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Nov 15, 2019, 04:09 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trisquire
Personally, I'd rather fish in a lake that's been recently stocked. If that makes me lazy, so be it. I see a lot of folks go home empty handed. For them, a day out in the sun is good enough.
I can't argue with that. I've been around groups flying for fun on such days and there's always lots of smiling faces and satisfied comments. And likely as not a big part of why we can't get sport flyers out to fly at contests.

Quote:
I have always thought that a good format for competitions, would be to see how many confirmed thermals a person could get in an allotted amount of time.
Kenny, now THAT would be a very interesting format. My only fear is arguments over what constitutes a "thermal". With today's telemetry radios this could be quite possible to do. Something about registering the presence of being in rising air for more than X seconds just so it's not a bit of turbulence. And then some way of needing to pass through a gate or something to get away from the lift.

It would also be a good way to fly on a fun day for personal reward with no need for anything fancy for tech or potential arguments with the "lift judges"... But then we're back to sport flying.

I've always been a club sort of person. I enjoy the socializing with folks that have similar interests. And sharing their projects and mine. From the soaring side of things it was easy to get folks into clubs back in the 80's and 90's because they got access to the club winches or high starts.

With electric power setups being so easily and cheaply available now much of the lure of flying in a club is not there. And since the club environment was a good source for potential contest flyers and contest workers (it takes a good number of folks to host a contest after all) I suspect that this is a big cost to the sport of contest soaring.
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Nov 15, 2019, 05:06 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews
Don, I don't think that is the case at all for most soaring pilots. The lure of a free ride and dealing with the challenges of finding lift is one that keeps a lot of us coming back. But a very common reply I got from other soaring pilots when asked why they don't fly in contests was "why should I come down if I'm in lift?". And I do mean VERY common comment. And I suspect that's why a lot of casual soaring types don't fly in contests.
I don't doubt for a minute that your observation is accurate -- except for the part about "coming back". The three factors that make up the total number of participants in RC soaring is determined by the number of people coming in, the number of people going out and the duration of participation of the ones who come in.

While I am sure that some of the people you describe are satisfied for years or even decades flying like that, I suspect that many of these flyers stick with it for much shorter periods of time than those who have discovered organized thermal soaring (not just competition). I wouldn't be a bit surprised if many of the Radians that thrilled their purchasers never saw even one thermal -- they simply glided on their motor runs. And I am not criticizing that. Just observing that many who take up RC soaring casually Never get to experience the broad range of challenges that those who stick with it do. And that is too bad. Lost opportunities for them AND for us.

One of the things that has bothered me in recent years is the allergy that many experienced flyers have to the concept of telemetry. With a minimum of technical effort (and within the 400 foot limitation) one could amplify Kenny's suggestion and come up with objective ways of measuring performance to apply to personal and/or competitive challenges.

Two that immediately come to mind would be a power test and an altitude test.

The engineering measurement of power for a plane can be reduced to dividing an altitude gain by the time taken to gain the altitude. The test would be to test for the highest altitude gain that would be achieved in, let's say, one minute during some predetermined task time without exceeding 400 feet. The necessary parameters are easily measured by easily available onboard electronics in conjunction with what should be a simple interface that some bright sparky might develop.

The altitude test (a different take on Kenny's idea) would use a different interface to measure the total altitude gain below 400 feet measured during some predetermined task time. Again, easily measured with technology available connected to a simple interface.

Interestingly, the typical F5J "switch" collects and stores the data necessary to discover the parameters -- all that would be needed is an interface that could integrate the data -- or even more simply (but a bit more clumsy) this data can already be downloaded and processed post flight in a laptop.

Clearly, I have a competition background, but I have reached the likely end of competing per se. That doesn't mean that I and people like me wouldn't like to see tasks devised that can be flown in large competitions, club competitions or by individuals flying alone.

Although, as Kenny suggested, when two or more get together...

Happy Landings,

Don
Nov 16, 2019, 02:29 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
That's a whole post of more good points.

There's simply no really good answer to the issue. As you say "when two or more get together.... " is always going to be there. But it's apparently a big step from some fun times against a buddy and beers after to actually entering a proper competition. And clearly more and more it's becoming harder to find those that are willing to take that step.
Nov 17, 2019, 11:26 AM
turn, turn, turn.
So by-the-by... I'm out here this morning... 11゚F last night, about 32 now... lotsa nice clouds and the tensity altitude is minus 1400!!!

