Gene's Combat planes for every occasion: Left row, front to back: Wido Satan, Cheap Imitation, Yegad, Millennium Underdog, Yuvenko 1/2-A Combat plane. Center row, front to back: ARF Flite Streak, VooDoo, Fawf, Yuvenko F2D plane. Right row, front to back: Two small trainer planes, Demon, Dogfighter, Lil' Buzzard. Gene Pape photo.
Scattered focus, and the 2018 Regionals
By Gene Pape
What to do?
I just returned from the Raider Roundup disappointed. Not because it rained which led to my decision to withdraw from the Speed Limit event. Not because I didn’t fly well and finished poorly. It is because the 1/2A Combat engine which I am used to performing without problems was a real pain. If it hadn’t been for Greg Machen, I wouldn’t have been able to make it work at all. This was, of course, self-inflicted. I hadn’t run the engine for nearly two years.
All of that brings me to an issue I have been pondering for some time. How should one approach modeling in general and Combat in particular. Several of us are very bad examples of how to approach this. Some dabble in all aspects of modeling. Some focus on one aspect. I love AMA Fast Combat. I don’t like FAI Combat, probably because I’ve never taken the time to really get into it. It’s time to start planning for next year’s Northwest Regionals and I find myself again wondering what events we should have.
People in the Pacific Northwest have tended toward 1/2A, Speed Limit, and AMA Fast. People in the rest of the country seem to focus on F2D, F2D Fast and Speed Limit. While our traditional events require three completely different models and engines, the events flown most in the rest of the country allow competitors to use the same models and engines for all three events. This means that you work with your equipment all of the time and are less likely to show up at a contest with an engine you haven’t used for two years that doesn’t work. It also means you don’t have to keep up with three different kinds of models, engines and support equipment.
That also brings up the question of what to practice with. One answer, if you just fly the F2D equipment-based events is to use the same models you fly in contests. These may be repaired models and outdated engines, but still the same basic stuff. Or do you use something else? Maybe models that are more rugged. Maybe models that are less expensive. Maybe models that are easy to build.
As for myself, in addition to having models for all currently popular classes I have quick-to-build and rugged models that can be flown either with Nelsons or less-powerful engines, Vintage Fast Combat models, TeeDee-powered models and Cox reed-valve-engine-powered models. And, I keep coming up with ideas for new things to build. I can’t seem to make myself focus.
I would like to hear from those of you planning to attend next year’s Northwest Regionals as to what events you would like to see. And comments on how you keep yourself from being as scattered as I am.
This page was upated Sept. 27, 2017