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Feb 11, 2008, 01:59 PM
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n-tropic's Avatar

Is The Predator’s “New Stuff” legal for the BMFA EPP60” Pylon League 2008?

If you frequent this forum and have an interest in UK EPP60 then you’re likely to have asked yourself this question already. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about then you can look at the New Stuff thread but I’ll summarise what has been said like this:

Karl (The Predator) has sourced 2 types of new covering for EPP. Both are clear plastic with a heat activated adhesive on one side. The adhesive sticks very well to cut EPP with a slightly cooler iron than for Profilm and the plastic itself provides for good to excellent stiffness and impact resistance in the covered wing.

The two sorts are a heat shrinkable (which Karl has called Balisticover) and a non shrinking variety (called Balisticover Plastic Ply). Karl is providing each sort in 2 weights so we have:

Balsistcover Light

Balsistcover Heavy

Plastic Ply Medium

Plastic Ply Heavy (Burly)

The shrinkable Balisticover varieties are easy to apply by all accounts and the BC heavy produces a stiff strong wing with only minimal use of crossweave tape and no requirement for thinned Goop.

The Plastic Ply is a harder to apply as it doesn’t go round curves at all requiring the use of pleating cuts and overlaps to get it stuck down. It makes for a very stiff, strong wing without the need for crossweave tape or Goop.

Hope that sums it up accurately.

Assuming we get our dates and are able to run the league this year then sooner or later someone is going to turn up to a comp with a model covered in this stuff. As co-ordinator I will have to decide whether it is legal according to the rules of the league. I have, therefore, ordered some to evaluate.

What do the rules say about it? The rules state that flexible coverings only are allowed and this definition is given:
“Flexible covering material, e.g. heatshrink film, mylar,
cross weave tape, vinyl tape. The following are *not*
include: ply, balsa, plasticard, epoxy and polyester
resins, varnishes.”

Although responsibility for interpreting and applying the rules ultimately falls to me as co-ordinator, I am very keen to seek the opinions of those who have recently flown in, or who intend this year to fly in league competitions; hence this thread.

Please can we keep the discussion as on-topic as possible and restrict our comments to questions of how this stuff relates to the current rules and to this year’s racing. I am particularly keen to hear from active EPP60 participants, potential participants and people who have actually used the New Stuff. I have no interest whatsoever in people trolling with “foam is crap you should be flying crunchies / mouldies” type posts.

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Feb 11, 2008, 02:00 PM
Put in all the lead
n-tropic's Avatar
What Are The Issues Likely to Be?

Here are a few to start you off:

Top of the list has to be the question of whether these coverings are “soft” in the sense of the definition of “soft coverings” in the rules. I can tell you now that reports of the Plastic Ply Burly lead me to believe that this one is almost certainly going to fall outside that definition.

New Stuff is, cheap, quick, easy (particularly in the case of the shrinkable Balisticover) to apply and requires no volatile solvents. The decreased build times might attract disillusioned old hands back and encourage new pilots to race.

Since one of the reported benefits of the New Stuff is improved robustness then there is a possibility that New Stuff planes will inflict disproportionate damage on “conventionally” covered planes in the event of a mid-air. We don’t yet know if this would happen but if it should prove to be the case then it would be bound to cause bad feeling.

If 2 New Stuff planes collide will they be less likely to be terminally damaged than conventionally covered planes or are we just indulging in more pointless “arms racing”?

If it didn’t take you long to build the plane you’ll be less upset if it gets totalled.

All 4 grades of New Stuff are clear so colouring your model (important for identification during a race) would be an issue to overcome.


In the end rules are rules but this material may have properties which place it somewhere in between the currently permitted and banned materials. So there may have to be a balanced judgement and it may have to take into account the ”spirit” of the rules. Obviously until we see it this is all speculative but as none of us has seen it yet I’m interested to hear everybody else’s initial opinions which will, until I see a sample, be no less or more informed than my own.

