Ray's 1979 F3B Warm Up Contest

Articles Scrap Book

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L-R Tim Renaud, Skip Miller, Ray Hayes, Dwight Holly

This event started as an innocent approach to promoting more interest in F3B contests and admittedly, somewhat selfishly, for me to get in some F3B practice. I was very attracted to the FAI program of flying and back in the seventies and currently, not too many flyers are tempted to try this challenging type of RC Sailplane flying, so I thought of ways to water it down a bit and maybe make it more attractive.

Even after you read Dan Pruss's report in the February 1980 Model Aviation mag (scan below) on my contest, you will think this was a contest to promote F3B flying, but let me tell you the real story of why Lee and Tim Renaud came to Ft Wayne with Skip Miller and Don Edberg.

The 1979 LSF Tournament was held in Chicago and Lee Renaud had his brand new Sagitta 900 to unveil to the world. He touted it as the fastest sailplane and the Worlds F3B Champion, Skip Miller, was flying it, the Tournament was set up to include an F3B speed task and no one was betting against Skip.

My F3B warm up had already been scheduled and I was promoting it among the Tournament flyers. As it turned out, 99% of the Tournaments entrants absolutely hated the speed task, sailplanes met their death and many pilots were simply embarrassed for the lack of practice and a plane strong enough to survive the task. There was no question in my mind that my September F3B Warm Up contest was going to be an absolute flop for the lack of contestants. But you never know sometimes what twists and turns life can have.

I won the 1979 LSF Tournament Speed event, Chris Adams was my main competitor and we both were flying our own designs and airfoils. Yes, I agree, Lee was probably embarrassed, maybe more than a tad and that led to my LOFT club hosting many of the biggies at our humble F3B Warm Up contest. Lee, as stated in Dan's article, passed out nine free Sagitta 900 kits to top pilots including the soon to be next worlds F3B Champion, Dwight Holly with a promise they build it and fly it in my contest. Why you ask, well I guess you would have to know a little about Lee. He was a fierce competitor and he was going to take another shot at my ultra fast Osprey. This Osprey was never published and did not use the Osprey 900 airfoil. This airfoil was 9.2 % thick and had a tad over 2% camber with a very rearward high point and lots of Phillips entry and flew very fast.

The twist and turns just kept on twisting and turning. We were all out at the field on Friday evening, the speed course was not set up, but pilots were simulating the coarse with sizzling speed runs in preparation for the real thing on Saturday and Sunday. It was my turn for the twist and turn effect......my Osprey was 2 feet above the ground going about as fast as it could go and the right wing gave way and plowed into the turf basically unscathed except for the broken wing. I can't speak for anyone else at that moment, but I felt I had just ruined the party. I was really down, what a bummer. A lot of money was spent by the out of towners for this show down.

Saturday morning I showed up with my Osprey, but it had a set of Bird of Time wings to replace the broken wing. I had just built the wings and fortunately built them to slide on the Osprey fuse and had flown it just a few times previously. Oh brother, what a way to fly in a contest, especially with all the dignitaries on the field. I won this contest and I'm real glad I didn't have to fly back to California with Lee and now you know the real story.

Please read Dan's article below, it will show you how to have a softer approach to holding an F3B contest that maybe more than the predicted F3B flyers will show up for. What is really cool about the F3B flying is the distance task, try it, you might like it. Ray Hayes LSF # 803

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[The above are big scans of magazine pages (>600k)]

Four panels of people

  • TR, Skip Miller with Lee Renaud timing
  • BR, Keith Finkenbiner ready to time Dwight Holly's flight. Dwight won the World's F3B FAI contest his is own design, the Gobbler, in the early eighty's.
  • BL, Tim Renaud, Don Edberg at the controls and Skip
  • TL, Team Flying at it's best

Ray's 1979 F3B, L-R, Skip Miller, Lee Renaud, Tim Renaud, Don Edberg
L-R, Skip Miller, Lee Renaud, Tim Renaud, Don Edberg
Ray's 1979 F3B, Identifying at Base B
Identifying at Base B
Ray's 1979 F3B, Hard at Work
Hard at Work
Ray's 1979 F3B, Eric Podzielinsky
Eric Podzielinsky
Ray's 1979 F3B, L-R, Dan Pruss, Keith Finkenbiner
L-R, Dan Pruss, Keith Finkenbiner
Ray's 1979 F3B, Warren Tihart
Warren Tihart
Ray's 1979 F3B, L-R, Ray and Skip Miller
L-R, Ray and Skip Miller



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