Showing posts from October, 2013

Col de Faisses, N115 and Mobius

With fall arriving, the slope season is ending here in Europe. However, last week-end, we had superb condition with cool temperatures and good south wind. I drove to Col de Faisses in order to fly the Needle 115, and also do a video and some aerial pictures with the Mobius action cam. The place is wild and beautiful so perfect for this exercice. 

We flew almost 3 hours non-stop, with or without the cam, and moving the cam between the wing tip and the center to obtain different perspectives.
After some quick editing, this gives the following video. The camera filmed in 1080p, but the editing output is 720p for upload and file size reasons. But it gives a good idea of the quality you can expect from this excellent tiny Mobius cam.

Despite I had also the Pike Precision and the Needle 100, I flew only the Needle 115, and enjoyed it a lot in a medium wind (9 to 10 m/s I would say). I flew with 700 of ballast all the time.  Below is a video taken with the GoPro3 mounted on the helmet. You …

Laurac, last comp of the french league

Last week-end was the last contest of the french league which includes 13 competitions from March to end of october. Over these 13 competitions, 3 has not been validated because of the weather. Before the last competition, scores were very close and 3 to 4 pilots could still win the league. I arrived on Friday to fly all the afternoon, and push the testing of the gyro on my Pike Precision in strong conditions before the comp, as the organiser added a local rule allowing gyros, in order to really know if it was giving a clear advantage. During that time people continue to fight on RCgroups forum without having flown at least 1 flight with a gyro onboard :) !

the wind was really strong on Friday, with an average of 70 km/h, with some cross wind, as usual for this VKR2010 slope A of Laurac. I flew the Pike alternatively with and without the gyro activated, then flew the Needle 115, then switched back to the Pike. At the beginning, I had to reduce the gain to 30 or 40% because this time …

Mobius Cam ... the GoPro killer ?


Have you have seen on Planet Soaring, I'm a fan of on-board cam, and also aerial pictures. I have started years ago with a basic 640x480 resolution cam. Then I purchased the GOPRo1, and more recently the GoPro Hero 3 to benefit of the progress in term of resolution and features. But the problem of the GoPro series is that it is not suitable for mounting it on a small to medium glider because of the size and the weight. Therefore, I gave a try to the Keycam 808#16 V2 Lens D which provide 720p video with fish eye effect, in a very small size and weight of 20g, in brief the ideal cam to mount everywhere on a glider without impacting the flight too much. To be honest, I like very much the view from the wing tip where you can see the entire plane, and of course the scenery behind. This year appeared on the market a new cam which is the result of the collaboration between the designer/manufacturer of the keycam 808#16, and several aero-modellers. This is a superb and effici…

techno explained

For those who are curious about technology and who wanted to learn more about how a MEMs gyro works, here is an interresting reading. click HERE to download the PDF document.

Hereafter also is a quick view about how it works:

Some feedbacks about the use of the Gyro at slope

Below are my first feedbacks after trying the Eagle Tree Guardian gyro on my Pike Precision. It is mounted only on ailerons, all other servos are connected directly to the receiver. I did this for 2 reasons:
1/ Consumption: Without re-cabling everything, there is only one + and one - wires to power the gyro and the 4 servos behind the gyro. Given the consumption of the digital servos, I didn't want to take any risk.
2/ V-tail mixing. When using a gyro, the V-tail mixing MUST be performed by the gyro itself, and not by the radio. Therefore you loose the mixing/tuning features of the radio.
Last week, I did a first attempt that was a failure because my gyro had the heading lock feature enabled causing the glider to exit the bank and yank or EM turn by itself, like the beginning of a dynamic stall. I suspect the gyro to think on the 3 axis together and combine the reaction , and because I had only the ailerons connected, it created some side effect.
Anyway, for the second attempt ye…

Gyro ... text explanation ...

