Top Gun 2001
Great Pilots - Great Products

1st place - Terry Nitsch - Rafale B O1 - (2) AMT USA Mercury's
6th place - Jack Diaz - Rafale B O1 - (2) RAM 1000's
14th place - Frankie Mirandes - P-80 - RAM 750

Team Scale
3rd place - Dave Malchione Jr./Sam Leonard - F-4 Phantom - RAM 1000
10th place - Rei Gonzalez/Albert Arajuo - Rafale B-O1 - (2) RAM 1000's

3rd place - Bob Violett - F-100 Super Sabre - AMT Pegasus

Congratulations to all of the contestants who braved the crosswinds and the obstacle clearance challenges on the approach to landing.
This was the final year that this, the greatest of all scale contests, would be held at the Palm Beach Polo Club. The technology that allowed our models to grow in size and performance necessitates a larger facility. It was a good showing for BVM Jets.

Terry Nitsch won the expert division and overall Top Gun award flying his now seasoned Rafale B-O1. Terry has won Top Gun six times. If you were there, you could appreciate the perfection of his model and flying skills.
The judges of Top Gun, both static and flight have proven themselves to be the best and most consistent in the world, few would argue this point. Frank Tiano and chief judge Bill Holland have set the standard such that the results of this intense competition are undisputable.

Team Scale

There were 2 BVM Jets entered in the Team Scale event. This "team thing" allows the best of the builders and the best of the pilots to pool their talents. It is fierce competition.

Dave Malchione Jr. flew the VX-4 Phantom built by Sam Leonard. At 17 he was the youngest pilot to ever compete at Top Gun and had the F-4 "in-the-groove" to post some very impressive flight scores. Dave Jr. is a third generation R/C pilot with all of the "right stuff" to be a champion of the future. Dave was cheered on by his family and girlfriend Lisa.

Designer Scale

The BVM F-100D places 3rd and wins the "Best Jet" award. The accuracy of the outline portion of the Static score was 29.25 out of a possible 30 points. This is most important to owners of the F-100 who are interested in competition. These points come in the kit box because we really did our homework in reverse engineering a real F-100.

Tom Dodgen assisted Bob Violett throughout the contest with calling duties. At Top Gun, a good caller is very important because there is almost always 4 planes competing for the same airspace, but at very different speeds.
The Super Sabre flies so well and executes the take off and landing so effortlessly that it makes the pilot look good to the flight judges.
This airframe, like our F-4, MiG-15 and Rafale will be a serious competitor for many years to come. We are happy to report that the landing gear system performed flawlessly during its 5 flights from the grass field - always with a crosswind.
The slatted wing was especially impressive to the judges while the crowd particularly enjoyed the truly ear pleasing sound unique to the BVM F-100D.

Top Gun is always a pleasant social experience. The cocktail party Friday night and the special awards banquet on Saturday night provide a great opportunity for competitors and friends from all over the world to get better acquainted. We hope you enjoy our photo album of BVM Jets at Top Gun.

Frankie Mirandes flew this really Hi-Viz Air National Guard F-80 to 14th place in the Expert class. The crosswind and pitted turf field were tough on landing gear but Frankie persevered to complete all 4 rounds. Many sponsors posted banners on the grand stand railings.

A Diamond of a pilot!
Jack and Geraldo Diaz pose with the #6 winning Rafale B-O1. The huge wing tanks are impressive when jettisoned at midfield - usually worth 10 points.

The trophy winners with their BVM Jets. Terry and Sheila Nitsch, Tom Dodgen and Bob Violett and Joe Grice. The Malchoine's had already put their Phantom in the trailor for the long trip back to Pennsylvania at the time of the photo.

Rei and Albert (RAM) prepare to start the twin RAM 1000's. They participate every year and are major sponsors of Top Gun. Primarily, they are there to attend to the other contestants / show teams who are using RAM engines.

The F-4 launches from the grass field on centerline of course.
Part of the Malchione family (the girls were under the tent) and Sam Leonard with the Playboy Phantom. Special finishing techniques are required to allow a black or dark blue model to withstand the Florida sun - it's called preshrinking before the final paint is applied.

Captain Salami
The BobCat with RAM 500 power made its public debut during practice flying and the half time show. Bob Violett  flew it often demonstrating the super stable slow flight and small field capabilities. Of course it goes fast and high and that was demonstrated during the Captain Salami routine during the half time show.

Slow flight
Joe Grice's Rafale is captured in steady state slow flight by Sam Leonard's camera. This model was extremely well detailed on the bottom - some of it shows here, but it is best appreciated up close, sitting on a table.

F-100D Super sabre
The early morning sun lights up the aluminum paint and panel detailing added to the prototype F-100 just prior to Top Gun. The refueling probe and long pitot tubes (not shown) are only on the model for static judging. All six wing pylons and the long "banana" tanks remain on for flight but don't slow it up much. The BVM Super Sabre hits 200mph with ease.

BVM Jets new trailor. It's a 28 ft. Featherlite all aluminum vehicle. Tows well behind the big block Suburban. Primary advantage is that we can transport models in one piece, saving time and energy at shows thus allowing more flight cycles. Overnight and sudden rain shower storage is also an important advantage.