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Written by Stan Alexander
Contributed column
As seen in the April 2016 issue of
Model Aviation.

Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! I’ve been working on my Cessna and looking forward to spring as well as the flying season. The basic fuselage is now framed up and the wing panels are built.

Cessna built several versions of the Airmaster. To my knowledge, the C-165 was the last one manufactured before World War II. The next single-engine, tail-dragger Cessna was the C-190—a completely different aircraft. Cessna discontinued tail-draggers after the C-180 and C-190 to C-195 series, and only built tricycle landing gear-equipped aircraft after that.

Documentation about your Scale model is the starting point, before you ever cut or glue a piece of wood. It’s much easier to document an aircraft before you build it, rather than try to fix something you forgot or changed later.

For Fun Scale, the documentation is simple, but Sport Scale requires more preparation. I like to have the drawings, photos, plans, and any other documentation about the full-scale airplane I’m building, whether it’s going to be a competition model or not.

The Pietenpol Air Camper isn’t a competition airplane. It’s in its element when flying low and slow on a still summer afternoon. The Cessna Airmaster, however, will be entered in Sport Scale competition.

While looking for an attractive color scheme, I came across a black and international orange full-scale aircraft with a white pinstripe. First purchased by the government to map commercial aircraft routes, I believe the paint scheme is original.

I’ve met the owner and talked about the airplane. He even sent me part of the fabric from the fuselage because it had just been recovered and painted. I probably have roughly 75 photos of the full-scale airplane.

Cessna C-165

I’ve also included some additional construction photos of the Jerry Bates-designed 1/4-scale Cessna C-165 Airmaster. The next step is to assemble the forward fuselage and mount the Zenoah G26 gas engine and fuel tank. I hope to have all of that done next month.

Cessna C-165 Construction Photos

Cessna C-165 Airmaster Construction

Learning From Scale Contests

If you look at the “Contest Calendar” section in Model Aviation or the Event Calendar on the AMA website, you will see upcoming contests in your region. They might be Scale contests, Scale fly-ins for warbirds, or Dawn Patrol events. No matter which of these gatherings you choose to attend, you will see some of the best aircraft and builders in the country.

Are you afraid that your model isn’t good enough? Take it anyway. As long as you can fly it, take it and learn from other Scale modelers. Last year, Scale modelers gathered at the Rough River Dam State Resort Park in Falls of Rough, Kentucky, to attend Scale seminars that covered a variety of subjects.

This year, the Mint Julep, a National Association of Scale Aeromodelers (NASA) Scale Classic open contest, will be May 20-22 at Rough River Dam State Resort. All AMA RC Scale classes are offered. If you are thinking about going, make your reservations early. Rooms are limited, and the campground is currently closed for renovations. I look forward to this and many other events throughout the year!

Let me know about activities in your area.

The Toledo Show: R/C Model Expo

The Toledo Show: R/C Model Expo will be held April 1-3, in Toledo, Ohio. Look for several Scale organizations at this trade show. Two Scale seminars will be held on Friday and Saturday in the outer meeting rooms (check the schedule at the event).

Toledo is a great place to get good deals on your modeling supplies, and sometimes it’s the little stuff that is important when building a Scale model. This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the huge variety of models that you’ll see.

2016 AMA Nats

I previously mentioned that the AMA Scale Nats has changed dates this year. Instead of being held in July, the Nats will take place June 24-26. The field will be open on Wednesday and Thursday, June 22-23, for practice, and static judging will be held on Friday, June 24.

RC Nats Event Director John Boyko has a list of events scheduled for each evening, which should enhance your time while in Muncie, Indiana. Movies, a raffle, a banquet, and an auction are all included.

A Hangar 9 F4U Corsair Giant Scale warbird will also be raffled off. Built and ready to fly, the 86-inch model is powered by a Saito 60cc gas three-cylinder motor, with ElectroDynamics switches, sequencing gear doors, bombs, and a drop tank. Air retracts complete the weathered and detailed model.

A de Havilland Sea Hornet takes off during the 2015 Scale Nats. The big twin-engine fighter was electric powered.

Jack Buckley’s 1/3-scale de Havilland Tiger Moth in civilian markings is an impressive model.

Jeff Foley’s scratch-built Messerschmitt Bf 109E is one of the best Bf 109s I’ve ever seen. The weathering on the model is great!

NASA Scale Classic

The 2015 National Association of Scale Aeromodelers (NASA) Scale Classic was held in September at the Lexington Model Airplane Club field in Lexington, Kentucky. In addition to all of the typical AMA RC Scale classes at the Nats and regional events, the NASA Scale Classic features an annual theme.

Mark Lanterman had the idea to start the NASA Scale Classic and has worked hard to make the event a success. I wish him and all of the NASA volunteers who work to make this happen continued success with this year’s event.

The inaugural event’s theme was World War I aircraft. Last year it was pre-World War II racers. The turnout was better than expected. Steve Eagle won the 2015 NASA Scale Classic with a Rearwin Speedster. Steve had ignition problems before the event started, but several of his fellow competitors helped him sort out the issues. These are the types of modelers and friends that you see at Scale contests.

A themed event or class isn’t required to have the full 10 maneuvers, unlike an AMA competition class. These are run under “local rules,” where the flight routine can be shortened and the class is fitted in with all of the others. The class can be held at the beginning or end of the day, depending on how many airplanes need to be flown. Like other Scale classes, it’s fun.

The 2016 NASA Scale Classic will have a different themed event: WW II trainers. These models can be anything from a Piper J-3 Cub, to a North American AT-6, or a Cessna T-50—as long as the aircraft was used for military training. I know there are many Fairchild PT-19s and North American T-6s out there, in addition to all of the J-3 Cubs!

Look for more information about the 2015 NASA Scale Classic in upcoming issues of the online section of this column, as well as information about the 2016 event.

Fair skies and tailwinds.

NASA Scale Classic Photos

Model Aviation Magazine - 2015 NASA Scale Classic



Cessna Airmaster plans

RC Airplanes Simplified

Bob Holman Plans
(909) 885-3959

The Toledo Show: R/C Model Expo

AMA Nats

John Boyko


Minnesota Scale and Giant Scale Big Birds

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