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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › New 3D Competition Format Coming - FAI - F3N
09-17-2009 06:42 AM  11 years ago
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dahld

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New 3D Competition Format Coming - FAI - F3N
Technically this thread belongs in the 3D Competition section, but few pilots ever read that section. Since competition drives innovation in this hobby (and just about everything else in life), I thought this information might be of interest to many in our (heli) community. So I put it in the Main Discussion.

The thread is a little long, but the information is new to most I'd think, so please bear with it.

Most are at least minimally familiar with the FAI's F3C rules format, which has been around forever. The FAI conducts world championships using the F3C format every two years, and many countries around the world send teams to compete for the title of world champion (individual and team awards).

I guess the F3C format is best described as precision hovering and aerobatics, and produces a very demanding competition. But with the popularity of 3D flight these days, an FAI "3D" competition format has long been overdue. However, such a format is now very close to becoming an FAI sanctioned event, and will be titled "Class F3N-Radio Controlled Helicopter Freestyle".

Having attended several "world class" type 3D heli competitions (Las Vegas twice, the XFC, and the Munich Heli Masters), as well as keeping a close eye on how the 3D Masters has been conducted, one thing they all have in common is that they all use different formats, different mandatory maneuvers, different rules, different types of judging criteria, and different "favored" types of flying styles. So different in fact, that what might be a stellar winning performance at one event, won't even get you in the finals at one of the other events. You have to try and figure out what the "game" is for the event you're going to, and then practice and fly accordingly, in order to score well.

The FAI sanctioned F3N Freestyle format will eliminate many of the problems noted in the above paragraph. There will be a published set of 40 'K factored' maneuvers each pilot can choose from to complete a compulsory maneuvers round, a non-music freestyle round where the pilot selects his own maneuvers, and a music freestyle round. Each round tests a different type of piloting skill, and there is a published judges guide (not that other events don't have guides, some do, but they are all different), so everyone can know exactly what and how he/she is going to be judged, and what the scoring criteria will be for each round. No "game" to play, just a test of the pilot's skills.

The FAI has a reputation for being slow in making changes to their event rules (and maneuvers). This would be a problem for a 3D format, as the compulsory maneuvers need to be changed often to keep pace with the 3D world, and to keep the competitions fresh year to year. The good news is the organizers of the format realize this, and are making provisions to enable quick changes to the list of 40 maneuvers.

Once the F3N format becomes a sanctioned event with the FAI,(which I've been told by the organizers working with the FAI that it should be within the next year), it will change for the better how 3D competitions worldwide will be conducted (at every level from small local events to the world championships...hopefully). A standard 3D format will finally be in place, and possibly the AMA here in the U.S. will piggyback off the format and create a "3D" Class I,II,and III (along with F3N), to be flown at the AMA Nationals, like the current Class I,II,III and F3C traditionally flown. The selection of an F3N U.S. World Team for the F3N World Championships would also be in the future.

Having seen this format flown (as a provisional event) at the recent Munich Heli Masters, I've quickly became a fan of the format. It is very similar to the 3D Masters (compulsory, freestyle and music flights), but will have the organization and backing of the FAI, a published set of rules, a judges guide, and world championships to look forward to every two years .

If you made it this far, you've done well . I hope it's been informative.

Comment made here in this thread will most likely be viewed by the organizers, so if you have a comment on the format, fire away...

Dave Dahl
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09-17-2009 07:15 AM  11 years ago
bstock

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WOW - love it!!
This is very very exciting!!!!

For those that prefer to fly 3D (a ton of pilots)... Everyone of any skill level can now set and work towards known goals - goals that they will be establishing from documentation, and that are set on a known/ published standard... along with standardized judging. How Cool Is That!! Gotta Love It!

I sure hope the AMA uses these standards to establish F3N Classes, like they have with F3C! We need that so all and any level of pilot can break it down to manageable competition expectations to practice towards, based on their current skill set - and thus know that they can compete fairly at any event they choose to attend. That's good for all of us... we could all compete now - just pick a Class!!

Truly Is Very Exciting News!!
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09-17-2009 12:07 PM  11 years ago
GM1

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F3N
F3N has been around for a couple of years and was even offered as a US Championship at the NATs a couple of years ago. One guy showed up, it was VERY disappointing to the organizers.
I'm hoping that it will take off in the US as it has in Europe and elsewhere. It sounds very exciting and hopefully will appeal to both the potential competitors and spectators.
Gordie
On a dog sled team, if you're not the lead dog, the view never changes.
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09-17-2009 01:20 PM  11 years ago
red_z06

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Dave,

Congrats on 2009 Munich Heli Masters.
www.JustinJee.com
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09-17-2009 02:35 PM  11 years ago
J2M

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It is very similar to the 3D Masters (compulsory, freestyle and music flights), but will have the organization and backing of the FAI, a published set of rules, a judges guide, and world championships to look forward to every two years
3DM has a published set of rules and the judges guide is also public. The same is true as I understand it of the Heli Masters, XFC and every other major 3D comp so it's somewhat misleading to imply that these things are unique to the new format.

