Great time tonight at the annual ETOC. We had a great time and so much to see old friends and make new ones.
Great time tonight at the annual ETOC. We had a great time and so much to see old friends and make new ones.
Some additional pictures...
Standings as of 3rd round), great crowd and, well, ETOC most famous pilot wall of fame.
Good Luck Don
The event ETOC has been as always a real bar-raiser. Most of the top flyers were using VPP with thrust vectoring. I spoke to RJ and imitation is the purest form of flattery- with regard to his signature inverted flat backwards spin. Now imagine the plane doing a flat spin except its moving backwards rather than forwards. Sorry you have to see it on video to understand. The problem is when your competitors refine the maneuver. Gernot did both an inverted and uprigth flat backwards spin.
Joseph has invented a few very unique maneuvers but did not use them in the competition. Joseph is flying Gernot's winning airplane from last year. It has thrust vectoring (right and left) but not VPP. He started flying this plane on Monday and I'll tell you what he has a fast learning curve I was astonished at how well he flew. He also borrowed Mike Hubbard's backup F3P plane and flew that in the competition with one flight to trim/get used to the setup like an hour before the contest started last night. That one really astonished me.
Christophe (from Germany) and Gernot's planes were the smoothest and slowest. Gernot used a contra-rotating propellor which had the most constant flying speed of any F3P plane I have ever seen. Christophe (from Germany) got a similar (but not quite as slow constant speed as Gernot's) through feather light weight.
Some more updates and blogging shortly.
Dave Lockhart let me fly his Donatus' designed plane after the contest last night. He let me flex (try to flex) the ailerons. They were probably as stiff as if they were made out of 1/4 inch plywood, but lighter than 2 mm standard foam. He uses very small (I don't recall how many mils) carbon fiber tubes (these are like micro-sized carbon fiber cylinders). The truss bracing was really a work of engineering masterpiece. A real case study for those Mechanical engineering students out there. Anyway I got some flying time on it with the 65C Duralite battery and the plane flew extremely well. Its like as light as a (stock) F3P model- and flies that light, but no flex anywhere so the snap rolls are crisp and knife edge loops are straight with no deviation from the track.
Ryan Clark was flying extremely well as always. His freestyle was well choreographed and he had some solid known sequences last night.
Seth Arnold flew well also and will be in contention to win. Remember I talked about imitation and flattery? One of the new maneuvers this year is the "vertical knife edge". Basically its like an elevator (plane come down almost vertically on its side). Seth has the best one. Its a secret combination of rudder inputs, just the right amount of idle on the motor, light weight and of course an aft CG helps...
Lets see who else- yes Devon McGrath. He is flying very solid and expect he will be in the running as well. He and RJ have a lot of the same types of setups on their planes. They are both flying (Joseph flew one as well) the Scott Bernhart design. I think I counted 6 or 7 of his planes being flown by competitors. He is a big name for ETOC designs this year.
Speaking of RJ, the ailerons on his plane allow for some really nice control. When he does his rolls and deflects his ailerons, its almost as if his wing dissapears. RJ is flying one of the older motors, which has a tremendous amount of power but he "updated" it by milling out a lot of the metal which lightens the motor significantly.
Mike Hubbard flew extremely well and was right on the bubble (7th place as of the 3rd round).
AC Glenn had some very unique never seen before tricks. Basically he had some exteme flaperons with opposite elevator mix (or, down flaps, down elevator mix). When I say extreme its like the plane is flying full throttle forward but the nose is pointed down like 30 degrees. Then he put in knife edge and the plane was flying sideways in knife edge- when I say sideways its hard to even define that. Its like it was in knife edge but was flying like sideways in pitch. It reminds me of the dorsals they put on the F-16 then had to take them off because the pilots could not keep up with all the g's.
Well, time to get ready to head over to the show. I'll see if I can snap some pictures and provide some special interest stories. This evening is going to be exciting with the finals for ETOC and "X game" type of competition. I saw the square, oval and rectangular hoops (which I'm sure the planes will be expected to fly though). This is going to be fun.....
Today was exciting. Here are some pictures of the Toledo show. MIG as scale as scale can be. Check out that metallic finish on that Canadian jet.
Several have asked about my instructional video that covers setup of aircraft and learning for IMAC but also applies to Pattern trimming and learning unknown sequences. Propwash Video is selling my RC AEROBATICS VIDEO at the show- stop by the booth to pick one up.
Yes Joseph tells me he needs to have some of those RC AEROBATICS VIDEO Sales for the cash to pay for the EX GAMES results, or shall I say carnage....
OK so imagine this you start from this table..... take off!
Then you race to the first rectangular hoop to fly through- in knife edge.
