2023 CL Scale Nats

2023 CL Scale Nats

2023 CL Scale Nats

Control Line Scale

By Fred Cronenwett | clscale7@gmail.com

As seen in the November 2023 issue of Model Aviation.

THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY of the first AMA Nats was a great celebration of Control Line (CL) Scale competition and friendship. This year, a wide variety of models was entered, including two flying boats, bombers, biplanes, and aircraft from World War I. Classes included Fun Scale, 1/2A, Profile, Sport Scale, Team Scale, and the F4B team trials.

Grant Hiestand’s Grumman Albatross was flown in Fun Scale. It has wheels in the hull and wingtip floats. Photo by Carl Leaman.

Grant Hiestand’s Grumman Albatross was flown in Fun Scale. It has wheels in the hull and wingtip floats. Photo by Carl Leaman.

Similar to previous years, the weather altered the schedules, but the event directors, Peter Bauer and Allen Goff, were able to get all rounds completed. The sky was clear with a light wind on Friday for static judging, but because of the number of entries, we were not able to get to the CL flying site until 2 p.m. Pilots were instructed to head to that area that afternoon because the weather forecast did not look promising for Saturday morning. The first rounds of F4B and the AMA events were flown on Friday afternoon. F4B flew round two on Friday night at 8 p.m., so everyone had a long day.

On Saturday morning, it rained hard enough that everyone stayed indoors until the weather cleared around noon. Pilots were given the opportunity to fly round two of the AMA events, but most people passed on it because of the wind. The weather improved on Sunday for the final AMA and F4B rounds. Pilots will typically get their two best flights on Saturday and not fly as much on Sunday.

The National Association of Scale Aeromodelers (NASA) banquet had a record number of people attend on Saturday night. The CL Scale pilots were well represented in the group.

Grant Hiestand was inducted into the CL Scale Hall of Fame. He has won multiple first-place awards with his 1/3-scale Spacewalker and also wrote the proposal for 2.4 GHz to be allowed in CL Scale. Grant also built some of the Scale models that were used in the movie The Aviator when he worked at the studio. The Aviator featured the Hughes XF-11 prototype aircraft.

Keith Trostle brought his .020-powered XF-11 for the 1/2A Scale event and won high static for his efforts.

Team Scale only had two teams enter this year. Mike McHenry and Allen had an Extra 300, while Steve Kretschmer and Teodorico Terry entered the P-39 that Steve flew to a first-place finish last year in Sport Scale. In the end, the scoring was very close and Steve and Teodorico placed first.

1/2A Scale typically has the highest number of entries, but this year, we had 10 entries in Fun Scale, so everyone knew the final scores would be very close. Because there are only 10 static points, it comes down to the flying points. This year, a 96 or higher was needed for a flight score to place in Fun Scale.

The static scores in Fun Scale varied between nines and 10s. That one point would prove to be the difference in how people placed after all of the flights were complete. Seven pilots had flight scores that were 94 or higher, but to place in the top three, you had to have a flight score of 96 or higher.

Mike flew his P-39 to first place with two nearly perfect flights. I competed with Walt Brownell’s A-26 Invader, which he flew to a first-place finish in the 2001 CL Profile Scale Nats, for second place in Fun Scale. Steve flew a foam Messerschmitt Me 262 ARF with retracts and bombs to a third-place finish. The Me 262 looked awesome with gear that retracted, along with electric ducted-fan motors.

Grant was inducted into the CL Scale Hall of Fame.

Grant Hiestand was inducted into the CL Scale Hall of Fame.

Keith Trostle is shown with his German Mistel composite aircraft, which is a Junkers Ju 88 on the bottom and a Messerschmitt Bf 109 on the top. It has three-line throttle control for all three motors.

Keith Trostle is shown with his German Mistel composite aircraft, which is a Junkers Ju 88 on the bottom and a Messerschmitt Bf 109 on the top. It has three-line throttle control for all three motors.

Models are lined up and ready to be static judged on Friday.

Models are lined up and ready to be static judged on Friday.

Lynn Boss flew his O.S. .90 four-stroke-engine-powered Top Flite P-47 that features flaps, retractable landing gear, and bombs.

Lynn Boss flew his O.S. .90 four-stroke-engine-powered Top Flite P-47 that features flaps, retractable landing gear, and bombs.

Grant flew a foam Grumman Albatross ARF that had wheels in the fuselage and wingtip wheels that kept the airplane level. The rules allow for floatplanes to be equipped with wheels and not have a point deduction for them during static judging.

Another model flown in Fun Scale was a Royal Senior F4U Corsair that was built and flown by Lynn Boss. This is the same model that he flew in the 1993 Sport Scale Nats. The model has not been repainted, modified, or altered in 30 years. It has three-line control with a bomb drop using down-elevator and an O.S. 90 four-stroke engine for power.

Peter took first place in Sport Scale, flying his Britten Norman Islander with electric power. Lynn earned a second-place trophy with his O.S. .90 four-stroke-engine-powered P-47 with flaps, a bomb drop, and retractable landing gear. And yes, his tail wheel also retracts. Both the tail wheel and the main wheels have sequenced gear doors, so when the gear is fully retracted, it looks just like a full-scale P-47 aircraft in flight.

This was also the FAI F4B team trials for the 2024 USA team to travel to Romania to compete in the F4 World Championships for Scale Model Aircraft. Mike, Allen, and Peter were selected for the team based upon the points earned during the static judging and flights. There were five entries in F4B.

Peter flew a Britten-Norman Islander. He had two models using the same markings: one was flown in Sport Scale, while the other was flown in F4B. Allen flew his Nieuport 11, and Mike flew a Piper Cub built from a Sig Mfg. kit.

Land softly, and I hope to see you at the 2024 Nats!

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