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Old 11-04-2008, 05:15 PM   #21
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Here is a link to the AMA document that outlines the maneuvers for the classes

http://www.modelaircraft.org/events/...Helicopter.pdf
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:18 PM   #22
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Here is the AMA rulebook for helicopter competition. It includes the manuever descriptions and judging criteria:

http://www.modelaircraft.org/events/...Helicopter.pdf

Here is a judging handbook made for the current rules of F3C, but the judging criteria described is the same for all classes:

F3C Helicopter Judges Training Course/Presentation

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Old 11-04-2008, 05:51 PM   #23
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Thanks for all the great info Eric. The foward flight speeds on these helis is pretty high in the top level classes too? I have heard numbers as high as 116mph, is that correct? Not to get too far off subject, but even though you field rep for Kyosho, what are your impressions of the Blitz Avro as a FAI machine?

Here are a couple of my favorite vids..



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Old 11-04-2008, 06:11 PM   #24
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Quote:
what are your impressions of the Blitz Avro as a FAI machine?
Interesting you ask that. Prior to my acquiring my Caliber 90, I was watching the development of the Avro with great interest. The Avro has a good, solid frame design, some innovative features, and a smooth belt driven tranny. The head is also unique and very adjustable.

In fact, it was a Blitz Avro that won the British Nationals this year, and has proven itself in competition as a very cost effective contest model.
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Old 11-04-2008, 06:27 PM   #25
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Man, that Blitz makes me

Also, this may be jumping ahead, being you intend to post set-up information later, but what are some good suppliers of FAI type equipment, say, StaySee fuselages for example, and are there any that would fit my Trex 600E?

That might also be something that could help contest flying, the well engineered and tuned Calibers and Sylphides are like the F1 of FAI, the Blitz Avro intrigues me because it is far more economical. If they could incorpate classes that are more like the SCCA of road racing, I would imagine there would be a bigger interest, because then someone could take their Trex 700n out and compete in its class, don't you think?
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Old 11-04-2008, 06:47 PM   #26
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OMI, the OS engine mod dealer, of all folks, is a Funkey dealer for the US. You can order StaySee fuses, Funkey FAI paddles, and such from James there.

Frankly, fully body fuses seem to be on the way out of competition. The complex hovering manuevers and quasi-3D manuevers upstairs are making them more and more a liability. Then, there's the maintenance issues with engine overheating, access to mechanics, etc. They do make a model present well, however.

The most economical models on the market today for contest flying are the Hirobo EVO 90 and X-spec helicopters. They have the widest parts support, to allow mixing and matching various options. You can also find them used but good condition all over the classifieds. The upgrade path of the Hirobo models is nearly limitless, as well. It is for these reasons I will be giving away a new ARF EVO 90 at my contest in March to the winner of Class I.

As for the Trex 700, there's no reason one couldn't be pretty competitive with that bird in the AMA classes. Its light weight may be a liability in hovering manuevers, due to the light disc loading, but the aerobatics should be clean and crisp. All that model needs is shorter flyber, heavy paddles ($20 set of Hirobo plastics), and a couple flybar weights. Put on a set of RT720 Scott Grays, and you could have a formidable machine for around a grand.
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:09 PM   #27
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what are the average flight times needed to complete the maneuvers.. both hovering and aerobatic... asking because I believe I read that battery changes are allowed if needed..and right now all I have is electric..
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:45 AM   #28
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17.2. Flight Time.
17.2.1. Class I—eight (8) minutes.

17.2.2.
Class II—eight (8) minutes.
17.2.3.


Class III—eight (8) minutes.

Also, in class III, we are changing that to 9 minutes after the 08 Nats.

You are allowed a battery change in the AMA classes, but not F3C. F3C is allowed 11 minutes, now.

Baron Johnson is competing very well in Class I with an electric Vibe 90, using a pair of 5S 4800 packs without any battery changes. I think he'll be flying class II this coming season.

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Old 11-05-2008, 06:01 AM   #29
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If I pop in two batteries I could probably get 8 minutes out of my rex500. LOL Yeah, I'm sure that would work real well. Anybody have a Caliber 90 I can rent?

