By Rick Pangell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The morning started out with some “iffy” weather, and choosing a launch line for the F1 events was being debated. F1C and F1Q were sharing the same starting positions but the issue wasn’t that, it was the prevailing wind direction. F1H was on its own but piggybacked on the big model location. The first round was delayed until it got straightened out and a suitable place was found. The wind blew southwest to northeast, so much of the flying came from the southwest corner of the complex.
The morning weather report predicted blustery weather and that’s exactly what prevailed. Throughout the day, there were calm periods, followed by some pretty stiff wind. It was typical, expected Indiana weather from my point of view, and after Monday’s beautiful day, kind of a letdown. But that did not stop the flying. The gas pilots loved it and kept piercing that 50-foot-high turbulent boundary layer.
The boundary layer was caused by the wind rolling over the top of the tree bank in the southwest corner of the field. But there were flying “enclaves” in various locations all over the field.
Faust Parker won F1C with a folder. Folders are impressive when they deploy. The theory is that when folded, the wing creates less drag during the short climb and the glide portion is enhanced when the wing unfolds. Dick Mathis took second but had a large mishap heard all over the field. Neal Menanno gave everyone an aerobatic lesson by cross-hooking up his bunt lines. His model flies rather well inverted.
F1Q favors large, heavy models with the energy-limiter requirement. Bob Sifleet, a many-time world champion in many events, took first but was chased closely by second and third-place finishers.
F1H had only three Adult fliers, with James Hack winning. Two Juniors posted some respectable flights. William and Wes Reuter flew, with William taking first.
Gas flying came from all over the field. Along the drives, up on the hills, and it didn’t seem that much preference was displayed other than “be upwind.” C Gas had 10 fliers and the top three were within 31 seconds. Good flying!
A NOS drew 13 fliers, with Roger Erridge posting clean with five maxes and Ruth Bane on his heels 24 seconds behind for second. Roger kept it up with three maxes or 360 seconds in One Design Combo, with Thomas Fox right behind with 349.
Dan Berry did some wonderful flying in Mulvihill, scoring 840 seconds. I think this was his first attempt at this challenging event. Chuck Markos, who finished second, scored 739 which was nearly double the score of the third-place finisher.
Senior Hailey Mattson flew unchallenged but some of her proteges fought it out in the Junior contest. Four Juniors flew, with Kiley DeLoach scoring 218 at her very first Nats! As kind of a “first win” situation, it appeared that she tossed herself into the ROW pond “to cool off,” but that may only have been a rumor. The next three Junior Mulvihill placers were the Reuter clan of Beckham, William, and Wes.
Rise-Off-Water (ROW) is a challenging event. The requirements are simple if you want to be successful. The first is having glass-smooth water. The ROW pond was anything but that with the wind nearly blowing whitecaps. The ripples and waves caught the floats and basically snagged the models before they got very far, but even still, Mike Fedor managed 176 seconds for first.
Chris Matsuno did it again in Jetex. I would think the event could become more popular if the Jetex materials were more readily available. Chris said he has maybe enough good fuses for a couple more years.
The heaviest contended event was OT CAT, which had 20 fliers. It seemed that flying was separated into two sessions. This probably wasn’t so, but the pen started south and then was moved north to keep models from flying into the shed area. Lying directly east, models flew over a knoll and were sucked down as they went over. Moving the pen north later in the day made flights a lot better and Kit Bays, the eventual winner with a score of 212, had the only max of the day. No matter where the pen was located, it was a tough go at it.
The contest ended as the wind died down and awards were presented in a sunny part of the day. There was some great flying under less-than-desired conditions, but everyone on the field had fun.
See more photos in our Flickr album!