The best fliers don't always make it to Nats because the team isn't as strong in other events.
(Ohio is sendinging its best 2 teams including last year's Nat Champs but they only placed 8th and 15th in WS)
It is also dependant upon the flying site. The 5:11 time was done in a very high site.
Your times will vary.
It would be interesting to compare times vs flying site.
our team flew 3:11 on a full motor in a 25' height (with a large torque backoff) and flew 1:50 on 1/2 motors in the same site.
At the Ohio State Competition they flew 3:31 in a 48' site but only reached 38~40'. This was enough for 1st place.
I'm sure they would love to fly in the Nat's site to see how they would do.
The flying site was the Armory, which had an impressive 98 foot ceiling. Use GOOGLE to find an image on line. I think this year's Nationals for WS will be in the same venue.
From what I observed, it was clear that few competitors had prepared to fly in such a high site. Many planes did not climb nearly as high as they should have. The ones that did often went dead stick at about 50 feet of altitude, headed straight for the wall, and went down fast.
You need to practice with partial motors. That means if your gym is 25 feet or less in height, make up a dummy motor stick that weighs 1.125 grams and make up a bunch of partial motors that weigh 0.375 grams.
See the article on the Nationals web site on flying with partial motors. I think it is still there.
Learn how to wind your 1/4 motor so your plane will climb near the 25 foot ceiling. Try to make sure that your plane doesn't run out of winds until it is near to the floor. Your torque meter wil not be used to tell you how many winds to back off, as you do in lower ceiling heights. All that torque will be needed to get altitude in the Amory. All the winds will be needed to prevent you from going dead stick too high. The torque meter will be used to tell you when your motor has been wound to near breaking point.
Be careful not to have motor stick bending issues with all that torque. Watch out for prop stalls, indicated by the plane hanging on its prop when first launched.
Experiment with trim and lower pitch props to get your plane up there. If you have time, experiment with a main wing having lower camber, e.g. 3% instead of 6%.
I am not sure how the bonus wing will play out this year. That's a big percentage bonus but a huge sacrifice in wing loading with such a small wing chord.
Our team had limited success with the State bonus and it was a lot of work. My gut instincts tell me the winner at Nationals in WS in 2010 will have a large chord wing, i.e. at least 13 cm.
I feel our team's success in Ohio was completely the result of spending 6 hours flying on 1/2 motors to prepare for the higher flying site.
The teams that will do well at Nats are those that are ready and can make full use of the 98' site.
I think that any team currently flyng 2:00 ~ 2:30 in a "normal" gym has a plane that is capable of winning. It will all depend on the preparation time and how they deal with the minor issues that occur the day of competition.
The key points (in my opinion)
1) have a plane that weighs 7.0 ~ 7.2g
2) have practiced with 1/4 motors so your place can reach the top in a normal gym
3) match the motor to the plane so it does not land with too many winds or come down "dead stick"
4) be able to fly the same time consistantly.
5) have a little luck the day of competition.
Behind the champ, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place teams were within about 1 sec. of each other, but not close enough to be a real threat to win.
Danielle S. on this forum was 3rd again, missing 2nd by .2 sec. I believe. (I was only timing the 8 min. flight period, not the actual flights.)
My son didn't realize a fluorescent light fixture was a no parking zone. When John Clapp expertly got the plane down (and it stopped flying), he only got it checked and remounted with another motor, and relaunched with about 15 sec. to spare. He finished just behind Danielle. It was more competitive and more fun to watch this year. Good job, teams.
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They way to optimize your plane for flying at the Armory (98 foot ceiling) is covered in one of my recent posts (above).
One cool aspect of the Armory that I recall is that it has a system of double doors which virtually eliminates the problem of drafts.
It's so big that in 2005 they also held Storm the Castle in the Armory, with no negative effect on the Wright Stuff competition.
Good luck. Wish I could be there to observe the Wright Stuff competition at Nationals this year.
Rule 7d. "Event Supervisors are allowed to break any competitors' devices" -bearasauras
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