It is hard to imagine that, as you read this, we are nearly halfway through the year, but there are many events still to go. One of the largest events of the year is the AMA Nats in Muncie, Indiana, July 13-16. If you have never made it to the Nats, this would be a great year to give the contest a try.
We will have a new contest director this summer. William Drumm III is taking over those duties from Bob Loescher. Maybe the extra work will slow William down and give some other pilots a chance to win some events!
Tools and More
Throughout the years, something that has helped me when it comes to building and repairing airplanes is visiting other Combat pilots’ houses and seeing some of the workspaces and tools that they use. Sometimes the tools are items you can purchase from a store and they are occasionally homemade.
One tool that I did not have was a Coroplast cutter, which is used to cut control surfaces out of sign material. It is easy to build one using two hook blades such as those in a utility knife. Attach the two blades to each side of a piece of wood or wooden ruler. Leave them hanging far enough over the end to cut one side of the flute on the Coroplast. This is far safer and more accurate than using an X-Acto knife and much quicker.
Last year, I got some string around the hub of my Magnum 15. I didn’t have a hub puller and could not get the hub to come off. Bob Loescher let me use his.
When someone crashes his or her Combat airplane, the model often goes into the ground and the engine becomes covered in dirt or mud, which can get down into the carburetor. Even a normal landing on fresh-cut grass can cause something to infiltrate the engine.
One idea that has been implemented is using a #7 O-ring and a piece of nylon chiffon to cover the opening. It does not affect the engine’s performance, but it will keep debris from getting into the carburetor. This will keep you from having to clean out the engine as often.
As you can see from the pictures, there are many tools you can use in our hobby. Having the right tools for building and repairing Combat aircraft can make it easier to get your aircraft into the air.
One of the problems I have living on the East Coast is that I don’t make it to any contests in the west. The contest scene in Florida got off to a slow start this year, so I contacted Andy Erwin in California. He sent a report about the first contest of the year in his area.
The Fresno Radio Modelers held one of the first contests of the year. The Kami-Crazy RC Combat event was held on January 24, 2015. The Fresno Radio Modelers club has been bitten by the Combat bug—especially Dale Soutas. The club has four contests scheduled for later this year.
Dale was the contest’s promoter and organizer and he has helped popularize Combat in central California. I was the event’s contest director.
It was a cold, foggy day at the flying site that scared off half of the pilots who had entered, but seven brave fliers did show up for some Combat. In the morning, the weather nearly called for instrument flight rules. Visibility was low, but good enough to safely see the airplanes. I had to find an alternative streamer material because the crepe paper fell apart in the damp air. As the day progressed, it became nice and clear.
We flew five rounds of Slow Survivable Combat (SSC) first then five rounds of Open B. Five pilots competed in each round and the carnage was average. A variety of airplanes was flown including a Battle Axe, Lethal Weapon, Mako, Spad Hell on Rails, Gremlin, and a Russian Wing.
Jason Erwin, one of the top pilots on the West Coast, flew a new-to-him design in Open B: the Russian Wing. He handled the airplane like a pro and had everybody gasping at the maneuverability and skill he showed.
In SSC, first place was won by Bryan Freeman; second place, Aaron Flores; third place, Andy Erwin; and in fourth place was Gabe Martin. The Open B winners were Jason Erwin in first place; second place, Aaron Flores; in third place was Dale Soutas; and fourth place, Gabe Martin. The Top Gun award for total highest of both classes went to Aaron Flores.
The Exeter Thunderhawks will be hosting its Thunder Over Exeter 10 Combat event in Exeter, California, on May 9.
Gabe’s club in Madera, California, has a new venue and has planned events later this year. The Palomar RC Flyers has a couple of RC Combat events planned in the San Marcos area in Southern California.
Thanks, Andy, for the report on Combat in the west. Visit the Radio Control Combat Association’s (RCCA) website for a calendar of events scheduled across the country.
In the February 2015 issue, I reported on the Duel at Davenport contest in Iowa. I included pictures that were taken by Mike Williams and I want to thank him for their use. It is nice to have people who are available to help with pictures. I like to compete in Combat and do not get to take many pictures!