It is always fun looking at how model airplane builders get their models to the flying sites. I took a number of pictures showing how the competitors did things this week:

Transporter 1

The simple way is just stuff things into the back of an SUV. A fair number of modelers did this.

Transporter 2

Actually, many modelers go to events all over the world and ship their models in special boxes like this one. Usually, the models are protected better than this one shows. They use foam rubber to cushion the parts of the model so they can stand being checked as baggage. The models in this box come apart into at least four parts: two wing panels, forward and aft body (fuselage) parts. The propellors are also in separate compartments. These models are rubber powered, using wound up rubber bands to spin the prop.

Transporter 3

Here is the back end of a nice trailer dedicated to models.

Transporter 4

On one side, there is space for the wings

Transporter 5

And on the other, the rest of the parts. There are even workbenches where you can fix broken models.

Transporter 6

This is a smaller trailer, custom made to hold models and an ATV used for chasing.

Transporter 7

Another custom trailer.

Transporter 8

Here is a retrieval vehicle with boxes to hold the parts so they do not blow away as you motor back to the launch site.

RFree Flight setup

Once they unpack, this is what a launch site looks like for the gas powered events. The box on legs hold an electric motor used to start the gas engine, and usually a temperature sensor that can sense those thermals passing by. The streamer on top of the fishing rod at the top of the box does the same thing. Rising air is obvious with these things. The trick is getting your model up into that bubble of air in the right way so it circles with the bubble and rises up, rather than falls back to the ground.

I did the exact same thing in a full sized glider when I went up near San Antonio some time back. In that flight, we could feel the rising air and managed to stay aloft for almost an hour with no motor to help. This is flight in the purest form, you and Mother Nature doing battle against gravity!