Re: Western Front Rhinebeck

Larry Marshall (
Tue, 19 Sep 1995 11:38:15 -0400

> How about the great and wonderous AMA National Flying Site? I believe they
> have the proper facilities! But I think the last sentence is the real story.
> I was surprised by the number of WWI entries into this years Scale Masters.

If you do the arithmetic you find that neither WWII or jets were over-represented.
You can also demonstrate that final placement didn't bias towards any particular
class. I suspect some of the later must reflect that they didn't have much wind :-)

> Generally WWI subjects are few and far between. In general most modelers do
> not model the WWI/Golden Age era of aviation. I hear it all this time. Too
> many wires, too hard to fly, can't fly in wind, can't fly in a cross wind
> etc. etc. etc! Our club (150 members) has 2 WWI/Golden Age flyers. Until our
> numbers go up and we get into a position where we can be a part of the
> planning process for these kinds of events we will lose out to the "heavy
> metal" flyers.

The old 'my kind of airplanes don't stand a chance' arguments will rage forever.
They are also nothing more than an artificial aggregation of airplane 'types' for
purpose of argument. This should be realized if you really want to analyze the

As long as competition exists there will be some planes that work better
than others if the goal is winning. Go to any 1/2A Texaco event and you'll find
that Kerswaps are THE plane to beat. Head off to a pattern contest and you'll see
that planform converges quickly to an 'optimum'. We don't see this as anything to
argue about because these aren't scale planes. But the same thing should (and does)
exist when it comes to choosing scale subjects for a particular competition.

RC scale competition places a heavy emphasis on flyability. Do you think any of the
WWI aces would prefer the mounts they were given to a P47? I think not. Do you
hear people saying, "Scale competition biases against the flying of my Lippisch!"
Not a chance. But the bias is the same as any bias you are discussing regarding WWI
aircraft. P47s, P51s, and F86s reign supreme, not warbirds. Why? Because these
planes have wide stances, good wing area, fly fast, and there are numerous very high
quality fibreglass starting points for their construction.

But look at another field of scale competition, the Flying Aces. They give points
for being a tail dragger, multi-wing, multi-engine, floats, etc. as well as judging
for craftsmanship and flying ability. The result is a variety of aircraft that is
beyond belief. So, me thinks you are casting stones at the wrong folks if you are
blaming personal bias on the part of organizers, judges, etc. for one type or another
dominating the events.

> To this end more coverage of events like Rhinebeck can help. I think that a
> lot of why many of the flyers (not necessarily modelers) go with the Jets
> and heavy metal has to do with the amount of press they get in the major
> modeling mags. When you read the articles about the big events most of them

People winning big scale events are making decisions based upon something a whole
lot more basic than pictures in a magazine. Aren't you starting to talk here about
us mere mortals rather than the Top Guns? I think it simply must be realized that
selecting an aircraft for high level competition is something very different from
an 'I like that one' affair. The scores at these events are simply too close not
to do so.

> > How serious is the discussion about this resurgence? I know Dick, and he has
> >talked about this concern for quite awhile but nothing has come of it yet.
> How much can he do? When you make kits that are way out of the range of the
> average guy it is hard to get your voice heard. Flair makes very nice sport

Again, it depends on whether you're talking major competition or general interest flying of WWI aircraft. For the former, what kits are available is a minor component. For the later, I think we're seeing a 'resurgence' which, to my mind is nothing more than a renewed interest in flying scale RC vs sport planes.

Cheers --- Larry