Flight Deck

December 2008

AMA Class I and Class 2 Airplanes

By Eric Conley

AMA Class 1 and Class 2 airplanes

When it comes to CL-1 and 2 there seems to be no substitute for the MO-1 series of planes. If you want to fly "scale" it's the plane you use. The only difference between a profile MO-1 and a scale one is that on the scale one you make the fuselage wider. Most builders still use the profile plane and add a few bulkheads along the profile fuselage and then sheet it and there is their scale entry. The planes will be exactly the same with the exception of the engine choice.

I use Nelson engines because they are the strongest from the "Factory" engines you can buy with the exception of the engine I use for CL-2. All of the Nelson carrier engines are built with the same crankcase/crank shaft, and only the pistons, sleeves, and heads are made either smaller for Profile 36 or standard for CL-1 (40) or inlarged for CL-2 (45 when using the Nelson). The Nelson 45 is a very strong engine but at the national level there are several higher scoring planes than mine and they are powered by such engines as the Webra Speed 60 and the OS .65 REDF. If there were a better selection of props for the Nelson 45 it would be more competitive. At this time I use the APC 9/6P for all three engines and classes.

I have some trouble with the MO-1 being the only competitive plane in Class I and II. Have you ever seen a CL-1 or 2 MO-1 entered in a contest with a chin radiator just below and to the rear of the engine, and a windscreen in front of the cockpit? So how come we have never seen a P-51 (made a takeoff and arrested landing on a actual carrier) that has no radiator scoop beneath the fuselage and no canopy on the top of the fuselage? Do you get the drift? I'm sure you would never be allowed to enter a P-51 without the radiator cowling beneath the fuselage, and the cockpit canopy on the top of the fuselage in a navy carrier event without giving up the scale points.

Some of the advantages of using the MO-1 in Class1 and 2 are as follows.

All of the above make the MO-1 a very competitive plane to fly, an easy plane to build, and an easy plane to maintain.

I would love to see a change in the AMA Navy Carrier scale rules to allow more planes to qualify, and fly competitively with the MO-1. To do this would require a scale rule very similar to AMA event 509 "Control Line Sport Scale."

The change to the carrier rules "#8 BONUS POINTS" would read something like this:

With the above changes in bonus points for scale carrier it would open up a variety of other planes that could be built and would be competitive in CL- I and II scale carrier. The MO-1 would not be made obsolete or less competitive, the other planes would just be more competitive than they were before. For me it would allow me to make a competitive Seafire MK-45, F2G-1, B5N 'Kate', or maybe a B5M1 'Mabel'. And that's just a few of many that would be more competitive with the above rule.

At the present time (2008) in the top 20 lists under CL-1 and CL-2 we are real lucky to get more than 10 fliers in each of those columns while Profile is full. I would guess that all of or nearly all of the planes entered in CL-1 and 2 were MO-1s while the planes in the profile column are a variety of different planes. I believe the reason for that is that it is easier to build a competitive profile plane of any kind because of the more lax rules governing AMA Profile.

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This page was upated Feb. 11, 2009