Many models can fly a wide range of aerobatic manoeuvres, including loops, wing overs and stall climbs. See the section on Aerobatics for more information. Even on 2.5 metre flying lines you can perform loops with careful setup (a tall pole helps as well)

One loop and landing – well sort of controlled crash

With careful control multiple loops can be performed. Okay some good loops, one just about and a crash.

Loop on take off With elevators set to max, very careful throttle control at take-off is required or this happens.

Dual or triple model flying

An exciting feature of round the pole is that models may be flown in pairs or more, each individually controlled. Competitive flying such as combat, racing or formation flying is easy to achieve. To avoid model to model contact in formation flying use different length flying lines to remove the chance of a prop hitting another model.

Simple to build profile models are ideal for combat flying, being tough enough to withstand mid-air collisions and crashes! Even when damage occurs, repairs can quickly be carried out with this type of model by re-cementing the broken parts and it can be flying again in minutes. The 4750 Card Combat Model is even more resilient for combat competitions as the card wings, tail and rear fuselage absorb accidental contact between models far better than balsa wood.

For combat competitions a strip of toilet tissue is attached to the back of each model. The idea is to remove a few bits of tissue from your opponent’s streamer, without removing bits of the model.


Much fun can be had with a few balloons placed in the flying circuit to test a pilot’s skill. They can be placed on the ground for spot landing between a pair of balloons or can be taped to poles stood at the edge of the flying circuit to fly between, under or above on different circuits.

Carrier deck landings

A table placed in the flying circuit can be used as an aircraft carrier for take-offs and landings. An arrester wire can be set up and hooks fitted to models to ensure short landings. Great fun and a real test of skill as the carrier remains in the circuit. Flying under the carrier deck results in the flying wires and model wrapping around the table leg but hitting the front edge of the table can prove damaging to the model.

Add LEDs to the model for navigation lights and a set of fairy lights around the table’s edge and turn out the lights for a bit of night flying.

Bombs away

Add a small solenoid to hold a bomb to the model and a target on the floor. You now have a new test of skill for your pilot. The control can be via a third flying wire or by adding diodes to the motor and solenoid and a polarity reversing switch after the controller.

Aircraft design

The University of Bristol use RTP model flying as a challenge for their first year undergraduate students studying aerospace engineering. The students challenge is to create a flying machine learning through experimentation, working with colleagues, and understanding improvements in design solutions for the future.

Glider towing

The Canadian Air Cadets have challenged their cadets to design and tow a glider from an RTP model, not as simple as it might seem at first.

And a second glider attempt.