Good luck with the format. Only time will tell whether this becomes a comp that pilots want to fly in and people want to come and watch on a worldwide basis. After this year's relatively low key 3DM, there could well be space for a new global competition
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09-17-2009 02:46 PM  11 years ago
Heliguychris

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There is a couple of problems with this competiton format, as i see it.

No competitve flights too music. Not part of the competition, and only done as demos.(In gaps in the comp i assume)

No flybarrless models. OK, technically speaking u can use ya super duper logo600, as long as ya turn off ya V stabi

No K3 class(3DM) manouvers. We arnt busting our ass learning this reversing stuff, to go back to pirotictoc...and a piroglobe. There needs to be more challenging manouvers.

Some folks might dislike one or two, but the majority of pilots, that would actually show, and give it a go, would dislike all 3 i think.

.......Maybe the F3C crowd will build a bridge, as far as FBL is concerned. I recon its just HH gyros all over again.....they didnt kill off the format......
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09-17-2009 03:01 PM  11 years ago
T-Rex-Flyer

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Panama City, Fl

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Please help clear some things up for those that don't get to go to events with a lots of acronyms.

What does F3N & FBL stand for and what are K3 class(3DM) maneuvers?

Thanks.
If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter.
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09-17-2009 03:02 PM  11 years ago
GScott

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Lewis Center, OH

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This is really cool. Hopefully we will see a rebirth of the big, open air 3D style of a few years ago. I know alot of people enjoy the crack, stick banging style but I've always preferred the more precision style of flying.
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09-17-2009 06:30 PM  11 years ago
Dr.Ben

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Richmond, VA, USA

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I can pretty much tell you that the FAI angle on some of this will be not only based on difficulty but how well a maneuver can be done. I don't think anyone will deny how challenging the latest 3DM maneuvers have become, but unless all those interested in this format are already sure that they will be able to do the less complicated ones to a standard of perfection and when judged with an objective set of written judging criteria, I wouldn't jump the gun and think it backward to have the schedules as they now are. Though AMA/F3C is my cup of tea, I have close friends who compete at the world level in the 3DM format. Without a doubt, the single biggest complaint is the tremendous subjectivity in the scoring, both in the compulsories and freestyle. I can only hope that F3N will address these concerns.

Ben Minor
Peak Aircraft/Team Minicopter Team Futaba Team Kontronik USA
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09-17-2009 06:56 PM  11 years ago
dahld

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Replies to misinformation and rebuttals (-:
J2M,

The problem with long post is it's hard to really read the whole thing word for word (I'm very guilty of that myself ).

But in the 6th paragraph of the post, when I first talked about a published judge's guide, I acknowledged that other competition formats have judging guides too, but they are all different (that's the problem). I was not trying to be misleading and imply other formats did not have guides. I explicitly said they did prior to the quote you cited.

Heliguychris,

You've got old information . The current draft for the 2010 Edition of the Sporting Code (Annex 5F - Class F3N), in paragraph 5F.10, titled "Flight Program", it states the program will consist of Compulsory Maneuvers, Freestyle (music not allowed), and Music Freestyle (music required). The Munich Heli Masters held last weekend using the new rules had all three types of flights.

Also the new rules specifically ALLOW flybarless control systems. Paragraph 5F.2 gives the limitations of the models, and other than the usual weight, max voltages and metal rotor blade restrictions, the only other restriction is the use of "pre-programmed flight maneuvers". At Munich, 9 of the 10 pilots that made it to the finals were using flybarless control systems.

Concerning the difficulty of the compulsory maneuvers. In paragraph 7 of my post, I address this. The organizers are working to streamline the process for adding, changing, and deleting maneuvers, to keep-up with the 3D trends.

But may I say this. I was surprised at Munich how few pilots could perform with real precision what you might call "the easy current compulsory maneuvers" in the rules. If you can fully master those published "easy" maneuvers, then you'll kick butt in the compulsory rounds, and get the 1000 points. If you then want to further show your skill by doing more difficult maneuvers than those published, then that's what the Freestyle rounds are for. You can fly any maneuver you want in Freestyle in order to blow the judges away .

T-Rex-Flyer,

F3N is the FAI's designation for r/c model helis (3D). F3A is aerobatic airplanes, F3B is multitask sailplanes, F3C is aerobatic helis etc. Just a way of identifying types of modeling competitions. "K" factors are maneuver difficulty ratings. You get more points for doing more difficult maneuvers. "3DM" refers to the 3D Masters competition, and their published maneuvers are more difficult than those current published in the F3N rules.

Dr.Ben,

Yes, yes, and yes .

Hope this clears some of the issues we should be concerned about.

Dave
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09-17-2009 08:02 PM  11 years ago
Stephan

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Esslingen - Germany

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Hello, this is Stephan form Germany.
I'm the pilots speaker for F3N in Germany and involved in improving the F3N format from the pilots view.

