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Mar 05, 2003, 12:55 AM
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New Pylon class at the Nats, Quickie 05

Just wanted to let everyone know there's a new pylon class in the NEAC rule book. You can find it at under nats info, then rules. It's loosely based on Gary Wright's Kwik-E. It's a wood and fabric plane, with one motor, endoplasma, one prop, 6X6 Graupner, and 6 cp 1700 cells. Buy his kit or roll your own. It will be flown over a large course. The plane is big enough to see and not too fast. So it won't get away from you. What I am trying to achieve is a good starter pylon racer, cheap, easy to build, and easy to fly. Please check out the rules, and try to make the Nats, or any other NEAC event. I'm off to Daytona for bikeweek. So replys will have to wait till next week.

Ric Vaughn
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Mar 05, 2003, 07:41 AM
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This is the first I've heard of this particular class. Is anyone racing it at the moment?

My initial reactions are:

The rules seem rather complex. What's wrong with using foam in the construction? Is fibreglass prohibited, even for strengthening/ding proofing wing centre sections? Why?

The choice of airframe and power train would seem to me (without having tried it) to make this a slow racing class. What speeds are you getting?

Is it a hand launch class? I see no undercarriage is specified.
Mar 05, 2003, 08:38 AM
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normal kwik-E speeds with the above setup are in the 70 to 80mph range Dave. That motor turns the 6X6 folder in the 13.5K range . Rick's intent is for an entry level class,.. and if you say glass and foam are allowed, it could end up being a $200 composite plane class,..which isn't the intent.

I flew quickie-500's back in the K&B days with the spickler plane (the one that started it), then with the hotter motors, then with Rossi's, and I quit flying that class about the time the Nelson/Jett era started. I was very much in favor for the changes to hotter/faster stuff, but after that happened, I soon realized it had "evolved" itself away from the initial intent of being an entry level class for very low cost, yet fast enough to get the adrenaline going. Look at SP400 racing now, you need a $150 or so airframe, and a collection of motors just to make it through a race. When I designed the Kwik-E, I wanted to offer something like the Spickler quickie-500 did back in the late 70's. Rick drafted some rules (not making it a one-design class, but using the "basic numbers" in the Kwik-E kit), and we talked about them at NEAT. His rules sounded good, so maybe there'll be other kits and lots of own-designs sprouting up using those numbers. A decade or so ago, i loved to race quickie-500, but the cost of the event became prohibitive for me. I don't see many sp400 races around the states, the cost of the airframes, low life of the motors when pushed, and some people's complaints about launching/landing seem to be the culprits. Maybe a nice entry-level class like this will spur some interest in racing. The cost of an airframe, motor, prop, and ESC all together is less than a composite SP400 airframe alone.
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Mar 05, 2003, 08:54 AM
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Unfortunately entry level classes all to often evolve away from the beginner element. It happens because it is the will of the participants who want to go faster without having to learn a new class.

70-80 mph is a reasonable speed to start a new class with.

Let us know how it turns out. I'll watch with interest.
Mar 05, 2003, 02:25 PM
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Dave, the endo draws 45~50 amps static on that setup, so the power is not really that bad, pretty "kwik" actually . I know what you're saying about entry-class racing,.. but as is being seen with quickie 500, seems to go in cycles and you gotta start somewhere. With only sp400 and F5D,.. we're not getting much participation in pylon at the moment, so might as well try something new.
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Mar 05, 2003, 02:47 PM
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I like the idea of an electric Q500 class or similar 'spec' class, but the one you guys have proposed won't fly in my opinon. The rules are to restrictive, people can't use packs they already have, and there are too few people that can design a plane like the Kwik-E to compete against it. People who have only ever flown ARFs will have a hard time of it.

I don't think the class needs a glass fuse, but I really disagree with the exclusion of a foam wing. A Constant Chord balsa over foam wing is doable for just about anyone you'd trust flying a pylon racer around the poles. There isn't any need for vacuum bags, glass cloth etc. to make a good wing. I thought the idea was to get people to build airplanes so they could race?

