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Offline rclad  
#1 Posted : Monday, April 15, 2019 2:24:58 PM(UTC)
rclad

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A former IMAC pilot (3 time Regional Champion from many years ago) was watching my sequence work recently and commented that I need to adjust my speed both going into a vertical maneuver and on the way down, so that the airspeed remains as constant as possible. I'm flying an electric plane, so I adjusted the braking as high as I can without stopping the blade completely, and that has helped.

But while flying a loop the other day I noticed a rather exaggerated roller coaster effect: the plane had a lot more speed going into the loop at the bottom than at the top, not because I didn't have enough power, but because the winds up high were much stronger than below (downwind entry), and I usually pull back on the power at the top to maintain the arc rather than use strictly rudder and or elevator to do that.

So, even if you fly a perfectly round loop (or any other vertical figure), how important is maintaining constant speed through the maneuver? Is this an aesthetic judgment, or one that will cause a judge to downgrade the figure due to an overall poor impression?
Greg Hladky
Flying on a wing and a purpose...
and physics, power, practice, preparation, plans...
and pioneers who pushed the envelope!
Offline chymas  
#2 Posted : Monday, April 15, 2019 2:33:14 PM(UTC)
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Speed is not a criteria that we are judged on.
Clark Hymas
North West Regional Director
PNW Aircrafters - Precision Crafted Aerobatic Models proudly produced in the USA
thanks 3 users thanked chymas for this useful post.
Earle Andrews on 4/15/2019(UTC), rclad on 4/15/2019(UTC), Adi Kochav on 4/18/2019(UTC)
Offline Earle Andrews  
#3 Posted : Monday, April 15, 2019 3:10:58 PM(UTC)
Earle Andrews

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Clark is correct. Neither speed nor "impression" are judging criteria. You can fly as fast....or slow as you wish. BUT....you will find that most aerobatic planes have a sweet spot for carving nice radii and smooth rolls on the line.

Maintaining a consistent airspeed (except for stalled maneuvers) certainly demonstrates good airman-ship skills....but IS NOT judged. If a judge IS downgrading a pilot for not maintaining consistent airspeed then that judge should NOT be in the chair!
thanks 3 users thanked Earle Andrews for this useful post.
rclad on 4/15/2019(UTC), Ray Morton on 4/15/2019(UTC), Brad on 4/16/2019(UTC)
Offline Chuck Edwards  
#4 Posted : Monday, April 15, 2019 8:39:17 PM(UTC)
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No criteria on that as stated above.
Charles Edwards
TEAM FUTABA
Professional UAS pilot.
Led by the Blind leading the Blind...
Offline rclad  
#5 Posted : Monday, April 15, 2019 10:34:53 PM(UTC)
rclad

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Originally Posted by: Earle Andrews Go to Quoted Post
Clark is correct. ... BUT....you will find that most aerobatic planes have a sweet spot for carving nice radii and smooth rolls on the line.


That's a good point (among many other good points), as I was also thinking about the speed at which I'm doing point and continuous rolls. It feels and looks nicer when there is plenty of airspeed, but too much speed and I find my plane is a mile away by the time I'm done.

I'm curious, though, why an IMAC guy who won many contests thought a consistent speed was so important. Was speed a criteria at one time?

I tend to agree with him that a plane that flies vertical maneuvers like a roller coaster doesn't look as controlled as one that is more consistent in speed. On the hand, it may be more interesting for spectators to watch (if we had spectators).
Greg Hladky
Flying on a wing and a purpose...
and physics, power, practice, preparation, plans...
and pioneers who pushed the envelope!
Offline Chuck Edwards  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, April 16, 2019 3:42:44 AM(UTC)
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Greg,

It has never been a judging criteria ever. However.... A more constant speed is more pleasing to the eye and presents better. While this should have no bearing on how one might score during a sequence it does introduce the unconscious aspect of judging, the good ole’ personal preference criteria.. I look at this the same way as when you hear judges commenting on how a snap roll didn’t have enough pitch departure or they didn’t like your spin entry for a plethora of reasons. This is unfortunately the human aspect of our sport, and has been a part of it from the beginning.
Charles Edwards
TEAM FUTABA
Professional UAS pilot.
Led by the Blind leading the Blind...
Offline rclad  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, April 16, 2019 10:49:55 AM(UTC)
rclad

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I have noticed from day one that IMAC as an organization works very hard to promote fairness in the sport and eliminate bias and impression judging. But we're all human, so I don't get upset over a score that is out of line with the rules, or other judges. I'm more concerned with flying my best, regardless of the score I get. They are useful, though, for pointing out weaknesses I wasn't aware of.

What got me thinking about this subject of consistent speed is not only the comment by the former IMAC guy, but also the recent article in Model Aviation by John Glizelis. He writes about airspace control. While the article talks about symmetry and good use of airspace to make judging easier, I think implicit in that is managing airspeed well. So while a consistent airspeed is not an explicit judging criteria, if you exit a vertical maneuver with excessive speed, especially cross box, you either have to reduce the time before starting the next figure - giving judges less time to record a score and/or look at the next figure on the sheet - or you end up so far away from the center of the box as to make judging the next maneuver difficult.

I guess I have watched enough Unlimited pilots fly with consistent airspeed through all of their maneuvers that I have become conscious of how inconsistent my own airspeed is. Perhaps it is not so critical when you have only one element on a downline, or on entry or exit, but once you need to perform multiple elements, a consistent speed would not only help with centering those elements, but also provide time to perform them well. Is that right?
Greg Hladky
Flying on a wing and a purpose...
and physics, power, practice, preparation, plans...
and pioneers who pushed the envelope!
Offline Earle Andrews  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, April 16, 2019 11:44:05 AM(UTC)
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Yep!
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rclad on 4/16/2019(UTC)
Offline Kevin Wilson  
#9 Posted : Thursday, April 18, 2019 7:04:25 AM(UTC)
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One thing to add is that judging centering is a whole lot easier if the plane is moving at a constant speed. For instance, on a downline, if you start slow, count to 2, perform the maneuver to be centered, count to 2 again, and then pull out, the bottom line will be much longer than the top line. Not that judges are supposed to count to determine centering, but some do...
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