Feb 11, 2008, 02:45 PM
Registered User
yellowblue's Avatar
Hi Steve ...Although I'm interested in the development of the 60" epp class, I can't comment until I've seen some stuck to a model then compared it with a tape/profilm model. I wouldn't think that there is much of it in the UK at the moment
I've seen the thread and the product looks good and as you mentioned it could stiffen up the wing whilst cutting build time...a big bonus.
Since you have ordered some and will be able to validate if it falls into the "soft covering" class... also remembering that it could start another arms race. (if it can be seen to have an advantage over conventional soft covering) there will be a rush of £'s crossing the pond to just to get that it can be said "I got it on mine".
Its a tricky one, but with you being the coordinator and ultimatly the man with the pin...I think its down to you to validate it..... I have every confidence in what decision you should make ..Good luck with this one Steve.
Feb 11, 2008, 02:51 PM
ajroahkni's Avatar
The Burly is very much like mylar (might it be?) - which is on your list of approved coverings. Not sure of what type of mylar is permitted for use, but the burly is not nearly as thick or stiff as vac-bagging mylars.
Feb 11, 2008, 02:57 PM
crashed again
Rocket Ronnie's Avatar
Steve as you've said untill this product becomes available here i dont think we have an issue.
Feb 11, 2008, 03:02 PM
Put in all the lead
n-tropic's Avatar
Originally Posted by ajroahkni
The Burly is very much like mylar (might it be?) - which is on your list of approved coverings. Not sure of what type of mylar is permitted for use, but the burly is not nearly as thick or stiff as vac-bagging mylars.
That's useful to know (John is it?). I'm glad you mentioned Mylar because I have been consulting a few of our EPP60 tribal elders and have gleaned that the mylar that was under consideration when the rules were drawn up is the super thin stuff sometimes used on free flight models!

I received this informative reply from Mike Shellim, guardian and original author of the rules (and what an excellent, professional job he did!). I hope he won't mind me reproducing it here:

"I have to admit that the rule on covering is a little ambigous, as clearly
mylar at one molecule thick is 'soft', while the same material at 1mm thick
is not. Therefore, I think you have to take the list of acceptable materials
as a guide only.

IMO the key factor is whether the material is 'stretchy' i.e. can be
deformed other than by bending. By this measure, Sellotape is not soft, but
vinyl tape is. Likewise very thin mylar *may* be, while thick mylar isn't.
Can't comment further without seeing some of the stuff, but I think your
judgement can only be as good as mine on this, and anyway you're the
coordinator - see I know how to wriggle out of things :-)

If it's not legal, but you feel that it would be of benefit while remaining
true to the EPP ethos, you could always suggest tabling a proposal to vary
the rules for next year."
Feb 11, 2008, 03:07 PM
Put in all the lead
n-tropic's Avatar
Originally Posted by Rocket Ronnie
Steve as you've said untill this product becomes available here i dont think we have an issue.
Well Ron, anyone can order some right now. I think Karl has mentioned that he has already shipped to people in the UK (other than my shipment for evaluation).

But of course if you mean - until we see it then it's hard to have an opinion - then of course you're right.
Feb 11, 2008, 03:34 PM
You must die! I alone am best.
slopetrashuk's Avatar
Fancy covering does not a fast model make.......
Feb 11, 2008, 03:38 PM
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n-tropic's Avatar
Originally Posted by slopetrashuk
Fancy covering does not a fast model make.......
Indeed not but a fast building model it might.....
Feb 11, 2008, 03:40 PM
C'mon more Energy
Swoopdown's Avatar
Its great to see you got a top notch comp going there in the UK.
I have used the Balistcover Heavy & Plastic Ply Heavy (Burly) and they are cheep & so quick and easy to apply. They also do give and bounce are not in the same class as "crunchies".
In my opinion its an iron on film that is in "the spirit" of budget, performace EPP ships.
Good luck with you decision.
Feb 11, 2008, 05:21 PM
Registered User
skirmish's Avatar
Well it's February now and if I remember correctly last year's league started in March. So, if this year's league follows the same calendar there is not a lot of time available for evaluating this new covering and making a decision regarding it's eligibility.
If you don't mind though I'd like to see some of the material before committing either way.
Feb 11, 2008, 05:56 PM
ajroahkni's Avatar
I think a 5-layer strapping tape job, applied under equal tension top and bottom, and at varying degrees of bias, would provide an equivalent torsional stiffness to the NEW Stuff. It's not like you can't replicate the stiffness of the New Stuff with tape, it's just that you can't do it the ~15 minutes it takes to knock out the New Stuff.
Feb 11, 2008, 06:39 PM
Its not IF... Its WHEN.
The.Timinator's Avatar
Anyone mentioned EPA yet?
Feb 11, 2008, 08:11 PM
DS= -$ & :-)
Ezza's Avatar
I have covered my Reaper in the New Stuff, Burrly. It does add alot of torsional strength. However if you squeeze the wing between your thumb and finger, it feels softer than a strapping tape/profilm job. It makes a real nice LE though.

Feb 11, 2008, 08:16 PM
Registered DSer
Kahnx's Avatar

Got some close-up photos of the Buurly covering on the Reaper? I'd like to see how your wingtips and leading edge turned out. I covered my halfpipe with ballisti- on top and burrly- on bottom with the burrly over the LE ... turned out really well, but a little ragged on the tips due to the need to pleat.



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