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  1. #1

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    Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    The last few contests in District 7 have had low turnouts. There are not many clubs who are
    willing to lend their facilities to a special interest group that attracts less than 20 contestants.
    The club that I belong to has warbird and IMAC events thay have 50 to 60 pilots.
    Maybe we could combine our contests with sport scale or classic pattern in order to have better turnouts.
    When I started flying pattern many years ago in S. Ca. all the pattern contests were combined with scale.
    Just a thought. What do you think?

    Bill

  2. #2
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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    Bill, First off let me say that I will be joining the D7 guys this year. I plan to hit at least 4 contests. In the 30+ years I have been in flying I have seen pretty much the same progression and eventually demise of just about every aspect of R/C. When I was a teen I raced Q500. Back then it was a wood and foam kit, sport 40 engine. Then everyone pushed to go faster. Eventually to be competitive you needed a moulded airplane and a 400.00 engine. Q500 almost died. Now look how it is coming back, wood and foam ARF airplanes with TT .40 engines. Sailplanes was the same story. Can you beleive that a competitive open class sailplane kit averages 1,200.00? Don't get me started on IMAC with everyone NEEDING a 40% airplane to fly basic through unlimited.


    This brings me to pattern. Airframe..........2,000.00 to 3,000.00 Power system, YS engine 800.00 or electric with multiple batteries at least a grand. Not to mention that at present new pattern airplanes are being developed at a rate that most are under the impression that they need a new one every two years to be competitive.


    I guess the point I am getting to is that we R/Cers tend to get a good thing going and then progress it right into the ground, both complexity and price.
    Of course it's true, I read it on the Internet.

  3. #3

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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    Hi Bill,
    Good topic for consideration considering the weak start to our season. I'm all for combining Classic Pattern into one contest if that will pick up the contestants. Not sure if I'm all in with maybe combining sport scale but hey I could be wrong about the interest. Let's hope our lagging numbers are due to high gas prices, bad timing with other family activities or weather. This topic sorta lines up with the concern mentioned in the latest NSRCA publication, lagging membership renewals. I would be interested in seeing a survey done by all the district VP's on why someone drops out. No RCU polling please. This needs to be real live contact with a person. You get a more honest opinion that way IMHO. Back to D7 - maybe we combine some of the small contests into a regional contest? or maybe more pattern primers to introduce pattern. Given that, the field I fly at has recent issues with the FAA I may try one in the east valley to test the interest. I know IMAC is huge in the east valley so there should be some bleedover into pattern. Who knows?

    maustin

  4. #4

    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    Bill,

    Numbers are down in D3 as well.  The bad economy and high gas prices seem to be the big reasons here.  I just lost my job two weeks ago, so that, combined with gas being over $3.50 a gallon here in Northwest FL has put a damper on my ability to travel to contests. 

    For improving attendance, I think combining AMA and CPA events is a great idea.  The RCACF in Apopka, FL  starting doing this at their Tangerine Contest in 2008 and it's been a big hit.  With CPA, you can get a Phoenix 7 from Hangar 9 for about $330.  Another $100 or so gets you an Evolution 60NX.  There's a new cottage industry replicating classic pattern planes and most ate selling for much less than a current F3A design. 


    Rob

  5. #5
    stuntflyr's Avatar
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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    I'll be at the Victorville contest with my ARF Kaos because that is all I've got. I just started practicing the Sportsman sequence today.
    I'm finishing a Focus Sport ARC for later in the season.

    As far as cost, the Focus Sport cost 199 dollars and the used YS 110's (good low timers) cost 300 each. It's expensive enough to travel to contests with the lodging and gas prices so high, and I set a limit on model expense because I came back to models from full scale acro, and I can do that for the price of IMAC. I can see the expense dilema for any and all.

    I intend to build my own models for Pattern if I like it enough to progress. It isn't that hard and the time spent will be a good trade off to the 2,000 to 5,000 dollar difference. I like the 110-120 size models for now anyway.

    Hope to see you on the contest trail this year, I'm planning on all of the SoCal events.

    Chris...



  6. #6

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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    Bill and Mike, you guys are both correct in your statements, In Phoenix there was only 15 contestants, I was packed up an ready to go.
    But the bad weather was not looking good, and a 650 mile round trip to fly 2 rounds, is just not going to work for me.In Yuma we had
    5 contestants, 2 advanced and 3 masters. The next contest is Victorville, an I'm hoping for a good turn, for the CD and club. It will be
    there 1st pattern contest, so we need the Dist support.Myself and Bill belong to the same cub Pardo, with over 400 club member and
    2 flying site, the IMAC contest that we had drew in over 60 contestants, a largest in the U.S. for IMAC in 2010. An speedracer has a point
    the cost of a 2x2 pattern plane is just crazy, $2000-5000 for a airframe, I would never pay that cost, I can buy a 40% IMAC for the same
    cost ready to fly, with engine, servos and in some cases a radio. We need to do something, to get better turn out at our contest.

