BMFA Indoor Scale Nationals, 26th April 2009

Like last year I made the journey to Nottingham on Saturday afternoon, staying in a B&B, which allowed some trimming to be done in the hall (after helping to set up), then going out for a nice curry with some fellow flyers. I think this will become the regular routine now, as it makes for a more relaxing weekend, and you get more time to socialise. Certainly it makes Sunday morning much more civilised – A nice cooked breakfast followed by a mere 10 minute drive to the university – marvellous!

The number of entries was generally slightly lower than 2008, and the electric/CO2 class was down to just 8 models. I really don’t understand this, as with companies like Atomic Workshop supplying off the shelf systems, setting up an electric free flight model has never been easier. CO2 seems to have virtually disappeared from this class now, with just one example entered this time.

I'm not going to summarise any class rules this time - if you need a refresher have a look at previous Nats reports, or download the complete scale rulebook from the BMFA website here.

Anyway, another Indoor Nationals and (surprise surprise) another new model from the Stuart workshop finished only just in time. I really don’t make life easy for myself. The model in question was a 1/20 scale Mitsubishi Karigane for the open electric class, a replacement for last year’s Aichi Val, which if you remember, was destroyed by our cat Pickles the day after the competition. I moved the motor, controller and cell over to the new model, which had an identical span and similar weight.

I had done some test flights at Middle Wallop on Easter Sunday, so I knew the trim was fairly close, but trying it out in the confines of the hall on Saturday evening was still fairly nerve-wracking. Like the Val it needs a long take-off run to get airborne, before settling into left hand circuits. This leaves very little room at the far and of the hall, and even launching from hard against the netting next to the competitor's tables I knew it would be touch and go for the competition flights. The first flight missed the walls, but the trim was poor – it stalled and turned too tightly left. The second hit the left wall after take-off, and the third was looking hopeful, just missing the far wall as it circled, but then ran out of hall as it was descending for a landing. The resulting crash broke off the cowling, which could not be repaired in time for the fourth flight. The flight score was still reasonable, but as I lost most of my static marks due to a documentation error, I finished well down the field. The damage was easily repaired however, so the model lives to fight again next year.

Thanks to Marc Ashby, you can see the last flight by clicking here (file size 2.4 MB).

In Peanut I entered the Laird Speedwing Junior, just to be different, which was not terribly sensible really. It will fly in circles now, but I just couldn’t persuade it to climb at all. It won’t take off either, so a paltry 22 seconds was the best I could manage. I really should have entered the Gotha again.

Richard Crossley always turns up with something new, and this year was no exception. Here is his appropriately named Pou-du-ciel, the “Crosley Flea”. Powered by a Voodoo 25 electric motor with Zombie controller. The pilot is carved from foam – a work of art in itself (himself?). The model is quite draggy, so the motor has to be run flat out and with that setting the model climbs in a most realistic, gradual manner. Flights were well over a minute, and the model circled perfectly placed in the middle of the hall. You can see a video here (file size 6.6 MB). The model finished second in class behind Derek Knight’s Tiger Moth.

Incidentally, all the videos in this report are in wmv format - if this causes any problems (e.g. Mac users?) please let me know.

Richard entered all four classes this year, and won or placed in all of them – an outstanding achievement. This new self-designed Brewster Bermuda was one of the highlights of the event for me, entered in open rubber, the model flew beautifully and looked very impressive in the air. Richard’s carved foam pilots were the icing on the cake. The Bermuda was a deserved class winner.

Click here for a video of the model in action (file size 4.6 MB).

In peanut scale, Richard entered this foam Vought Chesapeake which was an outstanding flyer - the best time being an amazing 89 seconds. the airbrushed finish was pretty good as well! Model finished second to Mike Hadland's all-conquering Bucker Jungmann.

It was great to see Dave Crompton having a go at the open rubber class this year, after entering kit scale for the last two years, and his Evans VP-1 Volksplane was very neatly finished. The owner of the full sized aircraft had been kind enough to supply photos to help with the distinctive 1930’s paint scheme. Unfortunately Dave didn’t manage to get a qualifying flight - although the model took off well enough it just didn’t quite stay airborne for the required 15 seconds.

Graham Banham won Kit Scale again this year, but he did it with a rather more challenging subject than last year’s Cessna 180. This is a Heinkel He 100 built from the old Flyline kit. The model featured a typically flawless finish and was an excellent performer, as you can see by clicking here (file size 3.7 GB). It goes to show that you need not be afraid of entering a low wing type for this event, and can only help to broaden the range of types entered. Who'll be the first to tackle a KK Spitfire?

Graham also had an entry in the open rubber class, this nicely finished 1/24 scale Focke Wulf Ta 152 which was a very smooth flyer.

It was good to have the Dutch contingent with us again this year - here is Roel Lucassen's gorgeous pistachio scale Navy Wright racer, looking for all the world like a plastic display model. Construction is foam. Roel said the model was a tricky one to trim, but still managed a 24 second flight.

Another of Roel's models was this lovely Baumer Sauswind, another foam model, this time peanut sized. Best flight was an impressive 52 seconds, good enough for fourth place. Click here to see one of its flights (file size 3.7 GB).

Gert Brendel also made the trip over from Holland, and here is his pistachio scale Evans VP-1 Volksplane. This is by common concensus a deceptively tricky type to trim, but as you can see here Gert's model flew extremely well (file size 3.1 MB).

