Paap Kolar / Estonia
Scoring economy tasks taking into account the weight of each pilot and their machine.
S10 Annex 3
3.2.3 FUEL MEASUREMENT
Fuel will be measured by weight or volume but will be consistent for any given refueling session. Refueling will be in the order and in accordance with the instructions given at briefing. Failure of the aircraft to be present on time may result in penalty for the pilot.
Competitors must be able to demonstrate that their entire fuel system is empty.
What are current problems with a traditional fueling method for eco tasks and their scoring?
Why it is unfair and not practical?
Pilots can choose which equipment they use but they cannot help greatly with their bodyweight. The heavier the pilot, the greater the fuel used.
NB! There is a common belief that heavier pilots gain in speed. This is not true as clearly evidenced in both flight theory and actual competition results. Pilots can choose a wing to give them an acceptable launch speed and speed range to meet the needs of the various tasks.
The most importantly the traditional method of fuel weighing without any pilot and/or machine weight handicapping is unfair, especially towards heavier pilots because the amount of fuel given is similar to all pilots, regardless of the weight of pilot or machine.
Pilots with thirsty engines not only score badly but are also denied full task participation.
Emptying all tanks and bottles can be in some cases very complicated or even impossible.
Since fuel tank emptying, measurement and control will remain inaccurate, the result will be unfair even from the aspect of fuel amount used.
In cases where fuel systems can be emptied completely, refilling and restarting of the engine can be fuel consuming task itself, depending on the fuel management system in question.
There are numerous possibilities to go around the traditional method and to cheat, even after sealing all tanks and caps.
This proposal takes a step towards leveling the playing field and giving all pilots a more equitable chance to perform well in economy tasks.
Any kind of excessive operations with fuel should be avoided or minimized
Traditional method fuel management involves continuous emptying, measuring, weighing, storing, refilling, sealing, seal braking etc. throughout the whole competition
Pilots have to modify their machines with complicated and potentially dangerous fuel systems and header tanks which
- have no operative or safety standards
- are not approved by manufacturer, thus not conforming S10 (4.23.2 Airworthiness. Each aircraft shall be flown within the limitations of its certificate of airworthiness or permit to fly.)
- have to be kept attached and unchanged for the whole period of competition, including navigation and precision tasks
- will create unnecessary risks of leaking and fire hazard (http://les-droles-d-oiseaux.xooit.fr/t342-Accident-Tristan.htm)
Running machines empty with propellers rotating on the ground is dangerous not only to the pilot in command but also to to other competitors, organizers, public and the machine.
Running out of fuel in the middle of the task and landing out in unexpected conditions is dangerous. Almost every outlanding will end with retrieval.
Results of outlandings often include personal injury, damage to the aircraft or to the 3-rd parties.
The whole idea of eco tasks is to save fossil fuels, to develop this sport sustainably and to reduce an environmental impacts to the minimum.
Instead of saving fuel and taking care of environment the traditional fueling method is promoting:
- fuel wasting while running engines empty
- environment pollution by spilling fuel while filling, emptying, refilling, relocating, weighing, storing etc.
- fire hazard in fuel management and in fueling systems management
- noise pollution while running engines empty, especially at late hours.
Thus eco task management is probably wasting more than saving and creating additional environmental hazards.
- Building complicated comp bottles and fuel management systems with additional bottles, pumps, valves, tubing and fittings.
- Providing extra special canisters by pilots.
- Providing conditions for storage and guarantine by Organiser
- Providing marshals for weighing, sealing, controlling etc. by Organiser
- Conforming regulations of fire safety
- Spilled fuel
- Running machines empty with propellers rotating on the ground is dangerous not only to the pilot in command but also to the propeller blades and to the machine
- Consequences of engine tuning, seizing, parts and repair
- Wasted time
- Consequences of noise while running engines empty
- Landing out damages, injuries and retrieval with possible involvement of police, ambulance or medivac service
Emptying machines of all fuel and weighing fuel with traditional method is a tedious exercise that wastes precious flying time.
For a small task of 15 minutes, hours of good weather and flyable time is wasted, often time of one whole task.
An economy task cannot be set at short notice, thus planning by weather is uneffective.
