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Anyone interested in a Quarterly Forum Design & Build Challenge?

#1
I actually posted this question in the "
2018 Flite Test Forum Challenge: WWII Design & Build" thread and thought it might get lost in there so I copied the post out into it's own thread. Here it is:

I was just curious, what do other forum members think of the idea of adding quarterly design & build challenges that have a simpler format and possibly have a flight component to the challenge as well?

for example:
2018 1st Quarter Design & Build Challenge...

List of build constraints:
- Build an RC foam board electric powered model airplane
(original or modeled after a particular design)
- Max 2 sheets foam board
- Flitetest build techniques
- Power system similar to FT power pack A,B or C

Flight Component:
- Take off from ground.
- 5 touch and goes.
- 4 inside loops.

So, the participant would register their build thread, like the annual contest and once they completed their design would video their best flight that contained all the requirements for the flight component. They would then submit their video. At the end of the quarter when all videos have been submitted, those who submitted a video and completed the flight components could be awarded a printable certificate for that quarter.
Would others be interested in something like this?
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#2
Start one and see if it sticks!

Keep in mind, quarterly contests may be an aggressive schedule if to challenges themselves aren't trivial . . . but see what works and go from there!
 
#3
Thanks Dan! I might hold on this for a time (unless there is over whelming interest) since we have a "Foam Board Rocketry Challenge" started and that sounds like it could be interesting.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#4
Fair enough. Running competing (time-wise) contests tends to distraction and mutual failure, so holding the contest in your pocket isn't a bad idea.

In the mean time, you might want to flush out the challenge more -- so far you have build a plane(any plane) and accomplish specific aerobatics. Meet the goals and receive a cert. I'd recommend picking a theme (good themes draw in participants) and clear scoring. Yeah, let participants take credit for their effort, but when people compete with each other (as opposed to against) everyone gets better. For that, you need a goal for each participant to score themselves and each other against.

The only firm guideline I will point out -- contests on this forum are for bragging rights only (sure, a cert is fine). This is a long running policy here, but looks like you're well on the right side of this :)
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#5
I can see a short time frame limitation on builds but ongoing push push push on new designs each time (4x a year) would be rough on the best builders. Concept to maiden is a slog in some case where you have to document the process and come out with a working build stream which is the whole point of community based build competitions. The first and foremost objective is to design something others can build after the process is complete.
 

SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
#6
Building on, 3 months seems like a compressed time frame. That would tend to limit the numbrer of participants you might have. I think that there are two take-aways from the current project directed by Rockyboy.

(1) Pick a subject with broad appeal. Almost everyone likes WWII planes. And (2), take notice as to the average time it took people to develop and complete their projects. It can be tough trying to rush art.

As a final note, where there's a will there's a way. Simpler concepts might work in your time frame. For example, planes using KF airfoils might get pumped out by the bucket. Think about what you want as well as who is likely to jump on your wagon. Good luck!
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#7
(1) Pick a subject with broad appeal. Almost everyone likes WWII planes. And (2), take notice as to the average time it took people to develop and complete their projects. It can be tough trying to rush art.
But be ready to put in the work as an organizer if you do a subject with very broad appeal. It's a heck of a lot different coordinating for something with 6 entrants vs. 45 entrants. I've loved doing it this year, but I was expecting this.

With all the other hobby commitments I've taken on for 2018, I won't be able to spend the same amount of time on the FT community challenge as I have (and continue to do so) in 2017. Getting help from the community to actually administer the challenge - especially on the scoring side - is very very difficult. I've gotten a lot of silence and just a couple people stepping up to help when I've asked.

So if I do end up being the primary organizer for one of these for the 2018/2019 season, I'm either going to be focusing on a challenge goal and theme that isn't likely to attract quite as many entrants, or changing the goal to be one that doesn't require much administrative work at the end like the annual Balsa Build Along (which I love).

I've also written up a lot of thoughts about organizing community challenges and submitted it for my very first Flite Test Article - I'll link to it once it clears publishing at FT central. :)

EDIT: Holy Smokes! They reviewed and approved my article in less than 12 hours! Awesome!

https://www.flitetest.com/articles/flight-plan-for-a-community-design-build-challenge
 
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#8
Thanks to all of you for your input! And thanks to rockyboy for writing the article: FLIGHT PLAN FOR A COMMUNITY DESIGN/BUILD CHALLENGE
The article was really helpful and I liked that you used the aviation metaphor. :)
It looks like there's a lot to think about when starting/organizing a community challenge; maybe I'm not quite ready to organize one; at least not yet and not without some help from others.
Here are a few thoughts about what I would look for in a design/build challenge:

1. Will the tasks of the challenge require a lot of time to complete? (I'm more interested in shorter time frame challenges)
2. Will there be opportunity to participate in encouraging collaboration and sharing of ideas?
3. Does the challenge require a lot of documentation, video editing, etc.? (are the burdens of the challenge light?)
4. Will it be fun and allow an opportunity for creativity?

