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Dec 03, 2019, 03:19 PM
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Brynmr's Avatar
Anyone notice a decline in our sailplane sport due to this height limitation? Pilots selling off their planes, drop in sales or competitions etc? Just curious. This ceiling limit isn't going to affect me much since it coincides with a diminished eyesight and the fact I never flew all that high anyway but I imagine for the serious enthusiasts it would be a game changer.
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Dec 03, 2019, 09:11 PM
Dark Side of the Red Merle
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynmr
Anyone notice a decline in our sailplane sport due to this height limitation? Pilots selling off their planes, drop in sales or competitions etc? Just curious. This ceiling limit isn't going to affect me much since it coincides with a diminished eyesight and the fact I never flew all that high anyway but I imagine for the serious enthusiasts it would be a game changer.
Not to mention about zero chance of hosting a Worlds FAI event.
Dec 03, 2019, 11:02 PM
The King Moonracer of balsa.
Windependence's Avatar
I can't say that I, personally, have seen any decrease in the hobby that I could attribute to this new rule. I have been looking in the event forum and I can't say there seems to be any significant drop in contest announcements for the foreseeable future. I have not heard of any contest being stopped or pilots at a contest being fined. But that is just my experience up here in fly over country.

Wayne
Dec 04, 2019, 04:22 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwoebke
I'm not sure I agree with that. And I have data that backs up my opinion on that.


Ryan
I have flown a couple of moldies and a bunch of other gliders in contests, and I haven't noticed much of a difference in landings. I can't even think of why there should be much difference. Would like to know what that data is.
Dec 04, 2019, 08:56 AM
Registered User
Not here , my club picked up 2 new members that are strictly sailplaners . Good to see that .
I also believe the Fl. contest calendar is as full as ever .
Dec 04, 2019, 09:31 AM
The King Moonracer of balsa.
Windependence's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lincoln
I have flown a couple of moldies and a bunch of other gliders in contests, and I haven't noticed much of a difference in landings. I can't even think of why there should be much difference. Would like to know what that data is.
Based on your comment I am guessing that you are not flying anything like a Sailaire or a Windfree. It goes without saying that there is a huge difference in the landing zone between those I mentioned and a mouldie. Now if your "other gliders" are something along the lines of a 3.6 meter Pulsar or an Ava Pro then your statement is pretty true.

Wayne
Dec 04, 2019, 10:34 AM
Registered User
Crashbound's Avatar
As far as landing differences between a moldie and something else is, in my opinion, the only difference is between a 'normal' landing and a lawn dart landing. With a lot of moldies, you can drive the nail that pins the tape in deeper with a lawn dart landing, vs, well, you just can't do that with other fuselage types, or with an electric motor. Eliminate those type landings and the playing field becomes pretty level, as far as landing points go.

As far as contest participation. Personally I haven't seen any drop off and if fact, there is very little discussion, dare I say, almost a reluctance to even discuss the subject during a contest. As it is right now, best I can tell people are largely going ahead as before, almost as though if we ignore it, maybe it will go away. Or maybe we're just continuing forward with the hope some contest waiver process can be worked out. If that doesn't materialize, I think when the AMA and landowners/clubs announce a hard limit, that's when you'll see contest participation drop off and planes go up for sale.
Either way, I don't sense there is some large scale civil disobedience statement being made, more of a wait and see attitude is what I'm getting.
Dec 04, 2019, 11:01 AM
The Mr. Rogers of RC soaring
rdwoebke's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lincoln
I have flown a couple of moldies and a bunch of other gliders in contests, and I haven't noticed much of a difference in landings. I can't even think of why there should be much difference. Would like to know what that data is.
This is kind of getting off topic, but I have kept records of every flight I have made since 2007. I keep records of time of day the flight was made, location, temperature, wind speed, cloud conditions, flight duration (and the flight objective) and landing score.

I do a lot of practice sessions where my only objective was practicing landings. Some sessions are short and I just did a handful and some were 30-40 landings. I typically use a landing tape that uses a scoring system that will be used at an upcoming contest I am planning to attend. For the purpose of the aggregate data I am going to share I was using a landing tape with 1 point decreased per every 4 inches from the spot.

In calm conditions with the more modern plane I could average about a second closer on time and about 3 points more on the landing score. When the wind picked up, however, the effect was more pronounced. It was closer to 2 seconds on time and 10 points on the landing score.

This has been my experience. YMMV. I encourage everyone to do your own analysis.

