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Gyros in Pattern

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Old 01-10-2018, 07:25 PM
  #1
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Default Gyros in Pattern

I meant to put this on this forum but it ended up on the classic pattern forum.

I just read Tony Frackowiak's article in the December K-Factor. I totally agree that a quick way to get more folks active in Pattern is some rules changes. It has been obvious that other categories of RC have blossomed while Pattern has wilted. I say do anything to make the plane fly better. One is to allow gyros and number two is get rid of the box. I watch Mark Thomas practice IMAC with a 40% airplane and he is within 200 yards almost all the time. Guess what? Everyone can see it better. The pilot first, so he can fly it better, and the judges next so they can judge it better.

Jim O
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:41 AM
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Jim sorry mate but I totally disagree with you.


F3A Pattern flying is Aerobatics for the purist.........I fly full size aircraft for living and I can tell you it gives me a much greater amount of satisfaction putting my GALACTIK through its paces without the aid of Gyros ...just me and the elements.

Whats killing the sport is the cost of the airframes.......in some cases as much as a small car....no youngster can afford that.

Unfortunately we have lost the skills of building models and the top end manufacturers are taking advantage of us.

Also we need to make the lower class schedules easier to encourage more people .

IMHO

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Old 01-11-2018, 07:55 AM
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I agree with Mavros. Becoming a good aerobatic pilot is a skill set that that only practice can bring. Adding gyros and eliminating the box will only make the pilot lazy and the precision will be eliminated because the plane will become self flying. Then it will be who can get the best gyros and who is the best programmer that will prevail. Remember that precision appeals to a specific mind set and everybody does not have that mindset. People at the flying fields I fly at always ask me why I fly the same sequence over and over again. I simply reply that the feeling to perform the perfect maneuver is an incredible rush. I practice so I can perform the perfect sequence all the time. (seldom happens though). let's keep it pure.

Sheldon
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAVROS View Post
Jim sorry mate but I totally disagree with you.


F3A Pattern flying is Aerobatics for the purist.........I fly full size aircraft for living and I can tell you it gives me a much greater amount of satisfaction putting my GALACTIK through its paces without the aid of Gyros ...just me and the elements.

Whats killing the sport is the cost of the airframes.......in some cases as much as a small car....no youngster can afford that.

Unfortunately we have lost the skills of building models and the top end manufacturers are taking advantage of us.

Also we need to make the lower class schedules easier to encourage more people .

IMHO

Regards
A purist is one who desires that an item remains true to its essence and free from adulterating or diluting influences. If we were purists we'd be building our own models with 10cc engines. We wouldn't' need to fly in any particular direction with any particular position. I was there. Maybe pattern would still be growing if we hadn't changed the rules

In the words of Lou Holtz "In this world you're either growing or you're dying so get in motion and grow."

Just stirring the pot.

Jim O
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:14 AM
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FWIW, I agree with Mavros and Smooth Pilot
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhD View Post
I meant to put this on this forum but it ended up on the classic pattern forum.

I just read Tony Frackowiak's article in the December K-Factor. I totally agree that a quick way to get more folks active in Pattern is some rules changes. It has been obvious that other categories of RC have blossomed while Pattern has wilted. I say do anything to make the plane fly better. One is to allow gyros and number two is get rid of the box. I watch Mark Thomas practice IMAC with a 40% airplane and he is within 200 yards almost all the time. Guess what? Everyone can see it better. The pilot first, so he can fly it better, and the judges next so they can judge it better.

