Kirk's 2003 R/C Season

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[Combat Planes] [Freestate] [Havoc] [Camp Snyder] [Dixie Nats] [FSA] [NE Nats] [Nats] [Arcola] [Arcola II] [FSA] [Mid-Atlantic] [AGS] [Locusts] [FSA] [LCAA] [Studley -- new!]

2003 is Kirk's second season flying R/C combat. This year he will be competing in Open A, Open B, 2610 ("scale") and a few rounds of a provisional class known as SSC (slow, survivable combat).

For B class, Kirk flies a modified version of the Skull Bandit with a Magnum .28 engine. For A Class, Kirk flies a modified version of the Battle Floyd with a Magnum .15 engine. For scale, Kirk has a P-36 and a JKAerotech P-47, both of which still need a little more work on the paint jobs and markings. They have either OS .25 or Magnum .25 engines. Kirk is now flying his modified Battle Floyd fuselage with a wing of his own design in SSC. He previously flew one of his Bandit wings on one of his Floyd fuselages. Kirk has one Open 1/2 A airplane, which uses a Norvel .061 engine. 1/2 A is the smallest size of combat airplanes.

Kirk's modified Bandit Two spare wings, a Floyd and two Bandits Kirk's old, pieced together SSC airplane The P-36 The P-47 - a Christmas gift from Kirk's mom. Kirk's Open B and Scale fleet as of the morning of 8/24/03. Kirk's 1/2 A airplane.

Studley Shootout - Hanover, VA

This was Kirk's final contest of the year. Five rounds of Open B were flown. Kirk placed second and won a gallon of the type of fuel that he uses. Charles (Kirk's uncle) along with his wife Rebecca and their son John came out to watch and cheer Kirk on. Although overcast at times, the weather was seasonal and calm. There were many spectators, and some of the host club members volunteered to be judges.

The pilots and judges.  Kirk is in the center with his all red plane. At top center, Earl and John's planes after a mid-air.  Kirk's plane is bottom right. Tim's plane on the right with damage to the wing and aileron. Kirk's airplane at the top in pursuit.  This was about as low at the action got. Kirk's airplane on left with streamers, flying defense. Kirk (2nd), Tim (1st), Jack (contest director) and Earl (3rd).

Battle of Banshee Reeks

This was Kirk's last contest of the season for Open A and 2610 scale. There were six rounds of A and four of scale, followed by a bit of flying just for fun. The weather was a perfect autumn day, temperate with a light breeze. Kirk did well, finishing first in both classes as well as securing a first place finish for the season in the Open A national points ranking system. After the contest was over, Bill, Chris and Kirk tied left-over hot dogs and streamers to their airplanes and went up for a "dog fight" match.

In Open A, Kirk's plane on the right and Chris' on the left coming down after a mid-air with each other. Kirk's prop cut Chris' fuselage in half. Chris' tail is the green bit just above the streamers on his airplane.

See text above for description.

Kirk's last P-47 wing and fuselage were totalled at the event. The first picture below becomes larger than usual to better show the detail. In the top center and right is the yellow debris field from the airplane that hit Kirk's P-47. In the center is the back half of Kirk's fuselage with his original streamer. Down below the tree line, left of center is Kirk's wing and the front half of the fuselage. The wing still has a cut streamer on the left and has a huge hole on the right, where the engine of Pete's plane flew through Kirk's wing.

See text above for description. Kirk with the damaged plane.

Some additional pictures from the contest.
Open A action.  Kirk's red plane is on the bottom left. Low flying Open A.  There are five planes in the photo.  Kirk's red one is near the center. Sergei's Open A plane in pieces after a mid-air. Sergei's green scale plane coming down after a mid-air. Scale action.  Kirk's P-47 is near the center right with streamers. Chris, Bill and Kirk with their hot dogs. Kirk's airplane is in the middle during the hot dog round.

A wary observer from the woods. Look in the center of the photo, on the right tree trunk.
A squirrel checks out the contest.

Frenzy at Freestate VI

Five rounds each of Open A and Open B were flown. The day was sunny, but a bit on the cool and windy side. Kirk flew well and placed first in both classes even with the mid-airs. The contest moved along at a nice pace, with help from the club members who acted as judges. A number of spectators dropped by to watch the action throughout the day.

