2018 World Championship Round 6

There was a decent amount of testing during the break, with a couple of reflights too.

Jake’s gamble with the reflight paid off with about a five minute gain.Team USA currently is in first place.

One big difference today is the warmth in the dome with the sun. Props are not turning in the wind as they have been. Air is much better and over 20 minute flights are going to be mostly normal this round I believe.

Arend of Team Canada is threading the girders up at the top. While he was trying to steer, the plane hung up, got loose, hung up, got loose again, but in the balloon movement I believe the air currents folded the tailboom and it came down broken. A big blow as that had the makings of a great flight.

Hans of Team GBR just launched and it is climbing really well. Unfortunately it got hung up.

The Ukrainian juniors had a flight up that was threading the girders and got caught. Their team has immaculately built models and they fly really well. They seem to have a hard time not outclimbing the site.

Jake Palmer appears to have a great flight up again, flying up near the pizza. Landed with 24:46.

One midair, but both recovered. Not sure whose models they were.

Three models currently hung. One had been threading the girders above the plastic wrap around the pizza. I have never seen this before.

Kagan is now up, just under the pizza. Very slow RPM on this cruise. Bumping the plastic around the pizza. Hung and came loose! Bumping girders. Got caught up in another hung model. Not coming down. Missed that he had a midair while blogging, reflight coming up.

Chris Luo has a nice flight going now. Needing to steer, and did a great job! Dead sticked in, should be a good time for him.

Brett had a great flight, peaking just below the girders. Stayed there for a very long time, coming down with another 27 minute flight, cementing his place in first.

Zoltan also followed up with another 25 minute flight. His shorter model recovered from upsets really well.

Kagan just landed with another good flight.

Mark Benns and Tony Hebb both got 25 minute flights in the last round. Great round from Team GBR.

And with that, the last planes are down, recoveries are taking place and everyone is packing up. That’s all for now, will add video links and pics later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2018 World Championship Round 5

As I drove in today, I noted the temp on the car was 25F, with a good hard frost overnight. Even the top of the dome was glistening white with heavy frost. Yet the sun is shining brightly and it is beautiful outside.

The round is yet to begin, yet there are a good dozen planes in the air and lots of others preparing to launch. The air so far looks promising, despite the cold.

Round has started and there are no models in the air at all. No one wants to be first up.

Bill Silin went up first. Great climb apparently, then down air.

No one wanted to be second.

About 11:30 those teams with three members ran into potential time issues, so they started flying.

One of the Japanese team members launched and it didn’t want to turn. It sort of surfed along the wall and gained a great amount of altitude, then immediately hung up.

Several others went up and so far no really great flights. Some over-torque on launch into the ground. Some start climbing, then tail slide into the ground. One won’t turn on launch and headed straight into the wall. Air is a bit strange yet, difficult to climb sometimes, others hit thermals and outclimb the site.

One of the Romanian team had a model on the line for several minutes before he got it level again and could get it off.

A French team member had a wing spar partially fold on him while steering.

Brett just launched and it is again climbing more slowly than others. Again seems to be his strategy. Slow burn to the top. Much slower RPMs than the others.

Second Japanese team member got hung up.

Brett’s model just isn’t getting high enough. Might still be a decent flight, but not in the caliber of yesterday’s one.

The Ukrainian Juniors have one way up and had a botched steer. And it climbed right back up just under the rafters. Second botched steer, then lost about 20 feet. Finally caught it and got it out of trouble.

Brett is still lazily doing circles in the center, very nice cruise so far.

Brett is now on the far side of the dome, in the sunny dining area with his balloon.

Zoltan had the best flight so far at about 25 minutes.

Kang launched into some down air and wasn’t able to grab it in time for a reflight.

Round is over, but wait! There’s MORE!

Jake Palmer had a good flight despite a midair and is now winding for a reflight.

Had a good climb so far. It is drifting a bit up near the top. Jake looks like he needs to steer a second time. And he is down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round 4

Ten minute call for Round 4 start just went out. Lots of testing going on as the sun is shining pretty brightly at the moment. Everyone is anxious to see if the air improved some more. Eight models in the air at the moment.

http://leopila.5gbfree.com/wc2018.htm <==for latest scores.

A flight was just put up on the far side of the dome (bar area) and it is catching incredible lift. Like watching it on and elevator at times rise 10 feet in two feet forward. Struggling a bit at the top. Seems to have settled down slightly above the window level into a cruise. Then into some down air, currently being chased around the dining area by one of the French junior team members.

Aurel Popa sort of followed this and put up a flight and it ended up in the sunlit area. The next few minutes had his model cruising just above his pole height, hit a thermal and go up 10 feet, then down draft and down ten feet. Just like the shampoo instructions, lather, rinse, repeat, his model repeated this over and over. The crowd was into it, with them giving approval when it was going up, then a sort of oh! sound if it went down. I believe it ended up with about 17 minutes.

One of the Ukrainian team members has a flight all the way up to the pizza at the top. Beautiful flight so far.

Six up in the air at the moment, a bit before 4pm. Air is much improved from yesterday with the sun having heated up the dome. Yesterday it was cold on the floor with props turning all over the place and the balloons bouncing and swaying around. The balloons are not moving today and the props are not moving as quickly. I don’t feel it down the back of my neck either.

