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Author Topic: "commercially available" props; what do you think?  (Read 1110 times)

Offline bill bischoff

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"commercially available" props; what do you think?
« on: July 25, 2022, 02:32:23 PM »
This question came up at the NATS. I am specifically leaving out all the details in an effort not to influence anyone's opinion one way or the other. Let me preface this by saying this is an informal question. It carries no official weight. It is for my curiosity only.

In the rules for NCLRA Super Slow Rat, it stipulates that "Propellers are to be wood or plastic, commercially available. The only rework permitted is balancing. This excludes all hand-layup props of carbon or glass, but includes all injection molded props."

Here's the question. Is a plastic prop that was once legal, but no longer produced, still legal? Is it still considered "commercially available" if you can't buy one today from the manufacturer? If a prop was once legal, is it always legal? What about the fact that it also says "includes all injection molded props"?

There are plenty of viable plastic props that simply aren't made any more, either because the companies no longer exist, or the manufacturers have replaced them or discontinued them. Are they/ should they be legal? What do you think?

Offline Motorman

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2022, 04:03:27 PM »
I think the spirit and intent was to not allow custom made specialty props or re-work of props by people that know more about props than the average knuckle dragger.

If the prop was once mass produced as an injected molded or wooden prop it should be grandfathered in. Who's to say you didn't find some Ma and Pa hobby shop that still had one. It was commercially available when you bought it back in 1987 right?

Now my question is: If you really want to stay in the mainstream of today's availability, fully finished hand laid CF props are commercially available everywhere these days. Eliminator prop, Hobby King, Russian sources ect. the industry has caught up, why not update the rules to keep pace with what's available?

Motorman 8)

Offline bob whitney

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2022, 04:53:28 PM »
motorman is right there are props out there today for a reasonable price ready to use .lets use them

if a prop was made in mass than it should still be legal,no mater when it was discontinued
rad racer

Offline Les Akre

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2022, 03:02:35 AM »
Why wouldn't they be legal? If they were once commercially available, how does being out of production or superseded change that? Nowhere in the rules does it say it has to be currently manufactured.  Ebay, for example, is full of products that are "commercially available" yet no longer in production.

Les
« Last Edit: July 26, 2022, 03:20:39 AM by Les Akre »

Offline BillLee

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2022, 06:55:01 AM »
How big do you expect the can of worms will become if you open up the prop rule?

Walt/Bob, how many "commercially available" carbon props are usable as received from the "manufacturer" without finishing and rework? Yes, I know of what comes from Ukraine. I'm thinking more of Steve Wilk's and Mike Hazel's efforts. Are they finished or needing de-flashed, balanced, etc.? And once you allow the finishing needed, how do you manage rework/repitch,/etc from changing the prop into something far from "commercially available"?

The current rule is just fine and those wanting to change should work on the elephant in the room instead of chasing fast rabbits.

Bill
Bill Lee
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Offline bill bischoff

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2022, 09:35:18 AM »
Everyone is allowed to express their opinion; that is what I asked for. But what I am asking is for your interpretation of "commercially available". We decided the composite prop issue already.

If we remove the words "commercially available", technically any wood prop, even home made, would be legal. Do we care about that? If so, we could also disallow all wood props. Do we care about that?
If we allow only injection molded plastic props, do we still need "commercially available"? I don't think anyone would go to the trouble of producing a super-duper molded plastic prop for their own use. That being said, if the rule specified " commercially available injection molded plastic props", it seems to me that "commercially available" would be synonymous with "currently available", otherwise it would be unnecessary to include the phrase at all. Discuss...
« Last Edit: July 26, 2022, 09:54:49 AM by bill bischoff »

Online Kelly Hite

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2022, 02:05:43 PM »
Maybe it's the word "available" that needs to go.
How about "commercially manufactured".

Offline Motorman

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2022, 08:19:43 PM »
Come to think of it, I've actually done some work on this recently. We fly Brodak Foxberg with an LA 25 so it's very similar to SSrat. There are no prop rules in this event.

I won the last contest and I credit prop selection as a main factor. I was using an APC right off the shelf. In the weeks after, I practiced with the intent to find the ultimate prop regardless of time or money.

What I discovered was the soft plastic/ short fiberglass injection molded props of today are as good as anything you can dream up and produce in the custom shop for this low revving low speed event.

My point is, even if the prop rules were opened up, I would still be running an APC or similar plastic prop in this event.

Even in regular slow rat we were using a plastic Koyoso and Bednar found a gray APC that worked for Scale racing. The perception is that hand laid CF props are better, high tech ect but is that really true anymore?

Motorman 8) 
« Last Edit: July 26, 2022, 08:42:27 PM by Motorman »

Offline bob whitney

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2022, 03:11:42 PM »
   after thinking it over,for Mr Lee is right!!!! as few flyers that we have now. changing the rules if one flyer came up with a new prop everyone (all three or 4 of them would need to go prop hunting.if it is wood or molded nylon as APC it is legal ,, u could set it up that any new,old prop would need to be OK,ed by a committee or the Prez,that seems simple enough.

what prop has been found that is stirring the pot??
rad racer

Offline bill bischoff

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2022, 09:09:49 PM »
The first version scimitar APC 7.8x6. You'd have the same issue with other APC props, all Tornado props, the brown Bolly plastic props, and the Taipan props (do they still make those?) to name a few.

