Re: Western Front Rhinebeck

Douglas R. Jones (
Tue, 19 Sep 1995 12:04:07 -0500

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

I agree that in this particular case there were a larger number of WWI
entries than I would have expected. I do not know the rankings so I am not
sure if the WWI subjects were relegated to the lower standings.

>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
>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
>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
>planes have wide stances, good wing area, fly fast, and there are numerous
very high
>quality fibreglass starting points for their construction.

You point is valid. But if you take it out to its logical conclusion, then,
all competitors will be flying P-51s. Or certainly the number of types of
aircraft entered will be small. Is this a good thing when it is a Scale
competition? I can see that, in competitions like Pattern and 1/2A Texaco,
this might not matter. These events, I believe, are purely a matter of
flying skill. Scale competition encompasses much more than the pilots
command of the sticks. And I agree flying is a large portion of your score
in a Scale competition. But is it the most important part. I, personally,
don't think so. It should be balanced, otherwise we might as well be flying
Pattern! Certainly Rhinebeck has created an event for this purpose. You must
go through static judging but it is a small percentage of your score.
Instead you are graded on your ability to fly. The manuevers are certainly
things that very very few WWI aircraft could probably fly, but that's not
the point. It isn't a Scale competition it's a WWI/Golden Age pattern
contest. AMA Scale isn't designed to be that way. At least I don't think it is.

>But look at another field of scale competition, the Flying Aces. They give
>for being a tail dragger, multi-wing, multi-engine, floats, etc. as well as
>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.

Good example! These guys get a wide variety of aircraft! This is what a
Scale competition should be about. Bringing together a wide variety of Scale
models to demonstrate craftsmanship, sportsmanship and flying skill. But are
we casting stones at the wrong folks? They set the rules (I include the AMA
in the "those folks" group). They set the biases. FAI used to reward folks
for selecting more "difficult" subjects both in craftsmanship and
flyability. They no longer do, I think. Too bad as I think this helped to
create a more "open" competition. Of course, the heavy metal guys probably
complained that the WWI guys had an unfair advantage :-0

>People winning big scale events are making decisions based upon something a
>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.

You are probably right! I am not anywhere close to their capabilities in
skill or in capital. Most of the books I have seen by the guys who do
compete in these areas will tell you to stay away from subjects such as
those that are so dear to our hearts. They have handicaps. But popularity of
a group of aircraft IS influenced by what the mags publish. If people
compete with them and they are covered, then mortals like us will, possibly,
be influenced to try one. Therefore, it can be argued, that the
manufacturers might get interested in providing kits for these types. There
are a large number of P-51 kits out there. Why? Because people see them and
like them. I maintain that if more people were exposed to WWI/Golden Age
Aviation then more will be interested in trying them. Our static modeling
friends, here, have been doing the same thing. Get exposure and then
petition the manufacturers that there are folks out here who would buy the
kits if they came available.

>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.

You are probably right. What folks select for competition is not greatly
influenced by what kits are available. I suspect most are scratch built.
Although that may have to do with the quantity and quality of the kits that
could be considered for this level of competition. I agree there is a
"renewed" interest in flying scale vs. sport. And in a large part it has
been brought about, or certainly helped, by the number of kits coming into
the market place. I simply maintain that more exposure would continue this
process. And a more level playing field in the competition arena wouldn't
hurt either!

'I am a traveler of | Douglas R. Jones
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