Yes Folks, it's true.
Big changes are coming to the combat world this year, and not all are happy about it. As was pointed out in Combat Jargon, "NO" seems to be the sentiment regardless of new rules or need for them.
In 2007 the FAI safety subcommittee gave a directive, "Fix the fly-away situation in F2D combat, or lose the event. Driven by obvious concern of accidents and scrutiny of insurance companies the word went out that fuel shut-offs may be used in 2009. The international whining was deafening, the French quit, many said they would rather not fly than use the American invention to a rules-based problem. (Line sawing to force a draw) There were a few that began trying mechanical shut-offs and claimed they would not work in hopes of stalling the decision. The H&R shut-off was ignored for its on-the-top-of-the-wing orientation. Electronic shut-offs are still unproven.
Time marches on and here we are in 2009 looking at the first few F2D contest around the globe, it will be interesting to see what devices are being used. I suspect that a swing arm type will be the easiest for Europe so look for those. Swing arm shut-off's however have inherent flaws that will show as the contests continue and many will lose matches due to failure of this type of device.
On the local scene, the BBB has introduced similar controversy in a cuts only combat contest called The Chehalis Cup. It is an attempt to bring the Northwest onto the playing field that literally the rest of the world is using now. Third World countries to superpowers have embraced this more advanced style of cuts only combat flying. Here is a link to Jogjakarta, about one-hour flight from Jakarta Indonesia, showing the level of participation in cuts only combat there. The pictures are recent and humbling compared to our efforts here.
The U.S. made early inroads to cuts only when slow combat was popular. The popularity of the event was due to the increased skill it took to win using cuts only and airtime. While some knew the attraction of F2D and flew it, it was capitalism that really brought cuts only to the U.S. Tomas Mejzlik began to export RTF equipments to the world. Turnkey engine, muffler and all else were now available for purchase and by 2000 the U.S team trials were littered with "store bought airplanes" and engines from the Ukraine.
The handwriting was on the wall for those who would read. We were just sweeping up Bladder Grabber 2008, when The Buzz Man said, "I have an idea" and thus was born the Chehalis Cup. The BBB met several times online, and other venues to create rules that are familiar, but still in line with what the rest of the world is flying.
Below are comments from Senior MACA members and top of the line combat fliers on the question of why fly for cuts only. Some refer to their local speed limit events while others refer to F2D. Note that most speed limit events are slower by far than what we fly here (80 mph) ... wussies.
We've already got your low tech event -- Speed Limit Combat. No need to specify engines, props, fuel, etc. Just limit the speed to a comfortable level. Old F2D ships with a 25 on them work quite well. Some folks are even using straight F2D stuff.
Eventually we may go to F2D spec line lengths, but there is no big hurry.
Even at 70 mph I've gotten a lot of comments from spectators on the order of "how can you fly them when they're going so fast!"
The speed limit, flying for points not wins, and adding a clean match bonus keeps the carnage way down, making it easier for sport combat flyers to join the fun.
-- Phil Cartier
So how about a "Limited F2D" event in place of today's "Speed Limit" event. Standard F2d ARF planes, lines, etc, BUT with CHEAP OS LA15's or FP 15's or Magnum 15XLS and a SPECIFIED APC or MAS prop and with contest provided fuel, 10% or so. The engines won't quite fit the metal mounts or the motor block right now, but it would be fairly simple to make some mounts that fit.
The RC Combat guys had a similar problem with the performance level of their Open B event. They created SSC (Slow, Survivable Combat) with strict engine performance and cost limits (and some, but not many airplane design limits) and it WORKED! It is by far the most popular event and has done much to revive RC Combat. I think that something similar would help CL Combat. Not only that, since we would be using standard F2D equipment, a new competitor would be able to buy EVERYTHING off the shelf through one of our vendors or at the LHS and then step up to F2D by just buying new engines and mounts.
Fast was always my serious event and 1/2a was my fun event. 1/2a planes got bigger and bigger and faster and faster as did the fast ships. I actually miss TD 1/2a's, they were lots of fun. But like everything goes, it just keeps getting more and more serious. So now that 1/2a is as big a ship as an F2d and an F2d is as big as an old fast. Why not consolidate? That was the ticket for me. Not to mention that is where the competition is. After Tucson stopped their fast contest and the Nats died, fast is out for me.
After working with the rules, that I hated sooooo bad, I discovered they're really no big deal. I even like chasing the other pilot around that big ass circle. Wish I would have done it when I was younger. So F2d is the best of everything I think. And I have one length of lines, mix one fuel, they fit in my car, I can actually purchase combat equipment, and they fly like a big 1/2a.
I like the added skill involved in F2D. Much more difficult to go away and come back for the small cut than to blindly crank and yank and win. (just an opinion)
Once upon a time, the Bladder Grabber was considered outrageous and would "ruin the amateur standing of combat." Some were against the idea and refused to fly or pay the $50.00 to enter. The Bladder Grabber set new standards of how to not only fly at a "major tournament" but also how to organize and run one. (Thank you Broadway Bob!)
The world turned. John Thompson threw down the gauntlet and the combat fuel shut-off was born, without this bold move there would be much less high performance combat in the U.S. ... (Uh gee, thanks for the shut-off, John) : D
The world has once again turned and leading the field as before is the Pacific Northwest.
The Chehalis Cup (Thank you Buzz Man), is a new avenue into the modern day that does not require you to break the bank by using exotic equipment, but helps to develop skills now known worldwide. It is an exciting innovation that fills the gap between full blown F2D and something we can all enjoy.
Yes Folks, it's true,
Two out of three major combat innovations were conceived by the Broadway BodBusters!!!.
Here are some comments on why we, The BBB, endorse cuts only combat in the Chehalis Cup.
Mike Willcox (Word Champion) mentioned he was tired of fast combat because he averaged only 17 seconds of actual combat per match. I rejected that thought because I still was pumped about fast at the time. Then we started flying diesel and the rounds format. It was fantastic, long matches, everyone gets in four bouts, great practice and learning tool. Everybody who flew it improved their skills and abilities. The only thing I had against it was the fuel, the smell, the antiquated motors, the planes, and the performance. Then the idea of cuts only 80 MPH combat with rounds format was suggested. All the good points of Mel's diesel contests, and all the performance you wanted to build into an 80. The heavy ground time penalty strongly discourages reckless flying, leading to longer matches with fewer collisions. It is because of this format, I am looking forward to this year's Chehalis Cup
-- Jeffrey Rein -- The Rein Man
I wanted to put together an event that would create a lot of combat flying. The effect of this would be to elevate the skill of everyone. Secondly, I wanted an event that anyone could be competitive. Thirdly, I wanted a series of contest where everyone flies each other an equal number of times so that at the end of the season the winner of the C-Cup will be the best combat flier for the season. Improve your skills, fly the Chehalis Cup.
-- Buzz Wilson -- The Buzz Man
Cuts only, produces a lot of combat flying in each match, this is what I enjoy. The rules allow for more matches, this too is what I enjoy. The cost of competitive equipment is relatively low for the amount of action produced. YesI am the Combat Monster and KIL!, KILL!, Kill! Is my mantra. This is new to me but I'm going to fly it like other cuts only event (D-bat) maybe I'll have a new mantra CUT!, CUT!, CUT!
-- Don McKay -- The Combat Monster.
Flying for cuts increases skills, allows potentially longer matches, and strategy becomes an important component. Since flying for cuts only, I have had some of the best matches that I've ever flown.
-- Ken Burdick -- Kenny B
-- KennyB And The Bod Busters
This page was upated March 8, 2009