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British Freestyle Aerobatics Championship: What do YOU want?

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Peter Hawtin05/12/2008 20:42:00
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British Freestyles: What would potential entrants/spectators want ?

Well before 3D flying became so popular the idea was to create a competition that would be interesting and entertaining to spectators, where the pilot is required to display an entertaining schedule that is both original and creative.

Over the last few years we have developed the competition to cover a wide spectrum of abilities from average club fliers who have their “B” certificate, using models under 1.8mtr wingspan and a maximum of 20cc motors, through the best club fliers who can fly up to 60cc models in the Advanced Class, and finally the cream of the UK’s pilots flying very large scale aircraft as well as Jets in the Unlimited Class to become the British Freestyle Aerobatic Champion.


In September 2009 we are holding the next BFAC and we hope to have a new sponsor working with RCM&E to create a competition that will draw the best pilots from around the UK and Europe, not only in the Unlimited class but in all classes. 

This is giving us a chance to restructure the event to not only meet the wishes of the pilots but the hundreds of spectators who enjoy watching the very best Freestyle and Flights to music available in the UK. 

We have seen good entries in the Unlimited class and quite a few in the Advanced, but we need more people to join in. Considering the 120 class can be won with a low cost basic machine, then why do we not have people beating our doors down to take part. 

This is the time for you…the pilots who have always fancied having a go and you….. the spectator who have wanted to see the Aerobatics but wished there was something more; to speak up and tell us what you want to get you through the gate.  

Is it the formality of fixed rounds ?


Fear of flying in public ?


Fear of losing ?


Unsure of the 3D side of things ?  

Too boring? 

As a pilot being able to prop hang or do a wall or even an Aneurism is useful, but not essential as in recent years flying smoothly and using patternesque manoeuvres in smooth freestyle flying has won over the crazy low level do or die flying of yesteryear. 

This coming year we intend to make the competition more of an event, with the competition as the main attraction. In between rounds we will be having guest pilots flying anything from Jets to war birds as well as display pilots from the main sponsor including the possibility of Global superstars displaying their wares. 

We hope to be holding the event at a new location where space is not an issue, and trade stands and static displays will be around the spectator area to keep even the traditionalists interested. 

In the UK we have the 3D Masters that attracts hundreds of visitors, why is this?  Is it the International entrants?  Come on guys lets have your feedback, what will make YOU want to take part or come see the event?

Tim Mackey05/12/2008 23:51:00
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Peter, good luck with your "survey" I have made this post a sticky so hopefully a few more people will read it and respond.
Peter Hawtin06/12/2008 00:06:00
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Many thanks

 Peter

Eric Bray07/12/2008 17:11:00
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I am not interested in competing at such events. I fly to amuse myself, and if others gain some pleasure at my antics, fair enough. I don't even take much part in club events, as I don't feel that I need to prove anything to anybody. If I fly a model, it is because I want to, and not because someone with a stopwatch says it is my turn. I don't care if someone can fly a model better than me, or can afford a better model, or a fancy radio with extra bells and whistles.

From a spectator's point of view, I find these kinds of event boring, once three or four entries have performed, and tend to go off for a wander amongst the marquees and trade stands.

Two years ago, I went to the Woodvale show, for the first time in about thirty, and although the models were bigger, better finished, and maybe more accurate (in the scale section) there was absolutely nothing new to be seen. In fact, I suspect one or two of the 'fun' models were the same ones I saw then!

The turbine powered models were of interest, but no faster than the Dutch lads who used to bring their pulse-jets to the show. The pulse-jets were a lot noisier, but no slower than the turbines.

I hope this doesn't appear to be 'sour grapes', it is not, I am merely presenting my views and thoughts.

I wish you well in your venture.

Peter Hawtin07/12/2008 19:16:00
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Thanks for your input.

 If all goes well this year we hope to have some static displays of Model engineering, old clasic cars and military vehicles on display.

 There will also be the oppotunitiy to take a ride in a Tiger moth and look round a static display of Microlights...and buy one if your that way inclined lol  There is also a very small but interesting flying museum on the site.

 I agree model shows, and especially model competitions are not everyones thing, but if you are into RC then it can be good to see what the best can do, especially the flight to music as this is more artistic that pure aerobatics.

 All the best

 Peter

Eric Bray07/12/2008 21:32:00
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Three Fourniers, aerobatting to the sound of - Shine on you crazy diamond?
Peter Hawtin08/12/2008 11:19:00
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Maybe not Fourniers, but the 40 somthing percent scale aerobatic ships, is still an amazing sight.

 Peter

Phil Wood.08/12/2008 11:38:00
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Peter Hawtin wrote (see)

Thanks for your input.

 If all goes well this year we hope to have


Please don't take this the wrong way Peter but who are " We "?

You may be the boss of modellers Mecca for all I know but I'm just returning after a long break and there are a lot of newcomers here that may not recognize your name.

I've checked your profile and it's blank so if you want us to contribute feedback can you at least let us know who we are talking to so we know you have some clout with how things get organized.

Thanks,

Phil.

Peter Hawtin08/12/2008 12:02:00
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I am one of 5 organisers of the British Freestyle Aerobatic Championship.