Jim O
Both flying without gyros and staying in the box are skills that need to be learned. Period. Now, flying a 40% plane is nice and easy to see, indeed. They do nothing to bring the cost of flying down, especially to a new pilot in Sportsman. The only rule change I would entertain is banning 2 meter planes in Sportsman. That does put pressure on new pilots who may be on a budget, and not even sure if they will want to compete.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:38 AM
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Well if your a purist, wouldn't you be running ballistic pattern with retracts, and .60's on a tuned pipe with an old school non-computerized radio? Because if you are flying a computer radio, then you have programming that is in fact flying that plane for you. You have ETA, and your servo throw controls, you have digital subtrims, you have flight modes and mixes. Not many guys flying high dollar planes these days are purists in the true sense of the word here, just saying. I'm all for allowing the gyro. What do you tell the guy like me that flies Graupner MZ-24 Pro radio with the gyro built into my receiver? I can't fly at your contest?
You still have to fly the maneuver regardless. It would make you smoother and accommodate the wind, but you still have 90 % of the other aspects?
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:25 AM
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Sure, add the gyro. While you are at it add a flight controller. Put in GPS and add in the ability to program your entire flight. Why even have a pilot if the plane can do everything by itself?

There is a world of difference between EPA and a Gyro.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:40 AM
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But...if you are a purest, then you dont need expo, endpoints, mixing etc. You should be precise in your building too and be able to adjust that out on the work bench.
We had this debate when adjustable stabs came into being, and people complained it wasn't fair that you could adjust a set screw and dial out a planes bad habits, and when they started allowing in-flight mixture control to your needle valve, that it gave you an unfair advantage, that you should set your needle on the ground and be stuck with whatever you had in the air.
Like it or not my friend, times are changing. After all, you either fly with AMA, or your part 107 now, no more rogue piloting whenever and where ever, and as those times have changed, so too should pattern.
As for me, I still refuse to fly electric pattern. I fly SPA, and enjoy it a lot better. I feel electrics have too much control. I wanna see you try be smooth as a baby's butt doing 120mph, doing turnarounds, retracts and all that, oh and land at 60mph and keep it on the centerline, wind or no wind.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:51 PM
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I think smaller planes for Sportsman and lower would be a big help. I fly SPA, but it's declining. I'd get into F3A, but the cost of admission is just too high. It looks like IMAC may be the next thing for me, but it's not as big as it once was either.
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:22 PM
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Don't be discouraged. Many, including myself, have won contests with affordable 60-65" wingspan planes. Second hand planes come up for sale all the time, for a fraction of their original cost.
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:42 PM
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As a new pattern pilot with only one contest under my belt it has always been the cost of admission (airplane price). Along with that is the cost of attending a contest. My closes contest is the one I attended is still a 2 1/2 hour drive. Most if not all contests are two day events which either you drive back and forth or make an overnight stay. At least in my neck of the woods that is the case. It may be different in your area. Maybe a few single day contests for sportsman and club would be in order. I'm thinking a single day would be easier to sell to a hosting club to give up "their field" for a day rather than a whole weekend.

The other factor is the intimidation factor. You show up, in my case, with a Pulse XT40 setting in the midst of $3000+ 2M ships and you think you don't have a chance. You aren't even considering you are in the "beginner class". So now you have yourself psyched out thinking you've wasted your time coming here and blew the entry fee....... OK so My first experience was not this bad as I used to compete in pylon racing back in the Quarter Midget days so I had a feeling of what to expect. BUT, this is what I felt at my first pylon race. No difference for a pattern contest and in fact I had some of that feeling.

So my suggestion for Club class and Sportsman would be to limit wingspan and or weight. Well maybe limit is to strong.... SUGGEST wingspan and weight limits. The weight limits should be a MINIMUM weight to discourage the super light weight models. IMO the 2M ships are very fragile. We don't need that in club and sportsman. We need some ruggedness built in to withstand the mishaps that happen when flying. Maybe even to provide a list of suggested air frames. There are some fairly affordable "pattern" air frames on The World Models web site for those that want a "pattern" airplane.

As far as the sequences for club and sportsman I'm not sure what could be done to simplify them. Make sportsman too simple and the jump up to the next class is to big and you discourage pilots from trying to advance a level. I don't know what the answer is.

