33rd Sailplane Expo and 66th Nats Glider and Electric Glider - Armidale January 2013 - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Oct 17, 2012, 02:23 AM
Everything's A Compromise
Larrikin's Avatar
I'm for choosing one or the other and flying them concurrently. While I enjoy flying electrics, I would prefer to compete with a "pure" sailplane ... and just as easily, I'm sure there are others that couldn't be bothered with all the vagaries of a winch.
Pick one or the other and we all fly in the same time slot.

Plus, it isn't getting any cheaper to attend these weekends (fuel, food and lodging etc) and I know I'm unable to set myself up in both disciplines (barely one actually) so I'd rather fly more of my preferred discipline and get more bang-for-my-buck.

One man's opinion

David V.
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Oct 17, 2012, 06:46 AM
Originally Posted by Larrikin
I'm for choosing one or the other and flying them concurrently. While I enjoy flying electrics, I would prefer to compete with a "pure" sailplane ... and just as easily, I'm sure there are others that couldn't be bothered with all the vagaries of a winch.
Pick one or the other and we all fly in the same time slot.

Plus, it isn't getting any cheaper to attend these weekends (fuel, food and lodging etc) and I know I'm unable to set myself up in both disciplines (barely one actually) so I'd rather fly more of my preferred discipline and get more bang-for-my-buck.

One man's opinion

David V.
I'm with you David this is how I would like to see things run.

Oct 21, 2012, 10:31 PM
Registered User
I'll throw my 2c in, seeing as i travel quite a ways to get there,
I want to fly as much as possible, but i hate having to run around switching from task to task
because it can lead to mistakes( or is that just me). Anyway my preference would've been to separate the events out, have electrics, for 2 days and thermal and dlg on the last 1.5 days or 1.5 days of electric an 2 days of thermal and dlg, whatever. That way guys who just fly one or the other don't have to stay for the whole time, are don't have to wait around for a task they aren't competing in. Under this format I'd happily compete in everything (maybe not res ;-)
Jim Houdalakis
Oct 24, 2012, 02:40 AM
Registered User
Despite the suggestions, I doubt that the basic format is going to change.

Given that, the way to achieve more flying is to eliminate wasted time between flight groups and between change of disciplines. But at what cost?

An earlier post pointed out that a complete round of everything will take around 2 hours. If you save 2 hours, or more, you might get just one more flight in for everybody. But saving 2 hours isn't easy and adds stress for everybody. You might save the 2 hours, find that the weather changes and flying ends early anyway. Nothing gained at all.

Time spent waiting? Everybody needs helpers and helping is a big part of what we do. Time spent waiting around for the next flight can be filled by helping out other pilots or even the organisers. It's not time wasted. It's part of being there.
Oct 26, 2012, 06:00 AM
Registered User
The whole idea of this thread, is to seek input from Expo attendees, old and new, so that the organisers can deliver a quality event that continues to attract soaring enthusiasts.

If you don't think it will change, then it won't.

If you like the current consecutive discipline format then let us know, but if you think it could be done better, lets hear your ideas.
Oct 27, 2012, 07:54 PM
glider misguider

It can be done better

Phil et al,

Have been holding back waiting to see who else wants to contribute, but it seems only a few want to so far. Maybe this will encourage others to throw in their ideas.

The biggest complaint about Expo is "I don't get to fly (insert my discipline) enough.", Second biggest complaint is "Crikey, all this flying makes me knackered, can we start late and finish early so I can have a few beers with my mates / snooze."

These views conflict.

I think there are ways to streamline the organisation and field layout to get more flying in.

1. Pit layout. Traditional Armidale behaviour is turn up, set up one side of the flight line, and go back to that position between flights. Some have to walk at least 200-300m when called to fly - go get the model and walk back to the flight line. By having a pit at the end of the flight line for all models we should be able to speed that up (ideally we could set up gear - not shade - behind the winches and leave walkways to go back to spots).

