2011 - L8 F3B results - Retford.

1 Haley, Steve 6000
2 Challinor, Mike 5640.4
3 Whittle, John 5486.1
4 Haley, Simon 5465.8
5 Woodhouse, Ken 5213.1

Although I have left Alan and Dick off the official ranking for L8,
I think we were all very impressed with the F5B models and grateful for their help on the bases during the day. The idea of combining the two events (F3B & F5B) would certainly add more gravitas to both FAI discipline's, advance electric F3B and hopefully make for more efficient and enjoyable competitions.

Mike flew steady as always, John W flew the nuts of his vintage Ellipse 2 and placed a credible 3rd and Simon flew his best F3B contest to date placing 4th. It was good to have father back in team Haley following illness and Bob for keeping us entertained as always (that bloody tree again Bob)...!

It wasn't one of Kens best comps which was understandable given his slipped disc issues and Jonathan
continued to improve and will be a force in the league once he gains some consistency which will come soon with experience and positive attitude.

Overall 2011 F3B Results.

1 Steve Haley 4,000.00 100%
2 Mike Challinor 3,806.90 95.2%
3 Ken Woodhouse 3,720.36 93.0%
4 Simon Haley (Junior) 3,634.31 90.9%
5 John Whittle 3,542.91 88.6%

Well done to the top three (Steve, Mike, Ken) and to Simon for placing 4th which at 12 years old must be the highest junior placing we have had in the league's history.

A big thank you to Clive once again, for running the league and for maintaining and transporting all the equipment to and from the comps.

One again, this year, we have seen the number of competitors reduce and although most F3X disciplines are experiencing the same, we do not promote / maximise our sports' exposure nearly enough and we are all guilty of not doing as much publicising as necessary.

I am convinced that electric F3B is one option that we should promote vigorously and credit again must go to Clive for flying his electric Crossfire this year, to develop the rules, and promote the advantages of electric launch. Given Clive's efforts I think we are all hopeful that we may gain some new pilots next year using this format.

UK pilots have competed in two F3B Euro tour events this year and apart from being very enjoyable, we continue to learn and improve our competitiveness which inevitably filters back into our league. Mike, Simon, and especially Ken, have all improved immensely this year as a result of competing at a higher European level and I would urge everyone to make the effort, finances permitting, to have a go at least one of F3B Euro tour events.
Its a very different experience to the normal UK league event and very rewarding.

Team Haley - Holland 2011

Ken with his trusted Target - Holland 2011

Over to you Bob for BB-banter L8 and the overall results....

See you all at the first winter practice...

Steve Haley



Report From Clive Needham


Due to the loss of Spitalgate as a venue for the Nationals Dave Phipps the BMFA CEO was tasked with finding an alternative and due to his efforts the RAF agreed to the use of Cottesmore. Concerns were expressed about the difficulty of gaining entry due to the airfield still being classed as active although it is in the process of being shut down and handed over to the army.
Fortunately the stringent requirement for all entering to be photographed and the picture attached to the pass were not enforced on the day thus speeding up the entry.
The weather forecast leading up to the contest was not promising with strong winds and heavy showers for the whole weekend.
Although the winds were fairly strong all day the many showers could be seen passing us by with just a brief sprinkling from the edge of one was the only interruption. We have flown in much stronger winds such as at the two day contest last year at RAF Barkston Heath.
However the conditions did slow down the contest due to a number of line breaks.
It was pleasing to have Tom Satinet joining us for the second time this year and Jonathan Sage for the very first time, Jonathan Wells also flew F3B for the first time since last year’s Nats.
Unfortunately due to the need to ensure we had a valid contest with the possibility the weather might prevent this, we were not able to give as much help and attention to the newcomers as we would have wanted which made it more difficult for them, however both appear to be keen to continue flying F3B with us.
The open e-soaring contest was situated downwind of us further along the runway’s grass verge and because of the wind direction and few thermals most of their flying was upwind which resulted in some over flying; this was not a problem except in distance when some of their models entered the course causing confusion.
Because everyone arrived early expecting to be held up at the guardroom we were able to make a prompt start, as usual duration was flown first in three slots of four.
The first slot comprising Bill Haley, Simon Haley, Jonathan Wells and Jonathan Sage who had a baptism of fire for his first ever competitive F3B launch and flight!!
The slot was won by Jonathan Wells by only 2 points from Bill, however both the first two slots were won without flying out the full 10 minutes, the second slot winner was Mike Challinor and only when Steve Haley flew in slot 3 was 10 minutes almost achieved with a 9.55 and 100 landing.
The same pattern occurred in second round duration flown as the last task in a two round contest, only Steve Haley and Ken Woodhouse completing nearly 10 minutes, unfortunately for Ken he was in the same slot so he did not get the true benefit for his efforts. The other two R2 duration slots were won by John Phillips and Jonathan Wells with times of 7.22 and 9.10 respectively.
Rounds one and two distance were flown back to back as usual to make the best use of the manpower and with the help of non flyers Keith Wells and Barry Mason we were able to fly 3 up which is more satisfactory and takes less time than 2 up.

