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Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Old 12-23-2007, 09:35 PM
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Default Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Is there any significant organized electric pylon racing here or abroad?

I've seen some threads about specific electric planes usable for pylon racing (like the Slipso400 and the Adrenaline Rush), but have not found much about where or how they are actually raced - whether it's on the same courses and general procedures and rules as glo-racers, or in completely different formats.

I got wind of some electric pylon racing in New Zealand, but have not found much about it other than they fly electrics on the same courses as glo-planes, using the same procedures, etc.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

I got interested in this when a local former glo-pylon racer developed a Bluecor electric pylon racer and a set of club racing procedures and rules for some intra-club contests he hopes to get organized for 2008. I started looking around to see what's currently happening in electric pylon racing and did not find much online.

Thanks!
Jim
Old 12-23-2007, 11:09 PM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Jim;

There doesn't seem to be much electric pylon racing activity that I know of. I'd like to see more of this type of racing.

Don Stegall of RCPro http://www.rcpro.org/html/rules/electric_p-51/rules.htm has proposed a small electric racing class. I have seen this plane fly at a little race for GWS warbirds that I ran a year ago last October in central Florida. We ran a short 330 foot 2-pole course, according to the AMA rulebook. Since then, I've moved away from Florida and now live near Nashville TN.

Last summer I did talk to someone in your area about pylon racing and that person told me something about electric pylon racing in your area. I wonder if it was you that I had talked to then.

I'd be interested in your rules and your races. Is this "Bluecor" board you mentioned the blue fan-fold styrofoam insulation board sold at places like Lowes and Home Depot that is about 3/16" to 1/4" thick? What power do you propose, etc.

I would suggest that fly your proposed class on a standard AMA course using a format and procedures similar to what AMA suggests. Use a course size appropriate to the speed and power of your planes.

See: http://www.modelaircraft.org/events/...C%20Racing.pdf


Doug Bebensee
Old 12-24-2007, 12:11 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

F5D is quite popular in Europe. About as many fly it in the USA as F3D. They fly the standard FAI pylon course. They fly about as fast as Q40s. The worlds are in the Ukraine this summer. Troy Peterson, Dan Kane and Travis Flynn are on the USA team. Gary Freeman is the alternate.

Denis
Old 12-24-2007, 09:13 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

There is not a lot of organized electric racing in the US. There is some racing in California, San Diego in particular.

The electric racing class that Doug provided the link to has a lot of potential. The airplanes go together easily, and fly pretty nicely. They are not for beginners however. I actually sold 4 in one day at the race at Firetower Flyers in Greenville, SC on 12-15. I think we will be doing some racing with them in 2008. The E194 with the geared motor has been superceeded by the [link=http://www.airborne-models.com/html/productdetails.asp?ProductID=112]E194B P-51 Mustang - EP ( Brushless)[/link]. And it has the same motor as the [link=http://www.airborne-models.com/html/productdetails.asp?ProductID=96]Voodoo Mustang EP[/link].

The airframe is the same for both planes. The Voodoo just has a different canopy. The stock motor is not a powerhouse, but it gets the job done at a really nice price. The ARF kits come with the motor and replacement motors are just $25.

A 3 cell 2100 mAh LiPo battery is perfect for these planes. And any 25 amp brushless ESC will do, as they only pull about 20 amps depending on the prop used. AirBorne has a TWM 25 amp ESC for only $33.

They come with a folding propeller. But I switch out the spinner for the 1.5" The World Models plastic spinner and use an APC 9x6E prop.

The only issue for racing is battery replacement. You have to take the wing off to change the battery. That means taking off the scoop. But that is only 1 screw plus the 2 wing bolts. I actually cut the covering away from a lightening hole in the fuselage just in front of the wing. I can then connect the battery to the ESC, or charge the battery without taking the wing off.

If you only fly a 10 lap heat and then land, you might not even have to charge the battery for the second heat. They will fly for 10-15 minutes at full throttle.

If you have an questions about this plane or racing class, please feel free to ask away. I have one set up and I have a lot of experience with the plane.

Oh, one more thing. The wheels that come with the plane are not suitable for grass fields. They are only 1.5" or so in size. I replaced mine with 50mm wheels from a TWM J-3 Cub EP and taking off of grass is now no problem. The 50mm wheels are available from AirBorne Models for $3.30 a pair. AirBorne also has a great 3 cell 2100 mAh LiPo battery wired for balancing. It works great with the [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXMGS7&P=ML]Great Planes ElectriFly Equinox LiPo Cell Balancer 1-5[/link].

