REVIEW OF SEMINAR ON FUTURE OF F2C HELD DURING LANDRES 2000
From: Derek Heaton July, 2000
Following a fair amount of talk through the C/L racing group on the need to slow down F2C racing I offered to chair a discussion on the subject during the C/L World Championships event at Landres.
After a brief introduction the meeting was thrown open for any comments:-
Some participants were strongly opposed to any change whilst others were seeking significant changes to make the models slower as they felt that the event was getting beyond their capabilities * and a third group felt that only minor changes were necessary.
Comments made were:
We should remember that the existing rules were formulated when models were much slower, there is no reason to believe that changing the rules to slow the models down will detract from the enjoyment of the contest between teams.
Stricter jury required that concentrates on things that negatively affect the other pilots, eliminating ( by 3 quick warnings) these pilots would make them change their style.
The event is becoming too fast to jury to a consistently high standard. Competitors need to understand that it takes a finite time to get a decision from a 3 man jury as the Jury Guide requires 2 jury members to be in agreement and for the 3rd member not to disagree. During this time interval other things can and do happen but the jury can only deal with 1 thing at a time. Perhaps we should reduce to a 2 man jury to speed up the decision process.
Changing to a system of taking the best 2 heat results from the 3 rounds as the qualification for the semi-finals would make the pilots fly in a more controlled manner.
More onerous noise restrictions are likely in the relatively short term future (say less than 5 years), these could be effectively combined with speed reductions by limiting the engine timing and having a stated minimum propeller diameter: – lower engine revs = lower airspeeds. This could be a more practical way than defining a canister type silencer requirement.
Reintroduce the builder of the model rule. The reasoning here is that it is the availability of topline models and engines that can be purchased by relatively inexperienced teams that is causing many of the problems, if teams had to build their own models they will gain experience as their modelling improves instead of jumping in immediately at the fast end. One of the practical problems with this idea is how could it be checked accurately at processing.
Several suggestions for directly reducing the model speeds were made:
It was clear from the above that there are s many differing views on the need for future changes as the number of people at the meeting!
My own personal review of the seminar is very similar to that of Jean Paul Perrett when he commented that a better title for the seminar would have been F2C now - since most comments appeared to be initiated by the thought “how can I continue to fly in the event”! together with the noticeable absence of many of the more experienced teams. At the risk of stepping on a few toes there was very little evidence to me of putting the event before personal interests. This should not intended as a criticism of the efforts everyone took to take part in the discussion I certainly feel that the event was worth holding and I personally gained a lot from all the comments made. It may well be the case that when a large part of the current competitors retire ( and there is no doubt that the average ages of the teams is increasing) that the event fades away but surely we should not just sit back and allow this to happen by apathy. We owe it to future modellers to try our best to pass on a viable, vibrant contest that has given all of us great pleasure over the years.
I believe very strongly that some changes are necessary now and that these will improve the contest. However I also believe that it would be totally wrong to significantly slow the event down as this will lead to a large drop in the current level of participation and hence a lot of the interest and competitors would disappear from future World Championships. I saw nothing wrong during the semifinals at this years World Champs –the racing was exciting, fast and safe, exactly as it should be. It is only in the heats where the mix of inexperience and fast models can cause problems –this is the issue that we need to address. All of us, individually, must accept that our time in F2C is transient and that at some stage it will be time to retire from this particular class of competition. This need not be the end of our involvement though – there is always a shortage of experienced organisers and (dare I say it- Jury members) plus other racing events to participate in and newcomers/youngsters to work with and encourage.
For me F2C must remain an event that comprises 3 models racing against each other as fast and furiously as can be safely handled and juried in a fair manner. The current speeds of the quickest models needs to be reduced slightly now to achieve this aim on a regular basis, we cannot wait a further 5 years when speeds will be even higher and pilots older! We heard at the seminar from one of our most experienced Jury members that it is becoming very difficult to judge the event accurately and swiftly enough to retain the necessary safety margins, having also observed the event from the jury tower on several occasions I fully support his view.
If the event is to progress into the future then we all need to start now with a structured approach that can be developed in detail when necessary to fit into the CIAM permitted rule change timetable.
Pitmen are not permitted to lie down in the circle to retrieve their models. The risk of serious injury from a landing or taking off model is not acceptable. * Paint an inner pilots ring at 2.0m radius as an aid to pilot orientation in the centre.
The engines allowed in this class should be standard F2C engines with stated maximum venturi sizing and minimum propeller diameters to limit the speeds. Both of these are simple changes that would not force newcomers into F2C into large expensive engine changes. * All races should be 3 up –( sorry Andy Sweetland this is where I disagree with your otherwise excellent STR rules) we need to ensure that the pilots have the ability to gain experience in close 3 up racing before they arrive at a World Championships because they will not be able to gain that experience during a major championship. * Individuals then need to recognise that they have a personal responsibility to gain sufficient experience in racing in this event before attempting a F2C World Championships. A natural follow on could then be that National associations require teams to have achieved a certain standard in this class before being allowed to represent their country at a World championships. This puts the responsibility back where it can be practically applied, I do not believe that we can ever accept a position where pilots are seeded by the W/Champs organisers or Juries. If you think about it this is what happens in other sports, we would all like to drive a Formula 1 car but we are not allowed to because we do not have the proven ability and experience.
Step 2 (within the next 5 years)
At least one of these options is going to be necessary at some stage. Unfortunately the introduction of either will inevitably result in a percentage of the then current competitors leaving the event – they will not be prepared to make such a step change on either financial or time restraint reasons.