ALES Is Now an AMA Provisional Event - Page 9 - RC Groups
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Oct 13, 2012, 11:08 PM
Cognitive dissonance
kcaldwel's Avatar
Wouldn't it be easier to just run 10:30 rounds, with the normal ALES rules?

My gliders will make 200m in 20 seconds or so, but I usually throttle back and do some searching with my extra 10 seconds. By not using the full 30 seconds ALES allows, it is a different game. It seems more complicated to control when the motor stops, and isn't quite the same game. Your choice.

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Oct 14, 2012, 02:26 AM
Launch high. Fly low.
I didn't mean to sound like a complainer. I like to fly low because I get more fun and challenge when working the low thermals. Bought my very first 300 foot histart and kept cutting it down and now it's down to 75feet... lol!
I think I'm just voicing out what others are actually thinking. So many times I hear "TD is a landing competition! whaaaa whaaaa whaaaa..."
So, what can be done about it?

Again, these are just questions or thoughts from a guy who's thinking about joining the ALES ranks since I've flown a Graphite-E and Stork2Pro-E 5 years ago for fun, not competition. Maybe I'll see you out at the contest field one of these days once I get my Xplorer electrolimited


Originally Posted by jaizon

In the ESL (a big TD league) launches are regularly to 200 meters. I have measured mine and that's just about where I hit with a good launch. Other do even better. No one complains and says "Hey, let's shorten the winch line and launch lower, this is too easy." No one has ever mentioned that idea on R/C groups because launching higher than the other guy in TD contests is an advantage.

In ALES 200m may be too easy for some (and not high enough for others), depending on conditions, but seems to be an excellent height for the most level playing field. In ALES you can easily lower the launch height but doing this absolutely favors the better pilots who can work thermals at lower heights. Yet these pilots who do not call for shorter winch lines in TD contests. I am not opposed to reshaping ALES as we go along but we should tread carefully when doing so. The growth of this aspect of soaring has been nothing short of phenomenal over the last couple of years. Focusing on how to make it harder, e.g., pushing for the 150m launch, IMHO will not help that and will most likely reverse the trend. Part of the fun of ALES is its laid back nature and I see nothing wrong with that, in fact, its a big part of what drew me to it in the first place.

Landing runway to cut down on dorking - maybe, but (to paraphrase a well known CD) "learn how to manage your landings".

Plane stopping assist devices. Refer to the previous comment.

Is it harder to hit the 50 in ALES than the 100 in TD. No, but it is different and in its own way requires that you learn how to manage your landings.

1 point per inch off center line sounds like a suggestion from those who have not flown much ALES. I wonder who gets the advantage by raising the bar in that manner?

Balling up the tape. Not if I'm the CD.

I have had a ton of fun flying in ALES contests and I would like to keep it that way.

Oct 14, 2012, 02:34 AM
Launch high. Fly low.
Hey NorCal Hobbies,

Can't do ALES at Eldo... We'd be breaking the law everytime we launched because of the 400 foot ceiling. LOL!
Oct 14, 2012, 10:16 AM
Dragons, WindMills, all Same
jcstalls's Avatar
You can fly ALES at Eldo most any day, just set to 100 meters. In fact you can also organize and have weekly, monthly contest. As it is a public park and does not belong under ownership of any oppressive private club.

Oct 14, 2012, 03:49 PM
Registered User

Public Facilities

Originally Posted by jcstalls
You can fly ALES at Eldo most any day, just set to 100 meters. In fact you can also organize and have weekly, monthly contest. As it is a public park and does not belong under ownership of any oppressive private club.

Yes, if you can get the use of a public park you have it made. We went thro' our local Recreation Commission who control the parks in OK Falls and got permission to fly electrics only, in Keogan Park and have the park recognised by MAAC as an official field. We book the park for our Monthly ALES contests, and pay the Rec Comm. $75 for the day, and the park is ours for that day.The rest of the week for general flying-no charge.Pretty nice if you can get it.We have houses on two sides of the park, but with electrics only we have good relations with the neighbours.When we have contests I notify our nearest airport at Penticton and they send out a Notice to Airman, warning that there will be model gliders up to 1000 ft over the village.No problem.

