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Skwrl

Elsinore 71 - They Got It!

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To couple with that, the excellent ground shots that Linda was taking, were also not being properly overlayed with the grid IMHO. X and Y were being scaled, but Z was not taken into account at all...



if we're talking about ground shots, isn't Z be large enough to be negligible? I feel it's just like comparing (infinity) to (infinity+1)... not much difference there.

on the other hand, on pictures taken by the camera flyers, such as Norman's picture (3rd pic in Spot's post above), I totally agree that there's Z distortion that needs to be compensated for.
Although by looking at the average size of a wingsuiter in the back of the flock compared to the average size of a wingsuiter in the front of the flock, the distortion might not be as big as we think.

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his thought was...rather than use X and Y, we should use Central angle: theta (in radians), alpha (in degrees) and distance.



kinda like polar coordinates?

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I'll email him for a illustration. But think angles taken off of the base, coupled with increasing radius's from that point...



sorry, i might be completely misunderstanding this... but if you assign the slots radially from the base, wouldn't that give you an even more distorted result? flyers are aligned on parallel lines, not on radii of a circle. this would make sense if every single person was looking straight to the base in stead of in the direction of flight.

also, if you use angle and radius in order to compensate for distortion from the lens, shouldn't the center coincide with the point the lens is focusing on and not necessarily the base of the formation?

------
Now here's another idea.
Before everyone starts flaming me, I'm not trying to tell anyone how to do this, nor am I telling anyone they're wrong or right or whatever. You guys did an amazing job. It's the most incredible flock I've ever seen.
I realize that since I wasn't even there I should probably shut up... but let me just throw this out there.

What if, instead of using one solid grid for the entire formation, we look at each individual flyer's slot within a smaller region? Overall, we check that every flyer and all neighbors are in a locally correct pattern, but avoid dealing with summing up small errors that end up becoming larger errors by the time you're looking at the back of the flock.
I really need to draw this to properly illustrate it, but think of it this way:
say you have a 3 by 3, or 5 by 5 or whatever smaller grid. You overlap that grid with the front of the formation. Everyone look good? Cool. Slide that grid further down, considering another flyer as a base and look at that local set. Everyone look cool in terms of distances with respect to one another? Cool. Slide it further down... in this way, when you consider a wingsuiter's slot, the grid is centered on another flyer reasonably close to that person.
You're still requiring people to fly their 3-meter square, the thing is that each person is flying that square with respect of those people around them, whom they can actually see, and not calculating where their square would be from the front of the formation.

Another important thing to think about is that we need to have a model that allows for errors that are easily ignored in world records in other disciplines. Perhaps even a model that could be ported to an RW formation and still work fine. OK, we aren't going to be able to fly a docked 71-way (wow that would be wicked cool, wouldn't it?). But if you take the 400-way RW record and put a grid on it, are the people in the back going to be in proper slots according to such a grid? Even worse, try putting a grid on the Head Down record. Yeah right. Any formation breathes a bit, including those docked ones. And that's okay. It's really fucking hard to fly these things together. The difference is that when people are docked, you can get away with it. We need a model that is strict enough to enforce the idea that every flyer is in their correct slot, but flexible enough to allow for some of the natural breathing that occurs within the flock. That's how I see it.

ok now I'll go and try to draw what I was talking about.

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Oh my God! Flockers are killing us with the math. :D Who would have expected that!

Congratulations to everyone involved in the 71 way. B|

Would have been cool to even see this from the ground. This has got me really excited. I went to the DZ this weekend after a year of no jumping.

Kris

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I've been waiting to hear about this. I figured at some point they're going to have to show us what they judged by when they told us "we got it." After all the effort that went into flying that thing, all I want to see is the best one out of hundreds of pics that shows both sides as complete as they ever got, as symmetrical as it ever got. I'm betting there was at least one split second somewhere in there where, even if everyone wasn't totally inside their box on the grid and had arms legs and heads sticking out, they were all at least occupying that box more or less, even if they have to rescale the grid to prove it... if the scaling of the grid they're using was too large or too small, its going to look incomplete no matter how perfect the actual formation was. Personally I'm going to offer neither input nor criticism about the technicalities of judging this. I had nothing to do with how it was run, and they've probably got way too many people already "offering" their input for and against various methods, not to mention I'd be surprised if some people didn't show up at some point crowing "you guys didn't get it" and spouting all kinds of technical jargon to back up that opinion.
I really don't give a damn. We came. We saw. We flew our hearts out. Washy or not, that monster completed several times, all birds in. Good enough for me anyway. And lest anyone overlook the fact, this was run well enough that we all went home alive. Mission successful.
-B
Live and learn... or die, and teach by example.

