F5J USA Tour mid-season report

Applications for the F5J USA Tour 2017 season are now closed as of June 30 per tour rules. We will begin accepting applications for the 2018 season on Nov 1. So now is a good time to review how the season is going and what things look like through the end of this season.

Regional contests

Given that this is the inaugural year for the F5J USA Tour the interest and excitement for F5J in the USA has been nothing short of amazing. On the 2017 calendar we have eleven (11) 2-day tour events and two (2) 1-day tour events. Starting in April that’s at least 1 regional contest each month. And August is packed with 4 separate events.

Pilot participation has been good. Here is a rundown of pilots who flew at least 4 rounds in each of the events so far:

F5J in the Desert – 25 pilots
F5J in Vegas – 37 pilots
F5J in Visalia – 18 pilots

The lion’s share of events are yet to come. Each one so far has been a very positive learning experience.

Club F5J activity ramping up

If you have been following the RC Groups “Electric Competition Soaring F5J/ALES/e-soaring” area you have seen more clubs doing F5J events this season. By our count there are ~10 clubs that are either already active in F5J or are just beginning to do so this year. This is great momentum to carry into the second half of this season.

2017 Tour Event Sponsors

So far we have 4 companies that have stepped up to sponsor one or more Tour events: NeuMotors, Flight Comp, Soaring USA, and Soaring Circuits. Six events are already sponsored while two are still open. We are fairly sure a few more sponsors will be added to the list before too long.

Tour expenses

In January the F5J USA Tour advisory group established a budget for web hosting and software expenses, end-of-season trophies, and shipping expenses to send the trophies to the top 10 tour finishers. When I (Chris) started the f5j-usa.com website I did not have plans for advertising. However because there were requests to post small ads those fees are now covering the web hosting fees, the domain registration fee, and the software purchased for building the website. So all of the $3/pilot tour fees due from the hosting clubs can be applied toward the trophies.

To date we have not collected any fees but will be sending out reminders soon.

Any questions let us know. Thanks to everyone so far for your support of the F5J USA Tour.

The F5J USA Tour advisory group:
Jim Monaco, Larry Jolly, Lenny Keer, Steve Neu, Lee Wolfe, Chris Bajorek

F5J in Slovakia: Contests in August

I received a nice email from Juraj Dudáš, contest director for Model Club Trnava in Slovakia. This is the club that manages the popular international Intertour F5J contest series. Club Trnava is also very active in hosting F5J contests themselves.

Club Trnava concludes their year’s flying season with a triad of back-to-back F5J contests in mid August. You can see the pilot’s list here. The flyer for the Dubnica F5J event is here. As of today there are 188 pilots from all over the world signed up for one or more of these contests.

You might be interested in the maximum pilot counts for each of the competitions: a limit of 112 in the Dubnica F5J event (96 enrolled so far), a limit of 144 in the F5J World Trnava Visegrad Cup (162 enrolled, presumably a waiting list), and a limit of 144 for the 2nd F5J World Challenge 2017 (177 enrolled).

I’m happy to report that USA pilot Ali Khani (FlightComp) will be participating in the World Challenge on Aug 19-20. Have a great contest Ali and report back how it goes.

F5J in Hawaii – August 2017

Details were recently announced for this F5J USA Tour event:

CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT: Steve and Michelle Manganelli and Steve Neu of Neumotors are pleased to announce the 3rd Hawaiian Open Cup for FAI-F5B Motor Gliders- Multi Task and the 1 st  ever Hawaiian Open Cup for FAI-F5J Motor Gliders-Thermal Duration.

Invitation : The Hawaiian Open Cups are open to all International competitors having FAI affiliation.  US Residents should be members of AMA.

Site Location : The world famous Kualoa Ranch, town of Kahaluu, Island of Oahu, State of Hawaii, USA.  This is the location where many tropical themed movies have been filmed including Jurassic Park/World, Kong-Skull Island and several others.  Take a look at the site here: http://www.kualoa.com/ .  Take a virtual tour of the breathtaking site here : https://youtu.be/SiXYz4JVhSI . Keep the time stamp on while watching, the area depicted between 1:32 and 1:35 is where we will be flying.

