The 2007 World F3C Helicopter Champs

Scott Gray (Canada) lifts off from the start box

This bi-annual event was held at the Wloclawek Aeroclub airfield, central Poland from 27th July - 5th August. An additional training site was available on an airstrip in Lubien Kujawski, 25km away from the main airfield. Full details about the event can be seen at: www.f3c-hwc2007.w3wl.pl

TEAM GB

Steve Roberts, Daniel Crozier and Dave Fisher represented Great Britain. All used JR PCM10X radios. Steve reached the fly-off using JR Sylphide 90 heli's, fitted inside JR Galaxy body kits. Daniel used stock JR Venture 90 kits, while Dave Fisher flew the new Blitz Avro. The pilots took two near identical machines each to the contest. Two transmitters were also required: one was impounded at the comp’ site each day, so another was required for practice.

Team GB - Daniel Crozier, Steve Roberts and Dave Fisher

Dave and Steve use YS engines, while Daniel uses O.S. Dave uses CSM gyros, while Steve and Daniel use JR G7000T units. The GB Team Manager was Roger Mayo, ably supported by Eddie Olive, Julie Fisher and Paul Roberts.

THE WORLD CHAMPION

At just 17 years of age, Hiroki Ito of Japan retained his title for the second consecutive time. Hiroki flies a JR Sylphide 90 wrapped inside a JR Super Gracy fuselage. He used a specially modified JR PCM10X transmitter on 2.4GHz. The top three pilots were all using prototype JR 2.4GHz systems. Hiroki uses O.S. Max-91 SZ-H engines.

World Champ, Hiroki Ito donated and autographed his spare fuel At the end of the contest Hiroki kindly donated all his spare fuel to the GB Team. He autographed the cans and these have been given to the Aerobatic Helicopter Association as prizes for the GB Team Travel Fund. For more details please see the AHA website: www.aha-online.org.uk

TOP OF THE BRITS!

Steve Roberts did a great job to break through the glass ceiling into the elite ranks of the world's top F3C pilots. He flew well throughout the contest aided by his trusty JR Sylphide 90 machines and finished in 13th place. During practice he started to get unwanted tail kicks and a strip down revealed a badly worn tail output shaft. Other than this his heli's worked really well.

Dave Fisher also had good reliability from his new Blitz Avro heli's. Prior to a change in the scoring system, the team was certain that he had reached the fly-offs. But when the organisers reverted to the old scoring method, he found himself out of the running in 20th place. A great effort, none-the-less.

An impressive Mil gunship display made a nice interlude for the competitors

Daniel Crozier hit a run of bad luck and had more issues in a week than he’s had in the 18 months that he’s been flying F3C. A stretched auto in the first round caused him to land heavily and topple his Venture 90. A great team effort had his model fixed in double quick time, only for a ball link screw to fall out in round two. With only two out of the three cyclic controls, the only way was down! Daniel clawed back some decent scores in rounds three and four and finished in 45th place. However he did receive a nice surprise at the Closing Ceremony, when it was revealed that he was placed 3rd in the Junior Championship. The Great Britain Team were placed 7th in the Team Championship.

ELECTRICS ARE COMING!

Although electric power has become widely accepted for small sport and 3D helicopters, it has been slow to get a foothold in F3C. The main problem is duration, as the batteries have to be capable of getting a .90-size model through a demanding 10 minute F3C schedule. However, with modern, efficient brushless motors, speed controllers and Li-Po batteries, such duration issues appear to have been overcome.

The new electric version of the JR Vibe flown by Curtis Youngblood of the USA
A handful of contestants were campaigning with electric models, including Cees Verplanke of the Netherlands, with his modified JR Sylphides, and Hans Emmenegger from Switzerland, who put in some fine flights with his own-design machine. Hans shut the lid firmly on the duration question as he confidently demonstrated the forthcoming ‘C’ schedule to his peers. This is the most demanding F3C schedule of all and Hans completed it with power to spare.

Electric will not be popular until the big guns start to use it – and they don’t come much bigger than Curtis Youngblood from the USA. Curtis was flying an electric conversion of his Vibe heli’, wrapped up in a brand new full body set. This model will do the F3C schedules in fine style, but duration appears to be on the edge. As one of the world’s leading model heli’ designers, Curtis will no doubt develop his power system and I confidently predict that many other top pilots will be following his lead and going electric at the next F3C World Champ’s in North America in 2009.

ORDER OF BUSINESS

The F3C World Championship starts with all competitors flying four rounds of the FAI F3C ‘A’ schedule. Each pilot flies one round per day over four days. At this competition two flight lines were used to cope with the high number of entrants - 74 competitors, representing 29 countries.

The top pilots receive their trophies
The ‘A’ schedule starts with three hovering manoeuvres over a course marked out by a centre circle with a flag at 5 metres on either side. Pilots have to perform a Diamond, an Inverted Triangle and a Hovering M, with several static and travelling pirouettes thrown in, just to make life interesting! The model also has to stop over the flags for a minimum of two seconds without moving about. No mean feat in the gusty conditions that typified Poland. This is followed by a sequence of aerobatic manoeuvres, each one of which takes place in front of the judges.

The turnarounds are not judged. The flight finishes with a 180-degree autorotation with the engine switched off! To score highly, the pilot must land back in the small centre circle from where he started.

A nice suprise for Daniel, third place in the junior section
After the preliminary rounds, the top fifteen pilots go through to the fly-offs. For this they have to fly three rounds of the more demanding ‘B’ schedule. For more information about F3C flying with your helicopter please visit the Aerobatic Helicopter Association’s website at www.aha-online.org.uk

You don’t need an exotic helicopter to start enjoying FAI style flying. A .50 size model will do fine to start off with. The AHA hold informal competitions once a month during the summer and newcomers are always welcome.

F3C 2007 results

  • 1st Hiroki Itou (regaining his World Champion title) JPN
  • 2nd Scott Gray CAN
  • 3rd Curtis Youngblood USA
  • 4th Manabu Hashimoto JPN
  • 5th Kazuyuki Sensui JPN
  • 6th Wayne Mann USA
  • 7th Yukihiro Dobashi JPN
  • 8th Bernhard Egger AUT
  • 9th Ennio Grabber SUI
  • 10th Ruediger Feil GER
  • 11th Laurent Lombard FRA
  • 12th Stefano Lucchi ITA
  • 13th Steve Roberts GBR
  • 14th Oliver Wessel GER
  • 15th Andreas Kals AUT

    Team results

  • 1 JAPAN
  • 2 USA
  • 3 AUSTRIA
  • 4 FRANCE
  • 5 ITALY
  • 6 GERMANY
  • 7 GREAT BRITAIN
  • 8 SWITZERLAND
  • 9 KOREA
  • 10 NORWAY





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