Offline Bob Heywood

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2022, 06:43:01 AM »
Since some committee within NCLRA administers the rules, unlike the arduous AMA process, just publish a list of approved prop manufacturers and be done with it. Such a list could include current as well as legacy brands, if you so choose.
"Clockwise Forever..."

Offline BillLee

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2022, 08:13:08 AM »
Since some committee within NCLRA administers the rules,.....
Yes, Bob, that's the way it works. Same for all "unofficial" events. Like Perky(NASS), Classic Stunt(PAMPA), Dayton B-TR(DaytonBuzzinBuzzards), Sport Goodyear(DMAA), etc., etc., etc.......

If Bill as the NCLRA President feels it is necessary, guided by the input of the NCLRA Board, he will name a committee to review the rules. After the committee decides, any changes are then voted on by the Board and accepted only by majority of them.

This according to the NCLRA Bylaws. http://localhost/NCLRA/ByLaws/ByLaws.pdf
Bill Lee
AMA 20018

Offline Dave Hull

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2022, 12:57:01 AM »
If the interpretation is "manufactured by a commercial business and previously or currently sold in the open market in quantity," then I'm good with that.

That said, we shouldn't get all tied up in homologating the number of propellers to verify everyone had a chance to buy them.  Let's just race instead of doing homework exercises....

In all the cases of commercial, unreworked prop restrictions that I can think of (like R/C quarter midget) they started off as a lower cost, lower investment of time event, but with adequate performance. I consider SSR to be in this category. It is one of the restrictions that helps keep things more accessible to a wider group of racers. We already have a sister event using the same airframes but with fewer restrictions. Do we need Slow Rat A and Slow Rat B? No, let's keep SSR and the current prop rule and interpretation.

If the specialty prop makers are feeling the pinch of our dwindling numbers, then let's promote the other "go fast" events that benefit from their skills?

Dave

Offline Paul Gibeault

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2022, 02:48:56 PM »


Here's the question. Is a plastic prop that was once legal, but no longer produced, still legal? YES Is it still considered "commercially available" if you can't buy one today from the manufacturer? YES If a prop was once legal, is it always legal? YES What about the fact that it also says "includes all injection molded props"?

There are plenty of viable plastic props that simply aren't made any more, either because the companies no longer exist, or the manufacturers have replaced them or discontinued them.   Should they be legal? YES

I agree with Les & Bill Lee. If a prop was ever commercially manufactured,  it should be " grandfathered" for use always so as not to outlaw older legal props.
TRUTH: Unless all Nats podium finishers used such obsolete  props, the discussion is moot, and not based in current " real racing" practice.
At the time, the question should have been asked" " What props did the winners use?"  That likely would have ended the discussion right there...
Cheers,
Paul G.

Paul

Offline bill bischoff

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2022, 03:08:59 AM »
The specifics of the prop used, and who used it, is not really pertinent to the question "does commercially available necessarily mean currently  available?" I suspect that was not the original intent, and it seems that is not the currently favored interpretation.

Offline Motorman

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2022, 10:51:45 AM »
404 error
« Last Edit: August 26, 2022, 11:08:50 AM by Motorman »

Offline Motorman

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2022, 11:07:59 AM »
The first version scimitar APC 7.8x6.

Yes, that prop is superior and way out of production. It was made for fast combat but had issues with the powerful engines. Then APC came out with the injected molded carbon fiber version 7.8x6 which is also out of production now. I bought the last one APC had but it doesn't have the same magic as the earlier gray version. The CF version is thicker.

The question is, if you find this rare prop, is it fair to use it? It would be if someone could make everybody a copy. How about out of production props are allowed to be copied rule.

Motorman 8)

Offline bill bischoff

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2022, 02:49:00 PM »
The problem would then be verifying that every one is a faithful copy and hasn't been "massaged", and you're back to the whole problem with glass and carbon props. By the way, Mike Hazel now sells glass and carbon copies of this prop. I sent him a brand new one to make his mold from. And yes, I like the grey plastic version better than the injection molded carbon version, too.

Offline bill bischoff

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2022, 04:45:41 PM »
I invite all interested parties to go to the NCLRA section of the "vendors' corner" to view the rule change proposal pertaining to this matter.

Bill Bischoff, NCLRA President

Offline Al Ferraro

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Re: "commercially available" props; what do you think?
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2022, 09:13:17 PM »
The first version scimitar APC 7.8x6. You'd have the same issue with other APC props, all Tornado props, the brown Bolly plastic props, and the Taipan props (do they still make those?) to name a few.
I was sorry to see the APC 8.5x5.5 get phased out too. Thatís the prop that makes my Fox MK7 sing on my WarBird.
    Iím very careful with the ones I got left.
Al


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