As long as I'm on the soap box... My opinion is the weight limit for pattern is ass backwards. The weight should be 11 pounds minimum, NOT maximum. Guys could still build 11 pound 2M planes but it gives the option of building with not so "exotic" materials maybe driving the cost down a bit... maybe... Everybody says excess weight is bad so a heavier plane is only going to hurt. Or is it????? OK, here is the big one.... Attitude. While I will have to say the guys I met at my contest were pretty nice I see some at that contest (well any contest for that matter) and more so in forums like this one that have the attitude you can only compete with a 2M air frame. You must run electric and you must have spent several thousand dollars. High dollar servos are always suggested, etc. Always the best of the best is suggested. REMEMBER we are trying to help the newbie get started here. I've been in the hobby long enough to know better. But the newbie might not. He or she will start adding up the cost and are never to be seen again. Heck even I am intimidated by the costs and therefore are always trying to get by on the cheap with used everything as that is what my budget allows.

OK, I just put my flame suit on so have at it! LOL

Ken

EDIT: Gyros, Limit them to Club and Sportsman classes only. Give the new guy a chance to fly nice. I see a club class pilot using one. That same pilot will start to use one in Sportsman but knows they will not be allowed next class up so will discontinue the use in prep of moving up a class.

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Old 01-12-2018, 07:53 AM
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Good comments, Ken.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:05 AM
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I never encourage a new person that is interested in pattern to buy a 2M plane to start with in sportsman. In fact, I competed in sportsman for the first season with a .60 size Stick and won or placed in every contest I flew in District 6. Any body that comes to me and wants to fly pattern will always get a recommendation of any .60 size plane that comes as an ARF or kit. One friend of my is planning to build a Sig Kougar which will make a fine Sportsman pattern plane. One of our local competitors flew the Super Kaos quite successfully in his first season. So well he decided to move up to Intermediate towards the end of the season with the same plane. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars to get started. My servos are only $40 to $60 each and I have used some of them for three years (going on four now) without problems. I have used the Tacon 160 motor in my Vanquish and an Episode and they only cost $65. You can get around the costs and like Gary mention above, used planes abound towards the end of the season. One of my Episode air frames only cost me $500 in the middle of last season and it got a Tacon and Castle Creations ESC. The batteries I use are only $40 each ($80 a flight pack) and last pretty much the whole season depending on how practice I get in between contests (I try to fly every day that the weather will let me). Forget the gyros and concentrate on flying techniques and practice, practice, practice. Everybody in District 6 is more than willing to answer questions, give advice, and suggest techniques to help newbies. I still get advice from the guys and I an starting my fifth year in competition. Work on getting coach that can fly with you and talk you through the mistakes and errors. You will see that you really do not need gyros.

Sheldon
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:50 AM
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If guys want to participate they will find a way to do so. All this complaining about what is wrong with pattern are just excuses IMO. It is only as expensive as you want it to be. The 2M airplane that I flew last season was only a 500.00 investment for me. There are a ton of airplanes out there that with some love can be brought back to life and flown in Sportsman or intermediate. I have listened to complaints ranging from cost, judging, personality conflicts and sequence difficulty. Cost can be controlled if you are willing to look for a good deal on a used airplane and spend some time on it. Judging is a hard pill to swallow at first but once you get familiar with it judging criteria is easier to understand. Personality conflicts happen in every aspect of our lives, as an adult you should know how to handle it. Be kind to people at all times and you would be amazed to see how many people will react in kind. Sequence difficulty, practice practice practice! Most guys are willing to mentor someone they see making a genuine effort. Key word GENUINE. Last time I offered to mentor someone he fought me the whole time. He wouldn't take the time to set up his airplane, he wouldn't commit to a practice schedule, he wouldn't listen to coaching during a flight. Bottom line is he wanted to fly Pattern but not put in the work. After 3 contests he convinced himself that his poor scores were because he was not well liked and he quit. Not too uncommon.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:07 PM
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Default Cost of RC Aircraft