Chris and Kirk's A class planes in the bottom right, just after a mid-air. After the mid-air.  Kirk's red plane landing.  Chris' plane and debris coming down. Kirk's A plane with lots of streamers. Kirk's A plane with lots of streamers. Kirk with his B plane after a mid-air with Chris. Chris and Kirk's B class planes just before a mid-air. Kirk's B wing coming down after the mid-air. Kirk and his judge Ralph during a round, as part of Joe's wing comes down after a mid-air with Bill.

Plague of Locusts - 1/2 A Combat in VA

This was a 20 round, 1 day contest of Open 1/2 A. It was the first 1/2 A contest for all the guys involved. Bill and Chris cut some mini-Locust kits and gave them out to interested pilots, so the contest was basically a one-design event. It was a very long day of flying, and Kirk struggled with his engine throughout the day, finishing third. The 1/2 A planes are very small and slow, making it harder for them to cut streamers or to fly well with cut streamers on the wing tips. The airplanes also struggled during the windier rounds.

Kirk's mini-locust. Some of the action. Chris' red plane with its blue stabilizer trailing behind. Kirk's red plane with streamers.  Bill's spotted plane. Kirk's red plane on the right, getting a cut with the wing tip. Some of the action - Kirk is the center airplane. Kirk's plane near the bottom right with streamers. The pilots and scoreboard at the end of the day.  Kirk is left-most in the front row.

AGS - Endicott, NY

This was supposed to be a Scale and Open B contest, however it was so windy that only Open B was flown. Other than the high winds, the weather was lovely and Kirk had a good day, finishing in first place.

The pilots.  Kirk is holding his red airplane. Kirk's red plane, spinning with streamers. The red plane on the lower right is Kirk's.

Mid-Atlantic Championships

The Mid-Atlantic Championships was a two day contest in Virginia with eight rounds each of Scale, Open A and Open B. The weather was lovely, particularly for late August in this area. The carnage rate was rather high, leaving Kirk and many of the others with a lot of repair work to do. There is no Open A pilots photo. Kirk flew well and consistently, earning first place in all three classes.

Scale Action
The scale pilots.  Kirk is 3rd from the right. Tony's airplane parts after a hard mid-air. Kirk's P-47 after a mid-air with Chris's KI-64.  Kirk's plane flew the entire round even with the damage. Kirk's P-47 with streamers, bottom right.

Open A Action
An Open A mid-air. The two involved airplanes coming down. Kirk flying inverted. The red airplane with streamers is Kirk's. Kirk's solid red plane getting a cut. Kirk's red plane with streamers flying low in front of the poles.  Left to right: Bill, Kirk, Earl and Joe. Kirk and Chris going down after a mid-air in the last round in which they were the last two planes flying.

Open B Action
The Open B pilots. Kirk flying extremely low in Open B. Kirk's Bandit in a mid-air. Kirk flying low for defense -- far left red plane. Kirk's Bandit with streamers flying defense. Earl (2nd), Kirk and Tim (3rd) with their awards for Open B.

Tim had only one Open A plane, which didn't last very long. He had a great sense of humor about it and gradually pieced parts of his airplane back together on his helmet.
At first half a wing went on the top. Next, part of a wing on either side. Finally the split tails were added. A different view of the final result.

At the end of combat on the first day, Chris, Bill and Kirk flew against each other just for fun. Then the three of them plus John C attempted to fly through the cluster of four poles. John crashed before he could make an attempt. Bill hit the poles and destroyed his plane on his first try. Kirk bounced off two of the poles and crashed with repairable damage on his first try. Chris flew between the poles successfully. Kirk and Earl each hit the poles once during actual combat.
Chris, Bill and Kirk flying. Kirk's plane coming down after hitting the poles.

Frenzy at FreeState V

FreeState was a one day event with both Open A and Open B. Kirk went through five different planes in five rounds of B. In spite of all the carnage, he took first in B class and tied with Dave for first place in A. Kirk's friend Roger was there and spent his time helping Kirk, making it easier for Kirk to get his airplanes ready for the next round of flying.

Roger and Kirk launching an Open A plane. Kirk's A plane in the middle with streamers.  Bill's plane is the one flying very low. Kirk's red B plane, center with streamers.  Dave's Falcon is high, and Bill's plane is heading down. Kirk's B plane flying with a crooked tail after a mid-air. Kirk's plane with streamers heading for the deck during some defensive flying.

Battle for Arcola - Scale

Battle for Arcola was a one day Scale event. There aren't any action pictures since Melissa was needed as a judge again. Kirk struggled a little, and finished third.

