29-Jun-22 - 10:53 AM

Thermal Circle Text - Thermal Circle 36

Written by Hayden Daley - 14 October, 2021.

Welcome to this edition of the Thermal Circle. In this edition is F3H competition soaring with an edited version of the rules from the FAI website. Competition soaring is a highly popular pastime has changes with this new event and F3H is very popular in Europe. Australian F3H is just beginning and the models used are available from the Airstrike company who is stocking F3H sailplanes from Jiri Baudis including the Varios and tracking equipment too compete. Information on Jiri Baudis models available from Daves Toys for Big Boys also known as Airstrike in this edition of the Thermal Circle. Also in this edition are 2 new F3B Models and the new F5J Explorer 5 and Shadow 2 from the biggest stocker of F5J and Nan models and also a supplier of other competition sailplanes Daves Toys for Big Boys.


5.H.1. Rules for Entry

a) Open to any country affiliated with the FAI member National Airsports Control.
b) Each National Airsports Control may enter up to two teams. A team consists of a pilot and up to two helpers, all of whom must be in possession of an FAI Sporting Licence, from their National Airsports Control.
c) Each team shall include one timer who will be assigned by the organisers as official timer for another team. The official timer shall also be responsible to certify distance travelled if less than the full course distance.
d) Each team may enter any number of gliders. Each glider must be flown on the same assigned frequency. e)
e)There is no restriction on the type or number of chase ground vehicles. Suitable space must be provided in one of the vehicles for the official timer.
f) All gliders shall fall within FAI limitations with regard to size and weight. (Refer to, Characteristics of Radio Controlled Gliders).
g) There is no restriction on the number of controls or sensors.
h) All ballast must be carried internally and cannot be jettisonable except for water ballast.
I) All gliders shall bear the FAI Sporting Licence number and national flag of the primary flyer.

5.H. 2. Description of Task

a) Object is to fly the course non-stop with one model. Fastest time wins. Any pilot of the team may fly the model.
b) If all flights are less than the course length then the longest distance flown wins. In the case of ties, the shortest time will determine the winner.

5.H. 3. Description of Course

a) Depending on local conditions, the course may be any of the following:

  1. Point A to Point B, (distance to a goal);

  2. Point A to Point B to Point C, (broken leg distance to a goal);

  3. Point A to Point B and return to Point A, (out and return);

  4. Distance around a closed course with three or more turn points (triangle, quadrilateral etc.);

  5. Free distance

b) On the days of the competition, the organiser shall define the nature and length of the course to be consistent with the local wind and weather conditions which exist and/or are forecast for that day.
c) The exact nature and length of the course will be announced by the organiser at a pilots' briefing held on the day of the event. A different task may be used on each day of a multi-day competition.
d) Minimum course length for a World Championship event shall be 20 km. A World Championship event shall include at least three days of official flying. e) It is the responsibility of the organiser to provide sight gates and observers at the turn points, if any.

5.H.4. Launching

a) All launching shall be by electric winches which shall be set-up and remain in a launch area designated by the organiser.
b) Winches may be supplied by the organiser or may be supplied by the teams.
c) Winches will be 12-volt launch systems with a maximum line length of 600 metres with the turnaround located 300 metres from the winch. cont/…
d) The towline must be equipped with a pennant having a minimum area of 5 dm2 (77.5 in2 .) A parachute (5 dm2 .) may be substituted for the pennant provided it is not attached to the model and remains inactive until the release of the cable.
e) More than one team may share the use of the same winch.
f) Each team will provide and is responsible for its own line retrieval.
g) To prevent lines from fouling on the ground, immediately after release from the glider, every towline must be wound down to the turnaround. Failure to do so will allow the organiser to add a five minute time penalty to the flight time.

5.H.5. Flight Rules

a) All launching sequences shall be at each team's discretion.
b) Re-launches on the course are not permitted.
c) Flight time for each attempt will begin only when the glider crosses the start line in the direction of the course. Prior to crossing the start line, the pilot is responsible to inform the officials that he is making a start. Flight time stops when any of the following occurs:

  1. the glider crosses the finish line; or

  2. the pilot declares the glider is lost; or

  3. the glider touches the ground.
    d) A team may change planes with no restrictions other than the initially assigned frequency must be used.
    e) Any number of attempts will be allowed within the contest time period; the best flight each day will be used in the final scoring.
    f) Once on the course the chase vehicle(s) must travel the designated route except for possible off-course retrievals.
    g) The glider need not fly directly over the prescribed route.
    h) In the event of off-course landings (less than full course length) the point of landing shall determine the distance flown. i) If the glider is destroyed in flight or goes out of sight for a period of not less than five minutes, the official timer will log its point of furthest progress up to that point.

5.H.6. Organiser Responsibility

a) Provide sufficient personnel to ensure that all rules are observed and that the correct distances are measured.
b) Control all frequencies assigned to the competing teams to ensure that each team has a clear frequency.
c) Provide a map to each team describing the course area and pertinent features at least one month prior to the start

Shadow 2 F3J Xtail

The new Shadow has been called invincible for F3J competition with a lineup of major contest wins, it may be true!

  • Wingspan: 143 in. (3.625m)

  • Wing Area: 1135 sq.in. (73.22dm2)

  • Wing loading: 8 oz/sq.ft. (24.4g/dm2)

  • Airfoil: HN501M1

  • Length: 62 in. (1.575m)

  • Weight: 58-60 oz (1644-1700g)

  • Controls: Ail-Rud-Elev-Flap

Shadow 2 came to the scene in 2006 and the main goal of development, was to create a competitive model to suit all weather conditions. Currently available only in cross tail version. This design is using new HN507M1 airfoil by Norbert Habe. The airfoil has a very wide speed range.

Since the release in 2006, numerous updates were made, most recent is new version of cross tail fuselage which improved handling. The wing skins are carbonline spread tow, same as the most winning model ever, the Xplorer. Super light, and agile this model offers more bang for the buck than anything out there!!The kit is supplied with: - Carbon fuselage - Fully molded composite wing panels - Fully molded composite tail - Full accessory pack

Suggested Accessories:

Servos: MKS HV6100 MG six are needed

Servo Frames: Servo Frames for DS6100 servos with bearings (pair), order one pair
Also available in Electric F5J version!

Freestyler 6

  • Carbon, Double Carbon, Competition

  • Wing Area: 895 sq.in (57.74 dm2)

  • Hor. Stab Area: 89.3 sq.in (5.76 dm2)

  • Max. Weight: 167.97 oz (4762 g)

  • Total Area: 984.25 sq.in (63.5 dm2)

  • Wing Servos: MKS HV6130 wing servo

  • Fuselage Servos: MKS HV6100 MG

  • RX Battery: Panasonic 18650 Li-ion

  • Wingspan: 115.74 in (2.94 m)

Available in 3 variants: Carbon, Double Carbon and Competition!

From the manufacturer: After a long development phase, we present the Freestyler 6, a model that incorporates current developments in classes F3B and F3F with a completely new surface design by Andreas Herrig.

We remain true to our tradition of sensible fleet maintenance, backed up by diverse experience from top international pilots. The significantly thinner profile of the "6" required a revision of our TUD-LDS system. It also holds true that all freestyler parts from FS 3 to FS 6 remain compatible with each other, so that there is no limit to the pleasing combination of all parts by creative pilots and economic handling is also supported, including "old" parts. An asset that is valued by many of our customers.

Of course, the new electric fuselage can also be used on the 6 series.

Freestyler 6 Carbon is the standard F3F/F3B layup
Freestyler 6 Double Carbon is stronger and heavier for slope racing F3F
Freestyler 6 Competition is a lighter, high-end F3B version

The undoubted flagship of the F3B and F3F classes is the Freestyler family. Having been on the market for many years already, the dominance of these models remains undisputed. Advancements in the areas of wing and fuselage layup with the help of introduction of new materials, elimination of wing linkage play and stiffer rudder linkage, as well as adjusted setups show that this latest version, Freestyler 6, is ready for the trophy stand! The Freestyler 6 is mainly targeted at F3F flying. It starts to excel over the Freestyler 3. 4, and 5 in the sub-40 range, increasingly gaining advantage the faster the times get. This is not only enabled by lower straightaway drag, but also improved turn performance at those speeds. A much easier snap-flap setup allows the intermediate pilot to extract higher performance more efficiently. Also the free-time pilot, not bound to a 30-second time limit after launch, will enjoy the higher top speeds after a climb.

