-A A +A

2019 RC Pylon EF1 Recap

by Santiago Panzardi and Dan Kane Helsel did it again! Congrats! He is now two for two in winning the Nats. Two three-pole events are in the books and Mike has won them both. Stay tuned for what happened next. This year we had 34 entries in EF-1. This event falls under the unofficial event category, as it is not in the AMA rule book. The NMPRA controls the rules for this event and they can be found here: https://www.nmpra.net/rules/EF1NewRules4_15_2014.pdf This event is unique in that is departs from the fire-breathing, nitro-eating two-stroke engines that normally dominate the Pylon events. This class was started a few years ago to bring back some history. The airplanes must be recognizable replicas of full-scale Formula 1 or Goodyear racers. They bring back the scale look of a racing airplane, having wheel pants and pilots. It’s something the Pylon community hasn’t seen since the days of Formula 1. The Spec Class has approved motors and only allows one propeller to be used. A large variety of airplanes are used. One of the most popular models was the Proud Bird sold by Hobbico. Unfortunately, this ARF is no longer available. There are few other ARF kits still available that are just as competitive in the right hands. Tom Scott flew a stock Horizon Hobby Shoestring to one of the fastest times of the event—right up until he folded the wing in the second-to-last round. This kept him from a podium spot. Sharks and Estrelittas still find their way to the top. They are not the easiest airplanes to build, but it can be done. Jim Allen has been working on a shorter-wing version of his famous Proud Bird. The thought here is that it would compete with the lower aspect-ratio airplanes that are growing in popularity. The verdict is still out on whether this is the right thing to do. Based on times, it hasn’t jumped out as making a clear-cut difference. In fact, it appears that the times are on par with all of the other times. Once again, we awarded a “Best of Show” model. This year, the airplane that won was built and covered by Dan Kane. This marks his third time winning this award. There were some discussions about changing the format for 2020. Stay tuned for details and check the NMPRA website toward the beginning of next year. The airplane was an RBC Polecat. The kit is available from the Netherlands from Rob Bulk. The airplane holds a special place in the heart of Dennis Cranfill, the owner of the Polecat. When Dennis was a youngster, his father built a Goldberg Cosmic Wind to be used for the Goldberg Control Line Racing class. Dennis’s father finished the Cosmic Wind in the same scheme as the one on the Polecat. This scheme continued to be used on their Rat Racers. Don (Dennis’s dad), Red (Dennis’s grandad), and Ricky (Dennis’s uncle) all teamed up and competed using this scheme on their Control Line models. After all of the racing was done for the day, the NMPRA held its annual banquet. This tradition goes back quite a few years. Through the years, it has changed from being a barbecue on-site to having food prepared off site and being served. Dennis Cranfill and Mark Parker have long held the tradition of making sure everyone is served and has food to eat. In the past, Dennis and Mark would shop, prepare, and serve close to 75 people. This was a crazy task to do after a full day of flying, yet they were always willing and able to take on this role. A couple of years ago, we were fortunate to have Dickie Ritch prepare the food, which Dennis and Mark would transport from Texas and then cook for everyone. It was some of the best barbecue to be had. With Dickie’s passing, we needed to develop an alternate plan for food. Dennis enlisted the help of a local establishment, which prepped the food and delivered it straight to Site 3. As usual, Dennis and Mark served everyone who attended. During the banquet, the NMPRA raffled off several prizes that were purchased with the help of Horizon Hobby. Tickets were sold during the food service. At the end of the banquet we welcomed the 2019 inductees into the NMPRA Hall of Fame. This year there were three people inducted. Two presentations were made at the Nats and the third will take place at the Phoenix Q-40 race next year. The first inductee was Jim Gager. Jim was very active in Pylon Racing through the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s, and into the 2000s. Jim is mostly known for his contributions to the Pylon community through his magazine articles, which he wrote monthly for both Model Builder and Model Airplane News. He was also the author of the rules for AMA Event 422 (Q-40). On top of everything else, Jim was also provided fiberglass fuselage and foam wing kits for many of the popular QM15 designs of that era. Congrats, Jim. The honor is well deserved for sure. Jim also provided donations to both the AMA and the NMPRA as a gesture of gratitude for all of the memories and life lessons model aviation has brought to him and his family. Jim was surrounded by two of his sons and some of his old racing friends. The second person inducted into the Hall of Fame this year was Dan Kane Jr. Danny served as the president of the NMPRA and was instrumental in bringing back the hall of fame. He has been a member of the AMA contest board since the mid-1990s. Danny and Jerry Small were responsible for many of the EF-1 designs being used today, as well as writing the final version of the rules that we currently use. Both Dan and Jim’s full biographies are available on the NMPRA website:  https://www.nmpra.net/HOF.htm

