2010 Annual Kingston Father’s Day Fun Fly Event
35 Years of Family Fun and Excitement!
By Gerry Yarrish
For almost 20 years now, I have been making my annual eight-hour trek north of the border to attend one of the best fun fly events there is! That Canadian destination is the Kingston Father’s Day Fun Fly (KFDFF) and this year it ticked over its 35th anniversary! What would make me load up my trailer, travel so far and deal with U.S. customs and border guards? Well, it’s the people of course! Hosted by the ever-enthusiastic members of the Kingston RC Modellers club, the KFDFF dictates that our family’s June vacation is always enjoyed in Ontario Canada. And, every year this event just keeps getting better and better. Not as seriously competitive as it has been in the past, (I guess a lot of the hot shots are just getting a little bit older,) this year’s fun fly was an excellent balance of the fun and fly parts. There was plenty of competitive spirit among the Experts in the top class, and for us regular mortals in the Sportsman class, the required tasks were enjoyable and challenging. Because of the L-shaped flying field, there was always plenty of open flying and never a need to wait for the main flightline to clear. Contest director Mike Siemonsen and all the club volunteers worked very hard to make this year’s event run smoothly, and safely.
Birds of a Feather
Depending on your own skill set, you can fly just about any type of plane you like. In the past, this event saw scores of mono-wheeled, carbon-boomed Smith Specials and StikIts. But for the Experts now, there was an even mix of Florio Flyer 60s, lighter, highbred versions of the same produced by Rolly Siemonsen, and MS Models Turnbuckles. A few super lightweight profile built MS Models Menace and Turner Performance Products Minus fun flyers were thrown in for good measure. The name of the game here is a high power-to-weight ratio, so all these planes have absolutely amazing high- and low-speed flight performance. For the Sportsman Class, almost anything you can fly and do spot landings with was acceptable. There were all sorts of planes from basic trainers and sport flyers to the ModelTech Magic Fun Fly as well as my own impromptu competition choice the Hangar 9 PTS Mustang. Not the most competitive machine, I was able to squeak out an acceptable 6th place finish with my sport scale trainer/warbird. Really though, the argument for which airplane is the best is muted because at Kingston, it all boils down to the pilot skill.
Some pilots use high power engines with tuned pipes and others seek out the lightest airframes all to accomplish the same goal. If there is a secret to doing well at any fun fly event, it is to be consistent and to make sure not to snub your prop on landings. You don’t have to accomplish all the tasked in every heat, (though you do to be competitive,) but you do have to finish the round. Like the old saying goes, “To finish first, first you have to finish!” To gain all the points you earn during a flight, your model has to have its engine running at the end. So it’s a fine balance between how quickly you can complete a task and your fineness on the control sticks.
All the events regardless of the class, are based around simple tasks and maneuvers—Loops, Rolls, and Spot Landings. For excitement, there’s a time factor thrown as well as some skill sets to complete. Here’s a list.
- Spot Landings. Points increase as you get closer to the center of the target.
- Balloon Bust. Three or five attempts allowed depending on the class. No points for misses or if the balloon is not popped by your prop.
- Bomb Drop. A golf ball held on a dowel platform attached to your model. Blip a little down elevator and the ball flies off the holder. Points for hitting the target circles.
- Can Can. Attach a 50 foot length of fishing string to the plane and tie a soda can to the end. Now fly above the target and turn sharply above it so the can drops on the target. Not easy, and you have a golf ball bomb on your model that must stay in place during the event!
- Timed Rolls. Climb 20 second, pull the engine to idle then do as many horizontal rolls as you can. You also have to do a spot landing at the end. (Experts have less time, and must do a loop before counting the rolls.) Here, it is the most rolls and the longest flight time that wins.
- Mission Event. Add all together Bomb drop, touch and go, three tries at the balloon bust and then do a spot landing. Points added up to determine winner. (shortest time used for tie breakers.)
There was also a very simple Junior’s Class for the kids and it was a time differential event. Take off and do a high speed flight around the field and then do a slow speed flight. The one with the highest difference between the fast and slow flights wins.
Two rounds are usually flown each day and in between, there’s tons of open flying. From scale giants and Warbirds, to flying wings, helicopters and mock racing, there’s something to keep it interesting for everyone. And of course, there is always that inverted “how low can you go” challenge throw down, that’s sure to claim a couple planes. So you can see, there’s really a lot of fun flying in the Kingston Fly Fly event and I think this is what makes the event so enjoyable. That, and the fun-loving, not so serious personalities of all the regulars that spend their Father’s Day at this great Kingston RC Modellers’ event.
For more information on this event, go to the KRCM website at: krcm.org and for info and sources for competitive fun fly airplanes, check out the National Competition Fun Fly organization at ncffafunfly.org
1 Matt Rodmell
2 Steve Luchaco
3 Kevin Siemonsen
4 Scott Turner
5 David Baron
6 Richard Baron
7 Dan Luchaco
8 Jim Champion
9 Mike Siemonsen
10 Rocky Rachau
11 Skipp Turner
12 Chris Shaw
13 Rolly Siemonsen
14 Jack Wishmeyer
1 Andre Karsten
2 Colin Geisel
3 Cliff Smith
4 Don Zelewski
5 Doug Geisel
6 Gerry Yarrish
7 Ken Park
8 Jay Kingston
9 Gary Droppo
10 Claude Melbourne
First place Junior class winner Adam Tisdale pays close attention at the pilot meeting!
1 Adam Tisdale
2 Nic Shaw
3 Ginny Shaw
Sponsors: Baron Technology, Leading Edge Hobbies, Model Airplane News, Shaw Insurance, Gerry Yarrish, Rod Levesque, Rolly Siemonsen
Click here for Fun Fly Video: http://blogs-modelairplanenews.com/media/440/2010_Kingston_Fathers_Day_Fun_Fly/
Click here for Video aerial View: http://blogs-modelairplanenews.com/media/441/Video_Aerial_View_from_above_Kingston_2010/
For Bonus Goofing around with Gerry, Click here: http://blogs-modelairplanenews.com/media/442/Goofing_With_Gerry/