BMFA Indoor Scale Nationals, 7th May 2000
Although entries were a little down this year, this was made up for by the large
number of new models present, as well as some new faces. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly
and it was, like last year a very enjoyable day, despite my not managing
a single qualifying flight this time! My best effort with the Boeing F4B-2,
which might have just sneaked above the required
time was cruelly interrupted by a metal post just as it approached to
land. Never mind, at least it took off and flew for at least a little
while in a stable looking fashion, which is definitely progress!
Before the photos here is a quick recap on the BMFA competition classes and their different rules.
The Open Rubber and CO2 / Electric classes have a total score based on flight
score plus static score, split roughly 50/50. Four flights can be made and the
score from the best flight counts. Static judging is very rigorous, and the
standard of documentation provided by most of the entrants is extensive.
To qualify, you have to make a flight of only 15 seconds. The flights
are judged on realism in the various stages of the flight, i.e. take off,
climb out, cruise, approach and landing. No extra points are given for
longer flights than 15 seconds. Thus a very detailed, heavy model can score
lots on the static points, and should be capable of a 15 second qualifying
flight. Of course, a heavy model will fly faster (too fast for scale speed
usually), be harder to trim and probably do less well on the flight score
than a lighter model (they also hit the wall harder!). As always, it is a
fine balancing act between weight and detail.
The Peanut (13" wing span) and Pistachio (8" span) classes have different rules, in that the flight
scores do depend on flight time. Realism in flight is not judged, just the
time it stays up. You get a ten second bonus if you ROG. The models are ranked
in order of flight performance, and also in order of static judging. The final
positions are obtained by adding the flight position to the static position - lowest
score wins. For example 2nd in static and 3rd in flight would give you a total of 5 points.
In this class you really do have to watch your weight.
Sopwith Camel by Dave Causer
Daveís latest creation looked as if it should be sitting in a display
case in a museum somewhere, not flying round the confines of a
sports hall! Span was somewhere round the 25" mark, and it was
As the model took off for its third contest flight, it was apparent
that Dave had increased the throttle considerably from the previous
one. After a lively climb, the model was soon dicing with the
girders, and the inevitable happened - head on into some steelwork,
and a vertical descent to the floor. Dave collected the bits that
had fallen off, and amazingly got the model repaired in time to
make an excellent fourth and final flight, and won the
CO2 / electric class.
Gloster Javelin by Steven Glass
The award for most exciting model at the event would have to go to
Steven Glassís marvellous Gloster Javelin, powered by the new KP
electric ducted fan unit. The model was built from foam, around
two feet wing span and featured a bell-mouth on the front of the
fan unit, behind the scale intake openings to increase motor
efficiency. At the rear, the twin scale jet nozzles were retained,
with a clear trim tab placed between them to direct the thrust.
Early in the day the model hit the wall hard, and the nose cone was
destroyed. Nothing daunted, Steven then carved a new one from foam,
and coloured it black with a handy felt tip pen before continuing
flying. In the photo, the new nose is temporarily held in place
with strips of tape while the glue dried. The model usually just got
round within the confines of the sports hall walls, and one memorable
flight included a pass under the spectator balcony and over the heads
of the fliers underneath before emerging safely back out into the
hall again to continue its flight. This got a hearty round of
Folkerts Speed King by Richard Crossley
Richard put in some fine flights around the 60 second mark with
this 8" span foam Folkerts Speed King, several involving flying in
and out of the roof structure - sometimes it made it through the
girders and sometimes it didnít, but it was very entertaining for
the rest of us! The long fuselage helps to get a decent amount
of rubber in, and one clever idea was to have the rear rubber
anchorage the same distance behind the centre of gravity as the
prop hook was in front. This means a change in rubber size has
no effect on the trim. Weight of the model is under 3 grams.
Note the customised documentation pack under the model.
Pottier 100 TS by Andre Petit
Always nice to see overseas visitors at competitions over here,
and Andre Petit certainly had a worthwhile trip, coming third in
Peanut Scale and winning the mass launch fun event. Both of these
were achieved with this little French Homebuilt. I had never seen a model
one before, but apparently quite a few have been built and flown in France.
Proportions are ideal for a flying scale model, and it
is very stable, even without any dihedral. This model got easily
the highest flying marks in the Peanut scale competition.
The plan is available for download - just click here.
This was Andreís other model, entered in the open rubber class.
An unusual aircraft that had several people guessing as to its
identity. The model is a 1/20th scale Messerschmitt Me 209 V2, built
from one of those Czech plans (available from Michael Woodhouse Free Flight Supplies) and
beautifully painted. It flew well, banking fairly steeply, but
achieved good height, and stayed well away from the walls.
Bucker Jungmann by Mike Hadland
An outstanding new model from Mike featuring a superb finish, and it flew very well indeed
to win the Peanut scale class. Sorry the photo does not do the model justice!
1911 Valkyrie by Phil Siddall
You may remember the photo of Phil's peanut Valkyrie at last years Nationals - well this year
he went one better and built a larger one for the open rubber class. Scale
is 1/18th and the weight, remarkably, under 10 grams. The model took off
and flew very slowly and realistically - not far off scale speed. Very impressive.
Phil also did a demonstration flight with this Wright Flier model. Flight time
is limited by the layout but it looked a treat in the air.
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