Print this articlePrint this article

Written by Stan Alexander
A family affair
Event coverage
Photos by the author
As seen in the September 2016 issue of
Model Aviation.

Bonus photos

Model Aviation Magazine - Mint Julep 2016

Event Coverage

For 44 years now, the Mint Julep Scale Meet has signaled the start of contest season in the Midwest. Held at its longtime location at the Rough River Dam State Resort Park in Falls of Rough, Kentucky, the Mint, as many know it, once again provided a high degree of Scale competition. But more importantly, the friendships made throughout the years make it seem much more like a family affair.

For one family, Dale and Mary Arvin, their son, Jeremy, and the rest of the Arvin clan, this is an annual get-together that nobody misses. The event has long been held by the Southern Indiana R/C Modelers, but this year, the National Association of Scale Aeromodelers (NASA) took the reins, with Dale and Jeremy serving as the contest directors.

(L-R) Jeremy, Mary, and Dale Arvin have attended the last 44 Mint Julep contests!

Modelers came from across the eastern US for the May 20-22 event. With a smooth, full-scale, paved runway, models from .40-size all the way up to the 171-inch wingspan Cessna 152 were easy to handle on the asphalt. Static judging took place on Friday before the flying started on Saturday morning. A weather front rolled in on Friday, and Saturday was cool at best. We only flew one round of competition.

Al Kretz’s Stormovik placed second in Designer Scale. This was taken during the bomb drop maneuver.

David Hale’s Balsa USA 1/3-scale Nieuport 17 came in fourth in Fun Scale Novice.

The Saturday night banquet was held at a local hotel restaurant with a great assortment of food and drink. We were all having a good time with the host and emcee, Dale Arvin, who added to the evening with his “bag of fun” for everyone.
It’s a family affair with many modelers bringing their spouses and kids. Birthdays, anniversaries, and other times are all celebrated during the event. Great times for all!

With only one round flown on Saturday because of the weather, we started flying promptly at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday and put in three rounds of competition. The weather couldn’t have been better—sunny and 75° with the wind down the runway most of the day.

Competitors generally help one another. Mark Radcliff (R) listens to his caller, Evan Gaston, who finished less than a point behind Mark in Fun Scale Open.

Blake Neumann’s Ryan started life as an RC Guys ARF. Blake completely refinished the model.

Matt Hanson’s Grumman TBF Avenger was built from a Skyshark Hobbies kit.

At a contest such as this, you can bring any Scale airplane or jet and enjoy practice flying on Friday, and then fly in the competition on Saturday and Sunday. Maneuvers are simple; the takeoff, flyby, Figure Eight, landing, and realism are the only required ones. Add to this list five maneuvers of your choice, and you have your model’s flight program.

This contest is also a qualifying contest for the fall NASA Scale Classic, held just west of Pittsburgh.

The winners of this year’s Mint Julep include Jeff Pike with his Cub in Team Scale; Carl Handley with his P-47 in Fun Scale Novice; Jeremy Arvin flying his Top Flite Corsair in Fun Scale Open (most entries); Bob Patton with his Cessna 152 in Designer Scale; Mike Barbee with his T-34B in Expert; Art Shelton in Expert B class; and Mike Wartman with a much-modified Top Flite P-47 in Sportsman.

Jeff Pike’s J-3 Cub was awarded first in Team Scale.

Jeremy Arvin, along with his dad (R), prepares for another flight with his winning Top Flite Corsair in Fun Scale Open.

Mark Radcliff’s Cessna Aerobat 152 was entered in Fun Scale. Mark, the AMA District III vice president, had a great time during the weekend. His model is a Seagull ARF.

Blake Neumann (L) received the Bob Lirette Flight Achievement Award from Dale Arvin.
The winner of this award is decided by a vote of the contest flight judges.

Jim Neal’s Christen Eagle finished first in Fun Scale Aerobatics.

The high static score at this year’s event went to Al Kretz in Open Scale. His Fokker D.VII had a score of 98.88.

Next year’s event will take place in May.

—Stan Alexander


• National Association of Scale Aeromodelers
• Great Planes Model Manufacturing Company
• Rough River Dam State Resort Park
• Sig Manufacturing Company, Inc.
• Kentucky Department of Parks
• Model Airplane News
• Bob Smith Industries
• Tru-Turn Products
• Sullivan Products
• APC Propellers
• Airborne Media
• RTL Fasteners
• Frank Tiano
• Excel Hobby
• Zona Tool
• Zap Glue


Mint Julep


Rough River Dam State Park

Add new comment