min 8 sec)


Dietrich Meissner of Germany is getting into the act with a multiflip ultrabatics machine:

(2 min 14 sec)


There's a lot going on... this is just scratching the surface!!

Steve
Last edited by surfimp; May 02, 2012 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Edited to demonstrate more examples of this style spreading
May 01, 2012, 04:01 PM
Impatience is a virtue
MCH27t's Avatar
I like it too! I'm a complete noob to this style of flying. I'm looking forward to building my first in the coming month or two. That said, I'll offer these observations:

I particularly like that these planes seem to make aerobatic flying available to virtually everyone. Compared to molded, high-dollar, aerobatic-specific planes (which are very nice), these are downright inexpensive.

Further, given the fact that they can be flown almost anywhere and have the durability of foam, they should greatly accelerate the learning curve relative to their molded bretheren. Similar to a combat wing, it would seem that one could take chances with one of these that you'd never dream of with a moldie. Aside from looking like a lot of fun, lessons learned here could be applied to all types of flying.

Great stuff - keep it up!
May 01, 2012, 06:00 PM
Flagstaff, AZ
dawsonh's Avatar
Big thanks to Steve!

Over the last several days he has digested a lot of comment and feedback (from a variety of sources) and in short order has put an informative description of UltraBatics. We have started our journey. I can't wait to see where is goes.

FYI... here are some notes I sent him early in the process...

UltraBatics

UltraBatics is the natural extension of Weasel-batics that has evolved over the last decade at the Elwood bluffs of Goleta, CA. The recent development of light weight, 1.5 meter (and larger) 3/4 axis gliders has has allowed us to fly in new ways... in light lift and stronger.

UltraBatics is a style of aerobatic flying where the in-your-face style (small box) is pushed down onto the terrain. We embrace the terrain... choosing interact closely with the sky-earth interface. Ultra-batics makes use of any terrain features, such at mini-bowls and other juicy spots, to generate energy. Physical contact with the terrain (tip/tail drags, grass trimming, etc) is common and encouraged.

UltraBatics is all about pushing the limits of aerobatic flying... to discover what is possible. We balance risk and reward. However crashing is not considered a “bad” thing; but rather a natural part of the learning process. Our gliders tend to be light weight; but are built to take a beating. Ultra-batics if often enjoyed in close proximity to other flyers... nicks, nudges, and full contact are not uncommon.

UltraBatics can look aggressive, showy, competitive... and it is. However it is a friendly environment... where the push to excel is always driven by the main goal of having FUN.

And always remember... whoever has the most fun wins!

Dawson
May 01, 2012, 06:01 PM
VTPR & Slope Aerobatics
surfimp's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCH27t
I like it too! I'm a complete noob to this style of flying. I'm looking forward to building my first in the coming month or two. That said, I'll offer these observations:

I particularly like that these planes seem to make aerobatic flying available to virtually everyone. Compared to molded, high-dollar, aerobatic-specific planes (which are very nice), these are downright inexpensive.

Further, given the fact that they can be flown almost anywhere and have the durability of foam, they should greatly accelerate the learning curve relative to their molded bretheren. Similar to a combat wing, it would seem that one could take chances with one of these that you'd never dream of with a moldie. Aside from looking like a lot of fun, lessons learned here could be applied to all types of flying.

Great stuff - keep it up!
Thank you very much, you seem to understand 100% where we're coming from with this.

Peter, Dawson and myself fly everything and like it all. This style of flying is really, more than anything, about just extending what's so awesome about flying Weasels and Alulas into a new dimension of capability and creativity.

It's still very early days and the planes are getting better and better. We've really only just begun to scratch the surface. But the focus will always be on keeping that same mellow Axis of Weasel vibe... having fun with friends, doing cool stunts with gliders anywhere/everywhere.

EDIT: LOL Dawson replied at the same time I did. Anyways, I rest my case on the origins of the theme here

Steve
May 01, 2012, 06:53 PM
Registered User
Snewk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp
You can propose acronyms once you have an UltraBatics glider built and flown.



Steve
No proposals......just observations........think "Ultrabatics" will fly just fine, certainly better than "Lamfilmfoamieslamaramabatics"!! The less we define something the more free it is to evolve.

Ken
May 01, 2012, 08:15 PM
It's time for me to fly
JimZinVT's Avatar
Mind = Blown. Steve posts the j-flip video yesterday, and today a pilot in France is not only flying it, but has video up? This really is a world-wide web
May 01, 2012, 08:17 PM
VTPR & Slope Aerobatics
surfimp's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimZinVT
Mind = Blown. Steve posts the j-flip video yesterday, and today a pilot in France is not only flying it, but has video up? This really is a world-wide web
Protip: it's pretty easy with an appropriate glider

Also, Stephane is a great pilot... That helps!

Steve


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