THE NETWORK OF ORGANIZATIONS
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that! After all, it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody because Nobody had wound up doing what Anybody could have done! - Anon.
Introduction - return to top
In Chapter 2 we looked at what people do when they become involved
with model aviation. Now we will examine the organizational
structure that has evolved to deal with this very diversified
At the international level the Federation Aeronautique Internationale
(FAI) is the world air sports federation. In its role of
establishing control and certification of world aeronautical records
it establishes regulations for air sporting events which are
organized by member countries. www.fai.org/aeromodelling/. The FAI lists National Aeromodelling Federations for many countries at:
In the case of the sport of model aviation the FAI issues a Sporting
Code. In section 4c Aeromodels, rules are specified for competition
in Free Flight, Control Line, Radio Control, Scale, and Radio Control
Electric Powered models. Sub categories are specified for each of
the above. For example, eleven subcategories are listed under the
heading Free Flight. Copies of the FAI Sporting Code may be
downloaded from the Internet site above or purchased from the Academy
of Model Aeronautics.
Sport aviation is represented by the National Aeronautic Association
(NAA) at the national level in the United States. The NAA recognizes
eight organizations as the governing bodies of their respective air
sports www.naa-usa.org/website/. One of these is the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), the official governing body for model aviation.
To view AMA's competition regulations see
www.modelaircraft.org/ and click Publications and click Competition Regulations and click Table of Contents and/or desired regulation.
Special Interest Groups (SIGs) have been formed to represent the
needs and desires of their members. Most are recognized by AMA. Those that are not are noted with an asterisk. They assist and advise AMA. To navigate the AMA website to the SIGs
recognized by AMA, proceed as follows:
and click About AMA and click Special Interest Groups.
When modelers gather to engage in competition (a meet) they compete
in specialized events in which the configuration of the model and the
flying procedures are specified. These rules and regulations are
prepared by the entity that sanctions the event within the meet.
To summarize, a given meet can contain events that are flown by
differing rules established by the FAI, AMA, AMA recognized SIGs, and
Non-AMA recognized SIGs.
The actual membership of any of these organizations is made up of
clubs. These local clubs serve to promote their element of the
hobby, to serve the needs of their members and most importantly to
inform, and recruit from, the public.
Many rulebooks place event descriptions in categories according to
the power source to be used in the model aircraft. I will use the
power source of the models to categorize the SIGs that play such an
important role as part of the network that governs model aviation.
3.1 Rubber Power - return to top
Model aircraft powered by rubber "motors" have served as excellent
training devices for beginners for many years. They are inexpensive
to build and repair, which is an important factor as the novice
develops trimming, adjusting and flying skills. These activities
often result in "unplanned impacts".
Rubber models are clean and quiet in operation. This helps modelers
get and keep flying sites. The Marin Aero Club Web site provides an
introductory overview of model aircraft construction at:
www.gryffinaero.com/models click Marin aero club info and click wonderful guideline.
A wide variety of model events and applications have been established
by enthusiastic special interest groups (SIGs). The following SIGs
play a significant role in defining and running rubber model events.
3.1.1 Flying Aces Club (FAC)* - return to top
Although the FAC Headquarters has a small official Web site at
flyingacesclub.net/ some chapters, called squadrons, of the
organization do maintain more extensive sites as follows:
www.windysock.net features a monthly newsletter on the
Internet. A file of past articles provides a treasure trove of
information for the modeler. Downloadable plans are also included.
users.netropolis.net/chill/index.htm and click flying aces facts is an overview of the club
users.netropolis.net/chill/index.htm and click FAC squadron
list provides contact information for 51 squadrons
home.att.net/~dannysoar3/GAM.htm is a home page said to
represent the original FAC club
Some of the following comments are taken from the "Flying Aces Facts"
Many of the modelers of the 1930s are still alive and they are
keeping the tradition alive by building and flying stick and tissue
models. Fortunately, they are attracting some of the younger
population at a rate, which will probably keep the art and technology
alive for some time. This group takes its name from a popular
modeling/aviation magazine of the 1930s called "Flying Aces". This
magazine was a collection of modeling articles, aviation history
articles, and articles of sheer fiction and fantasy.
The Flying Aces members number over 1500 and are organized in
squadrons. The club headquarters publishes a rulebook and also a
newsletter six times a year. The newsletter contains contest
information, technical material and plans for building models.
To apply for membership write to:
3301 Cindy Lane
Erie, PA 16506
The cost is $15.00 per year in the U. S. and Canada
overseas the cost is $20.00 per year.
Current FAC membership exceeds 1,500, and no less than 194 made their
way to Geneseo, NY to participate in the annual national contest for
the year 2000. Many more came as spectators.
The aircraft flown consist primarily of scale stick and tissue,
rubber-powered models. FAC competition is designed to encourage
modelers to build good-looking aircraft that fly well. The score one
receives in a FAC event is based upon fidelity to scale, workmanship,
and flight duration. The flight duration score is handicapped by the
type and complexity of the model. For example, a highwing monoplane
receives no handicap points while a biplane receives 15 handicap
points. Further details may be seen on www.theplanpage.com and click 2003 FAC Rule Book. Or, a paper copy of the Rule Book can be obtained from FAC headquarters. See www.flyingacesclub.net/nuke/ for details.
3.1.2 National Free Flight Society (NFFS) - return to top
The NFFS states on it's web site, "To preserve, promote and enhance
interest in the sport and hobby of Free Flight model aircraft in all
its forms." NFFS sponsors regional and national free flight
competitions, publishes a monthly magazine, and conducts an annual
symposium where the best ideas and scientific developments of the
sport are presented and published.
NFFS runs the AMA free flight events in the annual indoor and outdoor
National Competition (NATS) for the AMA.
The NFFS also has a special rulebook that governs certain Nostalgia
Events. These competitions are to be flown with specific models
designed in past years. In addition NFFS has a Special Events
rulebook that refers to events governed by other SIGs.
3.1.3 Society of Antique Modelers (SAM) - return to top
The spirit of the organization is best described in the SAM "Preamble":
"The competition flying of free flight and R/C model aircraft of
vintage design is intended to be casual, enjoyable and interesting
for both competitor and spectator alike. It is neither desired to
advance the state-of-the-art of aeromodeling, per se, other than to
increase participation in the sport generally, nor to reprove again
that which is already recorded in aeromodeling history books.
The intent of these rules is to categorize the basic types of vintage
models and establish an equitable and simple framework of regulations
for competition purposes.
Therefore, model designs that revolutionize flight competition and
necessitated the formation of two basic classifications, Antique and
Old Timer are expected to compete in the Old Timer Events."
In the Antique category models must be powered with the original
ignition-type gas engines from the period. As a result, SAM members
are very interested in the Model Engine Collectors Association
www.modelengine.org/index.htm. However, since the
availability of old engines has dried up, modern replicas of these
engines are accepted in SAM competition.
A look at the SAM Rule Book-
www.antiquemodeler.org/SAM_rules1998-99.htm reveals that
SAM competition also includes glow plug ignition, rubber power,
hand-launched gliders, towline gliders and compressed air motors.
The Special Events Section includes the use of electric motor
power, and there is even an event that permits "R/C assist"!! But it
must be emphasized that old designs are the rule, and the best old
time designs show up in large numbers at contests. SAM has over
5,000 members with chapters around the world.
3.1.4 Ornithopter Society (OS)* - return to top
The Ornithopter Society, founded in 1983, is an international group
of hobbyists and researchers interested in flapping-wing flight.
Many of its members build successful models that fly in the same way
Full-scale ornithopters piloted by humans have a reputation for
futility, but miniature ornithopters are receiving close scrutiny for
See www.ornithopter.org/flapflight/home.html and click how birds fly for an explanation of how birds fly. A selection of
successful model kits is found at www.ornitech.com. Ornithopter models
are not for beginners. Experienced modelers may enjoy their unique
3.1.5 Science Olympiad (SO)* - return to top
The Science Olympiad is an international nonprofit organization
devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing
student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding
achievement in science education by both students and teachers.
