Top Gun 2005
by Bob Violett

BVM pilots do well with Sabres, Super Sabres, MiG's, a Phantom, a Rafale and a Super Hornet.

There were 17 BVM jets entered in the 5 categories of competition at Top Gun this year and 16 of them placed within the top 10.
This success can be directly attributed to having the models properly prepared before the event and then using every available opportunity to practice fly during the first few "warm up" days at the Lakeland Airport facility. Even when the wind was very unfavorable, the BVM Jets were in the air practicing.
The wind factor at Top Gun can only by appreciated by the competitors. During one competition flight, I took off into a 10mph headwind, flew most of the flight in a 10-12mph 90° crosswind, and then landed with a 7-8mph tailwind. During practice flying we experienced winds from all 4 quadrants, sometimes in the same day. This is the reality of central Florida in April/May, so, practice flying in these conditions pays dividends during the competition.
If you view Top Gun from a video and see the models bounce around and make less than perfect landings, try to factor in the gusty and turbulent conditions.
We are very proud of, and grateful to, the builders and pilots of the 17 BVM jets that participated in Top Gun '05. All of these great modelers earned their invitation to this most prestigious event by past performance and the final tally of placement confirms this and their return next year.
Congratulations to the BVM builders and flyers.


2nd place - Terry Nitsch - BVM F-100F
4th place - Jack Diaz - BVM F-100D
7th place - Tim Redelman - BVM F-4 Phantom
8th place - Justin Sands - BVM F-100D
10th place - Rod Snyder - BVM F-100D

Team Scale
3rd place - Paul Bageman/Mark Taylor - BVM F-100D
4th place - John Redman/Kelly Rohrbach - BVM F-100D

2nd place - Bob Violett - BVM F-86 Sabre
3rd place - David Ribbe - BVM MiG-15

Pro-Am (sportsman)
1st place - Craig Gottschang - BVM Rafale B-O1

Pro-Am (Pro)
1st place - Jason Shulman - BVM F-86
2nd place - Tom Dodgen - BVM MiG-15
5th place - Frankie Mirandes - BVM MiG-15
6th place - Kent Nogy - Tamjets F-18
9th place - Gordon Dickens - BVM F-86 Sabre

Special Recognition Awards
Critics Choice (runner up) - Joe Grice - BVM F-86 Sabre

Photo Gallery

Prior to the event, many customers/Reps came by the shop for final preparation. David Ribbe works on his main gear door fitment while JR's Peter Goldsmith looks on.
Justin and Tracy Sands were joined by Dan Sargent from Washington state.
This was Justin's first Top Gun and his F-100D features outstanding craftsmanship. He utilized the BVM Jet Case for safe air transport.


Many of the top placing jets were hangared in the BVM tent between visits to the flight line.

Joe Grice is putting the Flite Metal finishing touches on his wing tanks the day before static judging. It was that close!


Die Hard Scale Modeling!



Jack Diaz brought his F-100D from Caracus, Venezuela for its first appearance at Top Gun. His son Geraldo flew in on Friday evening to call for dad during the event. Kent and BV are assisting here.
Kelly Rohrbach, David Soufer and John Redman (left to right) prepare the colorful F-100D for flight. This team traveled from California and Montana for their first Top Gun experience - they'll be back for more in '06!

A very impressive first showing with a 4th place in the very competitive "Team Scale" category.

Dynamic Duo


Ian Richardson (builder) and Steve Elias (pilot) shipped the new 80" F-86 Sabre in a Jet Case to Top Gun.

Tragically, this model was lost for unknown reasons. Ian is already at work on the replacement.

The "Jet Case" plus a cardboard box and some clever packing got it all to Lakeland, Florida. This Sabre was powered by an AMT Netherlands Pegasus.

Tracy, Justin and Dan (left to right) pose before round #3 on Sunday morning. Justin earned an 8th place finish (Expert) during his 1st time at Top Gun. They all enjoyed the event and are excited about returning next year.
Exceptional craftsmanship is Justin's trademark.
Kent Nogy of Paso Robles, California flew the new BVM demo/Tamjets F-18 in the Pro-Am class. He put the F-18 through its paces proving its durability and capability to place well in a scale event.
BVM Rep, Tim Redelman brought his seasoned F-4 Phantom with JetCat Titan power. Tim showed the judges and the spectators what the Phantom was capable of during a fantastic 4th round flight.
Frankie Mirandes flew in from Puerto Rico to enter his BVM MiG-15 in the Pro-Am class. His 8 year old son, Ricardo joined him this year attending the event and helping dad. Look for Ricardo in a future Top Gun. The MiG's do well in competition.
Rod Snyder of Johnson City, Tennessee flew his new F-100D in the Thunderbird's color scheme to a 10th place finish in the Expert class. Rod is part of the USA team for the World Jet Masters to be held this summer in Hungary.
Top Gun is a great experience to help prepare for the WJM.
Craig Gottschang of the Georgia Jets group placed 1st in the Pro-Am (sportsman) class during his first ever Top Gun. The BVM Rafale B-O1 with AMT AT-450 power was very impressive, and handled the wind easily.
Gordon Dickens flew his F-86 in a Boeing Chase Plane scheme to 9th place in the Pro-Am (pro) class.
BVM Reps, Paul Bageman and Mark Taylor, returned for the 3rd time with Mark's F-100D. The Hun has undergone a total refinish in Flite-Metal. Paul's piloting skill brought home a 3rd place finish in the Team class. The Snake-Eye bomb drops were on target everytime. Team entries win twin trophies at Top Gun.
If you are interested in obtaining some functioning "Snake Eyes" contact Mark at -
Jack Diaz enjoyed the competition and his 4th place finish with his F-100D. He is already at work on a wood wing F-86 for next year's event. The 2% penalty cost him a place or two.
The candy striped Hun looks even better in the air and Jack was ultra smooth on the sticks.
Tom Dodgen flew the BVM factory demo MiG-15 finished in Metal-Kote II to a 2nd place finish in the Pro-Am (pro) class. The MiG is powered by a JetCat P-70 and has outstanding performance proving that this A.F.S. kit can handle the challenge. This paint scheme is brilliant in the usually sunny skies of Florida.
Terry Nitsch guided his F-100F to a 2nd place finish during its 2nd year at Top Gun. Terry may also have a wood wing Sabre next year to avoid the 2% penalty. It is very costly when this event is usually won or lost by less than a point.
John Redman and Kelly Rohrbach (left to right) brought home 4th place silver cups to California and Montana. The JetCat Titan powered "Hun" is finished with Coverite Presto.
BVM MiG-15 designer David Ribbe flew his newest MiG to 3rd place in the Masters class. David will be competing in the World Jet Masters in Hungary with this same model but with more time to finish the details for a higher static score. MiGs are tough to beat in competition. The BVM MiG kit has been upgraded with A.F.S. construction, and, the landing gear has been improved in many areas.
This model and trophy line up features some of the BVM jets at Top Gun '05.
Sometimes a prototype gets discarded along the development path, but this one survived and was finally detailed with a Metal-Kote II finish and ProMark's new aluminum rivets, nomenclature and markings.
The pilot's goofy "missed maneuver" held it to 2nd place in the Masters event.
It appears that a high scoring aluminum finish can be achieved with Flite Metal or Metal Kote II, but neither is child's play. The techniques for both are a bit challenging.
The 80" Sabre and it's stout, scale landing gear system should be in the winner's circle for many years to come.