Winter is a challenging time of year for Pylon racers. As I am writing this, it is a bone chilling -11° in South Dakota, on its way to a high of 0°.
The good news is that when this article reaches you, we will have kicked off the flying season in Phoenix, at the reopened Speedworld RC club. Most parts of the country will have started, or will be gearing up to start, the RC Pylon Racing season.
As you look forward to the upcoming racing season, what do you hope to accomplish this year? Maybe it’s competing for the first time, moving up to a new class, winning an event, or setting a new personal fast time.
One of the best ways to improve your skills is to hang around experienced racers. Watch how they prepare, practice, set up their models, and fly the course. Ask plenty of questions.
Focus on smooth and consistent flights. Equipment upgrades can easily be overshadowed by flying tighter and smoother. Do not allow yourself to get caught up in the model-of-the-month pursuits. Focus on flying better each time out.
I assure you that there are seconds to be shaved by improving your lines on the course. Those seconds will turn into higher heat finishes and propel you up in the standings.
If your 2014 goal is to progress to the next class, I hope this will help.
For those new to Pylon Racing, recent changes in the sport have provided a nice class progression in terms of speed.
Following is a quick overview of the more popular RC Pylon classes and their approximate speed ranges.
• Electric Formula 1 (EF1): 90-100 mph
• Q-500 AMA Event 424: 100-110 mph
• Q-500 AMA Event 426: 140-150 mph
• Q-40 AMA Event 422: 180-190 mph
How do you know when you’re ready for a faster class? This is a good question and one that you need to closely examine. You have to be fully in control of your aircraft. Safety is of the utmost importance. If you do not feel fully in control or you feel behind in your current class, then you likely need additional laps before progressing.
If you are comfortable and always feel you’re in control, and the racer seems slow in your mind on the course, these are indications that you are ready to advance.
One interesting phenomena with the faster classes is how stable and well the models fly. One would think that the faster you go, the harder it is to stay in control. The opposite is actually true.
Although the time to recover from a mistake is reduced because of the extra ground you are covering, the models actually fly better. This may be something you have to experience in order to believe it.
The same trimming and set-up concepts apply regardless of the speed. A well-trimmed model becomes more important as you step up the speed. The best pilots have well-trimmed models that allow them to focus on turn entry and exit points, holding their line, avoiding traffic, and flying smoothly and tightly.
If you are fighting a sinking, tucking, or poor-flying racer, it is nearly impossible to fly smooth and fast in any class, especially the faster ones.
Pylon Racing is a blast at any speed, but if you want to move up this season, I hope this information helps you make the leap when the time is right.
New EF1 Models Available
The National Miniature Pylon Racing Association (NMPRA) EF1 class has three new model choices. Airborne Models is offering the Outrageous and the Scarlet Screamer. Both were designed by EF1 architects Jerry Small and Dan Kane. These models are offered in solid silver or red to allow you to easily customize the color scheme.
The third model, offered by HobbyKing, is the Invictus, which was designed by Red Jensen. The Invictus is offered in solid white or a sharp-looking red-and-white color scheme.
With these three new offerings, the EF1 aircraft choices now include five manufacturers and seven models: the Horizon Hobby LR-1A and Shoestring; the Great Planes Proud Bird; the Nitroplanes Miss Dara;
the Airborne Models Outrageous and Scarlet Screamer; and the HobbyKing Invictus.
This level of industry support did not occur by accident and I want to give a shout out to all of those who have spent countless hours to make it happen.
OJA Fall Race Results
The Old Julian Airport (OJA) was hopping again only a month after the hugely successful NMPRA Championship was hosted there in October. Trey Witte CDed this event that featured AMA Event 424 Q-500 and EF1.
I cannot mention an OJA race without recognizing the efforts of the Katz and Langlois families. Well done, everyone.
If you’re in the North Carolina area and interested in RC Pylon Racing, I strongly encourage you go check out an OJA event.
Q-500 (AMA Event 424)
Name Time Points
1. Jim Nikodem 1:19.80 24
2. Steve Baker 1:21.34 20-FO
3. Mike Langlois 1:23.86 20-FO
Fast Time: Jim Nikodem 1:19.80
Name Time Points
1. Jim Katz 1:10.72 24
2. Jim Nikodem 1:15.66 23
3. Robert Vess 1:12.86 21
Fast Time: Jonathan Baker 1:10.58
Congratulations to all of the winners of the OJA Fall Race.