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Though important, I think the 'we got it' and 'is this a valid/judgeable record' are two seperate discussions.

I dont think there is anyone here who is going to not call this the biggest formation ever flown up to this point if one or two people are slighly out of line/not completely symetrical in their slot/placemtent within the formation.

I also believe the grid-based method of judging, though awesome, wont work due to small differences (say every line flying their slot 30 cm too tight) will already mean the whole back end of the formation is already a meter or more out of their box.

The in-evitable 'how about doing it this way...':P

I think Id use the 3x3 meter box method. But place the box over every single flyer, seperate, and then watch the box patern and check if it has a 100% overlap. No holes (meaning someone is not within the required proximity).

And on top of that one, just look for symetry. Draw lines over each row (side to side, front to back) and make sure everybody has his box (sounds dirty) on that axis/line in both directions.



The fact that Costyn (outside of one SMS) has not been anywhere near a computer to post here or send emails for a week, means he had the best time in his life. ever. He didnt even manage that on his wedding-trip last month. That single fact is enough to tell me I missed the most awesome thing everB|
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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One RW guy says to another RW guy: "Hey those wingsuiters can't even figure out if they flew a complete formation or not!?"

Artistic events can be subjective, big way records cannot. Moving the goal posts after the fact is also not the way forward.

But for me success or failure is not the issue here - it is about finding a workable record definition and judging method for future attempts.

The top and bottom photos show good potential for judging the formation - as the photo Matt posted showing the front 36 flyers in 'perfect' formation proved. Parallax and lens distortion can't make a bad formation look that good ;)

Maybe working up to the 71, from 41 - 51 - 61 could have been useful.

BUT the fat lady didn't yodel yet, maybe 111 has that killer image on his hard disk, just waiting to be found!
BASEstore.it

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Small addition, only just read your post Andrea...coupled to symmetry, I think we're both thinking the same thing...

Expecting something to line up on a grid is already close to impossible on the ground. Small errors in placement ad up as you get further and further away from the base and makes it hard to impossible to adhere perfectly to the grid.
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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ok I finally moved my ass to graphically illustrate what I'm talking about.
So to clarify what I was saying before, notice in the picture, there's a smaller grid. I placed it once somewhere near the front of the formation, and again somewhere near the back. You can move it around and center it on every single flyer in there, as much as is needed. Is that grid too large or too small? that's not the point... those are details one can determine later, by trying a few different things and determining the best one.

The main idea to remember is this: if the first people are in their slots, but each of them is off by 2-3 inches, and the next row is off by another 2-3 inches relative to the people in front of them (in the same direction so it adds up), and so on, by the time you get to the end of the flock, there might be a cumulative error of all those added little inches that puts someone completely outside their square in the big grid, when that person is actually doing a great job flying their slot with respect to the people around them.
Nobody from the back of the flock can see the accumulated error. Unless the camera guy above gives radio commands or something and lets everyone know what it looks like as a whole.
The guy in the back of the flock can only see so far in front. So even though everyone can fly their box perfectly within normal expectations (a little error here and there is expected, that's why you've got 3 square meters to play with) the big grid can make it look not perfect enough... when in fact it is.

Hence the suggested smaller grid that you can slide around.
Maybe this can come in handy for future events.
Regardless of all this nonsense, you guys pulled off an amazing record flock, the pictures are simply breathtaking to look at, and no nitpicking grid-bullshit can ever deny that.
Like I was saying before... take a look at a picture from other records in this sport, e.g. the RW huge-ways, and try to fit a grid on that... good luck! They get away with it because they can hold hands... This flock was flown way more accurately than that. Now that's a real record! Great work, you guys!

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Also did something similar to explain what I ment...

