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Author Topic: BMFA Scale rule changes  (Read 1774 times)
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Pete Fardell
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« on: December 18, 2019, 07:14:23 AM »

The synopsis of the new scale rules (inc. RC, FF, outdoor and indoor) is now up for public viewing on the Scale Tech Committee site here: https://scale.bmfa.org/documents/rule-changes-for-2018 so I presume that means we’re now free to discuss them. There are a few things there I like the sound of (such as the indoor Intermediate Scale class) and I don’t think there’s anything that will stop me competing (unless the return of the outdoor ROG for rubber leads me to destroy my models faster than I can repair them!)
 
I haven’t got my head round all the changes yet though. It’s certainly a big shake up.
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2019, 09:18:40 AM »

Yes, it seems a major change.
Hard to get your head around things yet as you say ... especially after reflecting on things said by yourself and others earlier on Facebook.
As a sentimental soul ... and someone who was very happy with the old rules .... I'm not too happy at the archive of results on Mike Stuart's website becoming irrelevant for future comparison Sad
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2019, 02:15:48 PM »

Thanks Pete.

An extract focussing on the Scale Indoor FF side of things:

Synopsis of 2020 Rule Updates Indoor Free Flight

Scale Indoor FF

Two additional indoor free flight competitions have been introduced.

The first, based on a limited documentation requirement, has been called – Intermediate Scale.  The objectives of the Intermediate scale class are to encourage flyers to progress from kit plan-based competition onto documentation-based competition, to provide a competition for refined kit based models to encourage new participants and to provide a competition for those models, possibly of an open scale level of presentation, of subjects where the full requirement of the Open Class documentation cannot be satisfied.

The scoring for this class retains an emphasis on flight performance over static rendition.

The second – Starter No-Cal Profile Scale – is based on the existing BMFA No-Cal Profile rules but is simplified and flown to a higher minimum weight (6 gm without rubber) to encourage new competitors and to encourage the greater use of FF indoor duration techniques in indoor scale modelling.

6.1.1   General Scale Rules

The general scale rules have been amended to note the following:

Multiple entries for certain competitions at the CD’s discretion.
It is the Competitors’ responsibility to down load appropriate score sheets as they will not automatically be available at the competition.
Dolly and catapult launch systems are allowed with penalties as detailed in individual class rules
Onus is on the competitor to claim any relevant flight bonuses

6.4.9    Open Rubber Class

The objective of the Class is to emulate the full size subject in appearance and in flight from take off to landing.  The rules have been updated as follows:

Maximum weight limit increased to 250 gm
Auto-stabilisation devices not permitted
Dolly or catapult launch systems are allowed to facilitate modelling of war-bird etc. types. No penalty for seaplanes/flying Boats or subjects that used dolly take off at full size. All other subjects have a 10% penalty applied to the take off score
Multiple engine bonus for thrust line separation >10% span
Flight Realism element with more explicit definition in line with RC guidance
Scoring method remains as is to give a Flight to Static ratio of approximately 1:1

6.4.10  Open CO2/E Class

The objective of the Class is to emulate the full size subject in appearance and in flight from take off to landing. The rules have been updated as follows:

Maximum weight limit increased to 250 gm
Auto-stabilisation devices not permitted
Dolly or catapult launch systems are allowed as detailed in Open rubber class
Multiple engine bonus for thrust line separation >10% span
Flight Realism element with more explicit definition in line with RC guidance
Scoring method remains as is to give a Flight to Static ratio of approximately 1:1

6.4.11  Intermediate Scale Class

The objective of the Class is to emulate the full size subject in appearance and in flight from take off to landing. The rules have been introduced as follows:

Weight limit = 250 gm
Max wing loading = 15 gm/dm2
Motive power = Rubber, CO2/E
Auto-stabilisation is not permitted
Dolly or catapult launch systems are allowed as detailed in Open Rubber class
Flight bonuses are as per Open classes
Multiple engine bonus for thrust line separation >10% span
Flight Realism element with more explicit definition in line with RC guidance
Scoring method defined to give a Flight to Static ratio of approximately 2:1

6.4.11  Kit Scale Class

The objective of the class is to provide a low key competition to encourage newcomers and club flyers to take part in indoor scale competition.  The rules have been revised to re-focus the class back to the original stick-and-tissue intent and have been updated as follows:

