jurik wrote: Iceberg wrote:
A question about handicaps (probably opening a can of worms here
The total course distance was 634.2 miles.
The guys who flew the shortest distance (638.46 miles) were placed 30th.
Jaco Scheepers flew the second shortest distance - 638.85 miles and was place 23rd.
The winners flew 654 miles - 16 miles further.
The handicaps seem to be unfair (here we go again)
Any consideration of using the formula used in the PTAR this year - it worked really well - the 4 aircraft that had handcaps adjusted upwards all ended up in the top 7.
Some may have flown a longer distance because they may have climbed significantly higher to take advantage of upper winds and descend again to get to 400ft at the turning points. The race is not just about the shortest distance, but rather a combination of navigation, using the elements to your advantage and understanding / flying your aircraft better. This race specifically do not use the PTAR H/C formula. In this race aircraft of the same type get the same H/C. I agree with this. If I can polish my aircraft to fly 2mph faster than you, then this is my advantage. At the PTAR, similar aircraft are handicapped differently, and that is the part I disagree with. But of course, if you feel your handicap is wrong, you can always do a test flight before the race to get it changed. The H/C system is probably one of the main reasons why it is so well supported.
I agree with very little that you have said above. I flew the Race for Rhinos last year and will definitely do it again. The handicap is not why I flew and will again - it is the experience of the race and where it took place that attracted me.
Climbing and descending will not gain you 16 extra miles - plus it will probably cost you in speed and time.
I agree that sometimes one will lengthen your track to e.g. go around a hill rather than climb and go over it.
But it is pretty flat in that part of Botswana. Flying wider/flatter turns is better while keeping the speed up is good - I agree with Dirk here - so one expects the faster aircraft to fly a few miles further. But this year it is the slower aircraft that flew that much further than the faster one with the shortest distance (should be the other way around).
The winning aircraft did 654 miles, it is a slow aircraft.
The aircraft placed 2-13 did between 639 to 644 miles - all 10 or more miles less than the winning aircraft.
So it does not make sense.
No two aircraft are exactly the same even if they rolled out the factory behind each other - that is why I disagree with giving the same handicap to the same type irrespectively.
Last year my handicap was 170 kts for my Seneca 2 at the RFR. My actual 3D speed was 176kts. If we flew/navigated better we could easily have won, but it would not have been fair. In the PTAR this year our 3D speed was 180 kts - the fastest of any Seneca 2 in the history of the PTAR. Yet my Seneca is stock standard - nothing special about it and I did not polish it or do anything else. And no, I did not over-boost it at all.
Lastly, the question of polishing an aircraft to make it go faster is probably a bit of sales pitch from the makers of polish. For laminar flow wings it probably makes a bit of difference but people disagree if it helps much for your run of the mill Piper or Cessna. Golf balls have indentations to reduce drag and go further than smooth balls.
Not trying to stir, just some honest debate around this issue.
The sky is not the limit....