Red Flag

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Written by Barry Vaught A World-Class RC Jet Competition Event coverage Photos by the author As seen in the July 2016 issue of Model Aviation.

Something magical happened at Paradise Field in Lakeland, Florida, during three days in early March that will be remembered as one of the epic international RC jet events of 2016. More than a year ago, Frank Tiano thought that jet pilots and builders would enjoy a new aerobatic jet event where they could compete with each other on a higher level. While sitting around with his friend, Peter Goldsmith, the pair decided to name the event Red Flag. Frank would handle acquiring and preparing the venue and he recruited Ray Labonte to be in charge of everything else. The team concept worked well and the inaugural Red Flag RC Jet Competition was born.
(L-R) Announcer Sam Wright, Frank Tiano, and Ray Labonte all did an outstanding job of coordinating the inaugural Red Flag event.

During the March 7-9 event, two flightlines were in operation. There were several event classes with some pilots flying in more than one class. The competition was fierce and very close in some of the categories. It was impressive to see the jet pilots performing the flight patterns and freestyle maneuvers so well. The inbound/outbound flight paths were separated for safety and the pilots were asked to perform a photo pass, which would also help alert the next pilot to prepare for flight. Ray brought a team down from Maine to make sure everything went smoothly, and it did. Thank you to AMA Education Director Bill Pritchett and the AMA for providing real-time scoring. The audience participated in the judging, which was live online at the Pattern Score Board (see “Sources”). There was also a giant-screen monitor where the pilots and fans could view the latest scores. The morning classes included Scale, Sport, Electric, and Intro Jet. Peter Goldsmith earned the top score in the Aerobatic Scale Jet class. He said that it felt great to fly his Skymaster F-19F Cougar in the Scale Pattern and that this aircraft was the best choice for the Scale class.
The first Red Flag Scale Jet Pattern champion, Peter Goldsmith, with his Skymaster F-9F Cougar.

Scott Geller’s 1:5.5-scale Mibo A-10 Warthog weighs 55 pounds. This stunning aircraft has a 118-inch wingspan.

James Martin’s 1/7-scale Skymaster F-14 with its swing wing is powered by Jet Central Cheetah turbines.

Jack Diaz’s Huff BVM F-86 was one of many impressive military jets in attendance.

Jason Shulman earned the top score in the Aerobatic Sport Jet category. Jason wanted to fly in a jet Pattern contest because he is a diehard Pattern pilot who loves competition. He said he only gets to fly jets once a year and the Red Flag schedule was perfect timing. Jason feels that the best way to prepare for a jet Pattern event is to participate in regular Pattern events, or at least to go and watch for a day. He suggested asking pilots questions (but not while they’re in the ready-box to fly) and questioning anything that you don’t understand. Check out the National Society of Radio Controlled Aerobatics (NSRCA) website for information that could easily translate into jet Pattern flying.
Archie Stafford’s 35-pound Tomahawk Futura 2.5m jet placed third in the Sport Jet class.

David Malchione Jr.’s BVM Ultra Bandit relied on a JetCat P-200 turbine for power.

Carlos Silva earned the top score in the Electric Jet class and Jose Melendes earned the top score in the Aerobat Intro category. The afternoon was filled with music, multicolor smoke trails, skywritten hearts, formation flying, and amazing talent. Classes that were flown included Team and Individual Freestyle Jet. Californians Mike Adams and Ken McSpadden (Team Viper) earned the top score in the Aerobatic Team Freestyle and Italian competitor Sebastiano Silvestri earned the top score in the Individual Freestyle. Sebastiano Silvestri is a 15-time Italian champion and two-time World Cup F3A champion. He flew some of the same patterns in Red Flag that he flew in F3A.
Red Flag Team Freestyle champions Kenny McSpadden (L) and Mike Adams display their Skymaster Vipers and well-deserved trophies.

Sebastiano Silvestri flew his Sebart Avanti XL with smoke on during the Individual Freestyle competition. His outstanding performance earned the top score in that class.

The Red Flag Individual Freestyle champion, Sebastiano Silvestri (L), along with Daniela Salinetti.

Azza Stevens’ green Rebel Pro was easy to see in the air. The JetCat P-180-powered model earned third place in the Individual Freestyle class.

Team Horizon’s Marc Petrak and Stefan Wurm flew Precision Team Aerobatics in the Freestyle Team class.

It was great to see possible future pilots involved. Pilot Boli Muentes daughter, Marley, and pilot Jose Melendes daughter, Jayleigh, have influence over their fathers’ respective pilot figures and color schemes. “Major Marley” is the pilot figure in Boli’s Scale F-16, and Jayleigh convinced her dad to use the Disney movie Frozen’s color scheme on his pink Dolphin Sport jet with “Anna” as the pilot. Congratulations to Frank, Ray, and everyone else who was involved for the entertaining inaugural Red Flag RC Jet Competition 2016. Red Flag 2017 is planned for November 1-4, 2017. For more information, visit Frank’s website listed in the “Sources” section. —Barry Vaught

Red Flag Final Standings

Sport Jet 1) Jason Shulman 2) Sebastiano Silvestri 3) Archie Stafford Scale Jet 1) Peter Goldsmith 2) Bernhard Kager 3) Mathias Hocke Electric 1) Carlos Silva 2) Tyler McCormack 3) Bob Violett Aerobat Intro Category 1) Jose Melendes 2) David Malchione Sr. 3) Shneider Fajardo Freestyle 1) Sebastiano Silvestri 2) Quique Somenzini 3) Azza Stevens Team Freestyle 1) Team Viper: Mike Adams, Ken McSpadden 2) Team Horizon: Marc Petrak, Stefan Wurm 3) The Ultra Bandits: David Malchione Jr., David Malchione Sr.


Primary Sponsors Zap Model Airplane News Associate Sponsors Horizon Hobby Spektrum Supporting Sponsors Fly RC RC Sport Flyer EZ Balancer Florida Jets Fly Girls

Bonus photos

Model Aviation Magazine - Red Flag 2016


Red Flag/Frank Tiano Enterprises Jet Pilots Organization Pattern Score Board NSRCA

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