Recently I began more intensive practice flying for the FAI’s S8E/P (E R/C Rocket Glide) event which will be held at the 2010 World SpaceModeling Championships (WSMC) being held near Belgrade, Serbia.
I am mostly practicing the landings. The most effective way to practice the landing part is to use a small hi-start, to pull the model into the air sort of like pulling a kite into the air. I explain the hi-start in the videos so I will not explain further. An extra plus is that it is CHEAP, once the hi-start parts have been obtained. It costs nothing per flight since the only thing expended from flight to flight is my own physical energy to go get it, hook it up, stretch it out, and make another flight.
I have been practicing from a local soccer field. Hi-starts do not work well in weeds, so the soccer field was the most practical site for me to use.
Friday, I did some practice flying with a keychain video camera onboard, borrowed from BRB member Jonathan Dill. And that is really the main reason I am posting this, the three videos linked below:
First landing practice video is posted here:
Second landing practice video is posted here:
Third landing practice video is posted here:
The videos turned out very nicely.
The model is a Stingray-Flap design which goes back to 2002 when the S8E event changed from pure duration (Max times of 7 minutes), to S8E/P (the P for “Precision”). The model uses three channels, two for the inverted V-tail and one for the flap in the center section.
The flap is very important because the landing rules are different now. They used to be a “runway” landing, with a 50 meter long line, we tried to land close to the centerline of the 50 meter long runway. Now, it is a bull’s eye Spot Landing. Landing within 1 meter, get 100 points. Landing within 2 meters, 90 points, and so on, to 10 meters, 10 points, then zero outside of 10 meters. There is still a target time of 6 minutes, or 360 seconds. So the perfect score would be to land right at 6 minutes, for 360 points, and to land inside of 1
meter, for 100 landing points, for 460 total.
So this is why in the video I am trying to land as close as possible to the red cup that I am using as the spot. Not the landing tape, that is used only for measuring distance, the red cup is the target.
I am also doing rocket boosts for practice, of course. But the scoring mentioned above is why it is more important to practice the landings a lot more than the boosts and the glide. That assumes one has a good model to begin with, that is set up well for doing the boosts, and a lot of experience doing boosts and flying thermals in glide.
Attached are some photos of one of the Stingray-Flap models.
Last photo is Greg Stewart, myself, and Kevin Kuczek with our models in Lleida, Spain at the 2008 WSMC.
- George Gassaway