BMFA Indoor Scale Nationals, 13th April 2014

The 2014 Indoor scale Nats were held on another of those sunny, calm days that would have been well suited to outdoor flying - it's funny how often that happens. The event was originally planned to run over two days, with indoor R/C classes included, which it was hoped would lead to a less hectic schedule than we had last year, partially due to the large amount of entries in the kit scale class. In the end, a decision was taken rather late in the day (just over two weeks before the event) to revert to the Sunday only, with the deletion of the R/C classes, for which entries had been disappointing. The decision was driven by financial considerations, namely that a two day event could make a loss for the BMFA (the Nottingham hall is not cheap to hire). As it turned out, we got through all the flights in good time, even with the addition of a new scale free flight glider class. Competitors were generally very good about watching out for their flight slot, and preparing their models in a timely fashion. Once again, there were loads of entries in kit scale - 29 in all (7 more than last year), which is great news, but very hard work for the judges.

It was the Usual mixed bag as regards my models - I had repaired the Curtiss P-6E and Vought SBU from last year, and even added a few extra details. The P-6E performed very nicely, flying reliable circuits well away from the walls, and didn't suffer any damage at all. I got four decent qualifying flights, and finished fourth in open rubber. Tim Horne recorded the first flight and posted it to Youtube (thanks Tim!)

The electric powered SBU was much harder to keep away from the walls, though it survived trimming on the Saturday evening. On the first competion flight it decided to turn right for no obvious reason, hit the wall and ripped out the motor, battery and controller. The wires wrapped round the prop which ripped off a battery tag. So, back in the box with that one. Maybe I'll just fly it outdoors now.

I had a third model as well - a new peanut scale Brewster Buffalo, from a Diels short kit. It was not, it has to be said, a great success. every time I thought I was getting somewhere, I'd hit the wall and break one of the butt-jointed wings off again. The poor thing just got more and more battered looking as the day went on. In the end I didn't even put it in for scale judging. Here's a photo of the Buffalo before the event.

As you have come to expect, I'm not going to summarise any class rules as they can all be found painstakingly detailed in the latest BMFA rule book here, or have a look at some of my older Nats reports for a brief summary.

The open rubber class had a healthy entry of 15 models this year. Mike Hadland brought along a new model, and it's a real beauty. Probably not a surprise that Mike chose the Stampe SV.4 as his subject as he already has a fine flying peanut example. The level of detailing is outstanding, including the access windows near the struts and the turnbuckles on the rigging, as seen below.

The model flew very well, as shown in the video below and Mike finished second in class behind Richard Crossley's well known Brewster Bermuda.

Speaking of which, take a look at the video below and see the type of flight that can win you the open rubber class. The take-off is very long and straight, and the model climbs out realistically rather than zooming skywards. The circuits are not too tight, and the landing approach smooth. The only way I think Richard could have got more marks is if the cruise phase of the flight had been a little higher, but that's about all.

Graham Banham had a new open rubber model - a very nice Cessna C-34. Note temporary repair to right wing leading edge which allowed Graham to get in his qualifying flights. Video below - the model finished fifth in class.

It was good to welcome Gerard Brinks from The Netherlands to the event. This is his sixth place open rubber entry, a neatly finished Stinson Junior S.

Alasdair Deas turned up with a beautiful new rubber powered model of the Curtiss F11C Goshawk - as you probably know I have a real soft spot for pre-war yellow-winged aeroplanes, and this one is a cracker, featuring scale rib spacing and a fully detailed engine. Alasdair got close to a qualifying flight, but unfortunately couldn't quite get to the magic 15 seconds.

Below is a video of Tim Horne's best flight of the day with his Misty 1 racer, which finished 7th in class.

As well as his kit scale Waco SRE, Peter Boys entered this lovely Waco YKS-7 in the open rubber class. Sadly a qualifying flight was not achieved.

Laurence Marks has a whole fleet of Wittman Tailwinds in various sizes. This rubber powered example, in the middle of the size range, showed remarkable stability despite no dihedral whatsoever (as per the full size) and finished 8th in the open rubber class.

Entries in the electric/CO2 class were disappointing, with only 8 entries including my SBU, which wasn't entered for static judging. Winner was Richard Crossley with his well-known flying flea, followed by Derek Knight's Tiger Moth.

Divs Masters finished 3rd in class with this lovely SE5A - I'm not sure if this is a new model, as all Divs's SE5A's are in the same scheme (a sensible solution as regards preparing your documentation).

Peter Fardell entered this new and well detailed CO2 powered Polikarpov PO-2 which would have scored a much higher flying score if the wall hadn't got in the way and denied Peter any landing points on a really good flight.

Charlie Newman brought his electric powered RWD 8 - a beautifully finished model, which unfortunately could not be persuaded to take off.

