Simplified SAM R/C Rules - RC Groups
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Mar 16, 2013, 09:49 AM
Registered User

Simplified SAM R/C Rules

Fellow SAMers,

Thinking out loud here, and looking for input.

Many of the R/C SAM classes were brought about (in my belief) to make for more level fields of competition. In an earlier time, the numerous classes may have served their intended purpose.

Then, the later built (hotter) McCoy engines were allowed in. Then modern high RPM engines were allowed in.

However, one rule that seemingly was adhered to, was the weight rule. The weight rule is one of the more, or most easily, adhered to rules that exist.

Now that SAM finds itself (in my belief) needing to boost participation/membership,
could the following proposal be useful in increasing interest and participation in SAM?

Offer altitude shutoff of engine/motor run and return of the 8-ounce rule. If participating in the former, the latter is allowed to exist again. ("Offer"..., not necessarily replace).

The implications include combining classes of models amongst currently too few participants.

The less competitive engines/model designs suddenly become more competitive, possibly allowing more favorites versus fewer "go-to" winning designs.
Back in their early heyday, the now winning designs were not yet sorted through.
As then, I'm picturing endless designs built for their beauty (and now past memories), etc, rather than the mere typical handful of proven designs seen today.

So, imagine building a favorite model purely for fun, that could however still compete!

Make no mistake, most growth within SAM will come from already seasoned modelers, rather than from outside of model aviation. As such, the experienced modeler already has modern engines and/or electric motors that could now participate in more SAM events. SAM events that comparatively, are now extremely limited in scope.

Classes simplify along the lines of wing area only, I.E. large/medium/small/1/2A,
(given as ONLY an example). A SAM newbie can use his first and only model in many opportunities to fly and/or compete.

Simplification of SAM R/C rules could exponentially grow SAM membership by ten fold! Could a secondary benefit of simplification of SAM rules also be a lessening of rules cycle time issues amongst an aging membership?

PLEASE input YOUR thoughts, either pro/con or modified, as to how you believe we can best increase both SAM membership and contest participation.
Growth in SAM is not much of a reality as things stand now.

What do you think?

ScratchBuildrSAM AMA # 28854 SAM # 1312
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Mar 16, 2013, 03:38 PM
AMA 7224
Leadchucker's Avatar
I can see the old timer thing is going to die sometime in future. .We fly a very esoteric sector of the hobby that is completely unkonwn to some and will have no attraction to others. Even the very youngest of the real old timers are way up in age and are leaving us at a rapid pace. Very few have the interest in building the old stuff with all the sticks, glue and good heavens, yes, you have to cover them yourself. Dumping the BOM rules was a good move allowing transfer of planes between modellers and keeping the aircraft viable for competition work, so if you can't build you could maybe buy oneGo a step farther with the old ignition engines and more confusion (to newbies) plus the fact that they are noisy, have no mufflers available in general and can't be flown at many places. I'm a 99% ignition flyer and all too familar with all the noise stuff, however I am lucky to have two fields where I can fly them. Most of the engine events are good the way they are. Electric would help but with the ridiculous battery rules for contests,who wants to be farting around with this.

Altitude limiters would be a good thing to try, it could bring back some of the larger flying lumber yard antique models that seem to have lost their place in the electric classes. Battery sizes and motive power become a non item as everyone gets to start the soaring part of the flight at the same alitude. I've been flying ALES events with electric sailplanes and it's fun and easy. 30 seconds or 200 metres (657ft) in altitude controlled by a onboard switch levels out the playing field with no muss nor fuss.

Increased participation is nice and we can surely use some new blood but at the same time I don't think we want to lose the essence of the old models either. SAM has to speed things up a bit for rules changes, what's it take now 10 years to alter something? I know they are all volunteers,only meet every so often a and so on,but in this day of instant communications a text,e-mail or online meeting should be as easy as pie.
Last edited by Leadchucker; Mar 16, 2013 at 03:51 PM. Reason: speeling again
Mar 16, 2013, 07:18 PM
Registered User
earlwb's Avatar
Well unfortunately when there is competition then people start pushing the envelope. Some may even call it cheating. Thus the reason for the rules in a attempt to level the playing field. But there always seems to be a loophole that those clever enough to find it, use it. I don't know if there is really solution for it all.
Mar 17, 2013, 02:45 AM
Registered User
harborflyer's Avatar
What I have seen is that newbies want to redesign models ( airfoils, dihedral angles, aielerons, etc.) Then they are no longer "old timers".
Also we like to fly Types together, Cabin, non cabin, etc.
Alt limited may help, if the "old boys" can be converted.
I was heavily into the competition until the distance to flying feilds got too far on a weekly basis. Still look at my "old timers" and wish.

