BMFA Indoor Scale Nationals, 22nd April 2007

I know I say this almost every year, but where did the last 12 months go? It only seems a short while ago that I was driving up to Nottingham for the 2006 Nats. As well as the usual friendly crowd of regulars, it was good to see some new faces this year, and entries were up in all classes apart from Pistachio.

An innovation this year was the new “Kit Scale” class, with rounds being flown between the normal open classes. Twelve entrants was encouraging, and it is hoped that this class will grow next year as word gets round. To summarise the rules, any model built from a commercial kit plan is eligible, and the model is judged not against a 3-view, as usual, but against the kit plan, and in fact discrepancies from the plan are penalised. A photo has to be provided of the colour scheme, and that is it as far as documentation goes. The flying is judged as per the normal open classes, so flights had to be made in front of the judges and spectators, one at a time, where they were judged for realism, not duration. The scores from the best two flights counted towards the total, where they were added to the static marks. I think this is an excellent introduction to this sort of competition flying, without needing a super detailed model or masses of documentation. Why not come along and give it a go next time?

There were no changes I could see to the normal class rules, so if you need a refresher, please refer to last year’s report.

Sensible chap that I am, I brought along a new untrimmed peanut scale model, a Laird Speedwing Junior, to enter (never a good idea, as I discovered with my pistachio Hot Canary last year). True to form, although it did fly very in reasonably stable fashion in a straight line, it just refused to behave when forced into any form of curved flight path. As my flying time was thus limited to the time the model took to cross the hall, it seemed fairly pointless to enter any scores. Should be fun outdoors though!

I also brought along my old Sparrowhawk for an outing, which seemed to have lost its trim during a couple of years sitting in a cabinet. The first two official flights consisted of nothing more than a take off run, followed by a brief climb and flop back onto the ground. On removing the motor to fit a fresh one, I discovered an old ¼” loop of rubber (which I had used for outdoor flying) still in the fuselage, just lying at the bottom. No wonder the trim was a bit off. I cannot work out how I managed not to see it when I fitted the motor that morning!

Anyway, with a fresh motor fitted, and the surplus rubber removed, things looked a lot better, and the third official flight was quite a good one, though it got higher than I expected, so the descent for landing was a bit steep. Anyway, a qualifying flight in the bag, and I was delighted to find later that it was good enough, combined with a decent static score, for 2nd place in class.

Peter Smart can always be relied upon to bring along something new and interesting, and this year he had built a Dornier Wal flying boat for twin electric, which took off from a dolly. Incredibly, Peter built the whole model from scratch in just five weeks.

Above you can see the model in action, and you can see a video of a rather good flight by clicking here (file size is 3.8 MB).

Peter also had a new peanut model with him, a 16 inch span Junkers F.13, eligible because the fuselage length does not exceed 9 inches. The model looked great in the air, but flight times were not quite as competitive as hoped (best time was 31 seconds). The corrugation lines were drawn onto the silver Esaki tissue by hand using a fine marker pen and a ruler before covering.

Richard Crossley chose to enter a pair of colourful pre war US aircraft this time, both built from 1/24 scale Diels Engineering kits and finished to a typically high standard. This is the rubber powered Vought SB2U Vindicator, as featured in the film “Dive Bomber”, starring Errol Flynn. As usual, the documentation was almost as impressive as the model, featuring colour stills from the film. The model flew very realistically and fully deserved its third place in class.

Click here to see Richard's highest scoring flight (file size is 2.4 MB).

Richard also entered this Douglas TBD Devastator, built again from a Diels Engineering kit, but powered by a Voodoo 25 electric motor, with a LiPoly cell and Zombie flight profiler. Richard reckons with the motor, cell and controller all mounted inside the cowling, the model came out lighter than if it had been rubber powered, and no noseweight was needed.

The model certainly flew extremely well, as you can see here (MPEG movie size is 4.8 MB). The model finished 3rd in class.