Maximum weight limit increased to 250 gm
Power to be used as per original kit
Auto-stabilisation is not permitted
Scoring method updated to give a Flight to Static ratio of approximately 3:1

6.4.11  Peanut Scale Class

The class rules have been updated to reflect the simplicity of the class and the US scoring system when it was introduced into the UK in order to provide a more attractive route into indoor competition and, in so doing, encouraging new competitors.  The aircraft and wing type bonuses have been updated to encourage more diverse subjects. The rules have been updated as follows

Dolly launch systems are allowed as detailed in Open rubber class but catapult systems are inadmissible
Marking system updated to cater for modern and foam based materials
Simplified marking system with maximum marks per judge of approximately 50
Flight durations capped at 50 seconds plus take off bonus of 10 secs to encourage new entrants
Scoring method updated to give a Flight to Static ratio of approximately 4:1

6.4.11  Pistachio Scale Class

The class rules have been updated to mirror the changes made to the Peanut rules

Scoring method updated to give a Flight to Static ratio of approximately 4:1

6.4.11  Starter No-Cal Scale Class

The objective of this new class is to encourage the greater use of FF indoor duration techniques in indoor scale modelling and to provide greater opportunity for competitive flight during indoor FF scale events.  The rules have been introduced as follows:

The model must be a recognisable facsimile of a full size aircraft
Maximum Wing Span = 16”
Minimum model weight excluding motor = 6gm
Motive Power = Extensible Rubber motor(s)
Construction Materials = Balsa wood and Jap-tissue
The use of hi-tech materials such as boron, carbon fibre etc. is not permitted
The model must have control surface outlines, window outlines and typical colour scheme and registration markings.
The model must have the full landing gear as per the full sized aircraft. No profile gear is allowed.. Models of aircraft with retractable gear may be depicted with the gear retracted.
No mechanical means of varying the propeller pitch or wing incidence are permitted.
The onus is on the competitor to provide proof of existence of obscure subject aircraft should it be requested by the CD


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Jack Plane
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2019, 02:18:08 PM »


Hard to get your head around things yet as you say ... especially after reflecting on things said by yourself and others earlier on Facebook.


Can someone summarise these observations...?
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Andy Blackburn
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2019, 03:24:13 PM »

Well. At first sight, purely focusing on my main areas of interest...

Kit Scale
Given that CO2 and Electric are seen in some quarters to be rather easier and possibly more successful than rubber, the "power to be used as per the original kit" rule might well cause people to look for some of the older kits/plans that have a CO2 or Electric option on the plan. Some of the old Aerographics kits are rather good in this respect, perhaps VMC can be persuaded to re-issue some of them. It'd be interesting to hear what the reasoning for this change was.

And given that the flight:static marks ratio is now 3:1, even more of the marks are from the flying score so I'd expect the larger models to do even better than they do at the moment. Readers might or might not think that this is a good thing.

Peanut/Pistachio
We haven't yet got the full picture but the rules changes are interesting, and I can't immediately see what the objective was; given that the flight:static marks ratio is now 4:1 so about 80% of the total score now comes from the flying marks, it's obviously imperative that a) the model gets close to or exceeds 50 seconds and b) that it will reliably ROG (dollies are permitted for subjects ith the undercarriage in the retracted position, I don't know if they're permitted for models whose undercarriage is just too short) - so it initially looked as though the focus would now be on flying performance, so simpler models finished in coloured tissue would have a reasonable chance...

However, this isn't necessarily the case because one would expect that the top few flying places would have maximum or near-maximum flying scores (120 points, if we're still taking the best two flights) so the only way of separating them will be the static marks - which suggests that the podium positions will be governed by who's done the better job with the airbrush, and/or has built a model that takes maximum advantage of the available bonuses.

I'm not immediately siezed by a strong urge to enter Intermediate Scale, to be honest; as far as I can see it's the Open Class rules with a new coat on...  Smiley

Just my two pennorth, you understand...
« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 03:49:39 PM by abl » Logged
Russ Lister
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2019, 04:00:46 PM »

JP,
It was an interchange with regards to the 4:1 ratio of flying to static, set against the 50sec plus 10sec ROG max. (Peanut rules)
It seemed too loaded to flying to my eyes initially, but others thought the opposite. This is because, in the event of a max tie in flying the emphasis shifts to the static score. I can see that point now, but will know more when we see the full rules.



