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Flite Fest 2017 International Air Races

Fidget

Active member
Sure thing! Its been a while since I've been in the airport editor. If I took some time I could probably have found another pylon that would have been a single structure. But the positioning and spacing is right on this one and you can select whatever model you want. That being said, you probably can't use your specific model but its at least something to practice your turns and maintain level. Its a good starting point but nothing compares to doing it IRL.
Got RealFlight 7.5 and tried it out. Works great. Already got a little better with my sense of how to corner the pylons. Thanks again.

Also was in Lowes and priced out part of those PVC pylons. PVC parts are about $45 per pylon. $12 for the threaded rod. I assume the nuts and hooks would be at or under $20 or so (needed to move on and didn't hunt around for all of them). So I'm guessing about $80 per pylon. Unless someone also needs some for a club, we might be able to design some less reusable but cheaper.
 
If things go right with the motor I'm running now, my max speed will still be under 50mph. :)
I've clocked mine at 67 mph straight and level. That is about the speed we race the Parkzone warbirds at our field. ( yes, I know they are no longer available. :-( ) They are very manageable at that speed, and yet still provide ample opportunity for excitement. :D ( read - ending up in the same airspace at the same time. ) That's only with 4 or 5 up at a time. If you plan on putting up more then that at one time you can expect some carnage for sure.

Tim
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
Yeah, it was discussed awhile ago to make pylons out of foam board. The problem is weatherproofing and keeping them from tipping over during the entire 4 days. That is a LOT of packing tape. These pylons are supposed to be 20 feet tall!
 

Fidget

Active member
Yeah, it was discussed awhile ago to make pylons out of foam board. The problem is weatherproofing and keeping them from tipping over during the entire 4 days. That is a LOT of packing tape. These pylons are supposed to be 20 feet tall!
Ah, are they going to be up all the time? I've been trying to think of ways to not have to buy all the legs, but so far every solution (ropes for guide wires) involves many more adapters and end caps, which will be just as expensive and probably less steady.

Also, will there be any interest in flying around them at night? They make a clear PVC pipe that we could fill with LEDs, or we could wrap sections of them with strips of LEDs.
 

SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
I've clocked mine at 67 mph straight and level. That is about the speed we race the Parkzone warbirds at our field. ( yes, I know they are no longer available. :-( ) They are very manageable at that speed, and yet still provide ample opportunity for excitement. :D ( read - ending up in the same airspace at the same time. ) That's only with 4 or 5 up at a time. If you plan on putting up more then that at one time you can expect some carnage for sure.
I think 67 mph is very respectable with that massive cowl. I suspect Midnight will be in the 80 mph range. And I agree that is a very nice speed for racing. It will be way better for the spectators as well. You can see actually see the drama. Nice to see that you have some race experience Aviator08.

It could still be dicey in the pits with the whole herd. Is this gonna be a staggered launch or a stampede?
 

BridgeInspector

Flite Test Groupie
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FAI-F1D

Free Flight Indoorist
Hrmmm...I do have to agree with others that Pylon 1 is going to be interesting. Something tells me I'll take it wide anyway because I'll probably be accelerating the entire first lap trying to get my propeller above its stall speed (yes that's a thing). Should be entertaining to say the least.

Now that I'm over being sick and have several projects off the table, I guess it's time to repair the Folkerts and get back into the game. I think I'm going to have to set up a mock race course and do some practicing...this doesn't look terribly easy when flying the bucking bronco I managed to build.
 
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SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
USRA has been racing for a lot of years . http://www.usrainfo.org/

They race 35 lb. ( give or take ) aircraft; some of them well over 200 mph. They use a two pylon race course, and stand outside the race course. They DO wear hard hats ( as well as stand behind bales of hay. ) They DO maintain a safe distance from the spectators. The spotters ( called " picklers" ) are not in a cage, but DO stand back quite a distance.

If you ever get the chance to attend one of their events, it is well worth it.

I'm not exactly sure what a "spotter" is, and it seems as though that is a term that is thrown around without any real definition.

However, if you freeze frame at 2:34 you will clearly see two-man pilot/caller teams each wearing hard hats.
 

wilmracer

I build things that fly (sometimes)
Mentor
I'm not exactly sure what a "spotter" is, and it seems as though that is a term that is thrown around without any real definition.

However, if you freeze frame at 2:34 you will clearly see two-man pilot/caller teams each wearing hard hats.
A spotter is someone who helps you to be aware of the airspace (and ground space) around you. As the pilot you must be focused on flying your aircraft at all times, particularly at these high speeds. A spotter helps to call out aircraft that you might not have noticed, helps to ensure the runway is clear or aircraft and people when you're landing, and generally keeps their head on a swivel so they can warn you about anything unexpected heading your way (a real risk with high-speed races). Spotters generally communicate between each other to ensure their pilots are aware what other pilots have called out (takeoff/landing, low pass, dead stick, on the runway, ect.). In a big event setting spotters are really critical to keep everyone safe.
 

Fidget

Active member
Lighted Pylons

Going back to the PVC pylon idea, I wondered if they would look good lighted with LEDs.
Short conclusion, not sure yet.

I put 5m of 12v white LEDs on a 2" diameter piece of PVC that's about 5 feet long. Wrapped as close together as possible, it made two 4" sections that are about 4" apart. That's much shorter than the 20 foot tall pylons we would need, but it is the same diameter as in the build mentioned earlier in the thread.

I also had some white electroluminescent (EL) wire that I bought a while back. I didn't measure, but it was at least 6 feet long. I wrapped it into the gap between the LED sections and a little bit below.

I didn't get home in time to try them in full daylight, but we shot them just after sundown, and then well after dark. This is in our local park at about 400 feet. (The images are cropped a little bit differently to get the file size below the max, but they are shot from the same distance.)

LEDs
Dusk w LEDs On.jpg
Night w LEDs On (small).jpg
My wife took the photos, and I stood near the "pylon" and plugged in the battery. Standing up to 50' away it was miserable to look at, especially after dark. In the middle of the park it looked like an alien ship was landing. But my wife said from a distance it wasn't hard to look at at all.

EL Wire
Dusk w EL Wire On (small).jpg
Night w EL Wire On (small).jpg
From a few feet away it was easy to look at, but from a distance you could barely tell it was there.

I thought the EL wire might be easier on the eyes at night, but it's really hard to see at all.
Red LEDs might be better, but I don't have a 5m strand of them to try.

I'm open to other suggestions (I find PVC pipe and LEDs both to be entertaining), or could drop the idea. If the schedule ends up being that we put them up one day and race a few times and then take them down, I don't think it's worth it. But if we end up leaving them up overnight, they might be a fun part of night flying.

While LEDs are advertised as low energy consumption, when I've run rough numbers in my head, each pylon would need 10-20m of LEDs, for 144-288W. Running that off batteries for several hours of evening might be impossible or prohibitively expensive.
 

Tench745

Well-known member
How about running the LEDs inside the PVC? You'd probably need some intense LEDs to shine through Sch40 PVC. PEX actually is translucent and glows nicely when illuminated from within, or when lit from both ends (at least in short lengths.) PEX is much more flexible though, which could be a problem.
 

Fidget

Active member
Yeah, to go through the PVC would be intense. They do make clear PVC pipe, for furniture building and other non-plumbing uses. But it's fairly expensive, $35 for a 5 foot section. I thought about using clear and running white lights throughout and red packing tape to make the red stripes. I'm thinking maybe red stripes painted on some sections and red lights on the others that would look white during the day.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor