Author Topic: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland  (Read 5259 times)

Offline Matt Hoyland

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F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« on: 05, August 2015, 10:16:03 PM »

Day 1 - Leg 1


I guess preparation for me started for these world champs in early June 2013 when I first flew the P-15 schedule at the Festival of Flight lunch hour. Since then I've had approximately 900 flights with just over 700 flights on each Citrin in total. Now on the eve of the 2015 World Championships those 900 flights all go into 32 minutes of flying spread over 4 days and 4 rounds with the hope and belief that it will be rewarded with another 16 minutes flying 2 rounds of the F-15!


Day 1 has gone as well as can be expected, 510 miles down with another 240 to go tomorrow. The tunnel only gave about an hours delay which considering the problems of the last few weeks was nothing and apart from a 20minute delay at a toll booth France has so far been plain sailing. We will head straight to our chosen practise site tomorrow and meet up with my Mum and Dad who arrived safely into Zurich airport earlier this evening.

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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #1 on: 07, August 2015, 09:01:25 PM »



Day 2 - Leg 2 & Practise


Day 2 started with a 5am alarm call (4am in the UK) and we were on the road for just after 6am to complete the 240miles to the practise site at Amriswil. We travelled through France and then into Germany before dropping into Switzerland by lake Konstanz. We arrived at Amriswil around 11:15 to find Keith just completing his 8th flight after getting there at 8am. I quickly assembled Citrin H to get a flight in before the enforced lunch time break between 12:00 and 13:30.  During lunch my Mum and Dad arrived who had been to the official site to register the team and Citrin M was assembled. Both models had to have the tail plane, UC and props removed to get everything in the car for the journey. I had the field to myself for the rest of the afternoon as Keith returned to the hotel to charge batteries. We were only joined by a number of club members interested in what we were doing.  I got 8 flights in overall, 7 on H and one to check M was trimmed etc. It was very warm  at around 35 deg c with very little wind. It was a nice practise site with a synthetic runway 70m by 5m. There was a small clubhouse with a sheltered area with was welcome protection from the hot sun.


We then returned to the hotel to check in at 7:15 and met up with Kevin who had not long arrived. The 5* Movenpick hotel is very nice, the rooms are large with air conditioning. The team met for dinner for the first time at hotel where it was still very warm on the terrace at 10:30 when we retired for some rest.


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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #2 on: 08, August 2015, 11:04:40 AM »

Day 3 - Practise, Official Practise and Processing


Getting into a habit now as day 3 started with a 5am alarm call and breakfast at 6 to be on the road for 6:20 aiming to be at the practise site at Hinwil for 7am. It was already 20 deg c with the forecast predicting temperatures up to 38 deg. The site at Hinwil has a mown grass strip about 70m by 10m facing north with the Swiss mountains to the south east. Keith arrived shortly after followed by Keith and we all got a couple of flights in before Team Finland and Team Kazakhstan arrived. It was good to see Adrian H who had driven through the night to arrive around 11:00. I got 5 flights in before we had to head to the site for official practise. 


We arrived at the WC site around 13:00 ready for our official practice slot at 14:15 followed by processing at 15:30... well at least that's what we thought. It turns out practise and processing had been rescheduled but the information had not made it to us. Our new processing time was 13:05 so we had missed that but were assured they would accommodate us as soon as we were ready. All 6 models were assembled in the 38 deg heat and we got through processing without any problems. The thought of disassembling 2 models, moving to site 2 and assembling again was not welcome in the heat but they then decided to move our official practise to site 1 which at least meant we could keep our A model assembled and we all had a successful official practise at around 16:15. The USA team practised immediately before us and it was apparent they were flying slower than in previous years but Jesky kept his distinctive style with quick accurate, snaps, rolls and spins.


It was then the team managers meeting at 17:00 that got delayed 45 minutes followed by the official draw that got underway at around 19:30. Team managers were called to the stage in a random draw to pick out flight order numbers for each team pilot. I was drawn no. 2, Keith 53 and Kevin 99 meaning I will fly at 8:40 on Sunday and 18:05 on Monday. Not a bad draw for me with two days to get plenty of time to get some practise in between. 

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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #3 on: 08, August 2015, 09:29:55 PM »

Day 4 - Practise and the Opening Ceremony


We did the same again this morning and we were at the Hinwil site for just after 7:15 but it got busy quickly with Japan, Canada, Korea, Israel and others all on site but got 3 good flights in before we needed to head to the official site for the opening ceremony. Onda from Japan put in an excellent example of P-15 and sure he will push CPLR and others for the top spot on the podium. Thanks to the support of the team I've got some good feedback on my flights with Adrian and my dad making notes and Helen calling.


The Opening ceremony was the largest I have seen with 10,000 in attendance. There was the usual speeches and playing of national anthems followed by an airshow which had a combination of models and full size displays. A well organised event and the volume of people certainly gave it a sense of occasion. It was hot again though with temperatures once again in the mid thirties. It was nice to be able to retire to the hotel early tonight followed by a meal with the team at the local Italian.


Competition starts tomorrow, I am up at 8:39, Keith at ~14:00 and Kevin at ~18:00. If it all works you'll probably know my score before me as it will be available electronically as soon as the judge hits confirm on his iPad. Check out the official website to see how it all unfolds.


http://www.f3a-wc2015.ch/


You can also view photos here:- http://www.gbrcaa.org/Photo/v/2015/06+16+08+2015/


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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #4 on: 10, August 2015, 11:52:23 AM »
Day 5 - Round 1

The first day of competition was an eventful one! I was scheduled to be second off on line 1 at 8:39 so we arrived on site at 7:30 to give plenty of time to put the models together and watch the warm up flight. Everything went to plan up to this point. Marc Rubin from Switzerland was up first and just after he got his engine going and was moving into position there were cries from the judges to stop as they had lost power to the scoring system. The scribes are using tablets to automatically collate and add the scores up. There are TV screens scattered around the site that show the manoeuvre being flown and the 5 judges scores for the previous manoeuvre and then the total score for the flight dropping high and low scores. It took around 10 to 15 minutes for them to sort the scoring system and Marc then completed his first flight successfully. I then moved out to fly with Adrian adjusting the sun shade as it was still in the right hand section of the box and just as my wheels left the floor  I heard more shouts from the judges to stop. I was asked to land but on take-off it was apparent my model had gone out of trim on elevator, very similar to what happened in Holland for those who are aware. So I used the time in the air to re-trim and then landed and waited for the officials to sort more teething troubles with the scoring system. By the time I had changed the battery and readied myself the judges were ready and completed my flight successfully scoring a 420 which considering the circumstances and the scores around me was a good flight. The highest score on my judging panel was a 470 from Gernot Bruckmann. I am not sure of the cause to my elevator trim problem but can only assume that it was the heat of the previous day and the models being in the car all afternoon while the opening ceremony was on. More investigation required before my flight tomorrow, but I have plenty of time as I am not flying until 17:40. It was certainly fortuitous that the scoring system didn't work as the flight could have been a disaster without the time to re trim.

Shortly after lunch Keith completed his first flight successfully scoring a 388. We are all flying on different judging panels so difficult to compare scores at the moment. Wolfgang Matt flew immediately after Keith with his new Kunzit and put in an untidy flight (by his standards) scoring 409. CPLR was up shortly after flying his new Galactika, a modification to the Galactik with new wings. It has a large wingspan with pointy tips that are removable for the P schedule as it makes rolling manoeuvres easier. The additional wing span helps with the K6 knife edge manoeuvres in the unknown schedules which many will remember I commented on from South Africa. CPLR scored a 477 and the highest score of the day so far.

