Sept 2, 2018 MoM 60" pylon racing! (NCSS)

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Konrad

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
636
38
San Francisco
#1
After sloping and wanting to do some 60” pylon racing for 25 years I’ve finally participated in a slope pylon race. This was NCSS MoM 60” race held at “The Slot” on Sept, 2.

What a blast! This was the first time I have raced any kind of glider. And let me tell you it is far different than what I remember racing FAI F3D was like 35 years ago. Unlike powered planes energy management made the racing even more challenging and rewarding. With powered ships you used the rhythm method to make the turn at the far side pylon. The flag was just to let you know how late or early you made the turn*. With slope racing the air (energy) is changing through out the whole race. As a result each lap took a different amount of time to complete. I was relying on my caller to tell me when to turn.

It is a real eye opener to be coming to the base pylon neck and neck and then make a poor turn and see your opponent just runaway from you as you loose your energy! Its a helpless feeling as there is nothing you can do but to point your nose down and wait for your speed to return. Meanwhile your opponent is half way down to the far pylon!

After the third heat I learned that the race really is won or lost at the start. This was the first time I had tried the split S start onto the race course. Wow! what the thrill to be part of three (maybe 4) planes diving for the start line.

I have to give a call out to Sandy (the line judge) for great officiating. It was during one of these early split S starts that I lost situational awareness of the slope face and crossed the safety line. (With 300grams of ballast I was going about twice as fast as I had first thought) He rightfully gave me a DQ. This group of guys really does give safety priority.

An issue I had during the whole race was drifting into the slope. This has to do with several factors the biggest being that I only have about 5 hours with this type of model. I also wanted to see the flaggers out of the side of my vision. I’ve learned this is not wise as the lift often is a few yards out from the face of the hill. You really need to rely and trust your caller. This flying too close to the hill cost me an airframe as I hit the far pylon at 60 mph.

I need to apologize to the gals flagging, I’m sure I cut years off their life.

I’d like to thank Scott’s family for giving up much of their labor day weekend to allow us grown men to play with our toys. I would really like to see them come out again especially as competitors.

As Arnold said: ”I’ll be back.”

*In power racing if you are to the right of the pylon when the flag is dropped you are turning late. If you notice you are way to the left when the flag is dropped you are early and likely have cut. Remember that it take about 1/2 a second for the flagger to react to the plane and another 1/2 a second for your caller to react to the flag and another 1/2 a second for you to react to your caller. That’s 1.5 seconds your plane has flown too far out.

All the best,
Konrad

MoM Flash 2.jpg
Bottom pole damage.jpg
Top side pole damage.jpg
 
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Konrad

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
636
38
San Francisco
#3
To the tune of $500. Nobody seems to have spare parts for these moldies. I think I'll try to repair this (or at least use this to learn how to repair composite foam models).

In the mean time I'll start assembling the Dart III. I'm under the a time crunch as the next race is in mid Oct..
 
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Konrad

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
636
38
San Francisco
#4
Yikes, I just learned that the next and last 60” MoM for 2018 is this on Sunday Oct 7! I don’t know why I thought it was some time in mid October. Calculating the cure and drying times needed there is no way I’ll get this Flash II repaired in time. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I actually a bit shocked in that it looks like I’ll be able to actually repair this wing. I honestly had written it off and was just using this core as a means to practice repair methods. I now wish I had been a bit more careful about hanger rash.
https://forum.alofthobbies.com/inde...olded-models-60-glass-and-rohacell-racer.367/

I think there is a good chance that I’ll be done with all the structural repairs by Friday. This will leave some filling and paint issues. But I think she should be flyable.

Here’s hoping I’ll have test flown her on Saturday and then be able to fly her in the Sunday race, even without any war paint. This would be great as it would leave all winter to finish her and get some other 60”er’s built for next year. Yes, I’m hooked on racing the 60” class.
 
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Konrad

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
636
38
San Francisco
#5
Ahh, that will buff out. :)
Much to my surprise it did buff out!

I even had time to lay up a set of blistered flap servo covers.

While the repair did take a bit of time, mainly waiting for the epoxy at various steps to cure before moving on the the next step. It really wasn't too difficult. If I had started this repair with the expectation of actually repairing the wing thing would have gone a bit easier.

I'm now going through my radio programing calibrating the surfaces. Barring some idiotic move on my part I should be at the MoM tomorrow.

I'd like to see if the repair is sound (aerodynamically robust).

I'd also like to put into practice some of the lessons learned at the last race. As you can see just staying on the course is a challenge! I'm the white and red ship in this video.

All the best,
Konrad
 
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Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 29, 2017
806
90
Novato, CA USA
#6
Looks like you were up against Mike R in that heat, and looks like you had a small lead on him at the start, not easy to do. Looks like both planes were having issues down at turn B, guessing some rough air over there? Slot can be a tricky spot to fly, that is for sure. Home pilots will have an advantage as they know what to expect there.
 

Konrad

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
636
38
San Francisco
#7
Thanks Wayne.

But I can't blame the air. My issues were all my doing. Rolling out of the turn far to early and having the wrong snap flap settings.

And you are correct the locals always have the home advantage.

We had another gathering on Sunday, but the wind was from the north. Not a good direction for racing on that hill. So no MoM racing for October.