By Matt Neumann
Tuesday started off way better than the previous days, weather wise. Contestants were greeted with mid-50° temperatures and only a slight wind. It was much better than previous days.
The only complaint was that it may have been just a bit too cold for some contestants. Those small complaints were basically from those who live in warmer climates, say Texas, California, and Louisiana. They really wanted to bundle up because they were not used to the temperatures. They also got a good-natured ribbing from us more northern inhabitants, such as I. It was all in good fun of course.
The day started off with some practice time at 7 in the morning. The judges got their warm-up flights flown before them and their deliberations taken care of. So now they should be ready to go for the rest of the week.
This does not mean that there was no competition going on, however. There were three events taking place down on the grass circles. These events were Classic, for which you have to have a plane that was either designed, published as plans, or kitted before January 1970, and Nostalgia 30, which has the same criteria as Classic except there is a rolling cutoff date of 30 years or older. And yes, you can fly a Classic plane in Nostagia 30 but not necessarily a Nostagia 30 in Classic. So, anything kitted or with plans published more than 30 years ago qualifies for this event. Also taking place Tuesday was Old-Time Stunt (OTS). These are planes that must have the plans published or kitted before 1952 and they use the old pattern. The other two events use the “modern” pattern, which is the one that we still use today.
By nature, people reminisce about the good old days. And this is a way to relive the past by bringing to life old planes and flying them again. The rules state that you have to build them per plans dimensionally and that the outside dimensions have to be the same as the original. Changing the size of the tail or moments is not allowed. However, you are allowed to change the structure as you see fit.
In some cases, it is to beef up a spar, in other cases, it is to actually lighten the plane because 3/32-inch sides work just as well as 1/8-inch balsa sides. Or the plywood doublers only need to be 1/32-inch instead of 1/16-inch thick.
You may also use modern powerplants if you wish. You do not have to use old engines like a K&B 35. You can use an electric if you wish. Some fliers, however, go to extreme lengths to make things as accurate as possible to the original. They will source out original engines, hardware, wheels, and even propellers, just to make it as original as possible.
As the day progressed, the wind started to pick up some, but while it made things a little interesting, it was quite flyable. This is good because it makes things far more enjoyable for everyone.
I always loved the sense of humor that some of the modelers have. In this case, it was their choice of pilots that they have in their planes. The first one I came across was Bugs Bunny. Next was Lady and the Tramp and then there was Miss Piggy. I hope that is not the nickname of the plane because it was overweight. These are guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone’s face who sees them. Kudos to those pilots.
At the end of the day, Micheal Schmidt won Nostalgia 30, and Joe Gilbert brought home a pair of wins in Classic and OTS, both well deserved.
Once all these events were finished, the Concours ballots were cast. Now that the wind had settled down, pilots were able to put their planes in the small field next to the pavilion according to their appearance score. Pilots could then look at the planes together and then vote on their favorite plane. In this case, the pilots voted for Todd Lee. His Mustang was top-notch, and the honor is well deserved. Congrats to Todd. It is a great honor to win this, and I believe this is his second one overall to date. I expect him to get more in the future.
Wednesday is the first day of qualifying. This is where the pilots are grouped together into four groups and the top five from each group gets to move on to the top 20 on Friday. But more on that in Thursday’s report. I don’t want to spoil too much.
Anybody have a plate of spaghetti and meatballs?Dan Banjock (R) and Jim Lee (L) talking shop.Bob McDonald's Apogee 7.Dan Banjock's metal plane that is polished to a mirror finish. Look at the tail. You can see the Stabilizer in the rudder.Dan Banjock's well traveled and used Galloping Comedian.Father (Jim Lee starting) and Son (Todd launching) for an official in OTS.Hey Kermit!I knew I should have taken a left turn at Albuquerque.Jim Aron has a unique eye for paint schemes.Joe Gilbert putting in a winning flight in OTS.Joe Gilbert's Winning Classic plane.John Paris putting his plane through a classic official flight.Kenny Stevens pilot in his plane. He is flying Open staring on Wednesday.Kenny Stevens' plane. He has a unique clear finish.Mike Schmidt's winning Stiletto.Our judges deliberating about a warm-up flight. This is to try and get everyone on the same page.The morning line up for practice. 7 am wake up call.Todd Lee and his winning Concours award plane and trophy.Wife Colleen Gilbert launches Joe's winning flight.