Air Scoop Newsletter
The above photo is about 20 years old, it shows the pilots and their sport and scale planes at a statewide Combat Meet held at our Field. Notice the different styles of aircraft and also, all pilots wearing helmets.
There are been some renewed interest in combat in the Club, so thought I'd show a little history of the sport from my experiences and planes. Combat was popular for about 3 or 4 years. Most planes were considered disposable, hard part is often a receiver or engine would be ruined, which got expensive. On one particular meet in Great Falls I lost 4 planes. One I lost, due to ailerons being backwards, then another time I was landing and somebody walked in front of me while landing, plane totaled. Then two planes lost in mid airs. The goal of combat is to cut the other guys crepe paper streamer, but sometimes you aim and miss the streamer and hit the plane. We normally had about five feet of string behind the plane and then 20 feet of crepe paper. At the time electrics and lipo batteries were not available, so all flyers were allowed to use up to a .25 size nitro engine. There is actually a special AMA section that has rules etc for combat flying:
Several guys got together at Dan Wood's house in February and had had a build party for a Flite Test Bloody Baron. It was a cold and snowy night, I bet more guys would of attended if the weather would of been better. My wife and I got a pretty good sinus colds and didn't leave the house for about two weeks or I would of been there. We may have future build sessions during the month, please support the Club activities.
Looking back at history, scale combat became more popular at first than sport combat. Our first attempt was combat Cubs, these were not too scale like, and were balsa built with a foam wing covered in balsa. They were painted mostly with latex paint. The Cubs were heavy for their size and you really had to give them a hefty throw to make them fly.
During our second year, our scale planes got more scale looking and they flew better, they were more stream lined and lighter.
When we got into sport combat, the planes were lighter yet, easier to fly. Balsa was the main building material, but we also experimented with gutter pipe fuselages and coroplast, sort of a plastic cardboard, which we used for wings and tail surfaces.
These are just a sample of the combat planes I had, I believe I had over 20. Billings hosted a national combat contest and I went to that twice, took three planes, came home with none. I have an hour VHS video on one of the Billings Combat meets, its been produced professionally. I will loan it to any member who wants to look at what combat looks like with 9 or 10 planes in the air at the same time, its fierce. So, I'm not sure if combat will make a comeback, but with the use of foam board, electrics etc, the price and build times have surely come down from what they were. I can't wait to finish my Bloody Baron and see how well it flies with a streamer.