By Joe Just
At the 1984 Nats in Reno I decided that I should give Navy Carrier a try. I based this on trying to find an event that I could fly with my limited flying ability. By 1989 I was as they say "hooked" on Carrier. After that year's Nats I ran for NCS President and entered into what might be called "The Twilight Zone" of modeling correspondence. Weekly I would receive phone calls or letters telling me what was wrong with the state of carrier flying as it was being flown.
About 5 years ago I posted a question on two different forums on the Internet. The question was simple: Why is Navy Carrier participation declining? WOW! The messages came in rapid order and the consensus was that the event had morphed into something that was no longer (fill in the blanks here with any of the following) realistic, interesting, true to full size performance, affordable or some minor other points as well.
Along with these replies was some from current competitors that were, to say the least, uncomplimentary. I finally just let the whole mess lie dormant until two years ago when I attended the Fly In at Brodak's.
I found that the entry in NC at the Brodak contest was made up mostly of less than Nats caliber flyers that differed in their approach to the sport/hobby of flying off a deck. They were having FUN! All of them were trying to score as high as they could, but smiles and laughter were the dominant response I saw. In returning to Brodak's again in 08 I spent the large part of a whole day at the Carrier circle and the feeling I picked up on was even greater than in 07! I also had the time and inclination to sit and talk with other beginners at the PA and OTS circles and sensed again the desire to just have some fun while trying to improve one's flying skills. While engaged in this the name "Perky Speed" came up with gusto and laughter. Something about this event grabbed my attention. Perky Speed was designed for FUN! And while the desire to have the top speed in this postal contest was a given, the big prize was given to the closest to the average speed of entries. That idea captured the most positive responses that I was privy to.
On my flight home the idea of having a Navy Carrier Postal Contest was born and along with two others here in the Northwest, the idea gathered enough enthusiasm to suggest that a Carrier event open to novices, retreads, or anyone with a desire to give NC a try was perhaps a good idea.
We set out to offer an event to those that had no access to a full blown Carrier contest. The basis of the contest is to allow anyone a chance to give NC a try at their local flying fields without all the usual trappings of decks, etc that was usually demanded. We set up a very simple way of flying NC, a very simple scoring method that negated the absolute necessity of arrested landings. We then tossed the idea out to a few people that we knew that might be relied on to give constructive criticism to the idea. The result was 100% "Go For It!"
The navy Carrier Society has instituted a postal carrier contest reporting system that I think is a very good idea. In essence it means that a carrier competitor can with the help of contest personnel fly a carrier event that is not listed at a contest, get a score and mail or email the score into the NCS bulletin for possible inclusion in the 'Top Twenty" listing for that current year. In other words, you can get in a flight with a class 1 or class 2 plane at a contest that only lists profile carrier as an event.
The Postal Carrier Contest varies in this regard in that a flyer does not have to attend a contest of any kind in order to compete in Navy Carrier competition. Here's how it works. In my travels across this Country and in email and phone calls it seems that many that would like to try carrier are frustrated in the seeming lack of opportunities to compete without pushing the envelope of top end competition.
First. During any day of April or May you can, at your discretion , set up any type of imaginary carrier deck landing area. For example you could use old rugs, crepe paper ribbons, plywood or similar pieces of construction material as long as the area or material is 8' by 12' in size. This area would represent the landing area of an AMA approved carrier deck landing area. Arresting ropes will not be necessary for this postal event.
Second. Any aircraft that represents an airplane that actually made an arrested landing or take off of a full size carrier ship is eligible for competition in this fun event. Engines, line lengths, fuel requirements as per AMA rules would be in effect. There will be two classes for this event, AMA profile and .15 profile. In the future Class 1 and 2 flights will be added to this event.
Third. A flight in this postal event would be for 7 laps of high speed flight and 7 laps of slow speed flight followed by an attempt to land on the deck area you have set up. High speed and low speed times will use the AMA rules for conversion into a mathematical score. THERE WILL BE NO LANDING POINTS GIVEN OTHER THAN 50 POINTS IF YOU TOUCH DOWN IN YOUR LANDING AREA. This rule negates the need for arresting ropes on your "deck".
Fourth Failure to touch down on the "deck" receives no 50 points of landing score.
Fifth. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FLY AT A SANCTIONED EVENT. You can do this anyplace you normally fly for fun or practice.
Sixth. You will be allowed as many flights on the day you decide to give this postal event a try. You will then post your best score for that day in either or both events.
Seventh. WE WILL BE USING THE 'HONOR' SYSTEM IN THIS EVENT. Hopefully you and your timer will not enter a phantom score.
There will be awards offered in both Profile and .15 Carrier. They will be based on the following.
1st Place in both events will receive an award to be announced.
Lowest score in both events will receive a prize to be announced.
The score closest to the average score for that event will receive the best prize that will be announced. This idea came to us from some that have had so much fun in the "Perky" speed event of the past few years.
All scores must be mailed or emailed to Joe Just within three days of the actual participation.
Awards will be announced the 15th of June
This postal contest is in no way an attempt to change how the Rule Book event is flown. It is not an attempt to "dumb up" the event. Its only purpose is to give an opportunity to interested people who might be considering giving NC a try, or to those that simply want to have some fun. So far there are nearly 25 individuals that have said they are willing to give it a try. We hope you will too. A set of provisional rules is attached or available from me.