The pilots and some judges.  Kirk is kneeling in front.

Battle for Arcola - Open B

Battle for Arcola was a one day Open B contest held at NVRC's field. We had nice weather with a cooling breeze and low humidity. There aren't any action photos since Melissa had to work as a judge. Kirk had a good day and finished in first place, having gotten two five-cut rounds. He only took damage to one wing, as a result of a mid-air with Earl.

The pilots and some judges.  Kirk is kneeling in front.

Marathon Before Muncie and the 2003 Nationals

Marathon Before Muncie was a one day SSC contest in Richmond, IN, which is about 40 minutes south of Muncie where the Nationals were held. The sky looked threatening, but the rain held off until later in the day, after the contest was over. Kirk had a good day, finishing third. Nats was a two and a half day contest with Open B and Scale competition. On first day of Nats Kirk was plagued with bad luck and equipment problems. The two subsequent days were a bit better, but only by comparison to the first day. He finished in the bottom half of the pack. One bright spot was that at the banquet, Kirk received an award for being the overall leader in points scored in Open A in 2002.

One fun thing at Nats this year was that many of the pilots brought their state flags to the contest and flew them from the sun shelters. We flew the Maryland flag, which was a pleasant contrast to many of the other state flags with their dark blue backgrounds and seal-in-the-middle design. On the drive out, we hit some severe thunderstorms, which weren't great to be driving in, but the way they lit up the night sky was unlike anything we get to see at home. Possibly because the land there feels very flat and open and dark compared to the built-up suburbs where we live.

The SSC pilots.  Kirk is near the center in the front row with his red plane. Kirk (on right) flying the low, red plane during a good round of SSC. The Scale pilots.  Kirk is on the far right in the front row, holding his P-36. The Open B pilots.  Kirk is on the left in front row. Kirk's Bandit with a streamer on the wing, flying defense down low.  The cluster of 3 black dots in the distance on the right above the tree-line are other planes competing in pylon racing. Launching Kirk's P-47. Kirk's red Bandit with 2 cuts. A mid-air in progress. A damaged airplane on its way down.

NE Nats

Northeast Nats was a one day event with Open C and Scale classes. It rained the night before and the day started out rather overcast, but the sky did clear by the afternoon. Kirk flew his Open B airplanes in Open C. He had a good day, finishing first in both classes and winning a new engine and a kit for a P-47. Richard (Kirk's dad) and his friend Sam were at the contest too. They pitched in and worked as judges for the event.

The pilots.  Kirk is on the left in the front row. Kirk's red Bandit with 2 cuts, hunting for a third. Sam on the left, and Kirk's dad on the far right, watching Kirk's plane go by. Kirk's blue P-47 (on the right) has a close call. Kirk's red bandit, after a mid-air which damaged the other plane's fuselage. The wing of the damaged airplane flutters down (bottom right corner). Kirk holds his trophy for Scale as he contemplates which prize to pick.

Frenzy at Freestate IV

This was not Kirk's best day. The weather was overcast and the very high winds made flying difficult for all the contestants who did show up in spite of the weather. Kirk's mom was in town and came to watch and cheer Kirk on. But Kirk didn't do well in Open B, finishing last (a first for him). He took third in Open A.

Kirk launching his Bandit. Kirk's Floyd is the red one in the center. Kirk's Bandit is the red one on the right.

Dixie Nats aka Southern Fried Combat

Dixie Nats was a two day contest held over Memorial Day weekend in southwestern Georgia. Saturday was Scale and SSC. Sunday was Open B. It rained most of the drive down and some of the drive home, so even though the weekend was warm and sticky, having a sunny sky for flying was appreciated. The contest was held at a private flying site which also serves as a small airplane runway, has an on-field hobby store and is the owner's home. So in addition to watching the model airplanes, we got to watch full scale planes coming and going and sometimes buzzing the field for fun too. Some of the local guys also did a demo with a large model of a B-29 bomber that had a 20 foot wingspan. It was quite impressive in the air. Kirk did well in SSC, placing third and winning a cute and creative trophy (the tall bit in the back is a combat wing-tip with a broken propeller stuck in it). He didn't fare so well in Scale. He had two scale airplanes and only flew two rounds, as he lost the airplane each time. So he wasn't able to finish out the contest. Open B was a mixed bag. Kirk had a rough morning, struggling to get the engines started and had some problems later in the day with his radio gear. But in spite of all that, he also flew some good rounds and ended up 13th of 30. Not spectacular, but rather good under the circumstances.

