This is a Bronze-class heat looking toward Pylon One
on the right side of the course. The bucket on the top
of the pylon helps the pilots see the pylon.
the extent that you might not be ready for
the next heat.
Retractable landing gear makes an aircraft
significantly more complex. In fact, in full-scale general aviation, an airplane with
retracts and a variable-pitch propeller is
described as “complex.”
Because the type of racing I am discussing
has no limits on engine or fuel system
modification, the key is having both be
Some of the models use YS or other
brands of engines with pressurized fuel
systems. Proper preparation of a pressurized
fuel system adds to the performance and
complexity involved in running those engines.
Contestants provide their own fuel. Some
run 50%, 60%, or 70% nitro. With the high
nitro content, engines can and do fail.
Propellers are not limited. Matching a
propeller with an engine and an airframe is
an art. The Gold-class aircraft tend to be the
most complex and highly tuned. With the
breakout times, the fastest, most-tuned model
might not win. All of the pieces have to come
The good news is that you can take
nearly any semiscale warbird ARF and be
competitive in the Bronze class. One of the
most popular models for warbird racing is
the P- 51 Mustang 46, offered by The World
Models. This airplane has a wooden wing,
fuselage, and tail, with a fiberglass cowl.
The World Models also offers the Voodoo
Mustang 46 and the Dago Red Mustang, both
with similar planforms. With good assembly
skills, aircraft from other manufacturers can
also be set up for the Bronze class.
The speed of a competitive Bronze-class
model should be in the 100 mph to 120
mph range; however, an 80 mph model can
compete in Bronze and even win.
Choosing an airframe and engine
combination for the class in which you want
to compete is key. An unreliable airframe
and engine combination won’t win. You can
search for advice on the RCUniverse forum
or the RC Warbird Racing page on Facebook.
People are generally glad to share their
choices and preferences.
When it comes to the higher classes, some
construct purpose-built models, while many
modify and reinforce ARF aircraft. It can
38 Model Aviation MAY 2016