2, Flight line layout. 1 flyer = 1 winch = lots of (upwards of 40) winches spread across the field when only 10-12 flyers launch at a time. This makes for crowded patches during launch and increases potential of line crosses = delays. Why not work out with your mates who will provide winches and who will use them, set them up further apart - or maybe in groups of 2 or 3 further apart than the 1-1.5m separation we seem to default to, then share in teams (informal works, although formal teams can work better).

3. Different classes - electric and winch glider - and potential conflicts. As noted already many do come for 1 event, but many are also aware of the Armidale format and enter multiple classes to amortize the costs and take advantage of the opportunities presented. We each enjoy different aspects of the hobby, we all need time keepers, unless you bring your own with you, they are usually rounded up on the spot. Whats the problem with intermingling several classes which are essentially the same task and require the same helper skills (calling / timekeeping) to improve the skills of everyone involved (pilot / spotter / timekeeper).

4. Car parking. I suspect the way people behave by going back to their nests affects involvement and their contribution to others. Could this be helped if we set up pits closer to the action and then moved the cars out of the way?

I'm sure there are many more ways to organise things better than what we currently do.

Why not add to them. Maybe we can come up with a workable solution that is different to the one day - one event format proposed as a solution for what may well be improved by a bit of lateral thinking, and maintain the richness of multiple classes on one day.

I look forward to your suggestions.

See you in Armidale,


Oct 28, 2012, 06:53 AM
Hi Hutton,
I think that if you make things more regimented in order to save time you run the risk of losing some of the relaxed atmosphere that the Armidale event is renowned for.
I really think that running both electric and thermal at the same time is the way to go.
I know that some people like to fly in both but just out of curiosity what number of pilots entered thermal and electric in last years competition?
I know from speaking to some competitors that they only entered in more than one discipline for the sole reason that they wanted to maximize there flight time.

I think that if you were to run both disciplines at the same time you could increase competitor numbers as more people would feel that they are getting value for there money.

Oct 30, 2012, 09:51 PM
Registered User

Armidale Expo 2013

Well 9 flights over three and a half days is not worth the expense of the trip for me, particularly when i am cutting my US trip short by three days to get here. Even if the electric guys were limited to one electric and one winch event, would this get another two rounds in?
I feel that electric guys entering two events each is causing most of the time constraint problems.
This will be my last Expo (after 32 attendances) if this is all one can get out of two and a half days.
Oct 31, 2012, 01:56 AM
Registered User

There's an elephant in the room.

You are not alone Wok.

Having promoted the the idea of running concurrent F5J and Open Thermal, I have just become aware that the F5J event needs to have a pre-recorded dialogue, broadcast over the PA system for the duration of the 10 minute slot. Is there any alternative to this??

This would add a further level of complexity to the concurrent running events that I had not anticipated. Anybody got any ideas how this could be made work?

Changing pits, car parking and general attempt to speed up heats may add small increments of time to the overall event, but even if you make up 2 hours, you only get one more round if you are lucky.

The fundamental problem lies with equal billing for multiple categories. I believe that the evolution of the current programme over the past few years does not work. That's the elephant sitting in the corner that needs acknowledging.

Expo is now attempting to be a multi-category competition giving equal billing to each discipline. Historically, Expo was a Thermal Comp with other disciplines show-cased in small time slots. 4pm finishes were easy because you got plenty of flying in each day. That cleansing ale with friends at the end of the day was part of Expo's charm.

Consider some facts from Expo 2011;
Total Entrants 37
32 flew in Open Thermal (16 of these flew no other category)
16 flew in the two Electric classes ( 9 of these, flew in Open Thermal and Electrics)
The fact was that, 16 thermal only and 7 electric only flyers in 2011 had 10 flights in 2.5 days. 16 had 20 flights and 6 people had 30 flights. (2012 was not considered because of the weather).