As in duration the laps scored reflected the windy conditions with only Steve Haley, Bill Haley and Ken Woodhouse posting over 20 legs with Ken receiving 1000 points in both rounds but the second one for only scoring 12 legs!!
Speed is also flown back to back and we had the help of Alan Flockhart who flies F5B and was interested in making a comparison between the two disciplines so he with his daughter manned the safety line throughout.
The conditions helped in achieving high launches except in my case as due to flying an electric powered Crossfire it was a battle to achieve the agreed launch height of 300m at a weight of 3.7kgs before the timer cut the motor, in fact the logger indicates cut-off points of about 250m. I hope to be able to increase the power from 500 watts to 700 to overcome this disadvantage in windy conditions.
Most achieved reasonable speed times with the regular speed merchants posting under 20 seconds with Ken near to his PB with 16.81 and Jonathan Wells maybe with a PB of 18.83? Jonathan Sage and Tom Satinet deserve a mention with Jonathan posting 21.34 and 20.39 in his first comp, also Tom with 22.69 in R1 and although he messed up in R2 completed his run to get a score.
As usual Steve Haley showed everyone the way with times of 15.62 and 14.23 flying his Baudis Fosa at about 3.8kgs, this is his fastest so far with the Fosa and only 0.39 seconds outside his British record.
Simon Haley cut the safety line and thus his flight was annulled as stated in the UK variations from the FAI rules where a 300 point penalty is applied. The cut cost him a couple of places on the leader board. This variation may need to be discussed but not here as the explanation is too long, however bear in mind the important word is annulled (which used to be the case in the FAI rules) as against a penalty which cannot be discarded.
Except for Brian Johnson who slightly damaged his model in a landing and Bill Haley who seriously damaged his Shooter, losing it in the sun, all others completed the contest.
Bearing in mind the conditions it was decided to end the contest at the end of round two as it then met the requirements regarding validity.
The prizes were presented by the BMFA chairman Robin Gowler, this is the first time I can recall this has happened.
Many thanks to all who entered and especially to those who helped in anyway including Simon and Steve Haley for computing the scores which you can see on Yahoo Groups.
Models flown as far as I can recall.
Shooter, Target, Fosa, Estrala,Precious, Ellipse,Tangent and E- Crossfire.

The highlight of the weekend was the several low passes by the only remaining flying Vulcan bomber during the F3J contest on Sunday.
The wind was slightly stronger on Sunday, not less as forecast, and five of those who flew F3B entered F3J which made the entry up to 18.
Three of the five made the four-man fly-off the winner was again Steve Haley with son Simon age 12 just a few points behind, Jonathan Wells came fourth


5 go to belgium

Five go to Belgium.

I had not planned to do any European competition this year but as a result of a last minute decision by Steve Haley to go to Belgium, I was suddenly thrown into the exciting, if not daunting prospect, of having to fly against some Europeans. Steve wanted to make up the number for the team so along with: Clive Needham, Bill Haley, Stephen Haley, Ken Woodhouse and myself - we planned the trip.
The thought of flying a European (ex Euro tour)competition had cause an initial rush of excitement as I knew from previous experience flying on the continent was a totally different experience; from the standard of flying to the smooth organisation European competitions are fast paced and pilot focused. However, Sat waiting at Hull Ferry terminal at six o'clock, with the last check in for the ferry at seven thirty, Mr Needham was still stuck outside Oldham on the M62, things were looking a bit desperate. It was raining and Steve and I working working out how we can get: three people, camping gear and equipment into one of our smaller cars and failing. With minutes to spare, Clive, wheel smoking and breaks screeching, arrived at the terminal to save the day and we piled all kit into the one mighty Kia (including its two fully operational windows and a lump of wood just in case).
The beauty of travelling by ferry from Hull was that now we could: kick back, get some dinner and crack open a beer before hitting the bunks in the cabin.
Arriving in Rotterdam early Friday morning it was just a straight two hour run to the site of the competition in Belgium Anthisnes. I had been warned previously that the site was tight to fly from, but as the mighty (and very comfortable) Kia bumped up the dirt track to the small plateau of a field. I was already prepared for the tree line a hundred meters downwind from the launch point and the surrounding crop fields. I did not turn in disbelief to ask 'is this it?" thanks to my earlier preparation on Google earth.
Ken had already arrived, coming from south of London via the Channel Tunnel. In fact Ken was so early none of the organisers had even turned up. This led to some confusion and the Brits were already upsetting the locals by pitching their tents in the wrong place. Ken wisely gave up on setting up camp and opted to start on his Calais supermarket purchases, by opening a can of beer whilst wait for the rest of the Brits to arrive.

The wind, that had been slowly building all day, was now at the point where it was a good enough excuse to not fly since the excitement I had felt earlier was now turning to nerves. Unfortunately for Bill, he had to fly his model (Shooter), as it had been recently mended after an unfortunate incident at a previous competition. A few test flights was all that was needed to get Bill's model's elevator and hook settings dialled ready for the following day.
Woke up to a damp windy morning but following the pilot's briefing the competition was soon underway. Round 1 slot 2 Ken is the first up for team GB in duration. Due to the high cross wind and the location of our winches on the downwind side this proved to be very testing conditions with many crossed and broken lines. Unfortunately for Ken and down to no fault of his own his model (Cyril) entangled with another competitors towline during launch resulting in one half of this tail plane being broken off. He was lucky to direct his model to a soft crash landing in a sweet corn field. Due to the contact with another winch line Ken was able to claim a re-fly schedule for later in the round. Slots continued with many crossed line and other pilots experiencing similar problems; this was becoming a day of survival. As the strong cross wind continued, the Contest Director (CD) following the Brits request, decided that each pilot would launch in the order that they were lined up on the winch line downwind side first. This helped to eliminate the problem of crossed lines. Maximum duration points were achieved by someone in every slot. However the conditions were challenging and changeable and the turbulent air, coming off the high corn fields, made achieving the hundred landing points difficult. Ken made the decision not to continue flying after a poor result in his duration re-flight. He did not want to risk damaging his number two model and spoil his weekend and the rest of the competition season. Instead he did a cracking job of helping the team by: ensuring all winch batteries were fully charged, launching models for Steve and I and being the best distance lights man in the business. Thank you Ken; who also managed to find the time to drink his annual supply of cheap beer over two days and digest a large cow strapped between two bread vans for supper!!

