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By miraclepieco
#405069
In the OZ Report Davis posts detailed results of the Santa Cruz Flats Race. Several lines after places 1 - 20 astute readers may note this casual comment:

"Fred Kaemerer won over all."

Notable that the overall winner went virtually unmentioned in a week of flying, and was not mentioned at all in the Final Results listing. For your edification I re-post these comments from the Rigid Wing Forum:

Posted by: miraclepieco:
Fred Kaemerer is currently the overall leader (this includes all classes and top comp pilots) on his Atos VR:
https://airtribune..com/santa-cruz-flats-race-mark-knight-memorial-2018/blog__day_3

Posted by Fred Kaemerer:
The new VR Race Results including the Open Class topless gliders - all flying the same task:
Day 1: 1st to goal by 10 minutes. Tied for fastest time on course.
Day 2: 3rd to goal. Fastest time on course by 1 minute.
Day 3: 2nd to goal. 21 seconds slower on course than the pilot in first (Robin Hamilton).
The new VR race is noticeably better than the topless gliders The VR Race still out-glides them at slow to moderate glide speeds and pull away when going fast.
Fred

Posted by miraclepieco:
I think the point that Fred has again proven is that day-to-day in all types of flying conditions a serious hobby pilot on a rigid wing can still beat a world class pilot on a flex wing. Where I notice the biggest advantage is actually not in densely-thermaled racing conditions (that flexies prefer because it hides their deficiencies), but in feather-light barely soarable conditions with widely-spaced thermals that a rigid wing's superiority really becomes evident. If you are into either boating over takeoff or high-speed desert racing, a rigid may not be for you. But if you want to go 20 miles when no one else can even stay up, get a RW.

Posted by Brad Gryder:
About 8 years ago I decided to take my lowly Axxess+ to the desert, just to see what desert flying was like. It was the Santa Cruz Flats Race, and I entered the comp with no intention of racing, but just to get back into flying after taking years off for my family.
What a great time I had there. I did feel a little guilty one day there at Casa Grande, as I was doing just as described above during the start of one race day. I was about 1/2 mile west of the Casa Grande Resort, just bubbling along at zero climb, with bits of energy hitting a wing here and there, like a buzzard does. Once in a while I would circle, but usually not. I'd been at this for a while, and a group of freshly launched flexi pilots saw me maintaining there. Before long they were on me. One by one they would drop through my level, then have to reach down deep into their skills basket to make weird approach and landings in between the cacti. I was glad to see them all safely land, even though some of them skidded and bonked in a little. It's probably hard to land exactly into the wind while dodging cacti. I wouldn't know for sure, 'cause I never had to land out there. Every day I'd just fly as long as I wanted to and land at will back at the resort with the pool, where my family was.
"Get a Life - Get a Rigid"
Brad Gryder

Posted by Martin Henry:
Well many of the top Flex guys will never switch it would be super cool to hear their thoughts on flying a rigid wing. Davis, Dustin, Zac, Johnny (many times I tried to get Brett Hazlet to fly my VR or VQR

Posted by Fred Kaemerer:
The Topless guys who are sponsored won't fly something else.


***
Current comp pilots have a vested interest in the status quo. To fly a new type of wing would mean changing the whole paradigm that they have spent years cultivating. That paradigm apparently is more important than the advancement of the sport as a whole.
User avatar
By DMarley
#405075
miraclepieco wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:01 am
In the OZ Report Davis posts detailed results of the Santa Cruz Flats Race. Several lines after places 1 - 20 astute readers may note this casual comment:

"Fred Kaemerer won over all."

My BS alarm is going off....
Please give us the link to this statement. As far as I can tell, it doesn't exist.

However, looking at all the results, it does appear that Fred did very well, in a glider that is at least twice as expensive (new) as the class-1 gliders. When you consider that most of the highly competitive class 1 pilots have at least one back-up glider, then the costs of a year's racing campaign with more than one rigid would be quite costly for the possible winnings and future of a comp pilot's endeavors. This is not motocross or formula racing. It's lowly HG racing. No money in it.
When you're comparing class 1 comp pilots to your class 5 'hobby-pilots', I'd say that you're comparing apples to potatoes. It does not compute. The point of competition is for the pilot's skills to be the deciding factor, and the competing craft and machinery are all nearly identical in performance. Comparing class 5 to class 1 is just silly. Might as well have class 1 pilots compete against club-class sailplanes... or paragliders.... both just as silly on each side of the extreme.
So to insinuate that Fred Kaemerer won overall is...... not factual reporting.
User avatar
By lostgriz
#405113
After a few year break from the forum, it's good to see nothing has changed, lol.
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By DMarley
#405116
Thanks seb. Didn't see that.
Apologies Mike.