To me, this was simply not fair to the majority. If we maintain the current format we are sending the message that you need to come to Expo armed with multiple discipline models. I suspect that there are many F5J guys who wont be buying a winch and an F3 model, just like a lot of us that will not be investing in F5J.

My reading of posts to date suggests that I am not the only participant that seeks change. What's the harm in trying the concurrent idea once?

Last edited by scalerc; Oct 31, 2012 at 01:57 AM. Reason: Grammar
Oct 31, 2012, 03:39 AM
Everything's A Compromise
Larrikin's Avatar
Originally Posted by scalerc
You are not alone Wok.
The fact was that, 16 thermal only and 7 electric only flyers in 2011 had 10 flights in 2.5 days. 16 had 20 flights and 6 people had 30 flights. (2012 was not considered because of the weather).

To me, this was simply not fair to the majority.
Enough said right there I reckon. I agree completely. Is F3B Speed still held? DLG? I know I've won a Scale Glider event there in the past. But these events were "novelty" events. Fitted in early in the morning (HLG) or at Lunch (Scale/HLG) or on the day before the Open Thermal Comp (F3B Speed).
We all went to EXPO for the Open Thermal Comp.
(And the "cleansing ale with friends at the end of the day")
Oct 31, 2012, 04:11 AM
glider misguider

I can hear, but I cannot see...

...how to accommodate what we have committed to this year to take account of the request from the Glider Nats sub-committee to run Expo as the Nats, and our agreement to run the Electric Glider Nats as well (to the expo format - which at the time of making the decision was not subject to the current discussion).

The reality is that in 2013 we have an extra day to fly F3J, as well as the normal 2.5 days to fly Open Thermal, F5J, LEG (if we get enough entrants) and HLG. That's 3.5 days on which contestants can fly their winch gliders.

So how do we do it this year given the committments to fold in the Nats events (which are essentially the same as past years - with the extra wrinkles F3J as an extra event for which we have set aside another day and F5J in place of Open electric Glider)?

Above I tried to offer a solution based on my experience that a significant part of the wasted time is because of poor organisation on the part of contestants, and the willingness of the CDs to hold for those not ready (which I am told is part of the attraction of Armidale Sailplane Expo).

So Mr Elephant I hear you, but could you ask your minders for some solutions that will work for us this year?

See you in Armidale.

Oct 31, 2012, 05:51 PM
working to the closest cm
jirvin_4505's Avatar
I agree with Hutton that a lot of time has been lost waiting on contestants to be ready. One of the attractions/stressors of Jerelderie has been the clockwork be ready or else organization.

Why 2 events in the air at once - why not 2 heats of the same event on the air at once? This must involve similar logistics?

Or even super sized heats - all pilots in the air at once? Certainly be ready for an ale after a day like that! Surely with 2.4 the only limitation is manpower and willingness to commit to the organizational stressors.

For the electric events back to back is possible this would streamline some events

Run electric events outside the normal organized time window - I recall 3 rounds of limited electric glider and dlg being run whilst waiting for fog to clear early in the morning.

Electric could be in the air whilst waiting for winches to be setup?

Start the event earlier in the day- finish later? This is possible at Jerilderie and still get some ale consumed!

As late comer to Armidale comp - only on and off since around 1990 I have been able to fly both electric and thermal plus spend enjoyable time watching other desciplines,hate to see that go!

Cheers Jeff
Ps may not be able to go 2013 as I will be only half way through getting new eyes
Nov 01, 2012, 06:52 PM
Registered User
bananaman's Avatar
I have been a supporter of the mixed discipline approach and still am to an extent. As far as Armidale goes, previous to the current field we had useable field size issues, which severely limited what could be done re pits etc.

The problem with pits to the side will always be that someone has to walk to and from the far end of the winch lane/flying area. In concurrent heats with "team mates/helpers" this will ALWAYS impact the running time of the event. The larger the flightline, the worse it will be. You can't penalise someone who is helping another pilot who is flying to the end of working time and is also meant to fly the next heat, get a score to the CD area and is also out at the end of the winch lane or past it. Also because they have run back to back and focussed on the flying, the first pilot's winch line may not have been retrieved, another delay.

