BMFA Indoor Scale Nationals, 23rd April 2006

Hard to believe another twelve months had passed already, and here we were, back at Nottingham again for the Indoor Nationals. Good to see all the friendly, famliar faces again, and also great to see a couple of new entrants taking the plunge for the first time.

Numbers were slightly down on last year in every class except pistachio scale, but still respectable, and there was plenty for the spectators to enjoy. The Small hall was in use all day for fun flying, and as well as regulars Sams Models, this year we had Jonathan Crossley selling his Zombie timers and new electric motors, and Replikit were also doing a brisk trade with their reproduction semi-kits.

Before the photos here is a quick reminder of the BMFA competition classes and their different rules. Please skip these paragraphs if you have read them before!

The Open Rubber and CO2 / Electric classes have a total based on flight score plus static score, which are added together. Four flights can be made and the score from the best flight counts. Static judging is very rigorous, and comprehensive documentation is required from the entrants. To qualify, you have to make a flight of only 15 seconds. This does not sound much, until you actually try it! 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 flying scores do depend on flight time. Realism in flight is not judged, just the time it stays up. You get a ten second bonus in Peanut scale if you ROG (Rise Off Ground). Nine timed flights can be made and the best two are added together to give you a flight score (in seconds).

The models are ranked in order of flight performance, and also in order of static judging. Bonus points are given in the latter for such features as multiple wings, scale rib spacing, having a pilot, separate control surfaces, exposed engine detail etc. 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.

I decided to enter the Mr Mulligan in the rubber class this time, to give people something new to look at. I have been flying it outdoors for a couple of years, but have found it goes very well indoors as well. The static score was only modest, but this was made up for by excellent flight scores, which took it up fourth place. My other entry was a new Pistachio scale model, the Hot Canary racer. Again the folly of bringing a new, untrimmed model to a competition was illustrated, when despite having three sessions to play with it, I failed to register a single flight. Suffice to say it is proving a tricky beast to trim, and I am not optimistic it will ever fly in any meaningful sense of the word. I think I had better stick to Peanuts!

How about this for an impressive rubber model? Looks more like a plastic kit than a flying model. It is a Junkers Ju 88 nightfighter, and you will not be surprised to learn that the builder was Richard Crossley. Construction is of foam, so lightweight, meaning you can live with the relatively short engine nacelles which house the separate rubber motors. The model finished a well deserved third in class.

Above is a proof of flight photo, and you can see a video of the model in action by clicking here (file size is 2.6 MB).

Another of Richard’s entries was this Douglas Dauntless, which you may have seen on the Interscale report in rubber powered form with a working undercarriage. Now it has been converted to electric power, using a Voodoo 45 motor and Zombie controller. The functioning undercart has now been removed, and the model is now much lighter than before.

Richard also brought along this beautifully finished, slightly enlarged Keil Kraft Piper Super Cruiser, powered by a Voodoo 15 electric motor. The pilot in this one had a Keil Kraft Slicker with him in case he found a suitable flying site. For proof, see Richard's photo below, Unfortunately with the wing on, you just could not get to see it properly!

Another model that has undergone a transformation from rubber to electric power is Derek Knight’s beautifully detailed D.H.87 Hornet Moth, which put in some good flights, and finished second in class. Click here to see a video (file size is 3.8 MB).

This attractive peanut scale Sorrell Hyperbipe was built by Mike Havard. Markings were printed onto pre-painted tissue, and were very neatly done. The model had a best flight of 38 seconds, and finished 5th in class.

Mike Hadland won the peanut class with his Bucker Jungmann, which achieved the honour of not only finishing top in the static judging, but also got top flying marks as well. That really is remarkable, as generally the more detail you add, the heavier the model gets, and the shorter your flights. Mike again achieved a flight of over a minute from a take-off. Click here to see just how well a peanut scale model can fly (file size 5.1 MB).

Peter Smart's entry in the open rubber class this year was a lovely replica of the Wright Flyer III. A very delcate piece of work which I would have been frightened to pick up! Like the full size version, the model was launched from a rail, but unlike the original it was helped on its way by some rubber bands. Happily the model did get one flight over the 15 second minimum to qualify for a flight score.

Peter also had some interesting new models with him that were not entered in the competition including this twin electric Douglas DC-2. The model made several demonstration flights in the main hall and looked very promising.

Here are a couple of new peanut designs that Pete also brought along of what he describes as “boring aeroplanes”. I think “rather charming” would be my description! On the left is a Cessna 150, and on the right a Piper Cherokee. Both are of conventional balsa and tissue construction. Pete flew the fine-flying Cessna in the mass launch that finished proceedings.

When I first saw this model I thought the wings looked a bit big for a Bf-109, then the penny dropped that it was a different aircraft altogether, even though powered by the same engine. It is a VL Pyorremyrsky (what do you mean, you have never heard of it?), and the model was built by J.Valient. Construction was from foam, and it was flying nicely (best time 39 seconds).

Andre Petit made the trip from France again, and was rewarded with 2nd place in both the peanut and rubber classes. Here is his new peanut scale model of the Denight DDT, built after the old one was damaged. The finish and detailing are excellent, and a best flight of 53 seconds is not too shabby either!