Basically, place an X x X sized box over each flyer (IMPORTANT: just a box in this example).

Then look for overlap between every flyer around him. If every flyer has overlap..means they're all close enough.

Then add lines through the formation, and see if every box stays within the lines set for symetry across each row..

*edit* this time with attachment:S
JC
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Small addition, only just read your post Andrea...coupled to symmetry, I think we're both thinking the same thing...

Expecting something to line up on a grid is already close to impossible on the ground. Small errors in placement ad up as you get further and further away from the base and makes it hard to impossible to adhere perfectly to the grid.



YES, we are indeed thinking the same thing...
I didn't see your post when I was writing mine, either.
your idea is even more fine-grained than mine. but along the same lines: to analyze it locally...

good addition on general symmetry and overall straight lines along the sides... I guess we don't want the wedge curled up or skewed in some weird direction.

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the record is not even registered by any body, so what's it all about:)
imho, it is completed record. ok, two or three people may be not exactly on their places (that is not 3 meters from their neighbors but 1 and 2 instead), but it's still a very good looking wedge - the wedge the guys gathered to build, isn't it?

it's up to you, skyflying gods, to work out some rules for the new discipline:)

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In a small pond it is easy to look like a big fish.

It is up to all of US to think about this and help come up with a solution.

If you make up a dive plan and state before hand that everyone must fly within a 3m box then that is the bar you set for yourself.

If that doesn't work then you must put the bar somewhere else - finding a definition that allows the flexibility required WITHOUT making the achievement of the record ridiculous (i.e.mass exit)

But maybe a 40 way could be flown within these parameters but not a 71 way with the current skill level (and first attempt!)
BASEstore.it

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the record is not even registered by any body, so what's it all about:)



Thats talking about the term 'official' (which is registration by something like FAI)...which is not that important at this point in time yet....

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imho, it is completed record. ok, two or three people may be not exactly on their places



Defining exactly what this current record formation is (according to which rules you judge/validate) is important for future attempts.

If I flew a 72 way, with everybody 20 meters away from someone, no clear formation, a mess in the sky, but everybody still within that 20 meter proximity...would that be the new record?

Thats why we do need to come up with a set of judging standards by which we will validate this and/or future attemps.

And in the long run, come up with a working set of rules we will be able to use for some form of official validation.


I dont think anyone is disputing this biggest formation ever..and to do so would be wrong/sad/useless...everybody in this formation knows what it is and was..

Its just now up to us (all) to find a way to judge what was done, and see if we can come up with correct and usuable criterea for future use when it comes to validating/approving a new/next record..
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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what is complete formation with no physical connection is hard to determine. solution for that we can simply borrow from plane formation flying.
Blue Angels, Red Arrows, Frecce tricolori, Wings of storm... They know one rule only and that is - PERFECTION in position, level and time.
If it is not this - learn, train , practice to get it right.

71 WS way was wonderful formation, it is not perfect, it is also not official cause it can not be, but it is a nice step toward it.Congratulation!!
In my eyes, best answer to skydiving society can be given if the WS flyers set the highest possible standard similar to plane formation flying..
Will be hard, will be long process but for sure will be challenging..

To me, it is harder to fly 10 way perfect slot no contact than FS 200 way squeezed base with some twisted and stretched weakers......
Robert Pecnik
robert@phoenix-fly.com
www.phoenix-fly.com

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well said.

for me that was a certain record and that was a good example. from now on you (or we) can see what should be done and where should we go. let's create some rules - and make future record attempts according to them. let's try to build something smaller and try to make this something more precise. this very big way was built according to the organizer's rules or ideas about the 71-way (and the the ideas could imply, say, 1 meter deviation - I don't know for sure).

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Took all of about .5 seconds for myself and one other person there to attempt to explain lens compression, aspheric, and spatial distortion. Coupled with an APSC sensor, you're going to find a challenge putting it all together without using *some* kind of lens compensation/measurement/repair tool, algorithm, or math. I don't know if it's possible to do from the air, frankly. Matt, Scotty, Norman, Craig were all shooting either ultrawides, wides, and/or wideangle lens adaptors. I was told that "We shot the grid on the ground from about 10' away, and used that as an overlay." Well....shooting the grid from 10' away and then applying that to an image shot 100' away isn't going to make the job of comparing easy nor accurate.



