F3B Practise

F3B SA Team Practise at SCARF

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I know nothing about F3B , so I will try to give some report back and how I understood what was going on at the club when the South African F3B Team recently came to practice at SCARF.

It was cold , overcast with moderate wind , I knew they would be here today ... so.... pack in and went to the club I did ....

At the club the conditions where bad , for locals extremely cold. I found out later , for the Gautengers it was ...wonderful weather !

Well first impressions ...Way too much work to get these things into the air .... First thing they did was to lay out a "launch corridor" (me sounding clever , I heard them saying it ) Basically a lot of winches next to each other with the very expensive fishing line running up the runway for 150m.(


NOT........ fishing line , amazing what you hear if you just listen , mono filament nylon , that's what it is ....fancy fishing line . I saw that line actually snap and hit the guy who was ready to lunch , dude you tough, that must have burn ... also bloody dangerous .! Also no wonder they all so thin , walking up and down with this expensive fishing line must keep you guys in shape ...

Not the end though , more cables !! , also up the runway , 150m , these was for the buzzers ...the what ? Buzzers are for when the glider pass a certain point , someone press a button , 150m away the pilot hears it and know he / she can turn ... (note the she !) Like I said a LOT of work .

Next up , the gliders ... Yeah eventually we get to the thing that fly . WOW ! they sure are good looking things . So what is the first question a novice F3B person like me ask ? Yes .. How much are they ? ....Oh my ! or should I say , NO WAY !!! a 1000Euro , Thats R12000 more or less ! for that little bit of plane ! Let see , I can get 1/4 scale Pitts , Ekstra , Edge with motor etc for about R6 to 7 thousand ..... mmmm ...

None the less , these gliders are pretty cool.... really , around 2 Meter wing span and really THIN ... A cool thing for me was the way they ballast them .

The carbon wing tube spars that you use to put the wings on is hollow , in this they actually add brass weights in. (Se

e Picture), that is cool, if I ballast my Breeze 2 I just swap my 11.1V battery for my 14V Battery ...

These Ceres gliders are also very light , some of them are made of Carbon fiber, maybe that is the R12000 ones ...just don't see the 12 grand in it...???

Some names I picked up of the pilots.... Herman , Dion and Michelle , yeah this Michelle is a woman ! Now that is cool ! Get your wife to be into your hobby too ..lucky man. Really friendly group of people , they did try and impart their knowledge on to us but I think in general they got fairly blank stares , or in my case ..."off course I knew that" looks ....

Here is what they do , Launch the glider (dangerous) , at that time the wind was really pumping , as they launch (impressive) the glider go over the sugarcane with the wind , the helper then winch the glider , up and up , eventually the pilot dives down and straight up to release the tow hook ... all the time pilot and spectators alike, mouths wide open as they follow the glider ... (really , I looked , all mouths open)

Then the really scary part , They DIVE down , pull out ...fly 150 m to the other side , "buzzer" , bank and turn , 9 Gee.s they say ..., lower now , "buzzer" , again , bank and turn , the wind is pumping ," buzzer", really low now and pass measuring equipment ...Under 2 min for this , take my word on this , SCARY, this was a speed run ......WOW !!! Heard speed can be as high as 140KM/h , ag no man , even my Stick can do that .....uhh maybe not. ;-)

They also fly a distance time thing , 10min and see who does the most kilometers and then landing at the spot on time , this I did not see but this sounds more my thing ...some flying time ! Hey F3B people I get on average more than 30 min in the air with my Breeze glider ... whe whe ! ;-)

I hope and trust they enjoyed our club.Really enjoyed having you and again thanks for your patience with us and all our questions ...

The 17th F3B World Championship will take place at Ivancice near Brno Czech Republic , August 2nd to 9th.

Check out this website for more info ...


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Mail recieved from F3B team ....

Dear Dave & Members of SCARF

The members of the 2009 National F3B Team would like to thank SCARF and it's memebers for the generous use of thier field for our "low altitude" practise from 13 June intil 15 th june 2009.

We are especially thankfull for the exclusive use of this fantastic field for the entire long weekend - we were able to establish the desired ballast setup that can only be achieved at altitudes similar to that which we will be flying at the F3B World Championships in the Czech Republic during August 2009.

Your Sincerely.

Lionel Brink

Manager Team South Africa



There were 52 Participants . Here is the Individual placings of South Africa members.

25th Goodrum, Craig RSA

36th Goodrum, Michel RSA

41th Liebenberg, Dion RSA

There were 19 Teams . Here is South Africa's Placing ....

12th RSA 48403,54

Liebenberg, Dion RSA 15740,92

Goodrum, Michel RSA 16085,32

Goodrum, Craig RSA 16577,30

We beat the All Blacks "NZL" but lost to AUS .... NO !!!!!

Aus 10th

Ned 11Th

RSA 12 Th

Nzl 19Th

I myself can not do better , I can not fly as good as they do , neither can I play as good rugby as the Springboks . So I criticise the Springboks ....

At the end of the day it is still a hobby for most of us , however , when it become a sport I believe results should be there ..