Birmingham Scale Meeting, 13th February 2005

The 2005 indoor scale season kicked off with a meeting at a new venue in Birmingham, the Cocks Moors Woods Leisure centre. This was being used instead of Alumwell due to a change in its opening hours, and Personally I thought the new venue was an improvement. It was certainly easy to get to from the south, and it was nice and warm (not always the case in sports halls). A bit of turbulence was apparent during some flights, but we were not sure where this was coming from. Not a major issue anyway.

Turnout of competitors was, like Swindon, rather disappointing, though we did have some spectators and fun flyers in to join us to bump the numbers up. Peanut scale is usually one of the most popular classes, but not at this meeting, as there were only five entries! CO2/electric had the biggest entry with 8 models. I am not sure what the answer is - maybe more publicity? Or are we just a hobby that is in terminal decline? I hope not, as I only joined in fairly recently!

The competition was run to normal BMFA rules, with all classes having static judging - see Nationals report if you want reminding of them. I mentioned that the hall was nice and warm, in contrast to Swindon last time out, and this must have contributed to a very scary flight with my Sparrowhawk. At Swindon I had been experimenting with slightly thicker rubber to get the model higher than it normally does, and it looked promising, with the model getting about half way up to the roof. Extremely foolishly I installed that motor again and put on 800 winds. The model took off like a rocket and headed for the roof, where it circulated in amongst the beams and girders before hitting a heating duct. It bounced off, and fortunately managed a partial recovery before hitting the deck fairly hard with its wheels first. I was very lucky, as there was only minor damage where an undercarriage strut had punched into the fuselage - it could have been much worse. I put the smaller motor back in for for the rest of the flights, and this provided plenty of power. It put in some reasonable flights in the competition, but it loses a lot of marks on landing - the approach is too steep and it hits the deck too hard. In contrast, Mike Hadland's WACO SRE does the smoothest landings you could possibly wish to see - really beautiful, and he was a deserved class winner.

My Fox moth had an eventful outing in Peanut as well - early on it collided with a basketball hoop and span in, breaking off the tail surfaces, and dislodging many struts. It took a while to find all the bits, but I managed to get it back together so it could be put in for static judging. Afterwards, it (rather surprisingly) put in two nice ROG flights without having to alter any of the trim, and it finished up second in class.

I could not resist another photo of Derek Knight's new rubber-powered Hornet Moth, showing the high quality of the detail work. The trim is still being worked on, but he did manage one qualifying flight from a hand launch. If he can get it sorted before the Nationals, he will have a potential winner on his hands.

Lawrence Marks has had a fairly torrid time getting his Kitfox Lite to behave, but now with CO2 power, and a nice warm hall, it was flying really well, and obtained an excellent flight score.

Lawrence is now working on a new peanut scale model - Art Chester's Swee' Pea racer, and he brought the bones to show us. The very neat filling in round the nose was particularly noteworthy. Hopefully it will be ready in time for the Nationals in April.

Mike Allen brought along his venerable Sopwith Schneider, which flew extremely well, and takes off and lands courtesy of wheels hidden inside the floats. Power is a KP-01 electric motor. Model finished third in a closely fought class

Pete Smart brought along a table full of beautiful models, including this electric powered Grumman Cougar, which is being used as something of a test bed.

Another of Pete's models was this rubber powered Potez 36. It flew without dihedral, though appeared to be in a permanent sideslip as it circled overhead.

Another new electric model from Pete was this peanut scale Wittman Tailwind, modified from the old Alan Callaghan design.

Here you can see the clever motor tray, which enables you to easily remove the motor, battery and controller as one unit. It is held in position at the nose using a pair of rare earth magnets. Divs Masters was using something similar on his newly electrified SE5A.

Speaking of which, here it is. The model has a Zombie controller, so just like Pete with his big Messerschmitt, he just puts it on the floor and walks away, and watches it take off from the side of the hall. The model finished second in class behind Derek Knight's Tiger Moth.

Hopefully you will not mind seeing another photo of Derek's highly detailed electric powered Tiger Moth - it was flying better than I ever remember seeing it before. A flight score of just under 1600 takes some getting!

You will probably remember the picture of Peter Iliffe's Albatros III in the Interscale report after he had glued the nose back on following its argument with a wall. Well, here it is fully repaired and ready for action. Glad to see the model still looks as gorgeous as ever. The biggest problem with the repair was matching the colour of the wood stain, and this has resulted in a slightly darker tone to the front fuselage now. Due to exhaust emissions from the motor, naturally.

Peter intends to trim the model for indoors again, but wants to start off in a really big hall first. Thus he was flying his DFW in the competition.

Peter also brought along this attractive CO2 powered Blackburn monoplane for fun-flying. He built it as a bit of light relief from such mega-detailed projects as his Albatros, and has been very satisfied with how it has performed. It certainly looked good circling gently around overhead.



Name Model Type Best Flying Score Static score Total Position
Mike Hadland Waco SRE 1608.0 1522.0 3130.0 1
Mike Stuart Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk 901.0 1618.5 2519.5 2
Divs Masters Sopwith Triplane 713.0 1710.5 2423.5 3
Derek Knight D.H.87B Hornet Moth 382.0 1525.0 1907.0 4
Peter Boys Waco YKS 6/7 - 1492.5 1492.5 5
Nigel Druce Fike model E (RIP) * - 1015.5 1015.5 6

* Model ceremonially jumped on at the end of the contest


Name Model Type Best Flying Score Static score Total Position
Derek Knight D.H.82 Tiger Moth 1576.0 1554.5 3130.5 1
Divs Masters SE5A 1035.0 1627.5 2662.5 2
Mike Allen Sopwith Schneider 1571.0 1072.5 2643.5 3
Peter Iliffe D.F.W.B1 1141.0 1457.0 2598.0 4
Ray Johnson Curtiss Owl 1422.0 1138.5 2560.5 5
Lawrence Marks Kitfox Lite 1201.0 1205.5 2406.5 6
Peter Smart Messerschmitt Me 323 794.4 1529.0 2323.4 7
Nigel Druce Andreasson BA-4 606.0 849.0 1455.0 8


Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Divs Masters SE5a 51 4 133 1 5 1
Mike Stuart D.H.83 Fox Moth 74 2 129 3 5 2
Mike Hadland Bucker Jungmann 115 1 127 4 5 3
Adam Beales Sopwith Triplane 42 5 133 1 6 4
Peter Boys Waco YKS 6/7 58 3 120 5 8 5


Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Divs Masters SE5a 55 2 68 1 3 1
Mike Hadland Bucker Jungmann 59 1 66 2 3 2

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