To see a video of Andre's open rubber entry, the Southern Martlet, click here (file size is 2.0 MB).

Chris Strachan has been adding some more detail markings to his Coonley Special, which was entered in the peanut scale class, where it finished in sixth place. Best flight time was 46 seconds.

Laurence Marks based this peanut scale Wittman Tailwind on the old Andrew Moorhouse design. He also built a 16 inch span version for the rubber class.

Tim Horne enjoyed his first Nationals, entering his smart Falcon 2 Goodyear racer in both the peanut and open rubber classes. The open classes can be a bit daunting for the newcomer (and the rest of us actually!) as you walk out in front of the audience to place your model on the floor. I am pleased to say the model flew admirably, as you can see by clicking here (file size is 2.6 MB).

Another first timer entering the competition was Russ Lister, with a beautifully built Caproni Pensuti pistachio scale model. It got the best scale marks in class, beating all the regulars, and despite modest flight scores, still managed to finish 4th – a splendid achievement. If Russ can sort the trim out, he has a potential winner on his hands.

Great choice of subject by Barry Pursglove in the electric class was this G.A. Monospar. I particularly liked all that scale wing structure. Unfortunately the model didn't manage to put in a qualifying flight.

Divs Masters has electrified his Sopwith Triplane, and installed a Zombie timer. It makes sense with a short-nosed design like this to get rid of that rubber behind the centre of gravity. The model finished fourth in class.

Although not entered in the competition, David Hunt bought along this charming self-designed Eastbourne monoplane to show us. The model is CO2 powered using an old Telco motor. The metal panels at the front were simulated by covering the balsa with Bare Metal Foil, a thin self adhesive foil used by plastic modellers, and the rivets were just represented by small indentations. It looked very convincing.



Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Mike Hadland Bucker Jungmann 137 1 124.5 1 2 1
Andre Petit Denight DDT 104 4 123.0 2 6 2
Richard Crossley Nakajima B5N Kate 109 3 101.0 5 8 3
David Prior D.H.87 Hornet Moth 71 8 110.5 3 11 4
Mike Havard Sorrell Hyperbipe 74 6 101.0 5 11 5
Chris Strachan Coonley Special 92 5 88.0 8 13 6
Nick Peppiatt Aeronca K 121 2 74.0 11 13 7
Peter Boys Waco SRE 53 11 102.0 4 15 8
J.Valient VL Pyorremyrsky 72 7 80.0 9 16 9
Reg Boor Republic P-47D 61 10 93.0 7 17 10
Tim Horne Falcon Special II 66 9 75.0 10 19 11
Lawrence Marks Wittman Tailwind 45 12 51.0 12 24 12


Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Divs Masters SE5A 68 4 62.0 2 6 1
Richard Crossley Polikarpov I-16 75 2 60.0 4 6 2
Nick Peppiatt Lippisch Storch 125 1 40.0 7 8 3
Russ Lister Caprioni Pensuti 1918 11 8 68.0 1 9 4
Chris Strachan Wittman Buster 68 4 40.0 7 11 5
Peter Boys Stearman PT-17 9 9 61.0 3 12 6
Reg Boor Microplano Veloz 49 6 43.0 6 12 7
J.Bourdeaud'hui' Pottier 100 TS 74 3 34.0 10 13 8
Mike Stuart Hot Canary 0 10 58.0 5 15 9
Mike Havard Piper Vagabond 48 7 38.0 9 16 10


Name Model Type Best Flying Score Static Score Total Position
Mike Hadland Waco SRE 1740.0 1444.0 3184.0 1
Andre Petit Southern Martlet 1280.0 1800.0 3080.0 2
Ricard Crossley Junkers Ju 88 1448 1479.5 2927.5 3
Mike Stuart Howard DGA-6 Mr Mulligan 1673.0 1164.0 2837.0 4
Chris Strachan Dixon Special 1561.0 1241.0 2802.0 5
Reg Boor Messerschmitt Bf109G-6 1407.5 1260.0 2667.5 6
Tim Horne Falcon Special II 1497.0 1006.5 2503.5 7
Derek Knight Avro 560 754.0 1313.5 2067.5 8
Laurence Marks Wittman Tailwind 1303.0 738.0 2041.0 9
Peter Smart Wright Flyer III 903.0 1058.0 1961.0 10
Kevin Wallace Lacey M.10 - 1038.5 1038.5 11


Name Model Type Best Flying Score Static Score Total Position
Peter Iliffe Albatros D.V 1448.0 1702.0 3150.0 1
Derek Knight D.H.87 Hornet Moth 1524.0 1562.0 3086.0 2
Richard Crossley Douglas SBD Dauntless 1473.0 1470.0 2943.0 3
Divs Masters Sopwith Triplane 1294.0 1418.0 2712.0 4
Peter Smart Messerscmitt Me 323 Gigant 1432.8 1074.0 2506.8 5
Mike Green ANEC 1a 1307.0 586.0 1893.0 6
Charlie Newman SE5A - 1542.5 1542.5 7
Kevin Wallace BAT FK 26 - 1030.0 1030.0 8
Barry Pursglove GA Monospar ST 25 - 884.0 884.0 9

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