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Mar 19, 2016, 01:42 AM
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2016 Contest season


This year I decided to do something that some people would think a little crazy. My wife would certainly agree with them but being the wonderful person she is has agreed to support me in this endeavor. Without her on the team this would not be possible as she is my timer/caller. So what is this endeavor you may ask. Well maybe a little history about myself first.

I have been flying R/C for 40 years. In that time I have competitively flown Thermal duration sailplanes, F3B multi task sailplanes, pylon racing, IMAC, pattern and at one time was a sponsored helicopter pilot. During this time I would do one thing for a while and then switch gears and go into something else. At this time in my life I want to compete more for fun as opposed to obsess on just one type of flying. This season I am going to compete in multiple forms of R/C competition. As of now the intent is to compete in the following schedule.

Four thermal duration contests
Four ALES ( electric sailplane ) contests
Four warbird pylon contests
Two IMAC ( giant scale aerobatics ) contests
Two pattern contests

These events are tentatively scheduled and may be changed and I will update the events as we progress on. I will also update with pictures taken at these events and with results on how I did in the event good or bad. There will also be updates that will showcase the airplanes and how they are equipped. The first event is a Thermal Duration contest. For those who are not familiar with this event I will describe in basic terms. TD in a nutshell is flying a sailplane for a certain length of time to the second ending in a spot landing. You receive points based on how accurate your flight time is loosing points for being under or over the time. Landing points are awarded by being as close to a target as possible. So let's get started with the equipment.

I currently have two sailplanes that I will use for TD. One thing some guys will notice is that these are not state of the art sailplanes, they were at one time top level F3B multi task sailplanes but with advances particularlly in the past decade have made them somewhat obsolete. They are heavier and must be flown faster then today's current crop. Certainly a bit more of a challenge to be competitive but that is the intent. The first one is a Muller Cobra. Unique construction on the wings as they are foam, sheeted in a wood vaneer and have an aluminum tube hinge. Muller was the only manufacturer to use this hinging system. During the mid '80's to early '90's the Muller sailplanes were first choices of some top US pilots. The secon sailplane I have been told is an F3B Jewel that was built for the 1988 soaring world championships. I know very little about this sailplane and as of this writing I have yet to fly it. It is all composite with some interesting features. The wing is two peice that plugs together and then bolts onto the fuselage. The joint being offset. I look forward to seeing how well it flies.
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Mar 20, 2016, 11:48 AM
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My season opener is now in the books. Started out very well. Our format was what we call Nickels and Dimes. It was 6 flights, alternating between 10 minute and 5 minute flights with your first flight determining the order. My first flight was great, 9:56 with a 81 point landing. Second fligh was a 4:54 with a 87 point landing. Then things went bad in a hurry. The next two flights I failed to make my times and either skidded past the landing tape or landed short. There went the contest. The remaining two flights I made times and had landings in the 80 point range. One may think OK not bad just two poor flights, well the group I fly with really have their stuff together and this year I moved form the sportsman class to the Expert class. They take no prisoners, I finished in last place. The great news and really the icing on the cake for the day was I took a pylon racing buddy of mine with a sailplane I gave him and had him enter into sportsman, He took second place and now is hooked. I didn't manage a bunch of pictures but did get a shot of my two sailplanes prior to the contest flying. I was also able to put in a few flights on the Jewel ( sailplane to the right ) and can report it flys nicely and will get better with a little trimming. After the contest I went to my power airplane field to get in some pattern practice with the Reed Falcon bipe I will be flying in AMA intermediate pattern this year. Got one fligh before a split fuel line grounded me.
Last edited by exf3bguy; Mar 20, 2016 at 12:06 PM.
Mar 20, 2016, 12:03 PM
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Next contest up next weekend is ALES . Altitude limited electric soaring has really been gaining in popularity. It's easy as there is no launching equipment to set up and there are quite a few ARF foam models that do very well such as then Flyzone Calypso, Eflight Radian and Multiplex Heron just to name a few. The format at the club I fly at is pretty easy to follow. We have altitude limiters set to 150 meters, you have 30 seconds to reach that altitude. We usually have 5 or 6 sailplanes in the air at the same time. We have a 10 second launch window and after the climb out the task is a 9:30 duration flight ( for a total flight time of 10 Minutes ) with a spot landing. My particular sailplane for this event is the Flyzone Calypso with the flap option added. It is pretty much bone stock except for the added paint after I peeled the decals off.


