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Jul 19, 2021, 09:04 PM
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Categories of soaring competition


Where can I find out about what categories of soaring competition there are? Something understandable, I found a document from the national organizationand I couldn't understand heads or tails.

Is there a category for electric sailplanes like the Voluntex Phoenix 2m and the Radian2m?

Thank you.
Jim
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Jul 19, 2021, 09:29 PM
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There are orgs in almost every country that have their own rules/classes for national competitions, there's the governing body for world competition, and then there are club competitions that kinda adopt their own rules to fit the local/regional cross section of pilots. The latter would be the only groups where you might find classes for 2m foamies. Most if not all of the national and international competitions require models at the cutting edge of technology to compete. F3RES is probably the cheapest class to get into but the rules are designed so that most of the planes are built by the people who pilot them.

Where do you live and do you want to compete in nationally recognized classes?
Jul 19, 2021, 10:14 PM
Registered User
You don't actually have to have a model at the cutting edge of competition to compete at the club level. You just have to have one that's good enough to max in the weather on the day of the contest.

I was flying a Radian in our local contest last weekend. I would have placed if I was good at landing the silly thing. I think we've had Radian one-design contests in the past, or was it Easy Gliders? In any case, that would be the kind of thing edfmaniac was writing about. This time, it was an ALES contest. Strangely, I couldn't convince the CD to divide the scores by the wingspan. ;-)

Even if you're not competitive, contests can be fun and you can learn a lot.

A two meter foamy can be flown in ALES and F5J events. Each event requires a gadget on board, but they are relatively inexpensive. ($40-60) The ALES gadget cuts off the motor at a specific altitude. I forget the details, but the F5J gadget measures altitude, possibly only during the motor run?
Jul 19, 2021, 10:54 PM
a.k.a. Bob Parks
bbbp's Avatar
For electric motored powered sailplanes there is this thread that covers most of the types.
https://www.rcgroups.com/electric-co...e-soaring-770/
For the F3K this thread
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...2#post47487495

F3K is a 1.5 meter, no motor sailplane, launched with a discus type throw, see some of the videos. Called a DLG discus launched glider. There are a variety of timed tasks for the flights in a contest.
F5K is a 1.5 meter sailplane, very much like the F3K models but has an electric motor for launch. It is gaining popularity with us older types who cannot physically toss the F3K dlg as high as we would like.
F5J is an electric launched class, with some launch restrictions in launch height and motor run time. THe flights are usually 10 minutes and also have a precision landing in time and location.
F3RES is usually a 2 meter, non motorized plane launched with a bungee ( some surgical tubing and some fishing type line). The flights are 6 or so minutes with a precision landing tape for landing points.
ALES is electric motor launched with airplanes of different sizes, with an altitude limited launch like F5K and F5J, using a device such as the ALTIS or CAM units.

Explore You Tubr for videos of the different types.
BP
Jul 20, 2021, 02:05 AM
Registered User
Jim, the Radian and Phoenix 2M can both be flown in ALES and F5J contests. However neither will be very competitive against dedicated competition planes. That doesn't mean you can't fly with them and have fun and learn. As others have mentioned, many clubs have contests specifically for foamy gliders like the Radian. My club has Foamy F5J contests every few months. I flew in my first one 2 weekends ago with a Radian and had a ball. And finished 2d. If there is a RC soaring club near you, stop by some weekend and talk with the members and see what kinds of competitions they have. Almost all contests are put on by clubs. Non-members are almost always welcome to compete.

You can find the rules and a tutorial for F5J here: http://www.f5j-usa.com/f5j-rules/
Here is some good info on ALES: https://www.seattleareasoaringsociet...igs/ales.shtml

There is a ton of info on both right here on RCG/Sailplanes, you just have to do a little browsing to find it. This is a good place to start: https://www.rcgroups.com/electric-co...e-soaring-770/

Good luck and have fun!
Gary
Jul 20, 2021, 05:03 AM
Balsa breaks better
Thermaler's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnichopd
However neither will be very competitive against dedicated competition planes.
Jim,
This is a half truth. Any of the guys that fly the cutting edge technology and win on a regular basis would do the same with a foamy because they put in the practice time.
The key is not the plane but how much practice you put into whatever plane you fly.
Best advice my Dad gave me when I got started was practice, practice, practice.
lincoln says it to, "was good at landing the silly thing".


Joe


Balsa Breaks Better
Woodys Forever
Jul 20, 2021, 06:50 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by edfmaniac
There are orgs in almost every country that have their own rules/classes for national competitions, there's the governing body for world competition, and then there are club competitions that kinda adopt their own rules to fit the local/regional cross section of pilots. The latter would be the only groups where you might find classes for 2m foamies. Most if not all of the national and international competitions require models at the cutting edge of technology to compete. F3RES is probably the cheapest class to get into but the rules are designed so that most of the planes are built by the people who pilot them.

Where do you live and do you want to compete in nationally recognized classes?
I live in Las cruces, new mexico, about an hour straight north of El Paso. Now I was just thinking it would be fun to compete locally here in thermaling since I'm getting back into shoring and have a volantics 2000 coming but I don't know anything about competitions. There's a great club here in Las Cruces but not so much soaring. I think Albuquerque has a good club too and a lot more things going on so I guess I could go there at 3 hours away but what I'm trying to find out is what category I might fit into with my volantex Phoenix 2000.
Jul 20, 2021, 07:22 AM
Going in circles.
GliderJim's Avatar
You would want to look for an ALES competition. Altitude Limited Electric Soaring. Everyone has an altitude limiter installed in their sailplane which turns the motor off at a predetermined altitude (150 meters for example). The usual task would be to climb to altitude, fly for exactly 10 minutes (points deducted for going over or under), and then do a "spot" landing. The closer to the spot, the more landing points.

