by Aaron “AJ” Seaholm
Winter is a challenging time of year for Pylon racers. As I am writing this, it is a bone
chilling - 11° in South Dakota, on its
way to a high of 0°.
The good news is that when this
article reaches you, we will have kicked
off the flying season in Phoenix, at the
reopened Speedworld RC club. Most
parts of the country will have started, or
will be gearing up to start, the RC Pylon
As you look forward to the upcoming
racing season, what do you hope
to accomplish this year? Maybe it’s
competing for the first time, moving
up to a new class, winning an event, or
setting a new personal fast time.
One of the best ways to improve your
skills is to hang around experienced
racers. Watch how they prepare, practice,
set up their models, and fly the course.
Ask plenty of questions.
Focus on smooth and consistent
flights. Equipment upgrades can easily
be overshadowed by flying tighter and
smoother. Do not allow yourself to get
caught up in the model-of-the-month
pursuits. Focus on flying better each
I assure you that there are seconds to
be shaved by improving your lines on
the course. Those seconds will turn into
higher heat finishes and propel you in
If your 2014 goal is to progress to the
next class, I hope this will help.
For those new to Pylon Racing, recent
changes in the sport have provided a
nice class progression in terms of speed.
Following is a quick overview of the
more popular RC Pylon classes and their
approximate speed ranges.
• Electric Formula 1 (EF1): 90-100
• Q-500 AMA Event 424: 100-110
• Q-500 AMA Event 426: 140-150
• Q- 40 AMA Event 422: 180-190
How do you know when you’re ready
for a faster class? This is a good question
and one that you need to closely
examine. You have to be fully in control
of your aircraft. Safety is of the utmost
importance. If you do not feel in control
or you feel behind in your current class,
then you likely need additional laps
If you are comfortable and feel you’re
in control, and if the aircraft seems to
fly slowly in your mind on the course,
these are indications that you are ready
One interesting phenomena with the
faster classes is how stable and well the
models fly. One would think that the
faster you go, the harder it is to stay in
control. The opposite is actually true.
Although the time to recover from
a mistake is reduced because of the
extra ground you are covering, the
models actually fly better. This may be
something you have to experience to
The same trimming and setup
HobbyKing has released the Red
Jensen-designed Invictus for EF1.
Models is now selling
the Jerry Small- and
Outrageous for EF1.
Models also offers the
Scarlet Screamer EF1
in an all-red version.
117 Model Aviation MARCH 2014