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**sticky** Giant Scale according to the IMAA guidelines

Discussion in 'Beginners' Lounge' started by Bartman, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Bartman

    Bartman Defender of the Noob!

    Hi folks, since we're declaring ourselves the greatest Giant Scale RC website of the known and unknown regions of the world it would probably be a good idea if we declared what Giant Scale is.

    The definition has traditionally been defined by what the International Miniature Aircraft Association (IMAA) has considered Giant Scale for purposes of participating in their flying events. Planes would be advertised as "IMAA Legal" to let people know that they could be used to participate where the IMAA was running the show. The IMAA is unfortunately on its way out as was recently announced but I think that it's safe to say their Giant Scale standard will live on. Here it is from their website for your reading pleasure......

    About IMAA
    The International Miniature Aircraft Association, Inc. (IMAA) is formed for the purpose of fostering and advancing the operation of large scale radio controlled model aircraft in a setting where informality and safety of operations prevail. Additionally, it is formed to create an atmosphere where pleasure, recreation,

    fellowship, and co-mingling can be fostered and found to exist amongst individuals enjoying the sport of building and flying large scale radio controlled model aircraft.

    Definition of Large or Giant Scale

    The concept of large or giant scale is generally considered to apply to radio controlled model aircraft with minimum wingspans of eighty (80) inches for monoplanes and sixty (60) inches for multi-wing aircraft. Ducted Fan and Turbine aircraft with one hundred forty (140) inches combined length and width, measured from wing tip to wing tip at the widest point perpendicular to the fuselage and added to the length of the fuselage, excluding any protrusions. Autogyros with 50 inches for a single rotor, 80 inches for a dual rotor. Quarter (1/4) scale replica's or larger with proper documentation (minimum 3 view drawing of an actual person carrying aircraft) which do not fit the size requirements will be permitted. However, the concept does not encompass radio controlled model aircraft so large as to have the potential of carrying a human being.

    Background and History

    At the April, 1980 Toledo R/C Show, a group of pioneering individuals that shared a common interest in the coming evolution of giant scale model airplanes, were inspired by that common interest to have a meeting and create an organization that would unite others so inclined and be able to provide guidance to those who would ultimately follow.

    From that meeting in Toledo, a Board of Representatives was elected on an interim basis, as was the President, Newsletter Editor, and Secretary/Treasurer. The basics of the Constitution and by-laws were approved, and the acceptable aircraft and acceptable size definitions were finalized.

    What was not finalized was the Name of the group. A whole list of possible names had been suggested from all over the world, but the name of the organization was, at the end of that discussion, left to the Board of Representatives. Initially, "Miniature Aircraft Society" was the name that the organization operated under. Then the Board of Representatives, in their collective wisdom opted not to make the selection of a name by themselves but rather since this was a major decision, and in keeping with the philosophy of membership involvement, that the final choice of a name properly is a right of the membership. The Board then sent out a list of several choices, narrowed down from an original list of 18 possible names, and requested that the membership make its selection. Interestingly, the vote was in three parts. First the membership voted on the name that they liked the best. Second they voted on whether they wished the word 'International' as a prefix and thirdly the membership chose the suffix (Society, Association, Group, etc.). In the end the membership, by an overwhelming majority, decided that the organization should and would hereafter be known as the International Miniature Aircraft Association.

    As with so many other 'first' steps, when the Board of Representatives opted to use general membership involvement in the decisions on what road to follow, they cast the die and forever set the direction of how the IMAA elected Board would govern the group. The group, and in particular the first President, Don Godfrey, did an incredible amount of spade work prior to the 1980 Toledo meeting and following. The initial successes can be traced directly to the politicking that went on at the Toledo Show. Virtually every giant scale booth had a 'Join the Miniature Aircraft Society' poster prominently displayed, and it was difficult to turn around at the show without running into Society promotions of some kind. It was also almost impossible to look anywhere at the Show, without seeing something that was specifically geared to giant scale aircraft. The giants had definitely arrived!

    The first Board of Representatives set down three important points that would define the IMAA. Those points are still adhered to today and were as follows:

    • First-"We are a group interested in the NON-COMPETITIVE sport of building and flying large-sized model airplanes. Divisions may be formed within the group to cater to specialized interests, but the main group will maintain that philosophy.
    • Second-"The group will be guided by a Board of Representatives that are elected from the membership at large, and as much as possible, that Board of Representatives will duplicate the geographical distribution of the membership.
    • Third-The group will exist to promote the enjoyment of the hobby by the INDIVIDUAL MODELER, and the LOCAL GROUP ACTIVITIES as first priority. We will have national and regional meets that will be quite impressive, but the basic enjoyment of our activity is the individual satisfaction of each member. Most of our effort will be to increase that personal pleasure."

    At the 1980 Toledo R/C Show a few new kits began to make an appearance, though the selection was still far from great and most had not really been engineered properly to withstand the strains that giant scale would put on them. With the exception of Byron Originals, landing gear were pretty much absent from the picture. Radios were sort of stagnant and waiting to get approval of the new FM. The good news at the show was the trend towards bigger and more powerful servos. The revolution was really beginning in earnest.

    The ironic part of this new development in giant scale were the manufacturers themselves. They began to realize that there might actually be a viable market in giant scale and perhaps they should begin to pay attention. Like so many new organizations, the IMAA got attention by being somewhat abrasive in trying to get their message out to all who would listen. There was considerable opposition to the IMAA in its infancy by a variety of groups. Several members of the model magazine fraternity actively ignored that IMAA existed at all, refusing to realize that what IMAA was doing was beneficial to all modeling in the long run.


    • President Don Godfrey
    • Vice President Corky Heitman
    • Sec/Treasurer William Clark
    • Editor Lee Taylor
  2. Bartman

    Bartman Defender of the Noob!

    So the moral of the story is, for airplanes, 80" minimum for monoplanes and 60" minimum for biplanes, or 1/4 scale if wingspan is smaller that what is specified.

    A lot of the aerobatic monoplanes are relatively small so they will be 1/4 scale and have wingspans less than 80" but still be IMAA Legal.

    Hope that helps.

  3. I like the idea of GSN carrying on the definition of Giant Scale... The IMAA may be going away, but the spirit of the organization will live on!!
    thurmma likes this.

  4. Yes, as long as it is a true quarter scale airframe.
  5. following the "giant scale" tradition is cool but with a new website you have a great opportunity to invite many new members that may be interested in other r/c areas. You already have sub forums for Jets and warbirds so you may want to extend that out to pylon, pattern, and some of the other niches. Just an idea

  6. SleepyC

    SleepyC 150cc

    I don't think Bart was trying to regulate who can be here, I think he was more just posting what the term Giant Scale has traditionally meant.

    With 20cc and 30cc gassers, the lines have been blurred. And honestly most jets now a days are HUGE.

    But Kevin you are correct. If you have a good attitude and a love of the hobby you are welcome here even if you are just thinking about flying an RC plane.
    thurmma likes this.
  7. Bartman

    Bartman Defender of the Noob!

    i think he was saying that we're off to such a good start we should expand the forums to include the other areas/facets of RC.

    it's not a bad idea for a future project (in other words, stay tuned) but for now we're focusing on creating a first class world-wide community for Giant Scale flyers/builders and the businesses that serve them.

    We do have some off-topic areas where people can discuss any area of RC or other hobbies.

    Thanks for the suggestion. :)
  9. Bartman

    Bartman Defender of the Noob!

    Not a bad idea Kevin. If we're successful here then it's certainly something we'll consider. :)

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