We then headed over to site 2 where Kevin was due to fly just after 6 o'clock. By this time the clouds were building and looked like rain after mid day temperatures well into the 30's. We saw Brett Wickizer put in a very good flight with his new Allure scoring 470. The shock of the day then happened as Joseph Sczur put in a 478, Joseph is the USA team junior pilot who didn't even get on the junior podium in South Africa but deservedly got the highest raw score of the day. With 5 pilots to go before Kevin rain started falling and got heavier and heavier. The whole team jumped into action helping Kevin keep his models and equipment dry. There was a short break before Kevin while the jury assessed the conditions and allowed a full size aircraft to land. After around 10 minutes Kevin got the nod and completed his flight but still in heavy rain scoring a 399.
« Last Edit: 11, August 2015, 02:50:41 PM by Matt Hoyland »

Offline Matt Hoyland

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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #5 on: 11, August 2015, 02:44:59 PM »
Day 6 - Round 2

Day 6 started in a more relaxed fashion with a late breakfast (which was a nice change) and then we headed to the practise site at Hinwil to sort my trim problem, and get some practise before my late afternoon flight at 17:40. We got to the practise site for around 10:30 and there was six on the list before me with team members from Japan, Israel, Korea and Finland on site. I had decided to replace the dodgy elevator servo as it was the same one that gave problems in Holland. A relatively simple job and within 20 minutes the new servo was installed. Alignment to the opposite servo seemed to return to the pre round 1 position so remembering the trim position I reset that and got in the air shortly after. The trim was very close requiring only a couple of clicks to get it flying straight and level. I think this confirms it was the servo that had lost its centre but not sure why that should happen. I got three flights in and everything was working as expected.

We headed back to the hotel getting lunch on the way to freshen up ready for my flight and then headed to the official site. Keith and Kevin had flown earlier in the day both getting good scores on their respective judging panels. My flight passed without incident and got a respectable 401.667, this was a tougher judging panel than the previous day and normalised to CPLR exactly the same as the previous day. This is not my best flight compared to how I fly at home with some easy fixes to hopefully improve on my final two flights. I over rotated slightly on the spin which upset me for the following few manoeuvres and lacked a little definition throughout the flight.

The day was rounded off with a meal for the whole team (now joined by Kevin's wife Sally) at a local Chinese restaurant.
« Last Edit: 11, August 2015, 02:51:10 PM by Matt Hoyland »

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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #6 on: 12, August 2015, 09:44:17 AM »
Day 7 - Round 3

Another relaxed start to the day with breakfast just after nine ready of my flight just before 11. However thanks to FB and the continually updating start order times on the official website the start had been delayed due to low cloud by just over an hour.  We got to the site just in time to see Gernot Bruckmann fly with his light weight 8s 2015 Sensation which has very small thin wings, an all moving tail plane with only slight modifications to the fuselage to improve cooling to the contra unit.  Using 8s batteries it has a RTF weight of less than 4kg. Gernot appeared to struggle with his slow style in the slightly bumpy conditions often losing heading through manoeuvres and scored 418. This is the toughest of the 4 judging panels with Onda heading the field with a 447 so an opportunity to get a high normalised score with a modest raw score though CPLR has yet to fly on this judging panel. Anything above 400 is a good score here and equivalent of 450 on other panels.   I again followed Marc Rubin from Switzerland and through his flight one of the tablets stopped working and the wifi signal went down so there was an enforced break before I could fly. After around 10 minutes of waiting the scoring system was back up and running and it was my turn. I was relatively pleased though should have gone out on the knife edge Humpty rather than coming in but was very pleased with the 403.667 but still not my best due to an annoying couple of mistakes.

We stayed on site to see Kevin and Keith fly. Wolfgang Matt and CPLR were flying on Keith's panel so we stuck around to watch them too. Wolfgang put in a better flight than the first one we saw. Wolfgang uses the new Hacker C54 motor with Ralph Schweizer contra unit in his Kunzit that I have ready to test fly when I get home. We were surprised to see that Wolfgang has no cooling exit holes as the motor runs very cool at 20 deg above ambient. Wolfgang also runs a Jeti Mezon BEC speed controller with and Ultra Guard from OptiPOWER. I think this is the way forward as it provides redundancy at a lower weight than a regular receiver battery setup. The Ultra Guard is intelligent as it only switches on when the main power is lost at 0.5v less than the BEC so you know when it has kicked in and it automatically keeps the backup LiPo charged at 90% capacity to prolong the LiPo life. An excellent unit and will use on all my future installations.  We also caught up with Yang from Oxai who's models dominate the championships.