Technology has been a barrier for electric racing. This plane, along with the accessories mentioned is a great plug-n-play setup that any modeler can handle with just a little advice.
Old 12-24-2007, 09:43 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Doug:

Thanks!

I appreciate the link to the RCPro P51 electric racing class. I had not seen that interesting single-plane class!

Nashville is just about 2 hours from Huntsville, depending. Perhaps we can see you at a race this summer, perhaps many! Or at a NASF Sailplane TD event over at New Market if you're into sailplanes.

Yes, this is the fan-fold blue stuff from Lowes. Makes a very inexpensive, repairable, tough plane. And it's Blue unless you do something about that!

The plane I've seen is called the Blue Ray. with a 24 inch wingspan, 10 oz min. weight. The developer and organizing ramrod, Tim Batt, is proposing club racing quite different from the AMA 3- or 2-pylon glo-racing formats to reduce racing manpower requirements and to fit their flying field (Epps Field, a real airport!) His thinking so far is: Boat-race-type start, 100 feet between two pylons, count laps for 2 minutes, two classes: 2S and 3S power, no motor or prop limits, limit contestants to two LiPo packs and 1 charger, with 2-minute heats run every 15 minutes to keep the flying field level. Looks like fun to me!

I've practiced by myself some on a 100 foot course with a Diddlerod (3 oz!) and then with an Ultrafly Outrage biplane. That's a pilot's course as compared with an all-out-speed course. You can really see the pylons and the planes. It should be exciting!

Thanks so much, and hope to meet you this summer!
Jim Marconnet

ORIGINAL: dwbebens

Jim;

There doesn't seem to be much electric pylon racing activity that I know of. I'd like to see more of this type of racing.

Don Stegall of RCPro http://www.rcpro.org/html/rules/electric_p-51/rules.htm has proposed a small electric racing class. I have seen this plane fly at a little race for GWS warbirds that I ran a year ago last October in central Florida. We ran a short 330 foot 2-pole course, according to the AMA rulebook. Since then, I've moved away from Florida and now live near Nashville TN.

Last summer I did talk to someone in your area about pylon racing and that person told me something about electric pylon racing in your area. I wonder if it was you that I had talked to then.

I'd be interested in your rules and your races. Is this "Bluecor" board you mentioned the blue fan-fold styrofoam insulation board sold at places like Lowes and Home Depot that is about 3/16" to 1/4" thick? What power do you propose, etc.

I would suggest that fly your proposed class on a standard AMA course using a format and procedures similar to what AMA suggests. Use a course size appropriate to the speed and power of your planes.

See: http://www.modelaircraft.org/events/...C%20Racing.pdf


Doug Bebensee
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Old 12-24-2007, 11:58 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

The lekky guys in SoCal have some Sick fast models. Single blade carbon fiber props and stuff like that. 2 bills plus not even trying. Very cool stuff.

If my Voodoo makes it past my son we look forward to racing it this year.
Old 12-24-2007, 01:31 PM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Jim;

I am SO interested. I fly electrics now quite a bit - - anything from 100 Watt foamies to 400 Watt Q-500 type planes.

The "race-boat" start you mentioned sounds just like the "flying start" we use for our races here in Nashville and in Florida and elsewhere. I really enjoy that kind of start. With hand launched models, this type of start would be a logical method to use.

The race course size you propose should be about right for the planes you show. You're right, it should be a pilot's race rather than an all-out speed dash. It should be fun. You might find that after trying that short course for a while, that a longer one may be better. Try it first and see what happens.

That model you show looks like it would be cheap, easy to build, fairly durable, and a good flyer. A one design such as that is an excellent way to start out. I'm in. Let me know of your progress and keep us all posted on this forum and other forums.

I would suggest that you also correspond with Don Stegall about pylon racing. He is a strong proponent of entry level and other types of pylon racing.

Also, find out what next year's pylon schedule is (as it develops) so you don't hold races same day as another one relatively nearby. The Nashville races for next year haven't been set yet. Watch the sites http://www.mtrcs.com/ and http://www.mtrcca.org/ for race scheduling in and around Nashville. You will learn where other races are by perusing the various pylon discussion forums.

Doug Bebensee
Old 12-25-2007, 07:05 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Doug:

Thanks for the enthusiasm and the great suggestions and specific links.

Tim tells me that the Blue Ray wing is really tough! Ask him how he knows! :-) It is rubber-banded on, but not too tightly, and I'm sure that helps.

