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View Full Version : Congrads Master Erich winning Class III !!!


tgxtrf
07-21-2009, 06:14 PM
Like all RC magazines interview the champs after contest, please allow me (I'm da F3C newbie) to do a web interview on you !!

Q1: Most F3C fans on RR/Helifreak are aware of your Caliber90 build tread, please tell us when did you start contest flying and what part of contest flying most interested you? More importantly, why did you choose Kyosho brand?

Q2: Erich, tell us how you prepare for Class III? When did you start practicing for class III and how much time have you invested in total? How many gallons of fuel burnt? Any other member from your flying club attend the contest? Do you practice together?

Q3: Since Class I all the way to Class III, which maneuver you find most difficult? Do you learn from watching others practice or watching video on the Internet? Can you comment on practicing contest flying using RC sims, does it help or real thing better?

Q4: We saw you now have two Caliber 90s, are they identical in setup and equipment? Do you happen to fly one more often than other? Tell us about your choice of engine, paddles, blades. Are they still bone stock or you have done modification and enhancement on them?

Q5: How do you overcome the boredom in practicing all those hovering maneuvers? Any advice to newbies? Which part of the bird (i.e. Canopy or skids) you are watching when you hover?

Q6: Let me guess, you are going to snap on some Staysees and prepare for F3C next year? What is your next step? Any plan on converting or using electric power?

Sorry for all the Qs, I hope you dont mind.

Congrads again and thanks for your time. GO GO Kyosho GO !!!

Jay

ErichF
07-21-2009, 07:39 PM
Wow, Jay…thanks!
Let me take a stab at your questions, here….
Q1: Most F3C fans on RR/Helifreak are aware of your Caliber90 build tread, please tell us when did you start contest flying and what part of contest flying most interested you? More importantly, why did you choose Kyosho brand?


I started competition flying back in early 2000 with giant scale aerobatics, IMAC. I was pretty hot and heavy in IMAC’s Southwest Region, attending 6-7 contests a year all over Colorado, some in AZ, and even Utah. When I moved back to FL in 2003, I continued to fly in IMAC contests off and on in the South East region, but it just didn’t work as well for me down here. The contests were way too big, were long, and just didn’t seem as fun. Then, my engine took a crap. Rather than spend the $1200 for a new engine, I looked at the Fury Expert under the bench in pieces, and decided to get back into heli flying again. It kind of took a back seat while I was heavy into IMAC. So, with the repairs of my Fury, I began flying helis again.

Fast forward to 2005, where late in the season I read the results for the 2005 AMA Nationals, in which a guy basically won Class II by default with a T-rex 450. I thought, damn, I should try this, what have I got to lose?? So, with a renewed interest in flying in front of judges once again, I began my journey into Helicopter competition flying. The type of flying interested me, as it was made of maneuvers similar to what I flew in IMAC, with of course fun helicopter specific stuff. I have never been very astute at 3D; it just doesn’t work with my brain or fingers….kinda like an ex-wife…you tried, screwed around with it, and decided it’s not for you. I’ve been flying helis for 21 years now, and if I don’t get it now, I prolly never will J

So, I then went searching for heli contests…dang there aren’t many. One or two a year in driving distance from Tampa…not looking good. Here’s an idea…make my own contest! So, off I went to the AMA and downloaded the forms and took their little CD test. A month later I was an AMA Contest Director. In March 2006, I held my first contest as a CD, and my first heli contest as a contestant. To my surprise, world legends in the sport showed up; Wayne Mann, Cliff Hiatt, Dwight Shilling and many others. It wasn’t up to IMAC attendance standards, but there was enough to keep me busy as a new CD. In the end, the guys had a great contest and I learned as much as one can from a proverbial fire hose of information.

What has always interested me in contest flying is the discipline and purpose it puts in your flying. Even the simplest maneuvers can be hard if you set your standards well enough. The education you earn in helicopter flight, tuning, and setup are invaluable. The people you meet are world-class. I enjoy going out to dinner after flying at the contest with any and all the guys like Scott Gray, Curtis, Wayne, Gordie, et al. These are guys most folks only get to say hi to at a Funfly, simply due to their popularity and demanded attention. Contests are much more intimate, which makes the experience that much more valuable. Another reason I like contest flying is the fast flying. I really enjoying getting a heli up on plane and really cruising. Flying a bird at 90 mph right past you then pulling into a 300 foot high rolling stall turn is freakin awesome. I’d say the speed of flying these maneuvers is a major draw for me. I like to take up more airfield than the plankers J

I picked Kyosho Calibers after having the chance to fly Wayne’s and Dwight’s machines during contests. They just seemed to have the silky control and predictability I was looking for. Also, the machines are rather unique, which lends to the whole individuality inherent in contest flying. I got my first Caliber 90 in September of 2007 from a private owner that still had the kit NIB. My most recent C90 was purchased from Cliff Hiatt, who used it as his primary contest bird for some time. I replaced the head, engine, and all electronics to more closely match my first machine.

Q2: Erich, tell us how you prepare for Class III? When did you start practicing for class III and how much time have you invested in total? How many gallons of fuel burnt? Any other members from your flying club attend the contest? Do you practice together?


I started flying Class III the same year I acquired my first Caliber 90, late 2007. It was a new schedule for me, and a new bird. That year was pretty busy for me, and I practiced as much as I could. At the peak of the practice season I was burning two cases a month. That may not sound like much to some, but it was a lot for me. During the practice season, standard daylight time means darkness around 5-6PM here. So, that means no practice after work. All practice had to be done during the weekend. On average, I would log about 3 hours on the airframe per weekend.

