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New to F5B

Newcomers are always welcome at the competitions, and you don’t have to be a top class pilot to join in. Although there is strong competition for the top few places, there is always time to help a newcomer and guide them through their first flight on the F5B course.

Any electric glider could be used for your first few visits.  To get the most out of it you really need something fast climbing and fast in a straight line but don’t worry to much about this right now. You don’t need lots of batteries either as there is plenty of time between flights to recharge. So bring what you have or even just come to watch, learn or have a friendly chat.

We don’t apply the rules for newcomers so you don’t really need to worry about that for now. When you get too good of course, we will be asking you to play fair and install an Energy limiter like the rest of us. They are not expensive.

What you will need to make full use of the course is to bring a spare receiver on your own frequency. We plug it into the course computer to monitor when you are running your motor.

What can I practice before coming?
Have a look at the rules and you will see that the competition is in three parts.

The “duration” task and the “landing” are fairly easy to understand, and most glider pilots effectively practice these nearly every flight.

It’s the “distance” task that really distinguishes F5B from other competitions or free flying, so we will concentrate on that.

We fly the distance task on a measured course with someone (base man) at each end (base) to spot when the model reaches the ends of the course. The pilot stands at base A, and the other end of the course (base B) is 150m away, usually to your left.  Gliding from A to B scores 1 ”leg” and gliding back from B to A scores another. Have a look at the diagram (click on it for a larger image):-


Just imagine you are standing on the course at base A.
Launch and climb away to your right, then turn back towards the imaginary base B and switch the motor off before you go past yourself (i.e. cross base A).
Glide fast and straight towards base B, then when about 150m away turn and head back towards base A.
As you approach base A try to make another 180 degree turn and head back to base B, then at B turn back towards A again.

This time when you are back at base A and low down, use the motor to climb again and repeat the process.
Try to keep a steady dive through the legs and the turns to keep the speed up.
You can do as many legs as you like from each climb, but most pilots use a pattern of 4 legs to each climb.

It all feels different when you are on the proper course with base “buzzers” sounding etc. and of course if you don’t hear the buzzer it means you turned too early. You soon get used to all that, and the practice will help improve your flying skills.

If you have any questions, anything at all. Simply get in touch with one of us!

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