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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2019, 04:57:34 PM »

My take on this

I like the sound of the indoor intermediate class with its bias towards flying scores and the lesser requirement for documentation. It could encourage the building of some unusual prototypes and seems to take a similar role as the flying only classes do in outdoor scale. It could be a good bridge between kit scale and the open class without the feeling of needing to model the pilots dandruff

On that note I don’t see the point of an intermediate class for outdoor scale , we already have flying only and the BMFA ic class last year at the Nats was looking pretty healthy to me .

The changes seem sweeping to this scale newbie and potentially make redundant some of the most successful models built by some the most prolific and active builders. Given the stated aim of encouraging more people to compete that does not really add up to me.

No rule change is going to please everyone but lots of rule changes ...... ?

Just my thoughts ... I’ll shut up now
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2019, 05:55:15 PM »

I’d echo what Chris says above, particularly with regard to indoor Intermediate Scale. Another positive for me is the new Outdoor Kit Scale, which is not Kit Scale anymore as it includes any plan built models too (but still flown as a precision event). Sounds like a sensible way to give us more choice.

Generally though, what still astonishes me is the sheer sweeping scale of these changes. We seem to have gone from years of carefully considered amendments or very occasional new classes to a whole new set-up in one fell swoop.  I would like more detail about the numbers who requested some of the more radical changes and, in some cases, a clearer explanation of the reasoning behind them.  The return of the outdoor rubber ROG is a good case in point. It won’t stop me competing but I was under the impression that more rubber flyers didn’t want it reinstated than did. I do totally accept though that that was just my impression (from talking to only a few people) so am very interested to know how big a majority of the current contestants wanted it brought back. Or, if there wasn’t a majority, how was it decided?
I know Doug and co have put a lot of work and effort into these changes, so I do want to get on board with them if I can. Hopefully everything will become gradually clearer. The coming year’s contest season will certainly be interesting!

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Russ Lister
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2019, 06:20:30 PM »

I hadn't really looked at the outdoor rule changes .... after years of watching rubber models struggle to get off of the deck, I am most surprised to see the ROG element return.
I assume that hand launching is still an option? ... it's rare for the conditions to be suitable as I remember.
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2019, 03:59:04 AM »

The introduction of dolly and bungee assisted launches has got to be a good thing, I’m quite excited.

I have never seen working retracts used on a ff model apart from Derek’s Baradour, and I have about a dozen projects that stalled over the problem of reliable retracts. I just can’t do it, nor do I want the weight penalty.

Most jets are very difficult to hand launch.

Steve
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DHnut
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2019, 04:23:37 AM »

The dolly launch has opened up the options for seaplanes and flying boat as shown by Rudder Flutter with the Coronado. What price a take off from the Barkston runway.
The rubber ROG is something we have flown in our open rubber class under F4D and it is left to the modeller to decide if they want to try, and you get the reward if you are sucessful. We fly on farmland so it is more of a challenge even with stretched tarpaulin. For rubber it is a great way of using the power burst to accelerate the model. Power is much more difficult as the acceleration is somewhat slower.
It is good to see the maximum weight being set at 250 gm to stay legal.
Ricky
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2019, 04:51:23 AM »

The rubber ROG is something we have flown in our open rubber class under F4D and it is left to the modeller to decide if they want to try, and you get the reward if you are sucessful. We fly on farmland so it is more of a challenge even with stretched tarpaulin.
I think the argument that you don't have to ROG in outdoor rubber is a bit misleading, because that's true of all classes with a ROG bonus indoors and out. I think we all understand that you don't have to do it, same as you don't have to fly at all if it's too windy for you. I'm assuming also that in the UK it will only apply to Barkston where there is a runway. No one here has suggest stretched tarpaulin at Buckminster as far as I know (yet!)
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billdennis747
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2019, 05:05:49 AM »

The dolly launch has opened up the options for seaplanes and flying boat as shown by Rudder Flutter with the Coronado.
"The rules have been updated......"
Not really. Rule 6.1.1.19, which allows wheels - permanent or removable -  on seaplanes or skis for take off, has been in place as far back as I can remember; maybe 1970. No need for a dolly (which was also allowed). Such things are discounted in static judging even if permanent. Anyway, it would be a simple matter to sink a wheel into a hull or float with a cross axle held by magnets, and then pull them out for static, leaving just a slot.
 I assume line 1 of 6.1.1.19 has been removed.

