Model Classes

WMAC members are involved in many different types of aero modelling.  MFNZ Special Interest Groups (SIGs) represent the interests of specific classes of aero modelling.  SIGs make and control contest rules, select international teams, and organise rallies and competitions for their various categories of model flying.  Many club members participate in national and club SIG competitions.

Radio Control (R/C) Sport Flying is the most common activity in the club.  However, there are as many varieties and types of models as the people who fly them and club members are likely to be found flying models in all of the classes briefly described below.

Radio Control Most radio control flying, other than slope soaring, takes place at Trentham.
Sport The majority of club members are sport R/C flyers and fly for the sheer fun of it.  Competitions are secondary – these members just enjoy flying their models around the sky. model classes sport
Pattern Pattern flyers perform aerobatics based on a predefined set of manoeuvres to the best of their ability.  Some take it quite seriously and compete in aerobatic competitions while others just have fun. model classes pattern
Pylon Pylon racing is fast and furious, and needs some serious expenditure, as well as skill.  It is not much practiced at WMAC these days. model classes pylon
Thermal Soaring Thermal soaring gliders tend to be lightly built, are designed to catch thermals and fly quite slowly.  Internationally competitive models (usually commercially made from exotic space-age materials) are now more common. model classes glider
Slope Soaring Slope soaring gliders on the other hand are heavier, fly much faster, often close to the ground.  They need to be built strongly to cope with the higher flight stresses and the hard landings that seem to be inevitable at slope soaring sites. model classes slope
Hand Launched Glider These high-tech gliders are gripped at the wing-tip and launched with a round arm throw in the manner of a discus.  Lots of computer radio magic helps get the maximum altitude from the launch. model classes hlg
Multi-Rotor These are now quite popular and regularly seen at WMAC flying sites, both outdoor and indoor.  Sizes range form palm-sized quite large.
Helicopter There is a whole lot of interesting (and expensive) machinery in a modern R/C Helicopter.  This type of flying is regarded by many conventional modelers as a ‘dark art’. model classes helicopter
Electric The advent of light batteries and powerful electric motors has made a whole new class of modeling available.   An increasing number of club members are venturing into this brave new (but not necessarily cheap) branch of aero modeling. model classes electric
Scale Scale modeling is a very specialized branch of aero modeling and this type of model is always popular at public displays, especially the jet engined models. model classes scale
Free Flight
The main difficulty with free flight is finding a field suitable to fly in.  Free flight flying is done mostly at Rayner’s Farm near Gladstone in the Wairarapa.
(A1 Glider)
(A2 Glider)
These classes, once known as Nordic A1 and A2, have become very high tech.  Most of the top competitors now choose to buy their models in whole or part from the ‘magicians’ in the Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. free flight outdoor
This class has likewise become the home of the carbon or kevlar masterpiece.  Serious investment is required to get to the top of this class these days. free flight outdoor
There are no serious practitioners of this class in the club at present. They have short engine runs and some are ‘flappers’ where the wing area increases in the glide.
free flight outdoor
Open Rubber This class has less restrictive rules than the FAI class, and traditional models are capable of winning competitions. free flight outdoor
Scale Skilled builders can make scale free flight models that stun the crowds at the MFNZ Nationals with complex models that somehow fly as well as many a sport flier. free flight outdoor
Free Flight
Hand Launched Glider (HLG) An apparently simple form of modeling, but a very demanding one and usually only flown by a few dedicated enthusiasts. free flight indoor
Microfilm This is a very specialized form of aero modeling that few still have the patience to make.  These ultralight indoor models are rarely seen outside the MFNZ National Competitions. free flight indoor
Peanut These are rubber powered scale models with a 13 inches maximum wingspan. free flight indoor
  Vintage models come in many classes, both free flight and radio. They allow modelers to enjoy the hobby the way it used to be.  They are usually marginally less competitive than the FAI classes. model classes vintage
Control Line A simple and light way of controlling a flying model aircraft. The aircraft is connected to the operator by a pair of lines, attached to a handle, that work the elevator of the model.
Aerobatics One of the more popular control line events. The maneuvers flown have not changed in many years and it’s as much about skill as having a good aircraft. They tend to be large aircraft with up to .75 cu in engines. The international class for aerobatics is F2B.
Racing This is a race over a set number of laps (usually 10kms distance for heats, 20kms for finals) where pit stops are required. Up to 3 models can be racing at one time and can be pretty hectic for the pilots in the center circle. A number of different classes are flown such as FAI (F2C), Goodyear and vintage events. Speeds can be up to 210km/hr.
Speed The object of this event is to go as fast as you can. Typically flown over 1km which is 10 laps on 52 ft 6 in lines. There are a number of classes usually based on engine size and type.Models often only have a left wing to help reduce drag of the lines. There are also pulse jet powered speed models which are doing up to 340 km/hr.
Combat Two combatants fly against each other where the objective is to cut the opponents streamer. Very exciting and quite often results in mid air collisions. Contestants often need multiple models for a contest due to ‘incidents’.