The First Top Gun Scale Invitational

The First Top Gun Scale Invitational

It was in the August 1989 issue of MAN that our readers were introduced to what was to become one of the greatest RC scale airplane competitions in the world. The brainchild of Frank Tiano, Top Gun the event has redefined the hobby and sport of scale competition. it pushed the standards of excellence for all branches of the RC design and the competition has continued to evolve to the highest level. Here’s some facts from that first article written by then MAN editor Rich Uravitch.

Top Gun Scale InvitationalModel Airplane News - RC Airplane News | The First Top Gun Scale Invitational

Top Gun Scale Invitational

The first Mr. Top Gun—Bob Fiorenze, 1989

Bob Fiorenze built his magnificent McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet starting with a pre-production Yellow Aircraft kit, and it took about six months worth of 14-hours-a-day effort to complete. It’s just over 8-feet long with a 6-foot wingspan, weighs 27 pounds and was powered by a pair of Dynamax fans driven by two O.S. .77 ducted-fan engines. The fuselage is made of molded fiberglass and Bob used a material called Fascal to cover over all the balsa surfaces. Automotive finishing materials were used for the paint job, including acrylic lacquer color coats. One of the model’s impressive features was the use of electric wheel brakes. The most difficult part of the model’s construction for Bob was the retractable landing gear system which included 10 sequencing gear doors. One channel is used for gear operation; the doors are opened by springs and closed with pull cables. Three servos are used for the door sequencing alone. Though this type of attention to detail is common place today, for its day, this achievement was most noteworthy. Bob also won the 1988 U.S. Scale Masters Championships with his impressive Hornet.

Here’s how the rest of the competition stacked up for the first Top Gun Scale Invitational.

Place       Pilot                                        Airplane                                 Score

1              Bob Fiorenze                        F/A-18 Hornet                      183.26

2              Neil Snodgrass                     Midwing Special                  175.15

3              Skip Mast                              C-130                                      174.84

4              Cliff Tacie                              Savoia-Marchetti SM8        1174.69

5              Chuck Fuller                          Ryan PT-22                           174.66

6              Dick Hansen                         JN4D Jenny                           173.67

7              Charlie Nelson                      Waco VKS-7F                       172.84

8              Bob Frey                                P-47D Thunderbolt              172.64

9              Bob Violett                            F-86F Sabre Jet                     172.55

10            Jeff Foley                               A6M32 Zero                         171.31

11            Shailesh Patel                       F6F Hellcat                            170.20

12            Dave Platt                              A6M2 Zero                           170.02

13            Bill McCallie                          FW-190D-9                            169.03

14            Don Srull               &n
bsp;               Eindekker E-III                      167.58

15            Bob Heitkamp                       JU-87G-2 Stuka                     167.24

16            Diego Lopez                          F6F Hellcat                            167.12

17            Bob Underwood                   Petlyakov PE-2                     165.62

18           Shane Cramer                        P-47D Thunderbolt              165.23

19            Jack Buckley                         CAP-1 OB                              164.19

20            Bob Hanft                              Neuport28C-l                        163.21

21            Ted White                             P-47D Thunderbolt              162.87

22            Steve Sauger                         Aeronca Sedan                     162.71

23           Mel Santmeyers                   Beech Staggerwing G-17     162.45

24            Brian O’Meara                       Mooney Porsche M20K     161.19

25           Wayne Siewert                     Spitfire MK XIV                   161.19

26           Tom Czikk                              P-40C Tomahawk159.25

27           Dan Parsons                         deHavilland Hornet             158.17

28            Charlie Chambers                 P-5ID Mustang                     157.27

29            Bill Carper                              P-47D Thunderbolt              157.22

30            Chuck Collier                        Beech Staggerwing              155.23

31            John Guenther                      Spitfire MK-IX                      153.34

32            Tom Street                             B-17G Flying Fortress         152.59

33            Mike Kulczyk                        F-105D Thunderchief          109.32

34            Jeff Troy                                Bleriot XI-2

35            Art Johnson                          B-26 Marauder                      93.10

36            George Rose                         P-6E Hawk                             88.73

37            Gerry Fingler                         Hawker Sea Fury MK II      88.68

38           Frank Tiano                           P-39L Airacobra                   84.84

39           Mario Yederlinic                   Hurricane MK IIC                83.06

Critics Choice                       Mike Kulczyk

Pilots Choice

(Military)                               Bob Violett

(Civilian)                                Steve Sauger

High Flight Score                 Bob Fiorenze

High Static Score                 Dave Platt

Updated: July 16, 2015 — 10:24 AM


  1. I loved up to you’ll receive carried out right here. The comic strip is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you want be delivering the following. unwell indisputably come further earlier again as precisely the same just about a lot continuously within case you defend this increase.

  2. Where was the 1st Top Gun held at??

Comments are closed.

Air Age Media ©
WordPress Lightbox