F5J is a bit different. You get to decide your launch height, but the higher you go, the more points are deducted, so there's a reward for launching low, but then also the risk of not finding a thermal.

I'm sure someone will point out something I got wrong, but these are the basic ideas. You will see many very expensive planes at these contests, but you can certainly participate and have a good time with a Radian or your Phoenix. Even if you don't win, beating even one high dollar sailplane is a good feeling.
Jul 20, 2021, 08:49 AM
Sonoran Laser Art
Next month the Albuquerque club has a 2 day F5J contest at the ballon par Aug 14-15. There will be a lot of high dollar models but they also have awards for Foamy and Woody models. Most F5J contest don’t do this but this one does. You might check it out and talk to the people there. These guys fly almost everyday there and it’s mostly fun flying with some local contests here and there. There are a lot of woodys too. Also by San Diego they have an exclusive F5J Foamy contest each month I believe. It’s by the Torrey Pines Gulls to encourage foamy Flyers to get acquainted with competition. From what I see they have a blast. This can be done anywhere with some willing participants. There are others formats that small groups make up. We have a group of fun flyers that will make stuff up for fun. Like fly 4 minutes and land close to a towel, for fun and practice.

You can fly in about any electric class. More than likely you will have as much fun too unless your mainly going to win but I recommend not worrying about that. If the bug bites you can think about it when the time comes.

The main thing is being able to fly safely with out hitting someone else or coming close especially under power.
Last edited by CloudSniffer; Jul 20, 2021 at 08:58 AM.
Jul 20, 2021, 10:17 AM
Registered User
joao's Avatar
You will need one of these or similar for most competitions. Have a go, even just some mates on a Sunday morning in a friendly contest is great fun and always beneficial for improvements on you and your machine

https://aerobtec.com/altis-v4/
Jul 20, 2021, 01:26 PM
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Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by CloudSniffer
Next month the Albuquerque club has a 2 day F5J contest at the ballon par Aug 14-15. There will be a lot of high dollar models but they also have awards for Foamy and Woody models. Most F5J contest don’t do this but this one does. You might check it out and talk to the people there. These guys fly almost everyday there and it’s mostly fun flying with some local contests here and there. There are a lot of woodys too. Also by San Diego they have an exclusive F5J Foamy contest each month I believe. It’s by the Torrey Pines Gulls to encourage foamy Flyers to get acquainted with competition. From what I see they have a blast. This can be done anywhere with some willing participants. There are others formats that small groups make up. We have a group of fun flyers that will make stuff up for fun. Like fly 4 minutes and land close to a towel, for fun and practice.

You can fly in about any electric class. More than likely you will have as much fun too unless your mainly going to win but I recommend not worrying about that. If the bug bites you can think about it when the time comes.

The main thing is being able to fly safely with out hitting someone else or coming close especially under power.
That's perfect! I need to get up to Albuquerque anyway to take a guitar amp for repair with my brilliant amp tech.

I will just go, with plane or without, a great way to jump back in the pool. Glad you told me about this, thanks much. I just bought the plane and it's not here yet, nor is the TX I just bought. I don't have a receiver yet. I need to do some research to see if I want to wait for a compensated verio receiver from jeti or how many channels to get. I've seen threads of people doing things that needs additional channels.

Well, I better just go watch this year and get some flying in before I actually enter the contests. Then I'll plan to go next year. I'll take my camera and have fun with that while I watch the contests.

Need to renew my AMA membership. Do you have to have the local club's membership to participate in these contests?

Excellent! Thank you so much.
Jul 20, 2021, 01:30 PM
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Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by joao
You will need one of these or similar for most competitions. Have a go, even just some mates on a Sunday morning in a friendly contest is great fun and always beneficial for improvements on you and your machine

https://aerobtec.com/altis-v4/
Cool! So is this required for competitions? Some receivers have altitude in them, but that probably won't work for the competitions right?

Boy that's a weird website. When you say bye now you fill out a message. It never says the price.
Last edited by Foggles; Jul 20, 2021 at 01:35 PM.
Jul 20, 2021, 01:34 PM
Registered User
I went to a contest about a month after I started flying. Very fun. I even made a 100 point landing, the only one I put within 25 feet of tbe spot all day.
Jul 20, 2021, 02:42 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Foggles, to take part in any competitions first you'll need to find a local and resonably close clubs that hold such competitions. No club means no organizers, no fellow participants and thus no events. Joining the club helps the numbers and gives you a chance to help out as well. These clubs and events exist only through volunteers after all.

Also you're going to find that each club holds events that the majority of members prefer. Don't expect the whole slate of both towed and electric powered soaring categories. But likely as not there will be one or two categories that are popular in the group which attract your interest.

In the meantime once you find and join such a group you'll be able to show them what you have and they'll be happy to slot you into some manner of events that the models fit into. You'll likely find that the club has a novice event where the range of allowed models is relatively fluid since the idea is just to get folks out and try contest flying.

In time once you see which events are popular it can shape your buying to fit in with the more popular category or the category you enjoy the most.

But whichever direction you go as a result it starts with finding and joining the local soaring club. That's step #1.


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