Mar 17, 2013, 10:24 AM
Registered User
Thanks everyone for the replies.

IF..., altitude-relevent flying in SAM ever comes about, it may take awhile.

The SAMers who don't want it are often times the very same engine hop-up (illegal, but common) fanatics. Hop-up specialists were known to brag about making earlier O&Rs out run later O&Rs.

As a long time SAMer (rubber free flight), what motive would I have to compete in SAM R/C if my model must meet a minimum weight, but my/any stock engine doesn't come anywhere close to being capable of competing! No long-term viability -of-competition vision exists here at all.

I used to ride a hopped up a motorcycle with a buddy who was on his identical bike. I had to stop, as I was at least 150 pounds heavier than his short, string bean self. I told him, sure I will hop up further.., if you will bolt a 150 pound lead weight to YOUR bike. His ego would only allow for winning..., not competition. A single cylinder motorcycle making less than 30 horsepower is no place for a disparity of 150 pounds between competitors.

I will simply fly R/C SAM models for myself, though that does nothing to increase organized SAM participation that SAM, as a whole, is lamenting.

No whine at all, just simply a statement of current SAM conditions.

Mar 17, 2013, 11:10 AM
Old Timer
California Condor's Avatar
One of the biggest impediments to newcomers is the complexity of the rules.
Mar 17, 2013, 12:26 PM
Registered User
earlwb's Avatar
I still remember loosing interest in Quickie 500 pylon racing when at first the racers were restricted to using a specific airframe and a stock K&B .40 RC engine only. Then it was great as the flying pretty much was skill mostly. But then the guys with lots of money would go and buy up, literally 100's of engines in one case, all of the engines. They would go through and carefully run all of the engines, keeping only the best runners, and selling off the rest of the leftovers. K&B would make a production run and a number of competitors would buy out the entire production run, just so they could ensure that they could get the best engines.

The problem is whenever the guys with lots of money get involved in something competitive then it starts to shut out everyone else then. But having a competition that lets people compete is great, but there needs to be someway to let everyone have a go at it and not the ones with deep pockets only.

Now then years ago we had really good success with 1/2a Q-Tee racing. Everyone used a Airtronics Q-Tee plane, two channel RC, and a Cox Black Widow .049 engine. That wound up being very popular and the flying was very competitive. Plus it wasn't expensive either.

Thus maybe some simple 1/2a SAMS events that are restricted to a certain wingspan and overall length and just a certain 1/2a engine, such as a Cox Baby Bee or something. That would keep it reasonably simple.
Mar 17, 2013, 09:52 PM
If the winds blowin, I'm goin!
CashRC's Avatar
Originally Posted by California Condor
One of the biggest impediments to newcomers is the complexity of the rules.
Eut hit the hail on the head..I've been a member of SAM for about 4-5 years now, always wanted to go to a SAM event..still do. I've built a couple of planes for 1/2a and speed 400 events, and they're fun, but I wanted something bigger, and could be flown at any I did up a 67" Bomber, for electric. The electric rules make no sense at all. I can see some of the battery restrictions for a texaco type event, but a LMR type event shouldn't have any restrictions except possibly cell count...just say 3 lipos or 9 nicads and you're done..easy peasy. Make it a 60 second motor run while you're at it. Simple. If you're worried about overpowering these birds, do an rpm limit. Stil simpler than whats on the books now.
My club is hooking up with the Soaring League of North Texas to do ales events..might try to fly the Lanzo in it, but they have precision landing rules...
Mar 17, 2013, 10:21 PM
AMA 7224
Leadchucker's Avatar
Originally Posted by CashRC
..... but they have precision landing rules...
It's not rules per se Cash. It's only a small part of the flight task and small part of the flight score. SAM used to ahve a spot landing circle thing way back in the early 70's when I started the RC part, but they did away with it at some point. Not sure why really, maybe too many dorked lumber yards?

I've seen a number of old timers at ALES contest, don't let the landing bit scare you off.
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Mar 17, 2013, 10:58 PM
Registered User
Thanks California, Crash and Earl.

Some of my buddies are into the 1/2A SAM scene. The highly specialized evolving of the 1/2A event could have been avoided with an ALES type rule. However, ALES is newer (came much later) than SAM 1/2A Texaco. It is only natural to tinker with fuel when fuel is not restricted. (More later).

