“Nothing makes sense in the salt mine.”
– Josh Finn, 2016
I’ve never heard anything be more true. Increase prop pitch, suddenly climb 20’ higher. Increase again, 20’ higher again. Times go up. Landing with 80 turns – increase turns by 100, torque by .12, and suddenly land at half the time with more than 500 turns left. Absolutely nothing makes sense and almost every single rule and principle of F1D is completely invalid.
Interestingly, I didn’t have many of the same issues other fliers were experiencing. I never hung a model all week, and I only power stalled once. I had little difficulty matching prop and rubber, but it was all of these strange occurences – e.g. my model’s climb pattern: launching, turning left 90 degrees, going dead straight all the way down the mine hall, then turning right 30 degrees before actually beginning a left hand circle (I wish I had it on video) – that kept me from putting up any decent times. On a full motor test the afternoon of the 2nd day of the contest I managed an 18:00 flight, but the next day when replicating those exact conditions and winding the same motor just a little bit harder I landed at 12 minutes with nearly half the turns remaining. I wasn’t happy that my previous flights had had turns for 20 minutes and that flight had turns for 23 and I never was able to get a single flight that really got the full performance out of my model. But such is the F1D life.
I think I’d definitely like to get back into F1D sometime, but if this year was any indication then I don’t have much of a shot at immediately making the senior team. Living in a dorm in college is pretty problematic for building too, so for the time being I’ve put away all my indoor equipment for another day.
A big thanks to everyone that helped – Rob Romash for getting me into indoor, Larry Coslick and Kang Lee for pulling me into this F1D mess, and Nick Ray and Josh Finn for providing constant advice during the contest.