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Written by various authors
A look back at the 2017 competition
Event coverage
Read the full feature in the November 2017 issue of
Model Aviation.

The 2017 Nats, an annual favorite event for many pilots from across the country and around the world, kicked off June 23 and concluded August 3. Most of the events were held at the International Aeromodeling Center (IAC) in Muncie, Indiana, while two were held in other locations.

For the first time, the RC Aerobatics (Pattern) Nats were held in Blytheville, Arkansas, at the historic Eaker Air Force Base, which is known today as the Blytheville Air Force Base. National Radio Controlled Scale Aerobatics (NSRCA) officials moved the event there in hopes of attracting pilots from other areas of the US to the competition. This year’s July 25-29 contest had 76 registered pilots.

For the second consecutive year, the Indoor Free Flight (FF) Nats took place at the Rantoul National Aviation Center, in Rantoul, Illinois. The number of competitors was slightly less this year, but those who attended took advantage of some site improvements.

To see more from the 2017 Nats, view albums for each event on the AMA Flickr page at You can also read daily reports in NatsNews at



As usual free flight yet again took its traditional back seat to other AMA categories in your summation video. Viewers unfamiliar with FF, with a few exceptions, would be hard pressed to even know they were looking at FF models or modelers. There were certainly no shortage of repetitive tight shots showing control line fliers going round and round or- as to be expected- RC guys holding their transmitters. Were any of the many interviewees FF fliers? It's anyone's guess. This video was sort of a moving version of a typical issue of Model Aviation insofar as content is concerned.

Robert Clemens
AMA 29634

Your video for the 2017 NATs shows lots of folks enjoying the hobby. But I was disappointed that it did not show the CL combat planes in action, although there were many, many clips of three guys walking around in a tight circle, looking up.
I used to watch combat flying with tremendous enjoyment, but that was more than 60 years ago. Why don't you show this action in your video so more people can have a look at it?

The AMA Nats coverage video was something new we tried this year. This was the first time the Nats has been covered in this manner and it was a big undertaking throughout the summer. We did our best to represent every discipline of the hobby that can be found at the Nats. Unfortunately, weather and scheduling changes made this complicated for us at times. We appreciate hearing from you and thank you for taking the time to watch!

-MA Staff

Unless this is only meant for those very familiar with various classes and disciplines, it would be much more informative if what was happening was spoken about instead of repetitive comments about the relative goodness certain folks were enjoying. And the mixing of events where one follows the other in quick succession and then later back to the first is disorienting. A concerned narrative of the action in an event and complete coverage before hitting the next would be much more professional.

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