Top Gun 2011 marked the 23rd year for this amazing world-class scale competition. This was the first year the scale invitational was hosted at Frank Tiano’s new Paradise Field flying site near the Lakeland Linder Airport. This field features a beautifully maintained grass runway and flightline set up specifically for the needs of the RC pilots. For the most part, the sun is to the contestants’ backs so there’s little danger of losing sight of an airplane in the late afternoon sun. The weather conditions were next to perfection with a welcome breeze to keep the temps down. Early on, there was a bit of a crosswind but for the most part, the wind was more or less down the runway. Eliminating the paved runway was a welcome change for most of the vintage “tail-dragger” airplanes which, up until now, had a slight disadvantage to the modern tricycle landing gear-equipped aircraft. No one could really complain as even the more complicated jet aircraft with their relatively smaller wheels had no problems with the flat grass runway. The playing field was indeed leveled in 2011.
Model Airplane News was on location to cover the event click here to see it.