Outdoor models


P-30 from Peck One Nite 28

A P-30 class plane is a beginner plane limited to 30 inches in length and span.  It must weigh at least 50 grams, with a maximum of 10 grams rubber installed.  The propeller is a 9.5 inch diameter commercial one made of plastic, by AMA rule. The wing span of the Peck “One Night 28” shown was increased from 28 inches to nearly 30 inches, and the tail was modified to pop up at a time determined by a fuse.  The rubber motor is made up of 6 strands (3 loops) of 1/8 inch wide rubber 20 inches long, to meet the 10 gram rule. 

Small Old Time Cabin

Flying Aces Moth from Peck kit with Superior balsa prop

Small Old Time or Nostalgia Cabin planes are a staple of the Old Timer contests at Bong. The rules for these contests written by NFFS or FAC specify a cutoff year and allowable features like free wheeling propellers common to the old designs. The Flying Aces Moth with its 24 inch wing span falls into this category. The prop on the Moth in the picture was shaped from a balsa blank provided by Superior Props, a Volare Product. The Flying Aces Moth is so-called because its plans were first published in Flying Aces Magazine over 80 years ago, and is still a popular design.  YouTube videos can be found like ” Flying Aces Moth – Stronger Motor ”  by sandfac showing a good 1 minute flight (818 views · 4/25/2017). The Peck kit this is built from is still available ( https://www.wind-it-up.com/products/flying-aces-moth ) and Kits may be had at other places. Flying weight was 50 grams. With a wing area of 77 sq inches, wing loading is 3.3 ounces / sq ft and cube loading is 4.5 oz/ cu ft.

Catapult Glider

A modern catapult glider

Catapult gliders may be flown indoors or out, with planes built according to Nostalgia designs or modern ones incorporating carbon fiber reinforced tubes and strips in their design. The length and width of the rubber launching strip is specified by the rules for each class.


Ed K. with Mulvihill plane 2010

The Mulvihill Trophy is perpetual and was endowed in 1923, making it the oldest U.S. Model Airplane Trophy. A rubber powered model eligible for the Mulvihill has no design restrictions except that the projected area of the wing shall not exceed 300 square inches.  It has been a popular competition for Bong Eagles Fliers at the AMA Nats. In 2009 5 Eagles competed.  Chuck M. of the Eagles won the Trophy in 2018.  He took 2d place in 2019 and Jim F. also flew both years


Replica of Korda’s 1939 Wakefield Winner

The Wakefield Cup is the trophy for an international competition with rules set by the FAI, The plane in the picture was built to the design of the winner of the competition in 1939. Best flight that day lasted 43 minutes. Current rules specify a minimum airframe weight of 200 grams and a maximum motor weight of 30 grams. Wing area may range from 17 to 19 square decimeters ( 270 to 300 square inches). Joshua Finn published a flight of his build of the Korda’s 1939 Wakefield winner (44 inch span about 200 sq in )  with 19 inch diam. 1 blade prop on YouTube.

Coupe d’Hiver = Winter Cup – F1G

Jeff A.’s Coupe at 2014 FF Nats

Coupe d’Hiver is an high tech version of a P-30, since this FAI event also has a maximum motor weight of 10 grams. The minimum airframe weight is 70 grams for F1G, however. To overcome this handicap, FiG planes have super efficient wings and big propellers. They rely on a short multi-strand motor configuration to get high RPM and acceleration to altitude during the power burst. Look up Starlink Flitetech Models to see some very fancy and expensive F1G models made with carbon fiber cap strips on the wing ribs.

Old Time Stick – Large

Like Small Old Time Cabin, this is a Nostalgia Class, for designs of an earlier era. The plane shown climbing is an “Ed Lamb’s Climber”, a 1941 design with a 45 inch wing span, which packs nearly as much rubber as the airframe weighs.

1/2A gas

Nitro Fuel 1/2 A Class Plane

Nitro fueled (Methanol + oil + nitromethane) planes in the 1/2 A class with I/C engines displacing about 0.05 cubic inches ( nearly 1 cc ) scream into the sky during the short motor run after launch. They are best viewed at the AMA National Flying Site in Muncie, IN, during the Free Flight National competition. This picture was taken during the 2018 Nationals. Some of the Bong Eagles are still flying these amazing machines.

.02 Replica

These reduced sized replicas of old free flight model airplane designs are powered with 0.020 Cubic inch (1/3 cc)  Nitro fueled I/C engines. They are flown in many contests throughout the country and allow a reduced version of any design flown before 1951. Previously, only planes designed before 1942 were allowed, and there are some kits available for such planes, like the Carl Goldberg Zipper from 1940 and the Paul Plecan Simplex from 1941. BMJR models sells versions with 30 inch wing spans and about 1 sq ft wing area. Zipper (bmjrmodels.com) is an early design with a pylon mounted wing, Simplex-30-FF (bmjrmodels.com) has more conventional old-timer looks.

Dawn unlimited

Bud Romak’s Dawn Patrol 2 – Mike K.’s build

These big planes (The Dawn Patrol’s wingspan is 64 inches) are flown during a launch window near dawn. The propeller is huge to match the heavy rubber motor. If they were flown during the middle of the day a thermal might easily carry them away. A short kit of laser cut parts is available from J&H Aerospace. A YouTube video of a couple of trimming flights by Bud Romak of the Oakland Cloud Busters is available.

Delta Dart

See Indoor Planes for a description – Bong Eagles compete with Delta Darts in Mass launches outdoors at contests, whenever weather conditions permit, and sometimes when they don’t.

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