TOP GUN 2014
by Bob Violett

    Two days of rain and five days of crosswinds added to the usual challenges of the World's most prestigious scale competition.  In its 26 years of blessed weather conditions, perhaps we were overdue.  The strong, and practiced, and tenacious pilots and teams, survived. The Pro-Am classes started flying on Wednesday and thus completed 3 rounds while the more serious Masters, Expert, Team Scale, and Unlimited classes were decided on one "make or break" round of flying plus their static scores. 
  Because the weather guessers kept changing their predictions of the rain stoppage, the "Top Gun" administration kept adjusting the plan to complete the event.  The rain denied a day and a half of scale judging and competition flying. Only because of the caliber and experience of the administrative crew, did "Top Gun" conclude with a fair and just awarding of the coveted "Top Gun" trophies.
   Because "Top Gun" has grown in its preeminence and popularity, and thus attracts several hundred people to Lakeland, Florida,
Mr. Tiano has the support of the Lakeland Airport Authorities.  Improvements to the field drainage, runway run-offs, and possibly an additional North / South runway, will make Top Gun 2015 even better.

  Thank you Frank Tiano.

As you will see in the following photo gallery, the BVM competitors did well.

Photo Gallery
click on images to enlarge

Greg Arnette recently rejoined the hobby as a turbine jet modeler.  He really enjoyed competing in the Pro Am Jet Class with this BVM F-16 with KingTech K-140G power. Greg likes this model so much, he now has a second one in the extra HiViz Edwards Air Force Chase Plane scheme.



Peter Goldsmith enjoys the challenges of R/C Jets.  He placed 3rd in the Expert division with this powered Skymaster F-104 and 3rd in Pro-Jet with a Skymaster Couger.
Greg Wright flew the BVM Sabre in Golden Hawks Livery in the "Sportsman" class.  Greg handled the JetCat P-120 powered F-86 well in the challenging conditions.
Andy Andrews also chose a BVM 80" Sabre for his Top Gun "Sportsman" class effort.  Assisting is Jim McEwan who also did well in this class with a BVM Rafale B01.
 Here Jim is getting his BVM Rafale ready for flight.  Jim describes the Rafale BO-1 as "Truly an awesome ride!"
Steve Burnett entered his first jet competition with this JetCentral Cheetah powered BVM Blue Angel Phantom.  As Steve can attest, the Phantom handles the crosswind better than most other subjects.
Forth place in the "Expert" class was accomplished by Scott Miller from Rochester, New York flying his extremely detailed early BVM MiG-15.  Beaufighter pilot, Dave Wigley assists.
Bob Violett's all electric A-10 Warthog placed 7th in the Pro-Jet category.  This 89" model is propelled by twin EVF ~3~ 12S "9er" powerplants.  It is fast and quiet.

Bob's A-10 also won the "Best Electric Performance" award. 

Jet puppy "Peanut" sought refuge from the cool and wet Friday afternoon unseasonable frontal invasion of Central Florida.
Jason Bauer, an Orlando jet jockey, flew this BVM F-16 to 4th place in the "Sportsman" category.  This KingTech K-140G powered Falcon sports a brilliant Texas ANG scheme.
Team Scale 3rd place winners were Mike Grady and Dustin Buescher with this BVM MiG-15 on EVF 12S "9er" power.  Mike researched this "Early Parade" paint scheme and was the first to apply it to a BVM model.  The model is extremely detailed as it must be for this level of scale competition.  As with all of the serious events, the weather interruption allowed only one flight on Sunday to determine the winners.

This Hi-Viz scheme is now available on BVM MiG-15 ARF. 

This all electric, EVF 12S "9er" powered F-80C allowed Bob to win 3rd place in this Masters Class.  This all composite BVM kit has some of the new "Jet-Metal" Authentic Aluminum Paint applied to enhance several panels.  Static score was 95.

See for more information on the kit and paint. 

