F3B Radio Control soaring is a multi-task international FAI model contest task that is an exhilarating experience for RC pilots and very demanding to be competitive at the top level. F3B is a format that has traditionally been more popular in Europe and Australia until recent years when there has been a resurgence of interest and F3B activity in the USA. The 2011 USA F3B team for the Worlds in China was Kyle Paulson CA, David Klien CA and Tom Kiesling also of CA. These very talented flyers traveled to the world championships in Laiwu China in 2011 to represent USA. The Team Manager was Darrell Zaballos also of CA with helpers Gordon Buckland FL, Glauco Lago MO and Tim Traver of CA. Details of their daily performance can be found at the official F3B Team Web site. The US Team finished 2nd to Germany with Kyle finishing 4th, David 6th and Tom 8th. This was a great performance by a US Team that has few chances to compete at the highest level. The Gator F3B is designed to attract top level pilots from all over the world to address this.
The inaugural Gator F3B multi-task soaring event was flown in fantastic weather on Feb 25, 26 and 27, 2010 as a practice event and fund raiser for members of that 2011 US team. The US Team members and world class competitors from all over USA attended the event. 4 pilots from Germany also came across the Atlantic to participate and catch one of the final Shuttle launches from the Cape.
Five local Florida pilots with limited experience also entered and many other soaring pilots were there to assist as helpers during the three days. It was a great opportunity for those who haven’t seen F3B to get involved and try their hand at this most demanding discipline of RC soaring with plenty of experienced F3B pilots to provide assistance. The final results of the contest are here.
F3B does require a little more work to count laps and call turns as the aircraft arrive and turn at base B during the distance and speed tasks but usually contests are flown with 3 man teams so as one pilot flies the other two assists him etc.
The second annual Gator F3B was conducted on March 2nd 3rd and 4th 2012 at the same venue on the Space Coast at Cocoa. This event was now on the World Cup F3B list as the first event on the World Cup Calendar and attracted the attention of some pilots from Europe who enter in the many Eurotour events. Helmut Edenhofer of Germany came over for the event with his beautiful home molded F3B ships. CD Roman Voitjech was flown in from the Czech Republic to be the Contest Director for the event and the game was on. It was a great and challenging contest with variable conditions including high winds on the Sunday. The eventual winner was Tom Kiesling flying his Fosa with great precision and posting some of the fastest speed times seen by any Fosa.
The third annual Gator F3B is to be held on Fri March 1st, Saturday Mar 2nd and Sunday Mar 3rd 2013. Come and watch the most exhilarating soaring you will see in Florida. You could either fly in the event or assist the other pilots with timing and calling turns at Base A or B etc. or just watch. The excitement is building as this is a “must attend” event for all sailplane enthusiasts. Everybody is welcome regardless of your skill level.