As mentioned above, there was a record entry of 29 in kit scale, and the standard of flying was the best ever - very small margins decided the finishing order. It seems churlish to criticise such a successful class, but I do find it slightly disappointing that so few people have taken the step up to one of the other open classes. I'm not sure it's as big a step as many people think though - a simple but well flying model can place well - just look at the number of open rubber models this year that didn't get a qualifying flight. Also remember there are kits out there that are quite capable of winning an open class - Both myself and Richards Crossley have done well with Diels Engineering kits for example. So, to all you kit scalers out there, why not give it a go next year?

Laurie Kirby did one better than last year, finishing third behind Graham Banham and Laurence Marks with his neatly finished Keil Kraft Auster Arrow - it must be lightly built because the flying speed was so slow and scale-like - see video below.

Nice to see a few more low-wingers this year - one of my favourites was this Veron Tru-Flite Harvard by Andrew Darby. On the Saturday evening it had looked practically untrimmable, but on Sunday it was flying beautifully, as you can see in the video below.

I also really liked this Veron Tru-Flite Hawker Fury built by Richard Moore fitted with a very tasty carved prop. It flew nicely as well.

Another nice Tru-Flite was this Short Seamew by Lionel Haines which scored the highest static score in the class. I know from watching Lionel's efforts at our indoor meetings in Newbury that this has not been an easy model to trim, but he got it tamed for the competition and it was flying well, as you can see below.

Stephen Haines brought this nice little Hawker Hurricane built from a comet plan which flew very well.

Neat Keil Kraft Luscombe Silvair by Michael Langford got the second highest static score in the kit scale class and finished 8th overall.

Bill Dennis was flying this very nice D.H. Puss Moth built from the West Wings kit design. The splendid painted finish was penalised by the judges, but I think it was worth taking the points hit!

Alasdair Deas entered this Dumas T34 "Mentor" - a brave choice for kit scale, but he had it flying nicely.

Bryan Stichbury finished a creditable 7th in class with this Skylake Models Waco SRE. Peter Boys built a red one from the same design, and did one better, finishing 6th. There was just one point between them!

When Chris Blanch won kit scale with his Sablatnig SF4 in 2012, I completely failed to get a video of it. This year he finished 5th, but on the plus side, I did manage to capture it in action!

If you look at the results table below, you may think peanut scale entries were down this year, but in fact there were eight more entries which failed to register any flight scores, and also no static scores. Certainly with my Buffalo, I didn't see the point in getting it static judged when it was getting more and more bashed about the more I tried to trim it!

There were not too many new models in the class which may explan why I took so few photos, but this one captures the top three models - Richard Crossley's Stuka finished first, Mike Hadland's Jungmann second and Nick Peppiatt's Blackburn Bluebird third. Also present is Laurie Kirby's Fike model E.

Gary Flack finished fourth in class with this very nicely finished foam Focke Wulf FW 190 D9

I did slightly better with photos of the Pistachio entries. Only 5 models posted scores out of 7 entrants, and the Dutch contingent showed us how it's done, with Roel Lucassen taking first place with his Navy Wright NW-1 and Gert Brendel taking second place with his Eastbourne monoplane, below.

A new Pistachio from Nick Peppiatt was this BAT Baboon, showing a very light structure. The two flight total of 85 seconds was by far the best in the class, and third place was achieved. It's worth noting that the top three models all scored 4 points, so final positions were decided by their static marks.

Tim Horne took fourth place with his "Screamin Meany" racer - best flight was 27 seconds

Neat Andreasson BA-4 by Bryan Stichbury finished fifth. Possibly a reduction of the Peck Polymers peanut design?

A new class this year was scale glider - a step into the unknown for those brave enough to give it a go! The concept is to include the launch of the model in the timing and judging of the flight, and the launch method can be absolutely anything. We had towline, winch, attempted air tow and even chuck it off the balcony! Of these, the hand-held winch seemed to work the best, but it's early days. For the inaugural event, the class was judged on flying only to keep things simple.

The winner was Peter Smart, who decided to go the ultra light route - he had two fine flying gliders with him, of which the Willow Wren shown here was perhaps marginally better. The covering is undoped tissue and only the upper surfaces of the wing are covered. To achieve a straight tow and a curved flight pattern, Peter uses an offset towhook. The video below shows the slow flying speed of the model as well as how to use as much of the hall as possible!

Charlie Newman went a more traditional flying scale route with his lovely Slingsby T46, which resulted in a faster flying speed and shorter flights. How these two approaches will pan out if and when scale judging is included will be interestng to see. As with all scale modelling, it will be a balancing act between weight and scale detail.



