Photos from 2014 Oktoberfestpokal

Photos from the 2014 event here. Serious f3b action....

2014 Season - Final Standings

Below are the standing for the BMFA F3B League of 2014. Best 4 scores from 5. Congratulations Steve!

Rank Pilot Score R2 R3Nats R5R6Model(s)
1Steve Haley4000100010001000680.121000Fosa
2John Whittle3908.46983.01874.73979.131000946.32Ascot
3Tom Satinet3772.82955.840956.16989.29871.53Stinger/Avatar
4Dave Worral3511.60743.47906.89931.51929.73Crossfire electric
5Bob Dickenson3072.23714.23699.55706.32880.91770.77Fosa Lift/Ascot
6Clive Needham2927.86661.71774.23364.86837.57654.35Dingo Electric
7Simon Haley2633.5272.530909.48980.67470.82Precious
8Brian Johnson2340.320823.34741.78775.20Ascot/Eraser
9Bill Haley2295.84705.84166.72426.33358.9804.77Precious
10Paul Carrington2066.760786.07943.57337.120Arsen
11Mike Challinor1874.070935.78938.2900Fosa Lift
12Jonathan Sage1671.5800938.39733.190Radical
13John Phillips1549.2400754.390794.85Precious/Toba
14John Penton1471.13000716.81754.32Graphite
15Mike Holtby559.380559.38000Cobra
16Phil Goddard120.40120.4000Ceres

Round 6 - 2014 - Report

Rounds was the final event of the 2014 season. Again the weather was pretty decent. Although on the way to the Wetlands it was really foggy and I thought we would not be able to fly till after lunch. Thankfully the fog cleared by about 10am and it wasn't an issue. Things didn't start well for Team Haley with both of their winches not working following an overall. Steve and Bob managed to get one of them going and Clive lent his winch, so it was alright in the end

There was certainly and end of season vibe, with a dark, cold morning and obvious feeling of winter in the air. I think it's fair to say the flat field soaring is more of a summer pursuit! Conditions were forecast for virtually no wind at the start of the day followed by a slight pick up in the afternoon. By that time it was even T-shirt weather and I even went for an application of sun tan lotion. Although that may owe more to my pasty complexion than the searing sunshine. The clocks are changing and the nights drawing in so no excuses for me not putting together that second avatar before next season. Those servos don't put themselves in.

Round 5 Report

As we've just flown round 6 it has reminded me to do a quick report for round 5. My memory is a little hazy but I have the score sheets at least. It was a pretty good day weather wise despite heavy rain the previous day and forecasts of the impending doom of winter. The air was quite windy and rough at times. John Penton was back flying f3b electric after a long lay off. It seems that Clive's f3b electric master plan is starting to come to fruition. Electric might out number winch soon. It's hard to argue against the convenience of electric - I wonder what the future holds for f3b and f3j (??).

As usual the contest got under way with duration. Slot 1 was fairly easy with all but one pilot flying it out. I wont with a 9:59 100. The 2nd slot was harder and the winning score was 8:47 60, by Brian Johnson - f3j experience paying off it would seem. Jon Sage didn't do his usual job in duration and dropped a few points. The final slot was similar to the first with Steve Haley winning the slot. Paul Carrington only flew 2 seconds less, but only made a 35 landing due to lumpy air in the landing zone.


2014 - Round 5 Results

Below are the results for round 5 - 21/09/2014. Report to follow.

RankNameScorePcntRaw ScoreRnd1 DurRnd1 DisRnd1 SpdRnd2 DurRnd2 DisRnd2 SpdPlty
1Jon Whittle5881.3100.005881.3975.51000922.9982.9100010000
2Tom Satinet5818.398.935818.31000952.4870.210001000995.70
3Simon Haley5767.698.075767.6974.2900913.510001000979.90
4Dave Worral5478.593.155478.5760.51000897.4994.2937.5888.90
5Bob Dickenson5180.988.095180.9964.21000717.9935.7750813.10
6Clive Needham492683.764926979.9850784.9783.9736.8790.50
7Brian Johnson4559.277.524559.21000681.8597.1860.9750669.40
8Jon Sage4312.173.324312.1748.7714.30984.31000864.80
9John Penton4215.871.684215.8901.3523.8450.21000736.8603.70
10Steve Haley400068.0140001000100010000100000
11Bill Haley2110.835.892110.8897.8476.200736.800
12Paul Carrington1982.733.711982.7982.7100000000


