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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › New 3D Competition Format Coming - FAI - F3N
09-19-2009 05:38 AM  11 years ago
ErichF (RIP)

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Sutton, NH

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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.
The US used to have quite a dominant following in precision aerobatics. The US Heli Nats used to have nearly 100 pilots. Look back through the AMA Model Aviation Archives. The 1992 Nats had 90 pilots...22 in class I, 21 in class II, 11 in class III, 30 in FAI, and 6 in scale. However, you are right that the difficulty, commitment, and practice keeps most people away. The rest just aren't competitive anymore. They just "wanna have fun" as they say...like we are all beating ourselves with a pain stick as we compete.

Erich
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09-19-2009 05:10 PM  11 years ago
EricBrandenburg

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Milwaukee,WI

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They just "wanna have fun" as they say...like we are all beating ourselves with a pain stick as we compete.
If you try compete without any sponsors, or do not have enough money to the point that you can amass the same amount of parts by yourself, it can be. Competing is not for those on a budget period. It is one thing to attend a competition, but it is another to attend a BIG one. For someone who wants to break into the scene of being considered a top pilot, and who is essentially flying for themselves, financially it makes a lot more sense to attend a big event with coverage, rather than something that is for the most part private. If you can only afford to make one contest the one with the most press wins, ie XFC or the like.

Until runryder covered the worlds this year finding f3c type flying on video was a lot harder to do. If these type of structured events were covered more heavily and given more exposure I think you would see its popularity rise. I think that if the f3N format is adopted by more than one event in the US it will start to catch on.

I really have to agree that difficult compulsory maneuvers without music helps take out a lot of the subjectivity that some other competitions have. Personally, I think the freestyle flying to music is kind of weak personally. I would much rather just fly a four minute freestyle with no music. I feel that is the best possible thing that could be done to eliminate subjectivity is these sorts of events.

The music is sometimes nice imo, but it changes the goal of the pilots. It is no longer a who is the best pilot sort of thing, and becomes who can do the best flight to music. Granted choreography is hard but I think that shouldn't be the the deciding factor in a skills sort of competition. For me straight up technical flying with no assistance from a musical score to do a maneuver to really shows what the pilot is capable of doing versus watching someone do tic tocs to the beat of the music.
Eric
Spending money I don't have on things I don't need to impress people I don't know
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09-19-2009 07:19 PM  11 years ago
ErichF (RIP)

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Sutton, NH

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If you try compete without any sponsors, or do not have enough money to the point that you can amass the same amount of parts by yourself, it can be. Competing is not for those on a budget period.
This is a bunch of bologna. I competed for four years in IMAC and three years in helicopters without any sponsors, and I am not "rich".

As for 3D competition, I suppose you could be a little closer to the truth, as being a competitive 3D pilot means you eat a LOT of dirt. However, the dough most guys spend on going to every funfly on the planet shows me that getting to a comp should not be any problem.
It is one thing to attend a competition, but it is another to attend a BIG one. For someone who wants to break into the scene of being considered a top pilot, and who is essentially flying for themselves, financially it makes a lot more sense to attend a big event with coverage, rather than something that is for the most part private. If you can only afford to make one contest the one with the most press wins, ie XFC or the like.
If that is all your after, your priorities are all screwed up. Competition may be closer to a sport, but it is still a HOBBY. There's enough guys out there after free crap. Just fly, attend a comp or two, and have fun. It should be no different than going to a funfly. The only difference is you just might come out with more than a free bottle of LocTite...like the respect of your peers and a trophy.

Another thing, properly formatted, you will not be competing against the likes of Alan, Jason, or Henry. A proper contest will be setup so as folks with similar skill sets will compete against one another. That is why the F3N manuevers catalog has K factors. All manuevers K3-5 would be a Novice class, K6-7 a Sportsman class, K8+ would be a Master's class. Done in that format, come one, come all...no one would be pressured to fly outside of their comfort zone, unless they wanted to. Peer pressure does a fine job of mitigating sand-baggers, but a points system can be implaced to discourage sand-bagging, just as AMA Precision aerobatics does.

This contest format for 3D is very promising. It's also not hard to hold a contest, AMA, F3C, or F3N. In my experience, it's actually easier than a funfly.

