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Asia Pacific F3C Open
American Adventure
JR Challenge 2004
How to setup your rotorhead
9Z for Dummies
3D Downunder
Victorian F3C Champs
Visit to Model Engines
Flying the Fury Tempest FAI
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Australian Trip 03
Introduction to the Century Predator
Building the Fury Tempest FAI
Professional Aerial Photography
Pilot Profile - Dwight Schilling
Pilot Profile - Russ Deakin
Pilot Profile - Dwight Schilling
Toolbox Essentials
Setup for F3C
Vigor Refit
Pilot Profile - Curtis Youngblood
JR Challenge 2003
Pilot Profile - Len Sabato
Helicopter Resources
Comparing the Webra 91AAR and the YS 91ST
Engine Tuning
Curtis Youngblood in New Zealand
Futaba GV-1 Governor
Pilot Profile - Malorie Zastrow
Scale: Flybarless Heads
Pilot Profile - Jason Krause
JR 10X
Pilot Profile - Mark Christy
Futaba 9Z WCII
Pilot Profile - Alan Szabo Jr
163km/h with a Vigor CS!
Raptor 60 V2
Low cost, high camera!
TSK & the Squirrel Part (V)
Follow up - Hirobo Freya
Follow up - Hirobo Shuttle RG
Sceadu 30 update
Hirobo Shuttle RG
Vigor CS - My thoughts
Bye bye little Ergo
Kyosho Caliber 30
OS 91
JR Voyager 50
Hirobo Sceadu
TSK & the Squirrel Part (III)
NZ Team Returns from Heli World Champs
Hirobo Freya
OS 50 Review
Millie vs CS (Part III)
Living with the CS
TSK & the Squirrel (Part II)
Promoting the Hobby
Ergo Z230 Gasser
Millie vs CS (Part II)
Millie vs CS (Part I)
TSK & the Squirrel
TSK & the Squirrel (Part IV)

JR Challenge 2003
Simon Lockington

Some of the competitors.
Club President, Alan Issacs with George Schneider on the mike.
Neil Harker in amongst his Raptors. To the right you'll see parachute man's parachute.
Martyn Cook getting some practise in on his Robbe Cuatro.
Alan Issacs' gas powered bi-plane, a real crowd pleaser.
Martyn Cook going to great lengths to protect his Cuatro from the afternoon heat.
John (left) and GJ (flying) Knox just before the CS quit for the second time.
Sharon (left) and Dianne kept track of everyone's score throughout the competition.
Steve Hall (left) and Dean Williams (right) contemplate Steve's Freya after it's unplanned meeting with the ground.
Darryll Putt recieving the award for most spectacular crash. Darryll managed to pull of a magnificent 'mid-air disassembly with triple summersaults' thanks to a mid-air boom strike.
The Sunday morning fog.
Kim Attwell recieving the award for the 'Person who over-extended themself'.
Mike McCormick recieving the JR Challenge Shield. Mike also won the award for the 'Person who most under-extended themself'. It's Sportsman for you next year Mike!

After a couple of months of planning, we successfully held the first JR Challenge at the Trentham Range on March 8th and 9th.

The aim of the JR Challenge is to encourage people to develop their skills and have a crack at maneuvers in a safe and controlled environment as well as providing for as much of a level playing field as possible so that people of all skill levels can compete against one another for the JR Challenge Shield sponsored by Galtech Models.

In order to allow people of all skill levels to compete against each other, we devised a competition format consisting of three classes each with two sections of flight. The compulsory section included four maneuvers taken from our FAI competitions which were marked out of ten by three judges. The total of all four maneuvers for each of the three judges is then averaged.

