Archive for March, 2016


Bong Eagles Annual Spring Indoor Rally

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2016 by nicholasandrewray

Annual Spring Indoor Rally 2016 copy 2Annual Spring Indoor Rally 2016 copy 3Click here to download a PDF of the entry form.


Temperature logger results from West Baden

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2016 by propblocks

Recently I finished an Arduino-based temperature logger. I have heard folks speculate why the air might be better some days than others. I was curious what effects air temperature would have on flying and air stillness. Others have used wireless infrared thermometers to get spot temperatures on surfaces, however these don’t log temperatures over time, nor can they tell you anything about the air temperatures at different levels below the ceiling.

I made the cable for this specifically long enough to reach the ceiling at West Baden, originally for a different sensor type. I wanted to measure at the ceiling and at the floor, plus at some level below. I didn’t really have any idea where this middle sensor should be, so I made connection points at 5’, 10’ and 20’ below the top figuring I could move the sensor as needed to capture the data. These seemed quite reasonable places for where I do most of my flying, Racine (42’), Oshkosh (43’), and Rantoul (44.5’).

As I tried this sensor package out on a prototyping board, it became clear that the sensor had some serious issues with drift over time, ending up several degrees apart over the course of six to eight hours. The code was also buggy, often crashing after only a few hours. I moved to a different sensor type and discovered that while two ran consistently higher than the others, they had no drift at all. Additionally the code for the sensors was more stable, crashing less often to the point that I could run the data collection for several days at a time. This allowed me to build up a large amount of data and pinpoint a reliable correction factor for the two sensors. I also realized that I could utilize the cable I had already made and capture the data at all five points with only slight modifications.

There is one issue with this approach – It is a cable that hangs down. No matter where you put it inevitably models will find it. Additionally you are only going to get data from that column and that column may not be completely representative of the air conditions in a large space. There is a large break in the data on Sunday when the balloon was moved inward towards the edge of the dome, out of the traffic that was developing in the airspace above the data logger as conditions improved dramatically. The data will show why.

Saturday, March 19th 2016
Conditions outside were cold, about 38 degrees F, windy and it rained most of the morning until sometime after lunch. It was very overcast all day, dark and dreary weather.

Inside the atrium, conditions were the worst anyone had ever seen. The floor temperatures were significantly warmer than at the ceiling. The center of the room was turbulent and mostly down drafts all day long. At the edges of the building, there was a small updraft. In essence, we had a torus-shaped reverse thermal going on all day long. The data supports this very well, showing how the air would cool as it rose, then fall in the center. We can also see that the air from the top to -20 feet is remarkably homogeneous, varying by only 0.5 degree F over the bulk of the day.

Leo Pilachowski notes that windows meant to cover the air handlers on the second floor about the lobby entrance were open and a draft was present all day. This would contribute to the turbulence noted down low, especially around the hotel lobby entrance.

Note: Times on the graph to be offset by one hour due to Eastern Time Zone rather than Central as set.
Sunday, March 20th 2016.
Conditions outside were still cold, but less windy and no rain noted. Rather than being dark and dreary, it was merely overcast and perceptibly brighter inside the atrium. As the day progressed, the overcast broke up and it became partly cloudy and significantly brighter. At some point around noon, the sun started shining brightly, blue skies and clouds.

Inside the atrium, conditions had improved in the morning, but were still not good. There were still significant down drafts in places. As the windows Leo had tracked down were now jammed shut, the turbulence down low was still present but significantly lessened. Around noon as the sun came out, you can see significant warming in the air up high. At around 1pm the temperatures equalized with the floor and the air became significantly better. Somewhat unfortunately it became better right where my sensor was and I had to move it out of the traffic pattern. This move lowered the height around 5 feet and moved the sensors out towards the wall approximately 11 feet. The data shows that I moved it out of the warm air ‘bubble’ in the center of the atrium.

Note: Times on graph are off due to failure of Real Time Clock, but correspond to roughly 8:30am until 5PM EST.

Height calculations for Saturday:
Top sensor was at 95’2″ and approximately 32′ from the edge of the atrium.
When moved inward on Sunday, height was 90’1″ and 21′ from the edge.

“Weather Balloon” location inside the atrium. Photo courtesy of Allen Burnham, used here with his permission.

Picture showing locations of balloon for data capture. Photo by Allen Burnham and used with his consent.

Picture showing locations of balloon for data capture. Photo by Allen Burnham and used with his consent.


Links to plans for the atrium structure can be found here:
and here:


Nick Ray’s Cat I National Record F1R

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2016 by nicholasandrewray

Nick Ray’s Cat I National Record F1RCat I 35cm

Click here to download a PDF of the plan.



10th Pikes Peak Ceiling Climb

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2016 by nicholasandrewray

10th Pikes Peak Ceiling Climb – March 6, 2016

Don DeLoach, CD

Its hard to believe it has been ten years since this contest got its start. What fun we’ve had over the years! Lots of great flying, lots of site records set and broken. Despite rent increases and dwindling flying hours, Indoor is alive and well in Colorado.

This year we had 17 paid flyers with us including six out of state flyers. Dave Saks, our old friend from Idaho, was here. George Bredehoft, a mostly outdoor FAC flyer from Michigan made the trek via airline, and stayed at Chez DeLoach. George is the proprieter of Volare Products and Superior Props, and a super nice fellow.

