A CL Formula 40 racer is ready for its
This CL Speed model uses a bent-wire frame with wheels called a dolly to
launch the aircraft.
Jeff Witt’s beautiful JNA-D2 Jenny competed in CL Scale at the 2011 Nats. Ted Kraver
Photos by Allen Brickhaus and NatsNews reporters Racing
CL Racing entails a variety of classes,
depending upon engines, models, and local
rules. FAI Team Race is the epitome of
professional racing, with as many as three
pilots flying slick-looking, diesel-powered
models. Similar, lower-budget racing events
include Clown Race, Foxberg Race, and a
variety of others.
Races are not always won with the fastest
airplane. Pit stops are required and the pilot/
pitman team must execute their stops to refill
the fuel tank and get the model back in the air
in a minimal amount of time.
If you enjoy Formula 1 or NASCAR racing, this similar type
of activity might interest you. A model airplane costs less than
an expensive race vehicle. I spent some time drag racing with
my ’ 55 Chevy and do see the difference in overall cost!
Speed models are designed to do nothing but go fast. Most
speed models begin as a magnesium-molded pan and the
upper structure is generally finely finished, polished wood.
Models are classified by engine size and include a jet category.
Speed models are set in a bent-wire frame with
wheels called a dolly. The model is released by
a pitman and the airplane accelerates. The pilot
must put his handle in a U-shaped cradle at the
center of the circle. This allows exact timing
and keeps the pilot from illegally “whipping” his
airplane to higher speeds.
The goal is to achieve the best speed with the
same length of lines. Three sites—California, Buder
Park in St. Louis, and the AMA site in Muncie,
Indiana—have speed cages in which to safely fly
Scale modeling is self explanatory, but classes
are separated by skill levels. The models must
represent a full-scale airplane that actually flew.
Documentation is needed to achieve the best
static scores in the initial scoring. The pilot must
give the Static judges drawings, color pictures,
Documentation experts suggest that you should present
whatever evidence you have for the model, but not to present
documentation of features that are not on the model so it is as
close to scale as possible. Static scores are typically not posted
until the pilot has completed at least one flight.
Flight scores are achieved by setting up a series of
maneuvers, dropping bombs, lowering and raising the landing
gear, pulling streamers in the air, or other scalelike details in
the flight pattern. How well the pilot performs his or her
designated flight pattern determines the flight score.
The static and flight score are combined to determine the
Finding a Club
I suggest using the model club locator on the AMA website
and searching for a CL club near you. I encourage you to visit
a club, watch the club members, decide what type of flying
you might enjoy, and ask advice to improve your knowledge
and gain guidance in your choice of CL flying.
Find a working combination of model, engine or motor,
33 Model Aviation MAY 2014