Photo of Ken’s burger

The second round of duration was flown early Sunday morning, the wind had dropped to almost nothing and conditions were challenging for different reasons. A good launch was required followed by delicate flying with minimum control input. This would maximise efficiency and hopefully achieve a thousand points. I was impressed in the way that Steve's Fosa performed in these weak conditions by being top of the pack throughout his slot.

Next up distance. Due to the conditions there was only one practical side to fly distance. So this made chatting a little easier for team GB against the might of the bigger European teams. We produced some good lap scores, and caused some upsets when Steve took a lap from Andreas Bohlen (Switzerland) and myself a lap from Peter Hubbertz (Germany). Our strategy worked well (but that's our secret!). Clive did well against a strong field achieving nineteen laps in his first slot. Bill flew some great distance and was unlucky not to get the 1000 in his second slot by missing his last lap by less than a second. Most slots were won with scores in the low 20’s with the exception of Andreas Herrig (Germany) achieving twenty-six laps in both his slots!

Speed, as always, is the fun bit. Again, Team GB performed well with quick turn rounds on re-launches and good chatting to support the pilots. Clive and Bill as always impressed me with their dedication and determination to score points in every flight and finish the event in full.
I started with a disappointing 17.45 in average air and I knew that I would need some luck and to fly well if I was to have a chance of my goal - a top 10 position. However with the pressure building it all went wrong in my second speed run when I crossed the safety line and gained 300 penalty points. The run had only been 18.73. So for the third and final run I had nothing to lose. Stood on the base, Steve asks “I guess you want to go for it?" I did not reply and just waved Ken to Launch. Ken gave me a cracking, full ballasted launch with plenty of tension into reasonable air. However the climb out was a bit awkward due to a recent wind shift which resulted in an abnormal entry onto the course. Diving onto the course I rolled and pulled like I had nothing to lose; clipping the turns perfectly and before I knew it I was on my last leg with the model maintaining good speed. A quick twitch on the elevator to prevent disaster, followed by some over correction and it was done - a 15.14 run which was a new PB. Boom!!!!

Steve, partnered by his dad Bill were, as always, a force to be reckoned with. Steve did very well with average air recording times of 15.72 and 16.87 for his first two runs which put him in 9th place. With everything to play for going into the last round, a good run could put him on the podium. Problems with the chute opening on the first launch saw him with the breaks out and quickly coming in for a re-launch. On the second attempt the launch crew double checked the chute and Steve was away. The launch was average and so was the air. He dropped onto the course and clipped the first turn perfectly and was on his way back to base A. Another good turn and all the competition were watching. He positioned the model low but perfectly between the corn field and base B, rolled and pulled hard...nothing...he’d cut. Quickly recovering, almost ploughing into the corn field (with an 'oooh' from the onlookers), he returned to base B to get the turn but it was never going to be fast enough. A 21.94 sec run with a cut.

Fastest speed of the weekend Jens Buchert 13.55

Final Standings
From 62 competitors

Steve Haley 15th Fosa
Mike Challinor 27th Target
Bill Hayley 49th Shooter/Ascot
Clive Needham 54th Dingo

Full results at http://www.f3b.be/anthisnes-2011/final-scores

The final results were disappointing but promising and I will let you do the maths on what could have been for Steve and I if we had not made mistakes in speed. We all had a really enjoyable weekend, Belgium may not be the biggest flying field but the organisation is excellent. The competition is 'hosted' by the local club, which means that there is no manning of course or button pushing and the pilot can just concentrate on, well flying; this result in a fast and more exciting pace of competition. Add to this the social aspect and the large entry numbers compared to domestic competitions and it makes the journey well worth the while.

The cost for the whole weekend including: ferry, entry fees, car parking at Hull, camping, food and spends came to just under £300 - I was pleasantly surprised. And although the journey was long, it was enjoyable because the travelling time in the car was less than in many domestic competitions.

Will I be going again? Yes and I would recommend it to anyone. The flying standard is high but this comp has a different feel to others I have attended, it is more about enjoyment. The winners are the people smiling, so we all won this one. Well done Team GB.

Most of the team but clive is behind the camera.

The winch line was compact so teams had to pack winches the space available.


Retford Practice

Great days flying at Retford on Saturday, several F3B and electric pilots enjoyed near perfect summer flying conditions which were calm, variable winds, warm and good thermal activity all day. Throughout the day we tested models, fine tuned ballast set-ups for next week’s Belgium international where six pilots from the UK F3B league will be competing.

Mike and I flew hand launch models throughout the day and I must admit Mike had the edge on me most of the time with his more recently designed Russian hand launch model. Although I did get the better of him in the last flight when I put my Long-shot up the winch line which I have to say, was much easier than throwing bloody things all day!!

After lunch, all pilots flew two rounds of speed on course which consisted of each pilot flying three consecutive speed flights on random winches with everybody acting as the pilots team. This system worked really well in terms of achieving flying consistency on course, trying different chat men and maximising the flying time available for each pilot.