A friend sent me a photo of his first airplane, a Piper TriPacer. I sent him the attached ad showing him my first RC aircraft. The Livewire Champ. Check the price.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:07 PM
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Ah yes, but how much was a radio? I seem to recall in 1973 my dad bringing home a new Kraft 5 channel and my mom repeating " 450 dollars?" For a few hours.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie View Post
Ah yes, but how much was a radio? I seem to recall in 1973 my dad bringing home a new Kraft 5 channel and my mom repeating " 450 dollars?" For a few hours.
This was 1955 and as we were purists we built our own radios. My receiver used a 3V4 vacuum tube and a relay that weighed more than a modern day receiver. I had enough weight in batteries to power a modern electric airplane. A 67.5 volt plate supply, two C cells for filaments and 2 D cells for the escapement. And this got you rudder only. Not proportional either. Push a button once and hold for right and twice for left.

Those were the days.

Jim O

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Old 01-12-2018, 10:51 PM
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I don’t think adding gyros into pattern will help it grow but i it sure wouldn’t hurt it either. The biggest thing has been pointed out already, folks show up to a contest as a first time or first year participate and compete against a 2m pattern ship and or a contra version of that 2m ship.
While I think it is great folks dive in head first it in the same aspect scares folks away. It in my opinion would be beneficial if we could split up sportsman and intermediate into 2 sub classes, class A would be the 70 size type models, and class B would be the larger 2m ships. I feel this would draw people to come and fly the planes they have and own and just have a good time.

Another thing I’d like to see is more flights for the lower classes, I feel it could be beneficial to fly 2 sequences per flight or just more flights. This is the best way to learn is in front of judges and getting over the nerves that come with the contest. I think it would be possible to fly 4 rounds even doing the double sequences and you could then have a single day contest for the people who cannot be away from home for the entire weekend.

Andrew
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy91 View Post
I don’t think adding gyros into pattern will help it grow but i it sure wouldn’t hurt it either. The biggest thing has been pointed out already, folks show up to a contest as a first time or first year participate and compete against a 2m pattern ship and or a contra version of that 2m ship.
While I think it is great folks dive in head first it in the same aspect scares folks away. It in my opinion would be beneficial if we could split up sportsman and intermediate into 2 sub classes, class A would be the 70 size type models, and class B would be the larger 2m ships. I feel this would draw people to come and fly the planes they have and own and just have a good time.

Another thing I’d like to see is more flights for the lower classes, I feel it could be beneficial to fly 2 sequences per flight or just more flights. This is the best way to learn is in front of judges and getting over the nerves that come with the contest. I think it would be possible to fly 4 rounds even doing the double sequences and you could then have a single day contest for the people who cannot be away from home for the entire weekend.

Andrew

Good points! Am I correct that IMAC flies two sequences per round? One upwind and one downwind? Fuel plane shouldn't have an issue with time flying two sequences,electric might but I know next to nothing about electric. Sub classes would add no time to the overall event. It still takes "X" time to fly a sequence. Adding a second sequence while in flight would take very little extra time and may in fact speed up the contest a bit. You would half the number of take offs and landings which can take considerable time.

Ken
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:31 AM
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My club holds two pattern contests a year, one of them being a one day contest. Another club 2 hours away also holds a one day contest. Neither contest draws more participation. In fact some guys state that they won't make a 6 or 8 hour drive for just 4 rounds of flying.

Sportsman rules state that any Airplane under the AMA 55 lb limit can fly. I have seen some IMAC guys bring their giant scale airplanes. They had no real advantage. IMO in Sportsman you have one guy flying a well dialed in Kaos and one guy flying an Allure, the Kaos could very well end up being the winner. Regardless of what airplane you have, it still needs to be flown.

