Control Line Capers
January 1962 American Modeler Article
Here is another article from the 1960s where its author laments waning interest in FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) competition. Most seem to have concluded that the problem was due to a perception that the FAI's had adopted overly bureaucratic regulations. They wanted to simply end participation. Others wanted to add an FAI "tax" to AMA membership to support team participation in order to increase participation. Isn't the latter concept the same bass-ackwards approach that politicians have in the past used - and lots still do - that fails every time it's tried?|
Control Line CapersBy Wild Bill Netzeband
What's with control line FAI Stunt? From word which filters in, interest in this event is somewhat less than overwhelming. In Dallas, George Aldrich showed up for both Round I and II and is now on the team. The judges were there in force and Bud Tenney was ready to roll. But both I and II were nil on competition. I also get the word that Jim Silhavy was unopposed for the Eastern States. California (Northern) had a fair elimination contest with Ralph Yount overpowering Bob Palmer for a crack at the Round II festivities. Seems Bob is semi-permanently installed up there on special assignment.
Question in my mind is "What In Tunket Happened"? In view of the fact that TR and Speed are extremely quiet, we are in danger of fluffing off. Our FF teams were picked from enthusiastic competitions and look where they ended up. Advertising has been slack if not non-existent.
We asked Bud Tenney for his thoughts on the matter and quote the following:
"In the past two years, the FAI control line elimination contests have been very sparsely attended, even to the point of being ridiculous and farcical. It is evident that no one is interested, or else no one is willing to take on the work of holding contests.
"I assembled a contest crew for two Round I eliminations and one Round II, keeping them away from church and family activities. For these three efforts, a total of six contestants showed up. Therefore I am in favor of eliminating the control line FAI activity unless more interest is shown. If it is not eliminated, I believe that advance paid registration should be required for both Round I and Round II.
"For that matter, I have informally proposed that each AMA member be required to pay an additional $4 fee to obtain an FAI endorsement on his license card at the time he buys his license. Without the endorsement, he would be ineligible to compete in FAI elimination contests. This might help put the FAI program on a paying basis, as it should be. Although I feel the FAI program is a good thing, I am not in favor of taxing all AMA members for the benefit of twelve or fifteen flyers."
We got two top men so far.
So, what can we do? Maybe an elected team would be better?
Product File. World Engines has in stock a new line of OS plugs. Ask for the Number O plug. It's a platinum alloy coil, good seal, 3/16 reach. It falls into the lower half of the heat range and is easy on batteries as well as engines with a good longevity; 49¢.
Dynamic Models' new line of 4 glass-metal seal plugs are hot. Seal and insulation are guaranteed against leakage (pressure and electrical). Coil is rugged and the plug runs in the upper heat range. Also the shielded plug is ideal for throttle, stunt and cold weather. 49c and 59c with long or short reach available.
Super Tiger plug available from World Engines is a good speed plug. It has a heavy coil and draws above-average current. It burns fuel very thoroughly without going into over heat.
J. Roberts Co., makers of Flight Control, Vari-Speed throttles, the Mauler, and several good profile ships, announced a Corsair for scale and Carrier. It's a big job, engineered for 35 to 60 engines. Bob Smurthwaite states that his test model is powered with a S-T 56 with his own Vari-Speed throttle (natch). Handling of the 27/32" to 1' scale ship is solid all the way, including acceleration off the deck and under quick throttle bursts. Odd size comes from using 2" dia. wheels as exact scale; 34 1/2" wing span allows the Corsair to fly with 29's and up.
Indications are that from Oregon way we'll see several new "Throttle-Control" scale and semi-scale kits in 1962. Bob, a top model engineer, is a perfectionist in all things. Nothing is released until it has been completely checked. In the 6 years Flight Control has been on the market, very few changes were necessary to keep it ahead of problems. It's catching fire now and more people are finding the complete satisfaction of "easy" throttle flying, shooting landings and formation flying.
Voo-Doo. We built and flew Riley Wooten's VooDoo from the Carl Goldberg kit. Carl was in at the beginning and his experience and know-how really show up. Everything fits neatly together and construction method is just about infallible. Those in a hurry should be able to build one in a night. Goodies include a shaped leading edge, full length spar and TE, die cut pad pieces and a decal by Janet Eden. Real Wild.
I deviated from plan procedure only when I used TMP Super-Lite glass cloth instead of Nylon to cover the engine pad. Used the Wooten tank etc., etc. Covered with Skydrum and 5 coats of dope. With a Fox CS (the lightest of the new breed) it was nose heavy, but we flew that way first. Finished weight was 20 oz. Controls per plan (15-20 degrees). First flight it would barely turn. It figures. Added movement to elevator and got the turns tightened up OK. Added 1-oz. lead to trailing edge and with CG as required and 30° stabilator motion (up and down), it turns fast and solid. It's an easy ship to handle in the air and will keep you in there fighting.
No one claimed they were indestructible, so we haven't tried that yet. Have observed a number of them after mistaken landings and they are expendable. It is a popular model, and with good reason. Would recommend that you check the CG carefully and insure that it is per plan before flying. The new breed CS engines are heavier than last year's models.