Pictures from 2014 Nationals

Here are further pictures from the Nats from someone who knows that they are actually doing with a camera - Mike Holtby. Although I did win first place for photography at Driffield show, when I was a lad. True story. Anyway, the slide show should work on ipad etc, if not please let me know.


2014 F3B Nationals

I am very pleased to report that the 2014 F3B Nationals were unaffected by rain, unlike previous league events which were cancelled. We had a decent entry of 15 pilots - one pilot dropped out before the start leaving 14 remaining competitors. The event was held at RAF Cranwell which is close to the site of the main BMFA nationals. A fun element for the f3b was the prize of a can of beer for each slot winner.

The contest started with round 1 of duration. Things didn't start well for Mike Holtby when the centre spring in his transmitter aileron stick broke - his model was damaged on landing and he wasn't able to carry on. Round 1 of duration was pretty easy with nearly everybody flying out the slots. I managed a 10:00/100, which was the best points score of the round and pleasing with my new Avatar. The beer was being handed out fast, as several pilots managed to draw in the decent soaring conditions, to claim joint slot wins.

Two rounds of distance were flown next. Jon Sage managed the best score of 20 legs in the first round and flew very well in the contest, especially considering it was his first event for a couple of seasons. Mike C lost out to Steve by one lap - 11 to 12 - in tricky conditions. Distance scoring being what it is though, one lap hurt his score at 11/12.


F3B Dresden

Here is a link to Thomas Dylla's blog, where is has been reporting on the European scene with live updates and photos. There have been amazing speed times in the last couple of big contests, with runs in the 12.xx range.


Avatar F3B

Introducing my new model. The Avatar by Günther Aichholzer, built by Jiri Tuma. The model is a high aspect ration design with and LDS system. Hopefully I can fly it an the next contest on 20.07.14.

Direct Link.


2014 League - Round 3 - Results

Here are the results for the contest on 08/06/2014. Sorry I couldn't attend, I was on holiday.

Rank Name Score Pcnt Raw Score Rnd1 Dur Rnd1 Dis Rnd1 Spd Rnd2 Dur Rnd2 Dis Rnd2 Spd Plty
1 Haley, Steve 5998.1 100 5998.1 1000 1000 998.1 1000 1000 1000 0
2 Challinor, Mike 5612.9 93.58 5612.9 997.1 812.5 1000 984.3 1000 819 0
3 Whittle, John 5246.7 87.47 5246.7 1000 1000 868.1 1000 590.9 787.7 0
4 Johnson, Brian 4938.5 82.33 4938.5 980 833.3 626.5 1000 840 658.7 0
5 Carrington, Paul 4714.9 78.61 4714.9 938.5 550 853.4 735.5 789.5 848 0
6 Needham, Clive 4643.9 77.42 4643.9 868.4 1000 695.2 789.9 680 610.4 0
7 Worral, Dave 4459.4 74.35 4459.4 801.1 750 682.1 982.7 545.5 698 0
8 Dickenson, Bob 4196 69.96 4196 972.8 1000 696.1 622.3 904.8 0 0
9 Holtby, Mike 3394 56.58 3394 1000 562.5 710.1 645.2 476.2 0 0
11 Haley, Bill 1000 16.67 1000 0 0 0 0 1000 0 0
12 Goddard, Phil 722.2 12.04 722.2 0 722.2 0 0 0 0 0


F3B League 2014 - Round 2 Re-run

The UK weather has not been kind to F3B this year. We lost the pre-season speed contest and round 1 to rain. Round 2 was scheduled for the 11th of May, but also had to be cancelled due to the wet stuff - this is extremely rare in the UK ;-) ! As such, under the new rules, it was decided to re-schedule round 2 for the following weekend. As it turned out the weather was about as warm as it has been this year.

