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June 22, 2021: 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 as 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.

We flew the first few rounds with the red flagging tape because of the overnight rain Mother Nature left behind for us. After a few rounds, we switched back to the normal crepe. The wind was blowing stiff Monday, but at least it was straight down the runway.

It was looking like it was going to be a decent day, at least rain-wise. Round 5 was starting and then came the sprinkles. A close eye was kept on the planes up in the air to make sure they didn't lose their streamers prior to start combat. Luckily, the rain was light, and the crepe paper held up through the entire round.

We took a short break to let the rest of the baby rain cell pass us by. With only four pilots competing again today, we were able to complete all 10 rounds before noon once again. After the dust settled, Tim Gillow was in third with 1,812. Then Mike LaPacz came in second with a score of 2,080. Showing off why he was the 2020 NPS Champion in GNAT combat was Heath Bartel with 2,372.

After an extended lunch break, we started Scale 2948. This class is similar to Limited B as they have the same engine (up to a .29) and prop restrictions. The aircraft are scaled to 48-inch wingspans. 

The two brave souls prepared their planes for battle and it was decided ahead of time to only fly five rounds, if they could. With the mono-a-mono action, cutting cuts are extremely difficult. Every point is crucial, and it seemed after the first round, David Smithgall had a mountain to climb after he crossed the safety line on his landing. Tim Gillow was having engine trouble and opened the door for David to come back. But David clinched the win with the only cut of the match in the fourth and final round. Tim couldn’t repair any of his aircraft for the fifth round and try to make a comeback. With a score of 640, David Smithgall took home the Nats championship in 2948.

The only event left to fly on Tuesday is E-1000. Come on out and watch from the spectator tent, or grab a hard hat and join us up close on the pilot line.

Mike LaPacz Set To Fly Some GNAT Combat.

Heath Bartel Ready To Cut It Up With His Electric GNAT.

David Smithgall Ready To Go.

Tim Gillow Itching For Some Cuts.

David Smithgall With His Top Wing GNAT.

Heath Bartel Sporting The Discus Launch.

Getting The Furball Going.

David Smithgall Lining Up Heath.

Heath Bartel Sniffing Out Another Cut.

Mike LaPacz Making the Cut.

Tim Gillow Lining One Up In The Mix.

Mike LaPacz Inspecting His Plane After His Hard-Earned Cut.

A Much Different Weather Day From Sunday.

Tim Gillow Trying To Evade 2 Pursuers.

Heath Bartel Beating His Plane Into Shape.

David Smithgall Bringing Home The Only Cut.

Scale 2948 Trophy Winners - David Smithgall (1st) Tim Gillow (2nd).

Nats GNAT Champion Heath Bartel.



Mon, 04/11/2022 - 2:07pm Dwayne Brown (not verified)

Great to see names attached. I can know who is who. Thank you very much.

Mon, 04/11/2022 - 2:01pm Scott Anderson (not verified)

Great job guys! Pappy704

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