John Phillips was show casing his new Tanga and having briefly had a go with it, I though the Tanga showed good promise, especially on turn exit when flying speed. JP subsequently had a go with my Cyril as it was easier to demonstrate to John how I like my models set up. Again this proved to be a useful exercise as John instantly realised that although the Cyril was set up much more active on throws, it was balanced and easy to fly....which is why I am always harping on about trying to find the right balance when setting up new models for competition flying....

Thanks again to Clive for organising the day’s events and it was also good to see Phil Brandreth again who was flying an array of electric models which was both interesting and topical as UK F3B has started developing new rules with a view to integrating electric powered models into F3B in the near future.

Role on Belgium....

Cheers Steve.



A Report from Clive Needham

A group of six of us set to attend the European F3B comp at Arnhem in The Netherlands on 7th and 8th May.

The Northern group comprising myself and the Haley clan, Bill, Steve and young Simon who at 12 must be the youngest competitor from the UK to have taken part in a Comp with such illustrious company.

We travelled as we did last September, for the Belgium Comp, by meeting up at Kingston upon Hull to board the overnight ferry to Rotterdam. This being the most convenient but not he cheapest way to travel but enables us to sleep both ways and arrive fresh and ready for action. If meals are pre-booked in the excellent all you can eat buffet the cost per person each way for dinner and breakfast is only £20.

The time for me to get to Hull is about 90 minutes and took roughly the same from Rotterdam to the hotel outside Arnhem. The four star hotel gave us an excellent room rate, a twin room for 2 nights was only £26 per person per night. Pity about the food and drink costs which were expensive, not helped by the exchange rate. The hotel was only about ten minutes away from the flying site, Deelen airfield but as it was outside town there were no alternative dining options.

Thus the actual driving time by car was no more than might be expected  for a UK Comp, the downside being the extra time taken by the ferry and its cost. I am sure some of the European competitors had longer driving times than we did.

The ferry means leaving home mid afternoon Thursday and not arriving back until mid morning Monday.

The Southern group of Mark Passingham and Ken Woodhouse left Ken’s Home at 6-30am  Friday for an early trip via the channel tunnel with the hope of arriving at the airfield early Friday pm, it being about 260 miles from Calais, unfortunately due to heavy traffic and obligatory short stop for booze and fags they did not arrive until teatime.

The rest of us, after first checking it to the hotel, had been on site since about

12-30pm although it was stated it would not be open until 2-00pm.

The organisers were just beginning to set up the course so we had a leisurely lunch we had brought with us, so for once the Brits were first to arrive. A pattern to be followed on both competition days by us arriving by 7-00am, even before the organisers so we could eat our breakfasts in good time before the first slot started at 8-00am.

We had a good practice session in the afternoon but I made the mistake of concentrating on the Crossfire to obtain some of my best launches so far, I should also have flown the Dingo, not doing so cost me in R3. Steve and Simon both checked out the Radical but neither opted to use it in the contest.
The joint CD Erik Heijne.

Simon flew his much repaired hand me down Precious throughout the contest, which aroused much interest as the scruffiest aircraft amongst the mostly new pristine models seen. It is rumoured that he has a brand new Precious in the pipeline. Bill test flew his Shooter but Ken opted not to test fly his Target to give Mark as many launches as possible with his Cyril which was much damaged due to a mid-air in Belgium last year, by a pilot practicing speed prior to the Comp.

                                             Simon climbing out from launch to fly speed

Timing Equipment

 At times during the contest the Cyril was stalling the Ober winch as it was pulling so much tension. There might be a case for re-testing the winch to check if the performance is not up to scratch.

All weekend the wind was mainly from the East but varying to SE at times: it was brisk but not overly strong although it appeared to be less gusty than in the UK, The strength caught us out at times and it appeared we were sometimes under ballasted, especially in my case.

Duration was flown 8 to a slot and I was first up at 8-00am on Saturday, I flew without ballast which is normal but found I could not penetrate without losing height, although I did manage 959.3 points including a landing bonus of 85, my bests core of the contest.

The Crossfire only takes 900grams of ballast so I may need to explore getting some in the wing joiner, especially for speed in such conditions.

Steve took his usual 1000 points, Ken 930, Mark 981.4, Simon 971.4 and Bill 984.3 hitting the spot; this was probably the best set of scores for the team over the whole weekend.

Distance was next flown in groups of four I was in the second group. I should have put all the ballast in but only used 6 out of the 10 slugs, big mistake, although that is no excuse for a poor score. I can usually fly distance reasonably well without expecting to match the top class pilots in such Comps, as a result I only obtained 461.5 points a pattern to be repeated in the other two rounds. I could not get to grips with the technique required under the conditions.

The signalling system used by the organisers has a series of lights and buzzers with a mechanical count down timer display board. However some of the sounds are very similar so  it is necessary for one of the team to confirm the pilot has passed the base by watching the relevant light and nothing else throughout the task, otherwise mistakes can be made, none were made by our team. Thus a minimum of five including the pilot are required.

Steve was next to fly and had opted to fly the Cyril, unfortunately for once he did not perform to his usual high standard, as even in such company he is generally there or thereabouts, but being beaten by five legs cost him 270 points. If he got near to his usual 1000 points as he did in R2 and R3 he would have finished at least 7th overall.

Steve opted to fly the Fosa for the remainder of the contest so he was able to compare like for like with the other models to see if he could improve its performance.

