Eastern Soaring Talk
Eastern Soaring Talk
Home | Active Topics | Search | FAQ

Please register to post in these Forums
 All Forums
 ESL Publications
 ESL Newsletter
 ESL Newsletter - November 2011
 Forum Locked
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  


477 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2011 :  12:03:42 AM  Show Profile
Eastern Soaring League Newsletter – November 2011


President – Josh Glaab
Secretary/Treasurer – David Beach
Scorekeeper – Luis Bustamante
Contest Coordinator – Open – Josh Glabb acting
Web Master and Publisher – David Beach
Quartermaster – Steve Lucke
Newsletter Editor – Ed Anderson
Hand Launch Director – Frank Nisita


Welcome to the 2011 End of Season ESL Newsletter. We have a big newsletter for you as I have received many contributions, for which I am very grateful. We start off with a season recap by our President, Josh Glaab, and the draft schedule for 2012. And we have an announcement about the new ESL Web site.

Naturally we have the End of Season minutes as reported by David Beach. If you have ever tried to take minutes at a meeting you know what a tough job this is. Thanks David for all your hard work on the Minutes.

These are followed by contest reports, a report on the F3J team trials, a new LSF column by John Marien that we hope to have in every future Newsletter. We have a Novice’s report of his first ESL contest, a little bit about a new glider design and an idea for what to do with those old plaques you have piled in the corner. Reid Roberts provides an update on the FAA Notice of Proposed Rule Making and I share some ideas about creating temporary building space.

Josh Glaab has been handling the coordination of the calendar. Frank Nisita has agreed to be Hand Launch Division Director so he has been helping with the HL schedule. I believe we still have slots open for the 2012 season so speak to your clubs or your neighboring clubs about hosting an ESL contest for 2012. If you have any questions, please contact Frank or Josh.

I have been asked to continue as Newsletter Editor for 2012. Please know that I gratefully welcome your ideas, your photos and your contest reports and your articles. Needless to say that the more the ESL membership contributes to the Newsletter the more it will be a reflection of the interests and the talent of our membership.

Thanks for your support in 2011. I look forward to flying with all of you in 2012.


At this time I am sitting here in my relatively quiet living room reflecting back on the entire 2011 R/C Soaring Season. Holy cow, what a ride it was!

The TD season started with the HRSF/BRASS contest in Waynesboro, VA. That seems like so very long ago since there was so much living and flying between then and now. The HRSF/BRASS contest went very well and we tested out the C-delta landing method as well as mixed sportsflyers/experts in a random/seeded MOM format. It was a great success and became the preferred method to run an ESL contest.

The ESL train then went on to Delaware where the event was run in a S-MOM format, then to Long Island where the LISF group put on another fantastic event. The weather for this event was great, no rain, good lift. This event almost didn't happen due to grass cutting coordination issues with Nassu County. As some background here, the LISF field is on a nature preserve and the County the only "authorized" lawn mowers. LISF member Rich Verriest was able to negotiate the grass cutting which occurred only 18 hours before first-launch.

This year the US R/C Soaring Nationals (NATS) was about a month early. Many in the ESL made the trip to Muncie for some great competition. Pete Schlitzkus carried the ESL flag all the way to "National Champion" in Nostalgia class flying a Challenger. I was able to take overall honors in 2M/Unlimited combined which was an honor for me. We took many other awards in Nostalgia, 2-M, HLG, Unlimited and F3J. The ESL team competed very well in all aspects at the NATS and represented our organization in top-notch form. If you haven't been to the NATS, please consider coming out and being part of the away team.

The second part of the ESL TD season included stops in Reading, PA for the Mid Season, then on to Boston. Luis Bustamante CDed the DBSF event and Anker Berg-Sonne CDed the CRRC event. Reading PA was visited again in August, but it was also visited by Hurricane Irene at the same time. Needless to say Irene won on Sunday and ESL retreated by flying 2 3-round contests on Saturday.

The last 3 ESL TD events were in Warrenton, VA, Syosset, NY, and again in Reading, PA. The weather was nothing short of fantastic for these events. The LISF group put another significant last-ditch effort to get the field cut at the 11th hour. Paul Bell stepped in and took over from John Hauff as CD of the contest when John had to leave for a family emergency. The weather for the End of Season event was perfect and the ESL put-up an outstanding competition to hit a home-run and wrap-up the 2011 season. It was great way to end the season!

Regarding the competition, it was looking like Lesek Zyga was going to win the Expert class. However, some good flying from Mike Lachowksi in the middle and down the stretch gave Mike the victory.

Observing Lesek's flying in the last several years leads me to believe that he will challenge for, or win the Expert class, within the next couple of years. I managed to finish strong and squeak into 3rd just ahead of Luis Bustamante and Neal Huffman. Indeed the ESL pilots are really a top-notch group for sure!

In Sportsflyer, Dave Bradley Jr. was able to run away with the class. Dave had 7 victories and a large margin over the #2 Sportsflyer, which was his Dad (Dave Sr.). It is expected that Dave Jr. will move up to Expert class next year which should provide some very interesting flying.

In 3rd place was Anthony Procino who has made a lot of progress of the last couple of seasons. Josh Jr. has made good progress the last two seasons and ended up in 4th. In 5th place was Brandin Wait who did a very good job flying this season and last. It will be interesting to see the top Sportsflyers competing next season as all have made significant progress and promise to rise to even greater levels of capability next year.
The DHLG division was also very active in 2011. The DHLG season started in Salisbury, MD with the MARKS contest. It then stayed in MD for BASS event in Baltimore. In June, the York County Flyers put on a great competition in the Charlotte, NC area with 32 pilots attending. While not nearly as large, the CRRC group followed up and hosted a DHLG event in early July in Boston. Unfortunately, nobody made it to both the York County and the CRRC event, even though they were only 867 miles apart!

The DHLG group then made a stop in Delaware for the SKSS meet and ended the season with a fantastic competition in Wilson, NC where a total of 49 competitors flew in the DESS event. As was the case for the TD EOS contest, the weather was perfect and the contest organizers and competitors put on a great contest. This event takes the honors for the most pilots flying in an ESL event this season. In addition, it was evident that the energy and momentum in DHLG resided south of the Manson-Nixon line this year in the ESL.

The competition in the DHLG division was outstanding with Frank Dumas and Oleg Golovidov running very close to each other. However, Frank won both days at CASA and effectively locked-up the ESL season. Oleg would have needed to travel to and win the SKSS contest in order to have the DESS contest be decisive for top honors in the ESL.

Reto Fiolka, who was a member of the Swiss F3K team, came in 3rd, Phil Barnes was 4th and Jim Cokonis was 5th. Dave Askinsky, who was a member of the US J3K junior team, came in 6th. In my opinion, the top ESL DHLG pilots are among the best in the nation and the world.

In Sportsflyer class, Eric Lanning had 4 victories, however he was not able to fly in 5 events. He ended up in 5. Walt Leipold won the Sportsflyer class of the DHLG division with a single victory and many other very good finishes. Jeff McCarter was 2nd. Austin Sloan had 2 victories, but had 2 contests where he only scored about 70 points ending up in 3rd. Todd Demarco was 4th.

