Exemplary Jet FUN

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by Bob Violett

After the field clean-up and fence removal exercise on Monday morning following the event, J.C. got a flight on the Sabre.

Just under 200 pilots enjoyed their sport at the Metropolis, Illinois Airport because of the almost singular efforts of Jerry Caudle, his family and one employee.
A group of generous jet modelers helped erect and dismantle the two rows of extensive safety fences that are now required by AMA regulations.
In its 14 year history, Superman has grown to be the most significant event in the world of model jets. Perhaps this is due to the time of year, the dominate good weather and the central USA location.
Jerry is formulating some changes for the 2003 event that will allow an orderly expansion to continue. Simple things like mandatory possession and use of a D.S.C. cord, pre-registration, designated parking spaces and fees for motor homes and large vehicles, effective jet blast deflectors and closely monitored pit pass and crowd control will guarantee that our "fun" will continue in Metropolis. The final details for the next Superman will be announced early so that we all have plenty of time to prepare.

Flying at Superman

Large events like this sometimes present a few extra challenges. For sure, one has to feel comfortable with 5 or 6 jets in the air simultaneously. This is accomplished with practice, a good caller/helper and confidence in your equipment and piloting skills.
Almost like clockwork, the first week in October will bring the first frontal passage of the Fall and it is handy to be able to handle a crosswind situation for the day following.
A range check of your R/C equipment at the facility will instill confidence in your ability to operate with so much going on. We observed only one problem in this area possibly due to mismatched crystals or poor installation. Today's equipment, when properly checked, allows us to operate multi-thousand dollar models with confidence and 99.9% success.
The 100' wide by 4,000' long, perfectly smooth asphalt runway at Metropolis is oriented North/South and the pilot stations are facing West. Thus, the late afternoon sun on a clear day presents another challenge. By controlling the speed of the model and using a technique such as described in our Safety Section (click for article - bottom of page) along with good sun glasses, allows us to operate safely. Young eyeballs are certainly helpful but we must all work with what we have.
In my case at 60, I felt more confident than in previous years mainly because I have been flying a lot this past year, it is part of my job description.

Scale Jet Hour

Another concept under evaluation is to eliminate the manufacturer's demonstrations. Some of these were pretty boring to pilots and spectators alike.
In place, there would be one hour set aside on Friday and Saturday for scale jets only. A maximum of 3 such models would be allowed in the air simultaneously, thus reducing the hazards to these very special jets.
To qualify for this special time, a scale documentation booklet will be presented at registration check-in time similar to procedures at scale contests.
If this venture is to be successful, the pilots must have their models fueled and ready to start and launch within 3 minutes of the directors signal to do so. The objective is to keep at least 2 scale jets in the air simultaneously for this one hour period.
Jerry Caudle would like your inputs on these concepts and others such that he can fine tune the event to be a most enjoyable experience for all in attendance.

Photo Gallery

There were eight BVM Phantoms at the show. These two wearing the VF-161 scheme are the products of Ad Clark from Kalispell, Montana and Matt Carrol from Oak Park, California.
Ad's was powered by an AMT Pegasus SP while Matt's sported one of the new JetCat P-160's. Both jets have very impressive performance. The vulcan gun pod on Ad's F-4 center pylon was complete with sound and visual effects.

Paul McCaulley and Joe Rafalowski teamed up to build what they call their "practice" F-100. Finished in Metal-Kote and powered by a JetCat P-120, this model is intended to allow them to gain experience with the machine such that some super detailed, Top Gun quality Hun's will be successful on the contest circuit.

Tony Masiello did a superb job building and detailing this 2002 BVM Sabre with JetCat P-80 for thrust. Scale rivets, screwheads, panels and a very realistic camo paint system represent a serious effort to make the BVM product look great. By the way, it flew as good as it looks.

David Reid worked very hard to get a new wing attached to and painted on his Phantom after an accident just 3 weeks prior to Superman.
It's a great combination of David's talents and BVM's ability to supply the replacement part. This is a benefit of a "Made in USA" BVM product. A phone call gets the wheels in motion and the parts to your door in days, not months.
The shark's mouth on the extended "E" nose gives special emphasis to the Rhino's sinister impression. This JetCat P-120 boosted F-4 does it with authority.

Bob Bush (right) said he was a very happy customer after Tom Dodgen put the final trim flights on his Metal-Kote finished Thunderbird. This model is beautifully detailed with Pro-Mark manufactured insignias and Bob's flawless craftsmanship. An AMT USA AT-280 provides the thrust.

We think it's the 421 flights on his Phantom that has Vernon Montgomery so pleased. The model was originally powered with Viojetts and BVM .91's, then converted to RAM turbine power (BVM conversion kit #T950) and now is JetCat powered and performing very reliably.
This "Edwards Air Force" scheme provides the best visibility for an F-4, especially if the wing tanks are added. Here Vernon is preparing the model for trailor transport back to Jackson, Mississippi.

Finely finished models like this Blue Angel Phantom by Phil Nuza are almost too good for photographs, you just have to see them up close to appreciate the exemplary craftsmanship.
Phil had to leave early with Eddie Weeks because of hurricane Lily's threat to their homesteads in southern Louisiana.

Click for page 2 of Superman coverage