Currently, only one other club member regular here flies in competition, Rolando Perez. He’s a JR rep and has a lot of space at home to fly. So he gets a lot of time to practice without having to pack to the club field. I’m actually a member of two clubs, the Bay City Flyers and Can-Am Flyers. Of the two clubs, I prefer to practice at the Can-Am field due to their single runway configuration. This is also the club that hosts my contest every March. In fact, in 2007, the club donated all proceeds from the contest to the US Worlds Heli Team. The problem with the Bay City field is that the two runway crossed field configuration means that we cannot fly a heli from end to end of our runway without interfering with the airplane traffic pattern. In this type of flying, you need to be able to fly end to end without deviating in order to get your speed up to perform the maneuvers. The Can-Am flyers field, being a single runway, means that all users have to live together and/or take turns. The guys there all enjoy watching me practice, and I have no issues with anyone there. That makes the stress level a lot more bearable to not have to worry about pissed off plankers, and just worry about my flying.

Q3: Since Class I all the way to Class III, which maneuver you find most difficult? Do you learn from watching others practice or watching video on the Internet? Can you comment on practicing contest flying using RC sims, does it help or real thing better?


Of all the AMA contest maneuvers, I have to say the most difficult is the simple looking Cobra V with ½ rolls. It consists of an inverted V shape, like a ^ with ½ rolls on the 45° up and down lines. The peak of the inverted V has to be right on the center of the field in front of you, and the ½ rolls need to be centered on the up and down lines. It looks like a very simple maneuver, but in execution is darn near impossible to perform without error. One of the best reasons to attend a contest is to watch others fly. See what errors are common and try to avoid them. At the same time, others see you fly, and I don’t mean just the judges. Everyone helps each other to fix errors and improve their flying. It might be a competitive event, but the competition is always friendly and helpful. We are all in this for fun and learning.

Q4: We saw you now have two Caliber 90s, are they identical in setup and equipment? Do you happen to fly one more often than other? Tell us about your choice of engine, paddles, blades. Are they still bone stock or you have done modification and enhancement on them?


My two Calibers are pretty close in setup and outfit. They are both flying under version 2006 rotor heads, Rotor Tech Scott Gray edition 720mm FAI blades, and Rotor Tech FAI paddles. Both machines use BLS451 and 251 servos, R6014FS receivers, YS91ST engines, and Hatori 995 mufflers. The newest Caliber, to me, is actually older than my first machine. That machine is a per-version 2006 model and it has a lower frame upgrade from K&S/Funkey to make the bird more compatible with the new F3C schedules and to fix an issue with YS engines inflating the fuel tanks so much they would touch the muffler and burn through. The ver’06 birds have updated lower frames to resolve these issues out of the box. My first bird is a version ’06, and is stock. I currently fly the bird I just built up from Cliff the most, and actually flew it exclusively at the recent US Nationals. In essence, both machines are version 2006 stock, though, without any aftermarket enhancements, as they don’t need any…nor do they even have such upgrades available.

Q5: How do you overcome the boredom in practicing all those hovering maneuvers? Any advice to newbies? Which part of the bird (i.e. Canopy or skids) you are watching when you hover?


Boredom is a state of mind. You make it what you want. You can look at it as boring, simple maneuvers, but if you do, you are probably doing them sloppily. If you have a goal in mind of remaining over a flag within say 12 inches in any direction, in any wind, while pirouetting, then you will not be bored. Your fingers will cramp, and your palms will sweat just as if you were attempting a piroflip on the deck with a 3D bird. If you pay attention to your flying, and employ pride in your skill, being off the flags by 6 inches will piss you off enough to keep at it.
When performing hovering maneuvers not involving pirouettes, I usually look to the skids for pitch/roll reference. However, you can’t lose focus of the entire heli, as that is where your distance cues come from. Depth perception is very important to stay over the flags and not be too far in or out. When performing piros, I will shift my focus to the upper frame and main shaft. I will then visually lock the main rotor hub on a distant cloud or something and perform the pirouette. If the rotor head moves, I instantly correct with cyclic. Also, much of the skill of performing such a maneuver is anticipating the proper cyclic inputs as the machine hits different points on the wind. Most machines will have some trim change as the wind hits different side of the helicopter. Knowing how much change and what direction ahead of time is a product of flying the same heli all the time and practice.

Q6: Let me guess, you are going to snap on some Staysees and prepare for F3C next year? What is your next step? Any plan on converting or using electric power?
I actually prefer the pod and boom configuration, as they are easier to work on and maintain. They can also add a lot of weight, and side surface area that can make the hovering even more difficult. Since hovering is my weakest subject, I don’t need the added work. Fuselages do look nice, and are damn fast, though….which makes it tempting.
I will be staying in Class III for the near future. F3C is really a major step up in commitment of practice and discipline. I simply do not have the free time and income to perfect 22 maneuvers. Just because I have won a couple contests in Class III doesn’t mean I have perfected the maneuvers in that class either. I still have much to improve upon, especially my hovering. F3C involves hovering with lots of climbing and descending pirouettes…my weakest skill set. AMA Class 3 is the highest US class, and is primarily made up of former F3C maneuvers and even current ones…the Cobra V with ½ rolls being one of them. I am still being challenged by the current set of maneuvers, and look forward to a new schedule to come out in a year or so.
I hope these answer your questions well enough, and I hope that some more folks take this info and find new interest in contest flying. For more info, visit:
www.rcprecisionheli.com (http://www.rcprecisionheli.com/)

Cheers,

head_node
07-21-2009, 09:32 PM
Awesome, thanks Jay for an educational thread. Congrats Erich, and thanks a ton for the detailed answers. Good job all the way around.

tgxtrf
07-22-2009, 09:39 PM
Wow, thanks Erich.

This is great material, I am sure alot of people will find this useful.

Jay.