Control Line

Control Line (CL) is the only model flying discipline where the pilot is physically in control of the model aircraft. The pilot controls the aircraft by a handle to which are attached two steel wires that, at the other end, are attached to the model aircraft’s elevator. There are six main disciplines:

Speed – pure speed; pure excitement

Man & machine against the clock. Just how fast can the pilot fly that aircraft? In Handicap Speed there are a number of classes each defined by maximum engine capacity. A number of British & World Record holders will be flying. F2A Speed is the international class and World and European Champions will be competing. The Vintage Speed classes have model aircraft from earlier times and will have their own Vintage Speed Circle.

Classification is the flight result expressed as a percentage against the British record for that class, thus many classes can compete against each other in the same competition. The top three highest percentages over all the classes gain the three podium places.

One-line or two-line control; internal combustion or pulse jets; straight fuel or nitro enhanced fuel; single-blade or double-bladed propellers; two wings, or one; from the tiny .049cc engines to the mighty 10cc engines. Depending on the class, speeds can be in excess of 200mph. Come and marvel at the velocity and power of the speed model aircraft; admire the skills of the pilots; see the world’s top speed fliers in action; listen to the wonderful sound of the engines singing their songs; be there when the record-breaking flights happen.

Aerobatics – precision flying

An Aerobatics pilot performs a set pattern of manoeuvres in a set sequence and within a set time under the scrutiny of experienced judges. The best accumulated scores take the podium places. In F2B, the international class, there is a further competition called the fly-off for the podium places. A great deal of practice and patience is needed to reach the top echelon in this discipline. However at whatever level you fly, there is great enjoyment to be had from flying Control Line Stunt (Aerobatics) Performing manoeuvres sometimes only 1-2 metres above the ground gives a great adrenaline rush.The need to turn a sharp corner to come into level flight at this height is very demanding but gives a great sense of satisfaction when done correctly. ARTF (almost-ready-to-fly) models are now available so anyone can try this discipline without having to spend time building model aircraft. So … how about joining us?

Modern Team Race – fast & furious

This is where a pilot/pitman team races against two other teams to complete a set distance in the shortest possible time with pit stops where pitman catches the model, refuels and restarts it as quickly as possible for the pilot to continue in the race. Many races are won or lost during pitstops. The three teams compete at the same time in the same circle.There are a number of different classes each defined by engine capacity with various other rules. The international class, F2C, is the pinnacle of Team Racing with Mini Goodyear at the other end of the scale. Mini Goodyear uses a 1.5cc plain bearing motor with no restriction on the fuel capacity but the teams must complete two pit stops during a heat.  F2C use highly specialise engines with a fuel tank of 7cc. In this class the models fly at 120+ mph.  Race progress for the three teams can be checked on the electronic “real time” display boards on the Judges Tower at the Team Race circle. 

Vintage Team Race – classic designs, classic racing.  

With three classes, VTR in the modern age features the best looking model aircraft of the 1950’s, using motors of the time and their modern reproductions, combined with contemporary racing techniques to deliver some of the most exciting and easily accessible control line racing at a sensible price. With a history firmly rooted in the 1950’s, VTR celebrates the ‘Golden Era’ of model aircraft flying, with a contemporary twist and delivers some of the best and closely contested racing on the circuit.

Combat – aerial dog-fighting

Two Combat pilots fly in the same circle against each other. Each model carries a paper streamer and each pilot attempts to take cuts from his opponent’s streamer with the propeller of his own aircraft. Points are scored for each cut, and points are lost for time spent on the ground. The pilot with the most number of points at the end of the bout is the winner. The contest is run on a knock out basis. There are five classes but all the models are simple flying wings, built strongly enough to withstand most crashes into the ground, but there can be plenty of carnage through mid-air collisions.

Carrier Deck – skilful flying and landing

Models take off from a miniature aircraft carrier, first execute a maximum speed run equivalent to fighter interception, then a minimum speed run equivalent to endurance patrol loitering, and finally make an arrested landing back on deck – all without touching the ground, because, of course, it’s really the sea!

The most popular class of Basic Carrier Deck, ideal for beginners, features semi-scale models that are simple to build, easy to operate and straightforward to fly. Class 1 Carrier Deck requires scale models that have both high and low speed performance, so it’s for those who like their gadgets, horsepower, speed and realism. Carrier will also host hands-on training sessions complete with robust models, experienced instructors and a signed certificate of competency at each successful conclusion. Those who have never flown Carrier or have only basic C/L skills are more than welcome to have a go!

Want to know more about this fascinating activity? Visit the Carrier Information & Mess Tent for our ‘Navy Carrier Information Pack’, plus plans, model displays, hardware demonstrations and advice – and maybe even a cup of tea and a chat with like-minded aeromodellers!