Gyros ... important update !

Since the debate around gyros started, almost 2 weeks ago, we were all focusing on the various category specific sections, as mentioned in Tomas’s email to CIAM delegates. It is obvious that these rules were everything but clear. A rules which is subject to interpretation is a bad rule …

But while debating/fighting we just missed another general section (pointed by Tom Kiesling and Mike Evans) that describes the categories included in the F3 category (Radio Controlled Flight).  And in this section, one sentence says it all as you can judge by yourself.

1.3.3. Category F3 - Radio Controlled Flight 

This is a flight during which the model aircraft is manoeuvred by control surface(s) in attitude, direction and altitude by the flier on the ground using radio control. 

Class: 
F3A - AEROBATIC POWER MODEL AIRCRAFT 
F3B - MULTI-TASK GLIDERS 
F3C - HELICOPTERS 
F3D - PYLON RACERS 
F3F - SLOPE SOARING GLIDERS 
F3H - SOARING CROSS COUNTRY GLIDERS 
F3J - THERMAL DURATION GLIDERS 
F3K - RADIO CONTROLLED HAND LAUNCHED GLIDERS 
F3M - LARGE AEROBATIC POWER MODEL AIRCRAFT 
F3N - HELICOPTERS FREESTYLE 
F3P - INDOOR AEROBATICS 
F3Q - AERO TOW SOARING GLIDERS 
F3R - PYLON RACING MODEL AIRCRAFT WITH LIMITED TECHNOLOGY 
F3S - JET AEROBATIC POWER MODEL AIRCRAFT 

And here, this is explicit. Any device able to actuate control surfaces independently of the flier is forbidden. So gyros, stabilization systems, autopilots are prohibited.

It is good that we finally clarified the situation that was very unconfortable from my point of view. It will be easier for the CIAM sub commitee to do a clear recommendation.

Comments

  1. That does seem pretty clear. I hope that this puts the problem "to bed". CIAM/FAI - who knows, it's an alien world to me.

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  2. Oh dear, looks like the F3C, F3N, F3P and F3S guys are in trouble, what will they do with their Gyro's now?

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    Replies
    1. F3C makes a clear exception and allows yaw axis gyros. F3P and F3S both defer to the F3A rules which provide examples of what is not permitted and gyros are not permitted in these classes. So, they shouldn't need to do anything with their gyros since they shouldn't have them.

      The F3N class is the only one where I could see where gyros are being used and there is no exception explicitly written in the rules. In my view this is an oversight in the F3N rules. I don't fly helicopters, but my guess is that gyros are so engrained in that class that the participants don't see the rules not having an exception as an oversight.

      Delete
  3. Looks like the next can of worms has been opened; off to the next clarification round.

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  4. Only problem is that in a number of these F3x classes gyros are allowed, so this general rule is clearly not interpreted by CIAM as excluding gyros.

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    Replies
    1. for F3C, gyro is explictly authorized. For other category, I have not read the rules so cannot answer.

      Delete
  5. 5.4. CLASS F3C HELICOPTERS
    d) GYROS: The use of automatic stabilisation devices that utilise external references is forbidden.
    The use of pre-programmed flight manoeuvres is forbidden. The use of an electronic
    rate sensor is limited to rotation about the yaw axis.

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  6. Some gyro debate from a year ago on BARCS: http://www.barcs.co.uk/forums/topic/3489-gadgets-to-aid-soaring-pilots/?p=95328

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  7. So, No Gyro's in Hand Launched Gliders F3K?

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    Replies
    1. In the F3K rules, Gyros are explicitly forbidden anyway, that is why we never mentioned F3K during the debate.

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  8. Pierre,

    Being really specific on what the statement says, I don't see that it prohibits the use of gyros. Do we know what was the intent behind the statement? (It looks more like a context-setting statement to me.) The model is still very much under the control of the pilot, but just just has a little assistance from some on board equipment. This problem won't go away until there is a clarification specifically in respect of the use of sensors and controls to aid flight, particularly as the technology progresses in the next few years.

    It does seem pretty clear that the vast majority of pilots don't want tis sort of equipment, so I hope that the majority wishes are properly represented in either a rule change or a very clear clarification.

    Mark Redsell

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