One of the most satisfying things at the Nats for me – as Volare Products – was the Stout 2-AT One-Design Mass Launch. We, the Cloudbusters, selected the 2-AT as the One-Design to honor our aging member, Stu Weckerly. Stu, who is in his mid-80s and has 411 kanones to date, used to fly a Stout back in the 80s and 90s. It was a light-weight wonder that dominated the Golden Age event.
I took Stu’s plan and developed a laser-cut short kit for an 18.5″ version that was necessarily more robust for a better scale representation and so the model would be buildable by the average modeler. This short kit was given away as part of the registration for the 2015 FAC Outdoor Champs in Muncie last year and many have been sold since. As a vendor, I only get a small amount of feedback on what people think of my kits. It made me a bit apprehensive having a single event at the Nats for one of my designs. Would many people build it? Would the models fly?
Well, about 15 people showed up for the Mass Launch and all of the models looked – the same! One of the issues with this plane is that out of the 11 or so 2-ATs that were built, every one was silver with black lettering. This might make for some issues with following specific models during a mass launch, but that all worked out well, for the most part.
Here are a handful of the competitors with their planes before the first round.
Here is a long (4 minute) video of the first round. At least two planes flew out-of-sight in that first round. The third and final round was nearly as impressive with all planes going up and the victor winning only seconds ahead of 2nd and 3rd. These performances were spectacular – and comforting to the kit designer and producer.
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