Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Long time....

Ok, so its been a long time since my last blog entry....which was actually during the worlds!

I am sure people are wondering what happened to the blog. Well the simple answer is I really didn't feel I had the time to update it properly. Dave and Mark were doing an excellent job as well I just wanted to concentrate on the main reason for being at the Worlds.

Second reason is I was disappointed for a number of reasons with my results, and decided that it was better to avoid posting something that might have been out of frustration. My personal feelings at this point are that I flew better especially during the semi-finals than the results would indicate.

So, my thoughts on the Worlds....

Power systems

I bring this up first because its always seems to be at the front of the conversations! There was about a 50/50 split e-power to glow here goes.

Electric - Lots of electric, motors mostly dominated with Hacker, and I would say a fairly even split on Flight Power and Thunder Power batteries. For outrunners the Plettenberg was the most used. Most of the electric setups (that I saw and I did not see all of them) were flying faster than in previous years.
20x15 props, 20.5x14, 21x14 etc were probably the most common. All in all its fairly mature but people are still learning how to really make things work, this was evident as there were ESC failures, battery failures etc.
Counter-rotating props, there were two being used, very cool. I was told by Seba that it works great, and I am sure it does. It is a much more complicated setup, and heavier (if nothing else it has two props!). While it may be an improvement, is it worth the con's that go along with it? Personally I don't think so.
I don't think you will see much in the way of electric power changes in the short term, most seem very satisfied with the systems that they are using.

Glow - Ok, the usual suspects were out and about. The 170DZ was quite popular, and YS is by far the most used glow motor out there. They seemed to run very well and had no struggles with power. The OS 200 4-stroke was being used by a few people, and it has a softer lower sound than the YS, and also a tremendous amount of power. Nothing really new here either, just continued development.

There was the odd fail to start with the glow models....and a few dead sticks related to the heat. One of which probably cost CPLR the world champion title!


There were a ton of Oxai models at the Worlds, Zeque's, Astrals etc. They were very prevalent and all seemed to fly very well. Integrals were extremely popular as well, mostly Composite ARF versions but there were a number of ZN Line versions as well. I heard that 10% of the models were Integrals.

A lot of people were using the CPLR T-Canalizer and most felt it offered an improvement. I saw a lot of flared rudder trailing edges, something I was doing about 3 years ago on my Enigma's!

The big thing is the bipes, there were not many, but one did win the Worlds. Is this the beginning of the end of the mono-plane in pattern? I certainly hope not. Personally I felt Onda's Narlar which is a newer version of what he had in France and Poland was by far the better performer in flight. Not to take anything away from Quique and his Euphoria but I felt it looked a bit twitchy in the conditions compared to Onda's which flew very locked in. To me this is simply a case of time, Onda and Naruke have been flying and improving that bipe for years, where the Euphoria is a new design without the advantage of that level of refinement.

They did handle the wind well, but they are big and I don't think could be done electric power and meet weight limits. This will limit guys like me from pursuing those airplanes at least for now :)

Flying Styles

Nothing really changed here from France, with the exception of the electric guys generally being propped faster. Some pilots flew very tight and quick with a high level of sharpness on the corners, while other flew a little deeper and more open styles. I would say it was split about 50/50 in the top 10 between those two styles, with Onda, CPLR, Seba, BPLR, Akiba being the latter, and Jason, Andrew, Carrier being the former, with QQ and Suzuki some where in between.

So did the right guy win? I think so. From what I saw in the finals QQ really didn't put up a "wow" flight but they were very good. Onda flew excellent, but his unknowns suffered as a result of missing snap rotations. I really think he will be World champion one day. CPLR flew the last two rounds like you would expect him to....but part of pattern is keeping your equipment running. I really felt like he was on his way to winning the F-07 round when his motor quit.

Regardless of the outcome it was the closest result in quite some time, and I think everyone was on edge waiting for the results as it was impossible to know for certain who won.

I do find it somewhat discouraging that the US, Japanese and French teams are so strong. It leaves only 1 position in the finals for someone who was not from those countries. However, I suppose it demonstrates a level of focus in F3A that the rest of us don't have and maybe we should pull up our socks before 2009 :)

Enough of that....spring is approaching!


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