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July 26, 2021: Outdoor Free Flight

By Rick Pangell

Being the first Outdoor Free Flight Nats in two years, there was a wonderful anticipation in the air.  Being there on Saturday, July 24, bode ominous for the prospect.  Saturday was our practice day but we could not have any open flying until 1 p.m., and eventually 2 p.m.  Plus, it was windy.

Attending the planning meeting on that Saturday, our CD, Ed Carroll, went down the open item list and all the blanks were filled. We were ready to go.

The Nats volunteer crew worked hard at getting everything together and on Sunday morning, established the flightline on the east side of the field, with the prevailing drift heading mostly east-southeast. 

There was a new NFFS trailer complete with power and a backup generator for 110 AC and Lisa Pacelli.  Awards for the NFFS events were a bit different.  Instead of a trophy plaque for each place in an event, this year the NFFS is using a large plaque with the NFFS Tern engraved on it and each event winner receives an event placard to place on that plaque.  Everyone was in favor of this and it allows the winner of an event to decorate their plaque with awards as they see fit.

At this point, I am sadly reporting that all my photos did not come across on my camera (!!!!) … I am sorry.  At this writing, I am trying feverishly to recover them and hopefully I will.

In the meantime, the fliers got to it.

In F1A, there was a tie after 7 rounds between Jim Parker and Brian Van Nest at 7 maxes each.  A flyoff is required and it was to be flown on Monday, July 26.  Results later.  In 3rd, not far behind, was Ken Bauer at 1208 … 6 maxes and a 128. Good flying!

The big gas guys went head to head too.  AB Classic had 14 fliers with Dan Berry and Ronnie Thompson neck and neck, with Dan edging out Ronnie with 1169 sec vs. 1142 … that’s 9 maxes plus 89 and 9 maxes plus 62. Competition at its best.  Perennial gas powerhouses Guy and Neal Menanno brothered up for 10 maxes each in D Gas with 6 fliers.  Friendly family competition, right?

Neil Menanno.

Electric has really been generating a lot of fliers since its inception. There were 15 fliers in B Electric. Taron Malkhasayan won first with 1794 (!), and Drake Hook with his beautiful high aspect-ratio model at 1666 seconds.  The level of competition in electric is growing as it matures.

We had a bit of confusion in Moffet regarding the flying rules. Traditional Moffet has graduated flight maxes and the max times were under scrutiny with what was on the score cards. Our CD straightened out the confusion and Bill Vanderbeek won it with 750, Josh Finn 2nd with 574, and the venerable Herb Kothe 3rd with 532.

Running a special event of Payload, which is an AMA event, had Mike Fedor taking first.  Mike seems to have the ROW code, as he has won this many times.  1/2A NOS Gas was contested with 15 fliers—pretty impressive.  Roger Erridge did a wonderful bit of flying with over 5 maxes at 670 seconds.  Larry Davidson followed with 478.

The real treat of the day was Andrade Rubber. This event was introduced by Paul Andrade a few years ago and its popularity is showing.  Seven heavy-duty fliers went against Junior Skilly DeLoach, but just couldn’t keep up. Skilly posted a score of 909 (7 maxes plus!) for first with Mark Vancil running 2nd with 742.

Andrade Rubber winners. Photo by Don DeLoach.

Golden Age was introduced this year as a special event, with Don DeLoach besting three other fliers for first. 

The .020 Replica contest is a long-standing event. Introduced  probably some 35 years ago, it was to fly OT designs with .020 engines. Availability of .020s is out there and the event is still popular.  Mike Fedor won the event with 342 over 7 other fliers. 

Vintage Wakefield had 4 fliers posting scores. Chris Matsuno won the event with a model that was probably the same one used when that model was a current design!

In OT Hand Launched Glider, 12 large-armed tossers gathered in the pen and all tried to psych each other out with their thermal picking ability.  OY HLG is not an easy task, at least compared with today’s current HLG designs.  Bruce Kimball topped the crowd with 180, Josh Finn followed at 158, and Don DeLoach  placed 3rd with a 142.

Thanks to our NFFS Membership Chair, Lisa Pacelli, a full listing of the results can be found online here at: <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQvK5AG4nak53UDqXsc-1yYwALglL6jGa5KE6qemd4m9v4Xqp5HYrJp9DFx2qhrqZ2tYgnGQnaYuM7r/pubhtml?gid=379879557&single=true>. The results are consistently refreshed.

Cut and paste this into your browser for a full look.

Thermals!  More tomorrow.

Bob Sowder.

The flightline on the first day of the contest.

Linda Powell dressed up her golf cart.

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