Mike Fedor drove up from the Dallas area for a follow up to his Indoor Nats visit in 2015. It was great seeing Mike as usual, and he did some very fine flying.

Speaking of the 2015 Nats, John Lovins was inspired to come back in Indoor after spectating at the Nats. He came to the PPCC flying 35cm, A-6, and vows to tackle F1D next. What a pleasure it was to fly with John again.

David and Tiger Wagner came up from Santa Fe to their first PPCC, and seemed to enjoy themselves a lot. Tiger brought his school buddy with (can’t remember his name)

Jim Gadd is a local Colorado Springs flyer who entered his first contest in Limited Pennyplane, and turned a very respectable 4:40. Welcome, Jim!

Two site records were broken this year, in Towline (DD with 54.4 best flight) and 35cm (John Lovins’ 13:57). Our site records are getting tougher and tougher to beat.

The most popular events were P-18 with 8 flyers, Limited Pennyplane with 7, and Towline and No-cal with 6 each. Isn’t it interesting how quickly P-18 has caught on?

Jace Pivonka topped the very competitive 8-man field in P-18 with an awesome 2:10. His backup flight of 2:09 would also have placed first.

We lost Ivan Williams to cancer just a couple weeks before this year’s PPCC. Ivan was a fixture in the Colorado Springs Indoor scene for many years, and a prolific builder. He donated his entire fleet of models to the MMM Club, and we auctioned them off at the PPCC, with proceed going to the club. What a huge success this was! Over $500 was raised and several dozen models now have happy new homes. RIP Ivan, and thanks. You won’t soon be forgotten. Other donors to this silent auction were Don Uhl, Darold Jones, Jerry Murphy, and Rick Pangell. I want to offer special thanks to John McGrath for picking up most of Ivan’s models to bring to the auction. Also, Rick Pangell and Ray Boyd brought down Don Uhl’s models from Denver. Thanks guys!

The PPCC is a team effort. Thanks to Mark Covington for sitting at the CD most of the day and timing flights. Thanks to Jerry Murphy for bringing the beer and soft drinks for the pizza dinner. Thanks to anyone else who contirbuted in small but important ways. Your help is always greatly appreciated.

One final note of thanks, to John Berryman, David Gee, Bill Gowen and Tom Juell. These men pledged several hundred dollars to keep the PPCC solvent, when a call went out that our rent had been raised. NONE of them were even in attendance but their offers of financial assistance gave us much needed peace of mind. Fortunately, their money was not needed as the PPCC came within $20 of breaking even.

See you next year!


Don DeLoach     32.6+34.7       67.3
Rob Romash      29.5+31.4       60.9
Mike Fedor        29.8+30.8       60.6

Towline Glider
Don DeLoach     49.9+54.4*      104.3*
Jace Pivonka      52.9+49.9       102.8
Mike Fedor        47.6+47.1       94.7
Rob Romash      43.6+44.4       88.0
Jerry Murphy    14.7+14.5       29.2
John McGrath   23.5                 23.5
*site records

Rob Romash      40.6+39.4       80.0
Mike Fedor         34.0+32.0       66.0
Rick Pangell       22.9+21.9       44.8
Tiger Wagner      19.5+18.6       38.1

Rob Romash      41.3+38.5       79.8
Mike Fedor         35.5+35.7       71.2
Don DeLoach     21.7+10.4       32.1
Rick Pangell       17.5+5.0        22.5

FAC No-Cal Scale
Don DeLoach                 Farman  7:17
Dave Saks                      Cassutt  6:31
George Bredehoft          Fairey   3:11
Rick Pangell                   Luscombe  2:41
Mike Fedor                     F4U  2:17
Rick Pangell                   Cassutt  1:39

FAC Peanut
Don DeLoach                 Davis   99.0
Mike Fedor                     VP-1    98.0
George Bredehoft          Fairey  91.0

FAC WWII No-Cal Combat
G. Bredehoft      Fairey  WINNER
Jerry Murphy      Wildcat
Mike Fedor         F4U
Don DeLoach     Spitfire
Rick Pangell       P-40

Easy B
Rob Romash              11:29

Limited Pennyplane
Don DeLoach            8:45
Rob Romash             6:53
John McGrath           6:29
Mike Fedor               5:05
Bill Carney               4:44
Rick Pangell             4:44
Jim Gadd                  4:40

Mike Fedor               5:20
Rick Pangell             4:34
Bill Carney               4:14
Don DeLoach           1:15

Rob Romash            8:05
John Lovins             5:28
Don DeLoach          4:59
Mike Fedor              4:36
Ray Boyd                  4:29

Jace Pivonka                   2:10
Bill Carney                      2:00
Chuck Etherington         1:57
Mike Fedor                     1:48
Ray Boyd                        1:48
John McGrath                 1:46
Jerry Murphy                  1:44
David Wagner                1:20

Phantom Flash
Bill Carney             4:10
Jace Pivonka          4:00
David Wagner        3:37

John Lovins             4:29
Don DeLoach          4:02
Jace Pivonka            3:07

Rob Romash            9:59
Mike Fedor              5:09

John Lovins             13:57*
*site record

P-18 Mass Launch
John McGrath
Mike Fedor
Jace Pivonka

Grand Champ – Colorado Cup
Rob Romash      18 points
Don DeLoach     15
Mike Fedor         11
Bill Carney         8