Monday, 03 April 2017 15:37

What's in a name? IMAC or Scale Aerobatics?

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IMAC is the abbreviation for INTERNATIONAL MINIATURE AEROBATIC CLUB. It has also become the term used to describe the type of flying even though the literal term refers to the club which represents this type of flying. It is based in the USA where this style of flying, engines and air frames were developed. See:

On all IMAC flying sites the term "SCALE AEROBATICS" is used to describe the discipline. This distinguishes it from "Pattern flying" which refers to itself as "precision aerobatics" and has its own set of rules.

In Australia the highest representative organization of aeromodellers is the MAAA. It is a federation of state associations and individuals are represented statewide by their own local club. In any club there are members with a variety of interests - jets, gliders, helicopters etc. Each of these is recognised as a "discipline" called an NSIG - National Special Interest Group. Scale Aerobatics is one such special interest group.

The MAAA is a member of the world-wide sport aviation organisation - the FAI (). The FAI has individual commissions that represent each type of flying. For aeromodelling this is the FAI Aeromodelling Commission (CIAM).

Aeromodeling subdisciplines are represented by a shorthand code - F3A for pattern flying, F3F for gliders and F3M for Scale Aerobatics/Large Scale Aerobatics amongst others. The IMAC scale aerobatics judging criteria  have been adopted from the USA into F3M regulations. The competition procedures and details of routines are different to accommodate the FAI framework.

The FAI holds the World Air Games regularly and this could involve aeromodelling. Drone racing is recognised by the FAI. The secretary of the MAAA Kevin Dodd is secretary of this organisation. So Australia is well placed within FAI to advance aeromodelling.

There are discussions on bulletin boards about the differences between IMAC and F3M as well as how the world can be united in a single discipline of scale aerobatics. The IMAC (USA) is to hold the second World IMAC event in 2018 to be held in Muncie Illinois.

Read 325234 times Last modified on Monday, 03 April 2017 17:06
Peter Bryner

I began R/C flying in about 2000 after a brief foray into RC modeling as a teenager.

I liked aerobatics and always tried to fly what I thought were the maneuvers. I saw Steve Coram fly at an open day at the KAMS field south of Perth. I was hooked, and it all looked so simple. Little did I realize what was to follow in order to fly at a fraction of his level of expertise.

I have been an active IMAC pilot in Western Australia, having joined the group at KAMS around 2003-4. I was inaugural President of Scale Aerobatics Western Australia (Inc) at the same time as the ASAA was being established in the east. In 2015 I served as stand-in President of the ASAA. Presently I am Secretary of the Scale Aerobatics Western Australia (Inc)

I have progressed slowly but steadily through the ranks despite some unexpected life events. I've attended interstate competitions in Katherine, Bendigo, Barossa and Yenda, until in 2016 I gained three promo points and won Advanced at the ASAA Nationals in Cootamundra.

What I've learned is that the first ingredient is a reliable aircraft which comes down to choosing good equipment and then putting it together so it won't fall apart the first violent maneuvere you make to correct that misbehaving thumb.

Secondly the plane needs to be appropriately trimmed and setup with rates that match your needs. Your setup will change as you need to execute more difficult and finessed figures.

Thirdly you need to read the rules and  the judging guide. Learn to judge by judging others as well as yourself. Modify your stick inputs, modify the travels to iron out your own mistakes. Downgrade what you see wrong according to the scoring criteria. Listen to fellow pilots about what they see, how they judge and appreciate the differences in perception. As you become a better pilot and a better judge your scores will improve despite the ever present inconsistent judging to which we humans are prone.

 I am in awe of the intensity and dedication one can dedicate to this sport - all to make flying look so easy.

We look froward to seeing you all at the WAGIN ASAA NATIONALS in SEPTEMBER 2017

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