| Eastern Soaring League Newsletter April 2008
2008 OFFICERS AND STAFF
Tony Guide - President
David Beach - Secretary/Treasurer
Tom Kiesling - Contest Coordinator
Anker Berg-Sonne - Scoring Systems Coordinator
Jeff Steifel - Public Relations Coordinator
John Hauff - Clinic Coordinator
Phil Barnes - Winch Conditioning
Jose Bruzual - Web Master and Publisher
Ed Anderson - Web Site and Newsletter Content Editor
FROM THE EDITOR - Ed Anderson
Welcome to the 2008 Eastern Soaring League competition season. This looks to be a great year. We have a total of 30 contest days scheduled this season.
The fist hand launched competition will be in May 3&4 in Baltimore, hosted by BASS. The first winch launched contest will be May 17&18 hosted by TMSS in Isle of Wight, VA.
Last season we had 98 pilots participate in our winch launched unlimited sailplane contests. We had 87 pilots participated in the hand launched contests. I can certainly say, based on the contests that I attended that a good time was had by all.
For the newer ESL members I would like to point out that you don¡¦t have to attend all of the contests to score well in the league. In the unlimited sailplane events, your top six contest days are used for your score. For hand launch the top five days are used. So, if you just attend three contests and fly both days, you can have an excellent shot at being the top flyer in your class.
Naturally, the more contests you attend, the better your chances to better your score. But don't feel you can't do well in the season ranking just because you can't make it to all the contests.
I asked our President, Tony Guide, what words of wisdom he might have to kick off the new year. Tony Guide told me. "All I have to say is that I'm looking forward to the first open contest of the season at TMSS. It should be a fun contest.¨
And so the fun begins for 2008. I look forward to seeing all of you at the ESL contests.
The ESL Calendar
05/03 - 05/04 BASS (HLG) - Baltimore, MD
06/14 - 06/15 Polecat Challenge (HLG) - Bloserville, PA
07/12 - 07/13 CRRC Hand Launch Classic (HLG) - Sudbury, MA
08/02 - 08/03 Long Island Hand Launch Classic - LISF (HLG) - Syosset, NY
08/16 - 08/17 CASA (HLG) - Rockville, MD
09/13 - 09/14 SJSF (HLG) - Marlton, NJ
09/26 - 09/28 East Coast HLG Festival - ESL HLG EOS - Wilson, NC
Unlimited Sailplane ¡V Winch Launched
05/17 - 05/18 TMSS - Isle of Wight, VA
06/07 - 06/08 SKSS 1 - Newark, DE
06/21 - 06/22 LISF 1 - Syosset, Long Island, NY
07/05 - 07/06 DBSF - Reading, PA
08/09 - 08/10 CRRC Soar-In - Sudbury, MA
09/06 - 09/07 CASA Open - Warrenton, VA
09/20 - 09/21 LISF 2 - Syosset, Long Island, NY
10/04 - 10/05 Reading ESL TD EOS - Reading, PA
Many of the contest registrations are already open so you can register now to reserve your frequency.
AMA NATS - Not an ESL event but well worth attending
07/21 - 07/31 AMA/LSF NATS (Not ESL) - Muncie, IN
ESL COMPETITION CLASSES
If you are new to the Eastern Soaring League you may not be totally familiar with our competition classes.
The Eastern Soaring League helps organize two types of soaring competitions,
hand launched/discus launched events and winch launched unlimited sailplane events.
During these events, the Eastern Soaring League has two levels of competition
called Expert and Sportsman. The ESL also has an introductory program called
Novice, which is not a competition class. If you would like to understand more about Expert, Sportsman and Novice, just visit this link. There is an article on the ESL web site that explains it all.
http://www.flyesl.org/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=263 - ESL Competition Classes
RC SOARING DIGEST APRIL EDITION IS NOW AVAILABLE
RC Soaring Digest is a must read for anyone who loves soaring. Bill & Bunny Kuhlman do a terrific job of publishing it each month for our enjoyment. http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com/highlights.html
- South West Classic 2008 - Skip Richards' photo coverage of the Central Arizona Soaring League's annual event.
- The History of the South West Classic by Rev. Iian Glitherow, Senior CASLMember.
- CIAM in Lausanne - F3J line length to be reduced? Sydney Lenssen provides the background and offers his own thoughts.
- Gordy Stahl talks about his MM Glidertech Marauder that allowed him to take First Place at SWC '08. Making a V-tail - Bill Williams describes an easily made fixture which ensures proper alignment of tail components during construction.
- Dickon Harding shows how he used Barnaby Wainfan's BW 050209 airfoil for his new home-built sloper.
- The three abilities (stability, controllability, and visibility) are explored by Chuck Anderson.
- Curtis Suter walks readers through the use of his comprehensive sailplane design spreadsheet, Sailplane Calc, from entering data to interpreting results.
- Ed Anderson gives a number of ways clubs can build their glider guider population.
RCSD is totally dependent on donations for support. If you were to subscribe to a magazine of this caliber it would cost you $20 or more, so why not click on this link and make that donation to help support this great magazine.