The one design suggestion has caught some local flack from pilots who bought other (balsa wood!) pylon plane kits (Slipso400 and Adrenaline Rush) some time ago, but who have not gotten them assembled, much less flying. The Blue Ray looks quick to get into the air, especially with Tim making some wings up for local sale. He made some glueing and sanding jigs that speed up that process a lot. He mentioned making up a dozen or so wings. If this takes off, then that dozen will be a drop in the bucket!

The start Tim uses is as follows:
Starts:
A designated starter shall be used for timing. Each race shall begin with a flying start. Pilots will have 30 seconds to launch airplanes. After 30 seconds time, a 10 second countdown will start. The time shall be called out by the starter 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-GO! Each pilot must time their crossing of the start finish line so that they do not cross the line before the GO call is given. If a plane crosses the line before the GO command is given, the pilot will receive a one lap penalty.

I'll certainly be watching the Nashville schedules as they are announced and will consider coming up to see one of your races this summer.

Merry Christmas!
Jim Marconnet
Old 12-25-2007, 10:03 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Jim;

The race starting procedure you described is just like the one we and others use for our "flying starts". Also, this type of start is like the Reno racers use. It is a lot of fun to fly in and a lot of fun to watch that kind of start.

I think the plans for your races are very sound. You should "stick to your guns" and proceed as planned. If you try to please everyone, you'll end up pleasing no one. Clearly formulate and settle upon your rules - - the earlier the better. One word of advice I'd like to give you after over 30 years in pylon racing is - - make sure your rules prevent cubic dollars from becoming a factor. The "any motor" rule might be a problem.

I would like plans (or a kit) for that plane ASAP. Like I said before, I'm in.

Doug Bebensee
Old 12-27-2007, 11:59 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Doug:

I love your term "Cubic Dollars"! That says a lot.

I've talked to Tim Batt a little about his thoughts on the rules set he is circulating for discussion. The open motor and open prop rules are to let people run whatever they have and/or what seems to work best for them. If they use a really expensive motor, yes, there could be a performance advantage. But then again they are risking more $$ when crashes occur. Tim pointed out to me that crashes are a When not an If.

Limiting a pilot to two (LiPo) packs and one charger is to equalize things. The guy with a little tiny light battery (plane still within the minimum weight limit, of course) may not be able to keep it charged sufficiently to go fast all the heats. And it may sag a lot under load. The guy with a huge pack may not ever need to charge it, but he pays a weight penalty. So there is a balancing act that will give pilots a lot of leeway to run what equipment they already have, instead of having to buy a specific set of motor, LiPos, etc. for this racing.
I just hope enough locals like it too to make it a great start in 2008.

Tim will be back focused on this some time early in 2008. I hope to catch up with him then.

Jim Marconnet

ORIGINAL: dwbebens

Jim;

The race starting procedure you described is just like the one we and others use for our "flying starts". Also, this type of start is like the Reno racers use. It is a lot of fun to fly in and a lot of fun to watch that kind of start.

I think the plans for your races are very sound. You should "stick to your guns" and proceed as planned. If you try to please everyone, you'll end up pleasing no one. Clearly formulate and settle upon your rules - - the earlier the better. One word of advice I'd like to give you after over 30 years in pylon racing is - - make sure your rules prevent cubic dollars from becoming a factor. The "any motor" rule might be a problem.

I would like plans (or a kit) for that plane ASAP. Like I said before, I'm in.

Doug Bebensee
Old 12-27-2007, 09:54 PM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

It looks like you guys are well on your way here, but I thought I'd provide a link to a local club that's been quite successful racing electric pylon racers over the last few years. Their turnouts are on the rise and they seem to have created a good set of rules to keep things competitive but allow for experimentation for those that choose to.

http://www.sracinc.com/electric_pylon_info.htm
Old 12-28-2007, 08:34 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Jerrett:

Thanks so much for the encouragement and the link to that wealth of info and experience. It does look like they are doing well in several different classes of pylon racing and having fun!

I was a little confused by the mixture of new and older information, but that's OK. They have a work in process!

One thing that occurred to me as I read thru all this was that it may be quite different getting something started from nothing as compared to simply adding a new class/event to an existing club/flying site/schedule. Neither Tim's current NARCA Club nor the RCRC club that he's going to talk to in January about his proposed sport pylon racing currently do any pylon racing at all.

Also, I noticed that at one time they apparently flew the electrics right with the glo-planes. But this year they won't do that. I'd love to see a short "lessons learned" on that experience!