Throughout the 2011 ESL competition season, the overarching theme was one of camaraderie, cooperation, and the pursuit of the sport we so dearly love. Every contest featured everyone pitching-in to help setup and run the event, and help each other when needed.

While there are some pilots that are truly standouts in this area, so very many contribute towards making each and every ESL event something special. We are privileged to have the ESL. It needs to be recognized that the ESL exists to bring R/C Soaring pilots together within the ESL region and that was accomplished with emphasis this season too. This is the main objective and reason why the league exists. I consider the 2011 ESL TD and DHLG seasons to be highly successful and I am looking forward to another great season in 2012.

Eastern Soaring League EOS Meeting Minutes
October 8th, 2011

The annual meeting of the Eastern Soaring League was called to order at 5:04 PM by President Josh Glaab on October 8th, 2010 at the Daniel Boone Homestead in Birdsboro, PA. Approximately 35 members were in attendance.

Officer and Staff Reports

Secretary’s report - A motion was made to accept the 2010 minutes as published on the ESL web site. The motion passed.

Treasurer’s report by David Beach - An estimated calendar year summary was presented as follows:

Actual Starting Balance: $4480.02
Expenses: $755.77
Income: $1676.81
Final Balance: $5,401.06
Net change: $921.05

Notable items by category:
Sanction Fees:
TD 649
HLG 332
ESL run TD Contests:
Mid 0 (contest washed out by hurricane Irene)
EOS 200 (est. net)
Overall awards
TD 230 (est.)
HLG 230 (est.)
Winch maint. 294

Income from TD sanctions and ESL run contests was down significantly this year due to both weather and lower attendance. Thanks go to Jose Bruzual for his donation of web services and hosting this year.

A motion to accept the Treasurer’s report was made, seconded, and passed.

Josh offered thanks to everyone in the league for a successful 2011 season. In particular, thanks were given to those ESL well known members who typically do most of the ‘heavy lifting’ in behalf of the league. He encouraged everyone to consider how to improve the league and make their thoughts known.

There was discussion of the Hand Launch division activities for 2011. The ESL sanctioned two new HLG contests this year, but there is still very little interaction between the HLG and TD divisions. Doug Harnish has stepped down as the HLG Coordinator for the league, and a replacement is needed.

Josh solicited some feedback regarding contest formats. This year’s EOS contest was run as Seeded MOM where the Sportsman and Expert flyers had the opportunity to fly against each other. Most of the feedback from today’s contest was positive. Other comments noted that the contest format is still the CD’s choice, and hosting clubs should be more specific about the information presented on the ESL contest registration page.

The notion of plaque recycling was discussed. Members are encouraged to donate unwanted plaques to the recycling effort. It is possible that new faceplates may be fabricated in an effort to reduce award costs.

There was discussion of the upcoming rule proposal from the FAA. A motion was made to have Reid Roberts prepare a formal response to the FAA from the league. The motion passed.

Tony Guide stated that the launch equipment is in good shape. The new drums for the 2011 season are great, and it’s time to sell the old drums. The only potential need for 2012 is new brake arms. Leszek Zyga offered to make the new arms and donate them to the league.

Ed Anderson mentioned that there are still some league members that have not joined the new Google Group email list. He requested a more complete email list for newsletter distribution.

David Beach noted that he will be assuming webmaster duties for the league in 2012. He mentioned that the forum software on the current site is not functional and forum functionality may be excluded from the new website. Ed Anderson requested that an effort be put forward to at least archive the current forum content, particularly the “Novice Lounge”

Josh requested a volunteer to assume the role of contest coordinator for 2012. Getting no response from the members, he will act as contest coordinator for now.

The request for a volunteer Hand Launch coordinator was also brought up. Josh will follow up with Phil Barnes and Dick Proesus to see if a volunteer will step up.

(Editor’s comment – Frank Nisita has accepted this position)

Ed Anderson will continue in his role as Newsletter Editor.

Luis Bustamante will continue as Scorekeeper.

There was discussion of the 2012 contest calendar. Josh will contact all clubs hosting a contest in 2011 and prepare a draft of the 2012 calendar.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 PM.

There may be changes to follow – for planning purposes only

# Contest name Location Date Point of Contact
1 HRSF/BRASS Waynesboro, VA 5/5 5/6 TD Josh Glaab (757)771-1073
2 MARKS Salisbury, MD 5/19 5/20 Jeff McCarter (410)251-6882
3 ESL at Horsefeathers Warrenton, VA 5/19 5/20 TD Kerry Cochrell (410)257-0056
4 BASS HLG Baltimore, MD 6/2 6/3 Randy Kleinert (410)931-0094
5 SKSS Newark, DE 6/9 6/10 TD Bill Groft (302)451-1088
6 LISF-1 Syosset, NY 6/23 6/24 TD Phil Abatelli (516)946-9707
7 CRRC-HL Boston, MA 7/7 7/8 HL Anker Berg-Sonne (978)897-1750
8 DBSF-1 Reading, PA 7/14 7/15 TD Luis Bustamante (908)850-5894
9 NATS Muncie, IN 7/21 7/29 Josh Glaab (757)771-1073
10 LISF-HLG Syosset, NY 8/4 8/5 HL Frank Nasita (516)390-9108
11 CRRC Boston, MA 8/11 8/12 TD Anker Berg-Sonne (978)897-1750
12 CASA-HLG Rockville, MD 8/18 8/19 HL Jay Hunter (202)230-8998
13 ESL-Mid Season Reading, PA 8/25 8/26 TD Steve Lucke (973)294-9742
14 CASA Unlimited Warrenton, VA 9/8 9/9 TD Kerry Cochrell (410)257-0056
15 SKSS Handluanch Newark, DE 9/15 9/16 HL Eric Teder (302)723-9468
16 LISF-2 Syosset, NY 9/22 9/23 TD Phil Abatelli (516)946-9707
17 ESL TD End of Season Reading, PA 10/6 10/7 TD Josh Glaab (757)771-1073
18 DESS/HLG End of Season Wilson, NC 10/6 10/7 HL Dick Proseus (252)291-8598

Best regards,
Ed Anderson
Long Island Silent Flyers


477 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2011 :  12:04:59 AM  Show Profile
Announcing the New Eastern Soaring League Website– flyesl.org
By David Beach

As many of you may already know, Jose Bruzual stepped down as webmaster for the ESL this year. I’d like to start by thanking him for his service to the league. Jose was ESL webmaster long before I started competing in the ESL and I hope I can do as well by the league as he has.

The old ESL website has been shut down, and the new site is starting to take shape. www.flyesl.org Please note the .org designation.

There is not much to see there right now, but I’ll be spending the ‘building season’ getting things shaped up for 2012. Hopefully by the New Year you will be able to register at the site, and participate in testing the contest registration function as well as see some of the new features for 2012.

The forum software and data from the old site are available. If you have problems logging into the forum with your old ID and password just let me know and I’ll get you fixed up.

If you are interested in testing the new site or assisting in development or design just drop me a note at webmaster@flyes.org.

