Saturday, August 17, 2013

Aim high

One of my pet peeves in the hobby is the lack of change in contests. If you've been in the hobby for any length of time, and especially if you're an old-timer like me, you know that the contests we attend today are largely the same as they were 20 years ago. Contest organizers are extremely reluctant to try anything new, preferring to rely on what's proven. Toss out a new idea, and people will throw up a dozen reasons why it won't work.

I don't know, maybe that's not necessarily a bad thing. There are many contests that attract strong participation year after year. I look forward to a number of them, and I'd hate to see even one of them go away.

In fairness, I may be the only person who feels this way, and if so, I'll humbly step aside and let this inertia carry us through the next 20 years. In the meantime, however, I must compliment the national IPMS organization for introducing a new category this year, for in-flight aircraft.

I understand it came about when it was pointed out in prior years that in-flight aircraft had a major advantage over those that were posed on the ground, namely that the modelers needn't concern themselves with getting the landing gear correctly aligned, which can be a major boo-boo when judging aircraft. That makes sense, and it's good to see the organization respond. And frankly, it's great to see aircraft in their "natural habitat." It's amazing how much the character of an airplane changes when you see it in flight. An A-10 in a 90 degree bank is simply awesome!

The in-flight category attracted nearly 20 entries this weekend, and I hope interest grows in the coming years. Here are a few of the entries. Note the many approaches the modelers used to mount the aircraft.

1 comment:

  1. I really think the biggest flaw in the rules for the new category, was that aircraft could not have the landing gear extended even partially. One of the neatest Mustang models I remember seeing, was built by Phil Hale and had the gear partially up, and true to life, not coming up symmetrically. It really brought that build to life.