Thanks again,
Jim

ORIGINAL: Jerrett

It looks like you guys are well on your way here, but I thought I'd provide a link to a local club that's been quite successful racing electric pylon racers over the last few years. Their turnouts are on the rise and they seem to have created a good set of rules to keep things competitive but allow for experimentation for those that choose to.

http://www.sracinc.com/electric_pylon_info.htm
Old 12-28-2007, 09:00 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

We have been kicking a lekky speed event around as part of our twice annual reedie race event. The Slipso has caught a few eyes as a candidate.
Old 01-23-2008, 08:24 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

A quick update:

NARCA has pretty well finalized the rules for the 2008 Electric Blue Ray Pylon Racing.

Full-sized Blue Ray plans are now available in .PDF format.

Three pylon races at the NARCA Epps field in Harvest, AL are scheduled for: 10 May, 26 July, 15 November 2008. See http://www.narca.net/ for more details as they are set.

A Blue Ray group build session has been set for Saturday February 16 in Harvest, AL. Tim has been making wings and cutting out fuselage Bluecor pieces, working towards having 20 kits available at that session to hot-glue together. It should be fun!

Tim has a big group equipment buy - all orders placed and most of it has come in. Some is being drop-shipped from China where he cleaned out the US suppliers!

I had a plans sheet printed out E-size and am already building mine. Actually two airframes, just in case!

We have not scheduled it, but we will have at least one practice race well before the first official race.

Tim talked to the Huntsville RCRC club about joining us as individuals and as a club racing event. Their 2008 schedule is already full. But there was discussion of having pylon racing as a sub-event at their 26 April Electric Fun Fly. See: http://rocketcityrc.com/ for more details as they are set.

dwbebens in Dixon, TN is building one to add to what I understand is an extensive fleet of pylon racers. I hope he can come down and race with us, perhaps bringing some friends. Who knows, might they schedule something at his home flying field?

We're off to a great start for electric pylon racing in 2008!
Old 01-23-2008, 03:25 PM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

We have an active Electric Pylon Racing Program here in Utah County. We hold races once a month from March to November. The rules state GWS Warbirds and GWS has been donating prizes for each event (3 GWS Kits). We have been racing 1/2 A's glow for 12 years or so and the addition, last year of an electric class has helped out getting enough people out to run a race each month. The Electrics have drawn anywhere from 12 to 20 pilots whereas the much faster Glow Class draws from 8 to 12. Here's a pic of one of my 1/2 A Glow racers and one of the GWS Warbirds. Come on out it's only a couple thousand miles and we do have a good time!
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:56 PM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Thanks, Mike for sharing that info. It took me just a few seconds to find your club website: http://www.utahvalleyaeromodelers.com/index.html There I found a wealth of info about these two classes of pylon racing and other great info as well. I love your newsletter, The Glitch!

It looks like an extremely successful program. Wish it was closer than a couple thousand miles to come race with you!

Thanks!
Jim

ORIGINAL: mikegordon10

We have an active Electric Pylon Racing Program here in Utah County. We hold races once a month from March to November. The rules state GWS Warbirds and GWS has been donating prizes for each event (3 GWS Kits). We have been racing 1/2 A's glow for 12 years or so and the addition, last year of an electric class has helped out getting enough people out to run a race each month. The Electrics have drawn anywhere from 12 to 20 pilots whereas the much faster Glow Class draws from 8 to 12. Here's a pic of one of my 1/2 A Glow racers and one of the GWS Warbirds. Come on out it's only a couple thousand miles and we do have a good time!
Old 02-04-2008, 07:14 PM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

I mentioned the Blue Ray earlier and our upcoming build session in February.

Tim shared some photos of the kits he's been putting together for that build session. 20 of them. Most all are spoken for!

Jim

PS: I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing how some of the guys with Blue Ray plans around the country and around the world do building and flying theirs.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:37 PM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

We did the group build session today and assembled 17 Blue Rays using precut Bluecor, special fixtures, and several hot-glue guns. Lots of happy pilots afterwards ready to install their equipment and go flying, perchance to pylon race!

I'm looking forward to seeing several of them in the air at a time so we can determine the pylon to pylon distance that works out well. We're thinking 100 feet for 2S and clearly a little longer for 3S.

Jim
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:31 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

NARCA is having a Swap Meet on Saturday March 8 in Harvest AL. More info at http://www.narca.net/ for those close enough to come to buy or sell or just dig thru the hobby goodies.