See you in the spring,

ESL End of Season Contest Report
By Steve Lucky

We were very fortunate to have excellent weather for the End of Season TD contest at the Daniel Boone Homestead. One heck of an improvement over the conditions for the Mid Season.

I showed up a little before noon on Friday and Dave Beach already had a winch and a retriever set up. Dave, John Marion, Paul Bell, Tony Guide, Pete Schlitzkus, Neal Huffman, Robert Reid, Kerry Cochrell, Luis Bustamante and myself got a chance to fly all afternoon before Kerry invited the whole lot of us over for a steak dinner at his RV. Kerry refused to tell us what he marinated the steaks in but it was a great dinner! Tony supplied some of the beer and I forgot who supplied the brownies, which were really good. Thank you very much for feeding us Kerry, it was a great way to end a very nice day of flying and hanging out on Friday.

The weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday called for lots of sunshine and light winds from mostly the west. We got the field set up on Friday, which allowed us to get an on time start on Saturday morning. There were 20 pilots registered in Expert and 10 for Sportsman. We ran 4 ESL winches and a 5th NJSS club winch with a VMC retriever for the pop off. In addition we ran winch lines out to 600 feet to the turnarounds and used a golf cart for retrieving the ESL lines.

The pain in the ass CD gave everybody just one pop off for the day and designated all flight tasks to be 10 minutes. The landing task involved five brand new, easy to read, Tom Broski created 100 inch landing tapes. These easy to read tapes came in very handy when it was time to record some of the subterranean landings made by me, Anthony Procino and Mike Lachowski.

The field boundaries were expanded to cover the entire grassy section of the field, with only the roadway to the east and all the trees being out of bounds. Given that latitude nobody found a tree anyway. In fact this may have been the first contest I've been to a while in which nobody broke a plane on launch or dropped one in a tree.

I was very pleased with how everybody helped out with driving the golf cart, helping Luis and Joanne in the scorer's tent and with timing for each other. (Ed Anderson and Dave Beach were the big help in the scorer's tent.)

We got 8 rounds in for the day and the only winch line breaks we had were not on launch, but on the retrieve and for that reason the contest went very smoothly. We did 2 rounds of random and then 6 rounds of seeded man on man with the sportsman flying with the experts.

As usual, Supras were the plane of choice except for a 4m Explorer flown by Kerry and I think George Hill had a 4m as well. Mike Lachowski flew a 3.5m V-tail Explorer, Robert Turner and myself flew Agea Manti's, Dave Bradley Sr. flew an Extreme and Dave Jr. flew his Pike Superior and Tom Brosky had his Icon 2. If I recall correctly John Marion flew his Aspire.

With the seeded Man on Man format we very often get down to the last round before it sorts out who the winner is going to be as it usually is very close amongst the top 4 or 5 fliers. This was the case on Saturday as the lift was quite good during the entire day for the most part and the ground was soft, which allowed for some major dorking in the landing zone. For the Sportsman, Peter Nicholson, flying an older style Supra finished fifth, Bob Turner flying his Agea Mantis finished fourth, Josh Glabb, Jr. finished third, flying an older style Supra, Brandon Wait finished second flying his new Supra Comp and Gary Bolash finished first flying an Agea Mantis.

In the experts it did come to the final round and Neal Huffman finished fifth with his Supra Comp, Mike Lachowski finished fourth with his 3.5m Explorer, I snuck in third with my Chuck Robinett built Agea Mantis, Luis Bustamante finished second with his Supra Pro and Josh Glabb got first with his Supra Comp, and I think his version has the spread tow center section.

Once the contest was over and the awards handed out, a very nice set of plaques constructed by John Marion, we had the ESL meeting and then a bunch of us went to Stoppers for a very good dinner.

Sunday’s weather was just as good as Saturday's except to me the lift was not as strong and very diffuse. On Saturday I thought the air was easy to read and I had very little trouble finding lift. On Sunday I was lost, but I was the exception as most of the other fliers did very well in comparison. For me that's the best thing about soaring, the air changes all the time and I have recognize it and adjust to it.

We started with 2 rounds of random and then switched to 4 rounds of seeded man on man. We had 8 sportsman and 15 experts. We started at 8:30 as everyone was present and of course we broke a few lines on launch due to some wear and tear. But once that got sorted out everything ran very smoothly. Bob Turner continues to impress with his Agea Mantis as he took fifth in sportsman, Dave Bradley took fourth, Anthony Procino flying a V-tailed Graphite 2 took third. (Anthony managed the landing depth award with a vertical approach that required a bit of digging to obtain his landing score.) Josh Glabb Jr. took second and Dave Bradley Jr flying his V-tailed Pike Superior took first. Dave Bradley Jr., finished 5th overall for the entire contest. Dave is getting consistently good and plans to try out for the U.S. F3j team later this month in Florida.

In expert it was Tony Guide in fifth with his Supra, Dave Beach flying his Supra Comp in fourth, Leszek Zyga flying his 4m Explorer in third, Josh Glabb in second and Mike Lachowski in first. Mike had a 100 point landing score as well during the contest, but we had to dig out his nose as well, but not quite as deep as Anthony's. (I have to admit the soft ground helped me a great deal, especially on Saturday as I took advantage to spear the landing pot a bunch of times.)

The overall winner for the two days was Josh who flew the most consistently.

Even if Luis and I were not running this contest I would have to say this was one of our best contest weekends for the year. :-)))
I hope everybody has a great off season and I hope to see everyone next year!

The 2011 F3J Team Selection Adventure!
By Josh Glaab

Every other year, the United States R/C Soaring community conducts a competition to determine the team to compete at the following year's F3J World Championships. At first glimpse this may sound like a relatively benign event, perhaps even bordering on ordinary. While prior Team Selections have definitely been "non-ordinary", I believe that the 2011 F3J TS definitely can be defined as ADVENTURE with Sailplanes!

One way to describe the event is to tell the story as it unfolded for the Eastern Soaring League (ESL) team. The ESL team was comprised of Josh Glaab and Josh Glaab Jr. from Southeastern VA (780 miles from Cocoa), Phil Barnes and Neal Huffman from the Washington DC area (840 miles out), and Gavin and Alex Trussel from Columbus, OH (1,000 miles out). Dave Bradley Jr. also flew in the contest, but needed to work with the Florida team since we were maxed-out.

The actual competition was held on October 28th, 29th, and 30th in Cocoa FL. It seemed like an ideal situation, including soaring in Florida in October which would be great and a very nice way of wrapping-up the 2011 competition season.

This is the good luck "before" picture. Team "Supra" we were. Unfortunately, of the 13 airplanes that started the event, 2 were lost, one wing was folded and we had a couple of blown flap servos. Hard to believe, but better than many teams.

For some background and perspective, F3J is a type of international R/C Soaring competition. F3J is similar to what we know as Random Man on Man (R-MOM) with 100 pt normalized landings. It is different from typical US Thermal Duration in two significant ways. One difference is that all of the competitors attempt to get the maximum amount of flight time in a given working time "window". Nominal TD attempts to maximize flight time for a given flight attempt. Stiff penalties are assessed for those who launch early or land late.