There will have to be ready-to-fly models for this to take off. A few guys will build these for the first year, but that will be it. Do not take it lightly when I tell you that Electric fliers are the laziest 'builders' in all of modelldom. Witness the number of kit built airplanes at the 400 nats and F5D in the last 5 years. Aside from the top Sp400 racers, the only electric fliers in the US who realize a need to build in order to compete are the ones already flying at the glider and scale events at the NATs. With one or two exceptions, they aren't interested in pylon-and don't all show up every year.

I'd like to be wrong, but I think this event will die on the vine without being a buy-and-fly affair. But, if they have to be hand built, make it simple:

1)Port airframe rules from AMA Q500 to a wing area you think will work.

2)Allow foam wings.

2-1/2) Forget rules about tail area!

3)Allow people to use packs they already have, ideally 8 cells.

4)Don't limit the battery type.

6)Use a Graupner motor-there are too many people that used to race RC cars that know how to make an Endoplasm 'go'. The guy who works the hardest will always have a faster airplane.

7)Keep the rules simple. I looked at NEAC's site and while I understand what you are trying to accomplish what I saw made my head spin and killed any creativity I might want to use in making a competing design. If the idea is to draw sport pilots to learn to race, you have to allow people enough freedom to screw up and see what doesn't work-the hard way.

This is why I don't agree with most of the rules-you'll notice that for the last three years, the planes that won in 400 pylon were all handbuilt by people that have flown pylon before. The rest were mostly people that tried to 'buy' a win by flying someone else's idea of a competitive airplane. Ultimately, noone does a better job designing or building a pylon racer than the guy who has to drive it. Flying one person's airplane with that person's setup just teaches the new pilot how to fly the course, not be a racer.

Sorry to be such a kill-joy.

Mar 05, 2003, 03:26 PM
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You can be competitive in 400 pylon with an $80 airframe, and you don't need a handful of motors to get you thru the day-maybe two if you don't crash. The key here is that you have to want to win. Wanting to win means making the time to build you airplanes. The fastest planes at the 400 NATs aren't $160 composites jobs..

I agree that 400 pylon is no longer what it was originally intended to be. But that's not what is killing it. What happened is that people got it in their heads that the latest composite 'pet rock' would be key in their success on race day. What they found was that takes practice and commitment rather than a low credit card balance to be competitive. They also found that latest and greatest weren't always competitive.

After a few more years, the pilots caught up to the airplanes, but now there was an expert in what was supposed to be a beginner's class. So, what do you do? You either practice every week all summer, or if you're busy like me, start playing around with setups and abusing motors in order to HOPE to be competitive with the fast guy. Doesn't always work.

I think the whole concept behind the 400 NATS as it is now is sort of like the 'chicken and the egg', but first let me say that with two exceptions-there are no 'racers' flying at the E-NATs. You have to be prepared and practiced when you show up. That can't really happen if you don't have anyone to compete against locally or to help you practice. If you can't practice, then you don't have a prayer of winning. If you don't win, then you've wasted several hours driving time to only fly two heats. There's little incentive to practive knowing that next year you might only get to fly two heats because there's a guy that's going to smoke you. All you know is that the plane and 'hot setup' everyone told you to buy doesn't hold a candle to what the fast guys have.

Steep learning curves and a LOT of misinformation about what "works" is why 400 pylon is stagnant. Airframe cost isn't it.

