Wow ! This competition just gets more intense. The Competition Director has set a punishing schedule with 9 tasks completed in just three days. The ninth was “Ecomony and Precision”; pilots were given 2 litres of fuel and then had to complete laps around a course. The pilot with the highest number of laps would be the winner.
There was an added twist; pilots also had to land in one of three landing decks which were positioned such that pilots had to make a strategic decision to carry on around the circuit as their engine started to run out of fuel or to sacrifice some precious points in order to guarantee a safe landing inside the deck.
The take-off window was opened at 1500 and soon the sky was filled with canopies. There were different techniques on display, ranging from some flying as slowly as possible to others deciding that a steady though faster pace would prove the most economical.
Marshals kept a good look-out to ensure that pilots went around the course correctly while not interfering with others, especially by cutting inside them at turnpoints. Yet again, this sport showed how safe it is; no reported incidents as pilots respected the distance between each other and all completed the task with no adverse effects.
The results were very interesting; Team Thailand were mostly equipped with four stroke engines, engineered by current leader George MACAK whereas the Chinese were flying two stroke. The four stroke benefitted from increased economy but at the expense of extra weight and less power.