IMAC for Better Flying

Full scale or models, I’ve always been interested in precision aerobatics. Since I’m not able to fly full scale aerobatics, I stick to models. There are two styles of precision aerobatics.

Pattern - The has been part of RC since the 60s, and it has evolved a lot over the decades. These planes are all purpose built for the sequences flown. There is absolutely nothing scale about these planes. The fly amazing, but I can never get used to what they look like.


I understand why they are designed this way, but I still think they look funny.

IMAC - IMAC stands for International Miniature Aerobatic Club. IMAC follows the full scale IAC. Planes fly the similar sequences, and the main restriction on the plane is that it must be within 10% of any full-scale plane. The 10% rule is pretty subjective, but the planes look like real full-scale aircraft.

Since I started back up several years ago, I always practiced precision maneuvers, but last year I entered my first IMAC contests. Here is the plane I flew:


My first contest was the Granite State IMAC. There are five levels of IMAC - Basic, Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced, and Unlimited. On the recommendation of the contest director, I competed in Basic. I explained to him my experience, but he said I should still fly Basic in my first contest.

Well, I probably should have competed in Sportsman because I won with the best scores in the world. Yes, the world. That felt a little weird.

2018 World Rankings.jpg

Obviously, I should not have been in Basic, so I moved up to Sportsman. I came in 2nd twice behind another pilot that hadn’t lost in a long time. He set a really high bar, and I thoroughly enjoyed competing. It made me a better pilot, and it was a blast.

Now, I’m hooked. This year I decided to move up to Intermediate and get a plane purpose built for IMAC. Here she is:


Now, I need to put it all back together since I only bought the airframe from the original builder/owner. I will post some more photos and descriptions of the build as it comes up.

I’m looking forward to this year’s contests. I will be competing with the same guy that I came in 2nd to last year since he had to move up after winning more than five contents in Sportsman.

My New Toy - The Beast

As an engineer, I feel the need to build stuff all the time, and it's not always software. Aviation is another passion of mine. If I can't fly the real ones, the radio control models work for me. After a long layoff from the hobby, I jumped in again with both feet. The best part is that my kids are onboard as well.

I love biplanes -- always have. The full-size Beast always spoke to me, especially given that one of the best RC pilots in the world, Quique Somenzini, contributed to the design and then produced an 89" version. The big Beast is more than I can store and transport, but when The Beast 60e came out I jumped on it. At a wingspan of only 58", it is far easier to manage.

What a blast to fly! I'm giggling the whole time flying it, and my kids want to learn on their trainer so they can have a chance to fly it. It's a win-win!

Here is my third flight of my Beast. I was by myself for the first couple, so no video there. I'm still getting my flying fingers back and trimming the plane, so I'm much higher than I would normally be.

Some of my fondest memories growing up are building and flying radio control airplanes with my father. Building them was as much fun as flying them. Unfortunately, once I started living and working in the city, I was no longer able to pursue the hobby. That doesn't mean I lost my passion for aviation. I've been fascinated by aviation forever. As a kid, I would ride my bike to the library every week to eventually checkout every book they had on aviation and the space program. That fueled my love of technology as I got older.

Here is an early project. This is an early model called the Deception. It was referred to a "pattern ship" because it was designed to trace patterns in the sky. It had a 60+" wingspan, retractable gear, and a 0.60cu in motor turning an 11" prop 16,000rpm. The bird would easily clock 100mph and climb straight up out of sight.