Tim Horne came along with a couple of new models, one of which was this peanut sized "Beetle Bomb" home built racer. A gloriously odd looking aircraft (I love the vertical windscreen!), with a complex but extremely well executed colour scheme. The model flew in Open rubber, and put in some good qualifying flights, eventually finishing in fifth place.

Tim also entered this rather more conventional looking Legrand Simon LS 60 in peanut, which I saw circulating in stable fashion (best flight was 38 seconds).

Graham Banham entered the event for the first time with a very smart Gipsy engined Comper Swift in the open rubber class. The plan was enlarged from a peanut design, and flew nicely, finishing in 11th place.

Mike Hadland had his peanut scale Bucker Jungmanns flying very well. The familiar German camouflaged example again won the peanut scale class, but he also won the open rubber class with this similarly sized example, which achieved the highest flight score in the class. Click here to see how it went (File size 2.7 MB)

Laurence Marks brought along a fleet of Wittman Tailwinds, all different sizes, and all based on the old Andrew Moorhouse peanut scale design. The middle sized one (16 inch span) is rubber powered and the large one (24 inch span) has a Gasparin G160 CO2 motor in it.

I have to feel slightly responsible for this outbreak of Tailwinds, because it was I who gave gave Laurence a copy of that first plan. He even brought along the bones of an even bigger version, which is destined to be powered by a PAW 80.

Derek Knight had a beautifully detailed and finished ANEC II entered in the rubber class, which got the highest static score of any model at the competition. Unfortunately, the model failed to record a flight score due to trimming problems.

George Kandylakis made the trip over from Greece to take part this year, and entered this fantastic Albatros D.III in the Electric/CO2 class.

The standard of detailing was first class, including perforated machine gun jackets and a very well detailed dummy engine. The lozenge camouflage was airbrushed using a series of repeating masks. The model was powered by a Gasparin GM63BB, and it put in repeated flights of around 50 seconds, circulating high in the hall. It was a deserved class winner.

Click here to see one the consistently excellent flights made by the Albatros (file size is 4.7 MB).

As well as the Albatros, George also brought along a new rubber model of the 1912 Vendome monoplane. You have just got to love those huge bicycle wheels! The model was being finished during the morning of the competition, and made a successful qualifying flight in the afternoon, resulting in a sixth place finish in class.

Sadly, after the event, George had to cut through all that beautiful wing rigging to remove the wings, in order to pack it for the flight home!

David Fisher's fleet of foam Mustangs has increased since last year, and this time he brought along a P-51D for peanut scale, and a P-51B for pistachio, as well as the P-51B for the open rubber class. The pistachio entry (on the right) did particularly well, with a best time of 53 seconds, and a third place finish in the class.

I could not resist another photo of Peter Iliffe's superb Siemens Schuckert D.III, which was entered in the electric/CO2 class. Despite some trepidation, Peter risked a take off for one of the rounds, and the model lifted off and circled nicely, keeping away from the walls.

Click here to see the flight (file size is 1.9 MB).

Mike Havard did very well with his pair of Sorrell Hiperbipes, finishing second in both the peanut and pistachio classes. This little beauty is the pistachio version. Covering was painted condenser paper.

Winner of the kit scale competition was Ian Melville with this Herr Taylorcraft, which provided probably the most entertaining flight of the day.

As you can see above, the model disappeared from the view of the spectators on the balcony during the flight, and got even closer to the wall on the second pass.

Click here to enjoy the flight (file size 3.3 MB).

Alasdair Deas entered this superbly finished (the photo does not do it justice) Aerographics Comper Swift in the kit scale event, and placed second. The model got highest static marks, but lost out slightly on flying marks. It still performed very well though.

Click here to see the model in action (file size 2.6 MB).



Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Mike Hadland Bucker Jungmann 122 3 125.0 2 5 1
Mike Havard Sorrell Hiperbipe 72 7 111.0 4 11 2
Nick Peppiatt Aeronca K 131 2 78.0 10 12 3
Divs Masters SE5A 46 12 128.0 1 13 4
John Valiant Ilyushin IL-2 92 5 93.0 8 13 5
Peter Boys Waco SRE 57 11 116.0 3 14 6
Chris Blanch Pottier P.100 147 1 49.0 14 15 7
David Fisher P-51D Mustang 59 9 95.0 7 16 8
Tim Horne Legrand Simon LS60 76 6 75.0 11 17 9
Peter Smart Junkers F 13 59 9 79.0 9 18 10
Reg Boor P-51 Mustang - 14 108.0 5 19 11
Lindsey Smith Voisin 38 13 107.0 6 19 12
Chris Strachan Coonley Special 100 4 0.0 15 19 13
Bryan Stichbury Andreasson BA4-B 65 8 68.0 13 21 14
John Hovell Corben Super Ace - 14 71.0 12 26 15


Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Divs Masters SE5A 67 3 74.0 1 4 1
Mike Havard Sorrell Hiperbipe 47 4 48.0 3 7 2
David Fisher P-51B Mustang 105 2 42.0 5 7 3
Nick Peppiatt Lippisch Storch 127 1 38.0 6 7 4
Peter Boys Stearman PT-17 - 6 72.0 2 8 5
Reg Boor Bristol Brownie 37 5 46.0 4 9 6


Name Model Type Best Flying Score Static Score Total Position
Mike Hadland Bucker Jungmann 1666 1506 3172 1
Mike Stuart Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk 1389 1660 3049 2
Richard Crossley Vought SB2U Vindicator 1498 1548 3046 3
Chris Strachan Bee Gee Baby 1630 1222 2852 4
Tim Horne Beetle Bomb 1262 1302 2564 5
George Kandylakis 1912 Vendome 1198 1280 2478 6
David Fisher P-51B Mustang 986 1446 2432 7
Lindsey Smith D.H.80 Puss Moth 1432 942 2374 8
Reg Boor Messerschmitt Bf109G-6 1011 1226 2237 9
Laurence Marks Wittman Tailwind 813 1016 1829 10
Graham Banham Comper Swift 1150 656 1806 11
Derek Knight ANEC 2 - 1789 1789 12
Peter Smart Wright 3 - 1278 1278 13
Bryan Stichbury Comper Swift - 936 936 14


Name Model Type Best Flying Score Static Score Total Position
George Kandylakis Albatros D.III 1366.0 1712.0 3078.0 1
Divs Masters SE5A 1472.0 1596.5 3068.5 2
Richard Crossley Douglas TBD Devastator 1688.0 1332.5 3020.5 3
Peter Iliffe Siemens Schuckert D.III 1254.0 1763.5 3017.5 4
Peter Smart Dornier Wal 1616.0 1091.5 2707.5 5
Laurence Marks Wittman Tailwind 1476.0 1094.5 2570.5 6
Vibes Masters Lacey M.10 1251.0 1189.5 2440.5 7
Derek Knight D.H.87 Hornet Moth 542.0 1768.0 2310.0 8
Mike Green ANEC 1a 888.0 833.0 1721.0 9

Kit Scale Competition

Name Model Type Best two flight scores Static Score Total Position
Ian Melville Taylorcraft (Herr) 155 75 230 1
Alasdair Deas Comper Swift (Aerographics) 143 80 223 2
Chris Blanch Hawker Hurricane 147 63 210 3
Laurence Marks Wittman Tailwind (A.Moorhouse) 149 53 202 4
Vibes Masters Cessna 180 (Herr) 132 70 202 5
Graham Banham Aeronca Champion (Herr) 128 74 202 6
Lindsey Smith Fairey Spearfish (Veron) 149 50 199 7
John Valiant Andreasson BA4B (Peck) 118 74 190 8
Bryan Stichbury Piper J3 Cub (Peck) 98 77 175 9
Ken Bates D.H.C. Chipmunk (Veron) 20 57 77 10
Alexander Marks D.H.C. Chipmunk (Keil Kraft) - 50 50 11
Tony Hall-Willis D.H. Tiger Moth (Veron) - 40 40 12

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