PHOTOGRAPHS BY GERRY YARRISH & DEBRA CLEGHORN
A LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUES
After 18 years of nonstop scale excellence, Top Gun, the event, is a well-oiled competition machine that showcases the world’s best scale models and their pilots. Held at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, FL, Frank Tiano’s extravaganza is the place to be during the last week of April.
Top Gun is a true international invitational, and expert pilots from around the globe are pleased to be accepted into this exclusive brotherhood of battle-hardened competitors. You can’t just talk the talk at Top Gun; you gotta fly the flights! The 2006 event was a real challenge for all the pilots, as Mother Nature did not give any of them a free pass. Every day at the flightline, an ever-present crosswind kept all the pilots on their toes. And the flight scores told the story: jets had a definite advantage over prop designs, but a heavy-metal aircraft prop job did bring home some gold!
When all the dust had cleared, the title of ÔøΩMr. Top GunÔøΩ was deservedly won by none other than Bob Violett with his impressive BVM F-86 Sabre Jet.
For more information on Top Gun, check Frank’s website: franktiano.com. Top Gun 2007 will be held next May 2 to 6, so mark your calendar now.
Mr. Top Gun & First Place Masters
BOB VIOLETT, F-86 SABRE JET
Flying his beautifully appointed BVM F-86 Sabre Jet, Bob placed first in the Masters class with a 96.417 static score and a final score of 193.167. He also earned the best total flight score. Bob’s ?-scale F-86F Sabre Jet has an 80-inch span, weighs 35 pounds and is powered by a JetCat P-120 turbine. The model has all BVM hardware and retracts, has a Metal-Kote II finish and is controlled with a JR radio.
First Place Expert
GREG HAHN, B-25D MITCHELL MEDIUM BOMBER
Greg competed this year with a completely new B-25 bomber and really showed how a big twin should be flown. Even in the crosswind conditions, his nosewheel did not stray far from the yellow centerline on the runway. Greg earned a 96.667 static score and a final score of 192.167. The big B-25 is a 120-percent enlarged version of the Ziroli plans and weighs 48 pounds. It has a 120-inch span and is powered by a pair of Fuji 43cc gas engines turning 3-blade 12ÔøΩ8 props. Greg included functional bomb bays and full cockpit details. The B-25 sits on Robart retract gear, and a Futaba 14MZ radio keeps everything under control. Greg also won the Expert High Static and the best Multi-Engine Performance awards.
First Place Team
MARK TAYLOR & PAUL BAGEMAN F-100D SUPER SABRE
If ever there were an icon for the early sweptwing jets, it would have to be the very attractive North American F-100 Super Sabre. Builder Mark Taylor and pilot Paul Bageman teamed up with a BVM F-100D to win the class with a 97.833 static score and a final score of 190.362. The nicely done, ?-scale F-100 has a 70-inch span, weighs 45 pounds, is powered by a AMT Pegasus turbine and has a Flite-Metal finish.
Dino DiGiorgio captured the Best Gas Performance award with his FW-190.
This ÔøΩHuffÔøΩ F-86 SabreJet with a dragon painted on its side earned Jack Diaz the Best Jet Performance award.
|Best 4-Stroke Performance||David Voglund||KI-43 Oscar|
|Best 2-Stroke Performance||Sean Curry||T-34|
|Best Gas Performance||Dino DiGiorgio||FW-190|
|Best Multi-Engine Performance||Greg Hahn||B-25|
|Best Jet Performance||Jack Diaz||F-86|
|Best Total Flight Score||Bob Violett||F-86|
High Static Team
Octavio DePaula teamed up with Frank Tiano and flew this great-looking Piper L-4 Grasshopper. Earning a score of 98.167, the L-4 captured the High Static score for the Team class, and its 189.459 final score placed it third in the class. Great weathering!
High Static Masters
Mick Reeves earned the High Static award for the Masters class with his impressive Sopwith 1ÔøΩ Strutter biplane. He earned a 98.333 static score and, with a final score of 188.625, Mick placed fourth in the class. Beautiful workmanship!
Best Military went to Bruno Mary for his Hawker Sea Fury. Flown in Team by Brian O’Meara, the Team placed fourth.
