|Features||Tons of cool scale action, information on Aero Towing techniques, and beauty scale sailplanes, both modern and vintage|
|Formats||DVD, VHS (NTSC or PAL)|
|Available from||Radio Carbon Art|
Wow! (I thought about that first word for a while.) The more I thought about a more descriptive word, the more I came back to "Wow!" That was my first impression after watching the video of Radio Carbon Art's video of Pro Aerotow Scale Soaring, a film by Paul Naton. My second words were, "Rewind it and let's watch it again!" So my son and I watched it again. The second time was even better, because we saw things that we hadn't seen in the first viewing. Not only is the video beautiful in its cinematography, but the music by Spotted Peccary Music fit the images like a glove.
The video opens with a fantastic shot of Dan Troxell's Ka-6 becoming airborne, and then proceeds to a real good talk by Rick Briggs about their Pegasus tug and towline setup. He also gives a basic talk about what's involved in aero towing. Paul then goes into detail about the setup of the tug and sailplanes, and the different techniques of towing that are all diagramed with very nicely done graphics. This area was a real help to us personally, because we found a local pilot who was interested in doing some towing for us, but had never seen or read anything about aerotowing. After we watched the video together, he had a very good understanding of what was involved and what his part as tow pilot was going to be.
The video then goes through a section where we get to see various different tugs and sailplanes. The first sailplane that really got my attention was the 1/3rd scale 8-meter Condor IV of Rick Briggs. The plane was built by master modeler Arnold Hoffmann from Germany, and it is a sight to behold! With its gull wings and its massive wing span/cord, it is one beautiful sailplane. The footage of it in flight is truly impressive. I had seen pictures of the plane on web sites and in magazines, but to see it in flight was truly a joy.
Next up is some footage of Dan Troxell putting his 1/3rd scale Ka-6 through its paces via an aerobatic routine. The Ka-6 is a very graceful machine and looks stunning in the air as it goes through its routine. It helps that Dan really knows how to fly the thing!
Mark Foster presents his 1/2.75 Slingsby T-21B which is a magnificent old English side-by-side trainer. It is quite the large model and very wide with the side-by-side configuration.
Fred China shows off his stunning 1/4 scale Nemere with its 1/32"plywood fuselage and 1/64"plywood wing skins. It is a work of art. Any of you that have seen Fred's work know that he is truly a craftsman; his aircraft are always of museum quality.
Next on line, Dennis Brandt gives us a run down of his 1/3.5 scale Pawnee tug. The Pawnee is a very distinct looking tug with it low wings and top side wing struts that go to the top of the fuselage. We then are treated to some footage from the film "Going the Distance" of a full sized Pawnee towing up various different sailplanes at a full-scale contest in California.
After the full-scale diversion, Tony Elliot treats us to a look at his scratch built 1/2.75 scale SB-10 with its 10.6-meter span and all up weight of 62 pounds. He had to have it inspected and cleared for flight by the AMA because it went over the 55 pound limit for model airplanes. Tony built the whole plane from scratch. He's a man after my own heart! The footage of the SB-10 in flight is quite impressive. It is really a graceful soaring machine.
Next up is a section of a first time aerotow glider pilot getting his aero towing wings under the tutelage of Rick Briggs. This is a very useful section for those who haven't done any aerotowing yet. Ralf Scheifele, the owner of EMS Models gives us an overview of his companies' offerings and puts on an aerobatic display with his Sperber Electric.
By far, my favorite part of the tape is the footage at the end from Torrey Pines with Dan Troxell doing aerobatics with his DG-600, and more importantly his Minimoa. Watching the Minimoa doing loops over the Pacific Ocean is worth the price of the tape alone!
I also received the DVD to review along with the video tape, and it wasn't until Christmas time that I was able to view the DVD, since I had to wait for Santa to bring us a DVD player! After viewing the DVD, I'm not sure why anyone would want to buy the video! I guess if you don't have a DVD player, then the video is OK. However, if you need a reason to go out and buy a DVD player, then this DVD is the reason! On the DVD, not only do you get the same great film as on the video tape, but you also get five trailers from other Radio Carbon Art films, a gallery of still photo's of the featured aircraft, information about other RCA titles, and the best part, a special film about Tony Elliot's 1/3rd scale ETA.
Tony Elliot's 1/3rd scale ETA spans 10.3 meters, and it is built from scratch using a Rosenthal ASH-25 fuselage that Tony modified and obechi/carbon covered white foam wings. What follows is a display of the aircrafts ability to perform aerobatics. Watching that gigantic wing go from positive G's to negative G's and bend both ways is a magnificent sight! As with the other films by Radio Carbon Art that I've seen, Pro Aerotow is very well put together. The cinematography along with the music is well worth the money spent. If you have a DVD player, by all means, spend the extra $10.00 and get the DVD. The section on the ETA is worth the $10.00 by itself! So, if you are suffering from GPS (grumpy pilot syndrome) from not being able to fly because of bad weather, then go to Radio Carbon Art, place an order for Pro Aerotow Scale Soaring, and get a fix for that GPS. It will be money well spent!
In closing, remember that scale sailplane flyers not only strive to keep it up as long as possible, we also look good while we're doing it!
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