The committee formed to develop ideas and rules for a new contest revolving around the flying of control line carrier planes came up with the following. Over the past few years there have been an increasing number of control line flyers that would like to try Navy Carrier flying. In many cases these flyers were stymied by not having any local contest in which to try out this new attempt. Often there has been a response to other publications and email letters in which a flyer had no contest at all in their area in which to fly any event, leaving them with just local sport flying to answer their desire. With this situation in mind, the committee decided that having a post card contest offering to the general control line community might be a good idea. What follows is the result of that attempt. Many of the ideas and rules proposed come from the very successful "Perky' speed postal contest that has grown by leaps and bounds in the U.S.
The post card carrier event is NOT INTENDED TO ELIMINATE ANY CURRENT NAVY CARRIER RULES/EVENTS OR COMPETITION. This laid back informal contest is merely for those wishing to give carrier flying a try, AND a venue to do that with the minimum of effort, time and sanctioned meet pressures. This post card event is in NO WAY INTENDED TO "DUMB UP" ANY CARRIER EVENT! NOR IS IT INTENDED TO ELIMINATE THE CURRENT POSTAL ENTRY EVENT NOW HANDLED BY THE NCS. That event allows flyers at sanctioned events to have official scores sent to the NCS for those events (usually Class 1 & 2) not offered at a local contest. The NCS postal event is separate and not eligible for the Post Card Contest rules that follow. Also, the postal event results are not eligible for the NCS "Top 20" listings.
1. All current Navy Carrier rules are in effect except as noted .
Any profile airplane or auto gyro that closely resembles any aircraft that made a landing and take off on a full sized carrier ship is eligible. There will be no appearance points given for any aircraft used in this event.
All airplanes used must be controlled by a 3 line system with all line sliders that the plane might be equipped with are to be locked in one position only.
All airplanes used must be powered by either alcohol or diesel engines. No electric planes can compete in this event.
For 2009 there will be just two events in this contest, .36 profile and .15 profile.
It is felt by the committee that Class 1 or 2 planes do not fit into the group most interested in giving carrier a try. All engines of more than .15 cid must fly in the .36 Profile class.
3. Special Deck Rules For The Post Card Contest
Due to the fact that many of the interested flyers, if not all, have limited access to an official NC deck, the committee has come up with these suggestions.
Instead of an official deck, the local flyers may layout a marked area as a landing area. This area must be 8' by 20' and can be made in a variety of manners. It could be simply laid out with crepe paper, rugs, plywood or any material that can be seen from the center of the flying circle. At the flyers option there could be simple arresting ropes laid out between 2x4's, using screw eyes in which to run up to ten arresting ropes 24" apart and tethered by heavy weights. Because there will be only one landing rule, arresting ropes will not be necessary but might be fun or it could be a learning experience by giving the arresting ropes a try.
1. All scores sent in are under the 'honor system"
2. High speed score
The high speed score will be one point for the MPH time for 7 laps after takeoff. A stop watch is started at release of the plane, from just in front of the landing area and stopped as the plane passes the rear of the landing area. This gives the high speed in seconds. Record this time.
3. Slow speed score
The slow speed score will be one point for the MPH time for 7 slow laps taken fom the rear of the landing area after a signal is given by the flyer. The stop watch is started as the plane passes the rear of the landing area and is stopped after the 7th lap is completed. This gives the low speed in seconds. Record this time.
4. After aligning the plane over the landing area the pilot will signal his or her attempt to make either an arrested landing or a "touch down" landing on the deck area. This attempt must be made the lap after the landing signal is given to his helper/s. They, in turn, must determine if the plane actually lands within the landing area. If the plane hit's the deck and then continues to run off the deck and into the air it still counts as a landing. The successful landing score will be 50 points and that particular flight is over. If the plane either hit's the ground before the landing area or after the landing area the score is Zero and the flight is over. No landing points awarded for this attempt.
How To Determine The Final Score
1. Divide the high speed score into 1,800. This gives MPH for high speed. Multiply this number by 10. Record these numbers
2. Divide the low speed score into 1,800. This gives low speed MPH. Record this number
3. Divide the high speed number by the low speed number. Record this number
The high speed was 35 seconds for 7 laps.
1,800 Divided by 35= 51.42 mph x 10 = 514.2
The low speed time was 70 seconds for 7 laps.
1,800 Divided by 70 = 25.71
Divide 514.2 by 25.71 = 20 slow speed pints
Add 51.42 high speed mph points
Total flight points are 71.42
Add landing points, either 50 or 0 50
TOTAL FLIGHT SCORE IS 121.42
NOTE! For the .15 Carrier Postal Contest, timing is done for 8 laps for both the High and low speeds. The.15 event is flown on three .012 or .015 x 52' lines. The .36 event is flown on three .015 x 60' lines.
NUMBER OF FLIGHTS ALLOWED
For the Post Card Carrier Contest the flyer may make as many flights as he or she wishes. ONLY THE TOP SCORE MAY BE SUBMITTED
The scores should be sent within three days of the trail flights. All scores must be received by the Tuesday after the Father's Day Sunday of June.
There will be three awards for both the .36 and the .15 profile events. Each event will receive awards in this manner:
First Place for the top score
Last place for the lowest score
Average award: Closest to the event average. This award will be the most significant award and will receive the best prizes.
Lastly, but first of all, we hope that all of the entrants have fun with this type of event. Please mail or e-mail your results as soon as possible to:
P.O. Box 99
Waitsburg, WA 99361
or send results by e-mail.
This page was upated Oct. 29, 2008