Ken scored 782.6, Mark 750, Simon 583.3 and Bill 777.6 so none of did as well as we would have hoped.

Speed of course was next but did not follow what is now the usual pattern in such comps of running in reverse order based on the scores thus far, i.e. starting with competitor having the lowest score. This was not done until, as is normal, the final task in R3, I assume to save time compiling the scores; also to save time only 3 minutes instead of 4 minutes working time was allowed which caught some out if they re-launched, including Simon in R3.

Therefore because I  had been towards the top of the list in first 2 tasks I was soon called. I got what for me is a good launch and flew the course accurately without any mistakes but was disappointed to only get a 22.54; no better than I would have expected in a league comp from a lower height. Maybe more ballast?

Steve was soon to fly and did a 16.1 which was reasonable. However Thomas Dylla threw in a 13.71 which stuffed everyone, it cost Steve 143 points and even took 194 points off the eventual winner Denis Duchesne who flew a Cyril throughout the contest.

Thus I scored 608.3, Steve 856.3, Mark 639.5 for 21.66, Simon 659.1 for 20.80, Bill 692.1 for 19.81 and Ken 575.6 for only 23.82 for some reason?  his lowest score of the contest.

Round 2 speed followed immediately, if you were not ready, tough you would lose your score. Denis Duchesne won this with a 13.46 which turned out to be the quickest of the contest, which again stuffed a lot of people except Jens Buchert  who was eventually 2nd  he only lost 7.4 points to Denis. Denis is a former World Champion from 1992 in Israel which goes to show you don’t have be a young gun to win. Steve was now flying the Fosa instead of the Cyril which turned out to be slightly slower, maybe due the not so good air, so he got 797.2 for a 16.99 costing him 203 points.

From what information we could gather it appeared that Jiri Baudis  the Fosa/Cyril designer was flying his new Fosa development model at a much higher wing loading, the technique was to get as much speed as possible on the line then ping off at a lower height than we would have expected. Compared with the original Fosa, the span is increased to 3.25m with a wider wing chord, longer moment arm and a new wing profile. If you want to be competitive, new models come out so thick and fast these days it is impossible to keep up.

For myself I got a slightly better time of 21.63 from what I thought was not such a good run as in R1 giving me 632.2 points, Ken 19.6 for 687.8, Mark  22.27 for 605.3 and Simon 19.95 but only got 375.7 because of a 300 point penalty for crossing the safety line. Unfortunately Bill made a mistake at Base B and did not complete his run. As this was the first task of R2 it meant the damage prevented him from taking any further part in R2, potentially depriving him of a further 2000 points.

Bill was not the only one as former World Champion Andreas Bohlen flying a Shooter made a basic error at Base A, touching a wingtip and totalling his model; thus also losing all points in R2. It’s a tough old game in F3B if you make a mistake, especially if you do it in the first task of a round. When Bill asked him if he would repair his Shooter the reply was “I don’t repair I get a new model” Bill was interested in buying the bits but the French beat him to it.

To finish the day off it was R2 distance; I felt sorry for the guys pressing the buttons as they had been doing nothing else without a break since just after 10-00am when R1 duration finished.
Mark flying distance with Ken and Steve assisting Bill is checking the lights to confirm the turn.

Things improved for both Steve and Ken both registering 1000 points with Ken getting 3 extra legs on former World Champion Reinhard Liese. Mark also did better with 800 points but unfortunately doing something which he admitted he shouldn’t by trying to make a low downwind turn at Base B  damaging his model. Simon and I scored 650 and 666.7 points respectively.

Unfortunately for me in trying for an extra leg low down towards Base B  the wind got under the wing and tipped it over, partly damaging the fuz neat the canopy. However Steve managed to zap and splint it together with fibreglass tape so I could finish R2 with it on Sunday morning.

Thus day one finished at about 6-45pm having completed 2 rounds except for R2 duration with 64 competitors taking part. Therefore 9 duration slots, 36 distance slots and 128 speed runs  had been completed during the day so by the time we had packed up to go to the hotel we had been on the field for over 12 hours.

Unfortunately I am unable to give the times and landing bonuses because the website has not provided a full set of results, only the actual points gained, the same applies to the number of legs in distance.

Day 2 Sunday followed the same pattern with the wind strength increasing slightly but still with sunshine most of the time.

The first task was to complete R2 with duration; Ken was up in the first slot gaining 921.1 points. Simon was in the very next slot so we had to be ready and on the ball, he scored 921.4. Steve was able to get an almost perfect score with 998.6 points. Again without a break it was my turn but the air was poor, however I thought I had done OK and got a 95 landing bonus with most of the others landing at about the same time, however I missed seeing Andreas Kunz landing well after me so I only gathered 740.7 points. Mark finished with 711.4. Due to Bill damaging his model he did not score anything in R2.

There had been a suggestion that due to the number of helpers available R3 distance might no be flown, duration taking its place instead, however, enough were found so duration dropped to allow an earlier finish.

Because of this I opted to fly the Dingo to avoid the chance of further damage to the Crossfire which in the event of another heavy landing, might turn a minor repair into a major one.

Simon was first to fly in R3 distance and did pretty well for a  866.7, Mark getting 650 with his now repaired Cyril, Bill was now able to take part again and chose to fly his Ascot the model he did so well with in our league a couple of years ago gaining 600 points: I was even worse with a 478.3 flying the Dingo for the first time in the Comp. The decision not to have a test flight cost me dear as the model did not rotate but by the time I re-acted it was well up the line. I should have re-launched but did not want to put the team to the trouble as I was not in with the chance of improving my position by very much. If I had re-launched it would have been difficult to quickly assess how much extra up was needed without the model pinging off the line, requiring a further re-launch.