The SO began when Dr. Gerard J. Putz, regional science consultant for
Macomb County Intermediate School District in Michigan, invited John
C. Cairns, State Science Supervisor for Delaware Department of
Instruction, to share the SO program with Macomb County educators in
1982. A program was developed patterned after similar events in
Delaware, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Two events were designed
and conducted with considerable success in 1984.
Science Olympiad events are tournaments consisting of rigorous
academic interscholastic competitions featuring individual and team
events. Currently there are 33 different events distributed among
three broad goal areas of science education.
For our purposes, we will focus on the area of "Science Application
and Technology" and more specifically on the event called, "The
Wright Stuff." The event description states, "Students will design
and build a propeller propelled aerodynamic device for the greatest
time aloft." This translates to an indoor rubber-powered, stick and
tissue model with a stick fuselage and built-up flying surfaces.
Students are mentored by volunteer experienced modelers and teachers
during the construction and flying sessions.
There are now over 13,500 k-12 schools participating in the SO in all
50 states and Ontario, Canada. Of these, it is estimated that 30,000
students are involved with the "Wright Stuff" event each year. This
exposure to the basics of model aviation and aerodynamics can have a
profound impact on the field of aviation if adequate follow-up is
taken to assure that some of these students continue to learn more
about design and technology through the hobby/sport of model aviation.
Details of the SO model approach are covered in Chapter 6 at 6.2.
3.2 Gas Power/ Free Flight - return to top
For discussion purposes the term Gas Power is applied to any two or
four stroke engine fueled by its own appropriate blend of fuel.
Gas engines are used in most model aircraft applications. They were
first used to power free flying models. As it became possible to
control models by wire or radio, free flight gas model event
participation has been reduced. However, the following SIGs contain
dedicated modelers who enjoy diverse events and applications that
have stood the test of time.
Modern model gas engines are easier to start and operate than in the
past due to the use of electric starters and better engine design,
plugs and fuel. However, they must be handled with respect when it
comes to the safety of the modeler and spectators.
3.2.1 National Association of Scale Aeromodelers (NASA) - return to top
www.scaleaero.com/amascale.htm and click nasa
NASA was formed in 1977 at the AMA National Contest held in
California. It was created to encourage, promote, and advance all
phases of scale aeromodeling including Free Flight, Control Line, and
NASA is the host of the annual AMA Scale National Championship. This
event is held at the AMA National Flying Site in Muncie, Indiana.
All AMA scale classes for Control Line and Radio Control are held at
Scale modelers require detailed information on the full-scale
aircraft that they choose to replicate. NASA has a Scale Data Source
List that all new members receive upon joining. NASA publishes a
newsletter called Replica that is distributed to NASA members
NASA's Web site boasts 400,000 documentation resources. It enables one to post model related questions, and covers the status of competition related activities. Their Documentation Links list covers two pages. It includes links to Aviation Databases, Museums, Paint Scheme Data, and much more. From the Web site above click NASA, tech services, documentation resources, and Scale Aero's documentation links
3.2.2 National Free Flight Society (NFFS) See 3.1.2
3.2.3 Society of Antique Modelers (SAM) See 3.1.3
3.2.4 Ornithopter Society (OS) See 3.1.4
3.3 Gas Power/Control Line - return to top
In the past, modelers who built finely detailed scale models of full
sized aircraft turned to flight control by means of wires (Control
Line) to minimize flight damage. Speed flyers also needed control to
tame models powered by large gas engines or pulse jet engines. As
radio control systems matured, control line flying activity dropped
considerably. However, new applications such as simulated combat and
precision aerobatics have revived the sport somewhat. See related
Web sites at:
3.3.1 National Association of Scale Aeromodelers (NASA) See 3.2.1
3.3.2 National Control Line Racing Association (NCLRA) - return to top
The NCLRA is the official AMA recognized SIG for control line racing.
