"1/2 A" & "1/8 A" airplanes These are the small ones...more popular now than ever.

How to even the field

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Old 02-07-2011, 10:35 AM
  #1
RCfan
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Default How to even the field

Our club has conducted a successful club pylon racing event for two years and we are starting our third year this March. What I see emerging, however, is the playing field becoming unequal in that some airplanes are consistantly much faster then the rest of the flock (field getting lapped). I would like to ask anyone how we could make the field even again. I have no idea if airframes or engines have been altered, at least not by looking at them, and I don't want to get into a fur ball over it. We do it because it's fun and brings us together as a club and that's the main point. Maybe I should just accept the possibility that those few racers are just lucky to have an exceptional setup and flying abilities! I think we would have much closer races if flying skill was the determining factor.

We race the same airframe, engine, prop and fuel.
> Fuel 10% nitro
> Engine OS .10LA
> Prop 7X4 APC
> Herr Little Extra

Race Course is a two pylon course 300 feet apart.
We us a flying start with a 10 second countdown to the start and race 10 laps, no timing, just who finishes the 10 laps first, second, third and fourth.

Your comments welcome.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:08 AM
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Default RE: How to even the field

Hi

If you dont want to start a fur ball, nothing can be done. Flying skill is usually evident by visual. Some people just have better reflexes and anticipate better than most. Are Airframes weighed? Tech check on the engine, another story. You would need a base engine to go by. Check carb throat diameter, visual the exhaust port for modification, check bore and stroke, make sure fuel tank is empty when fueling, (extra Nitro), make sure mufflers have baffle plate, or not depending on your rules. That would rule out all but the most ingenius cheaters. All in the name of fair play of course. Honest contestants will have no problem with a tech inspection. Not so honest will.


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Old 02-07-2011, 11:26 AM
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Default RE: How to even the field



The only thing I can see is that the fuel should be supplied on the day from a common jug and pump to the flyers on the start line.  That'll avoid any "creative" fuel issues.  Other than that if the engines all sound more or less equal then it must be the flying ability of the fast guys.  Flying a tight and efficient course with the turns tight but not too tight where it slows down the model too much from drag in the turns will go a huge way towards making a given flyer faster over the next guy.

Even on the fuel issue if you can't hear a big disparity in exhaust tones from the fast models then it's gotta be the flyer and not the model.

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Old 02-07-2011, 11:32 AM
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RCfan
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Default RE: How to even the field

The only indication is that the engines of the faster airplanes are turning over 15,000 rpm with the APC 7x4 prop. The rest of the field seems to get barely 14,000.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:34 PM
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Default RE: How to even the field

Thanks everyone for you input. I think we just need to tighten up our laps and do what we can to keep our airplanes clean.

RCfan
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:17 PM
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Default RE: How to even the field


Quote:
ORIGINAL: RCfan

The only indication is that the engines of the faster airplanes are turning over 15,000 rpm with the APC 7x4 prop. The rest of the field seems to get barely 14,000.
If they are getting 1000 more RPM, It could be engine work, carefull break in or parts sorting ( buy 3 engines and swap till you get a good fit.). Props, are they checked for rework?

Tach them on the ground first? Anyone over 14500 is out?

You could make a claim race, like anyone with $100 can claim your engine , and you will have to give up your engine. That might create hard feelings but it will stop the rework.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:41 PM
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Default RE: How to even the field

Is "tuning" of the engine allow, are these guys lightening the pistons or rod, crankshaft? , shaving a bit off the prop ends?...Rog
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:01 PM
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Default RE: How to even the field

All the advice given sounds sound. Keep in mind that during world wars 1 & 2, Korea and Vietnam, there were only a hand full of "ACES". And they were Aces because of their skill.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:21 AM
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Default RE: How to even the field

We have similar plane, engine and fuel requirements at our club. All fuel is from common jugs.

Our races stay pretty even.

Tom
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:42 AM
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Default RE: How to even the field

Maybe you could toss all the engines into a bin before the races, and grab one blind and install it..?

The one thing you cannot standardize is the pilot, that being the whole point of the exercise.

Engines are known to vary between examples of course, some brands/models more than others. Even the guy on the needle can make a noticable difference.

Without a tech inspection you are at the mercy of the flier's integrity and sportsmanship.

