• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Flite Fest 2017 International Air Races

localfiend

I like 3D printers...
Mentor
The "spirit" of Flite Test and this event I would think is to get people designing more Flite Test style airplanes that look like period racers, and perform like Flite Test airplanes with easy flying characteristics using inexpensive components. I think speed is irrelevant. As stated in another post I think seven or eight closely matched airplanes flying at scale-ish speeds (around 50 mph for 1/6th) sounds allot more appealing than speed rockets in the 100+ MPH range. Factor in the possibly of questionable components, less experienced pilots, and in an environment with potential for many airplanes in the air and RX issues in a spectator dense environment and there are concerns.

Joshua you have commented about a build that will not employ typical FT methods, and insane levels of power. I ask, is that "in the spirit" of what these guys are trying to accomplish at Flite Fest? I know we both come from hardcore competition backgrounds. We have both represented the U.S. on world Champs teams. I see Flite Fest as a gathering of like minded souls looking to have fun, not a competition. Who benefits from a design that is this far out of the intent of the event?

It is really up to Dan, Stephen and Wilsonman to decide. Perhaps I am speaking out of turn. I love this idea. I would love to see a bunch of golden age air racers flying around in loose formation together at scale speeds "playing with each other" doing some pretend races at safe (meaning typical FT design type) speeds. If the designs become so advanced that the event is so far away from the spectators for safety that it is never seen, what is the point? Does there really even need to be a "race" I think just flying some cool looking airplanes with some cool guys would be its own reward.
I think that once the rules for power setups are figured out, the majority of planes within the rules will all be in the "Spirit of Flite Test" and should be quite safe. If we have limits on power (mAh), it will be really hard to make a 40" foam plane dangerous, and I think the competition will still be there, everything will just be toned down to fun levels rather than crazy.

I'm planning on at least two designs. One which will fall under all the rules, and another which will be a lot bigger and more complex. I think that we can accommodate everybody by having an exhibition class race, or just a demonstration flight for builds that don't fit within the standard rules.

For example, I plan on building a P-26 Peashooter, probably giant scale like I did with the PBY this year. It's outside the rules by being a military plane, and for being larger, with larger electronics. Wilsonman will have the Bugatti, and it sounds like others plan to have some designs outside the standard rules.

Exhibitions were a really big part of the real air races in the 1930's. The military usually always had something on display, and there were lots of other wacky things out there like mock dogfights, or experimental auto gyros. Anything you guys want to race, or just showcase that doesn't fit can join me in some exhibition laps etc...
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
I think this is an EXCELLENT idea. Certainly, there will be many of these airplanes from the quality builders in these forums. Heck, I flew my Giant P6-E Hawk alongside Laine's 26" 120+MPH 'Cuda. We were aware of each other and communicated well and both had an exceptional time flying "with" each other.

In further exhibition we could work with FT to use tent space early in the event for static display. Folks can just put their aircraft on a table, sit and talk with each other about their projects and talk with passers-by about them as well. What do you all think?
 
I like the idea of getting all the racers together in a pit row! Maybe a golden age background even. I think things are coming together and once the mAh and race rules are finalized it will likely normalize things. The mAh limit combined with number of laps or time should help keep things from getting too out of control for the race itself.
A more controlled demo slot for the boundary pushing designers is a great way to allow that creativity to be on display without making the races more hazardous than they need be.

I am sure there will be some carnage in the races at any speed. I have attended the Reno Air Races and witnessed it first hand. It is never easy to see or deal with. However, there are inherent risks in anything we do, be it full sized or foam and batteries. I like the idea of a traditional course without crossing paths for that reason, risk mitigation! Air racing is risky enough to be exciting on it's own merits. Adding a figure-eight is how they make boring stuff like school bus racing interesting!

I am still more than willing to provide a couple of very golden age appropriate trophies as well.
 

FAI-F1D

Free Flight Indoorist
I bring this up because I think that his speed planes cross over from the "spirit" of Flite Test designs into another level of high performance designs. I think that is a great next step for anyone that becomes accomplished with FT stuff and wants to go to the next level. I have zero problem with that. Joshua will understand that in Flying Aces (free flight scale) competition there is a clause about stating "in the Spirit" of FAC rules. This is a catch-all that I do not love about keeping purpose in perspective. Much as I dislike it, I think it applies here.