Once the pilot has completed the compulsory section, they then choose three K-Factor maneuvers from a list of 38 or so. These maneuvers range in difficulty from a figure 8 circuit to tornadoes or inverted knife edge circles. The judges then decided if you executed a recognisable maneuver (ie the piroetting flip kinda looked like a piroetting flip) then you were awarded the designated K-Factor points depending on what class you had entered into. For example, three stationary flips had a K factor value of 6, 3 and 1 for Clubman, Sportsman and F3C respectively.
The total score was then calculated by:

Total from Compulsory Round x ((Total from K-Factor/10) + 1)
22 x (6/10 + 1) = 35.2

This meant that people of all skill levels could then compete on a fairly even field.

The weekend was started on Friday afternoon with many of the out-of-towners arriving early to have a fly and enjoy the BBQ provided by fellow organiser George Schneider which consisted of satay chicken parcels which were worth the trip in themselves. A few of us went to work putting up a much-larger-than-anticipated tent which proved to be interesting in the wind. The tent rewarded us an hour later by dismantling itself.
A highlight of the night was the virgin flight of Neil Harker's million dollar parachute man from John Knox's Vigor CS. Unfortunately said parachute man didn't have quite the maneuvering skills predicted and landed quite some distance from the drop zone and he landed HARD.

Saturday dawned fine and hot which was much better than the blustery cold rainy winds the forecasters had been predicting. Saturday was to be open to the public so there was plenty of work to be done ensuring appropriate areas were roped off and the tents erected as the competitors started arriving and registering.
The pilots breifing included a brief run through of the operation of the event including descriptions of each of the K-Factor maneuvers.

Although the event was due to start at 9:30, requests from the pilots to have some 'practice' time to have a go at some of the K-Factor maneuvers meant competition didn't get under way until 11am.

The first round went very well, it was great to see people who had never competed in competitions as well as those who had only just learned to hover involved in amongst the Sportsman and F3C fliers. Some of the highlights of the first round was Darren Boote who had never done a roll in his life complete a loop and stall turn for the K-Factors then landed and turned to me and said "If you let me lean it out a bit, I'll do a roll" to which I replied "Hell yeah!". Sure enough, Darren took off again and executed a recognisable roll (even if it was in ID1 and the rotor speed decayed quite considerably!). I was rapt, Darren had just illustrated the whole purpose of this event, to encourage people to have a go!

I on the other hand had bitten off more than I could chew. Being in the F3C class I tried to be a hero and selected K-Factor maneuvers that I could somewhat pull off with my Voyager, but hadn't tried with my Vigor CS. I picked the death spiral, the inverted knife edge circle and the tornadoes. The death spiral was pretty easy, no drama there, however the inverted knife edge circle was a different story. The CS does it much bigger and FASTER than the little Voyager and as it was coming nose in at me I lost my nerve and bailed out which caused some excitement! Next up were the tornadoes which I screwed up in royal fashion when I over cooked the rudder and the CS ended up in some kind of orientation (which I had no idea of for about 2 seconds or so) so that was the end of that for my round.

Neil Harker had some troubles with his little Raptor 50, it was vibrating heavily and then the exhaust came loose.

Steve Hall, a Sportsman flier put in a beautiful compulsory round and began the K-Factor round by completing the rolling 540 stall turn and got halfway through a Cuban 8 before the sun caused some orientation problems and his Freya went in on it's head. Remarkably, the heli came off pretty well.

John Knox only just got started in his F3C compulsory round when his Vigor CS had a flameout straight after the two rolls which meant a high speed, long distance, downwind auto which he pulled off.

Heather Smith was one of the people having their first competition experience and she put in a great effort in both the compulsory section and did great doing a nose in hover and three second piroette for the K-Factor round.

It was clear early on who had gone through the list of K-Factor maneuvers and selected the highest scoring maneuvers in the Clubman class as the higher skilled Clubman pilots went head to head. It was also clear that next year, I was going to have to re-visit the weightings I gave to some of the maneuvers. A case in point was three piroettes in fast forward flight which in many cases turned out to be three piroettes in forward 'drift'.

