your flying? Have you dropped into the trap of routine? Do you go to
your Club, have your fix and then go home? Do you find yourself getting,
dare I say it, bored?
remember the thrill of your first takeoff? Can you recall the first time
you realised you were flying on your own?
the most exciting and rewarding parts of my flying, the learning curve
when first starting out, the thrill of taking off the latest addition to
my fleet or the chance to fly at another Clubs field.
these things in common? They are all different to our normal routine.
Back around the millennium, flying at my then Home Club, I found
myself surreptitiously beginning to creep up behind some innocent soul
and matching his turns. (I do of course refer to our Models)!
Suspecting that I was a closet throttle bender, I gave some thought to
this innocent incident.
Suddenly my flying had purpose. I was
flying "in formation", matching speeds, turns, lines of flight. This was
a definite improvement
on my normally fairly aimless wandering around the sky.
occurrence was an article in Model Flyer Magazine, the launch of
something called Club 2000 Racing.
Examination revealed plans for a simple airplane drawn by the Man, Boddo,
a list of standard .25 cu in engines allowed, instructions on the basic
rules of the game and the date of the first meeting.
Apparently you flew around three poles, (pylons), with two or three
other likeminded throttle benders, for ten laps with others calling
turns and generally assisting.
were timed and collated through the day, with semi finals and Finals.
to say I was hooked, particularly when the Man himself turned up at the
normal race day see's you arrive about 9.00am at the chosen field. All
hands set up the course, consisting of three Pylons with flags affixed
to the top set out in an elongated triangle, the two base pylons
being 120 feet apart with the Number One pylon 380 feet distant.
This is flown in a left hand circuit.
The assembled company is split in to two equal groups, one to fly, the
other to man the course, (Wait! they get a turn as well)! The Guys
manning the Course are then arranged thus,
Marshall on each base pylon with a buzzer and three more hardy souls
down at number one pylon with a flag each. Their collective job is to
make sure you go round the pylon, not inside. (No short cuts allowed!)
are three or four time keepers who time one plane each.
start points just forward of the base line are where those flying (you)
stand with your caller.
here's the best bit, the Race. You stand clutching the tranny, the flag
drops, your caller launches your model forward.
your model go hurtling down towards number one, your Number one flag
man, watches and waits.....
arrive level with number one, down goes the flag, "turn!!!" screams your
caller in your left ear, you bank and yank, (yes, that is a technical
term.) and suddenly you are racing back towards number two pylon off
over your left shoulder.
another fun bit. You continue to pirouette to the left, fly around the
base pylons and go hurtling back up to number one.
noticed something? You have flown AROUND YOURSELF! Only allowed in pylon
racing, (and control line!)
later you stand triumphant having left the opposition in the dust.
your U turns around number one was short, inside the Pylon, you got over
excited and turned before the flag dropped, sorry 10% added to your
Next time......... But you can still get in the final because your best
four times are taken from six or seven heats.
After you and your fellow racers have flown three or four heats, its all
change and you are manning the Course.
great fun. Please note the key word.
to timekeep, man the base pylons, call for your fellow competitors or be
banished from the assembly, e.g. sent to Number one as a flagman.
(Only joking, this is actually my favourite bit of Marshalling).
lunch is a repeat of the morning plus the Semi's and Finals
is never dull, flying is pretty well continuous and its rare the you
have nothing to do.
The Sport has developed over the last 13 years, including the
introduction of Electric motors, but the basic premise remains the same.
the planes and power plants must comply with the simple rules and
therefore the Winner should be the best flyer on the day.
motors etc are all specified to be economical to purchase (cheap!)
most sports, we have three classes, based on previous race times.
(for the fastest flyers), Group Two and Group Three which is were all
something I find particularly beneficial is that during the Heats you
can be flying with others from any Group.
means you are right there and can follow the lines of the fastest Guys,
(you may not keep up at first)!
final your are amongst your Group Three peers and have the same chance
of winning as they do.
get trophies to show off!
The planes can be purchased as a Kit with a grp fuselage or balsa
components, plus a foam wing. Or you can down load a free plan from the
E2k link at the Website below and build your own. If you like to
experiment, you can try Vee tails, one aileron wings (well you are only
turning left!), dihedral, negative dihedral, the list goes on.