By Rachelle Haughn
Nestled in the middle of Poland along the Vistula River and bordered by the Gostynin-Włocławek Landscape Park, is the city of Wloclawek. A historic city with origins dating to the late Bronze Age to early Iron Age (1300 BCE-500 BCE), Wloclawek is known for its historical markers and structures that dot its mostly flat landscape. Also in this city is a small grassy airport located 220 feet above sea level, known as Kruszyn Airfield. On August 8 to 13, Control Line (CL) pilots from around the world descended onto this field for the 2022 FAI F2 World Championships for Control Line Model Aircraft.
Pilots from the US competed in F2A (CL Speed), F2B (CL Precision Aerobatics), and F2D (CL Combat Racing). F2C (Racing) was also contested, but Team USA did not have any entrants in this event.
Sweeping the F2A contest were US father-and-son duo Alexander and Ivan Valishev. Alexander finished first with an impressive speed of 308.8 km per hour, and his son finished on his tails with a speed of 306.5 km per hour. Ivan also was the top Junior pilot of the event.
Two other Team USA pilots, Bill Hughes and Patrick Hempel, finished in the top 20. Bill landed in seventh place and Patrick placed 14th. The Valishevs, Bill, and Patrick often come to the AMA Nats to compete.
Overall, in the F2A event, Team USA finished first, F2A, Hungary second, and Ukraine third.
On the subject of the Nats, a CL Precision Aerobatics pilot who often makes it to the finals is Orestes Hernandez. This year, Orestes finished third in the Open class at the Nats. He also placed third in the 2022 F2B World Championships! Other US pilots competing in F2B were Model Aviation columnist Joe Daly, his son, Steven, and Howard Rush. Joe finished 24th, Howard 26th, and Steven 27th.
In F2C Team Racing, Ukraine topped the field in first place, with France coming in second and Poland in third.
Team USA faired well in the F2D (Combat) contest. Two of the three pilots placed in the top 20. Russell Graves finished in seventh place, Radik Magzianov was 12th, and William Maywald rounded the field in 26th place.
Congratulations to all of the Team USA pilots for some great flying!
See additional photos by Rytis Kalinauskas at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2906260256187040&type=3.