Imagine ALES with return to 8-ounce wing loading for SAM. Many (most?) SAMers prefer the older, lighter wing loading. Imagine the unusual SAM models again showing up to fly.

A Porlock Puffin I had enlarged to 8 feet of wing span would be such an example. My GB 5cc diesel inverted would amble her up to altitude nicely, under an ALES altitude rule.

The altimeter switch allows for either altitude alone, OR can include time to altitude also. The results are an exponential crossover increase of models available for use. Same with engines. No more tedious field swapping of engines for differing events.

The seldom seen models would be even more viable at the 8-ounce wing loading. 8-ounce loading seems a possible incentive to encourage participation. It is however, only one such suggestion.

I observe 1/2A Texaco models flying out-of-sight on the climb out. I see large models of eight foot span go out of sight, as modelers gather to catch a sun glare as the pilot spins her back down so someone in a group can spot the plane. (A flight disqualification if actually following the rules.)

The now, not-competitive engines and possibly favorite or long admired aircraft would be viable again.

The MAJOR intent of SAM's Preamble was NOT to advance anything from the past, but rather to relive and enjoy the history that was, that is; to re-live it all over again!

Mar 18, 2013, 10:11 PM
Thermals, Tom
RyanNX211's Avatar
Originally Posted by California Condor
One of the biggest impediments to newcomers is the complexity of the rules.
And the handicapping of 4 Strokes. Thanks Eut!
Mar 20, 2013, 10:09 PM
Registered User
I wanted to compete in my first SAM R/C meet this Spring. However, being that my model is seemingly limited in what I could enter, maybe it wouldn't be worth going.

Sounds like two days of flight timing and pit work, with very limited direct participation on my part.

I'm re-thinking that unless ALES were to come about with different rules, I probably need to be somewhere else on those two days.

I have to wonder that if I'm not alone in not wanting to pay to fly with hardly a chance in Haiti of doing anything other than giving others fodder to finish higher?

Not griping, just applying some logic to two days of "what for"?

Looked at another way, The variance of upper finishers seems quite a bit smaller than the randomness of a win on a good day would seemingly suggest.

Mar 20, 2013, 11:30 PM
Registered User
JackHiner's Avatar
ScratchBuildrSAM I am not familiar with the Porlock Puffin. If it is an Antique you could fly it in Glow Texaco event. At 8 foot span should do well in Texaco. I am familiar with the GB diesel. I have flown the GB dieseel for sport since 2002. Last year I flew the GB in an Airborn at 810 sq. in. wing area in Glow Texaco at two SAM contests in Fort Wayne and the Toledo event. Also flew it in C LER at one contest. Not competetve in either event but fun to fly. For LER I would just have an engine over run to get decent altitude for a decent at a thermal. Took zeros for the engine over runs. Model too small for Texaco and the GB not a good choice for Texaco per David Owen. Many times I fly compettive models but some times models with little or no chance of a win. I think I have more fun flying models that are not competitive in SAM contests. About 5 SAM contests in Indiana, Ohio and Tenneesee this Summer. Come join us this year. I think you live in Ohio. Jack
Mar 20, 2013, 11:42 PM
Registered User
JackHiner's Avatar
GB 5.4 cc diesel on Airborn and test stand. Jack
Mar 21, 2013, 08:17 PM
Registered User
Thanks Jack. Yes.., same engine.

I was trying to show that a typical AMA member who might get interested in SAM would likely only to get overwhelmed by complexities. The newbie SAM member couldn't possibly know that he is stepping into something that doesn't come close to resembling the SAM Preamble.

Having been in SAM, I have the benefit of seeing what the newcomer couldn't possibly see up front. The majority of newcomers will likely become disillusioned to organized SAM events.

If flying SAM models can be simple and relaxing, should not the rules for meets also be simple?

In this a time of too-good-to-be-true laser cut kits, plentiful relevant engines, as well as electric choices to lure in younger modelers, current SAM members are still unwittingly allowing SAM to die.

Currently, there are too many classes of competition, that is to say too few flyers to fill those classes (and make it all work).

My only interest in model aviation is SAM Free Flight & SAM RC. Not AMA pattern, helicopters, or 3D aerobatics.

Logic (to me anyway) and demographics, says SAM membership should be the rising star of membership increases.

Preemption towards simplification of rules while there is still time, as well as the previous removal of the BOM in RC seem necessary. I was always (wrongly, I must now admit) against killing the BOM rule.

I personally don't want to expand into electrics, but I would gladly fly altitude-limited SAM events with them, wouldn't you?!


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