Top Gun 2003
by Bob Violett

2 pages of coverage

Another great challenging event and BVM Jets faired pretty well.


1st place - Joe Rafalowski - BVM F-100D
6th place - Tim Redelman - BVM F-4 Phantom

Team Scale
8th place - Paul Bageman/Mark Taylor - BVM F-100D

2nd place - Bob Violett - BVM F-100F

Special Recognition Awards
Best Jet - Joe Grice - BVM F-100D
Best Military (pilots choice) - Joe Grice - BVM F-100D

The photo's will tell some more of the story. Look for extensive coverage in Model Airplane News and many other magazines and video productions.


Following the results of last year's event where the jets absolutely dominated, the Top Gun rules committee elected to handicap aircraft from kits that had molded wings ala the BVM F-100. A 2% penalty was applied to the flight scores of such models.
A look at the very very close final aggregate scores of the top finishers reveals that if this 2% penalty was not the rule, BVM F-100's would have captured first place in all 3 categories and the ultimate Top Gun award. In other words, a Grand Slam!
It remains to be seen what next year's handicap might be, if any. The Top Gun rules committee has a difficult challenge. They must keep the interest and participation of all types of scale modelers.

Former F-16 (USAF) pilot, Mark Taylor and F-14 (US NAVY) pilot, Paul Bageman teamed up for their first Top Gun experience - a great model, great flying and awesome humor. They enjoyed the experience so much that they're already planning for the '04 event in Lakeland.

BVM F-100D - JetCat P-120 - JR 10X.

Tim Redelman gets a lot of support from Tracy in his modeling endeavors, this F-4E entry was no exception. Though, not quite fully detailed for its first competition, Tim flew it to some very impressive flight scores. Because the rules allow the same model to be flown for 3 years, they just get better as more time is invested - mostly into skin detailing.

BVM F-4E - JetCat P-160 - JR 10X.

Paul McCaulley's Little John is being critiqued by the static judges.

Scoring a 96+ in static judging, this brand new F-100D went on to win 1st place (Expert) for pilot/builder Joe Rafalowski. It featured a real aluminum finish and handsome red trim and tanks.
Former NAVY pilot, now a Delta Captain, Joe is cool under the pressure of competition.

BVM F-100D - JetCat P-160 - JR 10X.

Here Joe demonstrates the landing gear operation to the judges just prior to round 3 that clinched his win.

Joe Rafalowski is congratulated by Top Gun announcer Sam Wright and event organizer Frank Tiano.

BVM F-100D - AMT USA AT-450 - JR 10X.

Kent Nogy is the best caller/helper one could ask for and I need all the help I can get to drive the 2 seater F-100F. Being a great jet pilot himself, allows Kent to be a great coach. We look forward to Kent flying his yet to be finished Hun in the '04 event.
Congratulations to my good friend Jeff Foley, flying his BF-109 for winning the Masters event.

BVM F-100F - AMT USA AT-450 - JR 10X.

Patty joined me for trophy photos after spending 4 days attending to customers in the BVM booth, which of course, finances this yearly venture.

Super Bandit - Super Dog

The puppy that adopted us up at Superman '02, "Peanut"
is now a permanent resident (along with Scooter) at BVM and on the road.

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