Suggestions to Preston Briggs
This site was last updated on February 15, 2008.
Jeffrey Rein writes: I was invited to a competition in San Antonio last weekend. It was a four day event that flew a class of combat that simulates fast combat better than any other I have flown. I didn't know if I could swing it until contest management offered me a deal that I couldn't refuse. If I got a plane ticket, they said they would wave the entry fee, supply me with planes, motors, fuel, props, lines, handle, pit box, pit crew, sleeping accommodations, and five days transportation. How could I refuse? I arrived Wednesday afternoon excited to get started Thursday.
Equipment: We used OS Max .25 FX motors, about .350 nylon venturi, APC 8-5 props, and 52' lines with fast combat models. The planes went about 105 MPH, but with 52' lines it simulated about 120 MPH combat. It was absolutely a blast, at 1/4th the cost of fast combat.
The workshop's in the bedroom.
And the bedroom is in the dining room.
We ate out a lot.
Combat School: Thursday I attended the combat clinic featuring Mike McVicker as the instructor. For those of you who do not know him, He is retired now, flies about thirty hours a week, and started flying Stubby when he was ten years old. He definitely has the credentials. The first fifteen minutes of school was lecture, and the rest of the day was flying combat. We put up fifteen matches in 99 degree heat, and I showed him all of my skills, then he taught me how to fly 'Texas Style'. I hit the ground four times trying to learn his low game, and did not get a cut my first six matches. I think I won two out of fifteen, and earned the nickname 'Pork Chop'. I am not sure, but I don't think it was a complement.
Qualifying: Friday was qualifying for the competition. I flew ten matches, and won five and lost five. We fly for cuts so we can get the maximum amount of combat time in. I was informed by the contest management that a 5-5 record was good enough to get me into the contest starting Saturday. Glad I didn't fly 2,000 miles for nothing!
So bored he has time to pick his nose.
Elimination: The contest was set up for everyone to fly 15 matches, with only the top three pilots to make the single elimination finals. My 15 rounds of simulated fast combat in 98 degree heat was about all that this old fart could take. But after it was all over, Mike McVicker, Jeff Dawson, and myself made the finals. Mike and Jeff both flew the best match of the day, with Jeff taking it 2 cuts to one, and sending Mike back to Houston. Jeff and I flew for first and all the gold. After about 20 seconds, I screwed up and took all of Jeff's streamer. Now I had to hide for the rest of the match. I was doing my inverted stuff, when I went too high and we collided, breaking both planes, and I won one cut to none. All in all, I flew 41 matches, had the time of my life, and won the first annual 'Battle of the Alamo' combat contest.
Sunday: Instead of having another contest on Sunday, we opted to float down the Guadalupe River in inner tubes. It was very relaxing, and much cooler than the flying field.
Fun Factor: Alright, I have to come clean here. Actually, only the three of us entered the contest, and well, it wasn't even a real contest. Jeff invited me to come down and promised me 30-40 matches of combat, and he delivered first class. Out of about 60 matches, we only destroyed 4 planes between the three of us, and 2 sets of lines. We went through about a dozen props and 3 gallons of fuel. Not bad for three full days of fast combat action. I ate the best BBQ and Mexican food I have ever had, and had the time of my life. Can't wait till next year!