The SSC pilots.  Kirk is second from the left in the front row. Kirk's red plane, with streamers, flying just above the trees. 3 SSC planes pursuing Kirk's streamers. Kirk accepts his trophy for SSC from Lou. Kirk's P-36 on the left with one streamer, being chased by 3 others. A split second before the mid-air that took out Kirk's P-36, which is the plane towards the back. The P-47 after its one round of flying. The P-36 after the mid-air.  It's in worse shape than it looks.  The tail is badly broken and came home no longer attached to the rest of the fuselage. A close-up of the prop cuts on the P-36 wing, which is missing its airleron. The Open B pilots.  Kirk is third from the left in the front row. Kirk's red Open B plane in pursuit below the tree line.

Battle at Camp Snyder II

Although the day started out with a few showers and clouds, the sun eventually made it out and the afternoon was a nice one for a contest. Camp Snyder is a Boy Scout camp and the large, wooden poles in the field are from that. Five rounds of Scale combat were flown in the morning. There aren't any pictures though because Melissa ended up having to judge. Kirk did very well though, earning his first 1st place win in a Scale contest. After lunch, five rounds of Open A were flown, and Kirk finished in second place.

The Scale pilots. The Open A pilots. Kirk's A plane heading down after a mid-air with Bill's.  Kirk's is the red one at bottom-center.  Bill's is the upper-right one that is now wrapped up in it's own streamer. Just how close Kirk's red plane came to a mid-air. The next picture taken, showing that all the airplanes are still flying. Kirk flying low around the poles.

Havoc Over Hamilton

Havoc was a two day contest in Ohio with Open B, Scale, and SSC being flown. It was Kirk's first time flying Scale and SSC. Saturday was incredibly windy, which made flying much more difficult. The HAWKS field has a line of trees moderately close to the pilot line, and many planes ended up stuck in them, including Kirk's SSC plane. Kirk had a number of mid-airs in B class and finished sixth of twenty-nine. He placed seventh of twelve in Scale and sixth of twenty-five in SSC.

One of Kirk's Bandits after being hit in a mid-air.
Kirk comments on what's going on in the above photo: "What happened was that I was hit on the rear rubber band dowel. The wing snapped forward, upside down, and wrapped off of the wing seat sideways. The rubber bands are holding the wing on by the aileron servo. The aileron servo gears are stripped at this point, since when the bands snapped forward, they went through the aileron, tearing it partly off as you can see, and overloading the servo."

The pilots and club volunteers.  Kirk is in the second row, on the right. Kirk launching his Bandit. Kirk's Bandit is the red plane near the top. SSC combat - Kirk's plane is in the upper left. SSC combat - pursuit around and behind the tree line. Kirk heading out to retrieve his SSC plane from the bushes. Kirk's P-47 with streamer, being pursued. Eric launching Kirk's P-47.  Kirk's judge for the round is in the red helmet. Kirk's P-47 with streamer, being pursued.  Kirk is the right-most person. Kirk's red SSC plane in the center is going after Eric's plane on the left.  Kirk is standing on the right. SSC combat.  The top center airplane is Kirk's. Kirk's red SSC airplane with 2 cuts.

Frenzy at Freestate III

4/6/03 was a very cold and windy day and not anyone's ideal day for flying, but the contest went on with everyone bundled up for winter. It was the first local contest of the season (a VA contest in March was cancelled due to snow) and some of the fliers were a bit rusty in the early rounds. Kirk and Earl each had numerous mid-airs, often with each other. There was a nice turnout of 10 pilots and even a few spectators (although many of them huddled in their cars in between rounds). Kirk did well in spite of the carnage, winning first place in both A and B.

All the pilots.  Kirk is in the tan helmet, holding his red Bandit up above the group. Kirk launching a Bandit with his judge Harry, as the line marshal looks on. Kirk's Floyd fuselage after a mid-air with Earl.  It went in the garbage after Kirk salvaged the electronics. Bill's damaged airplane after a mid-air with Earl. Earl's damaged airplanes after mid-airs with, well, not quite everyone :) Two 'lawn dart' airplanes after a mid-air with each other. Kirk's red Bandit with two streamers on his wing plus his original streamer.

More pictures next season.