Mike Helsel and his caller, Tim Lampe, display their first-place trophy!


Tom Melshimer took home the fast time in Standard. Tom also worked very hard to keep the judging equipment running. Tom was the assistant CD for the Nats and worked hard to ensure that we could all compete daily. Thank you, Tom.


David Ford from Canada took home second place in the Standard Class.


Don Belfort (Ohio) took home top honors in the Standard Class. This year, the breakout time was 1:21. Congrats, Don.


Leo Nordell (Connecticut) took home the Best Junior trophy.


Mike Condon recognized all of the hard work and help that AMA employee Yolanda Jones does for the Pylon group with an award. She is always willing to help and really takes care of tons of stuff for the group. Thank you, Yo!


Rick Paine’s Little Toni, modeled after the Famous Terry Prather version.


Greg Doe’s beautiful Estrelitta.


Mark Parker’s short wing Proud Bird. Mark was the winner of the heaviest airplane in the event award.


Joe Tropea showing his school pride with his Spartan-inspired Proud Bird. There were not many Michigan State fans in the crowd.


An Airborne Models Scarlet Screamer ARF kit with some vinyl graphics by Jack Kane.


Some of the models on display for the Best of Show judging.


Dan Kane displays Dennis’s Best of Show Polecat, showing off the color scheme used by the Cranfill family in the early days of Control Line Racing.


The winners: (front, L-R): Jim Allen (Arizona) 4th; behind him is Mark Parker (Texas), Jim’s caller; Jim Nikodem (Illinois) 2nd and Fast Time expert; Mike Helsel (South Carolina) 1st and his caller, Tim Lampe (South Carolina); Cory Paine (Canada) 3rd. Standing (L-R): Daniel Troup (Ohio) Best Senior; David Ford (Canada) 2nd Standard; Don Belfort (Ohio) 1st Standard; Leo Ordell (Connecticut) 3rd Standard and Best Junior; Ola Ordell (Connecticut) Leo’s Caller; Tom Melshimer fast time Standard; Rick Paine (Canada),s Cory’s Caller; Elise Brozoska (Connecticut), Joe Tropea’s caller; Joe Tropea (Connecticut) 5th; Dan Kane (Illinois) Best of Show.


Jim Gager and his sons walking around the Pylon pits before to the awards ceremony.


L-R: Allen Booth, Jim Gager, and Dennis Sumner.


Before the banquet this year, there was a flight demonstration of old QM15 models. L-R: Greg Doe with his P-39 racer, Gordon McWilliams with his P-63 racer, Jim Gager, and Duane Gall with his Little Toni racer.


Greg Doe and Duane Gall discuss the good old days of QM15 racing.


Dan Kane and Bob Petrinec. Bob and Dan teamed up and traveled across the Midwest during Dan’s early years of Pylon Racing.


Dan Kane and Travis Flynn. Travis, along with a host of others, nominated Dan for the NMPRA Hall of Fame this year. The two are great friends and tough to beat.


Dan and Cathy Kane with their two children, Jack and Nicole. Cathy is no stranger to Pylon Racing and called for Dan before they had kids.


RC Pylon EF1 Scores




Mon, 04/11/2022 - 12:14pm Victor (not verified)

Hello. Which nitromethane engine do the nitro Formula -1 flyers generally use? Thank You.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.