Both Ken and Steve scored 1000 points.

There was then a break to enable the scores to bring the running total up to date so that what would be the final task R3 speed to be flown in the now traditional reverse order. I and over 50% of the competitors were using 2.4ghz which is a big advantage as the Tx aerials do not have to be handed into Tx control. Thus there is ample time between flights to make minor adjustments to the model settings; it was to my advantage as I was able to do this with partial success on the Dingo to give me a better launch for the final flight.

Both Bill and Mark opted not to fly R3 speed as they could not improve  their positions.

So to the final shootout; needless to say I was called to fly fairly soon but not the first as I finished 55 out of 64. The Dingo launched better than in distance but I made a mistake at Base A by over rotating, the correction cost me and I finished with 26.66 for 525.3 points.

The real drama then began for Simon, we had very few problems with launching all weekend with no broken lines. Simon had three line breaks so because of the reduced to 3 minutes working time, he ran out of time half way down the course. A really disappointing and upsetting end to an excellent effort on his first, hopefully of many, international competitions, Simon finished 56th the zero costing him 7 places.

Simon will still qualify as a junior at the now confirmed 2013 World Championships to be held in Germany plus also in 2015 wherever they may be held, and possibly in 2017?

Ken was next with a time of 18.23 his best of the three giving him 774 points, he had been working all weekend to improve the Target’s launch height, all his hard work enabled him to finish a creditable 32nd  exactly half way, his best result out of the four Eurotour contests he has flown so far.

There was then a period of good air and several pilots got improved times but it soon disappeared. Andreas Bohlen had the best time of the round with a blistering 14.11, he was flying a new model called Energise, which is only two weeks into development. However, because had missed all of R2 it equally harmed those who were on contention for the top places.

Jens Buchert was in first place a few points in front of Denis Duchesne but Denis had a slightly faster time so took 1st place.

Steve also had a drama of his own; he found he had a faulty primary speed/launch 3 position switch on his Tx just as his working time started. He flew using a launch and speed forcing switch to achieve theoretical settings. However he still put in his best time of the Comp with a 15.6 giving him 904.5 points. He had been flying the Fosa at 3.8kgs in speed and 3.3kgs in distance which is rather heavy compared to standard model set ups, he still has to get the best out of it but no doubt has a lot of work on after the weekend. The poor distance in R1 with the Cyril immediately put him out of contention so he was playing catch up all weekend finishing in 14th.

Mark by opting not fly in R3 speed finished 54th but had he flown and obtained a reasonable score he could have gained about 8 places. For me and Bill the least said the better, Bill missed 4 out of the 8 scores available, 3 by missing all of R2 and the other by opting not fly R3 speed. I at least got in a full set of scores but much good it did me, my launches are still not high enough, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

As in the other two recent  forays into Europe to Belgium it was a most enjoyable weekend with an excellent team spirit, everyone helping each other throughout, the majority of the dogging was done by myself  Ken and Simon, Bill and Mark being in charge of the winches and launching with Steve most importantly doing most of the chatting.

There was basic on site catering with vouchers for free coffee, in addition it was interesting to watch the full size gliding at the end of the runway all weekend.

The winner Denis Duchesne (middle) 2nd Jens Buchert (right) and 3rd Juri Baudis left)
1st Denis Duchesne-----Cyril

2nd Jens Buchert--------Radical

3rd Jiri Baudis-----------Fosa derivative.

Fastest Speed----------- Cyril 13.46 Denis Duchesne

Best average Speed ----14.44 Thomas Dylla. Model ?

Models mainly Cyril, Fosa, Radical, Freestyler, Shooter, Evolution and Hurricane cross tail which looked to have promise.

In the past GB teams have been successful at World Championship level with one 1st, two 2nd and three 3rd individual places plus one 1st and five 2nd team places. Alas this standard has not been kept up and the recent experiences have shown we no longer have the strength in depth of pilots required to repeat the earlier successes.

Of the 64 taking part in Arnhem 32 were from Germany in several professional looking well organised teams, any one of which would be likely to achieve a better score than the best team we could have put out. These teams are formed from larger local groups who practice together and push each other all the time.

Unless we can entice back some of the best pilots from the past or encourage new blood to join us we will continue to fall further and further behind.

Over recent years we have had several new excellent pilots join us such as Tony Vale, Neil Jones, Mark Southall plus others previously, who have shown their ability by going right through the B League, when we were still running one, unfortunately they did not continue for any length of time.

Any good competent pilot can make a mark in F3B as shown by Joel West in L1 at Upton, The problem is that to attain the next level up to compete at European  let alone World level requires, of course ability, but a long term commitment and practice , practice, practice not for just a couple of seasons or so as has been the case with many for a number of years.

I hope the information in this report not only has shown what happened at the Arnhem contest but has indicated what is required to compete against the best in F3B.

F3B was the first soaring contest to be recognised by the FAI and in my opinion is still the ultimate test of pilots and models within the soaring disciplines, the thing is, are you up to it?

Compiled by Clive Needham with additional information from Steve Haley.


Nice video of the first comp of the year.

Thanks to Joel West



Bobs Beery Banter at the Speed Comp


The speed comp was held at the Wetlands, near Retford this year. It has formed the traditional season pre opener, and a chance to try and sort models and equipment for the upcoming season. Nine pilots attended. This could possibly have been higher, but it's not a bad turn out for a non-league event.

