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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Re: Poll: Do we need a new category be ...


Thread: [Acro] Re: Poll: Do we need a new category be ...

Message: [Acro] Re: Poll: Do we need a new category between Advanced andUnlimited?

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: Don Peterson <autotech at>

Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 05:14:33 UTC



OK - response to poll.

I'd like Unlimited and Advanced to stay aligned to CIVA.

Is there any arrangement that will provide the perfect range of venues
for every pilot/airplane combination?  Of course not.  I have my own
wishes regarding other categories, including Advanced, but there is just
too much momentum already going in a more or less unified direction.

Fortunately, I suspect that Advanced will continue to refine itself as a
category for unlimited pilots flying limited aircraft.  Yes, I would
like to see outside flicks, outside rollers, and tailslides in advanced,
but if that happens it won't be soon.  Time and continue input will move
advanced to being the true "sporting" category in the world.  My
impression of AWAC is that this is what it has already become, since so
many countries cannot field a competitive WAC team anymore.  While the
missing maneuvers mentioned above distinguish it from unlimited, ya
gotta admit advanced is a much greater challenge than it was 10 years
ago.  It may continue to evolve to give you what you want.  I'd bet you
could provide input to hasten the development of advanced more
successfully than you could get a new category invented

I've found that a 10 figure unlimited free can be safely and competently
flown by a 260HP $60k Zlin 50.  If I decide to practice enough, I can
have plenty of fun in the new unlimited at regional contests.  I can
promise you that an S2B, S1T, Extra 230, and Lazer 200 have at least
equal, and possibly more performance than the Zlin.  It doesn't take
$250k to fly unlimited and have fun.  Just dedication and plenty of

Don P.

Franko Allan wrote:

> I'm considering submitting a proposal for a rule change to establish a
> new IAC category, provisionally to be called "Sporting Unlimited", and
> I would like some feedback on the idea.  I would be grateful for
> personal E-mails from those who have opinions they don't want posted
> for all to criticize, as well as for replies to the group.
> Need for an additional category
>     1.  The range of difficulty between Sportsman and Unlimited has
> increased substantially over the past 20 years.  This leaves gaps in
> the current category structure which make it difficult for some pilots
> to find their ideal category, and which make it harder than necessary
> to progress between categories.  (Sportsman became easier when the
> snap roll was deleted.  Unlimited has been made progressively more
> difficult in order to challenge the very best aircraft.)  Adding a
> category would reduce these problems and thus improve participation at
> our contests.
>     2.  The recent rule change to give bonus points for shorter Free
> programs in Unlimited has completed the evolution of this category to
> the point that it is futile to compete in Pitts Specials and many 4
> cylinder monoplanes.  Including a number of less common designs with
> similar performance, these aircraft constitute the largest single
> group of aircraft owned by IAC members.  Many of these aircraft are
> among the most affordable aerobatic planes available.  Because of
> these realties, I think IAC should be doing everything possible to
> maximize contest participation by this group of aircraft.  Instead,
> IAC has moved in the opposite direction by no longer providing a
> category in which these planes can be flown to the limit of their
> capabilities.  I believe that this has two negative effects on IAC
> contest participation.  First, those who wish to fly sequences of
> Unlimited-like complexity and challenge but cannot afford a high
> performance monoplane have already left the sport.  Second, newcomers
> to the sport quickly realize that being competitive at the highest
> level requires an aircraft costing $200,000 or more.  The majority of
> pilots cannot imagine spending that much money to pursue a hobby.  Of
> course, this does not deter many newcomers from progressing through
> the lower categories without worrying that finances will prevent them
> from reaching the highest level.  However, I believe that an
> appreciable number of the most talented pilots leave the sport soon
> after facing this reality, to devote their enthusiasm to a hobby which
> does not have a financial barrier to achieving excellence.  A Sporting
> Unlimited category, using the rules and attitudes that governed
> Unlimited when these planes dominated the category,  will increase
> contest participation because it will allow all owners of these
> affordable planes to dream of eventually flying in a category that
> truly challenges the capability of their machines and themselves, and
> because it will allow those who reach this level of skill to continue
> competing.
>     3.  When I flew Advanced in the mid-80s the Unknowns were similar
> in difficulty to Intermediate Knowns, and I thought that was good.  In
> contrast, at a recent Nationals the Unknown contained a figure that
> was considered by many to be unflyable in an S-2B.  I think this
> "category creep" in Advanced Unknowns has occurred largely to keep
> Advanced similar to the sequences used at the Advanced World
> Championship.  Sporting Unlimited should be a great category for AWAC
> aspirants to hone their skills, and this should make it possible to
> have a less daunting jump from Intermediate to Advanced.  Another
> benefit is that it should be possible to ensure that sequences for
> Advanced do not require exceeding the -3g limit of many of the
> certified planes that naturally inhabit the category.
> Objectives and Rules for Sporting Unlimited
>     Fifteen to 25 years ago, Unlimited was challenging for the very
> best pilots in the world flying Pitts Specials and 4 cylinder
> monoplanes.  The objective of Sporting Unlimited is to provide that
> degree of challenge for the numerous current owners of these aircraft,
> while keeping differences between Unlimited and Sporting Unlimited to
> the minimum necessary to allow a well flown Pitts S-1S to be
> competitive in the Sporting Unlimited category.
>     The Unlimited Known would be the basis for the Sporting Unlimited
> Known.   Changes would be made by the IAC Board as required to make
> the sequence flyable in a Pitts S-1S.
>     All rules governing the Unlimited Free would apply to the Sporting
> Unlimited free, with the exception that no bonus would be given for
> short sequences.
>     Unknowns for Sporting Unlimited could be drawn from the bank of
> sequences used in Unlimited from 1975 to 1990.  Eligible figures for
> new Unknowns would be defined by the Unlimited Unknown list.  Rules
> for sequence design would be those for the Unlimited Unknown, with the
> limitation that the sequences be flyable by a Pitts S-1S.
>     The 4 Minute Free Program would not be used in Sporting Unlimited.
> Letter I sent to Rob Dorsey, explaining my personal reasons for
> disappointment with the latest changes to rules for Unlimited.
>     Apparently Rob used this letter as the basis for a review of
> Unlimited, and the Board decided it didn't want to split Unlimited
> into two categories.  However, he encouraged me to try again with a
> formal proposal for a rule change.  As this letter was part of a
> longer discussion about the legality of the rule change that brought
> bonus points to the Unlimited free, I've edited it for pertinence.
> Rob,
> From your reply, it is clear to me that you do not understand that a
> grass roots competitor like myself can progress to the point that only
> something as complex as Unlimited is adequately challenging.  I have
> no
> interest in World competition.  I just want to keep experiencing the
> thrill
> of challenging competition.  I need both challenge AND competition to
> make
> it worthwhile.   Advanced is trivial to fly in my Pitts.   Practicing
> to
> improve my Advanced scores by another percent provides no fascination
> and
> little challenge.  I can't justify the time or the cost of maintaining
> my
> negative g tolerance to fly only in Advanced, whereas I could fly
> another 10
> years in Unlimited and continue to find plenty of challenge.  But
> you're
> taking it away from me, and unlike previous generations of leaders who
> retained a challenging category for outclassed equipment, you're not
> leaving
> me a category to continue to compete in.  Giving monoplane pilots a
> 300
> point bonus in the Free just for having more horsepower and, with the
> change
> in IAC attitude to Unlimited, inevitably a 200 or 400 point bonus
> because
> they can fly through every Unknown without interruption, means that I
> can no
> longer hope to win a contest.  I haven't won many, but I have placed
> higher
> than at least 50% of the monoplanes I've flown against in the past 12
> years
> in Unlimited (in approximately 16 contests, the majority in Canada).
> Under
> the new rules, I would have placed behind every one of those monoplane
> pilots.  Once the competition aspect is removed, why should I compete?
>  I'm writing this in the hope that IAC might see that catering to the
> valid needs of a dozen WAC aspirants doesn't
> have to be done to the exclusion of grassroots pilots who want
> Unlimited-style challenge in limited aircraft, and to the
> disappointment of
> newcomer owners of such planes who might otherwise aspire to learn to
> fly
> their planes as well as they can be flown.  The happiness of Sportsman
> Pitts
> pilots while telling me how inspirational they found their first time
> on the
> judging line while I was my flying my S-1S in Unlimited is one of the
> things
> I'll miss about the sport.  Maybe that happiness is the opposite side
> to one
> of the reasons for the declining membership that you find so puzzling.
> Allan Franko


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