  7. #7
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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    Our first two contests of the 2011 season have had very low attendance. The Phoenix contest usually has a very nice turnout but the weather forecast scared away many pilots this year, I was one of them! I know that gas prices and the economy aren't doing us any favors either. As Jarvis said though, let's make Victorville a big success. Looks like the weather is finally smiling on us!

    See you at Victorville.

    Jon Carter
    NSRCA #2354
    NSRCA VP
    Chairman - NSRCA Judging Committee

  8. #8
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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests


    ORIGINAL: speedracerntrixie

    Bill, First off let me say that I will be joining the D7 guys this year. I plan to hit at least 4 contests. In the 30+ years I have been in flying I have seen pretty much the same progression and eventually demise of just about every aspect of R/C. When I was a teen I raced Q500. Back then it was a wood and foam kit, sport 40 engine. Then everyone pushed to go faster. Eventually to be competitive you needed a moulded airplane and a 400.00 engine. Q500 almost died. Now look how it is coming back, wood and foam ARF airplanes with TT .40 engines. Sailplanes was the same story. Can you beleive that a competitive open class sailplane kit averages 1,200.00? Don't get me started on IMAC with everyone NEEDING a 40% airplane to fly basic through unlimited.


    This brings me to pattern. Airframe..........2,000.00 to 3,000.00* Power system,* YS engine 800.00 or electric with multiple batteries at least a grand. Not to mention that at present new pattern airplanes are being developed at a rate that most are under the impression that they need a new one every two years to be competitive.


    I guess the point I am getting to is that we R/Cers tend to get a good thing going and then progress it right into the ground, both complexity and price.
    Yes to all. 25 years ago, the great Hanno Prettner had a gorgeous model he called Magic. He had it fitted with an array of "shtuff" starting with the exhaust plumbing and ending in a variable pitch prop. It had flaps and spoilers to boot. I believe he realized that as KOOL as it was, it was far too complicated for the average or even above average competitor.

    He simplified his designs a few years later, and still won the Worlds with what seemed like sport models.

    As I have preached to my good friends in Pattern over the years, a good plane helps but great piloting skill will always trump a poor plane or poorly set-up plane
    Regards,
    MattK
    (Rcmaster199@aol.com)

  9. #9

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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    Unfortunately, the costs for attending contests are out of hand due to the rising fuel costs, costs for hotels, food, etc. I suspect people just aren't ready to deal with it yet. Disposable income and all that...
    Doug Cronkhite

  10. #10
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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests


    ORIGINAL: Hokie Flyer

    Bill,

    For improving attendance, I think combining AMA and CPA events is a great idea. The RCACF in Apopka, FL starting doing this at their Tangerine Contest in 2008 and it's been a big hit. With CPA, you can get a Phoenix 7 from Hangar 9 for about $330. Another $100 or so gets you an Evolution 60NX.There's a new cottage industry replicating classic pattern planes and most are selling for much less than a current F3A design.


    Rob

    Hi Rob,
    I let this sit for a day to see who in the Pattern world might pick up on it. So far no mention from any Pattern guy posting here. I wonder why? However, I think it's a great idea and the fact that I came to AMA Pattern from the Classic models and contest idea is telling me there are others out there.

    I think it's worth trying and maybe some guys will come out seeing that they have models that are still being used, or used again.

    Chris...


  11. #11

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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    Gentlemen, all of you are correct! Pattern, as we know it, may well have reached or is about to reach the "cross roads'. I eluded to many of these problems in another thread here in the pattern forum of RCU and there were others who elected to either laugh or ignore what I had to say. In the words of an outspoken politician, "the rent is too damn high"! Now, what can we do about it? We can either join forces and solve some of our problems or lay down and take it! If you elect to do the latter, then please keep the wining to yourself! It's not a matter of me saying negative things, I'm sorry to say, it's the TRUTH! No one wants us to take a more positive approach to resolving the parts we can control than me. Never forget, this is a hobby and it has to be affordable or you will find yourself attending a contest in your District and competing with just a handful of other contestants who, like yourself, could afford the high costs of the planes, etc., gas, food and accommodations. BTW, I can hardly wait for the 2012 National Elections! I feel it's time to flush the commode! Regards, Everette

  12. #12

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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    A Saturday only format flying only 4 rounds (possibly five) would eliminate one night of hotel costs for many, and one less day eating out in a restaurant. Entry fees could be less as the host could eliminate the Saturday feast or any other added costs associated with a two day event.