The working window induces pilot-selected launch height and time to maximize flight time. In this manner, a pilot may elect to take a short launch if there is a lot of lift around.

Another difference between TD and F3J is that the competitors are responsible for their own launch equipment. Pop-offs and line-breaks are the pilot's problem. Traditionally, F3J is flown with human tow. However, in order to equalize the launch and focus more on pilot ability, and less on the ability of the team to find and coordinate outstanding tow-men, winches were adopted for the US F3J Team Selection starting with the 2011 cycle.

In order for the flight to count, the plane needs to land within 75 meters of the center of the spot. There are other difference between TD and F3J that include re-flights for hindrances and mid-air collisions among other things.

Team ESL could only perform one partial team practice due to weather issues affecting the region in late September and early October. Team Trussel was not able to attend that practice. However, during the practice we were able to verify the operation of 4 winches that could be used at the TS and we were able to get some valuable MOM flying. Other preparations included acquiring a pile of monofilament line from Mike Lachowski (as well as a spare winch) which was GREATLY APPRECIATED, turn-arounds, parachutes, and line condoms.

The "official" winch batteries selected were rated at 500-ish CCA and 50 Amp-Hour batteries and different from the Optima batteries so many possess these days. Teams could rent official batteries for $40.

After much anticipation, go day (Wed, 10/26) finally arrived. I loaded up the Explorer to the max with 5 Supras, 2 winches, a tent, winch battery, etc, etc, and off we went. Twelve and a half hours later we were approaching our exit on I-95. It was expected that when we arrived at the exit that there would be some type of restaurant there along with other forms of civilization.

What we found was the rather old Days Inn hotel and a gas station and nothing else. This hotel was selected due to its close proximity to the field. The nearest food was more than 5 miles away. We met-up with Phil and Neal Wednesday evening and had a small party to celebrate safe arrival.

The F3J competition was held on the Indian River Kontrol Society (IRKS) field on the county dump. The field was large, but very close to water level and somewhat muddy with ruts and gopher holes. There was some discussion that a few weeks before the field was underwater. The field was surrounded to the southeast by swamps that could be used to film "Man vs Wild". Alligators and wild boars were known to live in the area along with snakes and many other critters better left alone.

The southwest area was a little better with some trails but still many trees and challenging terrain. To the north, about a mile away, was the mountain of trash along with a methane burner power generation plant to the northeast.

The forecast was for strong winds blowing into the southern areas on Saturday and Sunday. In addition, we could not get access to the field until 7:30am on Friday and Saturday. Sunday we could get in at 7am. It was pretty dark until 7:30am. Thursday was a day dedicated to processing winches and aircraft along with some limited practice. The high temperature was in the low-80s with light winds, it was beautiful day.

We immediately began setting up winches and sailplanes and getting some flying going. Gavin and Alex arrived at about noon from their marathon drive from Columbus, OH. The CD showed up early and began measuring winch power using a specialized volt/current meter. Winches were required to have a total resistance (winches and batteries) of more than 23 m-ohms before 0.25 seconds with the drum stopped. Three of our six winches passed without issue. A fourth was made legal through the use of a variable resistor. Two were not legal and parked for the rest of the event. Winch testing consumed several hours. Later in the day we were given stickers to put on the aircraft to identify "legal" parts. Late in the day we measured a few more lines too.

The pilots' meeting was held at 5pm and it lasted for an hour. Team ESL was caught a little off guard since we had 13 aircraft and 4 winches still setup at 6pm. An hour and a half later we were finally off the field which was just after darkness fell. Thursday night we had a pizza party to loosen up and get ready for the contest.

Friday dawned wet but calm. There were some showers with an overcast sky. We managed to start flying, but not until 10am-ish. Neal saved the day by brining a pile of painters plastic to cover the aircraft. We dodged showers throughout the day eventually getting 4.5 rounds completed before calling it off. At the end of the day, Neal was in 3rd and I was in 6th, just 1 point behind Neal. Josh Jr was flying well, but had a short flight. He ended the day in 3rd and we were very excited about that.

Neal lead the way with a total of 4 "grannies"and I had 2 and Phil got 1 in round 4. Note that a "grannie" is a score of 1,000 and awarded for the maximum combined flight and landing score. The mantra of team ESL was "One Grannie at a Time", which helped to focus our minds in the best possible way. Team ESL adjourned to the Outback and we had a great dinner there with a lot of fun. Phil celebrated a birthday (sort of) and we had a very good time.

Saturday dawned very wet, but we went to field anyway and setup our tents and winches. Waiting in line to get into a dump before dawn in the rain was an odd experience. I wondered how many people would consider us crazy! We were also able to setup a few aircraft, but needed to cover them when the rain picked-up. Around 11am the rain finally ended and the wind picked-up to about 10 to 20mph. We got out the lead, and began flying.

My first flight was a real challenge with a lot of time spent at very low altitudes, but managed to pull it out. I was still working down to 15 seconds to go! I managed to get the teams only grannie in the last round of the day with a 9:55.53 with a 99-pt landing.

Both Neal and I were able to make our times and were still "in it", although at this point it really was beginning to feel like a physical/mental endurance contest. At the end of the day, Neal was still in 3rd and I was in 6th, just about 1 pt behind Neal. Josh Jr. was in 3rd. Unfortunately, Gavin lost a Supra in "Man vs. Wild" land when his radio quit. Alex had a wing failure on another Supra and their contest was considered over due to equipment issues. Phil had lost time on 3 of the 4 rounds of the day and was not in the running. Rough day.

We met-up with Tom Kiesling and his team (Mike Smith, Larry Jolly, and Jim McCarthy) along with the Texans (Amy Pool, Kelly Johnson, Henry Bostic and Jim Frahm) at the Olive Garden, and Phil celebrated yet another birthday (who knew?).

The day was clear on Sunday with no rain, but the wind came! The forecast was 15 to 25 mph, which it did for a few hours, and stayed over 10 to 20 for the rest of the day. We learned that the contest would be called due to wind if the wind speed was measured at over 26 mph for an entire minute. Yikes!

Initial practice flights were put up with shocking results. Many planes were destroyed on launch. At ground level, the wind was calm, perhaps 0 to 5 mph, however at about 500 ft, the wind increased to about 30 mph. Phil put one of his planes in the woods when he went downwind a little and became disoriented. The window time for Sunday was 15 minutes which figured to be a real challenge in the windy conditions.

When the contest started, the wind was calm at the surface, but definitely blowing at 500 ft. I decided to fly my fiberglass Supra without ballast for the first round in an attempt to be able to work low-altitude lift which was evident. That was a mistake. Both Neal and I missed our first flights zigging when we should have been zagging among other things.

Fortunately, those were good throw-out rounds, but we were living on the edge at that time going into round 10. I got the lead into my Kevlar Supra for the next round and got a grannie (wooo hooo) with 14:54.08 and a 100 pt landing to get some life, and move into 5th. I flew my Kevlar Supra in the wind since it was the heaviest of all of my Supras at 66 oz and the Kevlar skin was expected to help prevent flutter. Neal had dropped to 4th due to a less than fantastic 96 pt landing.

