-A A +A

July 26, 2020: RC Combat

By William Drumm III

We started out the second day with GNAT Combat. GNAT airplanes are easy to build and are quite rugged because they are built out of coroplast and are all of the same design. They use a .15 engine that is legal for SSC and use the same 8 x 3 propeller without an rpm limit. Electrics are also able to compete and be competitive.

Unfortunately, there were only three pilots left to compete. Bob Loescher was unable to compete with his bandaged right hand from the incident Friday.

With only three pilots, you would think there wouldn’t be any midairs. Well …15 seconds into the first round, crack! Luckily, the planes were able to recover and continue with the round. With the durability of the GNAT design and few pilots, we flew through the rounds quickly from the start.

It was round six … or was it seven … when the ground inflicted the damage after the collisions. After an extensive break known as a Full Gilkey, we finished off the remaining rounds in a timely fashion and were done well before noon.

After all 10 rounds, there was a tie for second. Both Tim Gillow and David Smithgall ended with a score of 1,508 points. The tiebreaker went to the pilot with more cuts in the event. With only seven cuts, David Smithgall goes away empty handed in third. Tim Gillow took home the trophy for second place with a total of nine cuts. That leaves Heath Bartel with his electric GNAT to take home first with 2,276 points.

After lunch, we finished up the five remaining rounds of Limited B. Tim Gillow started off the day with a more than 600-point lead. The cuts today were hard to come by for him, and he ended up with only two. Luckily for him, the cuts were also hard to come by for everyone else.

Heath Bartel was able to snag only four cuts and David Smithgall got skunked. After the tenth round, David once again went home empty handed with 1,288 points in third place. Heath was able to move up from Friday and took home second place with a score of 1,540. Tim Gillow held first place, only scoring about half of what he did yesterday, and ending up with a total of 2,172.

The only event left to fly on Sunday is E-1000. Come on out and watch from the spectator (blue) tent. Or, grab a hard hat and join us up close on the flightline … just make sure you’re wearing a mask!

Check out all 2020 RC Combat Nats coverage HERE.

Heath Bartel ready with his electric GNAT. (Wait your turn for your picture, David.)

David Smithgall with his high-wing and fence-post fuselage GNAT.

Tim Gillow with the more traditional GNAT.

Heath Bartel sporting the discus launch.

Heath Bartel with one his multiple drapes for the day.

David Smithgall lining one up.

Tim Gillow on the hunt.

GNAT furballing.

David Smithgall bringing some streamers home.

Follow the leader.

Heath Bartel post cut.

David Smithgall utilizing the golf cart on his wayward GNAT.

David Smithgall going back up into the fray.

Tim Gillow on Heath Bartel's tail.

Heath Bartel starting his engine.

Tim Gillow with perfect form while launching his Limited B plane.

The pilots practicing their starburst routine.

Limited B trophy winners: Tim Gillow, first and Heath Bartel, second.

GNAT trophy winners: Heath Bartel, first and Tim Gillow, second.

Limited B Final Scores.

GNAT Final Scores.


Mon, 04/11/2022 - 2:12pm john windholtz (not verified)

when I saw Tim Gillow's plane in the AMA magazine I went to the Garage to see if my plane was still there. 3years ago I made a crappy video on how to build a combat delta wing but mine was orange and blue and was loosely similar to combat planes out of Arkansaw Sailor john on you tube.

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.