Presumably this faction is the group pushing Aerial Scrambler - I am not sure how to take that with regard to a generalized belief of kits being needed to win.Jeff:
Thank you for your insights.
Is that the same faction that believes that kits are needed to win?
While I understand the reverse circle is to force the kids to re-trim the plane, it is unfortunately still strapped with the 8-minute limit. With the small prop, expect super thin rubber with many turns, It will be a challenge to get two flights started in the 11-minute window (3 preflight, 8 flight). IF this were science, then there would be time to retrim the plane between flights. If last year's goal was 3 minute flights, and 5 resulted, then I would expect this year's designs, with some optimization, will reach the 3 minute target. The kids will need pre-set adjustments, rather than truly perform a handful of trim flights making adjustments as required.
I have been coaching my HS kids to F1D this summer. It has been a LOT of work, with 4-6 hour days most weekdays for the last month. But I am impressed with how quickly these kids pick up building skills FAR more complicated than WS. Since many planes are kit-based, with comprehensive instructions, I really do not see the prevalence of parent-built or coach-built planes. My kids are now convinced they can build an SO plane in one 6-hour session (scratch built, not kit). They have built LPP's and F1D's, all of which fall under similar BOM rules. And they have shown themselves very capable!
I agree that test/eval is the core of this event. WE have a goal to get in the gym as early as possible, and typically log 400 or more flights before Nationals. A build-on-site event eliminates the science (presumably it would be a one-design contest), and makes it all about building quickly. In a 50-minute window there would be little time to optimize in a data-driven approach. I hope we never go that way!
As for my team, I would welcome any and all observers to come watch my kids during a build. We are probably going to do a parent build of P18's before Eager in April, because the parents are feeling left out!
By the way, when you talk about "many turns" with the smaller prop this year, how many are you thinking?