Ken with his trusted Target - Holland 2011
Ken with his trusted Target - Holland 2011
2011 F3B NATIONALS RAF COTTESMORE
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
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
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.
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....
A group of six of us set to attend the European F3B comp at
Mark flying distance with Ken and Steve assisting Bill is checking the lights to confirm the turn.
F3B SPEED COMP MARCH 13TH
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.
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...
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
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.
Total turnout was fourteen flyers.
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.
NO CARD NO FLY, NO EXCUSES.
Looking forward to seeing you on the 13th.
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
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.