Mar 05, 2003, 04:42 PM
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I think the point that you're all missing is that by making the design rules so "restrictive" (I don't think so but I'll accept that), you level the playing field. Joe won't win because his airframe/motor/pack was better than Fred's. He'll win because he's a better pilot. Were ARF's available for the Q500 class? Anyone with the low-cost suggested kit, or something designed to fit, along with plenty of "practice and commitment", will be able to compete (and fly multiple heats).
The point about tuning the motor won't fly (sorry) - the class is designed (and has been measured) to allow 10 laps with a 'typical' setup. Sure you can push the motor harder - for fewer laps. Good luck finishing the race.
I bow to your experience in pylon - I have none in the competitive arena - but I've been following the developement of this class along with several others in the same boat, and see this as a reasonable entry into racing. I have no desire to enter the other classes as (per your examples) I know I don't stand a chance..
Mar 05, 2003, 05:30 PM
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You can't run more than 6 cells direct drive on the Endo because it will draw too much current and fry the comm. I mean, 6 cells is a cheap pack and CP1700s are a dime a dozen now.
I like the class but the "no foam" deal is kind of a toss up. Foam wings tend to be more durable and you can easily order cores from any CNC foam cutter on the 'Zone. I say run it and let the nay sayers develop their own class. I see more bickering about S400 racing rules than people trying to put on a simple race.
Originally posted by Dave Campbell
I agree that 400 pylon is no longer what it was originally intended to be. But that's not what is killing it. What happened is that people got it in their heads that the latest composite 'pet rock' would be key in their success on race day. What they found was that takes practice and commitment rather than a low credit card balance to be competitive. They also found that latest and greatest weren't always competitive.
The real reason S400 racing doesn't take off is simple: many E flyers aren't the competitive type (relaxed flyers) and the airplanes are just too small and fast to be attractive for many pilots. They also got tired of watching the cheap power system turn into a hunt for premium cells $$ (KAN 950s solved that for now). We've had monthly races for a while now, there's one this weekend in SD. Seems to be picking up again. We also don't take it very seriously. No ribbons or trophies (yet). No chest beating over airframes and motors, people are having fun with it.
Lazy Builders... yah, the ARF generation is a bit hesitant to spend hours on their planes. Some people have very busy lives and don't have the time to give to building. Can't blame them when the ex-eastern block countries can churn out magnificent looking airplanes for reasonable prices. You'd also be suprised at how many E-flyers enjoy building. Gary's kits are a novice builder's dream.
I wish you the best Ric and Gary. It's a step in the right direction.
Last edited by Troy; Mar 05, 2003 at 09:29 PM.
Mar 06, 2003, 02:46 PM
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(tried to post this yesteday, but my connections has been flakey)


Thanks for your reply. The new event could be a winner, I just think the rules are dooming it right off the bat.

It's not really a good comparison between the evolution of Q500 and a new electric pylon event. Those pilots were never able to indulge in ready to fly airplanes because there weren't any. Oh, there were some, but they were built by the racers themselves for other racers and they were/are hideously expensive. There are ARF's available now from Lanier, and a lot of people have bought them for the lower-impact classes, but up until now, if you wanted to race Q500, you had to build your airplane.

Your reply about tuning motors bears some comment. Part of Intelligent Setup Planning involves keeping current low AND going faster. This is why my Rocket-400 powered Sliver Pete used to set the record went 14 laps just to prove to the peanut gallery that day that it was possible. They tried and it didn't work for them. My current hot setup runs for 2:30 before BEC cutout and isn't at the discharge knee when even *I* finish a race. I don't want to sound like I'm trying to make this about myself, but there are parallels here to be made.

One thing worth pointing out is that 'real' 400 racing is hard on batteries. We burn them up. Which is the same thing the new class will do pulling 40-50A. You would be correct in saying that they last a long time-but it's one thing to sport fly a pack that lasts a long time, and another to say how long they work well enough to be raceworthy. Anyone intent on winning a national event doesn't show up with the tired motor and cells he practiced with-I don't and you can see the difference in straight-line speed over everyone else. So, that means you'll need 3 sets of cells to practice, and another 3 to race plus a new motor. Add up those cell costs with a new set being needed every year, and you'll see the cost-per-smile factor start to drop. All racing is expensive and generally speaking, you can't win a contest on a shoestring.

Mar 06, 2003, 03:40 PM
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I agree that electric flyers are not the competitive type, and like the rest of modelldom the airplanes are more than they can handle. But, given the number of people that have racers but don't race, the issue is more one of having to have everything dropped in their lap to get them interested.

Batteries are a great example. Since 500AR's got scarce, a pilot had four options:

1 Fly what they had, and save their good packs for race weekends.

2 Look for new (old) 500AR's. (not impossible, I bought 42 700AR's and EIGHTY TWO old 500AR cells this year, and another THIRTY FOUR last year-remember, the guy who works the hardest-you get the idea)

3 Try a new cell/motor combination. The fastest 400 setup yet doesn't need 500AR's and can be flown with cells easily available, long before KAN950's arrived on scene. So you burn up $20 in motors for a Nationals, who cares? Again, the guy who works the hardest....