The purpose of the SIGs events is to fly models in direct
competition in preliminary heat races leading to feature (final)
races. The term direct competition means that two, or in some events
three, fliers share the center of the control line circle within a
circle of five-foot radius and fly their models in a counterclockwise
The control line racing unified rules for six different AMA events
may be seen at:
www.nclra.org and click racing rules.
3.3.3 Navy Carrier Society (NCS) - return to top
The NCS is the AMA recognized SIG for Control Line Carrier Flyers.
In this group of control line events the pilots fly a timed
high-speed segment for one half mile. This is followed by a timed
low speed segment. The next segment of the flight is the landing.
The landing is performed upon a simulated aircraft carrier flight
deck. Maximum landing points are awarded for landing in a normal
attitude and stopped by the arresting hook.
High speeds attained average 70 to 120 mph. Low speeds may be 4 to 8
mph. The flight score is determined by the combined performance of
all three-flight segments.
3.3.4 Model Aircraft Combat Association (MACA) - return to top
MACA is the AMA recognized SIG for control line combat. It promotes
the sport of control line combat by dissemination of information
through their newsletter and web site.
Control line combat simulates full size air-to-air combat. Two
models are flown in the same circle, during the same five-minute time
period. Each aircraft is equipped with a crepe paper streamer
attached using a string leader. Each pilot attempts to cut his
opponent's streamer. Points are awarded for each cut, or to cut the
string leader itself, called a kill.
3.3.5 Precision Aerobatics Model Pilot's Association (PAMPA) - return to top
PAMPA is the AMA recognized SIG for control line stunts. PAMPA has
about 2,500 members in 35 countries. A newsletter called Stunt News
is published bi-monthly.
The control line precision aerobatics pattern is a series of flight
maneuvers that are scored according to geometric perfection. When
the pattern calls for a repeated maneuver, the repetitions must all
be in the same place. Each of the fourteen maneuvers is awarded a
score, which is added to points awarded for the appearance of the
The PAMPA Web site is an excellent example of what a SIG web site
should contain. You will find information on getting started in
building models and on flying them. Links to related sites are also
provided. Other related links are found at:
3.3.6 North American Speed Society (NASS) - return to top
www.angelfire.com/fl/yspeed/index.html (this is not a typo)
The title of the above web site is C/L Speed Review. The stated
purpose of the society is to reach out to novice modelers interested
in control line speed, and to promote NASS. It consists of 37 pages
of insight regarding control line racing.
3.4 Gas Power/Radio Control - return to top
As modeler's skills mature more are turning to radio control (R/C).
Although the cost of sophisticated radio equipment was never lower
compared to its capability, one piloting error can result in hundreds
of dollars of damage to the aircraft. This is why one should
approach R/C flight after accumulating experience with free flight
models, or at least begin with the aid of a competent R/C instructor.
The 13 SIGs listed below are evidence of the diversity and popularity
of this phase of model aviation. Despite the noise reduction
afforded by better muffler systems, flying sites are dwindling as
suburbs replace the wide-open fields of the past. It should be noted
that gas-powered models are limited to outdoor flying.
Related Web sites:
www.fmadirect.com radio control components, links and frequently asked questions.
www.gettingstartedinrc.com and click planes
www.charlesriverrc.org/ getting started and links
www.uoguelph.ca/~antoon/index.htm extensive links
www.modelaircraft.org and click Publications and click Model Aviation and click Click here for online features from Model Aviation. Click From Ground Up. This is an extensive series on the basics of model R/C.
3.4.1 Jet Pilot's Organization (JPO) - return to top
JPO is the AMA recognized SIG for ducted fan and turbine powered operation.
The JPO was founded to promote and advance ducted fan and turbine-
powered technology for the sport, recreation and fellowship of those
interested in the design, construction, and flight of jet powered
aircraft. The JPO will represent the interests of its members in
areas of competition, safety, and technology development.
A ducted fan model is powered by a gas engine or electric motor
turning a bladed fan within a duct, which is inside a fuselage or
A turbine model is powered by a miniature turbojet engine similar in
principle to one found on a full-scale jet aircraft.