After my  posts about this topic, I received lots of questions/comments regarding the reason why I agree now that Gyro are prohibited. Problem of this controversy and debate is that most of people are mixing their personal wish and are failing to analyze the text itself. They don't read the text as it is, they don't analyze the wording. A good example is when you ask the question: Do you think that the current rules allow or ban the use of gyros ? The answer is "I'M AGAINST GYROS !" which is obviously not answering the question. "Yes maybe but I don't care, I'm against" they repeat! This will not make things to progress for sure !

So let's your opinion aside, and please have a factual look at the current rules.First observation: Model definition differs between F3B, F3J and F3F
F3B  Definition of a Radio Controlled Glider Model aircraft which is not provided with a propulsion device and in which lift is generated by aerodynamic forc…

Gyros ... important update !

Since the debate around gyros started, almost 2 weeks ago, we were all focusing on the various category specific sections, as mentioned in Tomas’s email to CIAM delegates. It is obvious that these rules were everything but clear. A rules which is subject to interpretation is a bad rule …

But while debating/fighting we just missed another general section (pointed by Tom Kiesling and Mike Evans) that describes the categories included in the F3 category (Radio Controlled Flight).  And in this section, one sentence says it all as you can judge by yourself.

1.3.3. Category F3 - Radio Controlled Flight 

This is a flight during which the model aircraft is manoeuvred by control surface(s) in attitude, direction and altitude by the flier on the ground using radio control. 


Gyro in F3x ... things are finally moving a bit !

Thanks to Roman Vojtěch (, who relayed the RCgroups debate about the use of gyros in F3B/J/F and expressed his concerned to Tomás Bartovsky who is the Czech Rep. NAC FAI CIAM Delegate but also the RC Soaring Sub-committee chairman. Tomás sent a letter to all NAC FAI CIAM delegates asking to answer a simple question about what is their interpretation of the current rules. The letter is hereafter.
Dear Friends,

At present we experience a kind of technical revolution. The electronic stabilisation devices (hereinafter gyros), which were not working well in the past, are today effective, cheap and readily available. Many years ago, when rules for F3B, F3J and F3F classes were created, the authors could not imagine the development of electronic stabilisation devices. For this reason we have an unsatisfactory description of allowed means in the FAI Sporting Code at present. The German proposal for general banning of gyros, which was prepared for clarification of the…

Gyro or not Gyro ? ... get ready !!

The F3x community is currently boiling  while discussing the topic about gyros on RCgroups. There are three camps: the "anti-gyro", the "pro-gyro", and the "I don't mind about gyro" camps. 
How did it come on the table?
Suspicion about using gyros in F3x gliders started during the 2012 F3F World Championship in Rügen, Germany. For some pilots, the supremacy of the leading pilots was suspect. However, no protest has been written during the competition, but I heard that a claim deposit has been done later to the CIAM. At the end of the season, a German rule change proposal to ban gyros has been rejected by the CIAM. At this stage it was not clear if it was rejected because of a bad wording, because of a wrong place in the rules, or for some other reasons. Few weeks ago, some info came after an F3B competition that gyros were authorized, and that some top pilots were using them. As usual, if it is confirmed, people using gyros will stay quiet and not cla…

Book: RC Aero Design, aerodynamics for everyone

Few words about the writer: Franck Aguerre is engineer by education, but is also an aeromodeller for ages, and writer for specialized paper magazines. He is a very active  designer who created lots of models (some have been published) which became very popular like the Crobe, a best seller now available in short kit. Franck is also the author of the PredimRC software, available in 2 version (one is freeware, the second one with more features being commercial). After writing many technical articles about aerodynamics and aeromodel design, Franck decided to go to the next step by rpoposing use this book RC Aero Design.
152 pages to know everything !
The book is presented under at the A5 format with a soft cover. The printing quality is excellent, with lots of sketches and drawings which illustrate the text. The few pictures here and there are not as good, the paper being not glossy. Overall, this book is very good printing quality, at the level of the ones sold by the large…