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  1. #1

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    Evening the field

    Our club has conducted a successful club pylon racing event for two years and we are starting our third year this March. The main purpose is to provide an event for club members at all levels to participate for fun, excitement and doing it together as a club. 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.



    Read more: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_10...#ixzz1DIe1D3M8

  2. #2

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    RE: Evening the field

    Does the club hosting the race provide the fuel? How about props?

    You may be surprised to find out that some folks just fly that much better than the others. Races get better with practice.
    Out of all the places we could be, this is one of them.

  3. #3

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    RE: Evening the field

    Yes, the club supplies the fuel, the contestant supplies the prop. We have found thru flight testing that the best speed is obtained with the OS10LA on this airframe was the APC 7x4.

  4. #4

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    RE: Evening the field

    The engine RPM of the faster airplanes is in excess of 15,000 while the rest of the field is around 14,000.

  5. #5
    Ken Erickson's Avatar
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    RE: Evening the field

    Yes, it is a fact that a number of your participants will get better. You have been racing now for 3 years and this has happened. It happened in "County Fair Dirt Track Jalopy Racing" in my home town many times over. It happens in any type of competition, even the friendly, low pressure kind.

    You now should consider having a class for beginners or casual participants. This separation can be based on last years points, fast times, break-out times, or any criteria you folks chose, if you have enough people participating in your fun. This gives the new people a chance to feel that they are "competitive" in the class they fly.

    As you have only one class of equipment, I suggest you check into how the RCPRO Warbird Races are run. Click on the underlined link. They use the separation to accomodate equipment differences, but it can also be used for skill differences, IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH PARTICIPANTS.

    (Yes, I shouted. Even in BOLD, I shouted.)

    For more information, contact still4given@yahoo.com

    Good luck,

    Ken Erickson

  6. #6

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    RE: Evening the field

    Some motors run better than others, and not all APC props are the same.

    There are a 100's of small things (legal) a person can do to go faster, and they do all add up. My guess is it is their setups and flying skills are better, its not normally the people that win who are cheating, but those that are trying to catch them.
    Dave Norman
    29w

  7. #7

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    RE: Evening the field

    Dave, I like your thought on "it's the ones trying to catch up" that may be cheating. I would like to think that all the guys are being fair, but you have a good point.

  8. #8

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    RE: Evening the field

    As others have said, some folks may just fly better. If you are not seeing a real big difference from one airframe to the next then there may not be a whole lot you can do about it. I read your other post and as long as you are tech'ing and inspecting the planes and as long as the props are the same and appear to be un modified and as long as you are sure there is nothing sneaky going on with the fuel, it is hard to say what can be done....

    However, hear me out on this and don't jump the gun on less than civil replies. We have been doing our own versions of club racing for the last 4 years, not the 1/2A stuff but more of the .40 size. We started out with a spec class with the intent of it all being for fun and we supplied the fuel and required a specific prop. However, we ran into the same problem and I can say that alot of it was due to some of the pilots just being a better flyer but there appeared to be a few of the engines that for one reason or another were just a little better than the rest. No real explanation as to why and nothing apparent upon inspection although we never ended up tearing one down. What did end up happening is that we bagan to lose some of our entries because some gained the mindset that if they were going to have to fly against someone who was known to have a faster plane, there was no reason to try.

    A couple of years ago we developed another class and took a page from the Warbird racing using a declared breakout time. There were many reasons for this but the biggest were that we weren't worried about what fuel or prop was being used nor were we concerned what the weight was and it made the average Sunday flyer more comfortable using his basic everyday plane even if he was going up against the guy with unlimited funds and time.

    We inspect the planes for airworthiness and safety but other than that, the only real determining factor is that if the plane flew faster than the breakout time it gave a zero score for the heat. This has turned into a good class for the local contingents and we fly it along with our spec class on race day with very good results.

    Just my $0.02
    What does THIS switch do......Uh ohhhh

  9. #9

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    RE: Evening the field

    Even though I have been at this for a couple of years, I am not familiar with "break out times". What are they?

    Thanks

  10. #10

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    RE: Evening the field

    If you follow the link Ken gave it is explained there, but in a nutshell you just set a specific time that the planes can't fly faster than. Our times are the same as the Warbird Bronze class, 2:30 over 10 laps on a 700' course. If a plane flies faster than 2:30 they get a "0" score. Planes flying at 2:30 or slower are awarded points depending on their finish position and whether there were any cuts for the heat.
    What does THIS switch do......Uh ohhhh

  11. #11

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    RE: Evening the field

    Sorry if I sounded defensive, that was not my point.

    Have you talked to the people with the faster planes and asked what they were doing to go so fast?

    How clean are the planes, are they doing little things like internally mounting switches, antennas, etc..? Flush / countersinking of all bolts? Do you remove the flashing on your propellers? How tight is your covering? Is it full of Vinyl stickers, etc...?

    We race a lot up here, and of the 20 or so regulars several of us do routinely lap the majority of the racers on race day and I know I am not cheating. Hang in there, practice and work on the plane from nose to tail and do everything you can to make it faster and practice. Get someone with a portable radio down on the pylon and let you know how far you are going past it. I don't normally fly 2 pylon, but getting use to distance and depth perception while looking at an angle is not precise. You may be going 50 foot past the pylons on both ends, and the faster guys are staying within 10 feet.

    Just my ramblings.
    Dave Norman
    29w

  12. #12

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    RE: Evening the field

    How is the breakout time established, in other words, is it the time of the fastest airplane in 10 laps, an average or? The fastest time would favor the fast airplanes, correct? Sorry for the confusion.


  13. #13

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    RE: Evening the field

    We just went with the established time as described in the RCPro warbird rules since that was basically the size of plane we were already dealing with, although we don't require the planes to be warbirds just any plane with a minimum wing area, maximum weight and no bolt on wings and must be propeller driven with any power source. I should point out that we do have 2 classes that follow both the Bronze and Silver times, that helps to separate the pilots. We have flown this format at fields that were limited on space so we moved the pylons in to 600' and adjusted the times, (i.e., 600' is roughly 85% of the distance that 700' is so we adjusted the time accordingly. Instead of the breakout being 2:30 or 150 seconds we dropped it down to 130 seconds or 2:10).

    As far as it favoring a "faster" plane, no not really. In all the racing I have done both locally in our events and in the RCPro Warbird series you find that there HAS to be a bit of strategy involved. I can cite a perfect example that happened to one of our flyers just last Saturday at the Warbird race in Tucson. He had a Bronze class plane that in all his practicing and flying it in competition, he knew for a fact that with the plane set-up as it was, if he got a perfect start and if he flew a perfect course it would fly just under 2:30. So, the plan was to be just a few seconds late on the start and fly per normal. The problem in Tucson that became evident about 3 heats in was that we discovered the day and weather couldn't have been more perfect for the performance. The air was very cool and VERY dry and there was no wind to really speak of so by following the plan, his plane actually ran about a 2:20. The guy that won the Silver class never ran any faster than a 2:14, (the breakout is 2:00), yet he won the class by nothing more than being consistent, not cutting out and assuring that he got a good start and finished every heat. These are not common examples but the point I am making is that by running this style of format, the races are much easier to manage and it rarely boils down to who has the fastest plane.
    What does THIS switch do......Uh ohhhh

  14. #14

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    RE: Evening the field

    tsawyer148

    Thanks for the info, I think I will propose this to the group and see what happens.


  15. #15

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    RE: Evening the field

    Hey RCFan, sent you a PM..
    What does THIS switch do......Uh ohhhh


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