Accuracy of measurement
There is always some fuel left in the system because emptying the machine of fuel cannot be carried out properly, especially in case of some specific comp bottle solutions.
This will make fuel measuring accuracy worthless because the result will be inaccurate, thus unfair from the aspect of fuel amount used.
There is inconsistency in the way pilots are supervising each other's fueling and to get away with keeping some fuel in pipes (or priming bulb) is not really seen as cheating
Sealing tank caps is not effective enough and leaves numerous ways for cheating
Controlling of fuel systems is complicated and needs expertise
Exhausting task preparations for all parties involved.
Prevents adding an economy element to other tasks simple.
Scoring zero if forced to outland because lack of fuel.
With the proposed new fueling procedure it is only a simple modification in the formulae to compute the amount of fuel used in proportion to the POW (Pilots Overall Weight).
To gain popularity amongst pilots all over the world and to get more pilots to join competition activities, competition tasks should be enjoyable.
It is not fun to deal with fuel for several hours a day to fly a task of 15 minutes.
It is not fun to fly economy tasks knowing that light pilots with light machines will always be favored and for heavy pilots results will always be scored unfairly.
It is not fun to fly economy tasks to compete not for pilot skills but for engine consumption/performance and with unfair scoring.
S10 4.23.2 Airworthiness. Each aircraft shall be flown within the limitations of its certificate of airworthiness or permit
There is no manufacturer known to supply paramotors with comp bottles as a standard.
Any modifications made to the fuel system by pilot and not approved by manufacturer cannot conform with manufacturers specifications.
In front of law and S10 this makes all extra tanks and comp bottles illegal without proper certification.
In EU there are very strict regulations existing on handling, storing and management of flammable substances. There is a serious doubt that these EU and also local regulations have been ignored at many paramotor comps so far. Not following these regulations will get more and more difficult in time and can create huge legislative and financial risk for the organiser, NAC or FAI.
Why a new method is better?
Using a new method as an alternative to the traditional one will offer solution to all issues in all categories described above.
New method is fair to every pilot, regardless his/her bodyweight
Less possibilities for cheating
Easier to control
No need to empty fuel systems
No running engines empty, no spilling
No outlandings and corresponding consequences
Task preparation and fuel management will be fast and effective
No need for quarantine zones
An economy task can be set at short notice
Any Nav or precision task can include a weigh-in at the launch deck and integration of eco elements becomes possible
Fast and effective
No tedious fueling sessions anymore
An economy task can be set at short notice
Accuracy of measurement
Accuracy is dependent on scale’s specifications and this can be solved easily these days, being just matter of technological solution.
Despite the fact that often scales used were not very accurate, there have been no complaints or protests towards this method and everybody involved so far were happy with this method.
The argument of sweating, often brought up against this new method, has actually very little to do with it because sweating is largely compensated here with Average Weight Handicapping Index (AWHI).
Simple to follow for competitors
Easy to implement for organisers
No need for quarantine zones
No need for pilots to modify their machines by fitting header tanks, extra pumps, etc
More time for flying
Eco tasks become more interesting, more fair, less stressful and frustrating
Proven positive history over the last 7 years internationally, even at FAI events like WPLC
Used successfully in many countries and in nearly 20 comps
Popular among pilots all over the world
One main concern of pilots to be improved at FAI comps
Physics (from physics book):
Power = Force x distance / time
1 watt = 1 newton x 1 metre / 1 second
When an aircraft is flying level, Lift equals Weight and Thrust = Drag
Therefore the thrust needed to fly level is equal to the weight divided by the Lift/Drag ratio (glide ratio).
Lift/Drag = Weight/Thrust
So Thrust = Weight / (Lift/Drag)
Power is the fuel used and Force is the thrust:
Fuel used = Weight / (L/D) x velocity
The ratio Lift / Drag is also equal to the ratio Horizontal Speed / Sink Rate
So we can also say that:
Fuel used = Weight x Sink Rate
The pilot can choose a wing with a good compromise of speed and sink rate, or a lightweight paramotor but he cannot change his bodyweight.
Weight is the enemy of economical powered flying.
In summary, fuel consumption is directly proportional to the total flying weight, and the new method is designed to level the playing field, to allow pilots of all weights an equal chance to perform in economy tasks.