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Flite Fest 2017 International Air Races

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
#1
Here we go guys and gals. It has not even been a month since Flite Fest 2016 ended and there is already chatter about next year and a community "gaggle." While the Gotha gaggle was special due to its organic nature and how it evolved there have been ideas and plans made for before FF2016 even started.

Dan (Sponz), Stephen (Rasterize), and I had some good conversation (and are still having it) stemming around what to do next year. As the title of this thread implies we would like to do something a little different than "just another themed combat." We have time to plan and do something even better. The next logical progression in time is to spread our wings into the "Golden Era" of aircraft. The history is rich and the designs are plenty with some of the most beautiful designs ever conceived.

The Airplanes
First, we all agreed that over the last year some fantastic designs have come out of this community and we really want to see more of them! To keep momentum on this subject and spawn new designs we want to have a design-off, similarly to the winter build-off that I have coordinated for the last two years. There will be rules but the basic one will be designing around a full-size power pod (swappable series) and incorporation of FT building techniques. This is intentional to keep these designs accessible to less-experienced modelers and include more participants, rather than exclude them. To further demonstrate how serious we are about this, I've already designed, made plans, built a prototype, and finalized plans for a subject, all since FTFF as an investigation to boundaries to make this a fun and safe event.

The second part of this is to give Stephen subjects to provides skins for. He is not willing to make skins for every subject in the design-off but he is willing to evaluate the entries and make a reasonable assessment from there what he can reasonably do.

The Races

The Furey Cup
This challenge will focus on all-out speed in a true pylon race to the finish. Utilizing three "flappy dudes" a course will be outlined and a minimum number of laps will be established for a spotter to count as they are completed. This will be a short event with high-energy and plenty of close-calls. Mishaps are bound to happen with clipped pylons and interfering winds. Again, there will be boundaries set in a way that makes things fair. Our focus has been on power class and other considerations but we have not finalized those. Keep an eye out here for those updates as we make them.

The Bixler Trophy
This is akin to the Bendix Trophy races of the 1930s. These were endurance races to encourage safety and push boundaries of technology. You fixed-wing FPV guys can get in on this action as we would like to have FPV really be the focus here. Balancing the weight of your equipment and how far you can fly as fast as possible on a fixed low-energy pack is the challenge. In true Bixler fashion we expect to see puffed batteries and some FPV action that could be displayed at the FPV tent. Lots of options and details to work out but you get the idea.

All of this said, I will step back and let The discussion ensue. I expect Dan and Stephen to chime in with their $0.02 and also cover things that I have missed. We also included a couple of others in our offline discussion to help things progress but the community seems to be wanting something so we decided to bring it to you. To be sure, we want this to be community driven as that has been the winning recipe for fun in the past.
 
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bgfireguy92

Senior Member
#2
Ok you know I'm in. Gonna try a Wedell-Williams model 44. Hope someone else tries it too though. I hereby claim the Gilmore red Lion artwork and color for my plane no matter what plane we actually do. So sayeth I! WIL32521.jpg
 

localfiend

I like 3D printers...
Mentor
#4
I'm in as well. I have mostly completed plans for a Gee Bee Z, and a Boeing P-26 Peashooter


Gee_Bee_Model_Z_Reproduction.jpg p26-8a.jpg


Both designs have rounded fuselages and I'm hoping they will be amenable to skinning.
 

BridgeInspector

Flite Test Groupie
#7
This may be helpful to others for the "Golden Age" date range and information. I know it helped me.

WIKI GOLDEN AGE OF AVIATION- Aviation between the World Wars

The end of World War I to beginning of World War II
1918-1939



______________________________________________________________________________________________


I kind of like the idea of the Orion Model 9.
gldn003_lg_1_.jpg

The Lockheed Model 9 Orion was a single-engined passenger aircraft built in 1931 for commercial airlines. It was the first airliner to have retractable landing gear and was faster than any military aircraft of that time. Designed by Richard A. von Hake, it was the last wooden monoplane design produced by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.
 

FAI-F1D

Free Flight Indoorist
#8
I have a soft spot of golden age racers...er racers in general...

FB_IMG_1470310095959.jpg

FB_IMG_1470310162330.jpg

FB_IMG_1470310329908.jpg


Ok, maybe that's more of an addiction bordering on an illness. What's not shown there is that I've built four Goons, a Whitman D-12 Bonzo, a Hosler Fury, and probably a few others that slip the mind just now. My most successful one has been the Chambermaid which won a fair number of contests between 2007 and 2010 before slipping into semi retirement (it still flies great, I just don't compete in many scale events these days).

FB_IMG_1470310407516.jpg FB_IMG_1470310455863.jpg

So obviously I might be in for a Chambers R.1.

The power pod thing is a bit off-putting. Anyone that knows me knows that I like fast airplanes that are clean, serious, and capable of lasting a long time (this has nothing to do with crash survivability, more with handling humidity and storage). Just gonna throw that out there. I'd very much like to be part of this, but not if it's going to be heavily constrained on materials and internal design. I can do foamboard, but if I do, the paper is *all* coming off, and it'll probably have a polycrilic/glass finish or something of that nature that'll last more than a couple months. And it'll have a traditional, buried firewall so that the scale outlines are preserved.