The Engineering Excellence award went to Patrick McCurry for his beautiful DO-335.
|Masters High Static||Mick Reeves||Sopwith 1ÔøΩ Strutter|
|Expert High Static||Greg Hahn||B-25|
|Team High Static||Octavio DePaula||Piper L-4|
|Best Civilian Aircraft||Mike Barbee||Waco|
|Best Civilian Aircraft Runner-up||David Toyer||Miles Messenger|
|Best Military Aircraft||Bruno Mary||Sea Fury|
|Best Military Runner-up||Patrick McCurry||DO-335|
|Best Biplane||Mike Barbee||Waco|
|Best Pre-WW II Aircraft||Mick Reeves||Sopwith|
|Best Jet||Thomas Gleissner||BAE Hawk|
|Best Pro-AM||Dino DiGiorgio||FW-190|
|Engineering Excellence||Patrick McCurry||DO-335|
|Best Cockpit Interior||Octavio DePaula||Piper L-4|
|Charlie Chambers Craftsmanship||Mick Reeves||Sopwith|
|Special Recognition||Len Ashdown||Swordfish|
|Critics Choice Runner-up||Bruno Mary||Sea Fury|
|Critics Choice||Mike Selby||Vindicator|
|Gray Eagle Award||Mike Winter|
|Top Buns Award||Dustin Boucher|
|1. Bob Violett||F-86F||96.417||193.167|
|2. Dave Ribbe||MiG-15||96.083||191.333|
|3. Dave Johnson||Albatros D-III||96.250||189.538|
|4. Mick Reeves||Sopwith 1ÔøΩ Strutter||98.333||188.652|
|5. Al Kretz||Stormovik ÔøΩ3ÔøΩ||93.583||184.375|
|1. Greg Hahn||B-25D Mitchell||96.667||192.167|
|2. Jack Diaz||F-86||96.083||191.750|
|3. Thomas Gleissner||Hawk BAE||94.667||190.585|
|4. Terry Nitsch||F-100F||96.167||190.451|
|5. Bill McCallie||Spitfire Mk. XVI||95.417||189.542|
|1. Mark Taylor & Paul Bageman||F-100D||97.833||190.362|
|2. Mike Selby & Ray Johns||Vought Vindicator||97.250||189.667|
|3. Octavio DePaula & Frank Tiano||Piper L-4||98.167||189.459|
|4. Bruno Mary & Brian O’Meara||Hawker Sea Fury||96.167||189.167|
|5. Wayne Siewert & Scott Russell||P-47 Thunderbolt||95.750||187.958|
|1. David Shulman||F-86||121.167|
|2. Geraldo Diaz||F-100||119.417|
|3. John Christensen||Cougar F9F||119.167|
|4. Kent Nogy||Sabre Jet||118.792|
|5. Tom Dodgen||MiG-15||118.208|
|1. Joey Tamez||F-4 Phantom||115.875|
|2. Donald McLellan||Boomerang||115.417|
|3. Brad Foley||T-34||112.750|
|4. Eric Karl||T-34||112.500|
|5. Sean Curry||T-34||111.708|
Top Gun ’06 Sponsors
- Fly R/C
- AirWorld USA
- JR Radio
- Kempinski Hotels & Resorts
- PST Jets
- SOS Intl.
- Aerotech Models
- Composite ARF
- Fuji/Imvac Engines
- Gunner’s Mate
- RC Report
- Saito Engines
- Sarasota Avionics
- Top Gun Hussies
The Best Jet award went to Thomas Gleissner for his striking BAE Hawk. Powered by a JetCat P-160, the 83-inch-span Hawk is built from an AirWorld kit. Thomas’s static score was 94.667; his final score of 190.585 earned him a third-place finish in Expert.
FIRST PRO DIVISION
With a final score of 121.167, the first-place winner here was David Shulman with his BVM Skyblazer F-86 Sabre Jet. It was powered by a JetCat P-120 turbine engine and equipped with a JR 10X radio system. The finish on David’s F-86 was Metal-Kote II and Pro-Mark.
Mike Barbee suffered a midair with his beautiful Waco biplane. Some of David Hayes’s Ayres Thrush fire-bomber can be seen in Mike’s flying wires! David’s plane was destroyed, but Mike made it in safely for repairs and went on to place ninth in Expert. David placed 13th in Masters.
TOP & ABOVE The Critics Choice award went to Mike Selby for his Vought Vindicator. Flown in Team by Ray Johns, the Vindicator placed second. Its static score was 97.833, and its final score was 189.667.
First-time Top Gun attendee Joey Tamez had a great time at the event and earned first place in Pro-Am Sportsman with his all-black BVM F-4 Phantom. Joey used a JetCat Titan for power and a JR radio. His final score was 115.875.