My goose became completely "cooked" in the next round when I badly shanked a landing. During the approach I became late and then while compensating for that some type of gust of wind hit and I caught a flap on the ground and the plane veered left off course to a 85 (blech!). Half of the pilots in that group, all on the right side of the flight line, had terrible landings, including Tom Kiesling and Skip Miller.

In addition to that, the Kevlar Supra fluttered on launch and the right flap servo was obviously damaged and needed to be replaced. It was time to switch to the Spread Tow Supra for the last round. I think Neal was still in 4th going into the last round, but flew in a real tough lift condition in round 12 and got buried. The winning score in Neal's group was posted by Cody Remington and only 12+ minutes. Had Neal maxed his flight, he probably would have been on the team and Cody Remington would have been off. Cody had a very bad landing early in the contest when he was late.

I flew the Spread Tow Supra with about 17 oz of lead (bringing it up only to 74 oz) in round 12 and it flew incredibly well. My last landing was poor as well as I was late on arrival and had to rush. Probably should have flown that plane all the time.

Josh Jr was in 4th place going into the last round and needed to make-up about 30 points on the Dillon Graves. Josh Jr needed to re-launch during that round, but did so early enough to get a 10:22 with a 90 point landing. Dillon Graves landed off-field or did something to only get a zero! However, there was a call to re-fly the group due to a line cross that occurred on the other end of the flight line.

During the re-flight, Dillon Graves won the group and Josh Jr. only got about an 11 minute flight and no landing to end-up in 5th. While we can never be sure what would have happened if all the Jr’s got a good launch on the first attempt, it is a tough way to go, but we were all very proud of the way Josh Jr. flew throughout the contest!

Many planes were lost on Sunday. I estimate that at least 15 planes landed off field. Larry Jolly set a record for two zeros in one round. One tree in particular had multiple planes in it. Most, but not all, of off-field landings were recovered. A local two-man team showed-up late Sunday and was kept very busy (and evidently well paid) retrieving a myriad of aircraft. In addition to the off-field landings, at least 5 more aircraft were totally destroyed on launch. As Yoda would say "carnage it was"!

In the end, I ended up in 4th place as the US F3J Team alternate. Getting 99 pt landings in the 11th and 12th rounds, or better, would have put me on the team. This is the 4th time I have been the team alternate ('97, '03, '09 and '11). It was jokingly stated that 4th place will be retired this year since I have won that so often ;-). However, I do believe now that I think I have them right where I want them now! Neal ended up in 14th, Phil was 22nd, and Gavin was 28th. Dave Bradley flew a good contest and was 4th, Josh Jr. was 5th and Alex Trussel was 7th in Jr class.

As far as the "grannie" count goes, Cody Remington had the most at 6, Neal, Bob McGowan, Jody Miller, Gordon Buckland and I had 4, Tom Kiesling, Mike Smith, and Mike Verzuh had 3, and a bunch of guys had 2. Neal was the only pilot to put 4 grannies together in rounds 2 through 5. This year the grannie count did not correlate very well with final standings in that of the pilots who had 4 grannies placed from 25th up to 3rd.

Overall, team ESL did very well in the launch department. We did not have any line-breaks or pop-offs for the entire contest. The winches and batteries worked great the entire time. Gavin provided some great throws for me and Phil, and I gave Neal and Josh Jr some good launches too. We had some confusion on launch twice. Once the man on the pedal did not "go on 2" and was asleep at the switch. The other time I stepped on the wrong winch pedal (dough!). Having winches instead of human-towmen really helped. It took away the overhead and variability due to human tow.

Josh Jr. and I managed to get out of FL on Sunday evening. Just having enough energy to cross the border into GA and find a beautiful Hampton Inn there for the night (ahhhh Hampton Inn…..). We made it home Monday in time to trick or treat and all was well.

I think I came away from the contest with a much better idea of how to fly and be very competitive in significant wind. Ballasting the Supras to about 75 oz is a very good weight for 15 to 25 mph conditions. The Supras were really flying well in the wind and, in my opinion, matched-up or exceeded the performance from the smaller F3B planes on the field. Even though the Spread Tow Supra weighs 5 oz less than my fiberglass Supra, it still seems much stronger. The problem would be the ability to ballast it up beyond 87 oz for very high wind conditions (ie 20 to 30) since it is so light empty (57 oz).

Providing extra time on final in the wind is also necessary and I didn't do that in rounds 11 and 12 and it cost me. I think we also need team practices where we practice single pilot flights that are conducted with a timer like we would at the TS and also managing the scoring. Probably repeated 2-minute flights would be a good drill.

At the TS we had to provide flight cards to the official timers, which was time consuming and we were not accustomed to. In addition, hotel selection should consider not only proximity to the field but also proximity to food and other logistics. Our Days Inn was close to the field, but that was it. Given the very long days at the field, there is not much time to get something to eat and get some sleep. All things considered, I feel exceptionally confident that team ESL will put at least one pilot on the US Senior and Junior teams in 2013!

This link goes to photos of the F3J event provided by Kerry Cochrell


F3J Competition – Video of a major competition - These videos are NOT from the team selections that Josh wrote about but they may give you a little better fell for how F3J differs from our American style TD contests.

At about 5:30 minutes and 7:30 into the video you can see an F3J 2 man tow mass launch. At about 7:00 and 8:15 you see a mass landing – naturally these are the ones who made their times.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqnZEsWhKzQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqnZEsWhKzQ
F3J – Promo for the 2010 World Championships
At 1:10 Cody Remington discusses F3J and what he likes about it
www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PkDlNOfvk8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PkDlNOfvk8
F3J launch from the tow team point of view
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlMj95eFjv8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlMj95eFjv8
F3J launch from the Supra’s point of view
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tdJt64Wyl4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tdJt64Wyl4

Best regards,
Ed Anderson
Long Island Silent Flyers
Go to Top of Page


477 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2011 :  12:06:28 AM  Show Profile
Novice Report – The Novice pilots at ESL events are often fairly inexperienced and typically a bit nervous. But if we do a good job of welcoming them and helping them feel comfortable, they will be the sportsman and expert pilots of tomorrow. What follows is the report of an ESL Novice in his first ESL contest. Note that Trevor mentions his Bird of Time from a club build that he lead over the 2010-2011 winter.

ESL Novice Report - Trevor Ignatosky

Surprise, I flew a Legend in the ESL contest instead of a Bird of Time (BOT). I think I disappointed some folks by doing that. More than one person at the contest asked me why I didn't fly the BOT. The answer was, the BOT had been flown in the club's RES and TD contests and just for fun, while the Legend had hardly been flown since I finished rebuilding it in April. Just recently, I started making changes to the Legend to get it to fly better and so it was the plane I was flying the most when Ed suggested I fly the BOT or the Legend in the ESL contest.

I was having fun with the Legend, so I decided to target having it ready by the contest date and my experimenting with changes to it morphed into preparing and practicing for the contest. This is not to say that I stopped making changes. Just before the contest, I stripped the covering off the top of the elevator and horizontal stabilizer to recover them in a lighter color because I was losing orientation in some situations.