4)Gripe about it and do nothing.

The overall theme here is that most guys are too lazy or unimaginative to make pylon happen. 400 pylon only thrives when a guy can write a check for an airplane and buy the hot setup that he thinks everyone else will have. Ditto for F5D, because unless you are well connected enough to develop prototype motors that are competitive with cells you have or get batteries as good as the Germans do, you won't win.

I know my attitude toward racing is a tad on the harcore side, but we aren't talking about club racing. If you show up at a NATs with anything less than the best you can do, the only function you serve is as a stepping stone for guys that put work into their program.

Yes, a lot of us are busy people and can't find the time to build. That doesn't give a guy the right to gripe because someone else put more effort in or had more imagination. I was working 72 hours a week last August when I drove down to Muncie. To make it worse, I worked 3rd shift too and had to race in 100deg weather at a time that was the middle of the night for me. I really wanted to win...

I wish we had club races around here..I'm jealous! As for the Q05 event at the NATS, I'll support it and even work the contest. You guys will go first-that will buy me more time so I don't have to race with the sun coming up over the horizon at pylon 3!


P.S. This is what calling in favors, Ebay and searching the classifieds will get you in one season:
Mar 06, 2003, 04:29 PM
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Dave, another thread should be started to discuss S400 stuff. I shouldn't have even said anything related to S400 because it snowballs into tangents.
Last edited by Troy; Mar 06, 2003 at 04:44 PM.
Mar 06, 2003, 05:32 PM
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I'm just pointing out parallels, sp400 is what myself and most E-fliers have for reference.

It's hard to keep it relevant, but this is what I as a NATs racer know. Human nature and behavior won't change just because a new event is formed. 400 pylon is not really relevant to the points I was making, just indicative of what's going to happen.

Mar 10, 2003, 09:17 PM

I have to say that I am happy to see that someone has taken initiative to start a larger class racing event. The 05 Quickie class would be a great deal with easy to build aircraft, adequately powered that would fly great at the minimum weight listed in the rules.

I do however have some concerns about how it would go with some of your restrictions.

First, 77 square inches of tail area combined is alot. I don't believe I would design that much area into an aerobatic airplane of equal size. 13-15% area for the stab/elevator and maybe 5-7% for the Fin/rudder is more than sufficient.

31" fuselage is too long. The large tail feathers would be counter productive with the long fuselage. Be more like flying a tandem wing aircraft.

There is nothing wrong with foam wings. They are easy and are the norm for these type of airplanes. Easy to build, strong, and durable. Much easier to build strong and light than with ribs.

I would also consider using the AMA short course 50' x 425' for two reasons. #1 it is field friendly and can be set-up @ most club fields, and #2 these airplane aren't fast enough to utilize the FAI course. I feel that they would complete the short course in around 2:00 minutes which is a good time for a race.

Please understand I am all for your new event. I would just hate to see this event so overgoverned that it is not attractive to new flyers. I believe you have made a good choice of power systems and battery combination. I do think that the guys who work harder will win, but that is true of all racing.

Great job and I will be there to participate with my step son.

Archie Adamisin

Muncie, Indiana
Mar 10, 2003, 11:08 PM
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Thread OP

Quickie 05

Hi Guys,

Yes I know the fuesalage and tail are large, but I wanted the scratchbuilt planes to be nearly the same size as the storebought planes that fit the rules, ie Kwik-E. Same for the foam wings. I know they are "better" but again I don't want anyone to think he has an inferior plane to compete. As for the course, I want the pilots to turn, relax, then turn again. Remember this in not a class designed to be a "world beater." I want this to be a place to START. Planes,motors, and batteries very equal. Also big and slow enough to be seen and easy to fly around the course. A class to learn the skills to fly a competive pylon event. Something that doesn't cost too much to enter. I hope to get as many people reading this thread to come out and fly the event at the Nats. Hope to keep this thread going. We need to get as many pilots flying this as possible.


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