Voice In The Wilderness? Wouldn't it be wonderful if all of the engine people got together and came out with identical engine mounting dimensions in a given size engine? It sure handicaps an experimenter like me, anyhow.
Mail Pouch. Corey Krasko is the only one so far to disagree with lengthening Combat lines to 70'. Wants to keep the "fun" of high speed combat. 70' won't slow them down much, Corey, but it would make them feel slower. Also has a "diamond" job better than anything including the "E". Look him up on Long Island.
Everett W. Coppins, Jr., of the Navy in Memphis needs scale dope on the Polish Fighter from a kit by Sterling. This brings up two points. First can anyone help him? Second, why don't the kit people put out a little more effort to include sufficient info so a builder can really duplicate the real thing and satisfy the AMA requirements for three views, pictures etc. I know it costs more, that people really excited about scale don't use kits, that info is hard to get, etc. However, if there were such highly detailed kits, modelers could build contest-ready scale with a little extra effort. Any number of good scale subjects are treated haphazardly in kits, when they could be done very nicely. What think you all?
Bill Eppley, Box 329, Skippack, Pa., is looking for a coil and condenser for the Ohlsson 19. We suggest Hobbyland, 390 Main St., Hackensack, N.J. Hobbyland is accumulating a good deal of old-time equipment such as pre-war and post-war (WW II) kits and engines. Should be a good address to keep in mind. Also don't overlook AHC, Polks, or Ace Model Supply in St. Louis. All of these should have old stuff on their shelves and know about it. Anyone else have antique gear for sale?
Team Racing. Bob Emmett sent a long letter regarding the Kent Strat-O-Bats (Seattle, Wash.) feelings regarding TR. Greatly boiled down, they included such thoughts as:
(1) Club-boosted FAI and AMA TR events are bringing renewed interest. Time, patience and hard selling are necessary. His group is emphasizing "quality" model events at their contests, and it is working.
(2) Updating Proto Speed regulations to include TR type cross-section rules would allow one model to fly two events with only engine and tank changes. (This is a real healthy idea, based on continuous rhubarb over "looks" of the average Proto ship).
(3) The club intends to promote fully the events which demand higher quality building and flying.
Then from John Crombie in New Zealand we get a 4 page "Down Under" report. John adds some different thinking to our discussion by suggesting that we have too many "gingerbread" heats, etc. in our TR rules. The overseas boys run only 10 mile races and the events, both A and B, are most popular. He adds a further thought that perhaps shut-offs are neither necessary nor desirable. (A radical idea, but certainly pregnant with possibilities, since John is reflecting the rules used overseas, which are working!) He continues with a bit of surprise that our ships only hit 90 or so. NZ and Great Britain appear to be running 30 to 40 laps at 100 to 115 using such engines as Mac 29's and Eta 29's. Fuels range down to 5% nitro.
Seems to me that we may actually be getting a little lazy with our building. Problem is, do we make our rules over to support laxity or do we try to work up?
Engines Galore. The Johnson J-BB and KB 61 series 35 are broken in and revving. Both are top notch, handle easily, start readily and neither has showed any outstanding bugs. Still have not completed a comprehensive series of flight tests (the real proof). Also have a thought to present the Fox CS, Johnson J-BB and KB 35 side by side for your comparison. The different approaches to high RPM are very interesting. I have not as yet determined which is best, nor will I be able to. So forget it. My report will be factual as possible leaving you to decide what you want. Frankly, there may not be a rousing difference anyhow. They are all pushing performance beyond previous limits, and word is "There's much more to come."
Experimental Combat In Canada. Balsa Beavers' Ross Meluish of 51 Rossburn Dr., Etibicoke, Ontario, Canada, sent us a copy of his questionnaire concerned with Combat rules. Seems that the Hamilton Tigertown Contest allowed Frank Anderson to try a set of rules using the "intelligent string" system as a target. He had some questions on first level lap, inverted or below 8 foot and some other details. Results of the poll (15 answered) indicate 80% favor the level lap mandatory - 50% on allowing inverted flight - 75% prefer all rounds matched by drawing. 60 % prefer total round scores to determine winner.
My reasons for downing the mandatory level lap are: (1) Too many out-of-control take-offs, for which a whole 5 minute period is, then wasted; (2) Not enough fliers even remember to take or allow an opponent to take it; (3) Your engine can be made to run well the first lap, so why not take your chances? It's a "nice" rule, but who needs it? Would also prefer to see best flight score determine winner.
Report of the Tigertown meet wasn't detailed, but mention was made that collisions were still rampant. Evidentially the timing and ferocity of today's flying will take time to wear off. The string, by the way, should be 3 1/2 lb. test. I said 5 to 10 which turns out to be too strong. 3 1/2 lb. it shall be.
By the way, Ross has a set of rules which they worked up around the "intelligent string". Maybe he'd send you one in a self-addressed-stamped envelope. We want that you should try them yourself.
Thought for the Month:
If it wasn't done in '61
You've lots to do in '62.
Posted June 8, 2013