The ALES contest was today 4-2, we had a total of 16 guys in attendance. The weather was absolutely beautiful with temps in the low 70's and very light winds. We also had a day of very light lift. Out of the four rounds I was only able to get my flight time twice. So far the contest season is off to a slow start being the second soaring contest that I did not place. We have another thermal contest next weekend on Saturday and a pylon race on Sunday. I hope to turn things around and getting better placements but in the meantime I have having fun and enjoying the company. Here are a few pictures taken at the ALES that shows the range of different airplanes and the great site we have to fly from.
Last edited by exf3bguy; Apr 02, 2016 at 05:23 PM.
Mar 21, 2016, 02:20 PM
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The ALES sailplane contest was pushed back until April 2 due to forecasted winds. I went out to practice yesterday and did not assemble the airplane. Not to let the day ho to waste hobby wise, I will be doing some paint repair on my IMAC airplane. While getting the big Extra ready for the season, she is getting a new fuel tank and lines, updated vinyl graphics, a new prop and some paint repair. The paint repair is nessesary due to once last year while working on the airplane while upside down, I forgot to clamp off the vent line and fuel got onto the bottom of the fuse. I didn't notice until hours later and by then the paint in the area had lifted. Irritating as the finish on this all composite airplane is automotive paints.

Spent a good part of the day with body supplies and paint. I had a couple other scrapes and such to repair at the same time. With an airplane that is 3 years old and has over 300 flights on it, there is bound to be some wear and tear.The pictures show the progression of cleaning up the damage to primer and then paint. Will give the whole airplane a good polish and wax once everything is dry and back together.
Last edited by exf3bguy; Mar 26, 2016 at 04:13 PM.
Mar 21, 2016, 02:34 PM
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The next event in line is the Warbird pylon racing season opener at the Sactamento ares modelers site. These particular airplanes are heavy metal WW2 fighters much like the Reno unlimiteds. They are 520-550 sq in of wing and around 7 lbs flying weight. Power is anything from .46 two strokes up to 1.20 four strokes. Full rules can be found at Sacramento area modelers web page. My particular airplane is a self designed Italian Macchi 202. It has a 64" span which results in 520 sq in of wing. Flying weight is 6.5 lbs and is powered with a YS 115 WS. The wing is foam core/balsa sheeting with a good dose of fiberglass and CF reinforcing. The fuse is fiberglass/CF. The tail section is balsa, sanded to an airfoil shape and then fiberglassed via vacuum bag, they incorperate molded in skin hinges.

The season opener is April 10th and I will do a full report and post pictures immediately following.
Mar 21, 2016, 02:35 PM
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What a day of ups and downs during the Warbird race. Things started out well having won my first round but went bad after that. The type of racing that we do has what is called breakouts. In order to get the AMA to sign off on the sanctions we have to limit the speeds of each class. I run the hold class and we have a breakout of 1:30. Anything faster the that and you get a zero for the round. We are not allowed to use timing devices of any kind. Out of the four rounds of racing I had two rounds I flew a time of 1:28.9 so two rounds of zero points. Final standings will be posted in a few days but I suspect a place of around 8th out of 20 contestants. Dissapointing to say the least. The good news is that the airplane survived the day without as much of a scratch so is ready for the next race the second weekend of June. I snapped a few pictures, one of me with " The YS Man " Richard Veano, the score sheet after the first round showing my second place standing and a few shots of airplanes including my own Macchi 5.
Last edited by exf3bguy; Apr 10, 2016 at 09:08 PM.
Apr 08, 2016, 05:23 PM
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In addition to the warbird pylon season opener on Sunday the 10th, I also have a thermal duration contest on Saturday. I went out on Tuesday and Thursday to practice some laps with the pylon Macchi 202. The airplane is running well and will be a contender. On Tueday the wind was coming from the opposite direction, well almost as it was about a 45 degree cross wind. I had one bad landing that ended up taking out a retract. I use Hobby King electic retracts so swapping a new set was pretty easy. I always keep a spare set on hand since they are so inexpensive. Thursday was better weather wise. Got a stopwatch on it this time and flying quite consevitivly I was right on the breakout time of 1:30. Going to give the airplane a good look over and then she is ready to rock.


Today ( Friday ) I took the sailplanes out for some practice. It was a bit breezy and cold so the lift was a bit on the light side. I did all my practicing with my latest addition, a sailplane called F3B Jewel. Prior to buying it I had never heard of this model but I liked it's lines so I picked it up. It has a span of 110" and a yet to be identified airfoil. I was happy to get a couple flights of 15 minutes each with it in the less then optimal conditions. I would work a thermal for a while and then bail out, do a couple loops and rolls to burn some altitude and then go thermal hunting again. I still have a little tuning to do so I'm pretty sure I will fly mainly with the Muller Cobra tomorrow. I did take some detailed pictures of the Jewel thought showing some of its unique features.