Thoughts from the community?
 
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Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#9
The power pod thing is a bit off-putting. Anyone that knows me knows that I like fast airplanes that are clean, serious, and capable of lasting a long time (this has nothing to do with crash survivability, more with handling humidity and storage). Just gonna throw that out there. I'd very much like to be part of this, but not if it's going to be heavily constrained on materials and internal design. I can do foamboard, but if I do, the paper is *all* coming off, and it'll probably have a polycrilic/glass finish or something of that nature that'll last more than a couple months. And it'll have a traditional, buried firewall so that the scale outlines are preserved.

Thoughts from the community?
One of the unstated goals is to make any models built approachable to a novice . . . but exotic materials used in a variant, I think is completely fair.

IMO, Design it in a way it can be built in either fashion (with or without paper skins), and do a good job documenting any exotic methods for the ambitious to learn your techniques and I think you've met that goal.

The novice still building with paper get a blocky model with lower performance overall. the growing modeler who learns the new techniques picks up some performance and durability. I don't see a downside to this :)



edit: Buried firewall . . . I think the competition's design goal of "around a FT power pod" sets the scale of the endeavor. I'm good with you hiding an FT power pod in such a way it can never be removed (or be REALLLY hard to remove), and the power pod doesn't need to keep it's paper, but I think it should still be incorperated as a design limit.
 
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HilldaFlyer

Well-known member
#10
My two hundredths of a dollar input

This sounds like a great idea and a whole bunch of fun - I'm in too (for both races) but I'll have to take a moment to come up with a plane since I don't thing the F/A-18E is part of that "golden age". But it would be something to see a slot-prop jet in the mix - slow but cool looking.

I like the idea of keeping it simple using FliteTest techniques so that everyone can participate, but I also believe that allowing for new techniques will help enlarge the build techniques envelope and promotes progress. For the Furey Cup, my money is on nnChipmunk - boy that thing was fast! Oh wait... are aluminum spars allowed as a FT Technique? Why not, simple, easily approachable with commonly available tools and materials.

I'd very much like to be part of this, but not if it's going to be heavily constrained on materials and internal design. I can do foamboard, but if I do, the paper is *all* coming off, and it'll probably have a polycrilic/glass finish or something of that nature that'll last more than a couple months. And it'll have a traditional, buried firewall so that the scale outlines are preserved.
Thoughts from the community?
So, I agree with Joshua in that the goals/constraints should be worded to include constructions using paperless foam board with builder's choice of skinning to avoid the warping plane syndrome. Also I would promote to include permanently mounted motor mount/power pod. For example, if the goal is to be designed around a full-size power pod, then I would allow for a permanently affixed power pod or the design to accommodate a full-sized power pod.

I completely agree with overall goal of getting as much involvement as possible - that is the recipe for the most fun. I'm in regardless of the rules/constraints. I'd also recommend having a time to meet with and talk to designers (before the mayhem begins).

- David
 

HilldaFlyer

Well-known member
#11
edit: Buried firewall . . . I think the competition's design goal of "around a FT power pod" sets the scale of the endeavor. I'm good with you hiding an FT power pod in such a way it can never be removed (or be REALLLY hard to remove), and the power pod doesn't need to keep it's paper, but I think it should still be incorporated as a design limit.
So are you saying that the battery compartment/engine nacelle(s) has/have to be the dimensions of a full-size power pod or that a full-size power pod should be built and incorporated into the plane as either a removable or permanent fixture?
 

FAI-F1D

Free Flight Indoorist
#12
My problem with the power pod is that on an other-than-box fuselage, it just gets in the way. Far easier to cut out a firewall of your choice and glue it in. Dunno what mine would be made of...plywood, hard balsa, plastic...who knows. It's just a hunk of material to hold the motor in place. I guess at the end of the day I've never seen the point of power pods. Stick your esc and receiver to the sides of the fuselage (on the inside, get it right :D ) with Velcro; done (and faster to remove in my experience).

The resulting model would certainly be buildable using FT techniques, but probably wouldn't withstand more than a few weeks of hard flying. I could see aileron flutter emerging the moment the humidity rises above 50%.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#13
So are you saying that the battery compartment/engine nacelle(s) has/have to be the dimensions of a full-size power pod or that a full-size power pod should be built and incorporated into the plane as either a removable or permanent fixture?
I think the design constraint that has been passed around so far is "build around a power pod". I get why someone (F1D) would not want a power pod, but like or lump 'em, there's something solidly FT about the power pod. This is an element of what separates this contest from the myriad of scale contests elsewhere -- not a better difference, just different. It WILL make some designs scale larger to accommodate that big tube. Such is the nature of the competition. Will notching on the firewall or pod's tube be fair game within limits? How much wiggle room do we give designers to do cool things?