Say what you like, when you run the event you have to give those competitiors extra time. You penalise them on the basis of field layout if you enforce a start and they are still walking to their winch or their flying area vs the ones closer by. For anyone who has flown a concurrent winch/elec event at Armidale the elec launch area is quite a distance from the pits. We also have the problem with sound. With a bit of wind, the PA system is inadequate (and we have tried some different solutions) for those far away. Another cause of delays and again it is not the pilot's fault.

I have CD'ed Armidale and competed. There is no doubt that Jerilderie style is the most efficient way to run a thermal comp but A. Armidale doesn't fly teams and B. we don't really have space, unless we (Hutton) preps a much larger area. Add a change of wind direction and the strong need of many to change ends mid comp and you have lost any "efficiencies". A central pits (no cars, tents) with the ability to run winches front and back is best, but you need much more space. Not so bad now that we run 150m. However we run this in mid summer and it can be very hot so people will want shade, so we will end up with pits back to the side and still have the long walk to winch flying area problem.

When you run electric events concurrently you need to segregate them from winch launched models during launch for model and pilot safety. Where do they go? Out past the winch lane, there is no where else. They need landing spots too.This impacts runing the event because they are so far away.

There has been a lot of noise about this all for some time. There are only two solutions that will get winch launch flyers (and they are the majority) more flying time is to limit/remove other events or to increase the flying day. Start earlier finish later.

You can talk about efficient running all you like but you just can't do it with the current event format and field layout.

Nov 16, 2012, 03:42 PM
glider misguider


.. a gentle reminder to get your entries in for Sailplane Expo & Glider / e-Glider Nats.

See you in Armidale,

Nov 20, 2012, 03:54 PM
Registered User

F3J on Friday

F3J competitors,
Just letting everyone know that the F3J comp on the Friday will be run using winches with 150M lines.

Set out of the field will allow multiple winch lanes that will be spaced around 15 metres apart with landing spots directly behind the winch lanes. The CD location will be in the middle of the launch lanes. This will ensure the sound system will be heard at each end of the launch line. Shade areas will be off to the side.

I am expecting at least 30 competitors so I propose that we will allow competitors to form into teams of 4 with each team being allocated a launch lane for the day. Teams will be able to set out two winches in their launch lane for use by all the team. This means there will be 4 heats per round and each round will take 1 hour to fly.

If there are around 20 competitors we may need to change the team size to 3 but if this is the case I will advise you in the week before the comp so you can advise the new teams.

I know there is no provision for specifying who your team is on the entry form but if you are entering F3J I urge you to indicate who the team will be on the entry form or alternatively send me an email. If you have already submitted an entry you can advise me by PM or email the members of your team. My email address is alan.lowe@outlook.com.

If you want to fly in F3J but don't have anyone else to fly with let us know and we will try to group you with others in a similar situation.

I will confirm the teams prior to the event so you all know who you are flying with and what launch lane you have been allocated before you arrive at the field on Friday. The preliminary rounds will commence at 9am and conclude around 5pm with the fly-offs commencing straight away. I expect to fly 3 fly-off rounds with an end of proceedings around 6pm.

If you haven't flown F3J before I urge you to give it ago. If you are worried about the models launching at the same time then wait a couple of seconds before you launch. The 15 metre spacing between launch lanes means there is plenty of room once the models are in the air. You should set your model up so it tows reasonably straight - normally 1 or 2 clicks of down elevator will do the trick. Remember time on the winch line means less flight time. This event is not normally about who launches the highest but who is the best at reading and working the air and managing their landing.

Lets hope the weather is good and we get plenty of flying in on the day.
See you all on the 25th January.

Alan Lowe
CD for F3J Nationals

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