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Editor's Note: IAC, Aerobatics, and R/C

By Reggie Paulk

Last month, we ran a mystery airplane photo that turned out to garner a lot of attention from full-scale and model airplane aerobatic enthusiasts alike. In the 21 years or so I’ve been involved in aviation, I’ve always noticed quite a bit of crossover between the two realms.

In the past, radio-controlled (R/C) airplanes emulated their full-scale counterparts. For many years, though, model aircraft have been performing tricks their full-scale brothers can only dream about. With power-to-weight ratios only available in an aerobatic pilot’s dreams, R/C aircraft fly maneuvers that seem to defy gravity and aerodynamics.

One airplane that’s been featured prominently in Sport Aerobatics magazine is The Beast, a Pitts Model 12 owned and flown by Bryan Jensen as part of The Beast Airshows. At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this year, I talked to builder Kevin Kimball and Bryan about a possible article covering how the full-scale airplane inspired a large-scale version from Horizon Hobby. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with these next two videos to contemplate. At times, it’s difficult to tell which is which.

Last month, we asked about your involvement with aerobatics. The questions were meant to see if the air show world has much influence on whether pilots choose to pursue aerobatics. Here were the results:


Clearly, aerobatics serves two functions. It’s a heck of a lot of fun, but it also helps us become better pilots. As for the influence of air shows, about half of respondents think of them when thinking of aerobatics. Fewer still were influenced by any particular air show performer.

Thank you for reading In the Loop, and I’ll see you next month!

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