Explorer 5 4.0m

Explorer 5 GPS is a giant leap to higher performance!

Whether scratching for altitude in light lift conditions or speeding through sink to the next thermal, Explorer 5 GPS gives you a BIG advantage! State-of-the-art construction methods combined with maximum airfoil camber flexibility and efficiency, plus Explorer's sleek, low drag airframe optimized for “GPS-Triangle-racing” combine to make this exclusive sailplane impossible to beat! The Explorer GPS has a 2.4 friendly nose cone and additional ballast tubes in the wing.

Wing is IDS friendly and wing servos are moved as close to the center of the wing as possible to improve handling of the plane at low altitudes when it matters the most to work out tight thermals. Weight savings are mostly achieved in construction of the wing and amount of material used. The model is suitable for F5J use only.
The kit is supplied with:

  • Carbon fuselage, 2.4 friendly nose

  • Fully molded composite wing panels

  • Solid core composite tail

  • Full accessory pack

Recommended Motor: NeuMotor 1105/3Y/5.8 (P22)

Recommended ESC: YGE 65A

Recommended Battery: Tattu Battery 1300mAh 3S 75C Lipo

Recommended Spinner: GM 30/6mm Spinner

Recommended prop: GM 17x10 Prop.

Recommended Cover: Explorer Covers 4.0 V-Tail

NAN models in Bulgaria represents their continued dedication to producing some of the finest, best value models in the world. The Explorer raises the bar to a new level with ever-higher quality, superior fit and finish into a lighter, stiffer airframe. Nikolay has been working hard on the production of this new model for some time, and once again, he has come up with a winner!

Freestyler 5

Meet the Freestyler 5, the hottest design evolution of the Freestyler family! Designed by Andreas and Martin Herrig of Germany. Andreas and Martin have been FAI World and European Champions several times in the past and have also proved their prowess in many different international competitions in F3B, F3F and F3K classes all over the world.

Our FS-5s include all the add ons: Wing bags, ballast, wiring harness and LDS for MKS 6130!


Freestyler 5 Carbon is the standard F3F/F3B layup
Freestyler 5 Double Carbon is stronger and heavier for slope racing F3F
Freestyler 5 Competition is a lighter, high-end F3B version

The undoubted flagship of the F3B and F3F classes is the Freestyler family. Having been on the market for many years already, the dominance of these models remains undisputed. Advancements in the areas of wing and fuselage layup with the help of introduction of new materials, elimination of wing linkage play and stiffer rudder linkage, as well as adjusted setups show that this latest version, Freestyler 5, is ready for the trophy stand! The Freestyler 5 is mainly targeted at F3F flying. It starts to excel over the Freestyler 3 and 4 in the sub-40 range, increasingly gaining advantage the faster the times get. This is not only enabled by lower straightaway drag, but also improved turn performance at those speeds. A much easier snap-flap setup allows the intermediate pilot to extract higher performance more efficiently. Also the free-time pilot, not bound to a 30-second time limit after launch, will enjoy the higher top speeds after a climb. Despite the slightly more aggressive Freestyler 5 chord distribution, a gentle stall behavior, which TUD-Modelltechnik designs are famous for, is retained by appropriately shaping the airfoils in the FS5’s outer wing. Wing sweep was marginally reduced to benefit torsion at high g-loads. The Freestyler 5 is a direct result of pilots requesting a model sized between the Freestyler 3 and 4 with a wingspan of 2.94 meters and a wing area of 57.74 dm². The Freestyler 5 is not necessarily a replacement for the FS-3 and FS-4, but an extension of their main area of application. The FS-3 and FS-4 are high performance all-around designs which excell in weak and medium conditions (not by chance, they have bagged World and Vice World championships in F3B). If you already own a FS-3 or FS-4 you may be pleased to discover that all parts can be combined with the FS-5 – so you can also fly different fuselages and tails according to your personal preferences or gradually transition to the new FS-5 possibilities from your existing model. One could imagine the Freestyler 5 being flown in F3B now and then on windy days where a higher speed at the cost of a little bit of maximum lift could very well pay off! The significantly slimmed fuselage of the FS-5 not only promises aerodynamic advantages, but also contains a few neat construction solutions. Despite its quite minimal cross section, special servos are not required. The standard micro servos like the MKS HV6100 MG or S3155 should fit. These are more convenient if you have a receiver which is wider than a GR16 (21 mm) and has to go behind the receiver battery. The fuselage is designed for 2 round cells of 18650 size like the Panasonic 18650 Li-ion.Also in the wing some details were changed to enable an easier completion. The servo bays are now 5 mm wider. (Recommended servo is the MKS HV6130 wing

