Control Line Scale 2023 Nats

Control Line Scale 2023 Nats

2023 Nats

Control Line Scale 2023 Nats

By Fred Cronenwett | [email protected]

As seen in the May 2023 issue of Model Aviation.

THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY of the first Nats will take place for Control Line (CL) Scale on July 6-9 in Muncie, Indiana, at the International Aeromodeling Center (IAC). There are some items that make this different from past Nats. You can enter Sport, Profile, Fun, Team, 1/2A, and F4B Scale events. Static will start on Site 4 at 8 a.m. Round 1 of the F4B flights will fly later that afternoon. The flying part of CL Scale Nats contest will be flown at Site 6.

F4B will be the US Team Trials for the 2024 FAI F4B CL Scale team. Three team members and one alternate will be selected. You do not need to have an FAI license to compete in the F4B portion of the Nats. If you score high enough and want to be on the team, you’ll then purchase an FAI license at that time. If you don’t want to be on the F4B team, you can still enter the F4B class.

If you decide to enter the F4B competition, read the rules before you show up, because the documentation requirements are quite different from the AMA events. For example, the three-view has to be a minimum size and the judges will be looking for the proper color chip information to be present.

The flight portion is also different. For example, taxiing is an option under the AMA rules, but it is not an option with the F4B rules. FAI rules also do not allow models to be as heavy as the AMA rules allow. The single-engine weight and multiengine maximum weight in F4B are not the same.

For static judging, prepare your model with the static propeller. You can also remove the lead-out guide if that is possible with your model. After static judging is complete, you will prepare your model for the flying competition by installing the flying propeller and anything else that was removed.

Nats is a three-day contest. The first day is for static judging, while days two and three are for four rounds of flying AMA events. Rounds 1 and 2 will be flown on Saturday, July 8. Rounds 3 and 4 will be flown on Sunday, July 9. Your two best flight scores are averaged to calculate your final score. You don’t have to fly all four flights, but you do need two flight scores that you are proud of.

CL Scale models are ready to be static judged at the 2022 Nats.

CL Scale models are ready to be static judged at the 2022 Nats.

Bring tools and spare parts just in case something does not work on Saturday so that you have time to fix the model and get it ready for flying on Sunday. This has happened before, where a model was either damaged or needed some repairs that could not be done at the flying site to make it flyable again. If your Saturday flights don’t work out, you have two more chances on Sunday to get those winning flights in.

If you have never flown at the Nats before, consider making the trip to the 100th anniversary. There will be other CL events happening from July 9 through July 14. Look on the AMA website for full details on the events that are happening around the IAC flying site during the Nats.

You have to preregister for the Nats. Make sure that you do this at least a month before the event starts. AMA does a head count for each event so that they know how many trophies to get.

I have learned more about flying CL Scale at contests such as these than only going out to my local flying site. My first Nats was in 1993. I then flew in the 1995 Nats, returned in 2013, and have flown in the event since then, except for the one that was canceled in 2020.

Regardless of the event you enter, you will have a good time and meet pilots whom you might have read about. You might see something that will inspire your next contest or fun-fly build.

On Saturday night, the National Association of Scale Aeromodelers (NASA) banquet will be held, where the high static awards will be awarded. The NASA Hall of Fame awards for 2023 will also be awarded at this banquet.

3D Printing

I do not have 3D printer myself, but I have seen what can be done with one for Scale applications. I am using 3D-printed details that I purchased from an outside company to create new static propellers.

The propeller hub was made into two pieces. I am modifying a wood propeller blade to make it look like a scale propeller. When all of the blades are modified, I can glue them together and paint them. Stickers can then be added to finish the static propellers.

3D-printed propeller hub details and pilot figures are shown. The 3D-printed propeller hub will be used for the static propeller.

3D-printed propeller hub details and pilot figures are shown. The 3D-printed propeller hub will be used for the static propeller.

While at a local swap meet, I found someone who had 3D-printed some pilot busts and had them for sale. If you have a 3D printer and access to the pilot bust file, you can 3D-print the pilot bust to the size that you need.

Grant Hiestand purchased a 3D model of the Boeing 314 and 3D-printed a section of it as a test to see what the surface would look like. After the 3D print is done, you need to sand away any problem areas and perhaps make a few corrections.

3D-printed propeller hub details and pilot figures are shown. The 3D-printed propeller hub will be used for the static propeller.

A 3D-printed section of Grant Heistand’s Boeing 314 shows the surface quality and other features.

A group of pilots at my local flying site are 3D-printing complete RC models and getting them airborne. It takes them two weeks to print all of the parts for the models. They have noticed that the structure where the landing gear attaches is not as strong as it should be, so they now launch them and belly land in the grass.

The models have mounts for items such as the servos designed into them. The wing is printed in multiple parts then glued together. There are features with the 3D models so that everything properly aligns when assembled.

We still have a lot to learn about 3D-printing parts, but you can use the process to make scalelike details. The nice part is that after you have a model of an item, it can be scaled to the size you need.

Ralph Burnstine

On a sad note, Ralph Burnstine passed away on January 20, 2023. He was an F4B team member and very active in CL Scale.

2023 Contest Season

Starting the season out, the Northwest Regionals will be held Memorial Day weekend. In the Midwest, you have the Nats, Broken Arrow, and the Midwest Regional C/L Championships on Labor Day weekend.

On June 3, the Lafayette Esquadrille will host a fun-fly, giving you a chance to fly your airplanes to get ready for the Nats in July.

Contest Calendar

  • Northwest Regionals: May 26-28; Roseburg, Oregon
  • Spirit of St. Louis Fun Fly: June 3; Buder Park, Valley Park, Missouri
  • CL Scale Nats: July 6-9; Muncie, Indiana
  • Wisconsin CL Championship: August 6; Mukwonago, Wisconsin
  • Midwest Regional C/L Championships: September 2-3; Aurora, Illinois
  • NASA Scale Classic: September 15-17; Muncie, Indiana
  • Broken Arrow CL Stunt & Scale Contest: September 16-17; Buder Park, Valley Park, Missouri

Land softly!


FAI Sporting Code

Section 4—Aeromodelling, Volume F4, Flying

Scale Model Aircraft

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