Then you fly through the next one at 45 degee knife edge. Then around the pole 3 times with several snipers shooting at your plane from the balcony. Then fly through a hoop with a fan blowing air in that immediate vicinity. Then around three pylon poles, above, below and above three limbo poles. Then torque roll under a hoop around another pole three more times with some more (better looking ) snipers shooting (thanks Mike Hubbard for assising in Joseph's defense and firing back). THen through three more square and diagonal hoops, touch and go on the next table (aircraft carrier) and then torque roll (or just pick up the pieces and throw them) into a trash can at the end of the course. Joseph got best time in prelims I had to catch my breath to keep up with him jogging. in the finals however Joe's rudder got jammed and he had to fly his plane in knife edge for the remaining leg of obstacles.
Seth won the award for best show- or shall I say team event with Devin running through the obstacles with the remains in his hands (seeing him go through the hoola hoop was the best). Remains.... well they made it nicely into the trash can...
Jamie Hicks- pictured- got runner up prize money and trophie. Ryan Clark won the EX Games (with a few "tosses" from Frank Noll and an "assisted goal")... fun to watch and definitely a crowd pleasing event.
Getting a bit ahead. However, here are some pictures from the competition. Congratulations to Gernot for winning his third ETOC. I watched all the flights and I tell you what he was on. Devin McGrath put in a smoking final freestyle flight to clinch 2nd place and RJ finished a strong third. Seth was like a few points out of third- very close and consistent scoring.
Some pictures from the show. Dragon thrust jet. Good talking to Mike McConville, Quique, John and Danny. Very nice JR and Spektrum radios. The DX18 was particularly white-hot based on the level of interest from the crowd gathered around that radio.
Very nice to talk to Dave Johnson, Tony Russo and Brian at Desert Aircraft engines. These are some extremely fine engines and Dave Johnson's passion is as strong as ever for delivering high quality products and services. Really interesting talking to him about the magnesium casing engine for the DA 200M. Talk about high technology for the most demanding competitor. Joseph's dream is a DA 150 classic with a blue anodized case- He recalled the 1999 engine from all the TOC videos he memorized.
Great talking to so many folks. Toledo is such a big show to get caught up with great people
That electric B17 was incredible. Some more pictures.... Great show we hope to make it back next year.
It being Sunday morning and stuff, I could not help but put together my thoughts.
Last night during the opening ceremonies of the ETOC, a gentleman gave a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. I was sitting next to Seth Arnold's dad and we got to talking about the national anthem. Now, you have to understand I've spent a lot of time in Baltimore, MD recently and was having lunch at the Rusty Scupper- one of the best restaurants in Baltimore inner harbor. I happen to notice something that looked like a crane sitting in the middle of the harbor, which looked quite the eyesore. I inquired to the waiter about the item and he indicated that it was a dredging rig. Now I had to explain to my kids what dredging is (Joseph had to learn this term when he was putting together his 6th grade science fair project last month). So the waiter tells me they are dredging the inner harbor in preparation for this big event in June. He says there will be hundreds of ships sailing into the inner harbor to celelbrate the 200 year anniversary of the Battle of 1812 (actually the battle of Baltimore harbor took place in 1814) and they have to make room for some of the larger vessels. In any event, lets go back a couple of hundred years and imagine how the British felt when we sided with the French (or at least attempted to remain neutral). After the British ended that war they decided to come on over here and give us a drubbing. After burning Washington DC (to include the White House) they moved their fleet up to Baltimore to do some more punishment. Well, Baltimore at that time of our country's history was one of the most important ports we had. You see all the coal from Pennsylvania and grain came by rail right up to the Baltimore harbor and, well, for goodness sake we were feeding those French and all... so up comes Ross (if I remember his name correctly) with his fleet to plunder Baltimore but wait, a Major (I believe he was a Major) named Armistead (I believe a related to who became later either his son or relative, a famous general Armistead from the battle of Gettysburg) who said no way. He got about a thousand men and piled into the fort called Fort McHenry.
Now, there was this Washington DC lawyer- a young whipper snapper sharp young guy who had a buddy (or such) that was captured on one of the ships in the British fleet. Now he went up to the fleet with a truce ship
To Be continued....
So this young lawyer named Frank Key sailed over to the British ships and after some gracious complements on the power of their fleet, and pleading his case that his buddy really treated the British well and is an honorable man, he negotiated the release of his buddy. One catch though... Ross said wait- you stay put right here, because I don't want you tipping off that Armistead and those other people we want to plunder in Baltimore. Stay and watch the show tonight. Enjoy the show.
