SEN 2657

Posted on by
  1. Performance question
  2. Performance conversation

performance question
from Bernard Guest

Dear SEN readers,

I would like to broach the topic of performance once again …. we in the FAI world do seem to have a performance problem. Our models get high and the best of them can do over 7 minutes in fly-off conditions. The results is huge fly offs (huge in terms of numbers of flyers and the size of the field required to contain the airplanes). This topic came up last when a few of the national committees submitted rule change proposals and I was one of those vehemently apposed. I have slowly come around to a different way of thinking and would like to explore the following with all of you:

1. Do you believe we actually have a problem (meaning, are fields too small for the modern FAI model and are retrievals too long/hazardous for FAI legs) … yes I know that in lift they can fly for miles etc. .. I am talking about the 7 am flyoff to the ground, and trying to make it harder to max out etc.

2. If your answer to number 1 is “yes” or “maybe” then what is the best solution to limit performance while keeping the class sexy and interesting to performance oriented geeks like ourselves.

3. If you answer is “no” then suggest to us how we should handle flying on small fields in wind etc. What about timers not being able to see the models after 6 minutes? What would you say is too much performance? 8 min? 10 min? Should we be proactive now and work to limit improvements that will lead to 10 minute models? If yes how?

Lets try to keep this discussion collegial, constructive and realistic. The goal is to get out and have fun with our buddies on the flight line. In the end, the shape of our models does not really impact this fun all that much.

My answer to #1 is yes … we have a problem (even lost hills is too small in a stiff breeze now)

#2 I would say, let us consider limits on aspect ratio in ABC (??).

look forward to a productive discussion.

performance conversation
At same time as Bernard sent the question to SEN he also asked a subset of the Question on FB in the form of a Poll . We do not include the results of the poll but we do the associated converstion.

Bernard Guest created a poll in F1B Wakefield.
Do you think we have a performance problem in F1B (i.e. are the models flying too far in final fly off for the average field).

{we have removed the results of the poll}

But here is the conversation

Comments
* Shannon Tolmie
A poll here doesn’t mean much. Altimeter fly offs have been
Debated to death. Perhaps B needs to loose another 5g of rubber? People don’t mind cutting the C fliers back so why not?
Don’t mean to be controversial but that’s just the opinion of a C flier who feels that the category will become restricted do death. Time for the rule makers to be smarter.

* Bernard Guest
Shannon Tolmie … not trying to achieve meaning … trying to see where folks are at re performance. As for rules: ok so what is the smarter solution??

*
Michael Woodhouse
Leave as is

Charlie Jones Weather dictates performance more than any other factor.
* Bernard Guest Charlie Jones in a morning flyoff under “ideal” conditions … are they going too far for the average field?
*
Charlie Jones
Bernard Guest and “ideal” conditions occur how often? It’s more likely that non ideal conditions result in models flying off the average field.
*
Bernard Guest
ok well that answers the question then … if models are just barely on the field in ideal conditions and are leaving the field under anything less than ideal conditions, AND less than ideal is more common, then I would say we have a problem …. we need to adjust to get them to stay on the field under a broader range of conditions no??
*
Charlie Jones
I believe we already have rules in the sporting code to solve this issue.
1
Bernard Guest
Charlie Jones i assume you are referring to the wind speed rule? If yes, is this flipping from one extreme to the other? I.e Everything is ok if it is dead calm, and we have a rule we can use to prevent flying in high wind. But this does not solve the common issue of models out flying smaller fields under normal less than ideal conditions? I don’t mean to belabour the point, I am trying to figure out whether there is a problem and I worry that our collective inertia prevents us from admitting that there is a performance problem (because none of us want to change). I raise all of thus because I want to have arguments at the ready when people start talking about proposals for rules changes in the near future (there was talk along these lines at the ff forum in the uk last weekend).
*
Bill Shailor
Why is it that every so often this fear of performance rears its ugly head? As Charlie points out, there are already cures for the supposed problem of models going too far in the still air, or performance rounds. It’s already been proven that a further reduction in motor weight will do nothing since lift and drift play and even more important role. Cutting rubber weight just places an even larger premium on buying models that will further obsolete what most modelers already have in their boxes. Polls like this only dredge up opinions from folks who have little or no skin in the game. How about we not do this?

