Control Line scale is where you build a model of a full size aircraft and duplicate the paint job and  exterior details


update for 2017 – the rules have changed for CL Scale competition, read the updated rules before you host or attend a CL scale contest

Major changes:  

1) Flaps and Retractable landing gear is judged thru the entire flight, so you don’t have to call out it for one lap

2) Error on the 1/2a scale scoring was corrected

3) 1.5 points deduction for Sport, Authentic and Team scale if your model does not have flaps or retractable gear when the full size has these features. the 1.5 points for each one, so if the full size had flaps and retractable gear you will lose 3.0 points for your realism score during flight


To do well in CL scale you will need to have throttle control, you can fly with four strokes, 2 stroke glow engines or electric power

Also consider adding flaps, retractable landing gear and other features that moved on the full size aircraft to improve your realism score

CL scale models do not fly like the typical CL stunt model because we have the ability to throttle back and land at any time during the flight

Is common to see CL scale pilots doing touch and go to practice the landing and takeoff portion of the flight

During sport and profile scale competition you are judged for static points (100 points) and then get judged for flight points (100 points)

Looking for more information? Download my Book for Free….This book was published in 2001 and covers “down the wire” electronic controls.

Contact me for more information on how to use 2.4 Ghz controls for CL scale (


Youtube Videos on 2.4 Ghz, electric retracts and other subjects

Scale 3-views are not equal                                CL Scale – Research before you build

Control Line Scale Modeling – Table of Contents                         Control Line Scale Modeling                 Bob’s Aircraft Documentation


There eare four major items that you need for CL scale

1) Documentation for the full size aircraft (3-view, color information and photographs)

2) Static propeller(s)

3) Options picked for your flight

4) CL scale model – so do yourself a favor and prepare the doucmentation first before you build


Step 1 – Prepare the documentation

Sounds simple but you need to research the full size aircraft you making a model of before you build.

You are judged on outline, color, markings, details and craftmanship

Do NOT change any outlines from the 3-view, this will result in a lower Static score.


Step 2 – Get the model judged for Static points

Static is where they compare the outline of your model against the 3-view, color information, and photographs in your documentation.

Making the elevator larger or changing any outlines is considered a deduction in static points.The goal is keep the outline of the model to match the 3-view and figure out how to make fly correctly.

You are also judged on color and markings, that is why you don’t see the AMA number on scale models across the wings like you do in CL stunt

During Static judging you put on a Static Propeller that matches the number of blades, shape and configuration of the full size aircraft.


Step #3 – Fly the model like the full size is flown

This is where you fly the model, if you built a fighter fly it like a fighter. If you built a bomber fly it like a bomber

You have 4 manditory items for the flight score: takeoff, 10 level laps, realism and landing

Realism is judged thru out the entire flight, then you pick 6 options from a long list of possible options they include: throttle, multi-engine, wingover, loop, 45 degree flight, overshoot, touch and go, taxi, flaps, bomb drop, retractable landing gear

Overshoot is where you start to come in for a landing and at the last minute change your mind and climb back to cruise altitude

Touch and go and Retractable landing gear count as TWO options

Make sure you pick options that the full size aircraft was able to do, in other words the full size B-17 was NOT able to do inverted flight

Throttle only airplanes can pick the following options: throttle, 45 degree flight, taxi, overshoot and touch and go (counts as two options)

The B-17 can pick the following options: throttle, mutli-engine, taxi, flaps and retractable landing gear (counts as 2 options)

As you can see every flight will be different depending on what features move and what the full size aircraft was capable to doing

You are judged on how well you fly the model like the full size would be flown. If the real aircraft flies slow, then the model should fly slow. If you built a racer then fly it a racer.

Realism is judged thru the entire flight and is to judge how well it flown like the real aircraft. The sound of the engine / motor you pick will affect your realism score. Four Strokes score the best for sound, 2 strokes are 2nd best choice and electric power is very quiet and scores the lowest in terms of sound.

There is no model airplane engine / motor that sounds exactly like the full size engines except if you install the speaker like shown on the last video on the bottom of this page

Pick the 6 options from that make sense based upon the full size aircraft you have modeled

How do you control Throttle in CL scale?

There are a variety of systems available for throttle control that include down the wire electronic controls, 3-line handles and now 2.4 Ghz radio control can be used. Contact me if you need more information, but the best choice now is the 2.4 Ghz radio control units that are now legal for competition.

But you have to control the elevator with a traditional bellcrank and mechanical pushrod.

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Ed Mason’s .15 powered DC-6

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Fred Cronenwett flying his 96″ span Profile Scale B-29, this model is electric powered

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Charlie Bauer flying his AT-6 complete with retracts

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Ed Mason during the Taxi option at the 2013 Broken Arrow CL Scale and Stunt contest

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Got to put this on in….I know some of us have built big models but these guys in Germany built a REALLY big RC scale model—20 foot span and 5,160 ounces total weight (326 lbs)