We finished the day with a meal for the whole team now joined by Brico and one of his business colleagues. Final flight of the prelims tomorrow and I need a big score to have any chance of making the semi finals.

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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #7 on: 14, August 2015, 08:32:05 AM »

Day 8 - Round 4


Day 8 started with breakfast at the hotel at 7:15 and quickly afterwards heading to the practise site at Hinwil where we arrived just after 8 to find to find teams from Australia and Korea already practising. I got my name on the list and got my first flight around 9 o'clock. I got three more flights in and we were joined by teams from San Marino, Finland and Canada just before we left. Sebastiano Silvestri had one flight with his Prometheus biplane which will be a SebArt product rather than Oxai that I am sure will prove popular. Seba was running a contra with hacker motor, very bling gold propellers and a JR 28x.


We left the practise site just after 12 to get back to the official site for 13:00 for a group photo that the organisers had requested that all pilots and officials attend. We got back and they were still completing the morning flights, it was delayed once and then delayed again until 19:00 that evening. We saw the USA junior Joseph put in another good flight and cement himself in the top 10 meaning the US team are looking very strong for the team gold with all pilots in the top 15. I was not scheduled to be on till 15:30 so got some lunch at the on site cafe. Only basic food is available like chips, beef skewers or sausages but adequate to keep you going.


With an hour to go to my flight we headed down to site 2, I didn't want to arrive too early as there is minimal shade on site 2 and it was well into the thirties again.  Unfortunately there were delays due to full size activity. By this time they had normalised the scores from the two morning panels and I  was disappointed that TBL had taken away points on both flights that had been previously published (showing your average score dropping high and low manoeuvres). My 420 on panel 1 had turned into a 413 and my 403 on the tough panel down to a 400. It can work in reverse though as Keith's 419 on panel 1 turned into a 426.


It was then time to put my planes together and concentrate on my flight. This was the fifth time Citrin M was put together without being flown, and I have lost count how many times Citrin H has been put together in the last 7 days. With the delays, coupled with a judges break before Marc, it seemed a long time to wait before my flight but it went well. The conditions were not ideal, relatively light winds blowing in with occasional strong gusts on the floor (enough to blow barriers over) but in the air it was very swirly and difficult to predict direction as the schedule progressed. On the last manoeuvre and landing I was flying downwind for example but managed to score my highest score of the championships with a 428 on the second easiest judging panel. No big mistakes in this flight and a good one to finish on, but I know I can do better.  This was good enough to improve my position, and by the end of the day I ended up in 38th position which is a disappointment after finishing 36th in South Africa and 33rd in America. I had improved my overall score by 40 odd points which was a small conciliation.  I also achieved one of my aims which was to be the top GBR pilot for the third championships in a row.  To put my score into perspective I was only 25 normalised points off a semi finals place. This equates to 12 raw points on one counting flight which is less than one point on 3 manoeuvres.  The wrong direction on a knife edge Humpty or slight over rotation on a spin are the difference between success and failure. I still firmly believe we are trying to do the right thing in the UK, nothing is fundamentally wrong it's just the execution on the day.  I have not been as nervous this year but the difficulty is still amplified when performing on the world stage, simple decisions at home, like which way to stall or which way to go in the Humpty, suddenly become difficult and not instantaneous. 


The day was rounded off with a nations evening arranged by the organisers which included picking the semi final flight order, live music and some food. We had bought tickets but this being Switzerland only your second drink was free and you had to buy dessert. Other than that is was an enjoyable evening and the group photo finally happened just after 7 o'clock.


We now have Thursday off where we will do some sight seeing, Friday is semi finals day and Saturday the finals but the weather is not looking good with rain and much cooler temperatures forecast.


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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #8 on: 15, August 2015, 08:54:00 AM »
Day 9 - Rain day


We headed to Luzern and took a boat trip to the foot of the Pilatus mountain where we boarded the steepest cog railway in the world to the top at just over 7000ft.  This gave fantastic views down onto Lake Lucerne and the surrounding countryside.  We returned to the foot of the mountain using two cable cars and finally a bus ride back to the centre of Luzern.