And, if you¡¦re a writer, they would be pleased to publish your article to help the glider community grow and prosper.
If you missed a past issue, or would like to catch up, the past issues can be downloaded here. They go back to 1984. Some mighty fine reading for a glider lover. http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com/pdfs/
WATCHING DEVELOPMENTS IN 2.4 GHz
This market continues to develop and expand. We now have 2.4 GHz radio system available from Spektrum, JR, Futaba and Airtronics. Nothing from Hitec yet. All have full range offerings and some of the systems have programming that is specific to sailplanes.
If you have an existing 72 MHz system that uses a channel module there is probably a 2.4 GHz module available to convert it. Modules are available from Spektrum, Futaba and XtremePowerSystems, XPS. There are also some other modules available but their suitability for gliders has not been established. Modules make it easy to convert back and forth from 72 MHz to 2.4 GHz depending on which plane you are flying so you don't have to convert all of your planes at once.
Breaking the 40 Spektrum Radio Barrier - FlyRC Magazine Report
One of the earliest players in this space is Spektrum RC. Spektrum RC splits the 2.4 GHz band into 80 slices. When you turn on a Spektrum transmitter it takes two of these slices as its "channels" for talking to the receiver. It has long been expected that if you tried to turn on the 41st Spektrum system, it would not be able to lock with the receiver.
Some people have been concerned about this in terms of large contests.
There had been a report in Model Aviation related to the International Heli competition where there were reported to be over 400 2.4 GHz radios. There was no impound for 2.4 GHz systems. The article reported that there were no problems. However no one could verify how many of these 2.4 GHz systems were turned on at any time.
In this month's FlyRC they report on a test that was run using Spektrum systems. They turned on 40 Spektrum DX7s, operated them all at once and in close proximity. They all seemed to work fine. Then they turned on a JR 9303 2.4 GHz which is based on the same Spektrum RF technology. This made the 41st transmitter and it operated with no problems. Then they took it up to 44 DX7s plus the JR and still no problems
They flew test planes in predictable patterns to see if they saw any kind of problems and there were none. I believe they did note a slight range check reduction but still within spec. They also were logging flight information on the Spektrum reporter. Likewise, there were no problems. It seems the 40 radio limit is not a limit after all.
HOW I GOT HOOKED ON SOARING
By Anker Berg-Sonne
New Years Eve in 1986 I discovered that one of my friends, Bill Clark, flew R/C. I had always dreamed of flying R/C, so I asked him to advise my wife on purchasing an ARF for my birthday in February. Unbeknownst to me he decided to build me a PT Trainer 20 with another friend. On my birthday I was presented with the completely built and ready to fly PT-20. I immediately called Bill and asked him whether we could go out flying. We did, in the snow, and I soloed that same day. For the next
couple of years we flew power pretty much every weekend. Only rain and hurricane force winds could keep us indoors.
In late summer of 1988 Fritz Bien and the other glider guiders were practicing for the Soar-In. Fritz suggested that I should join the context. I replied that I didn't have a glider. In fact, I had never flown a glider in my life. As always with Fritz, that's not an excuse. He offered to lend me an Airtronics Olympic II that he had brought. He helped me launch it a couple of times on a high start and I was hooked.
The next weekend I flew my first ESL contest, and I bought the Oly II from Fritz Sunday morning. The next year I joined the core CRRC contest team consisting of Fritz Bien, Lincoln Ross, John Nilsson and Chris Schuch. Chris had the use of him family motor home, which turned out to be the Ferrari of motor homes. Driving down the Merritt Turnpike at 70 MPH and needing to be in the passing lane to fit under the bridges added a lot of excitement to these trips. Chris also didn't like slowing down in curves.
In 1993 I had gained enough advancement points that I know I'd become an Expert the next season. I did every single contest in the ESL contest circuit and was in hot competition with Anne Marie Glaab, Josh's sister, for first place in Sportsman for the year. It wasn't until the EOS contest in Reading that it was settled. To cap it all, Carl Luft and I drove down to Orlando and competed in the Tangerine Contest in Orlando,
Florida. The first day was 2M and I blew up my plane, my beloved Accipeter II, on the first launch. No backup, so I sat out the rest of that day.
The next two days were unlimited and I had a large plane that was fondly called the Legend by my buddies. It had started as a Legend, but there were no Legend parts left. I started out by having a custom wing bagged for me with the same airfoil and planform as my Accipeter. Soon after that I bought a Jerry Slates fuse and built some new tailfeathers. This plane was very large and very strong for those days. It could launch pedal to the metal, and often had to be when the winches were wimpy. The Buzzard winches were not happy with that plane, and I ended up smoking winch after winch. The club was genuinely worried that there would be no working winches by the end of the contest.
After this marathon of a season I took a 3 year hiatus, fondly called my Dark Times by Dave Walter.
After the 3 year recovery period I rejoined the glider crowd and the CRRC ESL contest group again. Chris had dropped out, as had Lincoln, but Dave Walter and Bruce Schneider had joined. And the rest is history.