Due to expected rain, the thermal duration contest has been pushed back until next week. I can devote more attention to the pylon event now. It does however shift the two event weekend to the 16th and 17th as there is a giant scale event I will be attending.
Last edited by exf3bguy; Apr 09, 2016 at 01:02 AM.
Apr 12, 2016, 03:25 PM
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Well I can see that this blog is getting some readers but as of yet no posters. I have a bit of a delema, this coming weekend I have two events I can fly in. Last weeks Thermal contest was pushed back to this weekend. A good buddy of mine also invited me to to come fly in his aerobatic fun fly. I haven't flown the big Extra since October and really need to get it out and start practicing my IMAC sequence. So let's hear some opinions........one or the other or both? Full picture report on whatever I decide to do.
Apr 23, 2016, 11:11 PM
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I decided to bail on the Thermal Duration contest and take the Extra out and have some fun knowing there was going to be a ALES ( electric sailplane contest ) the following weekend. The Extra looks great with its repairs and some new graphics. She flew really well but while practicing the 2016 IMAC advanced sequence it was noted that the 30x13 prop I have on it just doesn't have quite the pull I need for the first figure. A 32x10 is currently on order. I also took the Reed Falcon out and got a couple flights on it.
Apr 23, 2016, 11:22 PM
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Today was the ALES and to be honest looked to be a horrible day considering the start of the day. I really wanted to fly in open class which ment that I needed to finish the ASW 19 sailplane I got a few months back. Well after working non stop on Friday finally finishing up at 1:00 am Sat morning it was done. The bad news is that the first flight only lasted 4 seconds. My CG was a bit aft and I made the mistake of thinking it would be manageable. It in fact was not. The result was a crunched wing tip and broken prop. I had to break out with the trusty Calypso and enter into the " Foamy " class. Well the day got better and after four rounds in great conditions I came out in first place in Foamy and forth overall. After a stop at the hobby shop for a larger motor battery and prop I worked on the ASW for a couple hours and eventually got back out to the field for a successful maiden flight.
Apr 28, 2016, 08:56 PM
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This weekend is a camp and fly event at Sunset state beach located on the California coast between Sants Cruz and Montery overlooking the Montery bay. I haven't flown on the slope for a few years. The F3B Jewel and Cobra are very well suited for this type of flying and it will be great practice for the upcoming International Slope Race that is being held in May. It will also be a great opertunity to meet some guys from RCG.
May 01, 2016, 09:33 PM
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The Camp and Fly at Suset State Beach was a blast! Saterday's winds were a bit on the light side but still had fun just tooling around the sky and meeting some of the RCG slope guys. Sunday was a calm morning, which was a great time to sit up on the hill overlooking the beach. Whil just sitting there having some quality time with my wife we had a couple ultralights fly by and circle around a couple times. That was cool but then we started spotting whales just 40 yards off shore. It was really awe inspiring as I had not seen whales in the wild like that before.
May 01, 2016, 09:36 PM
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Just after noon the winds started coming in. We had a huge group within an hour of the winds hitting. I was able to load up the Jewel with a pound of ballast and burn some fast laps with it. Look at the difference in surf between the calm and the 20 mph winds.
May 07, 2016, 01:32 AM
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The International Slope race in Davenport Ca. is just one week away and the Jewel sailplane is dialed in and ready for battle. I wish I could say the same for me. I have had some swelling and pain in my right hand, enough that a couple weeks back I went in to have it looked at. After an Ultrasound, X-rays and an MRI it was determined that I have a blood clot that has created an aneurysm. The artery in question will need to be replaced. The surgery will take place the week following the ISR. Obviously this will have some effect on my plans for this summer. How much I don't know as of yet. The good news is that all my aircraft are ready to go and I have a great group of guys supporting me and one fantastic woman. My guys will help me with airplane logistics to the point where at an event I only need to concentrate on flying. I am looking into the use of a TX tray. The plan is to start working with a simulator as soon as possible into my recovery. Stay tuned, I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet.
May 10, 2016, 05:17 PM
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The saga continues. I went out and flew my E powered Robbe ASW19 yesterday. The idea is to use this in ALES competition in the open class. It's flying better each time I take it out and make adjustments accordingly. Yesterday's conditions were wind with either boomer lift or major sink. Out of the three 200 meter power out flights I made the 10 minute flight twice. Still going to play with CG and wing loading some.

The biggest reason I wanted to get out and fly yesterday was it was going to be my only opertunity to fly this week. Today I went in for an Angiogram for my hand. The procedure is basically inserting a catheter into the vein in my leg/groin area and then working the catheter up that vein, past my shoulder and into my right arm. Then through the catheter a dye of some sort was injected into my bloodstream and images were taken. This will keep me laid up for the rest of the week. The plan if I am capable is to participate in the International Slope Race this weekend. With the help from my wife I am hopeful to pull it off.


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