The JPO Web site includes links to other jet-related sites. It also
contains the text of the organization's bylaws and constitution.
JPO also has a newsletter for members only, and an official
publication called Contrails.
3.4.2 International Radio Controlled Helicopter Association (IRCHA) - return to top
IRCHA was founded in 1989 to promote model helicopter aviation.
IRCHA is the AMA recognized group for radio controlled helicopters.
The group publishes the IRCHA Bulletin on a monthly basis.
Radio controlled helicopters are powered by gas model engines, and
recently also by electric motors. The Web site above features links
to many helicopter-related Web sites.
A related site:
www.helifever.com/ and click beginners guide a brief guide for beginners contemplating helicopter modeling
3.4.3 R/C Combat Association (RCCA) - return to top
RCCA is the AMA recognized group for radio controlled combat.
In the WW2 Fighter Combat event the model must be a 1/12-scale
replica of a Pursuit, Fighter or Attack Aircraft produced or in
service between 1935 and 1955. The model must resemble its
full-scale counterpart. No more than plus or minus 5% deviation from
overall scale outline is allowed.
The aircraft model will be provided with a crepe-paper streamer 30
feet long attached to the model by a cotton string extending at least
5 feet from the tail of the model.
Combat duration lasts 7 minutes, during which 4 or more aircraft are
flown against each other. Points are awarded for each streamer cut
accomplished by a pilot.
A complete set of rules for WW2 Fighter Combat will be found at:
RCCA rules for an Open Combat event are at:
3.4.4 National Competition Fun Fly Association (NCFFA) - return to top
The NCFFA is an AMA SIG formed to promote competitive fun fly
activities. You can find the competition rules at
the above link and click rules The rules feature R/C
activities such as roll-loop-spin tasks and mission tasks such as
spot landing and balloon burst. All selected to provide competitive
fun in a low-key environment.
3.4.5 Vintage R/C Society (VR/CS) - return to top
VR/CS is an AMA recognized SIG that is dedicated to the preservation
of Radio Control history, and the achievements of those electronic
and airframe design pioneers that made R/C the best hobby/sport in
VR/CS presents awards annually to outstanding contributors and
innovators in the hobby. Such individuals are inducted into the
Vintage R/C Society Radio Control Hall of Fame.
3.4.6 International Miniature Aircraft Association (IMAA) - return to top
IMAA is the AMA recognized group for the non-competitive sport of
building and flying large-sized model airplanes. Recognized in 1983,
it is the largest AMA SIG. The concept of large or giant scale is
generally considered to apply to R/C model aircraft with minimum
wingspans of 80 inches for monoplanes and 60 inches for multi-wing
Quarter (1/4) scale replicas or larger which do not fit the size
requirements are permitted. All this makes the miniature in the
organization's name somewhat of an oxymoron.
The IMAA Web site includes a history of the organization and numerous
links. IMAA publishes the High Flight magazine.
Related Web site: www.fly-giantrc.org/
Extensive links and reference to a mailing list - GiantscaleRC.
3.4.7 International Miniature Aerobatic Club (IMAC) - return to top
IMAC is the AMA recognized SIG of R/C aerobatics. IMAC is dedicated
to duplicating full-scale aerobatics with R/C aircraft in a realistic
manner that is challenging for the contestants as well as interesting
for the spectators. Power may be gas or electric. The Web site
contains applicable contest rules. Compulsory aerobatic sequences
change each year and are printed in the AMA publication Model
Aviation each spring. Competitions are held in Basic, Sportsman,
Advanced and Unlimited categories. Membership stands at 1,000.
3.4.8 National Association of Scale Aeromodelers (NASA) See 3.2.1
3.4.9 National Miniature Pylon Racing Association (NMPRA) - return to top
NMPRA is the AMA recognized SIG for R/C pylon racing.
