|Format:||DVD from Digital Master|
|Media:||High Quality DVR|
|Packaging:||Standard DVD Case w/Color Artwork|
|Run Time:||Approx. 110 minutes|
|Manufacturer:||Radio Carbon Art|
At any slope-flying event youíll see numerous types of aircraft taking to the air. If you exclude the EPP flying wings in your count, by far the majority of remaining types of models are scale planes. And within the scale planes, PSS, or Power Slope Scale, models dominate the skies. PSS planes are by description models of real airplanes that have either flown or at least reached the concept stage. The majority of PSS planes are based upon prop-driven aircraft, but there are also many PSS jet models.
Radio Carbon Artís latest slope soaring DVD is entitled PSS Masters. This 15 chapter DVD spotlights a number of planes, pilots and events. If you have never been to a slope or have never been slope soaring, PSS Masters gives you an outstanding overview of this type of soaring.
Chapter one gives a general overview of the where, whyís and howís of making and flying PSS models. Paul explains different types of models, including some of the various types of constructions. He also introduces the largest PSS soaring club and contest held by the Southern California based Inland Slope Rebels (ISR,) the PSS festival held in June at Cajon Pass in San Bernardino CA. At this contest, youíll see anywhere from 50 to 200 models. There are several categories, which the planes will conform to, including Best Prop, Best Jet, Best, Best Civilian and Best EPP. All judging is done on the ground, but the plane must fly sometime during the contest to gain contest points. Past winners compete against each other. All of the categories are judged on creativity, authenticity and craftsmanship.
Chapter two highlights the first day of the ISRís 2004 PSS Festival, and showcases close to 100 different aircraft either in the air or on the ground. The flying footage is outstanding as are the still and close-up photography. Fridayís event was nearly stopped due to fog, buy that didnít stop a few die-hard flyers. Chapters 3-6 showcase a number of very nice slope planes and their builders.
Shown above are three of the highlighted PSS planes and their builders, Carl Maas Sr. and Jr. with their B-29, Tim Neja with his Mig 3 and Brian Laird and His Caravelle. These men are Masters of their modeling domain.
Chapter seven starts off by showing the effects of throwing 60-ounce, high wing loading PSS gliders into virtually no wind. After a few humorous tosses and landings, PSS planes start to rock the show. For the next 13 minutes, everything from P-51 Mustangs to commercial airliners and everything in between can be seen tearing up the Cajon Summit sky. The background music seems to be fitting for each flying segment, and the slow motion and special effects work well together to keep the audience interested.
Chapter eight and nine describe a most ambitious project, the Maas father and son teamís B-29 with the X-1A. The span of the B-29 is over 100Ē with a flying weight of 12 lbs. The plane has many interesting features, including the ability to launch the X-1A. There are many little details that arenít typically seen on PSS plane, like scale hinging and split flaps. The plane flies very well and PSS Masters brings this outstanding project to light.
Chapter 10 introduces viewers to one of the most demanding slope sights in Southern California, Point Fermin. This coastal flying sight/city park is located just beyond the end of I-115 in Long Beach California. The 150-foot bowl-shaped cliff compresses the air, creating strong, smooth slope lift. The flying itself isnít what makes the location demanding, itís the landingÖor lack of landing area that make this site unique. The planes are launched at the edge of the slope area and fly over the short beach area and farther out into the Pacific swells. The landings are made over the road, nearly 100-yards behind where the planes are launched. Itís demanding and only the experienced or fool-hearty should try. Even on a light day, a medium-heavy wing-loaded PSS plane can get around at Point Fermin. On a strong day, itís said you can throw a brick off of the slope and fly.
