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Posted - 09/06/2008 :  09:43:46 AM  Show Profile
Eastern Soaring League Newsletter – September 2008


Tony Guide - President
David Beach - Secretary/Treasurer
Anker Berg-Sonne - Scoring Systems Coordinator
Jeff Steifel - Public Relations Coordinator
John Hauff - Clinic Coordinator
Phil Barnes – Winch Conditioning
Jose Bruzual – Contest Coordinator, Web Publisher
Ed Anderson –Newsletter Editor


The 2008 ESL season has been one of fun and friends combined with competition and some real close contests. So far this season 72 pilots have participated in ESL Unlimited Sailplane contests and 81 have participated in the Hand-Launched contests. I have not done an analysis of the names but there are quite a few who fly both.

While all of the contests are fun, I would like to remind everyone that The End of Season contest, held October 4 and 5 at the Daniel Boone Homestead field in Reading PA, is also the annual League meeting. Among other things this is where the new slate of officers are elected who will serve the League for the next two years. The meeting is held Saturday, after the contest awards. I hope you will attend, to vote and to share your ideas with the League.

You will note on the list of Officers that Tom Kiesling’s name no longer appears as Contest Coordinator. Tom has moved out of the area. Jose Burzual has assumed his duties. I am sure we would all like to thank Tom for his service to the League and wish him well in his new home.

This month’s newsletter has two articles related to the League of Silent Flight, the LSF. The LSF is the AMA special interest group that represents and promotes RC soaring. If you click on the “events” link on their site, you will find the Eastern Soaring League listed. www.silentflight.org

Novices, we need more Novice registrations!

The season is not over yet. There is a lot of great fun to be had, so sign up today. And don’t forget to grab those reluctant new glider pilots and sign them up as Novices at the ESL contests. Today’s Novice is tomorrow’s Sportsman and a future Expert, but we need to help them take that first step.

Novices can fly their Easy Gliders or other beginner gliders. Their Fling or similar beginner hand launched glider will be welcome at the hand-launched contests. The key is to focus on the fun of the ESL contests as well as the learning opportunities. Once they attend an ESL contest and enjoy the experience, their interest in soaring and improving their skills will grow, and you will likely have a soaring buddy for life. They may be hesitant, but with your support they can be introduced to one of the best soaring experiences around, so get ‘em involved. They will thank you.

Clear skies and safe flying to all!

www.flyesl.org/calendar.asp" target="_blank">http://www.flyesl.org/calendar.asp

Remaining Hand Launched

09/13 - 09/14 SJSF (HLG) - Marlton, NJ
09/26 - 09/28 East Coast HLG Festival - ESL HLG EOS - Wilson, NC

Remaining Unlimited Sailplane – Winch Launched

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


Whether you are the CD or just a participant, we welcome your contest report. Just post it here. www.flyesl.org/forums/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=15" target="_blank">http://www.flyesl.org/forums/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=15 If you are not comfortable posting to forums, just send the report to me, Ed Anderson, aeajr@optonline.net and I will post it for you.

The official contest report from the CDs:
Anker Berg-Sonne and Dave Walter

Pictures courtesy of Beat Steffen
www.trend.smugmug.com/gallery/5682448_zGRHV#350123804_Ri9P9" target="_blank">http://www.trend.smugmug.com/gallery/5682448_zGRHV#350123804_Ri9P9

Leading up the 35th annual Soar-In, much work had been put into refining the dolly-based parachute-retrieving system that we use to facilitate man-on-man competition. As a final test, it was used for the Easy Glider contest two weeks before the Soar-In and it performed flawlessly.

We always go to the field Friday afternoon to assemble the monster awning for the score keeping tables. When we got to the field, there was a large contingent of weekend contestants fun-flying. They had been doing this since noon, using Dimitri Katramatos’ winch and retriever. We got the awning raised, stored a few items under it and retired for the evening.

The weekend was forecast as beautiful with sun, light wind, moderate temperatures with a slight chance of a thunderstorm Sunday afternoon. On arrival at the field for setup Saturday morning there was a low overcast and light fog.

Setup and registration went briskly and we ended up with a bigger crowd than we have had in many years: 21 experts, 15 sportsmen and one novice.