The ability to control a model airplane in three dimensions provided
the impetus of R/C pylon racing, as we know it today. The initial
rules were presented to the AMA R/C Committee in 1956. AMA rules
were finalized in 1959. In the mid-sixties there was a desire to
race scale model aircraft simultaneously over a triangular course
similar to full size Goodyear Racers flown in the late forties. R/C
pylon racing has developed into three classes or events that are
separated by aircraft requirements, engine specifications, fuel
restrictions and course length.
The AMA recognizes five classes of R/C pylon racing for U. S.
competition. All are intended for multi-channel R/C aircraft powered
by conventional two-stroke glow engines. The task consists of an ROG
(rise off ground) takeoff (or in the case of Π A, a hand launch)
followed by left turns around a closed course marked by pylons.
For more information see: home.san.rr.com/thedrewpages/ and click racers reference
3.4.10 Scale Warbird Racing Association (SWRA) - return to top
The SWRA was formed for those individuals who are interested in the
thrill, excitement, and nostalgia of racing radio controlled model
aircraft of piston-driven warbirds and replicas of the Unlimited Reno
SWRA serves as an AMA SIG to develop and update unified rules,
coordinate racing dates for events, and maintain national season
point totals for member competitors in the fixed bracket-racing
3.4.11 Unlimited Scale Racing Association (USRA) - return to top
USRA serves as an AMA SIG as the official sanctioning and rules body
for the sport of Giant Scale Air Racing. Founded in 1994, the
purpose of the USRA is to provide a set of racing rules and
procedures and to separate those racing rules and procedures from the
promotional aspects of the racing event organizers.
The USRA serves to advance the sport of giant scale air racing in the
areas of competition, safety and technology development for the
benefit of those persons interested in the design, construction and
flight of giant scale racing aircraft.
Giant scale air racing is patterned after the Reno National Air Races
as a way to bring the excitement, sound, color and history of air
racing up close to the public and the world of radio control
enthusiasts. Speeds well in excess of 200 mph make giant scale air
racing one of the fastest motor sports in the world.
USRA racing encompasses 6 classes. The heavyweights are the
Unlimited and Experimental classes where the maximum aircraft weight
(wet) is 55 pounds. USRA racing rules, race course specifications
and related web site links are linked to:
3.4.12 National Society of Radio Controlled Aerobatics (NSRCA) - return to top
NSRCA is the AMA recognized SIG for aerobatic pattern flyers in the
U. S. Although the stated primary direction of the NSRCA is pattern,
it welcomes all aspects of aerobatics and associated information as
part of the "richness of being a society." The society feels that,
"Our product is contests and judges to find out how good we have
become at the sport."
The NSRCA publishes a newsletter called the "K-Factor".
Links to related web sites are found at:
3.4.13 Senior Pattern Association (SPA) - return to top
SPA is the AMA recognized SIG for aerobatic pattern flyers that like
to fly pattern as it was done in the 1960s and 1970s. SPA events are
divided into groups according to the pilot's age:
Pre Senior - Up to 45
Senior - 45 to 65
Super Senior - 65 and Up
Events are further divided into Patterns and Antique. Pattern model
designs must have been designed and flown before January 1, 1976.
Antique model designs must have been designed prior to January 1, 1965.
Patterns are divided into Expert, Sportsman and Novice. Antique is
divided into Expert and Sportsman.
3.5 Jet Power - return to top
Jet powered models must be controlled in flight because of the high
speeds involved. Once only possible by control line, the use of
radio control has become increasingly popular. Most modelers use gas
engines turning a ducted fan for propulsion. A slowly growing number
fly turbine-powered aircraft. The cost of turbine engines plus the
necessary ground support equipment limits this complex sport to
technically proficient modelers.
3.5.1 United States Radio Controlled Jet Command (USRCJC)* - return to top
USRCJCs sole interest is expressed in its name. It is the flying of
radio controlled models of jet aircraft including those that are
turbine powered or gas or electric ducted fans. (See JPO for
definitions). The goal of USRCJC is to support all R/C jet modelers
worldwide with the most current news and technology to further the
sport of r/c jets. Membership is international.
