F3B 13th Plassenburg-Pokal, Kulmbach 2024

F3B 13th Plassenburg-Pokal, Kulmbach 2024

Sorry for the delays, but we had to figure out a few organisational things first, before publishing the results.
A huge thank you to Thomas Schorb for updating the scoring for Kulmbach and Örebro competitions!

Report Kulmbach F3B 2024

Kulmbach always brings back childhood memories for me. It was here in 2003 that I flew my first F3B „competition“ with my father and other clubmates from MSF Donzdorf: the beginners‘ seminar where the F3B professionals gave us instructions on how to fly F3B. Back then, we still had completely unsuitable models and absolutely no idea what to do. It was a long time ago and actually not that much has changed. I’m still tinkering and training to get better results.

21 years later, we have put the horrible rainy weather of that time behind us and were able to spend 2 (or 3) great days outdoors in the most beautiful weather. Ralf Decker and Tomás Bartovsky, F3/FAI celebrities, were also present this weekend. To kick things off, Helmut Bauer was able to share a few anecdotes with us before the competition started on time.


After a punctual briefing, the planes were saddled up for the duration flight. A lot of pilots lost points. In the end, with 10 pilots, only about a third of the field were able to fly the entire time. But at least at the landing points, everyone improved their result a little. This was all due to the very light wind, which often came slightly from behind. (Initially, only the north-eastern wind direction was permitted.) The low tow altitudes made for a difficult starting position. The thermals were still too weak, only allowing a reduced sink, which only improved a little at low altitudes. Finding that was not easy.

The speed flight with the same starting position was therefore also flown at low altitudes and low weight. A clean altitude management and safe turns were necessary, tight turns highly recommended. The best time by a good margin was by Bernhard Flixeder with 15.78. Only 4 pilots under 17s!

The distance flight gradually became more differentiated due to the thermal fields. Despite this, 13 times 1000 in 8 flight groups. But if you chose the wrong side or arrived too late, the good air was already gone again and you were left empty-handed. In some cases, strong outliers were possible, resulting in a bad result.

Round 2

The second winch line was opened and there were now a lot of thermals in the duration flight of the first group. Many pilots at the limit of visibility (upwards). But here too there were large outliers. In my last group, with a high level of adrenaline and tension, I was able to gain some time at low altitude and secure the 1000 with a flight time of 7:23min. Today, as in Hülben, the duration flight was again not a guaranteed 1000!

The speed flight was a little better than before. There was a very light wind and the times fell by around 1-2s. Steffen was the best with 14.33s and a whole second ahead of second-place Jürgen Pölzl.

But the launch heights were still not particularly good.

At the end, two duration flight groups of round 3 started. They went quite well with most of the pilots completing the time. Tomorrow, time flight group 3 (F3B only) will continue at 8 a.m. I expect one or two distance flights and a speed flight at the end.

The food was very good again. Thank you very much in advance and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s lunch!

And what about F3G? Of course, there are those at this competition too. I haven’t yet taken a snapshot of the mood and can therefore only give my personal opinion here.

Such a small competition would normally be pretty stressful. Especially in duration flight, where someone from the team in each group takes a turn. Today, this was solved like this: F3B and F3G groups take turns flying distance and duration. Speed ​​is flown in one go. This complements each other very well, as everyone has enough time to prepare and even if the rope breaks or something similar, there is no great rush from the F3G break group. This was helped by the fact that there were enough helpers to man the lines without pilots. It was only on the second speed flight that the A line was manned by the pilots in turns. Definitely an interesting experience! And yes, you do have to concentrate well to press precisely every time.

There are two landing marks. One for F3B and another for F3G, who can then line up at the point while F3B is still flying. Overall, time management is even slightly more effective than with the same number of pilots with just F3B. But the amount of flying is of course reduced to a smaller F3B-only competition.


We were on time on Sunday too. As expected, the duration flight that had already begun was completed first. A slightly stronger wind from the north enabled better take-off heights and thus significantly improved the starting conditions. It was still far from a sure thing, but the average results had improved significantly.

This was followed by two distance flights from rounds two and three. The third distance flight was no longer flown alternately with F3G, but a class as a block so that the pilots could help each other under the lines. The helpers from the previous day were probably a bit too exhausted.

The sun was already working hard and, with complicated wind systems, produced an interesting mixture of different take-off directions, high take-off heights and flight conditions. The results therefore changed massively from group to group. The thermals were often only present for a short time. And those who missed the right start time could all too often only fly in the remaining sinking air mass. And while we as a team achieved very good results in the duration flight yesterday, today we experienced the other side. At least Steffen was able to limit the loss of points to round three. After the good first day, however, it was still a small setback. For me, both of the distance flights (which followed each other in quick succession) were pretty disastrous. (16 to 20, 11 to 15) But this was also due to poor aircraft tuning at the launch. Some training and adjustment work is still necessary in that regard.

A few drops from a cloud could not significantly disrupt the competition.

After a short break, the interim results were announced and thus also the start lists for the final speed flight. (see pictures, both Flixeder ahead of Pölzl, Besemer, Buchert and Rossmann.)

The wind was still a little stronger than Saturday, but there was a shadow from the now quite large cloud. However, the weather gods seemed to be kind to us again during the speed flight. Günther Ober was able to reserve a 15.4x s best time for himself early on with a clean flight and tight turns. A few starters later, in good conditions, I was able to improve my speed best time to 14.44s and temporarily lead the rankings. Yeah! The flight was really fun and at least emotionally made up for the two bad flights before that.

But that wasn’t quite enough for the 1000. Jens Buchert started at a bad altitude and tried to improve it by looking for thermals. This was in vain, however, and so he came back for a restart. The parachute on the high-start rope was not hooked in at first, which was noticed on the ground. Already under rope tension, it took a while to fix the problem. The stress was noticeable throughout the team and the pilot, while the time limit ticked down. A quick return flight and entry with around 17s of remaining time left no space for major mistakes. But Jens apparently needed exactly this stress and he turned it into a great 14.35s.

Steffen, the next starter, gives the signal to start and at first nothing happens. No power on the winch! The battery was quickly connected and the start resulted in a very good starting height. Extremely tight turns, during which I as a helper (for Steffen, not as an official) became a little unsure, were able to improve the best time by another seven hundredths to 14.28s. The conditions were not quite as good for Pölzl, Gerhard and Bernhard Flixeder. Gerhard had a few undulating movements on the last stretch, which increased the time a little more. Bernhard, as usual, had a very clean flight. But the conditions here were not good enough. (15.9X s?)

This meant that the podium was overturned again and Steffen won the 13th Plassenburg Cup ahead of Bernhard Flixeder and Jens Buchert with a 1% lead!


We had really great weather and an experienced organizer. Three rounds were flown in full. The food was also very good and quick. A big compliment to all the helpers and also to all the pilots who volunteered as helpers “on the side”. It was sometimes very hectic during the distance flights, but they were still able to keep an overview almost all the time. That’s not easy! I hope everyone had as much fun as I did and is already looking forward to the 2025 edition of Kulmbach F3B! A big thank you to the entire MV Kulmbach team for organizing and running this great competition!

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