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June 21, 2021: RC Combat Begins

By William Drumm III

RC Combat kicked off once again Sunday, June 20, with Slow Survivable Combat (SSC). SSC is the most popular class that RC Combat has to offer. Only having a .15 engine and an rpm limit reduces the speed and the severity of the crashes that are bound to happen. We were slated to have five pilots at the start the day, but, unfortunately, we lost Bob Loescher due to another prop strike on the hand. It’s another reminder to always walk around to the back of the airplane to remove the glow igniter and adjust the needle valve.

We had to start out with the red flagging tape streamers because of the dew yet on the grass. These can get wet and still stay together up in the air. We also had, at best, a crosswind and for the most part a tailwind. This made launching the SSC aircraft a bit challenging.

We were once again lucky this year to have the Civil Air Patrol cadets come out and help us judge. They really make the event run smoother.

After a couple rounds of red flagging tape, we switched to the normal black crepe paper. The crepe paper is easier to see and tends to get more cuts for the pilots. With only four pilots, we breezed through the 10 rounds of SSC before noon.

After all of the streamers settled, third place went to David Smithgall with 1,792. Coming in second, with his fleet of electric airplanes, was Heath Bartel with a score of 1,940. First place, with 2,052, went to Tim Gillow.

After our bellies were full and the next class of planes were readied, we started Limited B. Limited B is a lot like SSC as there is an rpm limit to reduce the speed, but Limited B has up to a .29 engine. The bigger motor does make launches easier, and the vertical envelope is much wider.

We again had only four pilots competing in Limited B. With the forecast not looking the greatest, we pushed on through the heat of the afternoon and completed all 10 rounds on Sunday. In third place was Mike LaPacz with 2,132. Tim Gillow ended up in second with 2,352. Bringing home the championship with a score of 2,512 was David Smithgall.

Monday morning will begin with GNAT Combat if Mother Nature allows it. Then, if the two pilots are up to it, we may have a few rounds of Scale 2948. Come on out and enjoy the action!!!

The SSC pilots and timers.

The first round launch for Heath.

Getting close in SSC.

David Smithgall with a two-cutter. Tim Gillow tipping his hat to that.

A blast from the past visit from Dave "Sparky" Davis and his wife.

There you go Tim—no string burn.

David Smithgall gets oh so close.

Hey Mike, you're missing something. Yep, you are.

SSC trophy winners Heath Bartel (second) and Tim Gillow (first). At right is Limited B champion David Smithgall.


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