Oct 14, 2012, 03:56 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by jcstalls
You can fly ALES at Eldo most any day, just set to 100 meters. In fact you can also organize and have weekly, monthly contest. As it is a public park and does not belong under ownership of any oppressive private club.

Many, if not most, public parks specifically ban any rc operations - especially in Calif
Oct 30, 2012, 02:24 PM
Registered User
TrekBiker's Avatar
Originally Posted by OVSS Boss
Jared, to make a 45 point landing, you have to land in an ~2M circle, how tough is that? I agree that the landing strip to me makes even more sense, but with the way the rules are coming it is up to the CD as is usual.

Note: I was wrong Jared, a 45 landing is inside a 4M diameter circle, again, not that tough is it?

SVSS here in Calif. has quite a bit of ALES experience now with 15 ALES contest days since last fall. I like the fact that landings are de-emphasized in ALES vs. TD. 50 points max on 10 minute rounds and a 10 meter tape allows the less expert landers to have a chance competing against the pro dorkers. With our clubs ALES contests we use a 5 meter tape (5 points per half meter) and I think that 5 meters provides a little more challenge than 10 meters but still retains the de-emphasis on landings.

Going to a landing strip type landing task with 1 point increments, PLUS skegs would be a mistake and start us back on the path of expert dorkers dominating just like they do in TD. Keep ALES a primarily Man on Man SOARING event with landings secondary. The skill in managing landing approach energy, the "slide" and the de-emphasis on landing points (only 50 max and 5 point increments) is part of what makes ALES so appealling. In my first few ALES contests I was dorking simply out of TD habit and actually damaged my Radian. After a few contests pilots adjust to the more natural type landing approach and can avoid the hard collisions for landing points. I understand why the TD pros would like to have a landing arrestor of some sort and 1 point increments, it would seperate them even more from the otherwise good soaring pilots who arent great landers (like in TD, think top 50 pilots at the Visalia 2 day "landing contest"). In the current ALES landing format the expert lander may get his 50 but the less expert lander has a good chance at a 45 with a pretty big spot to hit. Thats only a 5 point difference which can easily be made up in the MoM soaring. Soaring skill and strategy becomes paramount. Sure some rounds are easy from 200 meters and everyone maxes but in every contest I have flown in there are always a couple tough rounds. In my club I will argue against landing rule changes that favor the landing pros over everyone else.

Last edited by TrekBiker; Oct 30, 2012 at 02:39 PM.
Oct 30, 2012, 03:41 PM
Gasbags & Gussets
jswain's Avatar

excellent, i like this...

Originally Posted by Larry Jolly
Marc, and other friends,
I have been staying out of the ALES discussions because I didn't feel someone who is doing it, shouldn't have an opinion or vote in the outcome. I am now competing and will move on to promoting the event just like I did with LMR 30 plus years ago....... Feel free to jump in and make suggestions various thoughts help the process. With the interest and number of fliers in California I see the real chance for some high entry competitive ALES Soaring here. LJ
Count me in.
- 2ch or full house class = basically it is " run what you brung" - foam, woody,moldie, arf, kit build, zombie-woody-gliders stashed away for years..
- Landing strip = much easier on the non-moldie models- dorking is expensive
- 150m for the open class/high performance planes and 200m for the generally lesser efficient 2ch designs
- Can be run on a soccer sized field, no line breaks, winches,etc. = simplicity
- The safety ideas are great and needed

Bottom line = i think it will bring in more participants to rc soaring - from novices flying radians (thats all they be interested in doing) all the way to experienced rc modelers who simply haven't wanted to deal with the requirements of string launching.

