Line size change proposed for 80mph Combat

Northwest Combat fliers are being asked to consider a revision of the control line specifications for 80mph Combat.

Current rules for Northwest 80mph Combat are based on the AMA (fast) Combat rule, which allows .015" wires for engines up to .15 size and .018" wires for larger engines.

The proposal offered by Gene Pape would align the Northwest 80mph Combat event with the newly revised rules for AMA Slow Combat, which requires .018" wires for all airplanes.

If approved by a vote of Northwest Combat participants, the amended rule would take effect in 2019.


Approval of this proposal would have two effects:
1. The primary Northwest speed limit Combat event would adhere to the same safety requirements as the AMA Slow Combat rules, in regard to control lines.
2. The larger wires for .15-powered airplanes would reduce a percieved performance advantage held by the .15-powered F2D airplanes used by some contestants, when compared with heavier "big block" planes powered by engines up to .40 displacement.

Here are the specifics of the change:

Adds rule No. 4 by adding line specifications, and renumbers succeeding sections.

Discussion period

A thread is open for discussion of this topic on the Northwest CL Forum. After a one-month discussion period which will end in late January 2019, voting will be opened.

Proposed 2019 80mph Combat rules
New language in red; deleted language in strikeout

2019 proposal

1. PURPOSE: It is the intent that this event will provide a form of combat that is slower, more relaxed, and less destructive to equipment than all-out AMA combat events.

2. All rules for AMA (fast) combat shall apply except as follows:

3. ENGINES: Any engine up to .40 displacement is permitted.

4. LINES shall be of a minimum .018-inch diameter, and lines shall be of the stranded type, with a length of 60 feet measured from the handle grip to the fuselage, plus or minus 6 inches. Spectra (or equivalent) lines will be allowed and must pass pull-test requirements.

5. SPEED LIMIT: The airspeed limit for all contestants shall be 80 mph, which is defined at 6.43 seconds for a two-lap period at 20-foot height. No devices capable of varying the speed of the airplane in flight, such as throttles or carburetors adjusted by elevator trim, are allowed.

6. MATCH PROCEDURE: Flying of matches shall be exactly the same as in AMA combat except as follows:
Airspeed timing:
The first airplane to launch will be timed for two laps after the first full lap, at a height of approximately 20 feet (brief deviations in height for safety reasons are permitted). If the time for those two laps is greater than 6.43 seconds, the airplane will be judged eligible to compete. Pilots must keep the plane near the 20-foot height; failure to do so will delay timing.
If the second airplane launched appears to the circle marshal to be slower than the first plane, after the first plane has been declared eligible, the circle marshal may waive the timing of the second plane and signal the start of combat. If the second plane appears equal to or faster than the first plane, the circle marshal may time the second plane as well before beginning combat.
In the case of a simultaneous launch, the faster airplane will be timed.
Airplanes will not be timed on successive launches in the same match, unless the circle marshal has reason to believe that a plane has passed the 80mph speed limit. The circle marshal retains the right to stop combat at any point and re-time any airplane that appears to have passed the 80mph speed limit.
Exceeding the speed limit:
If, on the initial launch, a plane is judged to be flying in excess of the 80mph speed limit, that plane's airtime watch will be cleared, and airtime will not be counted until the plane is judged to be consistently flying below the airspeed limit; combat will not be started until both airplanes are within the speed limit. If a plane is judged to exceed the limit at sometime during the match - after the initial timing - the airtime watch will be stopped and not restarted until the plane is judged to be consistently flying below the speed limit; combat will be stopped until both planes are below the speed limit.

7. SCORING: Per AMA Combat.


For a complete copy of the Northwest Sport Race rules (without the annotations above), and for an explanation of how the Northwest control-line rules process works, see the Northwest Rules page.

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This page was upated Dec. 19, 2018