I had been flying the Legend off a Hi-start. I had some spectacular launches off of it: not spectacular high or spectacular straight, but the other kind. Did you know it's possible to stall, spin around and go up the Hi-start nose down and backwards – for a short ways, anyway, before it pops off; if you're lucky? I also had lots of tip stalls and crashes into the high grass during landings.

A few times Frank Strommer would chuck it on the winch for me. Too many times it would be back on the ground before he could walk out and bring the line back. Thanks for trying Frank. The outcome of all this “practice” was that I could launch it fairly straight into light wind, circle around once or twice and usually land somewhat further than I wanted to walk, but still on the mowed grass. During the whole time I was setting up and flying the Legend, a few weeks at least, I caught only two good thermals. Such was my experience flying the Legend before going into the ESL contest. Oh, and the Legend is my first full house ship, of any kind.

So, how did I feel as the contest dates approached? I was hoping it would be rained out. Whatever possessed me to volunteer for two days back to back flying, and on a weekend to boot? I was just looking for an excuse to get out of it. It was sounding less and less like fun as the date approached and the weather looked like a low wind, cloudy weekend with showers: what I considered the worse conditions to launch and fly the Legend in.

Logically, I knew the contest would be a great opportunity to fly off a winch for two days solid and the higher launches would give me a better chance at finding thermals; I just couldn't work myself up to be very motivated about it, but I had said I would do it.

The first day of the contest went very smoothly. I didn't know most of the folks there, but they were all very nice. I felt better about going as soon as I got on the field and saw there were a lot of folks there setting up. The best part; the part that made me most comfortable, was that Rich Verriest told us, the pilots, which winch to use and when to go there. If you needed someone to time or launch for you and didn't have someone at that time, nobody launched until you and everyone else was set up, even if that meant they had to stop and find someone to work with you. Of course it would be better to have someone picked out ahead of time, but if you just show up cold and don't know ninety percent of the pilots or which ones are available to ask, well, at least you had a fall back.

Rich took some interest in what I was doing. He told me, more than once, to get many different pilots, particularly the better ones, to time for me or for me to time for them. Either way it would be a learning experience for me. He was right. It does help to see what the better pilots are doing in different contest situations and hear what they are thinking about, too. I asked a lot of questions. The biggest help was when pilots would talk me through flying a task. Our own David Ashinsky and Rob Sabatini guided and talked me through tasks and to make my times for the two longest flights I had at the contest. Thanks guys.

I didn't try to land on the tapes. I knew I wasn't up to that, so you'd think I had nothing to be embarrassed about. Well … to start the day off on Sunday morning, I managed to launch the Legend with one aileron not working and actually positioned down quite a bit; this even after wiggling and looking at the controls. It was plugged in backwards. It took a bit of circling around and wondering why it wouldn't turn properly before I brought it in for a fast landing and broke a flap servo because I didn't get it up in time. I missed the next round while I made repairs, so everyone got to know about it. Having gotten past that, I felt for the rest of the day I could only fly better, secure in the knowledge that I wouldn't be likely to find anything more embarrassing to do. Do you think I was a little too optimistic?

Towards the end of the contest I had to agree with folks walking up and telling me the Legend's weight wasn't so terrible and that it could still be a competitive plane in a TD contest. In addition to seeing it thermaling in not so great lift, and having witnesses in case I doubted my own eyes, I've seen Frank Strommer land it near himself in the past and make it look light. The extra weight on landing is going to be something else I need to learn to plan for in my approaches.

At the end of the contest I felt I was better at recognizing when I was flying through a thermal and circling smoothly while staying in it. As proof, I did much better at both when flying my BOT the day after the contest. I caught the regularly scheduled 12:30 PM thermal for a nine-plus minute flight after launching in calm air. While I was in it, I had the same feeling that I had when thermaling the Legend properly in the contest. I felt good about that.

I could say that was enough to justify being in the contest, but looking back I have to add that while the contest was a good learning experience I just had fun flying in it. I would do it again.


The long awaited FAA UAS NPRM and several others, including FARs, are held up in Washington at this time due to forces outside of r/c soaring. This could work in our favor.
When the time comes to take action, our ESL response should be 1) in concert with AMA, 2) as the unique and safe entity that we are and 3) as individuals. In that vein, we will provide talking points, letters or whatever format best fits. I have no pride of authorship either, just some experience with the FAA and the process.
Bottom Line: The odds are not good for us if they come out with the vertical/lateral limits that affect r/c soaring. It takes a lot of political horsepower to affect change in an NPRM. However! I really hope that an FAA fearful of budget cuts will reign in its scope and leave us the hell alone.

This COULD happen.

For planning purposes: If this NPRM comes out in Feb, '12 and we lose the fight, it will take over a year to reach fruition as a Federal Aviation Regulation. That means the '12 soaring season and most likely the '13 season will be good to go.
In any case, ESL will be ready to fight!

The Ascendant XC
An Original Design by John Marien
Report by Ed Anderson

During the End of Season TD contest John Marien showed us his Ascendant XC glider which is of his own design. He flew in the last round of the Sunday Contest. I asked John if he would share a little about the Ascendant XC.

Ed, per your request, here are the specifications and a bit of the history on the Ascendant XC that I flew at the ESL contest on Sunday.

• Name: Ascendant XC
• Wingspan: 4.8 meters
• Weight: 10.25 lbs.
• Battery Capacity: 7000 mah A123 Batteries
• Elevator and Rudder Servos: JR 8411 digitals
• Flap servos: JR 8711 digitals (one per flap)
• Flap width and length: 4" x 30" (120 sq in)
• Aileron servos: Airtronics 94761
• Airfoils: Drela AG23-AG24-AG25-AG26-AG27
• Root wing Chord: 14" (designed for high-visibility at altitude)
• Wing + horizontal stab area: 2320 sq in
. Full-flying stabilizer (36" long)
. Rudder and fin are 18.5" tall
• Wing style: 3-piece, stressed-skin bagged wings using traditional CF/Kevlar/Glass layup with CF pre-preg tube and flat stock capped main spars.
. CF tapered tail boom

Telemetry on board: Sky Melody (provides information altitude, battery condition, time system has been "on", rate of climb/sink and a variometer. Also onboard is a SkyTrace GPS Logger capable of logging 100 hours of flight (GPS location and altitude, rate of climb, rate of sink etc.)

Designed as a long-distance Cross-Country (XC) ship with the heart of a TD ship! During one of the field tests of this original design, the ship recorded a speed of 127 mph sustained for 33 seconds. It's a tough ship designed to survive off-field landings that occur while doing cross-country-style flying. I used this ship to do my LSF-IV 2Km Goal and Return flight and plan to use it for my LSF-V 10 km Goal and Return.

This particular Ascendant XC ship is a mix of parts from the first 4 prototypes. Each prototype improved the performance and handling of the ship. The next revision will be a complete rebuild with a slightly new fuselage and the same wing platform but different airfoils.

Now, for the interview for the newsletter:

How did you do in the final round when you flew this?