Dustin's Skymaster F-104G Star Fighter with KingTech K-180G power won the "Best Jet Performance" award and 5th place in the Pro-Jet class.  The F-104 is a challenging project but with the BVM Success Pack and good thumbs, it does work well and is a real crowd pleaser.


Rod Snyder from Piney Flats, Tennessee campaigned these two BVM F-100 D's to a 3rd place in Unlimited and 5th place in Expert classes.  Rod has been perfecting these Hun's and his flying skills for several years.

Rod gives lots of credit to the caller / helper skills of Chad Miller.

The Best Scale Cockpit trophy was awarded to Rod's F-100D (left) at the Awards Banquet Saturday evening.

Second place "Expert" was accomplished by Scott and Betsy Harris with this fabulous BVM 80" Sabre Jet that handled the crosswind well. All of the options and a tough landing gear system are important features for a competitive model.

Masters Class winner, and Mr. "Top Gun" for 2014 was David Ribbe with his 90" MiG-15.  This 5 year project was a sole effort from C.A.D. design, to molds, to flying prototype.  Every part of the model was created in David's Illinois home workshop.  It is a perfect subject for competition.  The model was slightly damaged on a test flight Tuesday (practice day) and then repaired at the BVM factory by David and Qui Que Somenzini.



Notice to all BVM / Skymaster Top Gun Pilots.  The weather interfered with the usual photo coverage.  If you can help us with pictures of you and your model, we would like to add them to this page.

Pro Jet Class            
Rank Number Contestant Model Static Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Final
1 PJ04 Diaz Sr., Jack Cougar 25.000 92.125 94.125 95.250 119.688
3 PJ08 Goldsmith, Peter Cougar F9F 25.000 28.625 94.250 94.000 119.125
4 PJ03 Diaz, Gerardo F-100 25.000 91.625 92.750 95.250 119.000
5 PJ02 Buescher, Dustin F-104 25.000 92.625 94.125 93.875 119.000
7 PJ13 Violett, Bob A-10 Warthog 25.000 83.500 92.250 93.625 117.938
12 PJ14 Wood, Tommy MiG-15 25.000 89.250 86.000 0.000 112.625
13 PJ07 Foushi, Greg A-10 25.000 84.375 84.250 0.000 109.313
Am Jet            
Rank Number Contestant Model Static Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Final
4 S07 Bauer, Jason F-16 25.000 92.125 93.250 89.250 117.688
5 S18 Gonzalez, RJ MiG-15 25.000 94.375 90.625 88.125 117.500
12 S27 McEwen, Jim Rafale B01 25.000 87.750 93.375 75.375 115.563
21 S20 Hou, Barry F-16 25.000 90.000 87.875 0.000 113.938
25 S03 Andrews, Andy F-86 25.000 92.375 81.375 81.875 112.125
27 S43 Wright, Greg F-86 25.000 82.625 90.625 0.000 111.625
28 S11 Burnett, Steve F-4 Phantom 25.000 89.375 83.000 0.000 111.188
Expert Class            
Rank Number Contestant Model Static Round 1   Final  
2 E10 Harris, Scott F-86 96.083 93.000   189.083  
3 E08 Goldsmith, Peter F-104 96.333 92.750   189.083  
4 E12 Miller, Scott MiG-15 BIS 95.667 93.000   188.667  
5 E16 Snyder, Rod R-100D 97.750 90.125   187.875  
Unlimited Class            
Rank Number Contestant Model Static Round 1   Final  
3 U09 Aerosports, Team Snyder & Snyder, Rod F-100D 95.583 92.375   187.958  
Masters Scale            
Rank Number Contestant Model Static Round 1   Final  
3 M07 Violett, Bob F-86 (LOCKHEED) 95.000 92.000   187.000  
Team Scale            
Rank Number Contestant Model Static Round 1   Final  
3 T02 Grady, Mike & Buescher, Dustin MiG-15 BIS 92.750 96.000   188.750  

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