Dave is right and I will try to give you some additional information.

Unfortunately the documents on the FAI website are sometimes
outdated or hard to find.

We have now flown this format since 5 years in Germany and are constantly trying to help the FAI to improve the rules.
For next year we will put piro-reversals in the maneuvers catalog.

This year we hat 45 competitors from a lot of countries like
Germany of course, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, US etc.
And there were many more pilots on the waiting list.

The competition was fully flown according to the FAI rules.
It consits of three rounds:
- set maneuvers where the pilot has to choose 8 out of 40
- freestyle (3-5 min)
- flight to music (3-5 min)
The best 10 pilots then flew the the final which consisted of set maneuvers and flight to music.

As always we had 5 judges. All points from every judge are fully published so everybody can see how he has scored.
All maneuvers are well described with text and picture, there is also a list about level of difficulty for the freestyle and music round and there is a judges guide. The goal is to train the judges and to give them some guidance that the scores are nearly the same eveywhere. All these documents are maintained by the FAI and there is a meeting every year where every nation can suggest improvements and changes. There is of course a little bit of bureaucracy involved in this, but this is the only way to ensure that every nation can score the same way. It also helps that the rules are not made through a single person but through the participants.

Starting 2009 we had the following changes:
Flybarless systems are allowed, battery can be up to 12s, weight limit is 6,5 kg.

For 2010 there are plans to change the rules, put more difficult maneuvers in the catalog and to improve the judges guide.

If there any any questions, please ask
Please excuse my bad english.

Stephan Schrade
Pilot Speaker
F3N Germany
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09-17-2009 08:47 PM  11 years ago
WJackson

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Smyrna, Delaware

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I've been preaching this format since I saw a post about it in the Competition forum. Love the way its laid out and would be very interested in not only competing but possibly hosting a contest.RIP Roman
Bill Jackson
AlignUSA
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09-17-2009 10:49 PM  11 years ago
Heliguychris

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Perth, West Australia

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Thats Brilliant then !

Awsome, cheers for the info Was exactly what i wanted.....

So, FBL and flights to music....is that we can have a comp, like today, with those rules ? or are they for next year.

I just assumed the 2009 pdf was, the rules...... assumption being the mother of all @#$%ups lol

Cheers
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09-17-2009 11:27 PM  11 years ago
Stephan

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Esslingen - Germany

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@WJackson
We would love to see more competitions around the world.
Go for it.

@Heliguychris
Yes, those are the rules already for 2009.
As I wrote, things are a bit mixed up on the FAI website :-(

One thing to take care about:
You must have official FAI judges who do the scoring.
Stephan Schrade
Pilot Speaker
F3N Germany
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09-19-2009 02:16 AM  11 years ago
WJackson

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Smyrna, Delaware

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Bump-------

Would like to get a list of who here would want to compete in this style event?

I'd like to talk to Rocky to adopt this for the Vegas Competition.

How many competitions would we (US) need to have a nats?
RIP Roman
Bill Jackson
AlignUSA
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09-19-2009 02:28 AM  11 years ago
WJackson

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Smyrna, Delaware

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The biggest benefit I see is the consistancy of the rules and judging.RIP Roman
Bill Jackson
AlignUSA
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09-19-2009 02:33 AM  11 years ago
jczankl

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Indiana

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I am all ears guys! Would love to see where this goes!
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09-19-2009 03:08 AM  11 years ago
WJackson

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One more thing, if a contest has prize money (like XFC, Vegas Comp) does that exclude it from being a qualifier? Could it adhere to the rules, be considered, and still give away prize money?RIP Roman
Bill Jackson
AlignUSA
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09-19-2009 03:46 AM  11 years ago
dahld

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Bakersfield, CA, USA

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W. Jackson

Being on the west coast, Kyle and I will of course attend Vegas in 2010 if the competition goes. I would love to see the format there. With their ability to do two flight lines at the same time, it would be a perfect location.

If there are other F3N events in the U.S. in 2010, we would do our absolute best to attend. Timing with other major events is of course critical, and distance can be a factor maybe, but we'd be the first to make an attempt to be there.

Here's the deal. If (or should I say when), F3N becomes a sanctioned event by the FAI, then world championships will follow. If the U.S. ignores the format, then the rest of the world will be attending the world champs, and the U.S. will be conspicuous by our absence...

Although F3C here in the U.S. has never had a huge following (I think because of the difficulty and commitment it takes to be really competitive), the U.S. has always managed to assemble a world team. I'd think with the popularity of 3D these days, that F3N would have a greater following.

I don't know about the money thing. Maybe Stephan can add some info?

Dave
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09-19-2009 05:34 AM  11 years ago
ErichF (RIP)

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Sutton, NH

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How many competitions would we (US) need to have a nats?
As has been said before, we already had this at the Nats once...

It's not about how many competitions, it's about showing up. You guys want to try this format in the next US heli Nats? That's fine, let Craig Bradley and IRCHA know. But, you guys better show up to the party this time.

Erich
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