By the time we were ready to fly the overcast was still very low, about 400’, and the CD, Anker Berg-Sonne, decided to start with a six minute task. The first group discovered that the lift was great under the clouds and they easily made their times. A full zoom on launch would put the plane deep in the clouds and out of sight. The best action to take is to loop the plane or put it in full landing mode. Letting it fly causes it to pop out of the clouds at an unknown point and unknown attitude. It only takes a second for a plane in a full dive to cover the distance between the cloud base and the ground. In these conditions the lift is under the clouds and the sink is in the light areas between them. Later groups that flew after the ceiling cleared had much worse air, but the man-on-man format ensured that the first groups didn’t have an “unfair” advantage.

Equipment gremlins were out in full force and we had to deal with a number of line tangles and various other equipment problems. By the time lunch arrived we had only managed to complete 2 ½ rounds.
After lunch we announced resumed flying by firing a mini-cannon Miner Crary had brought with him. No missing that signal. The afternoon went much smoother than the morning and we held to 8 minute rounds in order to maximize the rounds. Also, by popular demand, we continued flying until 5PM, which allowed us to complete 7 rounds total.

Competition was intense with landings making the difference. At the end of the day the two top experts had identical raw scores and a tiny difference in normalized scores. The 2nd and 3rd place experts had identical normalized scores with the tie broken by raw scores.

The final results were: Novice winner: George Messer. Sportsman: 3rd place: George Hill, 2nd place: Ed Anderson and 1st place Dimitri Katramatos. Expert: 3rd place: Luis Bustamante, 2nd place: Dave Walter and 1st place Steve Lucke.

A large group dined together at Papa Razzi in Concord after hastily showering and putting equipment on charge. Dinner was delicious and we had a great waitress. A superb time was had by all.

Sunday looked like a repeat of Saturday, weather wise, but the low ceiling cleared just as flying started at 9AM. The CD, David Walter, decided to start with a 7 minute round followed by 8 minute rounds the rest of the day. The equipment gremlins had taken Sunday off and flying went smoothly all day.

There was zero prevailing wind and all breezes were thermal-driven, so when there was one, it was a matter of figuring how far downwind the current thermal was. If there was no breeze you got no help from a cloudless sky. Almost all day we were in the middle of a blue hole surrounded by towering cumulus clouds.

As always there weren’t as many pilots as Saturday, but still a large group of 21 experts, 12 sportsmen and 1 novice.

Again, landings made all the difference with the majority of the experts getting all their flight times. The final results were: Novice winner: George Messer, Sportsman: 3rd place: Michael Moore, 2nd place: Robert Buxton and 1st place Dimitri Katramatos. Expert: 3rd place: David Beach, 2nd place: Dave Walter and 1st place: Steve Lucke. The grand champion mug for the weekend went to Steve Lucke. Great flying, Steve!

About an hour after we finished cleanup the skies opened.

We had invaluable help from a number of dedicated helpers: Rick Penzick, Steve Young and David Spielman manned the turnaround end of the dolly system. That end of the field was very muddy and this job is the least attractive because you are removed from the action. Steve Young also provided delicious lunches both days, and finally Dave Marshall and Les Gerhardt took care of scoring. Without these dedicated helpers we would not be able to run this event.

Anker Berg-Sonne and Dave Walter

by David Beach

The Eastern Soaring League (ESL) was formed in 1977 and its mission is to “Enhance the sport of radio controlled (R/C) thermal soaring through the establishment and maintenance of reasonable standards for contest operations”. That is great for contests, but clearly there is more to soaring than just competition.

Another soaring organization, the League of Silent Flight (LSF), was established by a group of RC sailplane modelers in 1969 to provide a collective identification for radio control sailplane enthusiasts in the United States and abroad. The LSF bylaws list its two main purposes:

“Provide collective identification for active radio control soaring enthusiasts throughout the world and to recognize individual proficiency and accomplishment through a defined program of standard performance criteria for radio controlled (R/C) model sailplanes.”

“Foster and support all phases of sporting and competitive activity for R/C model sailplanes; to encourage personal and collective advancement in knowledge of aerodynamics and related arts and sciences; and to promote the general interest in soaring flight.”

Leading the LSF is a board of four elected volunteer officials. There are also many other volunteers who freely give their time and effort to assist the board.