Still, imo, there is no comparison between classes 1 and 5. Completely different airframes with completely different flying and handling characteristics. I'd think that with their superior L/D and penetration along with similar piloting skills, class 5 gliders would nearly always make goal before class 1 gliders. And that's the reason for separate classes.
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By magentabluesky
#405118
DMarley wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:38 pm
I'd think that with their superior L/D and penetration along with similar piloting skills, class 5 gliders would nearly always make goal before class 1 gliders.
. . .

That would be a great summary and conclusion if L/D and penetration were the key winning factors in this year’s Santa Cruz Flats Race. The winning factor this year at the Santa Cruz Flats Race was all about sink rate. With climb rates between 150 and 200 foot a minute and downwind / cross wind tasks the advantage is going to the pilot/glider combo with the lowest sink rate. The race is not just a horizontal race. There is a vertical component to the race. The lighter the lift and the greater the downwind speed the greater the influence climb rate/ sink rate is in the equation.

So is it any wonder out of the first four finishers, three were gliders over 150 square foot (that is including Fred).

If you are bucking a head wind, getting 500 to 1000 foot a minute climb rates, or under a cloud street with the bar to your knees, a 135 to 145 square foot glider makes sense. Otherwise in light lift and downwind tasks the BBW has the advantage. The question to ask is why so many pilots showed up with baby gliders?

Fred, Oliver, and Jonny get the award for choosing the right tool for the conditions.

Cheers to BBWs.

BBW = Big Beautiful Wings.
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By magentabluesky
#405130
miraclepieco wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:01 am

Posted by Fred Kaemerer:
The Topless guys who are sponsored won't fly something else.
. . . .

Seems appropriate to the Topless sponsors: As Dustin is sponsored by the Alaskan Bush Co.
User avatar
By Felix
#405142
magentabluesky wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:03 pm

The winning factor this year at the Santa Cruz Flats Race was all about sink rate. With climb rates between 150 and 200 foot a minute and downwind / cross wind tasks the advantage is going to the pilot/glider combo with the lowest sink rate. The race is not just a horizontal race. There is a vertical component to the race. The lighter the lift and the greater the downwind speed the greater the influence climb rate/ sink rate is in the equation.

So is it any wonder out of the first four finishers, three were gliders over 150 square foot (that is including Fred).

If you are bucking a head wind, getting 500 to 1000 foot a minute climb rates, or under a cloud street with the bar to your knees, a 135 to 145 square foot glider makes sense. Otherwise in light lift and downwind tasks the BBW has the advantage. The question to ask is why so many pilots showed up with baby gliders?

It's funny to see the conclusions of someone not present...?
No mention of the WINNER of the comp, flying a 145 sq. foot glider, hooking it at probably around 235 lbs...
I was there, had absolutely no problems keeping up in climbs and glides. I hook in at 225 Lbs on a 136.7 sq foot glider. Now yes, the Combat C is a new animal, better loading capabilities, etc...but still, the idea of needing to fly a big wing is, at least in my opinion, a wrong one.
With better decision making, I could have done much better, still it was a blast of a comp, I hope to make it there again next year :thumbsup:
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#405152
Felix,

“Fred Kaemerer won over all.” https://ozreport.com/22.191.1

The overall winner was Fred Kaemerer flying a 158sqft glider with an aspect ratio of 13.3 which equates to a lower sink rate than the other gliders in the meet. Given the light thermal strength and the downwind tasks, that was a better tool for the conditions. Fred had an advantage in the tool he was using for the given conditions – downwind tasks and weak thermal strength - Lower sink rate.

The second place glider may have been 145sqft but the aspect ratio had a full point on the other flexwings at 8.5. A higher aspect ratio is one element in reducing the sink rate of the glider - Lower sink rate.

The third place glider was 159sqft and an aspect ratio of 7.3 - Lower sink rate.

The forth place glider was 150sqft and an aspect ratio of 7.6 - Lower sink rate.

How did the gliders under 139sqft do in the meet? - Higher sink rate.

