There would be zero incentive for a team to change wingspan. It is not true that longer wings put up better times. The national record holder is a standard catapult in both categories and at many ama events people fly standard in the unlimited and win.
Leave the ELG rules alone with the possible exception of increasing the max wingspan to 35 cm or 40 cm to encourage further experimentation. I am not sure that slightly larger catapult gliders would fly longer, but I suspect that would be true.
You are overlooking one important factor. What the gliders are made of. Even within kits the potential of a glider varies greatly because the way the wood balances out will effect how well it glides.If you looked at the results of hundreds of ELG competitions this year you would find that the teams that won generally built the most number of gliders and practiced the most. I like the idea of scoring the best 2 out of 5 official flights as it removes unlucky flights, such a when the glider hits a beam because the competitor is launching in a different ceiling height for the first time.
I agree. The event is meant to test the knowledge of gliders and ability to construct/fly said gliders which, in my opinion, the existing scoring and rules are able to do effectively. The more one knows about the event, the more successfully one can trim under any conditions. I do think that some luck is involved but, once you think about it, what event doesn't have some dependence on luck (especially building events)? Ideally, the teams who are not as lucky have the knowledge to come out with the placing they deserve. If teams are unlucky but have sufficient knowledge, they can work with what they are dealt and still receive a satisfactory placing.I don't really see a reason for making teams try to match an exact time. Unlike in gravity vehicle, for example, where it works to have teams try to estimate the time, gliders are much more variable and sensitive to subtle environmental changes. Having to match an exact time would increase the advantage of the home team at nationals, because humidity and such would have a significant impact on the exact time. Also, complicating how to calculate scores would increase the chances of scoring errors. I think a few minor changes to the event would be ok but overall the event is fine the way it is.
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