An Open Letter To All Interested F1A Flyers, Clubs and Societies (from Brian Eggleston , Toronto, Canada)
I have recently contacted Prof. Michael Selig who is renowned for designing low RN airfoils and their testing in the low turbulence wind tunnel facility at the University Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). They have already tested many airfoils suitable for RC models and FAI sailplane categories, plus a few F1C airfoils. Several reports on this work have been issued by SoarTech that contain useful data at model RN and also includes comparisons with XFOIL predictions.
There is a critical shortage of reliable wind tunnel test data on airfoils for the F1A category of Free Flight models that would help flyers select airfoils for their new projects. Also there is an increasing interest in using tools like XFOIL, and the version incorporated in Profili, to design improved airfoils for the future. Having a compendium of good test data encompassing currently popular airfoils and promising new designs of airfoils, would greatly assist the F1A fraternity and also other Free Flight categories.
With that in mind I contacted Prof Selig to ascertain his interest and he has responded very positively. So I want to establish the level of interest amongst individual modellers, clubs and National Societies in their participation with sponsorship or donations, and the supply of suitable wind tunnel models. Costs will depend on the number of models involved and the duration of the tests, as there are significant fixed costs for setting up and dismantling the special facility. Prof. Selig has indicated that testing fifteen two-dimensional airfoil models could take about one month. Airfoil testing at low RNs is tricky but the quality at UIUC is amongst the best available anywhere at a reasonable cost.
So, I am undertaking a preliminary survey about the level of interest.
*Would you (individual, club, National Society) be interested in participating in this initiative?
If yes, would you then:
*Provide a donation (nominally in units of US$1000 -2000, but any appreciated), the target is in the mid five figures.
*Require access to the preliminary data report
*Commit to provide a wind tunnel model for testing (specifications given below, good accuracy required)
*Want the model digitized afterwards for checking the accuracy.
*Recommend existing airfoils for testing
*Have a promising new airfoil design and provide wind tunnel model(s) suitable for testing
Once enough interest is established in the project, the management of funds will likely be handled by a national society or major club to be determined. Coordination and liaison with UIUC and organizing manufacture of the models will likely require significant part-time effort from persons familiar with wind tunnel models and their testing.
This is an exceptional opportunity to use a highly regarded test facility and thereby raise the standard of excellence in F1A modelling. Please reply to me at the email address given below. You will be kept advised of the status of the project as it evolves.
For more details on the facility, the wind tunnel model design requirements and the kind of testing and data produced, look at :