  13. #13

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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    I see lower cost pattern planes hitting the market that will open the field to more participation, but it takes time. For instance, I know you can put an Osiris or an Angel 50e together for about $1200, and w/ the 2m Vanquish, the higher echelons are within reach.

    This year, I'd imagine the continued bad economy, gas prices, plus the terrible weather across the region has a lot to do with it. In northern Cal, it's been really hard to find practice weather for a long time now.



  14. #14

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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    Last year I talked about the fact that in District 7 the contest season is simply too long. It starts in early February and ends in November. I suspect a whole lot of people simply get burnt out from the length. Let alone getting ready with new patterns for this year.

    I do like the idea of combining classic pattern with our regular events. Should fly my new H-9 Phoenix 7 tomorrow!
    TonyF - Team Horizon, Team BJ Craft, Team Contra Drive, Neu Motors
    2010,2009 US Masters Champion,2011 Masters Also-Ran

  15. #15
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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    I also think the idea of combining Classic Pattern with current pattern is a good, however, my guess it will be mostly the same pilots that attend the current contests that will participate with maybe a couple more entrants from just the Classic Pattern guys. Either way, I think it will increase participation to some extent and IT WOULD BE FUN to see the classic planes fly again....

    On the other hand, the scale aspect of combining contest could have some issues with 'timing'. I am not sure what the current rules are as far as the amount of time a scale pilot has for his flight. And, they might not want to fly their round if other pilots are in the air at the same time. Like I said, I don't know the current rules but back in the day, the flight lines used to come to a halt during the scale portions of the contests that had both. That would be my only concern with including 'scale', love to see them fly and if it would fit in, great.

    Woodie
    Team Blenderm (yes, Blenderm will stay on a Classic Pattern plane even at those speeds)
    Team Acme LG
    There is nothing so simple it can't be messed up by someone....

  16. #16

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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    Finally, the responses I had hoped for have happened. I, for one, appreciate the responses of two of the top rated pattern pilots from Arizona and California. Gentlemen, this is what it's going to take___CREATIVITY and AFFORDABILTY! Don't be shy, any and all ideas are welcomed at this point. I say again, we must absolutely get a handle on the future of pattern here in the U.S. I don't know about you but, I'm not willing to lay down and watch the very hobby that I have loved and enjoyed over these many years to just "die on the vine"! Take the opportunity now to make your wishes known and just maybe we can all get behind this effort and keep pattern alive! Please do not rely on the NSRCA alone. It's going to take more than "lip service"! Regards, Everette

  17. #17

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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    Oops, sorry Tony, I thought you lived in Arizona, I stand corrected!____ Everette

  18. #18
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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests


    ORIGINAL: wattsup

    Finally, the responses I had hoped for have happened. I, for one, appreciate the responses of two of the top rated pattern pilots from Arizona and California. Gentlemen, this is what it's going to take___CREATIVITY and AFFORDABILTY! Don't be shy, any and all ideas are welcomed at this point. I say again, we must absolutely get a handle on the future of pattern here in the U.S. I don't know about you but, I'm not willing to lay down and watch the very hobby that I have loved and enjoyed over these many years to just "die on the vine"! Take the opportunity now to make your wishes known and just maybe we can all get behind this effort and keep pattern alive! Please do not rely on the NSRCA alone. It's going to take more than "lip service"! Regards, Everette
    I agree with you Everette.

    I think we are actually just getting into the "affordability" mode. As has been posted on the 2m Vanquish thread, there are airframes that are becoming available that MAY make the differenceto the guy on the fence who is interested but turned off by the high cost of competitive airframes. It is up to all pattern individuals to "go forth and multiply".........it has to start at the personal level. This is where Everette's "creativity" will take place. Next time while practising, if an individual expresses ANY interest,takethe time to explain the whole thing, and with an enthusiastic attitude. It is up to us to initiate interest in the sport/hobby. Maybe set up a one day clinic a couple of times a year at the local field.It will take time and effort from all of us, not just the very dedicated few,to get pattern back on it's feet. WE can do it.

    Cheers

    MJ
    Never left one up there yet.......