The morning started with rain, in fact, when I turned up at around 8.20am, I was the first there. After about 20 minutes on my own I got worried, had I done it again? Rung Marlene to check F3B UK messages and yes, it turned out I was actually at the right place – it is not entirely unknown for me to get it wrong.

However, Mike then turned up and I was reassured. Mikey's Internet – enabled mobile phone told us things would brighten up by lunchtime. Therefore, when most people had turned up we set out the course. The rain eased up enough for us to have test flights.

Steve was hard at work, test flying his new Fosa. This, in the air, is my opinion is an absolutely stunning looking model, the high aspect ratio makes it look in my eyes perfectly proportioned. I was impressed, especially later, when he was thermaling the model in fairly light air while carrying 2/3 ballast.

I was flying my new Crossfire Evo "V" tail, purchased unflown from Alan Jones. It had had maybe 10 launches before today and not yet tried for speed or even launched with ballast.

I spent the day tweaking launch and speed settings, steadily getting confidence and pleasure out of the model. Although my best time through the day was only 21 something, I was pleased with the results and feel that there is much more to follow.

So on to the comp. Mike kicked off with a 16.9 run which included a cut. Very quick, but disallowed. John Whittle had a run with 2 cuts at Base 8. I think his distance judgement was perfect but his course alignment was diagonal – hence the cuts.

Chris Jubb's second run was a PB of 23 something. I was proud of him and his chat man.

Clive I think had an average sort of day with some decent and some poor runs – but nothing got broken - I'm sure he enjoyed his day.

Phil Goddard had some highly interesting launches. Fortunately he is not a total newcomer and I hope can take a little constructive criticism. Heh – Heh! However, he got through the day without damage and was gaining confidence all day long – we await developments.

Simon Haley kicked off with a couple of very entertaining runs when it was obvious that the model was out of elevator trim. This quite pleased me because I figured that at least I wouldn't be beaten by juvenile midget.

Then Dad trimmed it right. The result was a 17.7 Yep – 17 point bloody 7. I'm speechless. I wish I was 11 again. Superb run! I might have to ask Dad to trim mine.

Incidentally – at some point in the afternoon I was earwigging Steve on the phone to Fiona (keeper of the Haley halo) explaining that rudder controlled yaw, elevator controlled pitch, and flaps controlled the amount of lift generated by the wing. I thought it would be beneficial to listen because I might learn something. It was something to do with a school project for Simon. I also found out that Fiona (keeper of the Haley Halo) thought that she should be due for a mention in the next BBB league report.

Apparently this would result in Steve being on a promise (probably meant a nice home cooked tea) or did she mean me?
I have to be careful because Marlene types this up. Perhaps we can arrange a model swapping evening where everyone throws their transmitter in a ring and picks one out blindfolded?

Food for thought!

However, I feel that I may have digressed too far already – the competition day finished up being flown in superb conditions, in great company, and I am certain was enjoyed by all.



Comments on Sundays Speed Test from Steve Haley

Sunday’s speed practise event once again presented great conditions to get back into the competitive grove and test new models, pilots and techniques. On team Haley’s agenda, test new winch configurations, one much repaired model from last season and a complete new model for the 2011 campaign.

Over the winter we decided to ditch the standard Haley winch configuration (draw bar and wheels) for the more European framed layout to improve transport logistics and both winch's performed very well.

Our trusted F3B Precious is now been flown by its third team Haley pilot Simon and although this model was very nearly scrapped at the end of last season following more abuse, it was repaired over the winter and once again proved how well this model always launch’s in neutral conditions. Following a couple of interesting setup runs Simon flew two 17 second runs with a PB of 17.7 seconds followed by a rather low reversal much to his father’s surprise!

I, on the other hand had a rather frustrating but enjoyable day. Having taken delivery of the latest Baudis development only 10 days prior, I was keen to test the new Fosa F3b model. This model bucks the current trend in F3B design with its high aspect ratio and latest construction techniques. Testing every possible setup parameter I tried for most of the day to find a performance window that I was happy with and consequently, I struggled to break out of the 17 second band throughout the six rounds flown. Eventually though, I did find some performance and ended the day with a 14 second run albeit in reasonable air...which certainly gave some much needed encouragement....

This is purely feedback from team Haley’s day and I will leave the detailed competition report to Bob as always...

2011 Season Primary Speed Test Sunday 13th March

Well a glorious day

Steve Haly took the days win and also the fastest time.
Steve's best time of 14.85 flying his new "yet to be fully trimmed " Fosa.

Junior Simon Haley suprised us all (and his dad Steve) with a 17.7 second run, a PB for Simon.

Haley, Steve 100

Challinor, Mike 90.07

Whittle, John 86.9

Haley, Simon 80.4

Dickinson, Bob 74.95

Haley, Bill 72.57

Needham, Clive 66.69

Goddard, Phil 56.67

Jubb, Chris 48.54



2011 BMFA F3B League Dates

Speed Comp Sunday 13th March The Wetlands North Notts.
League 1 Saturday 16th April Upton upon Severn
                       Dutch Euro Tour Sat/Sun 7th/8th May. Arnhem.
League 2 Sunday 22nd May The Wetlands.
League 3 Sat/Sun 11th/12th June The Wetlands. Format to be decided.
                      Belgium Euro Tour Sat/Sun 2nd/3rd July Anthisnes.
League 4 Sunday 17th July Barkston Heath (applied for) Otherwise The Wetlands.
League 5 Sunday 31st July The Wetlands.
League 6 Nationals. August Bank Holiday Weekend. Which day will depend on the new SFTC as to the format. Hopefully it will be on Saturday 27th with F3J taking one day Sunday. 28th
League 7 Saturday 24th Sept Upton.

