The Top Gun Invitational scale model competition is an event that I’ve been wanting to witness for a long time. In fact, it’s an event I hope to compete in some year (once I have the right airplane!). Many of the airplanes and pilots competing there represent some of the best in the world, so it’s hard not to want to try my hand in that setting. So, every year when the event comes around, it just happens to get mentioned in my house. So, when it was mentioned this year and met with a, “do you want to go?!” I quickly responded, “YES!” It wasn’t a trip to compete, and that was completely fine with me as I just wanted to witness the competition and the caliber of airplanes that are brought. Plus, you know, it would be a scouting mission for next time… 😉
Held at Paradise Field in Lakeland, Florida, this year was the 30th annual for the competition and some of the models there were nothing short of spectacular. Individuals and teams from all over the world came to fight for the title and represented themselves well. For me, it was a trip to capture media and understand the competition and just take it all in. To be able to witness some of the Continue reading →
The road getting to the 2016 US Scale Masters Championships was not an easy one for me this year, that’s for sure. Ever since crashing my Jet Hangar Mirage IIIRS last year, I had been plagued with mishaps and bugs throughout the year and truth be told, it got pretty discouraging…to the point that I contemplated not going multiple times. But, the championships were at the Woodland-Davis Aeromodelers field which is where they were in 2013 and it was such a great event, I knew I had to get there in 2016. With everything leading up to the event (I even had a mishap requiring repairs two weeks before I was due to leave!), I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would be reporting that I came out of the event as the “Grand National Champion” finishing 1st place in Expert! And to have my dad there calling for me while competing with an airframe that stemmed from the very first RC jet design he kitted back in the late ’70s was just such an honor for me.
Organized by the US Scale Masters Association, the US Scale Masters Championships have been ongoing since 1980. From the beginning, this national championship has hosted some of the best scale builders and pilots in the world and have continued to do so for more than two decades. In order to attend the national championship, a competitor must qualify at a regional qualifier event (I covered the Gilman Springs Qualifier a few months ago). The truth is, I remember attending numerous qualifiers and championships out at Mile Square Park (that flying site is sorely missed!) in Southern California as a kid with my dad and I have always remembered the caliber of the airplanes being just incredible (I tried my first qualifier at 18 with a Royal Zero kit I built). 2016 was no exception as the airplanes in attendance were beautifully crafted and masterfully flown!Continue reading →
AMA EXPO 2016 — The place to geek out on the latest in RC!
Ah, the AMA Expo. Heralded at the Ontario Convention center, it’s a great show to geek out on everything RC while scoring deals you wouldn’t normally get on RC products. Though not always known as the AMA show, nor held at the Ontario Convention Center, this show has been ongoing in Southern California for a long time. I remember attending a different incarnation of the show as a kid with my dad. In fact, I even met my wife at this show when it was still held in Pasadena…wrap your heads around that one, haha! It’s really hard to believe just how much the hobby has changed and I’ve watched it change each year through this show! Even in just the last 10 years things have changed so much.
Now, an RC trade show means many things to many people. For most however, it means three things — scoring deals while seeing what’s new and exciting and catching up with Continue reading →
It’s a rare thing to see a P-51 flying these days, let alone to be able to say that you personally know someone who owns one. Then, to be offered a ride in one is about as rare as it gets, especially for an airplane geek like me! February 28, 2015, armed with my wits, an iron will to hold my breakfast down 😉 and my iPhone, I took to the skies in the back of one of the most beautiful P-51s out there, “Lady Alice,” owned and operated by Ken Wagner. It was the ride of a lifetime, something that I have dreamt about so many times and it was incredible! Thank you, Ken, for one of the coolest experiences of my life!
It was a spontaneous event, so I only had my iPhone with me. Nonetheless I was able to put together a short video and some pictures from it so, I hope you enjoy! Needless to say, I feel a P-51 ARF kit bash in the future. I need a “Lady Alice” P-51 in my hangar so that I can push it around while making airplane noises to relive this unforgettable day! The full story follows below:
A Typical Morning
Saturday, February 28, 2015 started out like any other day really. We had driven up to my parents’ house the night before since we had some family activities to attend to that day. We had arrived late, but my dad Continue reading →
When it comes to modeling and RC (well, most things quite frankly), my dad is unquestionably my hero. As some of you know, he is the owner of Jet Hangar Hobbies, Inc. as well as an Academy of Model Aeronautics Hall of Fame member. He is the most talented and skilled builder and flyer I’ve ever known. So, I am excited to be able to feature him in this blog and get contributions from him and my mom (Cyndy). I’ve started a new category entitled “RC Heros” where I will feature posts from my folks. So, welcome to the inaugural post for “Tips from The Father,” written by Cyndy Wolfe.
After a winter hibernation, Larry Wolfe [my dad!], also known locally by friends and fellow modelers (tongue in cheek) as “The Father” or “Da Fath”, has been located! He is engrossed in building a 36″ span Easy Built Models’ Rearwin Speedster rubber band model airplane.
Returning to stick and tissues, where he first began building models, is one of Larry’s favorite activities. Not everything needs to be long-term or a difficult task. It can be a relaxing effort and as simple as 1, 2, 3! Prior to foamies, model airplanes required balsa wood and glue. Putting the sticks together into a something that could and would fly was required. This is still something that EVERYONE can do with a little patience, an xacto knife, and a bottle of CA glue. Depending on size and construction materials, models can be powered by rubber bands, glow engines, gas engines, electric motors, or turbines….the sky’s the limit!Continue reading →