I just noticed that competitors now have to download and bring their own entry forms!
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2019, 05:23:10 AM »

I just noticed that competitors now have to download and bring their own entry forms!
Would they like me to fill in my scores beforehand too? Honestly, it would be no trouble.  Cheesy
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TheLurker
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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2019, 07:14:21 AM »

Quote from: Jack Plane


6.4.11  Starter No-Cal Scale Class
The objective of this new class is to encourage the greater use of FF indoor duration techniques in indoor scale modelling and to provide greater opportunity for competitive flight during indoor FF scale events.  The rules have been introduced as follows:

The model must be a recognisable facsimile of a full size aircraft


Hmm.  *Dons pernickety hat.*

If we take a couple of commonly accepted definitions (OED, Cambridge), my highlights.

    "Facsimile" - An exact copy, especially of a document.

    "Model" - Graphical, mathematical (symbolic), physical, or verbal representation or simplified version of a concept, phenomenon, relationship, structure, system, or an aspect of the real world.

It would appear that the Scale Committee may have made the No-Cal class rather harder than they intended.  If we pursue this to the most absurd lengths given No-Cal's, ermm, minimalist approach it can be seen that it will be utterly impossible to build a model in this class that satisfies the rule as it is written.

Perhaps the rule should read, "The model must be of a full size aircraft and easily recognisable as the type that it represents."?

*Saunters off to hide behind the blast wall.*  Smiley
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Indoorflyer
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« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2019, 11:35:13 AM »

Lurk, that sounds far too reasonable.  Grin

One could argue "No-Cal" and "Scale" are mutually exclusive terms, taken literally.  The Flying Aces Club uses the term No-Cal Profile for their event.

"Recognizable profile version of a full scale aircraft" may be a better class description.  

Which prompts my rhetorical question:  How thick can a "profile fuselage" be, before it no longer qualifies for no-cal?   What is the "spirit of the rule?"

 
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billdennis747
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« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2020, 12:20:56 PM »

The rules are now on the BMFA site.
Read carefully for the full comic effect.
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2020, 02:44:11 PM »

It could cure my building 'block' ... as someone that likes to see a good build and tries to build well, am I right in saying that workmanship only counts for something like 3% of the total score in peanut and pistachio? I might at least get somewhere quicker with a less fussy build.
One good flight and the model can go back in the box ... winner or loser overall if I understand it right?
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2020, 02:46:41 PM »

The 'methodology' does seem to suit the new intermediate class better though ... but I've only had a quick read.
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2020, 03:00:25 PM »

Can anyone clarify this bit about eligibility in Kit Scale?

"Models that have achieved a podium position in Kit Scale at the BMFA Scale Indoor Nationals from 2017 onwards, i.e. the model has achieved 1st place, will not be eligible for entry to any subsequent FF Kit Scale Indoor Nationals competition."

To me, a "podium postion" means 1st, 2nd or 3rd but this suggests it's maybe only the winning models that are banned? (Not that it affects me either way at the moment!)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 03:26:35 PM by Pete Fardell » Logged
Squirrelnet
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« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2020, 03:06:16 PM »

Quote
I just noticed that competitors now have to download and bring their own entry forms!

This seems to be the most ridiculous penny pinching change . I will try to remember to print several spare copies and bring them with me.

It would be madness of Kafkaesque proportions if a set of rule changes aimed squarely at encouraging new competitors, turned people away as they haven't downloaded and printed out the correct form... possibly in duplicate
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 03:17:04 PM by Squirrelnet » Logged
john bowerman
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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2020, 03:13:20 PM »

Pete
I think it is only the 1st place that effectively bars the model from any further competition rather than 2nd and 3rd.
Regards
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billdennis747
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« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2020, 03:46:07 PM »

"A podium position" is 1,2,3 as Pete says. 1st place would be the top podium position
Covering films are not permitted/will be penalised. Which?
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2020, 04:54:11 PM »

Over on Facebook, kkphantom has just pointed out that unlike in the new Intermediate class (and other indoor scale classes) the indoor Open Rubber flights are apparently not to be judged on quality of landing. Is this really right I wonder, or is it just an accidental omission?
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Gary Dickens
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« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2020, 04:58:45 PM »

Pistachio will be interesting...same flight scoring as peanut. Does anyone fly a pistachio that will take off? Single covering is now penalised as well
Gary
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