Superman 2000

The theme of this year's event was "Maximize the fun and minimize the regulation". Everybody involved is proud to say that it worked.
Evidently, most people who have progressed sufficiently in the hobby to build and fly jet model airplanes also appreciate the need to operate them safely. A great deal of this "safe operation" can be attributed to the spirit of sharing information and hands-on help with the "Nuggets" and their models. (Explanation: "Nugget" - a Naval Air term for the new guy.)
Some of the 231 registered pilots got to Metropolis early to test new models, prepare for the scale qualifier that was canceled for lack of interest and just start enjoying their hobby at this great facility in southern Illinois.
Jerry Caudle (Mr. Superman) has recognized the enthusiasm for a more encompassing event; so, his plans call for the 2001 event to run from Monday through Sunday. If you arrive on Monday the registration fee will be $80.00, arrive on Thursday or later, it will be $50.00. This is the best deal you will find in any sporting industry that is privately operated and insured.
For the very few who complain about jet event landing fees, perhaps a little investigation into the actual costs of producing an event like "Superman" or "Florida Jets" would ease your concerns.
A seven-day event also minimizes the impact of a cold front passage. For the first time in the 12-year history of Superman, record-breaking weather did affect flying for one day.
The cool, dry, and high atmospheric pressure weather that follows a frontal passage allowed the turbine engines to produce more thrust than most were accustomed to. For some, recognizing and managing this extra power was an expensive learning experience. It was necessary to operate at reduced throttle to avoid exceeding the "red line" speed of your jet.
The "red line" speed is that which the manufacturer publishes or that which the weakest glue joint or structure in your model can withstand. It makes a great case for installing an electronic speed-limiting device in your model.

The BVM perspective

Dozens of Bandits dominated the airborne activity and for good reason. The most experienced pilots will confide that it is the best flying jet they have ever had. Some even try a brand X occasionally but always refer to the Bandit as the benchmark for perfection. The real test of a good flying jet is how it lands in a crosswind.
Crosswinds don't shut down the Bandit pilots because they know that this proven design can handle them.
One brand new and beautifully painted Bandit owned by Francis Pischner logged 26 flights in 4 days in the very competent hands of Larry Kramer. Even the record cold temperatures on Sunday didn't interfere with the fearsome Florida gang enjoying their hobby.
The most popular scale jets in the air were the six BVM Phantoms flown by Jack Diaz, Billy Harrod, Rob Lynch, Vernon Montgomery, Craig Gottschang and B.V.
Powered by AMT Pegasus and RAM 1000 turbine engines, this time honored design has never suffered a structural failure in its 8 years of service. Jack Diaz's original F-4 (he has 2 others) has somewhere close to 500 flights on it.
The newest Phantom to take to the air was displayed with on-the-deck knife-edge flight by Rob Lynch. What a great pilot! He never let it rest - even in the bitter cold air on Sunday morning.
Sorry I missed getting a group photo of the Phantoms and their pilots, there was so much air activity that the ground stuff got a back seat.
The smoke system on my Blue Angel Phantom drew some interest, it totally fogged the runway on takeoff. It is easy to install - more on this later.
MiG-15's - another missed photo opportunity, there were six or seven versions there and most were flying frequently. The seventeen pound thrust engines are perfect for this jet - no more. MiGs are earning a great reputation amongst their pilots for being "Rock Solid" in flight and on the runway. Tom Dodgen exercised the BVM Sport MiG many times during the event with some very smooth flying.

Rafales - gain in popularity

One flight was all it took for Terry Nitsch to garner the Best of Show award with his twin AMT AT-180 powered Top Gun winner.
Kent Nogy, assisted by cousin Dan Johnson came from California and Utah to do a great job of flying the JR sponsored Rafale with twin RAM power.
A proven scale winner, the Rafale is also gaining popularity as a larger sport jet. It is so easy to build, fly and land that a number of the "great flyer types" are recognizing it as a good reliable and proven design that can absorb a lot of power. The sleek delta/canard configuration accepts a variety of colorful paint schemes and with some fancy control mixing and enough power, some super high "Alpha" maneuvering is feasible.
The single engine version for the Olympus and Pegasus engines is making some progress at the factory; we hope to have it complete by "Florida Jets".
Joe Grice brought his almost finished super scale Rafale to show us some of his scale modeling and finishing techniques. Research on the real Rafale allowed him to adorn his model with the most minute details - many on the bottom. The model should be displayed on a mirror surface to be truly appreciated.