I decided to donate half of my table there to do a Blue Ray display. Will have full sized plans for sale at printing cost, free handounts of schedule and rules, several ready to race Blue Rays if I can get folks to bring theirs in, my practice pylons to attract some attention, etc.

It should help get the word out to more prospective spectators, pilots, and perhaps even another club or two to have their own pylon races.

I found a pretty good go-by flyer at: http://www.q500424.com/Documents/WIP...yer%202007.pdf If anyone knows of a better go-by handout, I'd appreciate a link to it or a copy emailed to me.

I made a Blue Ray logo suitable for a patch, and will use that somewhere in our display, along with photos I've taken and can get a hold of from other Blue Ray pilots from now till the swap meet. The logo can use a little work yet, but is a pretty good first-cut.

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:45 PM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Hey Doug Bebensee:

I hear you got your Blue Ray together and flying.

When you get it sorted out. please drop back in and give us some Blue Ray trimming and flying and even racing tips!

Thanks,
Jim Marconnet
Old 02-26-2008, 09:21 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Jim;

I'll do that, as soon as the weather co-operates.

Doug Bebensee
Old 03-07-2008, 07:15 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Doug and all!

Speaking of the weather cooperating..... I'm ready to have a Blue Ray Pylon Racers promotion table at the NARCA http://www.narca.net/ Madison County Swap Meet tomorrow Saturday in Harvest, AL. But would you believe it? 2-3 inches of snow is forecast for tonight/tomorrow. We almost never get any measurable snow around here.

Jim
Old 03-07-2008, 12:11 PM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Jim;

I finally got a chance to fly my Blue Ray in decent weather conditions.

I flew it with a 2s 1320 mah battery. The entire plane weighed 11.8 oz. If flew great. I tried to simulate a 100' course, but it was difficult to keep it on such a small course.

I found a couple things. One is that it doesn't like to be "yanked" around a corner too hard. A sweeping turn is better. Another, and more important thing, is to not over-bank into a turn. It seemed to be best to bank about 70-80 degrees and sweep around the turn. This keeps the speed up. Also, when you over bank a little (near or past 90 degrees), AND a wind gust bumps-in a little more bank, you can be heading for the ground in a hurry - - believe me, I know!

I found a procedure for getting around such a short course that seems to work fairly well. Bank about 70-80 degrees and then "pull" elevator around the turn. But, don't turn quite 180 degrees, turn maybe 130-150 degrees. Then reduce bank to about 15-20 degrees and fly the "straight-a-way" in a shallow arc. Then bank back up to 70-80 degrees for the next turn and repeat. The pace is very fast, so stay high and bail out and go wide if you have to.

It is one of the easiest planes to hand launch I've ever had. It is also easy to land, as it slides along it's belly so nicely.

The speed with 2 cells is quite brisk, especially when you try to keep it on the short 100' course. I very well would imagine that with a 3 cell battery it would be way to fast for that course.

I did have to trim (bend) the rudder a tiny bit in order to get the plane to track nicely through the turns. A few clicks of down trim and a few clicks of aileron trim were all that were needed.

All in all, I'm impressed with how this simple little plane flies. I'm looking forward to racing with you guys.

Doug Bebensee
Old 03-08-2008, 07:19 PM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

Doug:

Thanks so much for that update and great advice on setting up and flying the Blue Ray.

We had the Madison County Swap Meet today. I had a Blue Ray display just to the left of the NARCA club membership table, and I talked to a lot of folks about them, passed out individual handouts and a club handout with the plans in .PDF on CD. Had full-sized plans printed out and available for just the cost of printing. Hopefully we found some more racers and eventually some more clubs to host races.

I'm looking forward to meeting you when you come down. Any other racers up there building a BR yet?

Jim
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:00 AM
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Default RE: Where, if anywhere, is electric pylon racing?

I recently maidened, repaired, and then re-maidened my Blue Ray yesterday.

I had some technical difficulties the first time, but I seem to have gotten past them with some help from my friends!

This time I flew 5.5 minutes and landed safely, as compared to the first maiden of about 5 seconds and a hard landing that broke the nose off!

This plane is a handful for me. Hopefully with a few more flights I'll get much more comfortable with it and will be able to keep it in close. Yesterday it tended to get away from me fast, and to get small and tough to determine orientation Fast! My color scheme did not work out as well as I hoped, so I added a large purple triangle (not shown in the photo) on the the bottom of the right wing. Hope that helps!

I built a carrying and wing setup tray from a table grapes shipping styrofoam box. It's not pretty, but it works well.

Jim
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