By Fred Cronenwett
Welcome to the 2022 Control Line (CL) Scale Nationals. This event is where a model is built to look and fly like the full-scale version. The models are judged on Friday (July 15) for the static points and then flown on Saturday and Sunday for the flying points. The challenge is making a model that looks and flies like the full-size version.
The big change for this year is that Authentic Scale has been replaced with F4B competition. You don’t need an FAI license to fly in F4B at the Nats. F4B is being held in preparation for the 2023 F4 Team trials. Round one of the F4B flights will be held on Friday afternoon.
Places to go to check out the action on Friday, July 15:
8 a.m. – All models are static judged – Site 4, RC grass runway for static judging
2 p.m. – Round one of F4B models will be flown on the east circle at Site 6 (northwest of the L pad)
8 p.m. – FAI discussion about the updated rules and information about the 2023 team trials
(AMA main building second floor conference room)
At the south end of the AMA property is Site 4 which is the grass RC runway. This is where the static judging will be done for both the CL and RC models. The pilots present the model to the judges and provide documentation that includes the 3-view, photographs, and color information. The judges use the documentation and then see if the model matches the documentation.
All of the events being flown this year are judged from a set distance from the model. The F4B event will be judged from a distance of 5 meters which converts to 16.4 feet. Sport and Profile Scale are judged from a distance of 15 feet.
Check-in for static judging opens at 8 a.m. The deadline to check in for static judging is 10:30 a.m. If you get there early you will see models being assembled and getting prepared for the static portion of the judging. Typically, the flying props are removed and replaced with the static propellers.
Over the years we have had one event that has changed the rules and names three times. Precision Scale was where the model was judged up close and a full cockpit was expected. Then Precision Scale was replaced with Designer Scale where the pilot entering the model had to be person who drew the plans. You could not build a model from plans or a kit purchased from a third party with this event. Designer Scale was replaced with Authentic Scale, which is very similar to Precision Scale in that the models are judged up close. The only contest where I have seen Authentic Scale being offered is at the Nats. This year, Authentic Scale is not being offered—instead the F4B event is being flown.
The new F4B rules that were adopted in April of 2022 allow 2.4 GHz to be used (except for the elevator). This is a big step forward in that before this change, F4B pilots had to find down the line electronic controls. But since 2.4 GHz was allowed by AMA rules in 2013, the availability of downline controls has became harder to find, at least here in the US. 2.4 GHz has been flown in England but with the FAI rules allowing 2.4 GHz, this is a welcome change. The new F4B rules were approved in April 2022 and will be officially posted in January 2023. The other big change for F4B is that judging of the models will be done from 5 meters (16.4 feet).
Come out to Site 4 to see the static judging. CL Scale will fly at Site 6 on Friday afternoon (F4B round one) and then all classes fly on Saturday and Sunday (northwest of the L pad). You never know what full size aircraft someone decided to make a flyable model of for scale competition. 1/2A Scale is the only event that does not have throttle control—all other events have throttle control. You will see a variety of motors being used—everything from electric, four stroke, gasoline, and glow engines. The models will be small and then some will be large.
Also, almost forgot to mention that the AMA museum has been going through some upgrades and the new exhibit for CL Scale is not complete yet. Regardless, the AMA museum is worth checking out while you are here in Muncie.
Make plans to come out on Saturday and Sunday to see all of the models fly. F4B will be flying the first round on Friday afternoon.