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Old 02-08-2011, 05:05 PM
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Default RE: How to even the field



Ya know, I like the idea of a tach before flight rule. But since results can vary from day to day depending on weather conditions I'd say that you make the rule more that no one can be more than 500 or 300 or 200 or whatever you deem decently fairover the average RPM gotten from the day's readings. For those that are high the easy fix would be to go to a lower nitro fuel. For those that are more than 500, 300, 200 or whateverlow they are allowed to use something higher in nitro. But for the "tech" run they are all run from a common tank on a stand that sits alongside the model so there's no doping down by adding oil or whatever to the internal tank.

By requiring "equalization fuels" you even the power race and there's nothing to be gained in hot rodding the engine since it'll be dummed down with lower nitro to end up within the RPM and therefore power range.

Similarly props must not be modified other than to remove flashing and very sharp trailing edges if desired for hand starting safety. They should not be clipped or otherwise shortened, thinned or narrowed at all.

By having this run test and fuel equalization rule it avoids the need to accuse anyone of hopping up their engine. And it ensures that anyone with an occasional "dog"will be able to compete without fear by using a higher nitro to reach parity for power.

If the fast guys complain and it was originally written into the intent of the event that it was to promote even racing then they can either suck it up and play on even ground or pack up their marbles and go home in a huff.... at least that's how I see it.

Iremember back when Iflew 80mphspeed limited control line combat. It was a superb event since it let all manner of engines and models compete on an equal footing. At the start the models got airborn and had to fly two timed laps which had to be more than X amount to ensure they were not faster than the limit. Once both models were cleared for speed the horn would blow provided they were more or less on opposite sides of the circle. Otherwise the sideline guys would yell and wave to split apart. But the pilots were pretty good at flipping around before the timing started to ensure that the models were well apart for the two laps. As an event the speed limit thing was hugely successful. It really made the flying interesting. So Ican see where it would be sweet to ensure the engines in these racers were turning at roughly the same power levels before the flag dropped.

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Old 02-08-2011, 05:43 PM
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Default RE: How to even the field

Fly heat races, The winners of the heats race each other. Then run counctlation races to see who races each other. Then the loosers run a counstlation race , and the top dog's run the main.
Oh I am thinking STOCK Cars. but it would work. It makes every one have a chance, and no one wants to be last[:@]

SPELLING I flunked the first grade
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:53 PM
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Default RE: How to even the field

It's possible to buy a freak engine that is stronger than 90% of the rest. You can also buy 4 engines and mix and match parts to come up with a strong runner. OS is pretty consistant though.
You can also detail the crank fit of a plain bearing engine with emory cloth. Don't spend much time working on the extreme ends, leave 3/16-1/4" on each end of the journal at the stock clearance. This is pretty much undetectable, but where big gains can be made.
A guy can also put a heat gun on a stock prop and tweak it for better performance without being easily noticed.
Tell everyone to practice twice as hard and twice as often as the front runner if they want to catch him.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:57 PM
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Default RE: How to even the field

funny, when I was in my teens in the late '80's racing 1/10 scale electric cars there were always the guys who'd show up and race in the "stock" class and be way faster than everyone else, and sometimes they'd get busted. Some were even sponsored by the manufactures and would get hand picked motors and speed controls from parma or bolink or whoever. And even as a stupid 17 year old kid I always wondered why compete in the STOCK class and insist on running MODIFIED gear that was clearly illegal in the stock class...oh yeah...most of them were "good enough" to be competitive even with a 17 year old kid, but they just can't stand to lose. If they ran stock in the stock class someone might actually out drive them, and in the modified class they'd have no advantage, again they'd have to compete to win. The worst guys were the ones that would run you into the wall on purpose as you tried to pass! I had to run stock, I was dirt poor and didn't have enough money to experiment on my gear, half of what I ran was used stuff, and a lot of my motors were the stock trinity or bolink motors that came in the kits, when the other guys would buy a new car they would pretty much give me the stock motor's that came with their rc10 or whatever, and I ran them, and won my fair share with those motors...not to mention half used tires I'd buy from the guys that would only run them one weekend...

Almost everything I've seen or heard of that starts with good intents seems to devolve to this at some point. Oh we're gonna race 4*40's with only stock K+B .40's then some guy buys 10 of them at a time so he can mix and match parts to build a super .40, polish this port, ream that muffler, "oh no, it's stock..." ...you get the idea...I lost interest in all the competition...I try to follow the rules to the letter, so it sucks to get beat all the time by people who you "know" are not.

Austin
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:18 AM
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Default RE: How to even the field

Swapping engines from plane to plane should be acceptable if written into the rules. Club can provide the fuel and props. 'Go- no, go' devices can be made to check wingspans, thicknesses, weights and etc. Also written into the rules are contingencies like- when props or engines get broken- who pays for what.
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