Dunno. We hash that out here ;)

For a multi-engine, that has meant so far they get a LOT bigger. With power constraints that can get hard to do at all let alone perform well. I can see an argument for multiengine using the mini-pods. I can see an argument against. If for no other reason, we're trying to coax Bixler into revising/cleaning up his DH.88 Comet (aka FT Cruiser) . . . full sized or mini?

. . . and that's where things get interesting. make the constraints hard but doable, and see where clever designers can take it.


All that being said . . .

My word is not law. These are my opinions -- scattered buckshot of good and bad ideas, with some history of the contest so far. The ideas bantered about before this are being kept intentionally vague so we can hash out what limits we want. This is not to make it easy on the designers. Limits make it harder . . . while keeping what we want to do possible.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#14
I am SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS IDEA!!!! :applause: I love this era of plane as well - the most graceful flying machines ever built (IMHO)

I have been getting ready for my first full on design, and gathering info this year about the Chester Goon and the Caudron C.450 (before FliteFest preparations fully took over my free time).

caudron-flight-69547.jpg
Art-Chester-Goon-Parked.jpg

I gotta say I love that Orion 9 with Shell markings too - that's a beaut!

So yeah - I'm in! Not sure if what I design will end up meeting all of the power pod criteria and simplicity requirements, but I'm going to give it my best shot! :)
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#15
For a multi-engine, that has meant so far they get a LOT bigger. With power constraints that can get hard to do at all let alone perform well. I can see an argument for multiengine using the mini-pods. I can see an argument against. If for no other reason, we're trying to coax Bixler into revising/cleaning up his DH.88 Comet (aka FT Cruiser) . . . full sized or mini?
I think it would be best to have multi-engine designs use a mini-power pod scale - then they can compete on a more even basis during the Furey Cup. Have everyone use the same mah of power at the start, regardless of the number of engines in play.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#16
I think it would be best to have multi-engine designs use a mini-power pod scale - then they can compete on a more even basis during the Furey Cup. Have everyone use the same mah of power at the start, regardless of the number of engines in play.
I'm really on the fence with this one . . .

I agree, it would get them back down to a reasonable power usage to be competitive, but as FAI-F1D points out (to which I agree), the standard power pod is a big ungangly volume to design around.

Add on a second engine and that get's easier? Doesn't seem fair.

We could change the mini pod to make it more fair -- 1/2 volume of full size -- but then it's not an FT power pod :p

I see the downsides of each, and neither seem superior to me . . .



BTW, the power limit I'm lobbying for is Wh -- I don't care what voltage you use or how hot your motor runs, but everybody can carry only so much power with them. Small and hot or big and beefy, 2S, 3S, 4S, Lipo, Lion, or fusion powered, it's up to the designer to pick their strategy of how to use the energy they have. How much energy we give each other in either race is up for debate.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#17
The resulting model would certainly be buildable using FT techniques, but probably wouldn't withstand more than a few weeks of hard flying. I could see aileron flutter emerging the moment the humidity rises above 50%.
Here's a cool technique to eliminate flutter from the delaminating of our paper hinges :)

http://www.flitetest.com/articles/improve-your-hinges-by-goin-ol-school

I've had great success with sewn hinges - I split the bamboo skewers to reduce weight first, but the resulting hinge has very smooth movement and best of all - no humidity problems!

There is also the classic Tape Weave style, but I haven't tried that one yet. Thinking about it with clear packing tape directly on the foam before adding the 3m77 and skin.

http://flitetest.com/articles/tape-weave-hinges
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#18
BTW, the power limit I'm lobbying for is Wh -- I don't care what voltage you use or how hot your motor runs, but everybody can carry only so much power with them. Small and hot or big and beefy, 2S, 3S, 4S, Lipo, Lion, or fusion powered, it's up to the designer to pick their strategy of how to use the energy they have. How much energy we give each other in either race is up for debate.
+1 - That makes great sense

So are you going to share your fusion bottle designs with us? ;)
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
#19
All good stuff guys. I'm intentionally taking a back set here to let this progress on their own but I'm taking notes.

The model I have worked on so far is Art Chester's Goon.
Progress3.jpg
As I've said, the plans are basically done after the prototype has successfully flown. I final build is needed for additional tweaking. The power pod will be completely invisible and a section of the canopy can be replaced with a plastic sheet for an FPV camera to see through. Ample room for all sorts of equipment and such.

I will also note here that I have made the commitment to do a "special" build pulling all stops and doing my usual scale OCD type of building. I'd prefer not to reveal the subject but if anyone does chose it I will PM them a respectfully request that they refrain. To be honest, it will be hard to do in foamboard. Not impossible but would be a challenge. The guys from the offline conversation know, but I'm not ready to make the reveal just yet.
 
#20
Sign me up! I now have to go study up on my Golden Age Era planes.

I love how it has only been a few weeks since FF and we are already scheming about next year. This is going to be epic.

I would like to note that the flappy dudes are well... flappy.... and might make it too difficult to use them as pylons. It would be entertaining but plyon racing is precision flying not flailing around in the wind. I can probably make pylons that would replace the flappy dudes specifically for the event. Thoughts?