I would love to see more participation. I don't think that changing the format is the way to do it. The guys that we need to bend over backwards to attract are not guys that are going to stick with it. We need more and better ambassadors of pattern. We need guys that will mentor other club members that may be interested. IMO if we convince a guy with a well flying sport airplane to enter a contest and then stick with him and he experiences some success then we have a potential new pattern guy. We just can't expect new guys to just show up.

How does the average Joe R/C pilot even hear about pattern? When I was learning to fly in the late 1970's I lived for those days when the new R/C modeler or Model Aviation magazine would show up. Especially MA since it had contest results listed in the pattern section. I forget who did the writing but sometimes it would list what airplane, engine, pipe, prop and radio combination guys were flying. There hasn't been a pattern forum in that magazine for years now.

No sir, the answer to gaining more participation is not changing our format or equipment. It's promoting out little sport of pattern like we used to do way back when. Jim surely remembers the days of 75 guys showing up for a contest, I do.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:58 PM
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Interesting thread on gyros after Tony F. posted his article in the NSCRA mag. At first I didn't have much of an opinion good or bad until: a few weeks back I was flying on a windy gusty Sat afternoon when a fellow club member shows up with a ARF P-51 BNF 45 size plane and proceed to fly the most impressive smooth flight in windy conditions I've seen from a small plane. He lands and I ask what plane he's flying and I want one!! LOL. His response - I was not really flying that smooth the built in gyro makes it look that good !!!! Soooo, all I know is if gyros are allowed in pattern everyone will be forced to have one or go home because the playing field has now changed.
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:15 PM
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Shawn (speedracerntrxie),

I agree mostly with both of your posts and especially this:

"If guys want to participate they will find a way to do so"

"... the answer to gaining more participation is not changing our format or equipment. It's promoting out little sport of pattern like we used to do way back when".

I don't go as far back of many of you. I didn't start flying pattern until the 1990s. I encountered a lot of problems (many that were my fault), but with the willingness to stick with it and the help of a lot of my fellow pattern flyers I was able to fly a sequence (without crashing anyway).

I realize that there are a lot of different opinions being posted on this thread and their intent is the same: to increase participation in pattern. So please continue, I think that there are some interesting ideas being proposed.
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:27 AM
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Pattern promotion is the only way we can get new pilots involved. Some pilots have told me that flying pattern is boring because you just do the same maneuvers over and over again, but strangely, that same flyer will go out and fly a race track orbit with an occasional loop or roll thrown in. Go figure. If anybody comes up to me at the flying field and asks about the plane or the flying I am doing will get a lot of encouragement to try and fly a pattern sequence and all the coaching I can give. I fly nearly every weekday (weather permitting) and I am willing to help anyone that is interested. I fly at Scobee Field in Houston and Ft. Bend RC club in Rosenberg. I will be glad to get with anybody on Saturday or Sunday if they will give me a call to schedule a get together, although the fields get a little crowded on weekends. I know several pattern flyers at Space City in Katy, Texas that would be glad to help newbies as well as several in other clubs on the north side of Houston. You may have to look a little bit to find someone, but I cannot remember anybody that I compete with in the greater Houston area that would not be willing to help. It just takes a decent sport plane and the willingness to invest the time to learn and practice.

Sheldon
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy91 View Post
I don’t think adding gyros into pattern will help it grow but i it sure wouldn’t hurt it either. The biggest thing has been pointed out already, folks show up to a contest as a first time or first year participate and compete against a 2m pattern ship and or a contra version of that 2m ship.
Andrew
A Home Run statement.
If the pattern community namely the NSRCA doesn't explore other options to consider putting on the table the membership will continue in the down wind cycle. If it takes Foam ARF's with AS3X or gyros I'm all for it if it will help resurrect the sport. What difference would it make if any or ALL were allowed to use flight assisted devices. It's entirely up to the pilot to activate the system. If the entire community was allowed to them the best and better pilots would still prevail.
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