 This has been supported by RCM&E for many years, and has grown from a small one day event into one of the premiers aerobatic events in the year.

 We (the organisers) are mainly members of the Ogees Model FLying Club in Wellingborough Northants and are working on developing the competition to not only make it an event worth coming to see but to also raise the level of freestyle flying in the UK. The is currently quite a divide between the pilots in the UK and the rest of the world, and through this competition we hope to bring the UK pilots up to international levels.

In the last 4 years that I have been involved the standard of flying has improved considerably. This year we had the return of a past double winner who was stunned at the quality of flying at the top levels.

Along with the normal Advanced and unlimited classes that has been in place since the start, we have included the 120 class to give average club fliers like my self and youngsters a place to take part in the competition and be assisted by the top pilots around them.

The friendly nature of the event has to be seen to be really appreciated, where the 120 class pilots are coached by some of the best, and in some cases, pilots have been loaned models by their competition to enable them to continue when a technical problem has grounded them.

 I as part of the organising team am looking at ways to improve the event, and encourage new pilots to join in or spectators to come support the competing pilots. any input is appreciated, but as always I prefer constructive criticism.

 All the best

Peter

Phil Wood.08/12/2008 12:39:00
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That helps thank you.

Phil.

Peter Hawtin19/12/2008 10:06:00
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SO does that meen you will be joining in?

Peter

Phil Wood.19/12/2008 11:13:00
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Peter Hawtin wrote (see)

SO does that meen you will be joining in?

Peter

I'd like to see how this thread develops before I decide on that thanks.

I'm a returnee from a long break so my flying skills need a confidence boost before I'd think about competitions and I'm not much of a spectator unless there is something very special to watch.  Unfortunately every form of spectacular flying has been shown a hundred times on U tube and entrants at static displays often take offence if you start dismantling their model to see how their new home made anti matter powered retract system works.

Now give me something like full throttle inverted limbo dancing and I'd be the first to compete.   You may see a lot of bin bags but you'll wet yourself laughing.................well we used to.

Phil.

Peter Hawtin19/12/2008 12:42:00
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I am more of a cougar person, but I know what you mean lol

 We have Brian Cooper at our club and he makes FunFly models do things you never thought posible.

 Peter

Mike Bell22/12/2008 17:30:00
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Peter, I have been to three of these events held at the Ogees site and have thoroughly enjoyed the event, the hospitality of the organisers and the low key but effective organisation.  I have attended as "pits bitch " for my son Martin rather than as a competitor. 

As a competant but nowt special club flyer I must admit I haven't been tempted to compete myself, moslty because the standards in the Advanced and Unlimited classes have been so high I would be way out of  my depth.  I suspect that the way the event is always associated with elite flyers is part of your problem in getting an entry level class off the ground. 

I think that to attract entries to the "beginners" class there should be a clear emphasis on the artistic aerobatics elements with 3D aspects played down and maybe even discouraged.  There is such a strong perception these days that freestyle aerobatics = 3D that this must surely be a significant factor putting many people off.

I may be wrong but I think there is a possibility that the name "120 class" is a bit misleading.  It kind of leads to the impression that a 120 size motor and airframe is a requirement, rather than a top limit.  There may well be people who could put a decent routine together with an Acro Wot but would think they would feel silly lining such a model up alongside YS powered 120 class airframes.  Maybe a name along the lines of "Basic Artistic" would convey a different impression.  I would suggest  keeping the airframe top size limitation in place but put strong emphasis on the acceptability of small club models into any publicity.

For the top 2 classes I think you should keep the fixed schedule element as my observation has been that this often sorts out the truly accomplished flyers.  There are some pilots who display good 3D skills who are found wanting when it comes to flying a fixed pattern.  The fixed schedule ensures that the winner has a complete set of piloting skills, which in my opinion is only right.

Good luck for 2009 (it must be your turn for some decent weather, surely).

Phil Wood.22/12/2008 18:49:00
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Mike Bell wrote (see)

I may be wrong but I think there is a possibility that the name "120 class" is a bit misleading.  It kind of leads to the impression that a 120 size motor and airframe is a requirement, rather than a top limit.


Absolutely correct, and I can say that with certainty because I'm one of those people.

I'm no longer familiar with all the different classes and the ones I do remember are no longer in existence.

I assumed a 120 class would need a 120 engine...................would you enter a "Club 20" class with a 15 engine?.............................I bet that old favourite of mine has gone now.

Phil.

Peter Hawtin24/12/2008 21:16:00
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If this was an air race where absolute power was the leading factor, I would agreee with you. In aerobatics a large model is an advantage, tot he judging as they can see the model easier, but in previous years this has not been so with winning pilots using 60 sized models.

 Two years ago the Advanced class was won with a home designed/bulit model powered by an Irvine 53. It was quite a shock to the others using 50cc 80" - 90" models to be well beaten by such a model. Mike I think you know who that may have been?

I will take your sugestion to the comittee as I do see your point and perhaps it should be called "Sports Class" reflecting the open nature of the class

 What was your old favorite?

 Peter

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