With the density altitude this low I expect to be able to climb out from 20' every time.
Nov 17, 2019, 11:33 AM
turn, turn, turn.
1st climb landed quickly...2nd and 3rd, I climbed out from like 15 or 20'… amazing action this low on days like today.
Wind is like 3 and variable ...strong at times.
Nov 17, 2019, 11:43 AM
Dark Side of the Red Merle
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Sharp
With the density altitude this low I expect to be able to climb out from 20' every time.
Please educate me on this? I fly at 4,000' DA's.
Nov 17, 2019, 01:46 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews
That's a whole post of more good points.

There's simply no really good answer to the issue. As you say "when two or more get together.... " is always going to be there. But it's apparently a big step from some fun times against a buddy and beers after to actually entering a proper competition. And clearly more and more it's becoming harder to find those that are willing to take that step.
Two points:

My comments on this thread are intended to suggest that there are many more things to do -- EVEN STAYING BELOW 400 FEET -- than we normally consider. Both for casual flying and for competitions.

I would respectfully disagree with the observation that there is "a big step from fun times...to actually entering a proper competition. There are many steps, many challenges and many things that might bring hard core and casual pilots together. Besides casual, lone wolf unstructured flying, trying different challenges at the individual and club level and beyond do not require taking a "big step".

To me, a big part of the answer to the issue is to discover whatever pieces of common ground may exist between the hare core and the casual and focus on doing what it takes to get PEOPLE together and to keep PEOPLE interested over the long haul. Realistically, RC Soaring will never attract a lot of people. But it would be useful to consider what it takes to keep the ones who take the first bite of the apple returning for more.

Happy Landings,

Don
Nov 17, 2019, 01:49 PM
Dark Side of the Red Merle
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Like this 23 minute fun flight.....
Nov 17, 2019, 03:01 PM
Registered User
Randy Reynolds's Avatar
Curtis, Did you do this with your F3-RES?
Nov 17, 2019, 03:32 PM
Dark Side of the Red Merle
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Reynolds
Curtis, Did you do this with your F3-RES?
I did this with my scratch built GT SynerJ Dark Side of the Merle 4 meter.
I was just messing around sitting on the tailgate of the pickup chatting with friends. Fun afternoon for November in Montana.

Curtis
Nov 17, 2019, 03:41 PM
The Mr. Rogers of RC soaring
rdwoebke's Avatar
Flew with a friend today. All flights under 400 feet. From glancing at my altimeter I don't think I ever exceeded even 70 meters. Was doing the winter DLG postal so longest flight was a bit over 5 min but could have done longer.

Ryan
Latest blog entry: Supergee wing mount pylons
Nov 17, 2019, 04:26 PM
turn, turn, turn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Suter
Please educate me on this? I fly at 4,000' DA's.
From my understanding, the higher the density altitude, the more spread out a certain mass of air is... A low density altitude means that the same large area of air, is now shrunk down into a much smaller area, so the airfoil reacts quickly and with more zip.

In the summertime with a high density altitude, the planes are sluggish and need to be flown at a faster ground speed... To keep the air speed the same.

In the wintertime in the crisp cold air, with a low density altitude, the planes are quick to react and respond... And I find that catching lift is a lot easier with a lower density altitude.
Nov 17, 2019, 04:44 PM
turn, turn, turn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwoebke
Flew with a friend today. All flights under 400 feet. From glancing at my altimeter I don't think I ever exceeded even 70 meters. Was doing the winter DLG postal so longest flight was a bit over 5 min but could have done longer.

Ryan
Cool! 5 minutes is pretty good flight under 400'

Very active air here as well... after lunch time, it became cloudy with a much higher prevailing wind. Still active, but not the same.
Nov 17, 2019, 04:47 PM
turn, turn, turn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Suter
I did this with my scratch built GT SynerJ Dark Side of the Merle 4 meter.
I was just messing around sitting on the tailgate of the pickup chatting with friends. Fun afternoon for November in Montana.

Curtis
Sweet! 23 minutes with a 4 m all under 400' with several thermals!

Not easy... Yet you did it relaxed.
Nov 17, 2019, 07:59 PM
Dark Side of the Red Merle
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Sharp
Sweet! 23 minutes with a 4 m all under 400' with several thermals!

Not easy... Yet you did it relaxed.
Now if I could just do that during a contest!


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