Erich
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09-19-2009 10:08 PM  11 years ago
bstock

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Easton, MD.

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properly formatted, you will not be competing against the likes of Alan, Jason, or Henry. A proper contest will be setup so as folks with similar skill sets will compete against one another. That is why the F3N manuevers catalog has K factors. All manuevers K1-3 would be a Novice class, K4-6 a Sportsman class, K6+ would be a Master's class. Done in that format, come one, come all...no one would be pressured to fly outside of their comfort zone, unless they wanted to. Peer pressure does a fine job of mitigating sand-baggers, but a points system can be implaced to discourage sand-bagging, just as AMA Precision aerobatics does.
Exactly!!
This is what makes this so exciting for any and all 3D pilots that want to do more with the hobby... to take it to another level!

I have always envied the F3C guys a little for having that, and it is cool to see how so very passionate they are about F3C. If we can get F3N together for us 3D pilots, it adds an exciting new dimension to our hobby... while adding more fun in the end!!

Also like that it levels the playing field to "your" skill set. Imagine if you are one of the top pilots in the Class 1 Novice class - how cool is that. There is a level of personel satisfaction there right off the get go - and as far as respect, you don't have to be flying like an Alan Jr. of the hobby to gain it. Pretty Cool that is!!

Participating is only about flying the maneuvers "with precision" for your class - not a matter of flying all the hardest maneuvers to get a win. That's empowering.

Since they announced this, I have been in conversations with some of my peers that also love to promote the hobby.

It is still way to early to tell where that is going... but I can tell you... if YOU guys decide you want this and want to get behind it out there - together we can All easily make F3N a new, exciting, and most importantly; a FUN new aspect of what we all think is one of the greatest hobbys on earth.
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09-19-2009 10:39 PM  11 years ago
Heliguychris

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Perth, West Australia

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Could someone put up a link or two to the rules ?

Cheers
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09-19-2009 11:13 PM  11 years ago
ErichF (RIP)

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Sutton, NH

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The link below will take you to the current FAI Sporting Code for Helicopters. The section you are looking for is Annex 5F, F3N.

Keep in mind these rules will be changing slightly for the 2010-12 cycle, mostly to align for current FBL and large electrics.

The manuevers, as far as I know, will remain the same. The maneuver descriptions and diagrams are at the end of Annex 5F. Note the K factors of each manuever. K1 is lowest difficulty, K10 is highest.

CLASS F3N – RADIO CONTROLLED HELICOPTER FREESTYLE

Have fun!

Erich
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09-19-2009 11:18 PM  11 years ago
Stephan

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Esslingen - Germany

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@Heliguychris:
As there are only the outdated documents on the official FAI website.
Here is the link to the document on my website:
F3N Rules

I'm waiting for the official answer about prize money.
I'll keep you informed.

I'm very happy that you are so interested in F3N.
Stephan Schrade
Pilot Speaker
F3N Germany
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09-20-2009 04:00 PM  11 years ago
Eco8gator

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Palm Beach, FL

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Hello

Id have to agree with fly boy 1.

It is a very big disadvantage for a pilot with no sponsorships to compete against the guys that can just smash them and not worry about the parts cost. I work with 2 very good pilots and man it is a swift kick in the pants when the helis go in and its usually not because of a dumb thumb. Until just recently one of them became fully sponsored and hopefully his amazing skills get even more so in competition flight. Oh BTW, I know quite a few sponsored pilots who have trips paid for them so they really only have to show up

At IRCHA(before the sponsorship) we put in a 700 2x because of stupid stuff not related to the pilot(tail grip breaking during reversals, link popping off of the head...these were new links)...and I assure you that was a good chuck of change to fix. We watched Ito put in an SG90 sized machines and it really didnt look like he cared, he just braught out the back ups and kept going...and I doubt he had to fork out any change for it either.

Granted it wasn't a compeition but hopefully this example shows that high risk flying definitally will put a dent in the pocket book and can hold a pilot back from their full potential.

C
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ProBar
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09-20-2009 04:53 PM  11 years ago
ErichF (RIP)

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The idea is to keep folks competing with their peers, not the top pilots. Sponsorship is pretty over-rated. In most cases, it's not that much of an advantage.