Competition Dates : August 10 through 12, 2017. The afternoon of the 9 th  will be the setup day and practice flying in the afternoon may be allowed, but not guaranteed at this time. Airport : Honolulu International (HNL)

Awards : Trophy/Plaques, Polynesian Theme

Scheduled Rounds : Total of (5); (2)  August 10 and 11, (1) August 12. We could have more or less depending on number of entrants and weather; the site access period is fixed.

Radio Frequency : 2.4 Ghz spread spectrum transmitters are required.  There will be no frequency control performed by contest organizers.

Contest Rules : Per  FAI Sporting Code Section 4- Aeromodelling, Volume F5, 2017 Edition dated 19 December, 2016 with following specifications for F-5B :

•  Real time telemetry as used in the 2016 F-5B Lugo Italy World Championships will be supplied by Organizers and used per paragraph No other energy limiter in the model is needed.

•  Watt-Minutes in excess of 1750 will be counted and scored per paragraphs c) and d)

•  Organization of Starts shall be per Mode A, paragraph f).

Lodging/Accommodation : The windward shore contest site is a modest drive (25 miles/47 minutes) from Hawaii’s famous tourist destination Waikiki Beach and Honolulu which has numerous hotels. It is also approximately (19 miles/37 minutes) miles from the North Shore resorts such as Turtle Bay http://www.turtlebayresort.com/. The town of Kailua (15.3 miles/32 minutes) is probably the nearest location for AIR B&B type accommodations.

Slope Soaring Party :  Following the Competition, the Pilots, their supporters  and contest organizers will be the guests of Mr. Barron Gus at his home and private slope soaring site high above Kailua Town. Libations and Hors D’oeuvres will be provided courtesy of our sponsor. The slope site is a ridge with rotors/sink on the backside, landing a little tight, so plan to bring a foamy slope beater, not your composite masterpiece.

Advance Entry Fee (through August 1, 2017) : 200€/$215 USD payable through the NeuMotors Store, link here : http://neumotors.cartloom.com/shop/item/137740

Late Entry Fee (on the Field) : $250 USD

Contest Director F-5J (Hawaii)

Joe Nave
Cell Phone (808) 394-6387

GliderScore with Smartphone scoring is released

After months of development and testing, GliderScore v6.52 is available with eScoring support. This enables scores entry via smartphones and computer tablets. This system not only works for F5J contests but also TD, ALES, F3J and many other formats. It is a major step forward in contest scoring and a huge timesaver for CDs and scorekeepers. Program author Gerry Carter has done an incredible job making the system as easy to use as possible.

How it works

After you have created a new contest in Gliderscore you enable smartphone scoring by clicking a button that uploads your contest configuration to the Gliderscore server.

Then you hand out Scoring Record cards to each pilot; this is where the pilot writes down his scores for his personal record. At the top of each of these cards is a QR Code. You scan this code once, at the beginning of the day, to open your own (or someone else’s) personalized scoring web page.

Scoring record card

After each flight you whip out your smartphone, tap the button for the round just flown and your scoring entry screen pops up. When you are done tapping in your score you Submit it (score is saved on the GliderScore server). From there you can quickly scan any other pilot’s card (once for the day) and enter their scores. Because it’s so easy even guys without smartphones can still have their scores entered quickly this way.

List of rounds scoring screen

The CD/scorekeeper periodically downloads the scores from the GliderScore server. This enables him to see who has not yet entered their scores so he can give reminders if necessary. After every round is completed and the CD is satisfied with the scores, they are then uploaded to the GliderScore server. From there any pilot can view the intermediate contest standings on their phones. How cool is that?

Certainly any club at least doing F5j should be using GliderScore. And the larger the contest the more you will realize the benefit of GliderScore’s contest automation and eScoring capabilities. Highly recommended!

Score entry screen
Intermediate standings displayed on your smartphone

Free online GliderScore training

For any clubs that would like to use GliderScore + smartphone scoring I am willing to conduct an online training session for your contest team. Use the Contact form and send me a message if you’re interested.