TOP GUN 2017

May 3 - May 7

The Ultimate Expression of Scale Modeling and Precision Flying

    The 29th International Scale Invitational event was a rewarding experience for a record number of competition pilots.

The photo gallery below and the results reflect the dominance of BVM customers in the final standings.

Photo Gallery
click on images to enlarge

Lots of Top Gun trophies were garnered by pilots and their BVM Jets. L-R Greg Arnette (1/5th BVM F-16), Tim Len (A-4 Skyhawk by Skymaster), Boli Muentes (1/6th BVM F-16), Jimmy Safie (L-39), Mike Gregory (MiG-15) Chad Miller & Rod Snyder (MiG-15), Rob Lynch (1/5th BVM F-16), Dustin Buescher (1/5th BVM F-16), and Scott Miller (MiG-15).
Jimmy Safie from El Salvador, flew this BVM PNP L-39 to third place in X Class and a 1/6th scale F-16 to 4th place in "Sportsman" Class. Wife Bessie, offers enthusiastic support.
Brad Hughes assisted by Louis Wellen prepare the BVM 1/6th scale F-16 in New York ANG markings for a successful flight in "X" Class that was rewarded with an 8th place finish.
"X" Class winner for the 2nd year in a row was Dustin Buescher.  Good friend and fellow Horizon Rep. David Payne, spotted for Dustin.
Scott Harris has done well with this 1/4 scale YAK-130 powered by twin KingTech engines. 6th place in "Expert" was awarded to Scott this outing.
Greg Arnette flies all the BVM PNP jets. The 1/5 scale F-16 is one of his favorites for sure. Greg was awarded 4th place in "X" Class with this Arkansas Air National Guard beauty.
Greg's model was captured at sunset by professional photographer David Hart.
Greg Foushi's very brilliant 1/6th F-16 placed 6th in "X" Class. Lot's of external stores added to the "Wow" factor.
This is Bob's vintage F-80C that placed 8th in "Expert" Class. Notice the Drop Tanks on the scale judging table verses those that Kirby Smith is helping Bob to attach in the flight line start-up area. A Top Gun rule allows Drop Tanks and Ordnance that is to be tossed in flight to be painted differently. The use of HiViz markings helps when it's time to pick them up from the grassfield.
Orlando jet enthusiast Bill Freeland campaigned this 1/6th scale BVM F-16 in the "Sportsman" Class. Of course, it is JR guided and KingTech powered.

Note how this Alaskan ANG scheme is visible because of contrasts of light and dark colors.

This is another great photo of BVM F-16's at Top Gun 2017. Models belong to Rob Lynch and Boli Muentes. Photo by David Hart.
Boli assisted Scott Harris with the popular BVM PNP 1/5th scale F-16 in the ThunderBird scheme .
NOTE: If you have a photo of yourself and a BVM model at Top Gun, send it in and we will include it in this article.


  One of Frank Tiano's most challenging tasks to make this event happen is filling all of the requirements for static and flight judges. A total of 18 salaried experts are on duty for the 5 day event. John Smith from Massachusetts takes care of the Flight Line, Bob Curry out of Lakeland, FL. is the Captain of all static judges and Bill Holland from Oklahoma is the Chief Judge.  All of these guys are experienced Scale Modelers!

  Rules are adjusted and classes altered, to keep up with the sport's trends.  All of these judges have been regulars, some since the first Top Gun in 1989! For the competitors, it is a learning experience to present credible documentation and a model that matches. A background in precision aerobatic flying gives pilots an edge in most flight judges eyes.

Results from BVM Entries

X Class              
Rank Number Contestant Model Static Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Final
1 X02 Buescher, Dustin F-16 96.083 96.500 95.750 97.750 96.625 193.041
2 X12 Lynch, Rob F-16C 94.250 96.000 96.875 97.375 97.875 191.625
3 X13 Safie, Jimmy L-39 Albatros 94.417 94.750 94.500 95.875 96.250 190.042
4 X01 Arnette, Greg F-16C 93.833 95.750 96.625 91.000 95.250 189.708
6 X06 Foushi, Greg F-16 93.167 91.625 93.875 96.125 92.125 187.209
7 X07 Harris, Scott F-16 87.583 96.500 95.750 97.750 95.500 184.250
8 X09 Hughes, Brad F-16 87.750 95.000 97.875 95.875 94.875 183.000
Expert Class              
Rank Number Contestant Model Static Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Final
5 E15 Miller, Scott MiG-15 98.667 93.375 93.625 93.250 97.125 193.375
6 E12 Harris, Scott YAK-130 95.833 97.000 96.375 98.375 96.875 193.250
8 E20 Violett, Bob F-80C 94.583 93.375 94.500 94.500 94.250 189.000
10 E03 Boyer, Rick MiG-15 BIS 96.917 93.750 91.375 84.125 0.000 186.667
Pro Jet Class              
Rank Number Contestant Model Static Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Final
4 PJ11 Lynch, Rob Cougar F9F 25.00 96.375 95.00 94.125 97.000 121.125
5 PJ04 Diaz, Jack L-39 25.000 86.375 95.375 96.250 96.000 120.875
6 PJ03 Diaz, Gerardo Cougar F9F 25.000 92.625 92.875 97.000 97.625 120.833
10 PJ12 Muentes, Boli F-16 25.000 90.625 95.125 92.000 96.375 119.500
11 PJ10 Hughes, Brad F-16 25.000 86.375 94.375 95.125 89.875 118.125
12 PJ01 Arnette, Greg Cougar F9F 25.000 91.750 90.250 92.875 94.125 117.917
Sportsman Class              
Rank Number Contestant Model Static Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Final
2 S33 Len, Tim A-4 Skyhawk 25.000 95.375 87.875 93.500 95.875 119.917
4 S43 Safie, Jimmy F-16 25.000 93.500 93.500 94.250 94.125 118.958
19 S25 Freeland, Bill F-16 25.000 93.875 91.500 88.500 0.000 116.292
23 S51 Wellen, Louis F-16 25.000 89.750 91.875 88.375 90.375 115.667
Unlimited Class              
Rank Number Contestant Model Static Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Final
4 U10 Team, Snyder & Snyder, Rod MiG-15 94.917 95.625 91.000 95.125 95.750 190.417
6 U03 Team YAK, 130 & Clark, Randy YAK 130 95.167 90.250 84.125 87.500 0.000 181.125
Team Scale Class              
Rank Number Contestant Model Static Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Final
2 T02 Grady, Mike & Buescher, Dustin MiG-15B 92.583 96.625 94.500 97.125 96.750 189.416

Congratulations to Mr. Jack Diaz for winning the "Expert" Class and the title "Mr. Top Gun"!

Jack built and flew a Phillip Avonds kit of the "V" tail Fouga Magister. This was Jack's 2nd Mr. Top Gun award.  Only a few can claim that accomplishment.

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