Well, my preliminary rounds are over! I am glad to be done flying P-09!
Yesterday I flew in the afternoon and it was extremely windy and turbulent. A very strong blowing out crosswind made life very difficult for all the pilots, even Quique struggled in the conditions and had a very tough time with the center stall turn/snap and received a number of zeros. Quique is usually very good in windy weather so that gives you an idea of how much fun it was! I put in a good flight considering the conditions, unfortunately CPLR flew on that grouping today and the weather was far more favorable, so his score will end up depressing mine more than I would have liked, but that is the way this event works.
Today I flew in front of panel 2 and received a very good score of 478, my highest raw score of the event. I flew very last in our group and again it was a little windier than those who were lucky to fly in the morning. It will however, normalize quite well I think and should help me stay in position.
Both Dan and Dez flew well I think during the event and should be proud of how they did. The flying conditions, and field layout were far from ideal. We are used to far more open spaces in Canada so fields with a lot of surrounding trees are not always easy to get used to for us :) Also the level of competition is in my opinion the highest I have seen. There are many new faces and names that are flying very well, and receiving good scores for their efforts. The traditional top pilots I think will have to keep on their toes! I was very impressed with Stephan Kaiser, he flew right after I did in the rotation, and for a first worlds was very composed and handled the conditions like a professional. He must be about half my age I would guess, so I don't expect to see him going anywhere but up in the future.
I had a long chat with CPLR about his Axiome design details. A few things I notice about this airplane beyond just the rear sweeping wing, and giant canalizer. Firstly the main wing appears much smaller, Christophe told me that yes this is true, and what he did was subtract the canalizer area from the main wing area. The canalizer is about 10 dm^2 (~155 in^2), so the main wing is that much smaller than what you would expect or consider normal. The rear sweeping wing also requires more dihedral than what is normal for a monoplane, so the dihedral was increased a little from the original point which was to set the top of the wing flat (fairly standard on monoplanes). Also the main wing is placed lower in the fuse than you would normally place a monoplane wing.
Secondly, the stab and fin are very large relative to the wing, and also to other F3A models. Christophe said he was not happy with the directional stability in the Osmose, so he made a similar change to the Osmose Evolution and it was improved. So this is a carry over of that, my next question was obviously does that not make it more difficult in the snap, to which he smiled and said there are always compromises :) Indeed.
The side area of the fuse is also much less than other monoplanes as well, this is a result of the 1/2 bipe wing on top increasing the efficiency of the fuse in knife edge, so there is less requirement for a lot of side area. This helps in the crosswind he said by presenting less airplane to get blown around. The model is still pretty big, so I am not sure how much it helps, but its an interesting direction to take and the Axiome doesn't seem to lack and knife edge performance.
Points to consider if you are designing your own version of the Axiome :)
At this point of the contest I am very pleased with how I have performed. I am also happy beyond words with all my equipment, it always works and is extremely reliable. I never fear for a failed noise test, or a deadstick, or any other condition that would result in a missed round. I think this is one of the most important aspects to F3A.
The Xigris is performing extremely well, this plane has met all my expectations. Considering that I did not even test fly the model until July 1st and was only able to get about 100 flights on the plane before leaving for the Worlds I think that is a huge testament to how easy it is to fly. It is a large plane and presents very well especially in rolls and snaps. A big thank you to Jean-Pierre at ZN who really helped out to get me the planes as soon as possible so that I could have them ready for the Worlds!
Tonite is a time for resting, the past 4 days have been very intense and I feel under a lot of pressure to maintain my result and improve it. Tomorrow we will spend the day at the secret practice field (its not on the list of practice sites! :) ), getting ready for the two semi-final F rounds that will be flown on Friday.
I have not seen the preliminary results yet, but from some calculations I have seen I think I may be in a position to improve into a finals position if I can put in strong rounds of F in the semi's. I am not sure so I have to wait until the final results to see how many points out of 10th place I am. Remember that after they re-normalize the prelim scores for a carry over the scores compress a lot so what looks like a big margin suddenly becomes very close :)
Wish me luck!