This impressive Laser four-stroke
diesel engine powers Jack Hiner’s
Lanzo Airborn design. It’s ready
for a Texaco competition, where
diesels provide superior fuel
Bob Galler flew this Dakota
at the 2013 Boulder City SAM
Champs. The popular Joe
Wagner design was enlarged
to be three times the size of
the original 1/2A FF airplane.
Using altitude-limiting devices
Altitude Limited Old- Timer (ALOT) is the term for the Society
of Antique Modelers’ (SAM)
version of the popular Altitude
Limited Electric Soaring
(ALES) event for AMA
electric sailplanes. It was first
mentioned in my column in
the December 2012 issue of
The SAM version has
been tested in a few contests,
including the 2013 SAM
Champs, but the event got
off to a rocky start because of
several small problems.
Contest organizers settled on
the Winged Shadow Systems
Sky Limit device as the most suitable for the event, but after
a number of the units were purchased and used, the device
permanently dropped off the market.
The Competition Altimeter for Models (CAM) unit, which
is used in the Sailplane event, is less versatile but is useable for
electric-powered models, with some minor modifications to the
trial rules. Fortunately, there are alternative units available.
Last year’s SAM European Championship was successfully
run using mostly European-made altitude-limiting units. In the
US, we’ve been testing HobbyKing’s altitude-limiting device,
which appears to satisfy most requirements. We encountered
a possible problem with one installed in a spark ignition ship,
requiring further testing.
The Winged Shadow Systems Sky Limit
units can still be used for all fuel- or electric-powered aircraft, and the CAM units can be
used for electric motors or glow engines that
can be controlled by throttle.
The HobbyKing instruction booklet is
slightly difficult to interpret, but I’ve decoded
it into a simpler “cheat sheet” for ALOT use.
I can supply a copy to anyone interested who
sends an email or a self-addressed stamped
The ALOT event differs from electric
ALES in that it allows any and all SAM-eligible airplanes to be flown, regardless of the
power source, as long as power can be shut
off by radio control. It’s expected to be flown
at the upcoming Bolder City SAM Champs,
held October 19-23, 2015, in Nevada. It’s
strictly a fun gathering and will not replace
any basic SAM events.
By shutting power off at a
preset low altitude, we hope
the event attracts some fliers
who are either intimidated by
the high power requirements
of many SAM RC events,
or whose eyesight isn’t fit
for steering models at high
altitudes. The event will
also allow the use of some
interesting old engines that are
otherwise not competitive in regular events.
SAM Rule Book
The 2015 SAM rule book is available for $5, and it’s
recommended that you get one if you join SAM and/or
especially if you plan to compete. SAM rules are complex, but
that’s because of the large number of events. The rule book will
remain in effect for five years until the next rules-change cycle.
On the topic of rules, Gene Wallock posted some interesting
off-the-wall AMA rules history on the SAMTalk Forum
message board. One of the items is worth repeating. Here’s the
story as alleged:
87 Model Aviation APRIL 2015 www.ModelAviation.com