Chapter 11 brings the viewers back to Cajon for the final day of the PSS Festival. Flyers were blessed with steady 20-knot breezes so even the largest and heaviest PSS planes took to the Southern California skies. The initial sequence starts out with Brian Lairdsí rendition of the SUD Caravelle commercial airliner. The fuse and nacelles are blue foam, covered in fiberglass and painted. The 60" span RG-14 wing uses a blue foam core with balsa sheeting. Flying weight is about 65 ounces. Brian is one of the premier PSS pilots and designers, having designed over 20 PSS planes and built over 100! Brian sold kits until a few years ago. All of his kits were of the foam and fiberglass variety. Now Brian is working his creations out of EPP foam and they look and fly as well as the ďcrunchyĒ types. P-51ís, P-40s, ME109ís are show for the remainder of this chapter. The video footage, the use of slow motion and special effect make this one of the most enjoyable portions of the entire video.
Tim Nejaís semi-scale Mig 3 fills out chapter 12. The fuse is 100% scale in outline, but the flying surfaces have been enlarged. Tim flies only slope planes; his stable includes no thermal planes like many others do. With this sole knowledge and experience, Tim is certainly on of the better slope flyers around. The Mig 3 was designed for Point Fermin and will fly there with an enormous 58-ounce wing loading. It takes lots of lift to hold a 58Ē span, 58-ounce wing loading PSS plane in the air. At the PSS Festival, the Mig flew with ďonlyĒ a 38-ounce wing loading, but the conditions were marginal at the festival. So how do you, the viewer get to see the Mig in its element? Tim provided the footage of a Point Fermin flight. In a word: Outstanding!
The Carl Maas Jr.sí own design Slopestream is eye-candy for chapter 13. Carl describes the design and manufacture of the prototype. The paint scheme is unique as is the over-all design, and watching this plane tear up the sky puts a smile on any slope flyers face.
Carlís FI-103 Buzz Bomb starts us into chapter 14. This incredibly interesting model shows off Carlís excellent craftsmanship and paintwork. The plane is a typical fiberglass fuselage with foam core sheeted wings. The FI-103 were designed as a flying bomb where the pilot would fly into a location for demolition. Of course, losing pilots this way wasnít the best strategy for the Germans in WW-2. Brian Lairdsí P1101 aircraft is modified from an electric kit. Brianís typical handiwork includes a full cockpit, and a modified fuselage to bring it closer to scale looking. The scratch built ME 262 Brian designed is just awesome to see in both static and flying regimes. Having known Brian for a number of years it is interesting for him to claim this is one plane that can benefit from something other than just elevator and ailerons. Due to itís 70-ounce weight, Brian says if he builds another one, itíll have flaps to help slow the plane for landing. Watching the 262 scream around the sky, youíd think it had no engine cowls hanging in the breeze and youíd also realize that heís probably right about the plane needing flaps for landings.
Title 2 Chapter one spotlights South Koreaís Xevious Flying Club, which has over 200 members. Viewers are treated to an excellent flying EPP B-17 and an enormous -- it takes 5 guys to launch it --C17 Globe Master also made from EPP. The flying sight looks excellent with tall grass covering the landing area and there appears to be no end to the lift. Although not described, the fuselage looks to be about 12-15Ē in diameter and the span looks to be about 75-100.Ē On camera, the plane gives the total impression of the full size aircraft: impressive. Next up is an ME 163 of about 100Ē span. It looks to be flying much slower than it should. Unfortunately, the landing proved to be the demise of the ME 163.
In Title 3 chapter one, airbrush extraordinaire Brian Laird overviews his step-by-step procedure on how he finishes PSS planes from the primer stage onward. Anyone who has seen Brianís work or had the pleasure of owning a Brian Laird-built plane will tell you, heís a Master Craftsman. While this demo takes place at the slope and is abbreviated, the basics are provided and just following Brianís steps will make anyone a better finisher of painted surfaces.
PSS Masters finishes up with a number of excellent still shots of many of the planes flown in the DVD. Paulís eye for photography and video-photography are evident throughout the entire DVD. Iíve said it before, I buy every one of Paul Natonís DVDís when they come out because I know I will not only be entertained, but Iíll learn something new in the process of watching Paulís work. PSS Masters is rated G for general audiences and runs approximately 110 minutes. DVDís are marked Region 1-8, ďAll RegionsĒ and come in NTSC (North America).
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