Air has improved significantly. A couple of 19 minute flights were put up. Zoltan put up a 22 minute flight, best so far.

John Kagan is in the hunt though with a flight now. After threading the girders several times, it hung, got loose after about three seconds, fell and recovered. Climbed again to thread the girders, nearing hanging again. After a couple of lucky bounces, John made a great catch with his balloon and got it out of danger in towards the center, to much applause. Now it is circling lazily at around 50′.

Watching the air now it is completely different. This morning folks called it ‘slope soaring’, launching near the edge of the dome to catch the rising currents. Now the edges are a pretty much all down air.

Kang Lee and Brett Sanborn put up flights at about the same time. Kang ran into bad air near the top and lost a lot of altitude, but had an incredible cruise at around 50′, landing with 23:03 minus six seconds prop stop. As he landed, Brett’s plane was still up in the air. Brett’s climb was much less aggressive than Kang’s and it appears his strategy(?) worked for the high time this round.

Hans and Mark Benns from Great Britain had a couple of nice flights I saw part of, with Mark’s bumping the girders.

Just spoke to Brett, his time was 27:11, which is a new record for category 3 (AMA and FAI).

Round ended. Quite a few folks decided to stick around and test their planes after the time is over.

Below is a pic of the dome after 6pm, free of snow.

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Round 3

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After 4 inches or so of snow last night, I came in expecting the air to be about the same as yesterday. And it is completely different. Maybe it is due to the layer of snow on top of the dome. Maybe it is due to the lack of wind.

Around 11am the sun started peaking out.

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Tony Hebb was able to eak out a 19 minute flight to applause from most of the competitors.

Still many flights in the five minute range, with a few getting lucky in better air.

I happened to walk past a meeting room to see a competitor trimming his plane inside it out of the eyes of other competitors. He thought if he could trim it in there with all the crazy air, he might be OK out in the atrium.

If there is any sort of thing I have seen so far, models with larger stabs that are further back seem to have a more difficult time with the turbulent air here today. Tailslides on these seem to be more common. A shorter model with a smaller stab and maybe a further forward CG might be the way to go in these conditions. Add to that a smaller prop diameter?

Watching one of the flights of the Japanese team (Sasaki-san?) climb up to the top in three turns that came so close the hitting the side of the building, hang up in a beam and come loose in about 7 seconds, thread the beam more than once right at the top. Then some bad air and tailslide down and back down again in around five minutes.

Sun is still breaking out a bit here and there and the round is about over.

 

 

 

 

Round 2

 

A few snafus at the end of the round: It was announced that due to processing times, the round was to be extended. Then right at 1PM the round ended as normal, leaving many upset. The processing line was about 30 minutes long. I can say it was difficult to weigh a model on the hanging scale due to the wind inside, with the model weight jumping between 1200 mgs and 1480 mgs.

A Junior from a non-US team apparently reeled a model about 4 meters higher.

One model apparently stalled right by an open balcony door and the guy inside pushed it outside the room. Twice.

The air inside might be slightly better.

Late in the round, fliers discovered an area with lift. Launching into it was fraught with danger though as it was near the wall. Yet other areas had pretty large areas with down drafts. What I saw was a lot of luck. You might launch into high lift and end up almost swatted down out of the air. Or you might turn a bit and end up OK. I saw one flight that got to the top within 1:30 and was down in under five minutes. Then another that was similar, but turn at one point and ended up in better air for a much higher time.

What is much higher? 10 minutes. 18 minutes. Only a few flights more than 7 minutes overall.

Very challenging day overall.

And for the first day of spring we got SNOW. Two inches so far and more to come, with rain then more freezing weather to follow.

http://leopila.5gbfree.com/wc2018.htm for latest scores.

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Round 1

Air is challenging today to say the least.

Several test flights were put up early, but once the round started, very few models were put up. I think the prevailing thought is: Wait until close to the end of the round to see if the conditions improve.

John Kagan put up a flight – It climbed out beautifully to about 65-70′. It looked like it was going to be a good flight. Then it was seemingly swatted out of the air by a downdraft. Ended up being a touch over 3 and a half minutes.

Jake Palmer launched in the center and it came down in similar fashion in under two minutes.

Brett Sanborn did a little better, with a five minute flight.

One of the US juniors, Chris Luo, put up an 11 minute flight by flying near the edge of the building into a thermally area. That might end up being the high flight of the round.

And right at the end of the round, Mark Benns of the British team put up an 18 minute flight.

 

World Champs Practice Day

Here it should end as I missed nearly all of it driving back from Chicago overnight.

Highlights I heard:

  • The air was as good as Sunday for most of the day!
  • The US Junior team was progressing well with some help from Nick Ray.

Some flights were still in the air as I arrived, but most had packed up. It had gotten cloudy around 3pm I was told and at 4:30 or so it started raining. It was still between 55 and 60F when we arrived. As I write this (9:30 PM Monday), the temp is still 46F, which will be higher than tomorrow’s high temperature. Tomorrow looks to be a lot like Saturday’s weather: Challenging.