Antares 6.6

Our friends at Baudis Model may have finally out done themselves! Jiri is known for his incredible quality and technical innovation, and this model shows why Baudis Model is one of the top manufacturers in the world.

The new Antares sports a massive 6.6M double carbon wing. Using their many years of experience producing the best F3B models, Baudis was prepared to push the envelope and design the most efficient model possible. The thickness of the airfoil demands a wing that is 99% carbon, and only 1% filler! CNC molds are used throughout, to ensure consistent airfoil replication. Even the spar has been CNC milled! Now we know why the Antares won the first GPS Triangle competition Jiri entered with it!
The Antares has an incredible level of pre-fab.

The cockpit is complete (gauges, seat, seat belts, etc..), canopy mounted, landing wheel mounted, even the tow release is already installed and ready to go. The wing already has 4 servos with RDS already setup and ready to plugin! Don't forget the included ballast system, all radio cables, wing bags, and servo frames are also included! The only thing Baudis didn't include is a cup of espresso so you can stay up all night staring at your new ship!
When it comes to top quality, you already know who Baudis is, and what they can do. This model represents the best effort from Baudis. If you are serious about GPS Triangle Racing, this is the ship for you. No holds barred, flat out performance from the best manufacturer. It really doesn't get any better than this.

ASW 22

The full scale ASW-22 is simply one of the most successful open class sailplanes of all time. Magnificent performance combined with ease of handling makes it a reasonable choice for pilots of any experience levels. The ASW-22 has won almost every world championship since it’s introduction. It won four world championships, more than any other single open class design. It is interesting that this was the first in a very successful string of AS ships which use a higher aspect ratio and thus higher wing loading than other open class sailplanes.

We are proud to bring you this extremely impressive (AND BIG!!) model in 1/3 scale, spanning 7.3 meters (8.8 with extended wing tip!), all molded of exceptional quality and extra strong.

We offer two layups: Standard and special GPS Triangle competition lay-up-- both are glass smooth! For GPS Triangle competition, either layup can be used effectively, but they differ.

The advantage of the special GPS layup is a lower wing loading in poor conditions and lighter peripherals (lighter wingtips and tail) giving it better agillity and better reaction to thermals. If there is a disadvantage, it could be lower flight speed limit, however, for the speeds needed for GPS racing, it has some reserve. The longer wing tips could be used with GPS version, only for easy thermal flying, but acrobatics are NOT recommended. To maintain good stiffness, UMS carbon is used for the wingspar and HM carbon for the wing’s surface.

Using the manufacturer's flying and building experiences with top F3B models, the airfoil of this new ASW 22 is very thin, but very stiff and strong, as there is more than 99% carbon in the wing.

The level of pre-fabrication in this model is very high. The basic cockpit is complete, canopy is mounted, landing wheel is mounted, the tow release is installed. All control cables and servo frames are included.

Wings come with custom-designed LDS linkage ready to install. We can add a factory LDS install if you wish! This LDS linkage is very strong and accurate with double LDS rods. It is ready for your wing servos: MKS HBL6625 (for ailerons) and MKS HV747 (for flaps). Servos can be easily inserted into the provided servo frame. No wiring harnesses are supplied.

This model is not equipped with airbrakes. The Standard version has no ballast system. The GPS version has ballast system in the wings.

The elevator is prepared for LDS with 2 x MKS HBL6625 servos.

Aero towing a large sailplane like this is a simply majestic. There is nothing closer to the real thing. It is very mild mannered on tow, and once off the line has the wings to stay up all day long. The silky smooth response and feeling is one of a kind. Don’t be afraid to take it to a big slope either! This ship can fly and stay up in light conditions.

