Radio Too!


SAM35 embraces RC flying! There is interest in early, or ‘retro’ R/C and, with the reduced availability of large flying sites, in adding R/C to the free flight models of yore so that we can continue to fly them on small fields. In collaboration with the BMFA, the concept of Radio Assist has been developed. This is adding basic radio guidance (on 2.4GHz) to free-flight models so that they can be flown in a free-flight manner (climb and glide) in a mixed flying environment.

The Power Strugglers are a group of SAM35 sports fliers, primarily R/C but free-flight and control-line are welcome, who hold monthly Monday and Tuesday meetings at BMFA Buckminster throughout the summer. They have a WhatsApp group on which there is much discussion of things technical. Contact Andy Brough to sign up to this. There are also a number of SAM35 R/C competitions, including:

  • Spot Landing: a ‘fun’ competition for small and simple IC powered single channel radio assist models. After a climb under power until the fuel runs out, the aim is to glide down and land as close to the marked spot as possible. Some events have a model design theme to encourage the building and flying of a range of different models
  • R/C Precision: a Bowden type competition with a take-off, climb and then glide to achieve a target flight time, but with the added requirement to land back at the take-off point. It is another ‘fun’ competition with the minimum of rules so that virtually anyone can have a go. It requires only basic flying skills but needs precision to achieve a low score
  • SAM35 R/C Scale: for small, traditionally built models with only rudder, elevator and throttle control. Only basic manoeuvres are flown. Judging is based on both static and flying scores
  • KK60 Pylon Racing: for Junior or Senior 60 models with limits on maximum power. From a standing start, one model at a time is timed around 5 laps of a figure of 8 course. The KK60 Triple Task includes Precision and Duration tasks as well as Racing
  • Vintage Power Duration (VPD): a traditional free flight duration type competition for vintage and classic era power models, but with the use of R/C to enable thermal hunting and to land back within the field. I/C engine types are restricted to limit power and cost, and equivalent electric propulsion can be used too. The engine run-time is varied according to the power and type of model. The intention is that a wide variety of vintage and classic ‘competition’ and ‘sport’ type models should be competitive. A mid-week decentralised VPD league is flown throughout the summer.

The Radio Assist Guidelines and the detailed rules for the various competitions can be found on the rules page of the website – CLICK HERE

Last updated: 7th February 2024