Eddie Riding Trophy

RAF Woodale, Saturday August 7th 2004

The Eddie Riding Trophy event for flying scale models is held every year during the Woodvale Rally, near Southport, up in the north west of England. It is unlike any other event on the calendar, because the Rally is a huge event, of which model planes is only a part. There is a large funfair, stunt car shows, majorettes, vintage cars and trucks, arts and crafts stalls etc. During the day R/C aircraft models are demonstrated continuously. This year there were LOADS of turbine models, including the totally awesome B-52 you may have seen in the magazines, powered by no less than 8 model jet turbines. Sounded just like the real thing (though slightly quieter). I was also rather taken with the turbine-powered D.H.Comet airliner.

Despite all this fantastic technology on display, many people still say they enjoy the free flight competition best of all. This runs from 6pm to 8pm on the Saturday evening, by which time the wind has usually dropped. We always get a good crowd who stay to watch, and they are an appreciative audience.

This was one of three collections of photos and magazine cuttings displayed, celebrating the life and models of Eddie Riding - one of the UK pioneers of free flight scale models. His three foot span rubber powered Fairchild Argus was one of my few successes with this type of model when I was a teenager.

The competion is split into four classes - rubber, CO2/electric, Jetex/Rapier and I/C power. There is a trophy for each class, with the overall winner taking home the Eddie Riding Trophy.

Points are split between static and flying marks, and flights are judged on realism, not duration. To achieve a qualifying flight, a time of 20 seconds has to be achieved. An ROG gets you extra marks and you have four attempts to register a flight, with the marks from the best one counting.

After the debacle of two years ago, when I brought a new and untrimmed low winger to enter in the rubber class, this year I entered my Mr Mulligan, which is a flight proven stable design. It did not score as well as the Tenzan in static, but possessed the distinct advantage of actually flying properly! Not only did it fly well from a hand launch, but I discovered during the competition that it will take off satisfactorily from a stretch of bumpy tarmac. The extra marks you get for a successful take-off are well worth the risk of damage if it goes wrong (airfield taxiways being generally unyielding and somewhat abrasive in the event of a crash!) Anyway, not only did the model survive intact, but won the rubber class, and finished 4th overall in the competition, which I was very pleased with.

History was made this year, as for the first time, the overall competition, and the Eddie Riding Trophy, was not won by an I/C powered model, but by a model from another class. So, congratulations to Alistair Duff and his well detailed and finished CO2 powered BE2C. I was standing next to him when he made what I think was his winning flight, and it was a real beauty. Nice smooth take-off, then a textbook climb-out and cruise, and a gentle landing approach. A worthy winner.

The best thing about the scale jet class was that unlike last year, the spectators got to see some actual flights. Both myself and Paul Bingham had brought Rapier powered models (which are now permitted again) and put in some good qualifying flights and there was one other chap with a Jetex powered Mig 15. Unfortunately he did not manage a successful flight.

I was flying the Heinkel 162, and Paul a very nice Mig 15 (above) - actually a reduced scale version of the Keil Kraft one. It was his first attempt at a Rapier model, and it flew well. The Mig was announced the winning model on the day, but Paul later noticed a mix up in the flight scores, and it turned out that the Heinkel had won instead. I was pleased to hear that Paul intends to compete in the Jet class next year - it would be nice if some other modellers would come and join us in the class in 2005 as these models are real crowd pleasers.

Paul also entered this neatly finished Fokker Eindecker in the CO2/electric class. If the excellent flight score had been entered in the results, this model would have finished second in class instead of fifth as shown in the table below.

Alan Wood made this very impressive Vickers Supermarine Walrus for I/C power. The finish and detailing were excellent. Unfortunately the model did not manage a take-off in the competition, which was a great shame as I was really looking forwards to seeing it in the air.

An interesting electric subject chosen by John Watters - the Cessna 0-2 with both tractor and pusher props. Unfortunately the model was damaged during trimming flights and was unable to record a flying score. You can see my Rapier powered He 162 tucked under the wing.

Mike Smith brought along his lovely Sopwith Dove again. This time it was not flying quite as well as I have seen it on previous occasions, so Mike had to be content with a first in class, and second overall.

Roy Pritchard entered a Diesel powered version of the Westland Widgeon. Possibly based on the old Eddie Riding design? Wingspan was around 36". Unfortunately Roy failed to get a qualifying flight.

Very impressive Diesel powered D.H.82 Tiger Moth by Ray Hall which flew extremely well. He missed out on first in class by just 1.5 points.

This relatively large floaty Fike model E by S.Kay did not score particularly well in static, but flew very nicely, with smooth realistic take-offs. Model finished 2nd in the Rubber class.

Eddie White entered this handsome SE5 model, but unfortunately failed to register a qualifying flight.

This large diesel powered Focke Wulf Stosser by B.Hanshaw flew well - too well in fact, and ended up stuck in a tree. Finished 3rd in the I/C class.

Very cute little rubber powered ABC Robin by John Godden. Despite its small size, it flew well in the relatively calm evening conditions.

Here are the full results:


Position Name Model Type Static Score Flying Score Total
1 Michael Smith Sopwith Dove 547 492.5 1039.5
2 Ray Hall D.H.82 Tiger Moth 490 548 1038
3 B.Hanshaw F.W.Stosser 323 349.5 672.5
4 Alan Wood Vickers Supermarine Walrus 457 - 457
5 Eddie White SE5 439 - 439
6 Derek Hardman Blackburn Monoplane 412 - 412
7 Roy Pritchard Westland Widgeon 379.5 - 379.5


Position Name Model Type Static Score Flying Score Total
1 Mike Stuart Mr.Mulligan 396 511.5 907.5
2 S.Kay Fike model E 332 520.5 852.5
3 John Godden ABC Robin 320 500.5 820.5
4 James Campbell Piper Cub 396 402.5 798.5


Position Name Model Type Static Score Flying Score Total
1 Mike Stuart Heinkel He 162 346 441.5 787.5
2 Paul Bingham Mig 15 352 ? 352
3 James Campbell Mig 15 287.5 - 287.5


Position Name Model Type Static Score Flying Score Total
1 Alistair Duff BE2C 489.5 582 1071.5
2 Tony Pritchard ABC Robin 372 532.5 904.5
3 James Campbell Piper Super Cruiser 382.5 423.5 806
4 John Godden Miles Magister 158.5 585 743.5
5 Paul Bingham Fokker Eindecker 464 (510.5) 464
6 John Watters Cessna O-2 327 - 327

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