Reserve Day Sunday 16th Oct The Wetlands.

Winter Practice Session 27th February

A brief report from Bill Haley

 I would like to thank everyone who turned out for the F3B practice on Sunday 28th.
 This was the third time of asking as the weather would not play ball  on previous weekends.Indeed it tried its best to foul things up on Sunday with unforecast rain until lunchtime. After that although it threatened rain we managed uninterrupted flying for about four hours.
I would like to thank especially the new boys Simon Thornton, John West, Paul Middleton, Martin Newnham and Phil Goddart. They were flying models which included Ceres, Ceres Lift, Scorpion, Cyril and Freestyler  3.
 They all looked extremely capable flyers and with practice I am sure they would be a threat to the established crowd. I hope that we will see you all again through out the coming season.

Total turnout was fourteen flyers.

Bill Haley



Sunday Febuary 13th Winter Practice

Clive has arranged a practice session this Sunday at the Welands... All welcome.

Hi Everyone,

Weather permitting it is intended to hold a practice/training session at The Wetlands on Sunday 13th Feb.

Usual arrangements apply; I will assess the forecast on Saturday it is then up to YOU to contact ME Saturday evening to see whether the practice will take place. This is in your own interest to avoid fruitless journeys.

What form the day will take depends on who attends and what they want.

If complete newcomers wish to come along they will be most welcome and I am prepared to set up the course to enable practice of the distance and speed tasks.

However if it is only attended by the usual pilots who only want to trim out models ready for the season starting with the Speed Comp on 13th March then it may not be necessary to set up the course.


Further reminder you MUST bring along your BMFA Card to ensure you are covered for insurance, I do not intend to be held liable and taken to court if anything untoward occurs.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 13th.


2010 Season League Positions

BoBs BBB after Final 2010 League Event

League 7 was held at Upton on Severn. I slept in a bit and was a trifle late arriving. Rung Steve Haley for the lock number “hello, are you at Wetlands?” was his ‘phone answering reply. My reply was not printable; however, I received the lock code and gained entry.

Being late, the course was already set up and all I had to do was assemble models and lay out my winch.

We had a prize presentation of the Nigel Mead Trophy before the competition which went to the most improved pilot of this year. This was of course young Simon Haley, with proud Dad and Grandad in attendance. Well done and well deserved Simon – Nigel would have been well pleased.

Clive was flying his newly acquired Crossfire – it shows promise and may well suit his flying style. Mikey won his first duration slot with a perfect score, Steve coming third in a slot of 3, with 9.57 and 95 landing

I won my first duration and my first distance – wowee!

The wind direction then turned – we went from crosswind and then to downwind launching. Some coped better than others – me worse then most, I feel. Top score in distance round one was Mikey with 22 laps. Top score in distance round 2 was again Mikey with 20 laps. Laps scored were extremely variable, with the lowest number of legs to win a slot being 8.

Speed – in very difficult conditions Steve flew round 1 in 18.69, very closely followed by Mikey with 18.81. Round 2 saw Steve record 17.86 – a superb time given the launch conditions.

Interesting and most entertaining launch for L7, the prize must go to Ken Woodhouse for a perfectly executed Triple flick roll while still on the line. Superb entertainment and excellent value for money for spectators – probably a laundry bill for Ken.

The results were announced – Steve had once again won the day, and once again claimed his prize from Clive’s collection of interesting prizes. I understand that he is holding a car boot sale of his winnings in about mid October.

But what is this? 2 days later, a mistake in the scores is spotted (by Steve, bless ‘Im) whch demotes Steve to 2nd place and Mikey to first.

What happens now? Does Steve now have to swap prizes with Mikey? Does the car boot sale have to go on hold? Time will tell.

The question is, of course – can Mike cope with this sudden success? It could be compared to Jedward winning XFactor. It could be that he becomes even more of a smart arse than he already is (in reality this is probably not possible)

In actual fact, I chose to use a chat man for my second speed run, because my first run was so bad. My second speed run was worse. I blame my chat man. I think he was trying to eliminate the opposition. Wild horses couldn’t drag the name of that chat man from me, but it was Mikey.

Next Season will now be interesting. I hope that more people will be along to watch Mike, Steve and myself battle for Top Spot. Indeed – I would be interested to observe that myself.

To sum up:- a great season’s flying. We have flown in a typical UK season of weather, covering all 4 seasons in 3 months.

Those amongst us who have flown in international comps have had a great time, in particular, Steve has shown that he is still a top contender (despite what we do to try and hamper him) The other top 4 or 5 league finishers also have the ability to score superbly . I feel that we have a very strong league in quality, if not quantity.

Get yourselves along to fly – I’m sure that you will enjoy yourselves, also I need fresh victims


Uncle Bob

PS: There are several of us who fly and “make up the numbers” Our highlights come from the odd slot success, or beating our own personal best. We don’t always have the talent, ability, or dedication to be world beaters. This doesn’t detract from the pleasure, enjoyment and cameraderie that we obtain from this sport one iota. New or old friends will be very welcome next year, I am certain that this sentiment is echoed by the whole of the F3B and aero-modelling community.