For ducted fan information on techniques, plans and forums see:
For turbine information on techniques and forums see:
For tech support and how-to information see:
or related Web links see:
3.5.2 Gas Turbine Builder's Association (GTBA)* - return to top
GTBA was formed in 1995 to encourage the exchange of information
relating to the construction and operation of model gas turbines.
Members are encouraged to contribute their ideas, experiences and
developments to the bi-monthly newsletter. Information is regularly
updated on sources of material and services available from individual
Reports from qualified engineers within GTBA have been commissioned
on turbine wheel structural safety and on the burst shielding of
The GTBA is an advisory body, which provides technical assistance to
its members and to other organizations. The British Model Flying
Association has appointed the GTBA as a specialist body with
representation through the BFMA R/C Power Technical Committee to the
BFMA Technical Council.
The Web site features pictures of member's turbines. The reader is
cautioned that this activity is for qualified technical personnel and
is not intended for the novice without expert supervision.
3.5.3 Jet Pilot's Organization (JPO) See 3.4.1
3.5.4 National Control Line Racing Association (NCLRA) See 3.3.2
3.5.5 North American Speed Society (NASS) See 3.3.6
3.6 Electric Power/Indoor - return to top
The use of electricity to power model aircraft is growing rapidly. This is due to advances in battery technology and miniaturization of electronic equipment used to control the aircraft. This has made electric-power indoor flying practical. The clean, quiet operation is compatible with relatively small indoor sites such as gymnasiums.
Modelers have learned from the growing pains of the past and have organized to ensure that this element of the hobby is off to a good start. This is evidenced by the two council SIGs listed below.
3.6.1 National Electric Aircraft Council (NEAC) - return to top
NEAC is the AMA SIG for electric flight. NEACs objectives include: Offering advice, service and assistance concerning the building and flying of electric-powered aircraft such as:
- Offering advice to AMAs Executive Council about competition rules and conduct of such competitions.
- Providing volunteer staff to support the AMA National competition for electric-powered flight.
- Encouraging and assisting in new technology development, education and training modelers in the techniques of this power source.
3.6.2 National Indoor Remote Controlled Aircraft Council (NIRAC) - return to top
NIRAC is the AMA recognized SIG for indoor R/C flying. Control is accomplished by means of equipment operating on AMA/FCC approved radio frequencies and by equipment operating on infra red frequency.
Power for these models usually includes electric motors, CO2 motors and twisted rubber.
NIRACs mission is to provide order to this fast-growing sport by offering advice about rules and regulations guiding the sport.
Related Web links will be found at:
nirac.org/ and click industry links
3.6.3 National Free Flight Society (NFFS) See 3.1.2
3.7 Electric Power/Outdoor - return to top
As with indoor electric power above, the quiet operation of this power source helps to retain flying sites. It has been found possible to use electric power for helicopters and ducted fan jets. This, when a few years ago modelers struggled to get free flight electric models to gain altitude.
Very light R/C electric-powered models have been introduced recently. These "slow flyers" and "park flyers' may well be the needed gradual transition from free flight to R/C, providing an introduction to R/C modeling.
Related Web sites:
loke.as.arizona.edu/~ckulesa/flight.html an introduction to electric flight
www.astroflight.com electric motors and related products.
www.ezonemag.com/links/ extensive links
home.ptd.net/~rcm65/ Dick Miller's list of the combinations of electrical components that work together for specific model aircraft
http://members.aol.com/KMyersEFO/ampeer.htm - Ampeer newsletter
- From Ground Up See 3.4 for details.
www.mtm-int.com micro electric components and know-how.
www.repairfaq.org/ELE/F_NiCd_Battery.html frequently asked questions about Nickel Cadmium batteries.
et.nmsu.edu/~etti/fall97/electronics/solder.html primer on hand soldering.
www.mtm-int.com/products/knowhow_capacitors.htm soldering noise suppression capacitors.