Name Model Type Best Flying Score Static Score Total Position
Richard Crossley Brewste Bermuda 1678 1572 3250 1
Mike Hadland Stampe SV.4C 1558 1686 3244 2
Chris Blanch Grumman Hellcat 1566 1452 2988 3
Mike Stuart Curtiss P-6E Hawk 1381 1446 2877 4
Graham Banham Cessna C-34 1260 1164 2424 5
Gerard Brinks Stinson Junior S 1152 1158 2310 6
Tim Horne Misty 1 1255 948 2203 7
Laurence Marks Wittman Tailwind 1295 846 2141 8
Vibes Masters Cessna 180 1464 480 1944 9
Alasdair Deas Curtiss F11C-2 Goshawk - 1496 1496 10
Derek Knight Isaacs Fury - 1446 1446 11
Peter Boys Waco YKS-7 - 1278 1278 12
Dave Crompton Evans Volksplane VP-1 - 1124 1124 13
Peter Smart Junkers Ju 88 - 1094 1094 14
Richard Moore Burnelli RB-1 - 876 876 15


Name Model Type Best Flying Score Static Score Total Position
Richard Crossley Flying Flea 1611 1572.5 3183.5 1
Derek Knight D.H.82 Tiger Moth 1174 1711 2885b 2
Divs Masters SE5A 552 1701.5 2253.5 3
Vibes Masters Lacey M10 988 1096 2084 4
Peter Fardell Polikarpov PO2 572 1451.5 2023.5 5
Peter Smart Gotha 224 856 948 1804 6
Charlie Newman RWD 8 DWL - 1575 1575 7

Kit Scale

Name Model Type Best two flight scores Static Score Total Position
Graham Banham Piper Tri-Pacer (Herr) 198 73 271 1
Laurence Marks Piper Vagabond (Thomas Designs) 200 68 268 2
Laurie Kirby Auster Arrow (Keil Kraft) 190 72 262 3
Dan Mellor SE5A (Aerographics) 179 82 261 4
Chris Blanch Sablatnig SF.4 (Ikara) 172 78 250 5
Peter Boys Waco SRE (Skylake) 169 79 248 6
Brian Stichbury Waco SRE (Skylake) 177 70 247 7
Michael Langford Luscombe Silvaire (Keil Kraft) 158 83 241 8
Peter Fardell Albatros D.111 (Aerographics) 163 73 236 9
John Churchill Cessna 140 (Keil Kraft) 161 75 236 10
Bryan Lea Curtiss Robin (Comet) 167 68 235 11
Ray Goodenough Piper Family Cruiser (Keil Kraft) 161 74 235 12
Bill Dennis D.H.Puss Moth (West Wings) 160 74 234 13
Andrew Darby N.A.Harvard (Veron) 162 70 232 14
Lionel Haines Short Seamew (Veron) 144 88 232 15
Stephen Haines Hawker Hurricane (Comet) 163 66 229 16
Alasdair Deas T34 Mentor (Dumas) 151 74 225 17
Ian Lever Comper Swift (Veron) 100 88 188.0 18
Rob Smith Piper Vagabond (Thomas Designs) 142 80 222 19
Brian Lever Fairey Junior (Keil Kraft) 155 66 221 20
Tony Rushby Champion Citabia 157 57 214 21
Ken Bates Comper Swift (Veron) 127 77 204 22
Joe Robicano Pilatus Turbo Porter (Micro X) 144 58 202 23
Richard Moore Hawker Fury (Veron) 131 68 199 24
Vibes Masters Cessna 180 (Herr) 129 60 189 25
Mike Sanderson DHC Beaver (Guillows) - 71 71 26
Neil Sommerin Jodel Bebe (Veron) - 68 68 27


Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Richard Crossley Junkers Ju 87 Stuka 117 1 116 2 3 1
Mike Hadland Bucker Jungmann 97 4 134 1 5 2
Nick Peppiatt Blackburn Bluebird 85 7 115 3 10 3
Gary Flack Focke Wulf FW 190 D9 91 6 96 5 11 4
Stephen Haines Lacey M-10 101 3 71 9 12 5
Brian Lever Nesmith Cougar 110 2 51 11 13 6
Roel Lucassen Baumer Sausewind 93 5 88 8 13 7
Chris Blanch Bowers Fly Baby 50 10 115 3 13 8
Bryan Stichbury Santos-Dumont 14bis 28 10 91 6 16 9
Dave Crompton Bristol Brownie 22 11 91 6 17 10
Laurie Kirby Fike Model E 65 9 68 10 19 11
Ian Lever P-51 Mustang 77 8 - 22 30 12


Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Roel Lucassen Navy Wright NW-1 40 3 68 1 4 1
Gert Brendel Eastbourne monoplane 45 2 50 2 4 2
Nick Peppiatt BAT Baboon 85 1 48 3 4 3
Tim Horne Screamin Meany 38 4 42 4 8 4
Bryan Stichbury Andreasson BA-4 38 5 38 5 10 5


Name Model Type Best flight score Place
Peter Smart Willow Wren 1907 1
Peter Fardell Lilienthal glider 1593 2
Russ lister Slingsby Skylark 1520 3
Kevin Wallace 1460 4
Richard Moore Waco CG-15 1424 5
Charlie Newman Slingsby T46 1382 6
Derek Knight 1217 7

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