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July 15, 2019: RC Scale

By Stan Alexander (onawing4602@att.net)

After a beautiful Saturday, Sunday dawned with cloudy skies and the threat of thunderstorms. We were out early scrambling to cover models under tents and pull sides down on canopies. The storms then sort of sideslipped the AMA site and we didn’t receive more than a few sprinkles.

Round 3 started around 8:30 a.m., and the conditions were great for flying competition. Several pilots put in their best flights of the weekend.

Pilots got things together mechanically and mentally to finish the two rounds of flight in great shape. One modeler, Randy Adams, who had ignition issues all Friday and Saturday, finally gave up on one airplane and brought the other one to win first place in Sportsman class with his Fokker D.VIII to win Sportsman.

The Flying Razor, as it was called in World War I, was built from a combination of a Balsa USA kit and parts from Glenn Torrance. Construction is balsa, plywood, and aluminum. The 88-inch wingspan model is powered by a G-26 engine.

Why do so many scale modelers use Zenoah engines? Well, they are shorter than other engines, and with a limited cowl space in which to mount an engine, it helps to have a shorter total length.

Open Scale is where you can finish someone else’s model or buy it and detail it, add your documentation, and go enter a Scale class. They are static judged just like in Sportsman, Expert, and Team Scale. Ted Roman finished in first place with his 1/3-scale Balsa USA Piper Super Cub in Belgium Air Force colors. The 98.7 static score was impossible for the others to overcome. Add two great flights, and it was all over in this class. Jason Bauer finished second in Open Scale with a BVM F-16, while Tim Dickey from Arizona finished third with his unique radial-powered J-3 Cub.

Jack Buckley continued his dominance in Expert class with his 1/3-scale Tiger Moth. The huge Moth is pretty much scratch-built except for the wing ribs. Mike Barbee finished second with his big Beechcraft King Air, featuring electric motors with a 5,000 mAh 6-cell battery pack for each engine. The big twin flew great with a few bumps on the last flight. Larry Folk topped out in third place with his veteran 1/3-scale Super Cub.

In Designer Scale, Jack Buckley once again flew his Mini-Max ultralight airplane to a first-place finish, while Hal Parenti and Al Kretz had mechanical problems that pretty much took them out.

Joe Vermillion won in Fun Scale Novice with the 1/3-scale Fokker D.VII built from a Balsa USA kit—imagine that! Johnny Hunt was second with his Supermarine Spitfire from a Phoenix ARF. Daniel Rodrigues rounded out the top three with his Cessna 170, which flew very smoothly.

Fun Scale Open was a hard-fought class with 19 entries. By the last round of flight competition being over, there was a three-way tie for second place between Will Barenger, Jeremy Arvin, and Dan Landis. A tiebreaker had to be used, with all three of these pilots having a final score of 103.250. Steve Eagle was so close with a score of 103.125 and finished fifth with his Fokker D.VII.

The others in the tie finished as follows: Will Barenger second, Jeremy Arvin third, and Dan Landis fourth.

Terry Nitsch finished first in the class with his MiG-15, which was built from a BVM composite kit and electric ducted-fan powered. The 60-inch Soviet fighter also featured speed brakes, brakes, and drop tanks. Terry uses a Horizon Hobby Spektrum DX18 radio system to control the model, and he won the class by .25 of a point!

We would like to thank all of the judges, officials, administration, and the AMA grounds crew for all of the work they put into this Nationals Championships.

Sponsors: NASA, ZAP Glue, Modeler’s Reference, Toys Forever Models & Hobbies, Fellowship of Christian Modelers, Balsa USA, Brodak Manufacturing, Frank Tiano Enterprises, Falcon Props, Down and Locked, Electrodynamics, Tru-Turn, Horizon Hobby, and Barbee Concrete.

See you next year and fair skies and tail winds.

Larry Folk’s Top Cub built from a Balsa USA kit finished third in Expert this year. A veteran model, the big, yellow Super Cub continues to perform at the top level.

The Sig Spacewalker has been a popular kit for decades and for good reason. They fly great. Brian Taylor flew this 1/3-scale model to a second-place finish in Sportsman class.

Sometimes it happens to all of us—a nose-over with a conventional gear model just happens. The outer part of the runway was much rougher than the inside portion.

This P-40 by Dan Landis is from a Top Flite ARF. Dan detailed the model and put some special touches on it to create this beauty. It finished fourth in Fun Scale Open.

This Mini-Max, designed and built by Jack Buckley, was entered in Designer Scale and won first place. The little homebuilt aircraft are all over the nation. This one flew great with a Saito four-stroke engine.

Randy Adams’ Fokker D.VIII pulling out after an aborted landing, called an overshoot maneuver on his way to winning first place in Sportsman class.

Joe Vermillion’s Fokker D.VII 1/3 scale on his way to winning Fun Scale Novice. The large WWI model has a G-62 on belt drive for power. The kit is by Balsa USA.

Randy Adams’ Fokker D.VIII on a takeoff roll. I love the details he’s added to the model.

Ted Roman’s Balsa USA Super Cub in Belgian Air Force colors won in Open Scale. The big 1/3-scale model is powered by a DLE .55 and controlled by a Futaba T14SG radio system.

Lawrence Harville, AMA District VIII vice president, flying his model and talking to the judges at the flightline. Lawrence flew in Fun Scale with a SE-5a.

Johnny Hunt from Texas flies his Spitfire with his caller and mechanic at the flightline on Sunday.

Terry and Shelia Nitsch, with their winning BVM Models MiG-15 60-inch wingspan model, squeaked to a .25-point win in Fun Scale Open. Terry uses Spektrum radio systems.

Johnny Hunt preparing to take off with his Supermarine Spitfire as his caller Tim Lovett looks on.

Terry Nitsch accepting the first-place Fun Scale Award from NASA President Mike Barbee.

Jack Buckley accepts the first-place trophy from Mike Barbee for his win in Designer Scale.

Randy Adams is enjoying his win in Sportsman with Mike Barbee! Way to go Randy.

The big P-47 continues to be a popular model with wide landing gear and great flying characteristics. This one by Jerry Nugent finished fifth in Open Scale.


Designer Scale

Expert Scale

Fun Scale Expert

Fun Scale Novice

Open Scale Advanced

Sportsman Scale

Team Scale


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