3.7.1 National Electric Aircraft Council (NEAC) See 3.6.1
3.7.2 International Radio Control Helicopter Association (IRCHA) See 3.4.2
3.7.3 National Free Flight Society (NFFS) See 3.1.2
3.7.4 Society of Antique Modelers (SAM) See 3.1.3
3.7.5 National Competition Fun Fly Association (NCFFA) See 3.4.4
3.7.6 United States Radio Controlled Jet Command (USRCJC) See 3.5.1
3.8 Unpowered/Indoor - return to top
Unpowered indoor flight consists primarily of hand-launched or catapult launched gliders. A catapult consists of a length of rubber attached to a hand-held dowel at one end and a model hook at the other. This has enabled many seniors to compete on a level playing field with younger, more athletic, flyers.
A free flight hand launched (or catapult) glider site with plans will be found at:
3.8.1 National Free Flight Society (NFFS) See 3.1.2
3.8.2 International Plastic Modeler's Society (IPMS/USA)* - return to top
This is a valuable resource for scale model aircraft builders of all types. A well-engineered plastic model kit can supplement the information regarding the shape and surface detail normally found on a 3-view drawing. Another area of interest is the wealth of information on color and markings that this site provides or can lead to.
Another related Web site:
www.hyperscale.com/ aircraft reference pages.
3.9 Unpowered/Outdoor - return to top
As with unpowered indoor models, this category is involved with gliders. Small hand-launched gliders and large R/C hand-launched gliders. Also, gliders towed aloft by line, by high start (rubber surgical tubing tied to a line), by winch and by gas-powered model aircraft. Gliders are flown for hours on the updraft associated with sloped terrain. The most sophisticated flight consists of seeking out updrafts (thermals) to sustain extended cross-country glider flights.
3.9.1 National Free Flight Society (NFFS) See 3.1.2
3.9.2 Society of Antique Modelers (SAM) See 3.1.3
3.9.3 League of Silent Flight (LSF) - return to top
LSF is the AMA SIG for r/c soaring. Established in 1969, it provides collective identification for r/c sailplane enthusiasts. It's an international organization of over 7,500 modelers located in 31 countries.
LSF has a soaring accomplishment program that consists of a set of successively harder tasks that measure the pilot's skill and knowledge. The program is organized into five levels of achievement featuring duration, precision and success in competition. For example, Level 1 requires the pilot to keep the glider aloft for 5 minutes. By level 5 the requirement is extended to 2 hours. Details of the tasks required at all 5 levels may be seen at: www.silentflight.org/lsf_base/tasks.htm
Related Web sites:
www.fatlion.com/sailplanes/sailplanes.html getting started in R/C sailplanes
kohlin.com/air/soar-faq.htm soaring frequently asked questions
users.iafrica.com/s/st/stevemac/afc/ssoar.html how slope soaring works
rc-soaring.dominodeveloper.net/ R/C soaring links
www.charlesriverrc.org/ R/C soaring tips and links
www.rcsoaring.com/ manufacturer/vendor listing
3.9.4 International Scale Soaring Association (ISSA)* - return to top
ISSA is however, an AMA chartered club specializing in R/C scale model gliders. ISSA sponsors scale events, helps locate documentation for full-scale prototypes and provides information on building and flying scale gliders. Three pages of related web links can be seen at: www.soaringissa.org and click links
3.10 Collector Organizations - return to top
3.10.1 Model Engine Collectors Association (MECA)
MECA is the AMA recognized SIG for model engine collectors. The purpose of MECA is to promote the interests of model engine collecting as a recreational, educational and historical recording activity.
MECA exists to supply information, assistance and services to the association's members. It issues publications including a periodical listing of wanted and available items associated with the hobby and within the membership.
MECA provides governing rules as a basic code of ethics for all sales, trades and transactions of items related to the hobby involving the association's members.
For the definitions of engine condition classifications see:
3.10.2 Kits and Plans Antiquitous (KAPA)* - return to top
See the listing for KAPA on the Cottage Wings Web site at:
Kits and Plans Antiquitous is for those who want to preserve and exchange old wood model plans and kits, and to save the history of individuals and companies that created them. Members can advertise "wanted, "for sale", or "trade" at no cost.