You don’t have to be there to analyze the data. It just comes down to doing the aerodynamic calculations and applying those calculations to the conditions encountered by the gliders in the meet - down load the track logs.

Having a glider with a lower sink rate was more advantageous than a glider with great penetration or a high L/D with the conditions present at the meet. It is simple, do the calculations.

The results speak volumes.

Elvis Does Calculus
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By Felix
#405157
NMERider wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:24 pm
Felix wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:34 pm
...It's funny to see the conclusions of someone not present...?
How else would anyone possibly know this was a hang gliding discussion? Seriously. :crazy:
I really don't get your point here...no need to explain though, really not important :roll:

Fred was in a different class...so he won his class, not the Open class. Even though he told me he definitely used the flexies and piggy-back rode on their tracks. Does that so regularly. On glide, he most definitely had the upper hand on all flexies, perhaps a little bit less so on the Combats. How do I know? I was there...I flew with Fred a good bit that week. I actually (not sure how really) got into goal first one day for the Open class, with Fred coming in behind me on last glide and getting to Goal just ahead of me. Looong glide that one, for sure. This was on Friday, task 5. The Combat C does have an 8.5 (the 13.5 model) or 8.4 (the 12.7 model) aspect ratio, which makes it more like a rigid wing compared to the lower aspect rations other makers still use. New technology, better results. Watch the end of task 3, final glide into goal between Robin and Jonny: 45 minutes gained by the Combat on that glide. Same air, same altitude, same track etc. just better glide.

What I am saying is that my wing, a "small" 136.7 sq feet glider performed no less well than the 159 sq foot Ollie was flying. I was in the same thermal with Ollie, several times throughout the comp week, and he was not climbing better than I was... that's what I was referring to when I said that you have to be there to get the whole picture, not at some screen, watching from afar. This sport it way too dynamic to take a few results and do a little math.
It is up to the pilot to make the right decisions (which comes with experience) and do well in comps, not a big surface area...especially since new design and building concepts are at hand.
Cheers! :)
User avatar
By flyzguy
#405224
magentabluesky wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:53 pm
Felix,

It is simple, do the calculations.

The results speak volumes.
Oh man I love calculations. Surely you are not just assuming wing area = sink rate right? You've got estimated drag polars with decent estimations for at least a basic quadratic drag polar right? You're considering min sink from the classic CL^(3/2)/CD but also w/ respect to the turning radius for a given assumed thermal? Lots of existing work on the subject of course - the sailplane world, pagen, and some good Hoerner based drag buildups for the various WW models. Start with those buildups and then make easy adjustments to induced drag by AR, e assumptions for various glider - litespeed vs. combat C, etc...

I mean wing area is one thing but not enough to calculate a sink rate, certainly not enough to calculate it in a thermal in a banked turn. Induced drag-dominated flight regimes also need a good estimate of the L/D in very high CL conditions where airfoil sections could be near stall or parts of the wing could be stalled even. And what is CL_max? DO you have some numbers from flight test at various VG settings with a good measurement of rho and any airspeed measurement error?

I've been to two Santa Cruz flats races and gaggled up with lots of gliders. I've been in glassy smooth evening air and ridge lift with different size Sport 2s and the 135 (the one that should get the worst sink rate accorind to this wing size logic) was always at the top - comparing everyone on radio with similar or the same harnesses, full VG, etc... Of course an ATOS should get a better sink rate than a flexie in a wind tunnel or on paper - and almost certainly does in practice. In these meets you can't just take wing area out of the results and claim to have some understanding or explanation...

The results speak volumes, but they speak to so many factors all at once that we can't just grab one wing stat and claim its easy to explain...
User avatar
By mario
#405225
Fun to see all this data from the race,
Area? A BBW 220 Falcon wouldn’t have won. I think that the biggest factors are probably pilot skill, wing loading, pilot skill, span, pilot skill, luck.......and of course we are assuming it’s a nice efficient clean wing. I would think that flying at the right wing loading for the day is very important.
Area is just part of the equation for wing loading.
Don’t take me too seriously though, I don’t compete and I fly a 134 sq ft BBW glider. (Beautiful Baby Wing)
User avatar
By Felix
#405226
Now, for the reaaaaaaly interesting part:

As seen in the OzReport, Davis calculated the glide in to goal, flown at the same time, same air, etc.for 3 different wings and the results are exactly as I thought they should be:

Air Atos VR flies at 57 mph and gets a 14.1 glide.
Aeros Combat C 13.5 flies at 54 mph and gets a 13.3 final glide.
Moyes Rx Pro 4 flies at 50 mph and gets a 12.3 final glide.

