Outdoor Free Flight
07/17/2023 to 07/21/2023

For detailed information see the IAC Calendar.

FF models are under no control from the builder/flier after they are released for flight.  Controlled flight is achieved through preset adjustments and onboard timers and or fuses that control various functions such as engine cutoff, transition from climb to glide, and recovery.  Most Outdoor FF events are duration contests; the longest total flight time wins.  Restrictions on fuel, engine size, rubber motor, or towline length are among the ways performance can be limited, thus making long flight times difficult to achieve.  To lessen the chance of a single lucky flight winning an event, and to reduce the risk of lost models, flight times are limited to a maximum per flight that will keep the models within the boundaries of the field.  Should a contestant achieve three maxes in six flight attempts, a sudden-death flyoff is held until tie scores are broken or a winner is determined.  Recovery of FF models is generally achieved with some sort of dethermalizer, which is a device designed to prevent the aircraft from being carried great distances by updrafts of warm air called thermals.  The device deflects major control surfaces, which stops forward flight and brings the model floating back to Earth.

Nats News

August 8, 2019: Outdoor Free Flight

By Rick Pangell (themaxout@aol.com)

Waking up and not being able to see across the street from my motel room made me want to just toss the covers back over my head. But, having a cup of coffee and driving to the field made a world of difference.

It was dead flat and no rain! Everyone had basically gathered up on the knoll just west of the Control Line circles. The Catapult pen was set up on the hill just east of there.

August 7, 2019: Outdoor Free Flight

By Rick Pangell (themaxout@aol.com)

The morning started out with some “iffy” weather, and choosing a launch line for the F1 events was being debated. F1C and F1Q were sharing the same starting positions but the issue wasn’t that, it was the prevailing wind direction. F1H was on its own but piggybacked on the big model location. The first round was delayed until it got straightened out and a suitable place was found. The wind blew southwest to northeast, so much of the flying came from the southwest corner of the complex.

August 6, 2019: Outdoor Free Flight

By Rick Pangell (themaxout@aol.com)

I guess that when you come to the Nats, there is a growing anticipation of energy in the crowd. Plus, it’s an excitement that comes from seeing all of the “usual suspects” of fellow fliers from last year. And then seeing the new fliers come into the ranks, and this is their first Nats and they make great showing.

August 5, 2019: Outdoor Free Flight

By Don DeLoach

The Free Flight Nationals are back August 5-9... for (can you believe it?) the 93rd running.

We will fly 71(!) events this week, plus several ad-hoc evening and morning “fun” events. There were about 145 preregistered fliers as of Sunday, August 4—an excellent turnout. The weather forecast looks very promising for the week with only a couple chances for rain in the middle of the week.