You may remember Peter Smart's pistachio scale Pitts Special from last years Nats - well this year as well as entering pistachio again (where he finished second) he entered a larger version in the same scheme for the open rubber class. There is a lot of small lettering involved in this scheme, and this was all impressively reproduced. You can see one of the competition flights here. Note the long, straight take-of run, which the judges love. (file size 3.8 MB).

John Valiant entered another of his well finished foam models in the peanut scale class this year - this time a Finnish Lagg 3. The model got a particularly high static score for a foam model, and had a best flight time of 46 seconds.

Dave Hanks brought along a new model for the electric class, this Wittman Chief Oshkosh racer, which put in four very consistent qualifying flights to achieve 5th place.

Reg Boor entered this pretty P-51D Mustang in Peanut scale - best flight was 35 seconds.

This peanut scale Renard R.17 was the work of Bryan Stichbury - like the Mustang, he too had a best flight of 35 seconds.

Turbo conversions of real aircraft often make excellent rubber powered model subjects due to their long noses, and the Turbo Ag Cat is a good example. Chris Blanch had built this example for peanut scale, and had it flying well - best flight was 48 seconds.



Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Mike Hadland Bucker Jungmann 130 2 124.0 2 4 1
Richard Crossley Vought Chesapeake 176 1 91 9 10 2
Divs Masters SE5A 73 11 129 1 12 3
Roel Lucassen Baumer Sauswind 98 5 94 7 12 4
Andre Petit Denight DDT 87 10 114 3 13 5
John Valiant Lagg 3-LG-1 90 8 103 5 13 6
Chris Strachan Bee Gee Baby 113 3 78 12 15 7
Chris Blanch Turbo Ag Cat 94 6 85 10 16 8
Nick Peppiatt Tefft Contestor 89 9 92 8 17 9
Peter Boys Waco VKS 7 43 14 104 4 18 10
Roel Lucassen Gee Bee X 99 4 62 14 18 11
Gert Brendel Renard RSV 18-100 94 6 64 13 19 12
Mike Stuart Laird Speedwing Junior 39 15 102 6 21 13
Reg Boor P-51 Mustang 69 13 85 10 23 14
Bryan Stichbury Renard R.17 70 12 60 15 27 15


Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Richard Crossley Polikarpov I-16 109 2 60 5 7 1
Peter Smart Pitts Special 89 4 61 4 8 2
Nick Peppiatt Lippisch Storch 125 1 48 7 8 3
Divs Masters SE5A 17 8 76 1 9 4
Roel Lucassen Navy Wright Racer 47 6 65 3 9 5
Reg Boor Bristol Brownie 75 5 55 6 11 6
Peter Boys Stearman PT.17 0 10 67 2 12 7
Gert Brendel VP-1 Volksplane 91 3 41 9 12 8
David Prior Cessna Bird Dog 11 9 47 8 17 9
Bryan Stichbury Piper Cub 40 7 33 10 17 10


Name Model Type Best Flying Score Static Score Total Position
Richard Crossley Brewster Bermuda 1719.0 1488.0 3207.0 1
Mike Hadland Bucker Jungmann 1631.0 1523.5 3154.5 2
Divs Masters SE5A 1488.0 1656.5 3144.5 3
Andre Petit Southern Martlet 1424.0 1671.5 3095.5 4
Peter Smart Pitts Special 1538.0 1369.5 2907.5 5
Reg Boor Messerschmitt Bf109 1388.0 1352.5 2740.5 6
Chris Strachan Lippisch Storch 9B 1685.0 918.5 2603.5 7
Graham Banham Focke Wulf Ta 152 1582.0 894.0 2476.0 8
Tim Horne Misty 1 1195.0 1044.5 2239.5 9
Derek Knight Avro 560 865.0 1235.5 2100.5 10
Vibes Masters Cessna 180 1372.0 318.0 1690.0 11
Ken Bates Parnall Pixie - 902.0 902.0 12
Dave Crompton VP-1 Volksplane - 873.0 873.0 13


Name Model Type Best Flying Score Static Score Total Position
Derek Knight D.H.82 Tiger Moth 1740.0 1723.0 3463.0 1
Richard Crossley Crosley Flea 1667.0 1612.5 3279.5 2
Divs Masters SE5A 1584.0 1481.0 3065.0 3
Laurence Marks Bristol M1B 1181.0 1009.5 2190.5 4
Dave Hanks Wittman Chief Oshkosh 1096.0 709.0 1805.0 5
Mike Stuart Mitsubishi Karigane 1 1129.0 490.0 1619.0 6
Vibes Masters Lacey M10 832.0 471.0 1303.0 7
Kevin Wallace Sopwith Bee - 581.0 581.0 8

Kit Scale Competition

Name Model Type Best two flight scores Static Score Total Position
Graham Banham Heinkel He 100 (Flyline) 202.5 88.0 290.5 1
Dave Whitehouse Tiger Moth (Veron/Replikit) 171.0 76.0 247.0 2
Chris Blanch Fleet Canuck (Easybuilt) 165.5 79.0 244.5 3
Vibes Masters Cessna 180 (Herr) 189.0 55.0 244.0 4
Bryan Lea Piper Family Cruiser (KeilKraft) 165.5 72.0 237.5 5
Eric Monda Piper Super Cub (Guillows) 108.0 82.0 190.0 6
Tim Milner Westland Lysander (Keil Kraft) 65.0 62.0 127.0 7
Ken Bates Piper Family Cruiser 46.0 76.0 122.0 8
John Bowerman D.H.Moth Minor - 94.0 94.0 9

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