Re: Western Front Rhinebeck

Douglas R. Jones (
Tue, 19 Sep 1995 17:17:25 -0500

Ya know Larry there are days when I wonder why I even get up............ :-o
Matt would you be kind enough to ensure they have an extra jacket for me!

>I actually did the stats and there's no pattern whatever. My motivation for
>doing so was because I wanted 'evidence' that jets were over-represented in
>the top 10 (unfair advantage sort of thing). Unfortunately, it just ain't
>in spite of the fact that first and second place were won by jets.

Somehow I figured.

>Yep...that's my point exactly. A contest is not being conducted to improve
>the esthetics of a runway. People at high levels of competition are looking
>for advantage and if plane selection, because this or that plane gives them
>higher probabilities of planting each of their landings, makes it less likely
>that they'll be blown around, etc. will give it to them, then they will fly
>that airplane in the same way that race car drivers go with what works.

>You seem to want to view competition as something that occurs at all levels as
>just a bunch of guys getting together to fly airplanes. I think you know my
>views on this (similar to yours) from our private conversations but these views
>are more of a 'wouldn't it be nice' rather than 'how it is'. The guys at the
>top levels of scale competition are competing for 1) money, 2) prestige, 3)
>They want to win. Winning means flying VERY well under any conditions.
This will
>limit the planes that are suitable for that. This was my only real point.
>your response I'll add an additional point that discussion of this should
>what is from what might be nice if only to delineate how you might want to
>things to make 'nice' occur.

And this is the REAL point here. Competitions are about winning. Period. I
climbed up on my 60's style soapbox and wished for a better world. You
kicked it out and brought me back to reality. Thanks you my cynical
friend....I needed that! I suspect (as we have discussed) that this is why
competitions are declining and fly-in's are gaining in popularity and

>I think you need to go and check either the rulebook or the winner's circle
>The guy who gets the top static score is generally not the guy who is winning
>these events. Flying is what is winning these events simply because the
>in static scores is very low while the flying scores vary a lot. And maybe it
>shouldn't be that way but as long as it is, the guy who gets beat by 2-3 points
>in static judging has a real good shot at making it up during the flying.

Yup. You are correct I am afraid. I checked.

>Another thing to keep in mind is that static judging is negative, not positive.
>You lose points for not having details, you don't gain that much by having
>So, it really pays to have a fairly simple model. A guy presenting a
Fokker DVII
>isn't going to lose points for rigging wires but a guy with an SE5a may
lose points
>by using clevises instead of turnbuckles.

All too true.

>Rhinebeck's scale events have declined considerably over the last bunch of
>Why? I guess I would disagree that a flying scale event might as well be
>They are two very different flying challenges and each has its challenges. But
>I think this is a separate issue entirely.

>I guess we just disagree on this.

Well yes and no. Their Scale event doesn't have the participation it may
have once had. By Rhinebeck Manuevers isn't a flying scale event. Its a
Pattern event. Wrere Cuban-8s regular WWI manuevers? I don't think so. Their
Scale event (AMA 513) is just that a scale event.

>Maybe...but realize that while you and I might like to see the variety,
there are
>those who would argue a flip side of this coin. Favoring oddball aircraft
>a large number of planes that don't have to fly all that well to win. Many
>say that, using your relating flying contests to pattern, that it turns scale
>competitions into a static event. My point here is that we're talking
about different
>ends of a continuum here and whether the emphasis is placed on static or flight
>judging will determine many things, including the variety of models to be seen
>at high level contests. I keep saying "high level" because anything short of
>that is most likely dominated more by building desires, kit availability,
etc. than
>anything else.

Yes I agree. High Level is all about the afore mentioned items.

>It's unfortunate that people argue against 'they' so often. Doug, you ARE

Yes guilty as charged :-(

>I suppose it's all in how you look at it. You can see sinister and devious
>scenarios to get the rules favoring WWII fighter planes weighing 25lbs.
Or, you
>can see a desire to 'win it in the air' as Frank Tiano is so fond of saying.
>While I agree with you that more variety would be better, I tend to see the
>desire to have a flying event as more the reason for the way the rules are
>written than anything else. An example of this is Top Gun which requires more
>flying than does the Masters in that they limit the number of mechanical
>options (bomb drop, retracts, etc) than can be substituted for actual
>This isn't something favoring heavy metal as they can do all sorts of things
>with opening canopies, speed brakes, etc. But it does require that the planes
>be put through more maneuvers to accumulate points.

Having a flying event is probably what id all about. While looking at them
on the ground is nice it is more fun to see them fly! I have to caveat this
with as long as they are flying "scale". Now there is subjective issue!

>I doubt there are many competitors who are trying to create a market for
>and Top Flite though and this sounds to me what you're arguing above. I think
>competition and generating interest in the general populace are two very
>different things and you're confusing them here.

Perhaps. But I wonder if the average modeler isn't influenced by what the
top competitors are doing.

>Frankly, I see a lot of coverage of WWI/Golden Age aircraft in the magazines.
>They may not be flying in the Masters but they are there and while I don't have
>any numbers to prove it, I'd bet that they are represented in the mags far
>than their actual numbers warrant if you want to talk about biases :-)

Hmmm. We read different mags. I'll take your word for it!

>But the fact is, your average sport flyer can see himself flying a P51
because its
>general shape is similar to the sport planes he flys. For the same reason,
>Cubs are very popular. But for those sport flyers to see themselves flying an
>Albatros (let alone building one) is beyond their wildest dreams. You have
>stories of how people look at all the rigging on your Pup and their 'too
>responses. But this response has nothing to do with competition rules,
coverage of those events, or anything related to competition.

Maybe. But when you consider the continuum these things could be done as
sport scale and obviate the need for some of the detailing for those who do
not want to do it.

>Now, I think, we get to the important stuff. There is a rising interest in
>building scale aircraft rather than sport planes. How do you get these people
>interested in WWI aircraft, not for competition, but as a challenge. Answers
>to this question is what will put more WWI aircraft in the RC magazines.

And I, unfortunately, do not have the answers. As much as I would like to
think I do. I just have a wish/feeling that if more showed up in serious
competition others would be inspired. Who knows!

'I am a traveler of | Douglas R. Jones
both Time and Space' | IEX Corporation
Led Zeppelin | (214)301-1307