Ryan
Latest blog entry: Supergee wing mount pylons
Dec 04, 2019, 09:45 PM
Registered User
Brynmr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashbound
As far as contest participation. Personally I haven't seen any drop off and if fact, there is very little discussion, dare I say, almost a reluctance to even discuss the subject during a contest. As it is right now, best I can tell people are largely going ahead as before, almost as though if we ignore it, maybe it will go away. Or maybe we're just continuing forward with the hope some contest waiver process can be worked out. If that doesn't materialize, I think when the AMA and landowners/clubs announce a hard limit, that's when you'll see contest participation drop off and planes go up for sale.
Either way, I don't sense there is some large scale civil disobedience statement being made, more of a wait and see attitude is what I'm getting.
That sounds about right. When I asked at my club the response was lackluster. If things with the FAA don't improve I expect the hammer will fall. Still won't affect me. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.
Dec 10, 2019, 08:53 AM
Barney Fife, Vigilante
tom43004's Avatar
I have personally discontinued working on my F5J design for now. I tooled it up and built a couple of models but I probably won't be building any more until the dust settles. Instead I have designed a new, budget minded F3K/DLG and will be announcing it soon but I don't intend to make a lot of those either.

I also have sold off most of my TD/F3J and F5J fleet as well as my spare radio gear. I guess you'd say I'm "minimizing" my exposure to the changes. I probably won't be flying anything larger than a DLG for a while.

I think best case scenario we're looking at a couple of years of turmoil where a lot of the veterans of our sport will bail or revert back to non-flying hobbies. Maybe after this all shakes out, a handful come back and we might even sprinkle in a few new bodies along the way... but I think our already struggling hobbies are going to take a substantial downturn. I doubt that the magnitude will be immediately understood.
Dec 10, 2019, 09:08 AM
Barney Fife, Vigilante
tom43004's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windependence
Just thinking out loud here. At the uber high levels of our hobby it makes sense to have lots af classes but at the local club level, not so much. Instead of trying to come up with yet another class of soaring why not simply change the contest, dare I say event, format so that any design can participate and have a chance of winning.

Allow all spans, all launch methods, basically a fly what you bring event. Structure the event so no one design has a huge advantage. Limit the winch launches by eliminating zooms and set the turn around so their launch heights roughly match everything else. Make the landing task so it can be reasonably accomplished by everyone. 100" landing tape is simply not reasonable for a lot of designs out there.
Wayne,

I like it. Nothing drives me nuts more than hearing about another "new" class of competition in soaring. We already have more classes than competitors. Just fly.

However....

No matter what you make the "game" look like, someone somewhere with an uber-competitive streak is going to custom design an aircraft tailored toward winning that game. It happens. Heck, I've done it. That specialized tool will be manufactured from the best materials and will be VERY good at helping it's pilot win at this game. It probably won't be cheap. That too is a part of every soaring game unless we build in limits to the technology... a good starting place is limiting wingspan and / or minimum wing loading.
Dec 10, 2019, 09:10 AM
Registered User
Crashbound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom43004

I think best case scenario we're looking at a couple of years of turmoil where a lot of the veterans of our sport will bail or revert back to non-flying hobbies. Maybe after this all shakes out, a handful come back and we might even sprinkle in a few new bodies along the way... but I think our already struggling hobbies are going to take a substantial downturn. I doubt that the magnitude will be immediately understood.
I agree. And survival will depend upon getting this reversed, ideally. Maybe contest waivers will help.

But I really doubt most of those who "represent" the hobby are much involved in seriously seeking reversal. Seems most of those who we would depend upon as an advocate seem to have largely become drone happy and are fine with jumping on that bandwagon and riding along. After all, we are small and largely aging out. Looking down the road, I don't see much of a soaring community left, as we know it now, and I think with a very few exceptions, most organizations and businesses are okay with that. Numbers speak.
Dec 10, 2019, 10:10 AM
The Mr. Rogers of RC soaring
rdwoebke's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom43004
I probably won't be flying anything larger than a DLG for a while.
As long as people are still enjoying and working thermals I think that is the important thing. We are all going to have to come to our own peace with this stuff. There are ways to still enjoy working thermals under 400 feet if that is where your solution lies.

Ryan
Latest blog entry: Supergee wing mount pylons
Dec 10, 2019, 10:51 AM
turn, turn, turn.
Wrong forum...
Dec 10, 2019, 04:54 PM
The King Moonracer of balsa.
Windependence's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom43004
However....

No matter what you make the "game" look like, someone somewhere with an uber-competitive streak is going to custom design an aircraft tailored toward winning that game. It happens. Heck, I've done it. That specialized tool will be manufactured from the best materials and will be VERY good at helping it's pilot win at this game. It probably won't be cheap. That too is a part of every soaring game unless we build in limits to the technology... a good starting place is limiting wingspan and / or minimum wing loading.
Hi Tom, there will always be that guy who plays the game to win, who studies the rules and designs an airframe to win. That is the person who will move on to tougher and tougher event formats to challenge their skills. But we cannot design every format around that level of competitiveness. For every person like this there are a dozen who are not and by catering strictly to the upper level guys we discourage the majority of pilots.

Wayne


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