JCRC hosts “Senior Pattern” vintage model aircraft contest


Kingsport, Tenn. (WJHL) Saturday, the Johnson City Radio Controllers took to the skies for a model aircraft competition.

If you looked up in Kingsport at the Tri-Cities Model Airport, you might have seen dozens of vintage, radio-controlled model airplanes.

This marks the group’s first contest since the outbreak of the coronavirus this year. Because of the pandemic their number of participants was reduced by half, limiting some out of town applicants. There were about 15 pilots who flew a model plane in the event.

This was a “Senior Pattern Association” contest, which aims to keep costs low for those who love the sport.

“The whole goal in it is to make aerobatic competition affordable to people. Most guys have got three to four hundred dollars tied up in their airplane,” said contest director Jerry Black.

All planes are designed to pre-1979 specifications. It gives participants a chance to show off their hobby, collecting and building the model aircraft.

“You can fly electric motors or glow motors and we are limited to a prop diameter size so everybody is competing in the same class. We can fly up to a 14 inch prop,” said Black.

Organizers say the event is all about fun, and they encourage people of all ages to compete. They hope to spark an interest in the younger generation, for the older aircraft.

“From a personal experience, learning how to build your own airplanes, it teaches you a lot of discipline. Also competing, you have to learn discipline. It takes a lot of practice a lot of effort, a lot of discipline,” said Black.

About half of the entries Saturday were made from scratch; one plane’s body even made entirely of foam board.

The competition continues Sunday, July 19 at the Tri-Cities Model Airport at 9 a.m. The public is invited to come and watch the event from the bleachers, or from your car.

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