Seriously though, next time we meet up you'll have to give me some pointers on the flightline. I think practicing these maneuvers would be a great thing for the skill-set even without intentions of competing.
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:23 AM   #30
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could you go into some of the common setup tips? is it better to be at hover at mid stick? or is hover at 3/4 stick prefered?
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:25 AM   #31
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You are allowed a battery change after the hovering section, before the "upstairs" section.
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:01 AM   #32
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hmm... wonder how well a .30 sized electric would do in AMA I
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:10 AM   #33
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It would do just fine.
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:11 AM   #34
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Depends on the pilot;-)
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:41 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurens View Post
Depends on the pilot;-)
everything depends on the pilot... I was just looking down the road a little for me
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Old 11-05-2008, 01:31 PM   #36
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I started flying AMA contests in 1991. In the mid 90's saw a few 30 size ( 550 mm blades) nitro models compete in Class 1 and Class II. Back then Class 1 was all hovering maneuvers, Class II had some simple aerobatics, Anyway the 30 size did just fine, the problem with the smaller models is when the wind starts blowing more than 10 mph. It is more difficult for the smaller lighter, less rotor disk models to handle the wind. The larger models are definitely more stable in all weather conditions. That is why most of the competitors fly the largest model the rules allow. Which is up to 13 lbs weight, max rotor disk of like 1900 mm, max 2 stroke engine 15cc, max 4 stroke 20cc, max 2 cycle petro 26cc. Electric is 42 volts if I remember correctly.

But it still all comes down to the setup on the model and pilot skill.

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Old 11-05-2008, 06:37 PM   #37
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"But it still all comes down to the setup on the model and pilot skill."

Agreed David

I have seen (and it has happened at a number of contests in the UK and other parts of Europe and Asia last year), where the winners were flying smaller models in the lower classes, and beat out those flying larger ones.

Initailly, I found Class I and II showed me how to properly set-up helis (any size) to get the most out of them for the precision flying they would be tasked with and:

1 - To set for a smooth motor run (you don't want the rough running of the engine to be causing the tail to kick), That does not impress the judges.

2 - Set a collective curve and rotor speeds, with a corresponding throttle relationship, that would help keep a smooth, constant altitude through the hovering maneuvers and a happy motor upstairs.

3 - How to make a nice clean, steady speed climb, straight up off the pad to "skids at eye level" .... and how to descend from there at the SAME steady speed, without hesitation, to a nice soft, no bounce landing. As this is how ALL hover maneuvers start and end in ALL classes, I found this to be a "must have" fundamental skill that is very important, even at World Championships, and can be perfected in Class I and Class II with the smaller helis.

4 - How to recognize, find and keep the proper, required altitudes, through the hovering maneuvers (can be different for rectangles compared to triangles).

I found top world class pilots, at WC's, losing valuable points because they had not mastered the two basic skills of #3 and #4. These are skills that can easily be acquired flying 30 and 50 sized helis that are set-up properly.

5 - And a BIG skill - is to learn to control one's nerves in front of judges. Initially one can do it all at his practice field with his caller and get 7's to 9's. But in front of a set of judges, I may all fall apart. So getting time at local contests really helps big time in this. And again, one does not need a BIG heli to learn these skills.

6 - To learn the importance of preparation, of one's self, mentally, with one's caller (this fellow can easily gain you points and loose you points) if possible. Ditto for being sure the heli is prepared.

7 - That win or loose - it was great fun - "last does not suck" if one learns something new and/or has improved.

8 - Meeting great and helpful peers is a BIG plus

Heck, sometimes I feel that if the rules limited the size of the helis to 30's and 50's in Class I and II maybe it would encourage more to give it a go and learn the basics first....as all of the above can easily be learned with less costly and relatively every day 30's and 50's.

P.S. I know that, given a week with a relatively inexpensive Hawk Pro, powered by an OS37,(to give them time to set it up as they would like it), Curtis, Scott, Cliff or any of the top guys would out score me in the current Schedule A, B or C of the FAI/F3C maneuvers, even if I was using my favorite 90.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:56 AM   #38
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so... what would be a good entry level heli for contest flying.. trying to keep it on the lower price range if possible (dang kids seem to think they need to eat every single day)
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:19 PM   #39
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I'm working on an article for that topic...more to come
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:55 PM   #40
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I was hoping that was the case... and didn't want this thread to slip off to page 2 (or worse).. Can't wait to read the article
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