A NEW OPTION FOR A PLANE LOCATOR
I have mentioned plane locators many times and always recommend some kind of locator. Even the best pilots drop a plane in the woods or tall grass from time to time. They can be amazingly hard to find.
Locators range from $10 beepers to the Walston system where the transmitter costs over $120 and requires a $400 receiver to find it. Fortunately many clubs have Walston receivers that are available for club use.
However, if you want something of your own that does not require such a large investment you might want to look at the Loc8tor. Information can be found here:
This is a radio beacon location device that is good up to about 600 feet. A receiver and 2 transmitters cost as little as $80 with extra transmitters cost $25 each in packs of two. Based on a chart on this page they suggest it for model airplane use.
This is a longer range solution than sound beepers but much shorter range than a Walston. However it is also a fraction of the cost of the Walston. It could be something to consider for the protection of your valuable model airplane. Each receiver can monitor many transmitter tags so you can put them in multiple planes or a group of flyers can purchase on receiver and multiple transmitters. The transmitter batteries last for months.
INCREASING THE GLIDER GUIDER POPULATION IN YOUR CLUB
In the April edition of RC Soaring Digest is an article about how to increase the glider population in your club by welcoming park flyer pilots into your soaring club. If you would like to read the full article the April edition can be downloaded here: http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com/highlights.html
This is an excerpt from that much larger article:
THE 10 STEPS FROM PARKFLYERS TO GLIDERS
1) Welcome the new parkflyer pilots especially the untrained pilots. If they are set on a first electric and don't have one, recommend one that is also a good glider. The Easy Star is an outstanding choice. This is my #1 recommended plane for new pilots. The T-Hawk, the Aerobird and similar planes can be flown as electric planes and as gliders.
2) Don't lecture them about how they need to fly gliders. Telling someone that their new pride and joy is ugly is not a way to win their respect. Help them learn to fly their park flyers.
3) Teach them how to fly and how to fly safely. Teach them how to yield to the gliders, respect the winch and the like. They will make mistakes, but if you don't help them, how will they ever know? Telling is not teaching. Lead by example as well as by instruction.
4) Remember that learning to glide is a valuable lesson for an electric pilot. If the LVC kicks in and they lose the motor, they need to be comfortable flying in a glide. This is THE first step to introducing them to gliders.
5) Teach them to fly their park flyers in a glider like fashion. They have absolutely no idea that this can be done. The first time an Aerobird pilot catches a thermal and rides it, he becomes a thermal duration glider pilot. At least 50% will continue to pursue this along with their other flying. The more talented they become in riding thermals with their Super Cub or T-Hawk or Easy Star, the more likely they will move into gliders.
Suggest an e-glider as their next plane. The Easy Glider Electric is a wonderful next plane especially with a brushless motor and lipos. The Ascent is also a good choice. Now help them set it up and look for lift. They will love this. If you slope soar too, take them slope soaring. The Easy Glider and Easy Glider Electric are great on the slope.
6) Once they are safe, let them try one of your pure gliders. Use a buddy box if you feel the need, but I don't. I can count on one hand the number of times I have used a buddy box in the last 5 years. My Easy Glider Electric is my favorite plane for this. It is stable it thermals well and the motor can get them out of trouble. However I also let them fly my Spirit, my Sagitta and, if they are good, my Thermal Dancer.
7) When they are ready, help them research and buy that first pure glider. Don't focus on contest, focus on fun and success. The Easy glider is a great first glider as is the Tower Vista, the Spirit, the Gentle Lady and lots of others. They are probably comfortable with foam so don't shy away from it. If they are flying ailerons then perhaps the Cularis would be appealing. This is a full house 100" foamy.
8) Now help them learn to launch, to hunt, to ride and to enjoy. If this is a pure glider, recommend they get a hi-start too so they can fly even when there is no winch at the field. Get them flying confidently first, then work on precision landing.
9) DRAG them into the club contests. At first have them time for you. Let them be your helper. Let them understand how it works. Teach them to be a good timer such that others will ask them to time for them. This will bring them into the fellowship of glider pilots
10) Be sure to have LMR contests for park flyers and e-gliders. Don't focus on winning. Focus on achieving personal bests. This gives them something to work on where they achieve success at every contest. Get them in the air and you time for them.
The top scoring pilot in our LMR contest series last year was a pilot who normally flies a Pike. He won the LMR series with an Aerobird. The park flyer guys were amazed that an Aerobird could be flown in this fashion. BTW, that was the Aerobird that he brought to the field when he first joined the club.
PERHAPS WE SHOULD START A NEW ESL HAND LAUNCH CLASS ¡V UNLIMITED ;-)
Watch the Video. http://nex12go.blogspot.com/2008/03/blog-post.html
HERE TO SERVE YOU
I hope you have found value in the ESL Newsletter. Perhaps there was a piece of useful information that will help you this season. If you have ideas or input for the next Newsletter, please feel free to write.
Perhaps you have a quick tip to share. These little gems can make a big difference in competition. Why not pass them on. Extended length articles are always welcome and I love to include photos.
Send your notes, comments, photos or complaints to Ed Anderson, ESL Newsletter and Web Site Content Editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org
ESL Content Editor
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