One thing we have done at the regional FAI contests is to have fully sponsored or employee pilots remain in a "Pro Class". It's a made up category at the CD's discretion that keeps their results from mingling with the average Joe's. With the tremendous amount of sponsored pilots in 3D flying, it's easy enough to categorize them in a separate class. In a local or regional 3D contest, the non-sponsored pilot really should out-number the sponsored ones. In the FAI/AMA circuit, most of the guys currently flying have been doing it for so long, that nearly all of us have some form of sponsorship. Even my sponsorship only extends to my sport flying birds like the Caliber 6. My sponsorship does not cover my competition 90s, nor does it cover travel expense.

I understand your thoughts, guys, trust me I do. I have put on an FAI contest for the past four years now, and it always comes up. However, instead of worrying about it so much, how about you guys actually hold a few contests and have some fun with it, before you start worrying about sponsored pilots or trying to get sponsored?

If anyone has questions on holding a contest, feel free to PM me. Cliff Hiatt is also the chairman of the AMA contest board. He will also be able to field your questions on putting on a contest. He is on RR as Chiatt.
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09-20-2009 08:33 PM  11 years ago
EricBrandenburg

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I think you missed the point on what I said. As of now there really is no competition for 3D other than the huge world level events such as the xfc. In that case yes it is advantageous to have support, mainly because everyone there already does so it only hurts new people to try to pay for things themselves, in an effort to remain competitive. Competition in general is fun don't get me wrong but to say trying to compete with the big names on your own is a bit different. I am also not saying competition is only to be used for free stuff, but it is just about impossible to have a chance at winning a big event like that when everyone else can lay their machines on the line and not worry about it. I think f3n is in concept a great idea, mainly because it gives the new guys an opportunity to get there names out and fly competitively without the added pressure of flying at the level of the top pilots in the world.
Eric
Spending money I don't have on things I don't need to impress people I don't know
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09-20-2009 08:51 PM  11 years ago
ErichF (RIP)

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Oh, you're absolutely right! Up to now, 3D competition has mainly been an invitational thing only. There are only a couple 3D contests out there, such as the Vegas Align Cup, that even allow average Joes to sign up.

Precision aerobatics (FAI) contests are always open to anyone, including the Nationals. I think the spirit of F3N competition should model that in order to grow the upcoming 3D competition circuit. Better yet, organizers of F3N events should model the format of IMAC, the one of the most successful competition disciplines in the country now. Little focus should be put on prizes and sponsorships, or the only people signing up for a 3D contest will be the same guys we see at XFC, 3DM, etc...

A grass roots effort should be started in each district. Get your club mates together, print up a bunch of copies of the manuever descriptions and diagrams, and go out and try them as a group. In a month or so, hold an informal contest to see how things work. Keep it laid back and fun.

Erich
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09-20-2009 10:28 PM  11 years ago
bstock

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Easton, MD.

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There are only a couple 3D contests out there, such as the Vegas Align Cup, that even allow average Joes to sign up.

Precision aerobatics (FAI) contests are always open to anyone, including the Nationals. I think the spirit of F3N competition should model that in order to grow the upcoming 3D competition circuit.
Get your club mates together, print up a bunch of copies of the manuever descriptions and diagrams, and go out and try them as a group. In a month or so, hold an informal contest to see how things work. Keep it laid back and fun
"Fun" being the keyword!

A couple of weeks after IRCHA, a bunch of us were flying at our Delaware Heli Assoc. club field... and one of the guys brought out the printed diagrams they received when taking Joe's F3C Class 1 seminar at IRCHA.

So we got out the orange cones and the orange marker paint... and we set up an F3C box. We took the diagrams/ manuevers, and started flying them. It was Loads of Fun!!

We can do the same thing with defined 3D - F3N moves. Since more of us fly 3D, it makes sense to practice/ fly/ have fun with what most of us are used to flying, and what style we prefer to fly.

In all of the years I have been attending funflys and putting on HeliFUN - the one constant is that EVERYONE just keeps getting better and better at their flying. That's a given, and one of the coolest parts of hanging out and flying with everyone! Here we have a chance for a pilot to add a new fun dimension to his flying - and to compete with-in his comfort zone... all good things.

