Pattern Talk

Jeff Owens


I've decided to create a section of the SRCC web site devoted to pattern flying. This main page will have links to various articles I plan to write about my experiences flying precision aerobatics with RC models. The subjects will be varied and will include tips on getting started, on competition, equipment, techniques, and more. To start things off, here is a link to a short history of my involvement in flying pattern.

With that bit of background, let's move on to an article I wrote recently. An abbreviated version appeared in the August SRCC Newsletter. This article basically attempts to explain what it is that I find so enjoyable and challenging about pattern flying.

This next article is abut the Senior Pattern Association. It first appeared in the September issue of the Club Newsletter. SPA is an AMA Special Interest Group (SIG) devoted to pattern flying (more or less) as it was done in the late 60s and early 70s. The level of activity has shown a marked increase in recent years as interest in the older pattern planes has reemerged. Indeed, many new kits and short kits have become available, so it is possible to recreate some of these great planes. Here is some more detail concerning SPA.

In addition to the regular SPA pattern classes, some clubs have started hosting Antique competitions. The classes for this type of contest are also described on the main SPA website. Basically these events are designed for planes that were designed and flown in the sixties or earlier. I flew in one last November and had a ball! Of course, I needed to get a plane for it and I only had a few weeks to prepare, so I chose to assemble an ARF from Graupner - a model of the Kwik Fly III by Phil Kraft. Here is a flight report for this model. I was very impressed with the quality of the kit and how the plane flies. This is an easy way to get started with a very capable plane - it won the World Championships in 1969!

OK - so yu've decided that you might like to try learning some new pattern maneuvers. How is the best way to proceed? There are undoubtedly lot's of questions going through your mind. This next article is designed to start answering some of them.