Bill & Bunny Kuhlman
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The FAI F3B event is the true test of the RC sailplane and its pilot and is probably the most exciting RC soaring event to fly or witness. Devised by Dr. Ing. Ferdinando Gale of Italy, F3B consists of three separate tasks - Duration, Distance, and Speed - each a test of airplane performance and piloting skills.
Each of these tasks has a working time and a flight time. Base A is near the winches, Base B is 150 meters toward the turnarounds; from winch to turnaround is 200m. Briefly, these tasks can be outlined as follows:
A Round consists of the flying of all three tasks. The same aircraft must be used for all three tasks in a Round without any changes other than ballast. Tasks A and B are flown in Groups, Task C individually.
Task A. Duration
12 minute working time. Score based on 10 minute flight time plus landing points based on distance of the nose of the model from a predetermined spot. A Group consists of more than one and up to 12 competitors. Scores are "man-on-man" for the Group with the winner of each Group receiving 1000 points and others receiving partial scores.
Task B. Distance
7 minute working time. Score based on the number of 150m laps (Base A to Base B or Base B to Base A) flown during a 4 minute flight time. There are no landing points. A Group consists of more than one and up to six competitors. Scores are "man-on-man" for the Group with the winner of each Group receiving 1000 points and others receiving partial scores.
Task C. Speed
4 minute working time. Score is based on time to fly four 150m laps starting at Base A. Participants fly one at a time and scoring is "man-on-man" taking into account the raw scores of all participants.
While there have been complaints about the manpower required to run an F3B event, the number of personnel required is less than that required for F3J, particularly if those not flying are able to assist with timing, etc.
There is one F3B contest scheduled on the SASS 2013 calendar. The F3B SIG encourages you to participate by either flying in the contest or by being an active observer.