TOP GUN 2012
Always A Challenge
by Bob Violett

   We attend several jet sporting events every year, but Top Gun is the only truly competitive event on our calendar.  A scale competition such as Top Gun offers extra challenges for a participant to accept and master.  First, your model must be built, finished, and detailed to exacting standards that will earn the approval of static judges and your peers at the event.  Second, your model and its power and control systems, must be in perfect working order and in the case at Paradise Field, be able to handle the less than perfect turf runway. The third element of challenge is that the pilot must be ready to perform on command.  The wind, sun angle, traffic pattern, etc. may not be your preference, but one must fly as the contest management’s schedule dictates.
   The Top Gun rules of engagement have necessarily adapted to changes in technology and the proliferation of scale ARF airframes.  The Pro-Am event reflects this state-of-the-art and attracts the largest number of very talented pilots and the “Builder of the Model” rule does not apply.  The Pro-Am category contributes heavily to the total number of participants and the spectator enjoyment.  The number of entries in the Masters, Expert, and Team Scale categories have declined in recent years because of the extreme effort to create competitive models and the diminishing number of modelers who have the time, experience, and talent to do so.
   Under the direction of Frank Tiano, the Top Gun staff offers competitors the most professionally administered scale event in the world and we feel gratified just to be a part of it.
   Personally, I have never found fault with the staff of static and flight judges during my 23 years of making the effort to be part of this rewarding experience.

Photo Gallery
click on images to enlarge

  Horizon's Team Manager Peter Goldsmith flew this Skymaster T-33 to 7th place in Expert Scale.  Peter started with an all white kit and painted and detailed it sufficiently to qualify for the "Expert" category.
  Twin MiG-15's with EVF ~3~ 12S power taxi out for a formation demonstration.  Pilots, Pablo Fernandez and Ali Machinchy are doing the best jet formation routine we have seen.
   R.J. Gonzalez is applying some weathering details to his MiG-15 during practice days at Top Gun.
   Kiko Goncalves placed 9th in the Sportsman Class with this BVM Fury ARF on EVF ~3~ 12s power and a lot of help from dad.  It's great to see the new generation of modelers progress.
  The highly contested Pro Division was won by Dustin Buescher with the Skymaster Cougar on Rhino power.  It took a few 97+ flight scores to win.

  A gathering of BVM Eagles garnered 4 of the top 5 places in Expert.
L-R are Dustin (F9 Cougar), Rei Gonzalez (2nd Expert BVM F-4 Twin EVF), Jack Diaz (1st Expert BVM F-86),
Tommy Wood (5th Expert BVM F-4 Twin EVF), and Scott Harris (4th Expert BVM F-86)
  For the 2nd year in a row, Jack Diaz won the Expert division with his BVM F-86 "Huff".

BV ended up in the middle of the "Pro" pack with this "Nato" scheme F-86F.


BVM's contribution to the noontime demo was "All Electric".
Pilots L-R: Bob Violett, Dustin Buescher, Gerado Diaz, Franko Mauro, Ricardo Mirandez, Pablo, and Ali.
EJets L-R: Electra, Sabre, Electra, E-Bandit, E-Bandit, MiG-15, and MiG-15.

  This all electric F-80 (engine, landing gear, and wheel brakes) was entered in the Masters Class and would have been quite competitive but was severely damaged in a mid-air collision during practice at Paradise Field. Huge WWI biplanes and jets just don't mix well. The flight paths and speeds are incompatible.  The Shooting Star will fly again.

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