The "spirit" of Flite Test and this event I would think is to get people designing more Flite Test style airplanes that look like period racers, and perform like Flite Test airplanes with easy flying characteristics using inexpensive components. I think speed is irrelevant. As stated in another post I think seven or eight closely matched airplanes flying at scale-ish speeds (around 50 mph for 1/6th) sounds allot more appealing than speed rockets in the 100+ MPH range. Factor in the possibly of questionable components, less experienced pilots, and in an environment with potential for many airplanes in the air and RX issues in a spectator dense environment and there are concerns.

Joshua you have commented about a build that will not employ typical FT methods, and insane levels of power. I ask, is that "in the spirit" of what these guys are trying to accomplish at Flite Fest? I know we both come from hardcore competition backgrounds. We have both represented the U.S. on world Champs teams. I see Flite Fest as a gathering of like minded souls looking to have fun, not a competition. Who benefits from a design that is this far out of the intent of the event?

It is really up to Dan, Stephen and Wilsonman to decide. Perhaps I am speaking out of turn. I love this idea. I would love to see a bunch of golden age air racers flying around in loose formation together at scale speeds "playing with each other" doing some pretend races at safe (meaning typical FT design type) speeds. If the designs become so advanced that the event is so far away from the spectators for safety that it is never seen, what is the point? Does there really even need to be a "race" I think just flying some cool looking airplanes with some cool guys would be its own reward.
First off, I stopped flying at "serious" FAC meets because the "Spirit of FAC" thing has become little more than a sledgehammer to deal out judgement against those who aren't part of the chosen few but still want to compete seriously. It's ridiculous to have people yelling "you're taking this too seriously!" That's the very definition of hypocrisy, and it goes hand in hand with a certain member's constant quip whenever the FAC ways are questioned or the rules are shown to be incomplete or fail to make even remotely reasonable sense: "well then maybe the FAC isn't for you."

That turned into a bit of a rant...apologies...back to the topic:

I think those concerned should to take a look at my build thread where some of this is explained in greater detail. I'm going to give a brief summary here. Many of the existing FT designs can go over 100 mph, so the 'Spirit of Flite Test' is getting very blurry. As mentioned, I don't like blurry definitions. It's an excuse for not making good rules, and in this case, it won't fix anything. FT "spirit" or not, there will be planes going around that track at over 100 mph.

All that said, my reasons for a non-FT style build have absolutely nothing to do with performance. I don't have the building time I used to (farming, a model aviation business, church activities, actual flying of multiple disciplines, and oh yes a family which deserve some attention), and FT builds lack the longevity that I want in an airplane. So let's be clear: I'm building a scale model. I like scale, but I will not be limited by building methods to a half rate scale fidelity. If it has to be exactly according to FT methods, I'm not building it. I just don't have time to waste on a scale build that's going to last a couple months and not look the way I want it to. In concert with this, however, I'm setting up the design so that it can be built using FT methods and probably without much, if any reduction in performance. (Ok, it'll need some reinforcing up front because the scale front end is structurally questionable without it).

I think further discussion on the topic of this specific build and whether it represents the FT "spirit" probably ought to occur in that thread...

last (possibly unpopular as my others) comment. Why do we need to have a course feature that "increases the chance for collision"? I like my airplanes. I tend to spend a decent amount of time on them. I like them to look good. I like to fly them, and although I know crashes are always a possibility, I am always looking to avoid those occurrences! There already is a combat event for people that want to get rid of the airplanes.
Yeah, I don't want a combat event. As mentioned above, I'm trying to build a nice airplane. I want it to last. The possibility of a crash always exists, but if it's probable that I'll crash, that takes away the fun of it.
 

Tench745

Well-known member
Two things:
1) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, someone build a 1/6 Spirit of St Louis model to showcase at the races named "The Spirit of FliteTest" (Maybe fly it in the endurance race? Pace plane? Hint-hint) :eek:

2) Here is a link to all appropriate AMA regulations on racing including course specifications, spectator distances, etc.
http://www.modelaircraft.org/documents.aspx#Racing
I'm not saying we should follow all the regulations, as many of them are for fuel powered Giant Scale planes, but they might be a helpful resource. The "Setback Distances for Sport Pylon Racing" document may be the most useful in setting up a course.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
Exhibitions were a really big part of the real air races in the 1930's. The military usually always had something on display, and there were lots of other wacky things out there like mock dogfights, or experimental auto gyros. Anything you guys want to race, or just showcase that doesn't fit can join me in some exhibition laps etc...
Love this idea - I'll definitely join you on this!

