Alumwell February '99
The Alumwell show, held at Walsall, near Birmingham on February 21st, has
established itself on the indoor scale modelling calendar as a chance for
people to try out the new models they have been building over the winter. The
event is friendly and informal - it was my first visit this year, and I had a
great day. The day is split into "fun-fly" sessions, interspersed with queued
flying periods, where only one model is in the air at a time (so no risk of
mid-air collisions!). There is also an air race, a mass launch (last one down
wins) and an informal scale competition, where everybody puts their models on
tables in the middle of the hall, and people vote for their favourite
four. The votes are counted, and the top six get to take part in a fly-off at the
end of the day. Much to my surprise, my new Curtiss P-6E vintage Scale model was
one of the selected models. When it came to the fly-off, as I had not tried
an ROG flight before, I
hand-launched to be safe (losing any take-off points), and it flew pretty well,
though not well enough to place in the top four. Still, a very satisfactory
first outing, especially as it had only had one brief hop in the garden
Below are some pictures of some of the superb models that flew at the event:
Tupolev "Bear" by Peter Smart
This is probably the finest rubber powered scale model I have ever seen -
constructed from foam, it is large (around 3 feet span) very light, and powered
by four rubber motors - one in each nacelle. It makes a most impressive sight
as it trundles along the floor, picking up speed until it climbs gracefully
away, cruising in wide left hand circles. On its competition flight, the turn
opened out as it was coming in to land, and a brave spectator had to
jump up and intercept it before it hit the wall - fortunately the model was
Sopwith Triplane by Divs Masters
Another scale masterpiece, this time constructed using conventional techniques
of balse and tissue. The amount of detail is fantastic, and the structure is
exact scale. Divs had two versions at the event - one 13 inch peanut, one a
bit larger at 16 inch. Both flew very well - I think it was the larger one
that flew in the competition fly-off, and won with a super flight, including a
take-off and landing.
Avro Lancaster by Peter Smart
That man Smart again - this is another fine flying foam creation - now retired
from the competition scene, it is flying better than ever, and looks most
realistic (majestic was one description I heard) as it cruises round on its
four rubber motors.
Junkers JU 87
Very nicely finished Stuka - electric powered (a KP-01 I think).
Unfortunately I do not know the name of the builder. The model flew very
well in the fly-off.
D.H.Tiger Moth by Derek Knight
Quite a large model for indoor use - excellent detail and a fine flier. Derek
was unlucky to hit the wall right at the end of his fly-off flight.
Bristol Bombay by Peter Smart
The second of Peter Smart's models to qualify for the fly-off - this time
with twin electric motors. Foam construction again.
Fine flying Sopwith Schneider built by Mike Green - around 20" span, of
traditional balsa/tissue construction. Power is electric - another KP-01 I think.
Model takes off beautifully, as the floats
have wheels hidden underneath.
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