Plus it will be fun

john in riverside,ca
Last edited by jswain; Oct 30, 2012 at 03:53 PM.
Oct 30, 2012, 07:06 PM
Registered User
MikeC's Avatar
Is there only one class for ALES?
Oct 30, 2012, 07:26 PM
Gasbags & Gussets
jswain's Avatar
Originally Posted by MikeC
Is there only one class for ALES?
Yes, i read it as more like a single standard of ales model and not like a class with small/middle/big
/biggest gliders etc. read this from the AMA

Regarding Larry J's post, i think the 2ch part would be the only variant from the AMA proposal, and would be for specific events (i.e. CD discretion) hosted in california .

Last edited by jswain; Oct 30, 2012 at 08:11 PM. Reason: cd discretion regarding 2ch, not mandatory at all...
Oct 30, 2012, 07:26 PM
Registered User
R.M. Gellart's Avatar
Mike, just like much of AMA rules, you can modify things and in this case, yes and no.

No-there is only ALES as a class rule and it states nothing about classes in any way.

So, Yes-a CD can have multiple classes if they and the sponsoring body decide to do it. As has been discussed in places here, at this point, most just fly "unlimited (fly what you brung)", but some are talking about a two channel division and that coud be done seperately or have the scores broke our of the overall contest and recognize each class finisher where they fall.

Again, it is up to the those running the show.

Oct 30, 2012, 11:51 PM
Registered User
Im not sure I follow the talk/concern about dorking. It certainly hasnt been a problem in any of the several contests Ive flown in so far. No one I know of wants to bend a shaft or break a prop. That would result in a zero for the flight per the rules.

That may be because there arent many hardcore TD pilots flying ALES around here yet

It also seems to me that dorking violates at least the spirit of the rules in that no devices may be used to arrest the model. Using the spinner of the model as an arresting device certainly seems like a violation to me. If it was done in a contest I was CDing I would call it a zero round.

Im also not in favor of allowing arresting devices of any kind. That will just lead to dork type landings, which isnt what this contest is all about.

Im not sure exactly what a runway landing is, so I cant comment on that - other than to say if it requires dorky landings Im against it
Oct 31, 2012, 07:01 AM
Registered User
R.M. Gellart's Avatar
[/QUOTE]It also seems to me that dorking violates at least the spirit of the rules in that no devices may be used to arrest the model. Using the spinner of the model as an arresting device certainly seems like a violation to me. If it was done in a contest I was CDing I would call it a zero round.

Im also not in favor of allowing arresting devices of any kind. That will just lead to dork type landings, which isnt what this contest is all about.

Im not sure exactly what a runway landing is, so I cant comment on that - other than to say if it requires dorky landings Im against it [/QUOTE]

I think that you can dork by your definition completely by accident, and I would guess that no one that had input into the ALES rules, thought of the spinner as "an arresting device", just a guess. But, at least in my comments, my thoughts of an arresting device stops the slide and would not even work unless the ship was not flat/level, not getting stuck in hard on it's nose. In my mind, the device is only 1/2" in height and would be 3"-5" back from the spinner, so dorking would not even allow it to work

All the runway landing task is, is a string is strung that is the centerline of the "runway", and it is usually about 25' in length. You are scored based on how far off the centerline you stop at, usually a point per inch off the line. So, it is less harsh to sliding and still has the effect to give an indicator of landing accuracy, that is all.

Oct 31, 2012, 08:03 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
A few observations on "dorking" and "landing arresters".