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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #9 on: 15, August 2015, 08:55:44 AM »

Day 10 - Semi Finals Day


A relaxed morning with a trip to Lindt Chocolate factory shop before we headed to the site to watch the afternoon flights on flightline 1. In this round CPLR put in an excellent flight well ahead of the competition. His YS is purring better than I have ever heard it and think he will be tough to beat. Bruckmann did take the round on the other flightline but did not see his flight to comment. Joseph Szcuzr just missed out on the finals but had a 20 points penalty for being 4g overweight. An FAI rule that I was not aware of which can be applied if the competitor did not deliberately try to gain an advantage.


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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #10 on: 15, August 2015, 08:57:31 AM »
Day 11 - Finals Day Round 1


We arrived at 7:40 just in time to see Suzuki from Japan taking off to complete the the first flight of the finals. Lots of nerves apparent this morning with nobody standing out until CPLR flying last showed them all how to do it. Not without a few mistakes particularly on the reverse snap but finished 50 points in front of the competition. The judges were warming up too as I spotted two manoeuvres where 1 judge gave a 0 and all others scored it. This may have been corrected before the scores were submitted.


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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #11 on: 15, August 2015, 12:33:49 PM »
Day 11 - Finals Day Round 2

The first unknown is done, not the hardest unknown schedule but lots struggling with the first manoeuvre and getting the rolls integrated into the loops. I think a lot were conscious of the time as bits often looked rushed. CPLR could been seen accelerating between manoeuvres and then slowing down before the entry into the next and all had speedy quick take offs heading straight for the top. Everyone finished comfortably within the time in the end. The Galactika looks much better in the unknown knife edge manoeuvres than the Glactik did in South Africa with no evidence of the tail wagging as it gets unstable through the tight knife edge manoeuvres.  The modifications to the wing have obviously made the difference.  CPLR is clearly ahead with Onda second and a tight battle for third between Jesky, Nurila and Kaiser but everything hangs of the last unknown as that has to count.

It's worth noting that it's much cooler today, less than 20 deg and the rain was quite heavy during round 2 and is still falling lightly as I type.

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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #12 on: 15, August 2015, 01:52:45 PM »
Day 11 - Finals Day Round 3

It's continual heavy rain now but the competition continues. Round 3 is the second F-15 schedule and CPLR was up early in this round, he made a mistake on the reverse snaps not getting into the second one, finishing early and rolling to level. There were a couple of other small mistakes but generally looked locked in and a good flight. It was still enough to beat Onda and Bruckmann who both got close on raw scores but Kaiser has just put in an excellent flight beating them all on raw scores but TBL has given the 1000 to CPLR. Although CPLR has won all rounds so far it's not over as the last unknown has to count so CPLR still needs to put in a good flight to guarantee victory.

The organisers have made a big effort to fill all judges breaks with demonstration flights which have been varied and of good quality with a pair of Bucker Jungmeisters flying at the moment.

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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #13 on: 15, August 2015, 04:09:05 PM »
Day 11 - Finals Day Round 4

After 504 competition flights the 2015 World Championships is over and although the last round scores have not been released I think an 8 time World Champion will be crowned shortly with Onda second and after a good unknown I think Kaiser will pip Jesky and Nurila to third place but will have to see what TBL does. Not been impressed with the slow flights from Trump or Bruckmann as it does not present as well as the medium paced larger style of CPLR, Onda and Kaiser but still scored well as it was geometrically accurate.

I also think the unknown schedules have been disappointing and time to get rid of the automated picker or modify it to ensure a good selection of manoeuvres. The two schedules were relatively easy and very similar. With 8 Humpty bumps across the two schedules and similar manoeuvres repeated like the hour glass, square loop and knife edge Cuban but no stall turns, spins, horizontal roll/snap combinations, rolling circles, rolling loops or the double key. I think the pilots do a much better job and although it takes time it gives that variety and difficulty.

We now have the awards ceremony on site followed by the banquet this evening and set off home early tomorrow morning hopefully arriving home late evening.

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Re: F3A World Championships 2015 Blog - Duebendorf, Switzerland
« Reply #14 on: 15, August 2015, 04:59:04 PM »
1 CPLR
2 Onda
3 Kaiser