Approx. flying weights :
Standard layup 39.68 pounds (18000g)
GPS Triangle competition version with HM spreadtow ... approx. 33~35.25 pounds (15000-16000g)

Technical data
Category GPS Triangle
Wingspan 7333 & 8860mm (24 & 29 feet)
Wing area 196.4 & 188dm
Weight 15000-19500g
Length 2750mm
Construction: Baudis Jiri
Airfoil Dirk Pflug

Diana 2

History: The SZD-56 Diana was a 15-meter class glider originally designed by Bogumi? Bere? at PZL-Bielsko, but put into production by Diana Sailplanes which developed the design further and called it the Diana 2. By 2011, the aircraft was being produced by Design Office Bogumil Beres and first flown on 12 January 2005. The Diana 2 is simply the latest in a long series of outstanding Polish sailplane designs.
The Model: Diana 2 is a scale model of this popular sailplane. It has been designed for GPS-triangle competition with the latest technology for aerodynamic performance and for structural stiffness and strength. Diana 2 is made using 100% molded technology.

Of course, Diana 2 can be flown as a sport sloper or thermal soaring model, but it excells in a high performance envelope. Diana 2 uses an airfoil profile often used in F3B competition models. Thus, you will be able to fly slowly in thermals, rapidly in speed runs, and a good glide ratio for distance flying. This broad speed range allows you to be competitive in GPS-triangle events. Diana 2 handles beautifully while circling in thermals and is very gentle on final approach and landing.
Diana 2 is recommended for pilots who want to enter GPS-triangle competition but don’t want to spend "too much" money on a 7-meter glider.
The price includes: protective wing bags for wings, rudder and elevator; all accessories for completing the model (LDS sets, linkage, wirings, servo frames, clevis, connector, etc.); the basic cockpit is finished (instrument panel and seat).
Approximate flying weights:
Without retractable landing gear:

Standard: 8050 grams (17.75 lbs)
GPS: 6850 grams (15.1 lbs)
With retractable landing gear:
Standard: 8500 grams (18.74 lbs)
GPS: 7300 grams (16.1 lbs)
*These are approximate flying weights. Depends on used components (servos, motor), way of building, etc.
*It is estimation of the final weight based on our best experience.
Not included are: retractable landing gear; RC equipment (servos, receiver, etc.).

Required are:
For wings: 6 servos (3 servos for each wing) - MKS HV6130 - for wings (with LDS)
For elevator: 2 servos MKS HV6110 (with LDS)
For rudder: 1 servo MKS HV6130H
For retracts: 1 servo Hitec 7955TG

Skywalker 5 meter F3H

The Skywalker XL, Electric is a five-meter high performance "big brother" to the Skywalker (3.8m). A one-meter center section added to the wing accomplishes this modification. It also features a new molded C/F fuselage. The Skywalker XL was developed primarily to meet the specifications and class performance needs of Sport Class GPS Triangle racing, an electric power event. However, it comes from the Czech factory with a sailplane nose. Stock from the box, it is a high performance, unlimited class AMA thermal duration or F3J sailplane.
Soaring USA carries two versions of the Skywalker XL:
Carbon Strong (best for Sport Electric or GPS):

  • Skin Laminates: 50g glass / 160g carbon / herex / 50g glass

  • Spar: herex / carboncomposite

  • Weight 6700g

Double Carbon Light:

  • Skin laminates: 25g glass / 80g carbon / herex / 80g carbon

  • Spar: kevlar honeycomb / carbon composite

  • Weight 6500g

Both versions have a built-in ballast chamber in wing center section.
The tail requires two micro servos. The wing requires a total of 8 micro servos (4 per side). All control surfaces are actuated by LDS (linear drive system) except the rudder which is actuated by RDS (radial drive system).

Recommended flap servo: (2) MKS HV6130

Recommended aileron servo: (2) MKS HV6110

A good E set up would be:
Recommended Motor: Neu 1512/1.5D/6.7
Recommended ESC: Castle Edge lite 200A
Recommended Prop: RFM 20x13
Recommended Battery: Thunder Power 65C Lipo 3300-4S
Recommended Battery: Thunder Power 65C Lipo 3300-5S

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Direct from the Australian Soaring Scene