I'll be the first to admit I don't know a whole lot about optics (especially considering I'm an engineer and a photographer). But for my lens (Canon 10-22mm) the reviews I've read show that is has extremely little distortion (photozone.de even has some grid measurements), especially in the middle of the range (I shoot at ~16mm). The APS-C actually helps here.

I'm not sure how a "full frame" photo of a grid, taken with my lens, would vary from range of 10ft to 100ft (assuming a physical grid scaled for each shot). Though I do know my lens focuses at infinity in each case, and I assumed that because of this, the two examples mentioned above would be the same. And I am attaching a shot of the 35-way diamond after 1st wave breakoff where I looked forward a bit and there are a couple really straight roads (and runways) visible in the pic. I don't really see much distortion to these "ground lines"...
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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Personally I think this discussion is already a step towards improving future attempts. It's great to known that my favourite discipline is alive and kicking.

Personally I don't care if it a official record and unofficial record or just a kick as formation. The experience was awesome the people were great, organisiation was brilliant.

Best of all I got to meet awesome people who will probably be friends for life. Long live wingsuiting, may is it keep on growing.


P.s. Jarno nice grid idea but move the center line through the center of the formation as the picture may be at an angle.

Cheers Riaan
_______________________________________
You are unique, just like everybody else ...

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A static grid for human gliders flying on a constantly moving mass of air would be impossible for a formation of this size.
An incredible achievment is an understatement to what these wingsuit pilots have accomplished. To have a completed a formation of this size, as well as having it remain safe, I applaud the dedication and focus ALL of these pilots.
We build on the things we learn, and carry our knowledge to the next goal that we attempt achieve.
Never stop trying, never give up.

To all the new friends I met, I look forward to flying with you again.

Axe Man :P
www.WestCoastWingsuits.com
www.PrecisionSkydiving.com

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As Zeemax pointed out, I don't think lens distortion is that big of an issue in judging the photos seen to date where there are obvious gaps in the formation.

For future attempts this should be addressed though.



For obvious gaps, yes. To say distortion isn't "that big of an issue" is absurd, all respect intended.
The distance from edge to edge of the formation coupled with focal length is simply impossible to measure accurately without a benchmark measurement from which to compare, unless as mentioned earlier, a tele lens at full extension is used.
I like the idea of flying with 36" foam noodles held as docks between flyers.

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I don't think lens distortion is that big of an issue in judging the photos seen to date where there are obvious gaps in the formation.

In more simple terms lens distortion would not close up those gaps and make the formation complete.

For future formations I am in 100% agreement with you.

A 71 way flock formation was flown for the first time but not a slot perfect formation.

Perhaps there could be 2 categories of big way formation?

The "slot perfect" would always be smaller as it is more difficult but I think a "flock" definition could be drafted quite easily.

If we want to move forwards to official recognition and being a serious discipline that attracts other experienced skydivers to join us (at the moment we only attract the new skydivers) this kind of ambiguity needs to be resolved.

Wing suit flying will go where WE want it to.
BASEstore.it

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In one or 2 of the photos I've seen everybody is relatively close to the slot they are supposed to be in, no one is in anothers "slot". However they are not "grid" perfect. A small difference in semmantics...One that I'm sure will take a while for us to determine as you said.

By the way, thanks to everybody! Great flying with you all!

Ren

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In one or 2 of the photos I've seen everybody is relatively close to the slot they are supposed to be in, no one is in anothers "slot".



"Almost" ?

The event organizers set the criteria for success before the event - the jumps were performed with the objective to satisfy said criteria. The achievement of said goal becomes digital.

If there had been an independent judge on the DZ what would their decision have been?

That is how it works for all the other skydiving big ways (regardless of the fact whether they dock or not).

Declare exactly what you intend to do and then prove that you did it. 399 doesn't cut it on 400 way attempt.

Emotional attachment to a record attempt is understandable due to the massive investment in terms of time, money, risk and energy but to do so also makes us ALL lose credibility.

The Emperor's New Clothes..
BASEstore.it

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