...just a few thoughts.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#9
Thanks to all of you for your input! And thanks to rockyboy for writing the article: FLIGHT PLAN FOR A COMMUNITY DESIGN/BUILD CHALLENGE
The article was really helpful and I liked that you used the aviation metaphor. :)
It looks like there's a lot to think about when starting/organizing a community challenge; maybe I'm not quite ready to organize one; at least not yet and not without some help from others.
Thanks for the positive feedback!

Just like in designing planes or troubleshooting flight issues, we're here to help :)


Here are a few thoughts about what I would look for in a design/build challenge:

1. Will the tasks of the challenge require a lot of time to complete? (I'm more interested in shorter time frame challenges)
2. Will there be opportunity to participate in encouraging collaboration and sharing of ideas?
3. Does the challenge require a lot of documentation, video editing, etc.? (are the burdens of the challenge light?)
4. Will it be fun and allow an opportunity for creativity?

...just a few thoughts.
1. I like the idea of a reoccuring community challenge that doesn't take a lot of time to complete.
2. I am absolutely in favor of allowing and encouraging teams and collaboration with challenges. It helps get more people into the fun.
3. Especially if you're doing a challenge with a short turn around time, keeping the documentation side light can be good. On the flip side, the less documentation that gets posted, the less information is there for the rest of the community to benefit and grow from in the future.
4. If it doesn't do this, I'm not really interested in playing. :p

Maybe as a way to tackle a lot of these goals, maybe have the themes be about designing or improving upon a specific plane component instead of a whole airframe?

Like a retractable landing gear challenge, or high lift/short take off conversion kits for a FT Simple Cub, or how light can you build an FT Scout, or head-tracking FPV setups, or design a skin/paint job for one of those awesome Bloody warbirds in that crazy long thread with like 30 designs in it?

That also gives an opportunity for the challenge component to fit into existing RC projects people might be working on, and to build on top of interests already peaking in the community.

What'cha all think of that? :confused:
 
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#11
Yes - but don't let that discourage you! Figure out what you want to get out of it first (purpose) and then we'll all pitch in to help work through the rest :)
 
#12
Thanks again Rockyboy; I think the quarterly idea could work for really simple tasks, but even so, it would be necessary to come up with new tasks every quarter and that might get to where it's not so much fun for the organizer. So, for me, even though I posed the question, I think I wouldn't want to organize it.
 

FoamyDM

Building Fool-Flying Noob
#13
Thank for the Article RockyBoy! I'm using it to help organize my idea below.

I posit FT-Build-ruary for the Month of February - Helps kick us all into the build and fly season with a few new models to enjoy! It helps the community by vetting ideas started in the Challenge and Forum Threads, and make the designs here stronger.

Any interest in helping make it happen?

I know I'm in!
 
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DamoRC

Elite member
Mentor
#14
Think I will pass - waiting impatiently for the dates and site for FFW so I can (1) confirm that I can attend and (2) get all of the building done for the event including some of the other entries from the WWII competition that might not make it to FFW otherwise. Another design / build off between now then would be too much of a distraction (temptation!)

DamoRC
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#15
Interested? Check!

Overloaded with projects at the moment? Check! :)

So if the theme lines up with other work I'm doing for FTFC18 or my club's Balsa Build Along I'm in.
 
#16
Thank for the Article RockyBoy! I'm using it to help organize my idea below.

I posit FT-Build-ruary for the Month of February - Helps kick us all into the build and fly season with a few new models to enjoy! It helps the community by vetting ideas started in the Challenge and Forum Threads, and make the designs here stronger.

Any interest in helping make it happen?

I know I'm in!
Hi FoamyDM,
I also like the idea of Forum Design/Build Challenges; it's one of the things that I look for when I'm checking for new posts. I've been giving the idea more thought and did come to the conclusion, at least for me, that organizing a quarterly challenge would be more than I would want to take on. That said, if I was helping organize one, I would probably want to do one at a time. I also appreciate RockyBoy's article. I think purpose and theme of the challenge are important to get worked out before promoting the the challenge on the Forum. I'm happy to share some ideas, but I think a new thread should be started since this one was originally about having quarterly challenges.