  19. #19

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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    MJ, I appreciate your response. So many times over these many years we have all seen those that "talk the talk" but have seen very few "walk the walk"! I sincerely believe it is going to take an all out effort and "pressure", if need be, to turn this situation around. As an example of one of the many places we need to start with is on the District VP level of the NSRCA. If these VP's feel they don't have time or don't want to be bothered, then we must be proactive enough to replace them. So many times in so many of these Districts, these VP's think and act like they have been elected for life and are only there for the "POWER TRIP"! Again, if they don't get involved and represent our best interests now and in the future, REPLACE THEM! I will be the first to admit that I myself have not been a member of the NSRCA for the last 3 years because of this very problem. I refuse to be a part of an organization that does not have the backbone to represent their
    constituents on a timely basis. It does not take much talent to do the least you can to get by! Now, I wonder who is going to try to refute my argument. Regards, Everette

  20. #20

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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    MJ, let me take this a step further. I agree with you and how you feel about the coming 2M Vanquish. I know for a fact there are a large number of "young" pattern flyers out there just waiting for the arrival of this plane. I am counting on Archie to come up with hopefully the best "building thread" any of us have ever seen here in the pattern section of RCU. So many are going to rely on his thread for accurate information. If handled correctly, the 2M Vanquish could truly be the turning point for many future pattern competitors and our sport in general. I know Archie will do his best. Two years ago I got to see Cameron Smith's 2M Vanquish at the contest in Huntsville, Alabama. I was told it was the prototype but, the latest pictures look like the same design, etc. And yes, it flew extremely well aided by Cameron's natural ability. Let's all hope there will be little if any quality control issues associated with it's production. I wish you these best! Regards, Everette

  21. #21
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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    Due to the fact that I have not been around pattern all that much I can't really see anything that I can call the cause of any of this. I do think that the current size and weight are major contributors to the cost of a pattern airplane. I'm sure that this has been asked a million times but why do we continue with the 5 Kilo rule? It has been around and complained about for a long time now. Certainatly there have been rules proposals in this timeframe. Even if the FIA wont change, why does AMA adhere to the rule? I think all the classes up to FAI are called AMApattern are they not? IMOif the weight limit were changed to 12-12.5 lbs, the cost of airplanes would come down. We as customers guide the market as well. I tend to see more people trying their hand at designing and building airplanes. This could be that we are starting to tell manufacturers they need to be more price competitive. We have always been the sort of people that wants equipment that is better then the next guys. Better is always more expensive but in the process we are making the road for a newcomer more difficult. Foremost, when I have seen a successful event, it has always been because or a handful of enthusiastic people behind the event.
    Of course it's true, I read it on the Internet.

  22. #22

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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    I'm sure Dave Lockhart will chime in now!
    TonyF - Team Horizon, Team BJ Craft, Team Contra Drive, Neu Motors
    2010,2009 US Masters Champion,2011 Masters Also-Ran

  23. #23
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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    .
    I vote for combining with Classic Pattern.  I'm not brave enough to turn my back to the flight line while a Scale guy is flying . . . .
    .
    I'll get back up on my soapbox about turnaround in the lower classes - it makes pattern too complicated for the average club flyer.  I get lots of questions about pattern at my field since I "mix it up" with everyone during regular flying, but their eyes glaze over when I explain how the turnaround maneuvers work.
    .
    I think that the CPA rules could be used to start something along the lines of a "Simplified Pattern Association" or "Regular Dude's Pattern Association".  No stinkin' aircraft limitations, guys fly what they have.  No turnaround.  No making the patterns more and more complicated every year. 
    .
    How about coming up with a contest format that you can do while sharing the sky with your club's open flying - i.e. run one flight line but allow the contestant to work his takeoff and landing with the local traffic.  Yes, this would need an "avoidance" rule.  That way you could have a contest every Saturday at your club among a group of local guys.  At first you'd attract 5-6 guys, but since you're working your contest flying in with the open club flying you'd eventually have a couple "walk-ups" who would want to give it a try for a round or two.  Of course you wouldn't have trophies for your weekend contests, but simply keep score amongst yourselves and announce the winners in the afternoon when you're done.
    .
    Keith Hoard
    Collierville, TN

    NSRCA#2868

  24. #24
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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests


    ORIGINAL: klhoard

    .
    I vote for combining with Classic Pattern. I'm not brave enough to turn my back to the flight line while a Scale guy is flying . . . .
    .

    Be nice.......We are trying to boost pattern, not poke fun at the IMAC crowd

    Of course it's true, I read it on the Internet.

  25. #25
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    RE: Low turnouts for District 7 contests

    .
    I wasn't talking about IMAC . . . Have you ever watched a 1/4 scale P-61 Black Widow scream full-throttle right at the flight line over, and over, and over again while performing low altitude horizontal 8's? Still gives me chills. . .
    .
    But yeah, IMACguys scare me too. ..
    .

    ORIGINAL: speedracerntrixie


    ORIGINAL: klhoard

    .
    I vote for combining with Classic Pattern. I'm not brave enough to turn my back to the flight line while a Scale guy is flying . . . .
    .

    Be nice.......We are trying to boost pattern, not poke fun at the IMAC crowd

    Keith Hoard
    Collierville, TN

    NSRCA#2868


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