However, the air was quite tricky because of the strong wind. Steve told me that the conditions in the previous day's Esoaring contest had been quite difficult despite the heat, and this was carried through to the Sunday. Throughout the day, lift cycled very quickly and didn't seem to feed down wind in the manner normally expected. Launch timing was quite important on the day - if you were unlucky you could launch in to bad air after your competitors had been flying in a thermal.


RankNameScorePcntRaw ScoreRnd1 DurRnd1 DisRnd1 SpdRnd2 DurRnd2 DisRnd2 Spd
1Haley, Steve5556.51005556.5100010001000556.510001000
2Whittle, John5462.198.35462.110001000909.71000640912.4
3Satinet, Tom5311.195.585311.1467954.5948.210001000941.4
4Dickenson, Bob3968.671.423968.6992.8900721.6490.6863.60
5Haley, Bill392270.583922951.9687.5669.7862.97500
6Needham, Clive3676.866.173676.8959.9333.3600.601000783
7Haley, Simon1514.327.251514.3514.310000000

Round 1, slot 1 of duration was flown out by Bob, Steve and Clive, with Steve just taking the 1000. Young Simon didn't quite find the lift and was down quicker than expected. The tricky air would catch most people out by the end of the contest.

Slot two was quite tricky - the longest flight was 7:41 by John Whittle. I (Tom Satinet) had not had any launches since the end of last season and my log shows my launch was 180m! This low launch height meant I got a flight under 5 minutes having had to relaunch due to a pop off.

Round 1 of distance was interesting and thermals and changeable air came in to play. Simon Haley started well scoring a 1000 in his slot, but damaged his tailplane shortly afterwards and was not able to continue flying. I flew a tight contest against Steve scoring 21 laps to his 22. John Whittle also scored the 1000, to stay level with Steve on points

Round 2 of distance continued in similar fashion with Steve looking to be on for about 30 laps before the lift shut down, and in the end Bob pushed him quite close on laps by flying in a different part of the sky. I managed 25 laps against John's 16, which would prove to be important in the final score. I had done about 8 laps before John entered the course, at which time the air was not as good. Bill and Clive had an all electric encounter, with Clive just coming out on top.

Round 1 of speed was fairly close with Steve scoring a 16.12, which was the best time of the day, against my 17.00 and John's 17.7. Round 2 followed a similar pattern with Steve scoring a mid 16 and myself and John not too far behind. Clive put in a smooth run for a 21.xx with his electric model.

The final duration round was quite eventful with Steve flying against John. At this point Steve was ahead in the standings, but tried to follow a feed downwind that didn't come to anything and lost 5 minutes to John who stayed up wind. At about 7 minutes I thought John was going to have to land but he managed to hold on until another thermal came through. It was very smooth and calm flying.

I was in the final slot against Bill and Bob. It was a fairly another interesting slot, with Bill and I both flying out 10 minutes. I took the 1000 points on the landing tape. Bob didn't managed to get in to the lift early and struggled like Simon and I had previously.

Ultimately Steve, John and myself all dropped quite big points in a slot, but Steve's better speed scores meant that he came out on top, followed by John in second and myself in third. Steve was speed king and distance doctor scoring 1000s in his slots. John was duration guru with 2 perfect 1000s and longest combined flight times and most landing points. The most laps in distance was 25 by myself, in round 2.

I didn't have chance to take any pictures on the day, but here is a log of my slot where I flew 25 laps taken from my Taranis. It is a plot of height and elevator movement, which is quite interesting.


Open F3B A Cañiza 2014

The Spanish guys are holding an f3b contest in late July, as part of the Eurotour. I am hoping to go next year!


Winch Line Order


I am doing an order of line from EMC vega. Please get in touch if you need line, as I will be doing it in the next few days.



Bob's Beery Banter 2014

Bob’s Beery Banter 2014 F3B League Dateline 16/04/2014.

What can I say? It hasn’t started yet & we’re almost into Easter. Most of the whole winter has been filled with unflyable Sundays, followed by glorious Mondays when I’m at work. Any Sundays which have been flyable have been taken up with family excursions usually involving dogs—we have four & a half of the little buggers.

