Tethers

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smoogrish
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Tethers

Post by smoogrish » April 24th, 2011, 5:27 pm

Has anyone tried to tether their copter? I think my team wants to try because last year when the middle school kids were flying their airplanes, we saw many tragedies due to the rafters and various flags and basketball decorations in the gym. We believe tethering is the best option for state so that our helicopter doesn't get smashed up in the rafters and run into the flags and such, but from what I see on here no one has opted to do that. Is it better just to leave it to luck and let it go untethered, or tether it?

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illusionist
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Re: Tethers

Post by illusionist » April 25th, 2011, 7:35 am

I have submitted a national rule clarification, and here is the response I got:

Question: "Are competitors allowed to tether their helicopters, as to control the height
of the flight? Competitors will not be touching the tether at anytime."

Answer: "The current rules do no allow tethering. Anything physically attached to the
helicopter would be considered a constituent part of the helicopter and if
the tether touches the ground, it would never be considered to be aloft (with
the current wording)."


So the answer to your question is no. It would not be worth it. (atleast as of this year)
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smoogrish
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Re: Tethers

Post by smoogrish » April 25th, 2011, 10:18 am

Thing is, our state rules allow tethering.

" Tethers: Competitors may elect to tether their helicopter. The tether may not be held by the competitors, it must be free standing. Tethers and tether weights may be made from any material, and may be attached to the helicopter with any of the materials listed in 2.b.. The weight of the attaching piece will be included in the helicopter mass, but the tether itself will not. (1/27/11) "

So, with that being the rule, tethering seems like the better option. I am not concerned whether it is legal or not, I am concerned wether it would affect the flight of the helicopter and the overall performance.

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illusionist
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Re: Tethers

Post by illusionist » April 25th, 2011, 10:34 am

The best way to increase flight times is to match rubber with your rotors. This prevents you from shooting straight up and hitting the ceiling. The tether is one option to avoid having to do so much testing. From my experience, I have gotten times almost as good as without a tether, so it may be a right choice for you. For more info, you should check out the Duration and 2011 Rules threads in Helicopter. But, our answers here are no substitute for testing yourself. Try a couple flights with a tether and see how well it works for you.
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sj
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Re: Tethers

Post by sj » April 25th, 2011, 1:50 pm

The other thing with tethering is that you still want the helicopter to almost reach the ceiling so that decent time is maximized. At that point depending on the tether material you may have added maybe .25-.5 gram to the overall mass the helicopter has to lift. This is pretty significant as we found that .5 grams can take away as much as 10-20 secs. Thus unless the ceiling is prohibitively obstacle strewn i think just free flying is better. As illusionist said matching rubber to rotors is essential and can give major time boosts.
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chia
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Re: Tethers

Post by chia » April 25th, 2011, 6:20 pm

Also, smoogrish, I suggest you read through the "2011-2012 Rules" topic on this forum, since a lot of it has to do with the pros and cons of tethering.
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