*
Bernard Guest
Bill Shailor it raises its ugly head because I hear people worrying about the fact that they have to cancel contests that have run for years because the fields are now too small for high performance models. I agree the shorting engine runs or reducing rubber weight solves nothing much … so why not limit aspect ratio and require locked down surfaces?
*
Tony Mathews
Bernard Guest well because that obsoletes everyone’s models which is a big investment (as you know).
*
Bernard Guest
Tony Mathews yes I get that … so the consensus is “deal with the performance as is” I’m fine with that personally but I heard evidence that the pressure is going to build again for proposed changes soon … however, based on what I see here, the proposals will not gain support, so no worries
*
Bernard Guest
Tony Mathews although limited aspect ratio would be less painful to adjust too no? I’ll just have Ladi saw the tips off your carbon wings and you’ll be good to go …. he would even leave the frayed carbon edges on there for you (because thermal gods don’t care ??)
*
Tony Mathews I’d support a rubber weight reduction. 25 grams wouldn’t change the current models at all and would reduce the performance a bit.
*
Bernard Guest
Tony Mathews nah! I don’t think it would make enough of a difference … Alan Jack was saying this weekend that 4sec on C is already partially negated … everyone switched to folders. He is already working on a VP prop … and so on and so on
*
Bernard Guest
If we are going to take this seriously we need a serious and final solution
*
Bill Shailor
Reduce performance to what end? To make it where it even more becomes a contest where the flyer with the best rubber wins? How about we all get together, bring our motors, leave the models in the box and the person with the best testing rubber wins. I …I also don’t think a 5 g reduction would make any difference given identical thermal and wind conditions. A 25 g motor model will fly just as far as a 30 g model. And who, exactly, is proposing these changes? I would actually like to hear from somebody who is advocating these changes. My guess is it isn’t a flyer, but, rather, an organizer.*

Tony Mathews
True. 20 grams would make a bigger difference. But 25 grams would reduce climb altitude aprox 16%. That’s not nothing. Reducing aspect ratio makes every wing obsolete. Not going to happen. Only people who don’t fly the event currently would vote for that. And it would not have as big an effect as people would think. My 1991 models could do 7 minutes+ in dead air on 40 grams of rubber. They had low aspect ratio wings.
*
Bill Shailor
I believe this issue has been dealt with seriously. Maybe you would enlighten us on what would be a “final solution“. I thought this issue has been addressed the last go around to where it was finally decided. Apparently, you feel we did not. Please explain
*
Tony Mathews
Bill, I agree. In strong wind and thermal conditions a 5 gram reduction in rubber weight would not solve the large distance that models would reach. Neither would a reduction in aspect ratio. Put a modern or low aspect ratio F1B into a thermal in a flyoff with strong wind and they will both go very far.
*
Bernard Guest
Bill Shailor Bill I have mentioned more than once above that I am responding to WHAT I HEARD FROM OTHERS THIS LAST WEEKEND AT THE FF FORUM here in the UK…. I, was not thinking at all about this issue but other people … the people who might spearhead a proposal, are worrying about this. So I am asking questions and trying to understand the situation …. I am asking (see poll above) whether there is a problem at all. I am exploring the extent to which our fear of change might influence our answers. As usual, people insist on misunderstanding.
*
Bernard Guest
Bill Shailor wrong … a noted regular flyer at world champs, and international contests etc. Is very concerned about performance …. he thinks we are all being quite silly and is ready change his up to date high tech models to see significant restrictions on performance. I’m not gonna name names (I don’t want people giving him a hard time on my account).
*
Bernard Guest
Tony Mathews yes we all know that models will go a long way in big lift …. I have made this argument myself. … I have not forgotten. The question is about limiting average performance significantly (i.e. significantly steeper glide slope, fewer flyers in Fly offs etc) …. again…I am trying to see things from the other perspective here.
*
Ross Jahnke
Bernard Guest needs to switch to F1G, P30, or embryo.
*
Ross Jahnke
A 3 minute max with a Tilka and 40 grams of rubber is the same as a 3 minute max with an Orca and 30 grams. If launched into the same lift they will land in roughly the same place after DT.
*
Ross Jahnke
Im not surprised this complaint is coming from Britain, a wet, hilly, windy nation with few large FF spaces. Not every nation is like that. Fly more indoor and scale.
*
Bernard Guest
Ross Jahnke ha! Actually the concern apparently extends to places like lost hill too (models landing in the trees is fair common now) … anyway I have taken enough abuse on this topic … I have learned my lesson and will not question the establishment again ?? [in Bernard’s post he had a smiley face emoji – problably indicates a level of irony]

*
Roger Morrell
While not directly on the subject, it does refer to something Bernard Guest mentioned above. If the “UK” is serious about controlling performance, in this case F1C, why don’t they put in a rules proposal to ban VP props for F1C ? It seems to me that of all the classes F1C had had the biggest expensive innovations that increases performance to counter motor run reductions – namely geared engines and folders and perhaps flappers and these could have been stopped when the first appeared and there was little investment. (I understand that there was a F1C VP project in Eastern Europe that was derailed by a real world political situation) I would have assumed that the members of the CIAM FFTSC would have sensed/been aware of potential game changing developments so they an be dealt with. The best example of the success of such a “nip it in the bud” was the outlawing of closed loop feedback, because if it had not been done all the technology that is new available in drone world would have changed FF drastically.

* Bernard Guest
Roger Morrell yes … Alan mentioned banning his VP prop at the end of
his talk … that is what sparked the performance discussion… anyway there it is.