Lunchtime arrived at the end of the first round and the public were treated to a fixed wing display by selected members of the club. One of which was a Great Planes Biplane which was a crowd favourite.
Once the fixed wing display was over many of the helicopter pilots took the opportunity to practise and funfly. Neil also persuaded someone to take his parachute man up for another drop for the public which was very well recieved, although again, parachute man landed a fair way off in the distance :).

During the day, George had kept the public informed of the proceedings as well as introducing the fliers and describing some of the maneuvers via a public address system which went very well. If you know George, you'll know he's well suited to this kind of task (being from Florida and all eh George?)!

Round two began in the same order as round one to ensure no frequency clashes.

Kim Attwell, a new member to our club put in a great performance for his first competition and showed real balls having a go at a stall turn for one of his K-Factor maneuvers. While the heli did get away on him a bit, he recovered and landed safely.

G.J Knox, a real up-and-coming threat in the Clubman class struck bad luck when his dad's CS flamed out again half way through his round, but he landed it in one piece.

Mike McCormick under-extended himself once again in the second round, but this time had to use the Venture 50 due to John's CS having retired to the pits, however that didn't stop Mike putting in a great performance except for the three piroettes in forward flight. Two in one pass then one in another pass doesn't cut it Mike!

John Knox put in a stunning second round with the Venture 50 and as he was the last in the flight order put on a 'victory' display for his fans in the crowd.

That concluded the competition and the field was then open for funflying before the 7:30pm dinner at a local restaurant where most of the competitors and their partners came together to drink, discuss the day, eat, and have a good time.

Sunday dawned very foggy at the field. Infact you couldn't see the entrance from the flight line, however by 9:30 the fog had burned off and flying commenced again. George cooked up a storm on the BBQ at lunchtime while I organised the prizes and final score ready for the prize giving.

The main event for the day was supposed to be Neil Harker's first successful roll attempt. After a couple of 'unsuccessful' attempts months earlier, Neil was determined that today would be the day. Numerous attempts were made but due to the sun being in the wrong position, the moons not lining up correctly the event was called off until later in the day.
Finally, it was time and under the coaching of John Knox, Neil attempted what was supposed to be his first successful roll. Unfortunately, he entered the roll with the nose well down and as soon as he started rolling the heli started to dive, add to this random stick movements to try and save the heli from impending doom and there wasn't much odds on the heli to survive. However at the LAST second (literally) and well out over the neighbouring golf course (thank God there were no golfers on that tee at that moment), the hand of God reached down and gave poor Neil some guidance and the little Raptor lived to fly another day.

The overall placings for the event were:

Mike McCormick (Clubman)
Neil Parkinson (Clubman)
Martyn Cook (Clubman)

This year's event went really well and all the feedback we've recieved was very positive, people are really keen to do it again as they found it was much more fun and relaxed than an FAI competition.

Some things we'll improve on for next year:

  • Earlier promotion of the event. The event will be held on the second weekend in March each year and this time we'll have the program and details out before Christmas.
  • Revised K-Factor scores. No more getting 8 points for three piroettes in forward flight Clubman people!
  • Increased number of K-Factor maneuvers.
  • More prizes.

This event wouldn't have been possible without the support from a number of organisations:

  • Galtech Models in Palmerston North donated the shield and other prizes for all the pilots.
  • Wellington Model Aircraft Club - in particular Alan Issacs, Alan Forbes and Ross Heald.
  • National Rifle Association/Wellington Rifle Association.
  • Totara Lodge Licencing Trust.
  • 91ZM FM.
  • Andrew Bridger and Pete Brown for judging.
  • Sharon and Dianne for all the score keeping.

Everyone who attended had a great time and hopefully we'll see more competitors next year now that people know what it's all about. Mark your diaries for the second weekend in March next year!

For more details on how the JR Challenge works, visit www.galtechmodels.com/jrchallenge/
Featured Link!
Len Sabato
Personal site of Len Sabato, US F3C Team member and JR Heli and Radio product manager at Horizon Hob...

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