The Super Sabre at Superman

We were very happy to receive the "Best Scale" award (thanks to sponsor, CAI) for the F-100's second public appearance.
It wasn't without a flaw though, a main gear strut door retaining device malfunctioned and kept the main wheel well door from opening during the Saturday show. We did learn that the wing tanks protect the model from damage if there is a gear failure. Those that arrived earlier in the week got a chance to see the "Hun" execute beautiful nose high full flare landings without a hint of wing drop. The leading edge slats and huge flaps provide for this dynamic slow speed stability - even in some 90° crosswinds.
People often ask me how does it fly? Without handing over the mode 1 transmitter, my best evaluation is that it is very similar to our Phantom. The Super Sabre is an exact scale, high performance fighter that is very easy to land. Correct power management is the key and we will be sure that each of its new owners is properly tutored.
We think that in time, the BVM F-100 will earn a reputation similar to our F-4; it will be around a long time. Lots of paint schemes and a war record fuel the enthusiasm for this sleek jet from the 60's and 70's.
The technology applied to the model's airframe design and function is unique to this industry. Many happy customers will be our greatest reward.
Many thanks to Jerry Caudle and the people at ProMark for hosting the big event for 2000.
Let us all endeaver to keep it safe and allow these great times to continue. Truly we are experiencing the Golden Age of jet modeling.

Award Name Plane
Best Sport Francis Pischner BVM Bandit
Best Multi-Engine Performance Terry Nitsch Rafale B-O1
Pilot's Choice Terry Nitsch Rafale B-O1
Best Scale Bob Violett BVM F-100D Super Sabre
Special Recognition Rob Lynch
Larry Kramer
Rei Gonzales
F-4 Phantom
BVM planes and pilots captured 7 of the 14 awards - Thanks guys!

Rob Lynch test flew his brand new F-4E on Thursday and then proceeded to wow the spectators with some incredible low altitude maneuvers. How about knife edge flight the length of a football field? Rob logged 19 flights on his long nose Phantom during the event.

A Killer Cockpit will be installed soon and then it will be hard to tell if this a model or the real #1 Thunderbird from the 70's. Graphics by ProMark of course.

Francis Pischner is rightfully proud of his Bandit with the Bandito and spider tail art. It was built & finished by Vern and Larry Kramer and flown 26 times at the event with flawless operation from its AMT AT-180 (Mercury) powerplant.

The RAM guys were very busy demonstrating their new super E.C.U. and RAM 500 engine. This is going to be the hottest selling turbine in the world. Notice the electric start.

BVM will be selling the engines along with retrofit kits for our Sabre, F-16, balsa Bandit, F-80 and T-33. Installed weight will be less than a ducted fan but with more airborne thrust.

Joe Grice is rightfully proud of his Rafale B-O1. This all grey scheme is the latest to be applied to the French fighter. Joe opted to make the aircraft look like it had been used for awhile with some very effective techniques.

Robert Clark assists Joe to give us a glimpse of the Rafale's underside. The inboard missles are called MICA's (Joe's creation) the outboard missles are termed MAGIC's and are of BVM manufacture. The centerline tank and its pylon are from Joe's research.

Pilots Choice Winner

Terry Nitsch with his Top Gun and AMA Nats winner - next stop will be the scale Masters in Dayton, Ohio. Good luck Terry.

The Saturday runway lineup provided a photo opportunity to stage the 5 Rafales present at Superman 2000. The B-O1 not mentioned yet (last in line) belongs to the RAM team, (2) RAM 1000's for power.

One side of the taxi way was covered predominately with BVM jets. We went through a lot of fuel. Zero engine problems for the factory team using both AMT and RAM turbines. Not seen here but flown often was BV's BVM .96/VIOFAN powered balsa Bandit.

Jim Braun from Maryville, TN applied this brilliant Fury paint scheme to the BVM F-86/Fury. It uses a BVM .91 and Viojett for power.

There can be no doubt about who owns this great looking Bandit. Eric hales from Crofton, Maryland where he owns the G.P. Aircraft hobby shop. If your in the area, stop by and visit them at 2431 Crofton Lane Suite #6, Crofton, MD 21114 (301)-858-0004.

The JR sponsored Rafale made many flights on twin RAM 750 power demonstrating the practicality of using the BVM Rafale as a high performance sport jet. Assembly time for a sport Rafale is minimal when compared to others - and, it is strong with a proven record of serviceability. Kent Nogy piloted the JR Rafale throughout the event.

OB 1 Kent Nogy

Kent used the new BVM overflow and start-up tank to operate his Rafale. Note engine cowl art by ProMark.

Kent's other JR sponsored jet is a BVM Bandit. Cousin Dan Johnson assists in getting it ready for flight. These are two of the finest craftsmen in this sport and always eager to assist fellow modelers.

Blue Angel paint schemes sure are pretty. Bill Harris's Bandit was next to BV's Phantom during the Saturday runway line-up. Frankie Mirandes's beautiful MiG-15 is shown in the background.

Now equipped with a refueling probe, pitot tube and all the underwing pylons the BVM Super Sabre is almost complete. Only the scale main wheels and tires remain to be tooled.

The F-100 flew 7 times during the week we were at Metropolis. B.V. is gaining experience with it to be able to present the correct flight profile for the instruction manual.