The final round was just as challenging as the rest of the day was for making flight times. We all struggled a bit. Since this was a test flight at the ESL I wanted to stay clear of the “pack” and when they went Right, I went Left. I was not the first plane down, but I did not win the round either. Pete Schlitzkus (spelling) flying his Supra won the round with a “save” just over the barn as I was landing.

Did you make your time?

No, but came close to it.

Did you make your landing?

No, again came close. The thing to consider is that you cannot “dork” land this plane in for a landing so you have to slide it in to the tape. I have the line, but came up short.

Did you break the winch line?

No. Yes, Steve Lucke was watching me like a hawk.

Would you recommend this over your regular contest ship? ( I hope not!)

If I did recommend this plane as a regular contest ship, I’d take out the extra 1.5lbs of batteries and telemetry gear to lighten the plane’s wing loading (I flew the plane at 10.17 oz/sq ft wing loading but could have flown it at 8.93 oz/sq ft wing loading).

Do you plan to enter regular XC contests or is this strictly for your LSF tasks?

This plane is primarily designed for Cross-Country (XC) flights. But there are days where something like this mixes it up a bit at the ESL.

Is this a one of a kind or will it be going into production for sale?

Right now, there are only the prototypes that I have built. However, once I’m satisfied with the plane’s performance, I will be making it available to other flyers.

Best regards,
Ed Anderson
Long Island Silent Flyers
Go to Top of Page


477 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2011 :  12:07:18 AM  Show Profile

This is a note I received for inclusion in the Newsletter. Take a look and reply to Tom at tom@blueridgesoaring.org He was gathering them at the EOS TD contest but is likely looking for more for next season.


Could you please pass the word to the ESL members that we will be trying to recycle some of the awards and trophies that people have laying around or boxed up. It was nice of Stu to bring his RES ones to CASA. (only this time we will see if we can change the dates and make them current) "If anyone has any (Mike L - please limit to under 500 lbs) that they would be willing to donate, we will see if we can use some of them (change dates, new faces, etc.) for future awards. Would be so much better than tossing them out or using for glue boards.
Josh is bringing a few hundred pounds of his : ) Also, we will be giving
one of the orange landing tapes to anyone donating $10 towards new landing
tapes. Please help out with this if you can.


By John Marien

Welcome to the first column of the new LSF Corner. What is the LSF? The LSF is the League of Silent Flight and it is an achievement-based recognition organization that does a great deal for our soaring hobby. Many of you know this already, but for those that do not: The LSF hosts the Soaring Nationals at Muncie each year. Many ESL pilots are there as I write this column competing against each other and many other pilots from around the country and different parts of the world. Let’s put the NATs aside for today and go a bit deeper into what the LSF is about.

The full, and definitive, answer to what the LSF is, and is not, can be found at the LSF web site: http://www.silentflight.org. The LSF achievement program is divided into 5 levels of accomplishment. Each level of accomplishment has both technical skills that must be achieved as well as contest points that must be earned. Once the technical and contest tasks have been achieved for a level, the LSF member sends in his “blue” sheet and a check for $2. The Blue sheet is a Soaring Accomplishment voucher and is a record of the pilot’s achievements and the signatures of the witnesses to the achievements. Yes, there must be witnesses and as you achieve higher levels in the LSF, the witness requirements also increase. The $2 covers processing your voucher, a new voucher, and postage etc. back to you. There are no membership fees or dues so the $2.00 covers it all. The summary of each of the technical tasks and contest points for each level is shown below:


Since 1975, there have only been 130 pilots who have achieved the coveted status of LSF-V. Yes, there are some ESL pilots who have made it to level V, and a few more working toward it today. Getting in to the LSF is easy and your first set of tasks are easy to achieve. For Level-I you need a thermal duration flight of 5 minutes, a slope flight of 15 minutes (or a second thermal duration flight of 5 minutes on a different day than the first TD 5-minute flight), make 5 precision landings within 3 meters of the center of the landing zone. Sounds easy enough! So why not give it a try? If you are competing in the ESL, you are already routinely flying 10-minute flights and landing on scored landing tapes inside the 3 meter requirements. In one weekend contest (Sat and Sun), you could easily achieve the rating of LSF Level-I. Of course, then you have to move on to LSF Level-II and the bar gets raised a bit and gets harder.

Each level gets significantly harder and takes more time to achieve. Which brings out one of the goals of the LSF is in life-long achievement and the advancement of R/C soaring. One of the challenging parts of LSF life is getting your witnesses lined up. At first “any person over 21 years of age, who is not related to the pilot” OR “one LSF Level-I witness, not related to the pilot” is all you need to witness your achievements. But by LSF Level-III you need 2 witnesses, and for LSF Level-V you need 2 witnesses that each hold LSF Level-II, or higher, ratings. Most of the time, to find 2 LSF Level-II witnesses, you have to help regular soaring pilots into the LSF program and help them achieve there LSF ratings. This helps to grow the hobby or R/C soaring. One of the reasons I’m writing this column is to help expand the LSF membership and thus helping to expand our hobby. By the way, although the LSF speaks in terms of Thermal Duration don’t let that discourage the HLG/DLG pilots in the ESL. Hand launching is an acceptable launch method for all the tasks. As for me, I started in the LSF and achieved LSF Level-I in October of 2007. Today I am actively working on my LSF Level-V rating.

In each newsletter, I’ll spend a little time going over some aspect of the LSF program, some of the common questions and answers. For now, I’ll leave you with the LSF Application below.

To: LSF Executive Board

I, __________________________________________ (please print full name) will support the philosophies, concepts and criteria set forth in the Bylaws of THE LEAGUE of SILENT FLIGHT and give notice herewith of my intention to become an ASPIRANT and attain Level 1 of the LSF Soaring Accomplishments Program, and by so doing, earn full recognition and privilege of membership.

AMA or FAI license Number ___________________ (Required)

Signature: ____________________________________

Mailing address: _________________________________________________

City: ________________________ State: ____________ ZIP: _____________

Country: ___________________________________

E-mail address_____________________________

Mail to:
c/o AMA
PO Box 3028,
Muncie, IN 47302-1028

Work area ideas for small spaces
By Ed Anderson

Perhaps you are thinking that building your own planes sounds like fun, but you will probably have to skip that part of the hobby because you have no place to set up a workshop. Or maybe you are even having a problem finding space to do some minor repairs or to set up an ARF. There is no place to work.

Well, perhaps workspace can be found. I am going to offer up some ideas on setting up small work areas and temporary areas for people who don’t have the luxury of a large shop with lots of space.


The main model workspace in my shop is created by two saw horses with a 36” wide hollow core door sitting across them. This is where I set up my planes and do my repairs.
The reason I use this is that the workbench sits in front of the oil tank and some shelves. There is a pump buried under the floor in the corner that I might need to get to and … well let’s just say that I can’t put up a permanent bench. If I had to, I could completely remove the work bench in about 20 minutes.