I'm not sure what I'll be building for the exhibition laps, but it'll probably be entered into a Winter Time build contest somewhere too :)
 
Not trying to step on any toes. I am convinced you have more building time than I do based on what you have been up to the past two years, no way with my current schedule in life I could qualify for a spot on the F1D team and still be flying R/C :)

I understand your reasons, I guess my way of thinking is that if I do not agree with the philosophy of the event I do not get involved. Just as you stated with the FAC, there is a certain core philosophy and if you do not agree with it it is not for you. That is where my confusion comes in, but unlike the FAC this is not supposed to be competitive and the more the merrier. If it introduces people to new skills, then it is a good thing. I may end up trying to justify a Horizon Hobby Gee Bee based upon my fall/winter schedule with work travel, my son and I doing speed skating together and the home remodeling list I just agreed to!

However I would be a little apprehensive racing a glass/carbon/foam airplane against a bunch of foam board airplanes. It is like the old adage "Never race against station wagon. If you win, you only beat a station wagon, but if you lose, you got BEAT by a station wagon !"

Carry on, just do not use any boron ok? :)
 
I may need to change my entry from the R-4 to the "Spirit of Flite Test/St Louis", complete with a Joshua cutout pilot viewable from the side window wearing an FAC t-shirt!
Calling dibs...I always wanted to build a Spirit, what better circumstances than this?
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
Two things:
1) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, someone build a 1/6 Spirit of St Louis model to showcase at the races named "The Spirit of FliteTest" (Maybe fly it in the endurance race? Pace plane? Hint-hint) :eek:
Why would it need to be a pace plane? It can compete outright.

Unfortunately, 1/6th scale might be a bit big for this competition . . . 46' span means a 92" wing :eek:
 
Last edited:

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
I may need to change my entry from the R-4 to the "Spirit of Flite Test/St Louis", complete with a Joshua cutout pilot viewable from the side window wearing an FAC t-shirt!
Calling dibs...I always wanted to build a Spirit, what better circumstances than this?
Jim . . . DO IT!!!!
 
92", all the more reason!
I admittedly never considered the scale span...that is big. Yikes. I need to go back to my cave and quit causing trouble for people, including me:)
Nice catch on your gosintas by the way, I was going to point it out but did not want to go into full "rivet counter" mode...
 
Last edited:

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
Sorry . . . 92". my math-foo is weak today.

Meh. put a folding hinge in the wing and it packs down to a platry 46" ;)
 
This is sad. I am already thinking the Clark Y has plenty of depth for strength, and the possibility of slide on wings make them less than 4' each. Plus those struts would help with strength. Wing is very hershey bar FT Guinea like...
No, just say no....
 

FAI-F1D

Free Flight Indoorist
Jim, just admit it, you're hooked! Hey, the spectators won't have any trouble seeing it! :applause:

I keep saying this is going to be fun.

Also, I want my boron! :black_eyed:

What's really sad is I regularly wear an FAC t shirt.
 
Last edited:

SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
I'm unlikely to participate in a pylon race with some sort of loop/reversal. It's dangerous, plain and simple. Let me be clear: people have been killed doing this sort of stuff. The AMA has made enormous pay outs over the years in pylon racing--spotters now stand in steel cages for protection in certain pylon disciplines.



Because I seriously don't trust some of the things that might happen, I'm really wanting to be inside the course with the planes circling around. As a competitor, if the planes are ever turning toward me, that's a safety risk I cannot mitigate because my eyes are focused on my own plane. Same for my spotter. So yeah, the safety of all the inexperienced pilots, and those who plan to be focused entirely on their personal speed demons, let's have a conventional 3 pylon course.

Also, Jim, ya gotta keep quiet about those power specs. You're giving away my secrets! :black_eyed:

Ok, back to design mode. I have a ridiculous Folkerts to finish designing...

I saw a Formula 1 midair once. A snuerle ported rear rotor .40 came raining down within 10 feet of my baby sister. Cerca 1971. These were 5 lb planes flying about 100 mph. Another got shredded going across the tops of pine trees. That one was pretty spectacular.
 

FAI-F1D

Free Flight Indoorist
I saw a Formula 1 midair once. A snuerle ported rear rotor .40 came raining down within 10 feet of my baby sister. Cerca 1971. These were 5 lb planes flying about 100 mph. Another got shredded going across the tops of pine trees. That one was pretty spectacular.
Had a similar incident last year at an R/C fun fly. A .46 came through the roof of one of the shelters and landed right where my wife had been sitting 10 minutes prior. Had the trajectory been 2 ft higher, it would have missed the roof and gone into a group of kids.
 

Tench745

Well-known member
If I have space once I move I guess I will be attempting a 92" Ryan NYP, but only because I feel there must be one at Flite Fest for this event. If anyone else better equipped to tackle the project, please do so.