Paul Boyanowski and Ralph Kuenz flank the legendary Earl Stahl at an FAC meet. Earl drew many
FF Scale plans in the 1930s and ’40s. Photo by Jack Moses.
Vic Didelot spent long hours helping Lin Reichel grow the Erie-based FAC to a membership of more than 1,500. FAC photo.
Ross Mayo was Lin’s protégé and became
Commander in Chief of the FAC after Lin’s death
on June 16, 2008. FAC photo.
By 1978, the FAC had grown to the point where Dave
and Bob felt the need for new leadership. Lin (R)
volunteered and the FAC headquarters moved to
Erie PA. FAC photo.
Stew Meyers (L) became the editor of FAC News
in 2016, upon Rich Weber’s retirement. Rich used
digital technology to turn the newsletter into a
world-class publication. Photo by Ross Mayo.
British FAC members Lindsey and Jane Smith
wind Jane’s Mustang before the FAC Powder Puff
contest. Moses photo.
on recruiting trips to FAC clubs.
Membership eventually increased to
more than 1,500.
By the early 1980s, FAC national
contests were focused in the college
town of Geneseo, New York. The
National Warplane Museum hosted,
and still hosts, the FAC on a flying field
large enough to accommodate WW II
The FAC Nats were scheduled as a
biennial event to offset complaints from
spouses and families about spending
every summer vacation in Geneseo.
Many FAC members still wanted to
have annual contests at Geneseo, so the
FAC Non-Nats was born, with plans to
hold it during the off
The FAC Nats
draw a crowd
of 150 or more
contestants, whereas the Non-Nats
events draw less than 100. The average
number of events flown is roughly 30.
The number of models entered by each
contestant is usually between five and
10, but some enter 20 or more. At both
competitions, hundreds of models are
entered, and an entire day is devoted
to judging before flying begins the
Models are required to comply with
FAC rules, including proof of scale (e.g.
three-views, construction plans, etc.),
workmanship, and bonus points. During
FAC Nats competition, three days are
devoted to flying, capped by an awards
banquet. FAC perpetual trophies are
awarded only at the FAC Nats banquets.
Non-Nats years also involve three
days of flying. The gathering is low-key
and there isn’t an awards banquet or
any trophy plaques, but there’s plenty of
camaraderie. Contestants receive paper
certificates or postcards in recognition of
FAC competition is spiced by
awarding first-place event winners
with Kanones. This concept is based
on the WW I German practice of
honoring successful fliers with
a Kanone or cannon (German
slang for “big shot” or “big
gun” during WW I) for
55 Model Aviation DECEMBER 2016 www.ModelAviation.com