What is control line?
Control Line is a method of controlling a model aeroplane using 2 (sometimes 3) lines which lead from the pilots handle to the model. These are connected to a simple mechanism on the model which allows the pilot to control the elevator movement. This in turn allows the model to perform all manner of manoeuvres. When 3 lines are used, it is also possible to control the speed of the engine to enable very slow (or fast) flight. The models are powered by miniature engines. They are usually internal combustion engines, but electric motors are also be used. More than 1 model can be flown in the same circle, which is why control line is an excellent sport for competition. Read about the different Competitions here!
A combat practice bout.
Ask a control liner what makes it special. Many will say it's because you are in direct contact with the model, and so can feel as well as see what it is doing. Radio Control models are undoubtedly more popular these days, perhaps partly because of a few misconceptions. Let's have a look at a couple of common misconceptions I've heard about Control Line:
Comment number 1:
"They don't really fly, it's just like a brick on some string."
How wrong can you get. If they're not flying, what on earth are they doing in the air!
Take a look at a combat model or a stunter in action, and you will most definitely agree that they are flying, and pretty damn well!
Have you ever tried to fly a brick on some string?
Comment number 2:
"Is that all they do, they only go up and down, round and round."
True to an extent, but a racing car only goes left and right doesn't it?
again, just watch a modern combat model in action!
Go to Youtube.com and type control line combat in the search to see some models in action.
Read about the different Competitions
This article was first published: 13/05/2003
This article was last updated: 13/05/2007