Combat and Scale



MACANEWS: James McKinney....E-mail:

Official Publication of the Miniature Aircraft Combat Association

Control Line Combat is the most exciting of all the model flying events to fliers and spectators alike. Two models have a string and crepe paper streamer attached to their tails and the object of the event is to cut the streamer from your opponent’s plane. The speed and quickness of the models is unsurpassed by any other modeling event. The models fly at speeds up to120 MPH, and are capable of turning in a 10-foot radius loop, requiring instant reflexes from the pilots to keep up with the action. The event is scored by the number of cuts obtained on the streamers and the amount of time in the air during the five-minute match.Currently, there are four officially recognized AMA combat classes: 1/2A, FAI (.15), Slow and Fast (AMA) .36 combat, with the unofficial 80 MPH events rapidly gaining favor throughout the country.

Currently, there are four officially recognized AMA combat classes: 1/2A, FAI (.15), Slow and Fast (AMA) .36 combat, with the unofficial 80 MPH events rapidly gaining favor throughout the country.

1/2A Combat is flown with models of approximately 200  that weigh between 4.5 and 6 ounces. These models reach75 MPH and are actually the quickest of all combat models. The lap times with the 35’ lines are equal to the times flown by the Fast models on 60’ lines. The speed and quickness make these models the most difficult to fly, and are not recommended for beginners.

FAI Combat is the internationally recognized version of the event. By international rules, two models are allowed per match, so the matches are generally much more destructive than the domestic events. Many strange rules dominate the class; consequently it has a very small, but hard-core following. This is the event flown at the World Championships. Engines used in this class are very high tech .15s, while models are 400-500 sq. in. while keeping the weight well below one pound. The top speeds approach100 MPH. The event is the most expensive of all the combat classes.

Slow Combat is flown with profile models and suction engines. The original concept of the event was to provide an entry-level event for beginners in combat by using the standard Flite Streak or Ringmaster kits. Unfortunately, the high-tech competitors became interested in the event and turned this one into a very specialized affair. The speeds approach 100 MPH, while the model designs have gravitated toward the foam winged Fast Combat models with long profile-fuselages, and high-performance engines.

Fast (AMA) Combat is the ultimate event, with the high-tech engines and airframes combining to provide an extremely high performance model. The .36 engines develop close to 1-1/2HPwhile pulling models that weigh less than 1-1/2 pounds, providing120 MPH speeds. The performance of these models is truly awesome. Modern Fast combat models are constructed with foam, wings generally from 400 to 500 square inches and use many composite parts such as fiberglass or graphite tail booms and engine mounts.

The event gaining popularity the fastest is the relatively new 80 MPH event. This speed-limited, unofficial event has become the most popular event on both the west coast and New England. The models are usually based on current Fast Combat designs with detuned engines to hold them down to the 80 MPH speed limit. The attractions of the event include the use of lower-cost engines; even the lowly Fox Stunt engine can be competitive, along with other strange-sized engines between .15and .36. Many old combat designs are still competitive in this class for those fliers who prefer balsa models. This event is the best for beginners to enter the combat fray as no high-tech equipment is required, so no large outlay of cash is required to get involved in the action. The events contestants have a more laid-back attitude while the destruction level is much lower; midair collisions are less prevalent and contact with the ground at a much lower speed allows the model to survive.


Sport Scale, Profile Scale, Fun Scale, Team Scale, Authentic Scale and 1/2A Scale. Control line scale was at one time a very specialized event, but with today’s available hobby equipment and supplies these highly detailed models can be built and flown successfully by anyone interested in the flying in the scale categories. If entered in a contest the models in all categories are static judged for realism from a distance of 15 feet (1/2a Scale 5 feet).

Event 509 - Sport Scale: Sport Scale is intended to be an event for scale models that closely replicate the full-scale aircraft being modeled, but that do not need to incorporate the high level of detail that is only visible on close inspection.

Event 521 - Profile Scale: Profile Scale is intended to be an event for scale models that requires models to employ profile engine/motor nacelles (if necessary) and profile fuselages

Event 526 - Fun Scale: Fun Scale is intended to provide a scale event which, while requiring a realistic scale flight, minimizes the scale research and model construction efforts. The contestant is not required to be the builder of the model. The contest director may classify Fun Scale participation into(2) two separate events. The first event, Event 526, would be reserved for the more experienced control line scale fliers. The second event, Event 526N, would be for novices who are beginners in control line scale flying.

Event 527 - Team Scale: Team Scale is intended to be an event wherein the model is built by and flown by separate individuals, although the pilot can also have been involved in the construction of the model. The Team consists of both the builder and the pilot of the model, and both individuals must be present when the event is being contested unless the contest publication has allowed proxy pilots.

Event 528 - Authentic Scale: Authentic Scale is intended to be an event where the scale model very closely replicates the full-scale aircraft being modeled in all aspects - outline, color markings, surface detail, and scale detail, as well as flight maneuvers and scale operations.

Event 529 - 1/2A Scale: 1/2A Scale is intended to provide a scale event to encourage the building and flying of small (commonly called 1/2A) scale models.




A great source for these documents can be located in:
Bob’s Aircraft Documentation
3915 Jean Lane
Norton Ohio 44203-5044

Phone 330-335-0050
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