First Tournament of Champions
In its 45th year of publication, Model Airplane News, along with the Circus Circus casino, cosponsored and reported on the first international Tournament of Champions (TOC) aerobatic competition. In his March 1975 RC News column, Art Schroeder introduced the nowfamous Las Vegas–based event. Walt Schroder (then Model Airplane News publisher) and Circus Circus president Bill Bennett formulated the basic format in the fall of 1974. In its initial incarnation, the TOC was an FAI Class D pattern event that drew 32 international contestants (21 from the USA) for a shot at the $11,000 prize purse. Together with the contest director Jerry Nelson, chief judge Jim “Doc” Edwards, and the host organization, the Las Vegas RC Club, Walt and Bill set the standard for aerobatic excellence that lasted until 2002, for a total of 18 championships. Who was the winner? Hanno Prettner from Austria with his Super Sicoroly (featured on the cover).