The saw horses cost about $30 a pair and can be folded flat to be put out of the way or hung on the wall. They also have a nice little shelf where I can put tools, parts or whatever. The door is similar to the door you might have on a closet in your home. These doors are amazingly resistant to warping. They come in widths of 24 to 36” wide. They are typically 80 inches long and cost less than $35. Inexpensive Luan doors work fine, but I have seen them with hardboard surfaces too.

Using this approach you can set up a temporary or even a semi-permanent work area quickly and easily. Perhaps you have a place where you can work for a few days but will need to clear out after that. Or, like me, this can be your permanent work table, but it can be moved easily if necessary.

When you buy the door, insure it is flat. I use an ordinary 24” T-square to check to make sure the surface is flat. It also comes in handy for measurements or as a pencil guide or cutting guide for parts and for covering.

The door that is the top of my work bench has become pretty beaten up, so when I need a flat clean surface, I have a second 24” door sitting in the corner. I sanded it and finished it with polyurethane. It stays square, flat and clean to provide a truly flat work surface. I just lay it on top of the beaten up bench and I have a clean and true work area. I will use this for the Bird of time build. And if necessary, I can move it off the workbench, set it somewhere else to free up my workbench.

But what if even saw horses and a door is too big or too cumbersome for you. How about an ironing board? Yes I said an ironing board. While this is not an ideal work surface, as a quick up and quick down work table it can meet the need and for $20 you have a temporary work table. I have used our ironing board as a work area when I cover wings or set in the middle of a room to support a fully assembled 3.4 meter sailplane. I can set it up in the middle of the floor and get all the way around it. By stepping on the feet I can get is sufficiently stable to work. And the adjustable height sometimes comes in handy. It actually works pretty well for covering wings.

There are also ironing board units that hang on the wall or are set into the wall. For about $200 you can have a swing out work table that just folds back into the wall when you are done for the day.

Another thing to do is to get a nice flat piece of ¾” plywood, about 2’ by 4’. This can be placed on the kitchen table, on top of that ironing board or even outside on the picnic table. Clamp it in place and you have a temporary building area for a few hours of work. Birch veneer plywood is often of pretty good quality and can be found in this size, pre-cut. If you take your square with you, you can check to find a flat one. Put some felt on the back and it won’t scratch the kitchen table.

Here is another idea I have used. You can take that flat piece of birch plywood and screw a piece of 1X2 furring strip on the bottom. Now you can clamp it into a Black and Decker Workmate. Workmates are about $30-$50. I have never done this for model work but I have done this when I needed a temporary work table at a remote work site outside using a 4X4 piece of plywood. It works great!

OK, now you have a work space, how are you going to build on that table? Well, you need a 2’X 4’ suspended ceiling tile of course. A 2X4 ceiling tile, turned face down on that piece of flat plywood is great for placing your plans and working on a wing or fuselage or other parts. You can stick pins into the tile to hold your work and you can tape to it too. Clamp it on to the ironing board or your hollow core door work bench or even the kitchen table. You can build that wing section, and then move it, pinned in place, out of the way to let the glue dry. Most built up sections are less than four feet long so you should have room. Work for the evening then move your work out of the way on top of a cabinet or the spare room. Fold up the ironing board and put it in the closet and your work area disappears. (Hey, this could work.)


Whether you are using epoxy, CA or any other volatile materials you want to control the fumes. In my shop I have a bathroom ceiling fan unit that sits on my workbench. They cost between $20 and $80. Look for one that is quiet. If you take off the plastic grill, this is basically a square steel box with a fan in it. It just sits on my work bench so I can move it close to the source of the fumes. I have it attached to a dryer vent kit that is normally used to vent a clothes dryer through a window. I took out a pane of glass in the window near my workbench and replaced it with Plexiglas. I cut a hole in the Plexiglas and put the dryer vent through the hole. Then I glazed it back into the window frame in place of a normal piece of glass. This is the same way my clothes dryer is done.

You can just as easily do this on a temporary basis by mounting the vent through a piece of plywood that is sized to fit into an open window space. If you have a double hung window, just open the window, place the plywood piece into the opening and close the window onto it. You now have a vent system that can carry out CA or epoxy fumes and maybe even some sanding dust. You can move the fan around the work area to get it close to the work area. When you put the work space away, just take your temporary vent system and put it in the bottom of the closet or under the bed.

Of course we would all like to have a 30’ X 50’ work area with big glass top building tables and an assortment of power tools to aid our work. But if you are like me, space is at a premium. Maybe I have more space than you, or maybe less. But no matter your situation, you can establish a permanent but moveable work area. Or you can set up temporary work space that can be set up quickly, used for a few hours or a few days, and then put away quickly and easily.
Didn’t think you had room to build. Well just maybe you do.


AMA Newsletters

AMA Updates on FAA Talks


The ESL is discussed in the November issue of RC Soaring Digest along with other topics of interest. The November issue can be found here:

The December issue of RC Soaring Digest is now available at this link


Page 103

Discussing the F3K DLG World Championships


The design is based on a brushless outrunner mounted in the nose of the glider that is powered by Kokam Lithium batteries. It can sustain level flight for an hour or climb for about 90 KM to about 1500 M. It can climb at higher power settings at up to 1.6 m/s.
It looks a lot like one of our electric model gliders.
The Technology

THE BEST INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS AVAILABLE - If you want to improve your soaring, your launches, your landings, you want these videos. If you want to learn how to set up your radio and how to trim and tune your glider, you want these videos. RCA has a variety of videos on a variety of topics but the two that every sailplane pilot should have are “Secrets of Thermal Soaring” and “Performance Tuning for Sailplanes”.

Zoom Techniques to get a higher launch

A Different Kind of Slope Soaring – in Norway

A New Launching System – The OneWinch. This is a new launching system. It will not replace the electric winch but you might find it a good alternative to a hi-start. There are field reports and videos from the LISF field starting at post 135

Making a molded carbon fuselage

Interesting Supra Landing – Joe Wurts

Build your own Supra

Oculus build thread – New 3M RES glider from MM Glidertech. The fuse is molded, spar comes prewrapped and ribs are laser cut. With the spar prebuilt and a molded fuse, the build should go pretty quickly.

Applying carbon caps to wood spars


ESL logo items can be ordered from Cafepress. They have t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs and mouse pads. If you would like to show off the League logo, you can order whatever you like. There is no minimum order. T-shirts start at $9 and sweatshirts start at $33. S TO XXL. http://www.cafepress.com/FlyESL


I hope you have enjoyed the ESL Newsletter. Send your notes, photos, compliments or complaints to Ed Anderson, ESL Newsletter Editor, at aeajr@optonline.net

The text portion of this and past ESL Newsletters can be found here:

If anyone would like to become involved in the Newsletter please contact me. Or, if you are a graphics or format guru and would like to spice up the appearance, I would welcome the assistance.

Best regards,
Ed Anderson
Long Island Silent Flyers
Go to Top of Page


477 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2011 :  09:40:49 AM  Show Profile
This is the PDF version of the Newsletter which includes photos.

Download File: Eastern Soaring League Newsletter November 2011 W

Best regards,
Ed Anderson
Long Island Silent Flyers
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 Forum Locked
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Eastern Soaring Talk © 2008-12 Eastern Soaring League Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000