Hence the Fosa has not been flown since October 2013. Now some may say that this is a good thing because it’s still in one piece. Perhaps so—every launch is one nearer its destruction! Strangely enough, these days I have more wing bags then models.

It wasn’t a bad winter in that we visited Australia and got to know some of Marlene’s long lost relatives, I would have liked to get to the odd flying comp while there, but time didn’t allow (or Marlene). However, I did come home with a video equipped Quad copter which I have had some fun with – I am constantly amazed at the quality of video which can be recorded from such a small camera to be played back later on the laptop. I also bought a Hobson Spyhawk. Search & rescue from the WETLANDS Bermuda triangle was it’s intended use, but I struggle to master fpv with this model. This is the hardest thing I have ever flown; it can only be described as semi – FPV. Interestingly enough, it also has a gyro function and I can now appreciate more the gyro argument. Certainly, in such a small flying platform it makes a huge difference. I feel that gyros will probably find their place in competition because it will probably be impossible to detect their use at times. I am sure that this may undermine the skills of some natural pilots (eg Daryl Perkins) who can fly with a more reward CG than most of us, but I feel that these pilots of natural ability would still come out on top.

I understand that this year’s UK Nationals are to be held with F3B clashing with the first day of the F3J Nationals.

What ?

I feel we are opening too many disciplines for too few people. Ok, I do think that we will eventually all fly electric, but why fly 2 pure glider events on the same day? I am the original competition junkie, and will fly all events whenever possible. For some reason, the majority of F3J pilots in the country regard F3B either as a black art or as boring as watching paint dry.

In most other countries there is more of a crossover. Top pilots who fly F3J also fly F3B, F5J, F3K, F3F and sometimes more. Certainly most of our top F3J pilots (I only say most, not all) appear to think that nothing can be learned from flying other disciplines

I would really like to her the views of foreign competitors.

F3B comps are falling in numbers in the country, as are all flying competitions. Possibly with the exception of F3F. These are mad bastards anyway. That is code for “I’m crap at it”

I don’t believe that there is a great hope for our F3J or F3B British teams to do well if they do not, or will not attempt to fly anything other than their chosen disciplines.

However, enough of this rant, I can’t programme my MPX 4000. I blame this on the late 60’s, early 70’s – My introduction to computers was in the form of basic fortran language. This consisted of sheets of Binary code which I couldn’t get my head round. Ok, the flow charts were plausible, but the execution of it was too boring. Who would believe that computers would catch on anyway? So I ditched it. At that time it didn’t matter. It was after the pill had been invented, and before AIDs had been invented. I had for too good a time to consider the fact that computers could rule the world and mobile phones with your actual personal phone number that you could use anywhere could only exist in the realms of science fiction.

Imagine a world where nobody could contact you 24/7. Trust me it was great!

There are times now when I think “I’m too old for this shit!” I’m 64 almost. These thoughts usually come when I can’t get into a particular Sports car easily, or see a model as far away as I used to. I may drive quick, but never 10/10 now I’m still good at circling non- existant lift, but that has always happened too often.

Hey Ho - 2014 – Rock on!


F3B - Contest - Colmar Elsass Tropy

The first big european f3b comp of the year has finished. It seems like the pike precision did well in the hands of Mr Amici. Under appreciated model?

Details here


F3B 2014 - Dates

These are the league dates I have at the moment from Clive. As far as I know these are the "official" dates, but I will confirm with Clive.

  • Speed - 16th March - Wetlands
  • L1 Sunday - 13th April - Barkston Heath
  • L2 Sunday - 11th May - Wetlands (Sharing with F5B)
  • L3 Sunday - 8th June - Wetlands (Sharing with F5B)
  • L4 Sunday - 20th July - Wetlands
  • L5/Nationals - August BH weekend - venue TBA
  • L6 Sunday 21st Sept Wetlands
  • Reserve - 5th Oct - TBA

Pink Phoenix

Mike Holtby informs me that Bob's rather special Cobra is now fixed after it's recovery last year.