Now, I'm sitting at the ETOC last night as a spectator, wanting to get into the competition, right in the mix of it- but am resigned to just spectate. It was just a glimpse of the awe inspiring display of piloting going on- all I can do is cheer on the pilots and watch the show.
So Francis Scott Key did not sleep that much that night the bombardment took place all night. When the sun rose, well... here it goes....
In you best British Accent, imaging the British sailors asking:
Say, can you see? (by the dawn's early light)
Now, as I like to do, lets back up some to the day/evening before.
Armistead had two flags for the fort- a small storm flag and a huge flag like 30 feet by 50 feet in size, that some of the ladies in downtown sewed together. He had the storm flag up the evening before (pardon if all my details are not accurate I'm going from memory).
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
to be continued some more after I look up ramparts.
Definition: rampart is a type of defensive wall.
In other words, get your bloody head down.
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Now, what in the world is a rocket? Well, I did some checking and these puppies were like 6 feet long and guided using a stick. They remind me of bottle rockets on steroids. Like mega steroids. When these puppies went off I'm sure they screamed overhead. Although not very accurate, they had a reputation of creating terror. Kind of like the V2's over Britain during WWII. ANd those bombs bursting. Picture yourself as one of the hundreds of troops up against the back walls of the moat (reported to be dry at that point) which surrounded the inner walls of the fort. You look up and see a direct his on one of the gun emplacements, killing the poor souls up there. Just keep your head down. Yes, bombs bursting in air. To the tune of about 1200 bombs bursting in the course of that night. Forget about sleep, I'd be afraid to freaking move.
Ok back to the truce ship. Frank here is thinking- man those guys are taking a beating- but based on the fact that the just keep on shelling and shelling, well they must not have surrendered yet- if there is anything left of that fort or any living soul in it......
So now lets get back on track again, its now morning. Misty morning. and what the bloody is that....
Get out your best British accent again..
"Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave?" Bloody man- look at the bloody thing. Frank at is point is thinking, "In your face". (you guessed it, Armistead put out the monster flag and trust me it was waving like none other).
We're out of hear! We lost Ross yesterday to a sniper in the ground landing and attempted invasion around to the right in an attempt to bypass the fort. Lets get reloaded and head down to New Orleans and pound them there (another story for another day).
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
OK...OK... I made it a bit entertaining, but its my story telling and I'm sticking to it. Joseph's pseudo history lesson for the day since I promised (at Tony's prompting) as his was out of school on excused absence on Friday. Ok what does this have to do with Sunday?
So I went back to the Scupper in Baltimore for dinner another evening recently, shared the story above, and was sitting across from a guy who knows what he is talking about. Like he saw Sudam's flintstone houses (he build for his grandkids after killing their fathers ((his daughter's husbands after they tried an unsuccessful coup back in the '90s)). You can imagine where he's been over the last 10 years. Like he's been in the thick of it. So he asks me, "Do you know the rest of the National Anthem?" I replied that, "Well I recall it was evangelical in nature". Somewhat, so here it goes the last stanza:
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave
So, short story long, that was a very fine National Anthem sung to open up the ETOC last night.
Have a great day guys!
I had put up some videos- short but may give you a flavor of the folks staring at the crash video at Werner's booth, the cutting tool for foam in action, and the crowd around the DX18.
I had a really good discussion with Christoph Lausberg from Germany. When I complemented him on his smooth constant speed flight, he commented that the criteria for F3P in Europe, was 50% of the weighted score toward smoothness and gracefulness with constant speed being an objective criteria for smoothness and gracefulness (sound familar to the new F3A?). That explains why both he and Gernot were flying planes that, by most all accounts, seemed constant speed slower and smoother. Now, Dave walked up and I asked him, "How many F3P contests are there in the US?" ...well, one (KIEF) and a few informal ones (Dave mentioned there may be one in TX sometime in the future). So Europe is much more mature than US with regard to sequence flying. Judging standards are that of F3A or IMAC here in the U.S. I admit when I judged an ETOC finals round last year I looked at radius segments, lines between rolls, entry and exit altitude on center maneuvers, geometry and the usual stuff. Faster flights actually scored better to me because the planes appeared crisper, and held lines better. Riley used that technique this year. However, it is hard to define lines in F3P because of the low ceilings of most flying (or in the case of pilots- practice sites).
In any event, good food for thought. With the level of indoor interest its just a matter of structuring some F3P events around other shows or events. We appreciate the KIEF experience- hopefully that will come back (maybe at another location).
Here are a few "sound bite" video links from Toledo. Not enough to give you the feel as though you were there, but nontheless here they are.... Cheers.... Spektrum DX18, Propwash video booth, foam cutting tool (this thing is neato)...