I already knew it, but this confirms (at least for me) that the new Combat C is a design that closes the gap between the regular topless competition flex wings and the rigid wings.
Now, add to the glide performance its ease of flying, predictability, fast response and joy of flying and you have a Winner! What can I say, I LOVE my wing :mosh: :mosh: :mosh: :mosh: :mosh: :mosh: :mosh:
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By miraclepieco
#405248
The latest from Fred:

Fred Kaemerer fred@a-i-r-usa.com [RigidWing] <RigidWing@yahoogroups.com>

I left the final thermal ~1 minute later than Johnny and Robin and ~400 ft. lower.

I arrived at goal ~40 ft lower than Robin and 22 seconds behind him. I mis-judged the distance to goal and how fast I needed to fly to catch him and realized the mistake too late. I had altitude in the bag and could have used up another ~200ft of altitude with comfort.

My observation during the race (past 2 races) has been that the Aeros has a material performance advantage over the Wills and Moyes gliders. They are consistently at the top of the thermals and have a better sink rate on long glides together. I've been able to observe this repeatedly from above! :)

The glide advantage of the ATOS is clear as speed increases (especially past 60 mph) and the improved sink rate at low speeds allows me to make an extra turn or two in thermals, observe them from behind and race to the first pilot to find lift - usually coming in above them. Obviously that didn't work in the final thermal this day. I was surprised to find that strong of a thermal late in the day, so I'd milked the previous one so I'd have altitude to goal if we found nothing else.

Just for context, that was probably my 8th flight of the year and 3rd on the VR Race. I was rusty and still placed 1, 1, 2, 3, scratch flying the same tasks as the open guys. Testament to the glider.

All that said, I literally swam laps after the race each day and I think the flex pilots were applying Ben Gay! :)

Fred
By FredK
#405260
Felix wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:20 pm
Now, for the reaaaaaaly interesting part:

As seen in the OzReport, Davis calculated the glide in to goal, flown at the same time, same air, etc.for 3 different wings and the results are exactly as I thought they should be:

Air Atos VR flies at 57 mph and gets a 14.1 glide.
Aeros Combat C 13.5 flies at 54 mph and gets a 13.3 final glide.
Moyes Rx Pro 4 flies at 50 mph and gets a 12.3 final glide.

I already knew it, but this confirms (at least for me) that the new Combat C is a design that closes the gap between the regular topless competition flex wings and the rigid wings.

Now, add to the glide performance its ease of flying, predictability, fast response and joy of flying and you have a Winner! What can I say, I LOVE my wing :mosh: :mosh: :mosh: :mosh: :mosh: :mosh: :mosh:
Felix is spot on, we flew together a whole bunch and found ourselves in the same thermals - often at the top. I remember because we have very different thermalling styles and found ourselves constantly jockeying for position. Laughed about it together.

A couple of notes about the VR which would have made a meaningful improvement in glide. The new wing configuration (VR-Race) has my hang point slightly more forward. When I rock the hand position is different and it changes the feel of the glider when landing. To get more head-down on glide I need a shorter hang strap - which will change the landing position again. I didn't want to do that at SCF but will try it before my next race. This would allow me a better head-down angle and improved glide.

Also, the control cables use a dyneema cord on the lever controlling the spoileron. When the glider was new she drove like a sports car. After a hard nose-in landing (me learning the new configuration) the dyneema stretched a bit resulting in play in the control cables. After that, control inputs first took up slack and then actuated the control surface. This is correctable with a outboard knot adjustment - I just didn't do it because I was having too much fun before and after the races. The result is that virtually every control input is over-controlled. Even minor adjustments on a long glide create more drag and these add up.

There are a few other minor setup tuning tricks on an ATOS that I used to do on my old VR. I flew this one in her virgin set-up. So next time we'll see how she fares! :)

Props to the Aeros gliders and pilots - the gap is certainly smaller.

But remember, I just put a new sail on a 2004 VR and it costed less than the price of a king-posted glider. I'll wager it will still beat you. And she'll fly for another 14 years before she needs a new sail. And then she'll probably still beat the next iteration of topless. Just sayin... :) And even if it's close - it still looks like an ATOS! :)

Fred
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