The LSF board, through its volunteers and membership, are responsible for:
#61623; Organizing the Soaring National Championships (Nats)
#61623; Representing soaring interests to the AMA as a recognized special interest group (especially regarding competition rule making)
#61623; Organizing the World Soaring Masters competition
#61623; Record keeping for the Soaring Accomplishment program (see the summary below)
#61623; Maintaining the web site www.silentflight.org" target="_blank">http://www.silentflight.org

LSF Soaring Accomplishment Program Summary

Thermal Duration

5 min. 15 min. 30 min. 1 hr. 2 hr.

Slope Duration 15 min. 1 hr. 2 hrs. 4 hrs. 8 hrs.

Lvl 1 5 at 3 meters
Lvl 2 10 at 1.5 meters
LVL 3-5 No landing requirements.

Goal and Return
Lvl 1 and 2 None
Lvl 3 1 km. (0.62 mi)
Lvl 4 2 km. (1.24 mi)
Lvl 5 10 km. (6.2 mi)

Competition (best six)
Lvl 1 None
Lvl 2 1 place or 3,000 pts ( min 5 contestants)
Lvl 3 2 places or 4,500 pts (min 10 contestants)
Lvl 4 2 places and 1 win or 6,000 pts. (min 15 contestants)
Lvl 5 3 wins and 12,000 pts (min 20 contestants)

In order to become a member of the LSF you must submit the “aspirant pledge” to the league.
www.silentflight.org/LSF_Base/scriptpplication.htm" target="_blank">http://www.silentflight.org/LSF_Base/scriptpplication.htm

In response you will receive a blue soaring accomplishment voucher for Level I. Upon acceptance by LSF of a correctly completed Level 1 voucher, you will become a full member of the League of Silent Flight.

In order to make joining easier, the LSF Club Coordinator program was formed. Club coordinators keep LSF pledge sheets and Level I vouchers available for immediate sign-up. That way a potential LSF member can start working on completing the Level I tasks as soon as they sign the pledge. The club coordinator collects the signed pledge sheet and $2 filing fee and hands out the Aspirant's blue voucher on the spot.

Obviously, ESL contests provide great opportunities for LSF members to complete competition tasks. Also, open flying sessions before and after the contest provide opportunities for work on thermal duration and/or precision spot landing tasks. Some of the ESL contest sites may also offer opportunities for working on goal and return tasks that might be more easily achieved at a contest site than at the pilot's home field. (Dare I even mention that there may also be good slope sites near ESL contests?)

Are you interested in becoming an LSF member? Would you enjoy the challenge of completing Soaring Accomplishment tasks? You can start today by filling out the LSF Aspirant Pledge and mailing it to the AMA. If you forget, see me (or any other LSF club coordinator) at your home field or contest site to get started. Open flying at ESL contests is a great place to work on LSF tasks and improving your skills.

Speaking from personal experience, I've found the soaring accomplishment program to be fun, challenging, and personally rewarding. In the last four years I've managed to complete levels I through IV. Along the way I've learned a lot about soaring, made many new friends, and done things that I’m sure will be fond lifetime memories. What more could you ask for? Join now, or at the next contest, and keep your blue sheet handy.

by Ed Anderson

David Beach’s article talks about the League of Silent Flight Soaring Achievement program. Over the past few years I have had many people encourage me to give this program a try. I finally took a look and decided to start the LSF program myself. It looked like an interesting set of challenges, some of which would expose me to parts of soaring that I would not otherwise experience.

As I looked at the tasks and the flow of the program I also saw an opportunity to work with the LSF program as a way to prepare and encourage pilots to participate in contest flying at my club. This would be in the context of training rather than competition.

Starting at LSF level II, the pilot must participate in a minimum of 6 contests in order to test their developing skills and demonstrate a level of proficiently. The contests become the way the pilot measures their training progress. This takes the concept of contest flying from the area of competition into the area of pilot training.

I believe, if properly approached, the developing pilot will be eager to enter contests in order to measure their progress and to allow them to advance to the next LSF level. This is a great way to introduce new pilots into the fun of contests.

Starting at level III, contests must have a minimum of 10 participants. At this and the more advanced levels, ESL contests would be a very attractive way to meet these requirements.