First, one man's dork landing is always going to be another man's efficient landing. The current recommended landing task for ALES (whether it is set up as a 5 meter or a 10 meter tape) is NOT a particularly demanding task. More experienced fliers will be able to consistently get 45's and 50's pretty much at will even with graceful flat in belly landings. But less experienced fliers will be able to make up for a certain amount of deficiency in skill by simply planting the nose at the proper moment. This may take the form of a gentle thump from a foot or two or it may be more kinetic. Competitive guys will do what they must to get the points. And it turns out that, notwithstanding stated concerns about fragile shafts and props, most of what we are using are far more robust than we give them credit for being. (Please note that I am not making the case for turning our planes into lawn darts -- just observing that fliers will eventually discover the limits of the equipment and use them accordingly). I planted a Supra nearly straight in under power and while the propeller blades twisted off on impact, the motor and shaft were left quite intact. Of all the planes that I fly, the Radian is, by far, the least robust with regard to hard landings. My Electron can be planted hard from three feet or so without any ill effects -- it's kind of like dropping a grasshopper.

One of the unintended consequences of our apparent aversion to any form of landing arrestors is that it creates a substantial bias toward more expensive and complex planes. I frankly don't care if arrestors are not allowed when I fly a Supra or a Maxa -- achieving good landing results with either of these planes is not at all difficult most of the time and I am a very mediocre lander. On the other hand, the Radian is simply a pain in the arse to land and stick on a spot. I would venture a guess that IN THE HANDS OF AN AVERAGE PILOT that full house planes have a 50 or so point advantage in the course of a contest over Radians. Some Radian fliers are discovering this and fiddling with adding landing flaps and other "non-arresting landing devices" to their planes to tame their landings.

There seems to be some sort of assumption that there is a cause and effect relationship between skegs and "dork" landings. This may be true for nose mounted skegs. But nose mounted skegs are not really all that practical for planes with folding propellers. I have attached a photo of the nose of an AVA which had a Hyperion out runner motor which required that the motor leads be run outside the nose to clear the motor. I fashioned a CF cover to protect the wires. While it does not protrude nearly as far as most of the TD skegs to which we have become accustomed, it does interfere minimally with the folding propeller -- evidenced by paint marks on the back of the propeller blades. In any case, it is neither likely or prudent that a true nose mounted skeg will be useful for our planes.

On the other hand, much of the discussion on landings seems to center around a desire to see our planes land more or less parallel to the ground. At the risk of enraging everyone who has already declared themselves purists on the matter of skegs, I would observe that allowing a modest BELLY MOUNTED arresting device might actually encourage and reward "pretty" landings inasmuch as they would be totally ineffective for the dorks we abhor. Perhaps defining a permissible landing arrestor as being something like "a device no more than 6 inches in length, 1/2 inch in width and 1/2 inch in height and comprising no more than 6 tooth like protuberances" and which is "mounted aft of the furthest aft extension of the folded propeller" would result in devices which would control the slide of planes in a simple and inexpensive fashion. In addition, modest belly skegs might provide a measure of relief to drive systems to the extent that they would encourage "pretty" landings.

Like I said, I am not a proponent of turning our planes into lawn darts and I really don't give a rat's patootie whether landing arresters of any kind are allowed -- I'll fly it either way. I am a proponent of thinking about the intended and unintended consequences of the rules choices we make.

Happy Landings,

Last edited by dharban; Oct 31, 2012 at 09:34 AM.
Oct 31, 2012, 10:18 AM
Registered User
Larry Jolly's Avatar
Sorry for causing such a stir with my thoughts on landing devices. I would like to point out that if you fly from an unimproved surface meaning longer grass or other vegetation you will probably not see the need for a device to arrest the glider. But if you are using a prepared surface closer to a putting green you will see how a properly controlled landing can produce a beautiful approach, touchdown, and then your glider becomes a hocky puck and slides through the circle The only way to land accurately and consistantly on such a surface with no arrestor is to control energy and at the proper point push forward and impact the ground at an angle of attack less than best gliding angle. MY suggestion was a single arrestor like a track shoe cleat placed on the bottom of the fuselage near the wing leading edge. This offers no advantage for a dork landing and at the same time offers drag to stop the slide. I never dork my fullscale Discus B but always use the hand brake to accurately stop my landing at the end of the ground roll... LJ
Last edited by Larry Jolly; Oct 31, 2012 at 12:42 PM.

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