The only thing I see holding this up so far, is getting the AMA to define set Classes and those maneuvers.
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09-20-2009 10:57 PM  11 years ago
Heliguychris

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Perth, West Australia

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Wow ! Stephan, now thats what im talking about lol

I espically like the last page, the judges scoring guide for freestyle, thats a great idea !

Thanks for that mate After some discussions at a scale comp yday, with Brian, of RC Rotortech, we are going to get one of these comps in the pipeline, but alas we have no FAI judges, so well have to grow it grassroots, but should be a great format to fly through.

Cheers again.
Chris
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09-20-2009 11:19 PM  11 years ago
Stephan

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Esslingen - Germany

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@heliguychris:
You're welcome.

Its good that you like the list for freestyle scoring. There is a lot of work envolved in it :-)
We are just now working on a new list, to split up all the reversals. Because not all of them are equally difficult.
Also for example a piro tictoc loop is easier than a piro tictoc circle.

This is important as we see the skills grow and then it is hard to make a difference between the pilots.

The list is very important because it gives the judges and the pilots a very good guidance.

Its a good idea to make a comp. Just start easy ,and then you will see it growing.

BTW:
Many greetings to Brian.
Perhaps he remembers me, we met several times in Germany at JetPower because of the Wren turbines.

CU
Stephan Schrade
Pilot Speaker
F3N Germany
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09-20-2009 11:31 PM  11 years ago
Stephan

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Esslingen - Germany

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Regarding sponsoring:

I think especially the F3N format is very good for all pilots because you don't get any higher scores if you are flying low.
You rather risk that you get a lower score in the safety part.
But this doesn't mean freestyle or flight to music has to be boring.
There is still plenty of room to get high scores with harmonic flying, many different maneouvers (this is important) and difficulty.
Stephan Schrade
Pilot Speaker
F3N Germany
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09-21-2009 12:53 AM  11 years ago
Dr.Ben

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Richmond, VA, USA

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The low flying thing is a real PITA for the current formats. I recall talking to Nick Maxwell last year aftter he returned from an invitational 3D contest. In that event, unless you were pretty much kicking up dirt with your blades, even in the compulsories, the judges scored you MUCH lower. THAT, IMHO, is bullsh...

I realize it's a thrill in a demo situation to see someone almost crash for an entire flight, but when you're the guy out there who has to at least rebuild the stuff after you hit, it would surely be a lot better to have to worry only about how WELL you fly your maneuver rather than how low.

Ben Minor
Peak Aircraft/Team Minicopter Team Futaba Team Kontronik USA
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09-21-2009 01:01 AM  11 years ago
ErichF (RIP)

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Sutton, NH

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Agreed. The low stuff should be reserved for the optional Freestyle to Music portion of a contest...just as IMAC (RC Scale Aerobatics) does with their Freestyle piece. In IMAC, performing the compulsory manuevers are done at a normal, safe altitude.

A contest CD could define a hard deck for lower classes of 3D competitors so that they aren't pressured to risk their birds as much. Say, a 10M minimum altitude for compulsory manuevers?

Erich
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09-21-2009 01:15 AM  11 years ago
bstock

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Easton, MD.

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In that event, unless you were pretty much kicking up dirt with your blades, even in the compulsories, the judges scored you MUCH lower. THAT, IMHO, is bullsh..
totally agree also... especially for the lower Classes/ those just starting out.
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09-21-2009 01:34 AM  11 years ago
WJackson

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Smyrna, Delaware

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This is what I'm talking about!!!!!!!!!! I couldnt agree with you more there Dr.!!! Yes, I'm a rep, yes I get discounts, but by no means a full ride, and with a 15m old, I cant afford to crash!! Taking that element out of the comp is brilliant.
totally agree also... especially for the lower Classes/ those just starting out.
Not really needed, IMO ofcourse, there just shouldnt be ANY benefit or detriment in scoring in regards to altitude.
RIP Roman
Bill Jackson
AlignUSA
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09-21-2009 04:05 AM  11 years ago
dahld

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Bakersfield, CA, USA

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Minimum Altitudes
As a matter of fact, in the F3N rules under the Compulsory Maneuver Descriptions, the first paragraph places (for safety reasons), a minimum altitude of 5 meters for aerobatic maneuvers, and 2 meters for hovering maneuvers.

There are no minimum altitudes prescribed for the freestyle and music flights however.

Dave
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