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2012 DARTS  ALES #3 Contest
ALES = Altitude Limited Electric Soaring

Sunday August 26, 2012

Twin Towers Area Park, Fairborn, Ohio
Sponsored by the DARTS (Dayton ARea Thermal Soarers)

Who: Any AMA member, spectators welcome
What: Altitude Limited Electric Soaring Contest (ALES) #3
When:  Sunday August 26, 2012
             Pilot's meeting at 9:30 AM
             First round starts at 10:00 AM
Where: Club Field, Twin Towers Area Park, Fairborn, OH
Type:  Altitude Limited Electric Soaring Contest (ALES)
Event details: ALES rules, 200 meter cutoff
                        50 point landing tape, 10 meters long, 5 points per meter
                        Seeded Man on Man format for flight groups
Entry Fee: $10
Awards: Plaques through 3rd place (the graphics used for the award plaques are shown below)
Contest Director: David Rice

2012  DARTS ALES #3   Sunday, August 26, 2012   -   Post-contest results

This was the 3nd of the DARTS sponsored Altitude Limited Electric Soaring (ALES) contests for 2012

CD Report:

No, this was not a bicycling Radian One Design Contest.  The parking lot was packed with a bicycling event and with the low winds around max 6 mph the Radians were out in force comprising 7 out of 10 entries. The parking lot was so packed I told everyone to park behind the big tree and if the ranger showed up we would argue with him. He did drive by but seemed to understand and kept going. Other than a few bike riders showing interest in our flying activities the Radians and bikes didn’t mix.  

ALES contests are flying to 200 Meters and I wouldn't normally put that in the contest name but on Saturday we had Bill Holcher’s 100 meter Low Rider Challenge and we wanted to make sure everyone reprogrammed to the regular altitude. We did test launches with everyone in their first round flight groups on both days and it was a good check to make sure everyone was on the same page. Really not a bad idea for all ALES contests though some are reluctant to join in.  

With the parking lot and picnic shelter completely occupied I called just about everything east of the big tree out of bounds including the big tree. To the south the mowed grass was in and to the west the tree line was out and to the north the road was out of bounds. The prevailing wind was out of the south and Al Salas set the landing tapes out in a line due west of the big tree with the hot ends pointing south. We had no out of bounds landings during the contest though in the fourth round Al Salas barely avoided going off field near the road by aborting with a motor run and a quick dash back to the field. Al’s flight was the only zero given for an after launch motor run and that due to severe radio problems that forced his withdrawal from the contest.  

For our 6 rounds we flew in 3 flight groups with the task times 8 minutes for the first 2 rounds and 10 minutes for the last 4. It seemed like you could find a thermal that would last the round but just as often you had to scramble for another. There wasn’t so much of the slam down cold air as you haven’t been going up for awhile and it is decision time. Toward the end of the contest every once and a while we were getting cooler air blowing through. I’m sure others experienced the air differently so let us know what you flew through.  

From round 2 on Don, Bill and myself were in the last flight group and after round 4 we went to 3 flights of 3 so then it was only us three in a Radian face off. In the 6th and last round Paul Wiese beat his 2nd flight group which put him in position to place if one of us three faltered. In the 3rd flight of the sixth round somewhere under Bill’s Radian a cool air caught Don and myself and I just managed to hold out for a few seconds longer than Don allowing Paul to take third place. Actually the cool air caught Bill too but as usual Bill had a great flight.  

Thanks to Roger Van Elslander for driving down from the Detroit area to fly with us. Thanks to everyone that helped including Mark Groves who rolled up landing tapes and let me score from the shelter of his shade. Bill Holcher thanks for the free snacks.  

If I got your plane wrong just let us know what you were flying.

I made one error while scoring when I didn’t enter Roger’s 4th round landing that has been corrected.  

place pilot score model
1 Hoelcher, Bill 6,208.72 Radian
2 Herider, Bruce 5,774.38 Radian
3 Youngen, Ted 5,747.63 Pike Perfect
4 Franz, Ed 5,724.60 Radian
5 Van Elslander, Roger 5,652.17 Maxx
6 Harris, Don 5,062.32 Oracle
7 Groves, Mark 4,881.55 Radian
8 Rice, David 4,724.30 Radian
9 Wiese, Paul 4,532.01 Radian
10 Salas, Albert 2,019.12 Radian Pro

David Rice, CD

Detailed Results from the WinSoar scoring program:

Pictures from the event:

If anyone took any pictures, please send the originals to me so I can put them on the website; Webmaster

Clicking on a thumbnail brings up a full-size image (without the caption) suitable for downloading and printing.


2012  DARTS ALES #3    Sunday, August 26, 2012   -   Pre-contest info


Dayton ARea Thermal Soarers
                              The pilots at our first ever DARTS Altitude Electric Soaring meet in 2010:

This was the 3rd of the DARTS sponsored Altitude Limited Electric Soaring (ALES) contests for 2012
Click HERE for info on the other events

Due to the nature of the rules, many sport type electric gliders have proven to be very competitive.  Examples that have proven this out are the Radian and Vista designs

ALES or Altitude Limited Electric Soaring is just what the name implies.  It is a traditional soaring event, with the method of launching being that of an onboard electric motor and prop.  The launch altitude is limited by an approved onboard electronic device, limiting the motor run to an altitude of 200 meters, or 30 sec (whichever occurs first) We will be using a lower altitude limit for at least one of our other ALES this year

See the link at the left for detailed ALES rules. These are the official ALES rules as used by the LSF at the NATS

In summary, this event allows for a common starting height by the use of an approved altitude limiting device which shuts the electric motor down at 200 meters, about 660 feet (or 30 sec, whichever occurs first).  This is about the height of a really good zoom winch launch, so all contestants start at a very nice altitude from which they can seek thermals The tasks are normally 10 min maxes, plus landing points. 

The landing tape is 10 meters long, about 33 feet, graduated at 5 points per meter. So the landing points max out at 50 points.  This makes for a somewhat desensitized landing task.  The result is that beginners should find this landing task easy and a confidence builder Seeded Man-on-Man format allows the flight groupings to be such that you fly with others of similar performance. 

In Seeded Man-on-Man format, the flight groups for the first round are chosen randomly.  In each of the succeeding rounds,  the scores are sorted in order from high to low and the flight groups are chosen to accordingly from high to low. Thus as the day progresses, contestants are flying in flight groups with like performing pilots.  This Seeded Man-on-Man format has been a long time DARTS tradition and keeps things fun as you are competing with other similar airplanes and piloting skills

Come on out to fly or watch.  Spectators welcome!


Here are the graphics for the award plaques:
(click on the thumbnails below to view a larger picture, use your browser's back button to return)

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