I have begun to encourage members of our club to sign up for the LSF program. Our club now has a newly appointed LSF club coordinator who will help speed up the registration process. Working the program will become a club project that supports the individual flyer as they progress through the levels.

Since introducing the LSF program at the last club meeting several members have submitted their applications and some have already completed level 1. We are having active discussions on the field about the tasks that we will perform at the higher levels. And we are counting the contests to see when we will be able to advance to the next level.

I believe this is going to be a positive addition to the activities of our club. If you do not currently have an active LSF program in your club, you may wish to consider incorporating the LSF tasks into your club's regular activities. As members move through the tasks and levels, they will gain confidence and will look forward to the contest portion of the program and flying in the ESL contests.

If you have experience with integrating the LSF program into your club's activities I would really like to get your tips and ideas on how to make this work. I am also looking for ideas on how we might be able to incorporate the LSF program into the ESL. The more active the LSF program is in the clubs, the more likely those club members will join the fun at the ESL contests.


Just a reminder that we now have a ride and room share section in the ESL forums. Some have also posted information on local motels.
www.flyesl.org/forums/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=17" target="_blank">http://www.flyesl.org/forums/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=17


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. RC Soaring Digest is free. All you have to do is download the file.
www.rcsoaringdigest.com" target="_blank">http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com


I took an informal look at the registrations for the ESL contest to see if 2.4 GHz use is on the rise among contest pilots in the League. While not every contest has 2.4 GHz users, it looks like about 10% of the active flyers are now on 2.4 GHz. If you are interested in these new systems, these are the people to ask.

I did also notice that about 10% of the pilots in the F3J championships that were held in Turkey were on 2.4 GHz as well. So it would seem that competitive flyers have found the new systems sufficiently reliable to use them in competition at the highest levels.


By Dr. Mark Drela
When flying gliders we want to fly in the most efficient way fashion possible, which includes good use of the rudder.
www.polecataero.com/handlaunchu/using-the-rudder-in-thermal-flying/" target="_blank">http://www.polecataero.com/handlaunchu/using-the-rudder-in-thermal-flying/

By Denny Maize
www.polecataero.com/handlaunchu/dlg-not-so-secrets/" target="_blank">http://www.polecataero.com/handlaunchu/dlg-not-so-secrets/

CG LOCATION – Wings don’t have optimum CGs, planes do.
By Dr. Mark Drela
www.polecataero.com/handlaunchu/cg-location/" target="_blank">http://www.polecataero.com/handlaunchu/cg-location/

Please see the link below for an important service bulletin regarding the X9303 radio. It has been recently discovered that the aileron gimbals wire harness is chaffing. It is a simple fix but an important one. If you find your wires exposed please contact Horizon Service Dept. at 877-504-0233=20
www.jrradios.com/scriptrticles/scriptrticle.aspx?ArticleID=3D1822" target="_blank">http://www.jrradios.com/scriptrticles/scriptrticle.aspx?ArticleID=3D1822

www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=884507" target="_blank">http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=884507

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oKdJVtvMX8&feature=related" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oKdJVtvMX8&feature=related

www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=918462&page=1&pp=15" target="_blank">http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=918462&page=1&pp=15


Dan Siegel is selling a Graphite 3.4 M glider. Dan is getting more and more focused on DLGs and has been selling off his large planes to fund his new habit. This is the same type of plane that Dimitri Katramatos has been using to win the Sportsman Class contests. Dimitri likes to speak of the “Bite of the Graphite!” You can reach Dan, via e-mail at Ridr44@aol.com if you are interested.


I was elected to a 2-year term of office as Newsletter editor. At the October contest this role will be up for election. If you are interested in being the Newsletter Editor, please let the officers know so your name can be put up for consideration at the October meeting. If the membership would like me to continue, I am happy to serve. Ed Anderson


I hope you have enjoyed the ESL Newsletter. If you have ideas or input for the next Newsletter, please feel free to let me know.

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, photos, compliments or complaints to Ed Anderson, ESL Newsletter Editor, at aeajr@optonline.net

Best regards,
Ed Anderson
Long Island Silent Flyers

Edited by - aeajr on 09/06/2008 10:03:33 AM
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