Blackbird Leys Indoor Meeting - February 23rd 2003

The first BMFA meeting of the year took place at Blackbird Leys Sports Centre on February 23rd. It has to be said that the turnout was rather disappointing, especially considering Charlie Newmanís efforts to drum up support. Still, those of us who were there enjoyed a good days flying. The Blackbird Leys hall is a good size, and has a nice clean ceiling.

Peanut and Pistachio classes were run to normal BMFA rules, but the open rubber and electric/CO2 classes were judged on flying only, so no static judging or documentation to worry about. Entrants were also allowed to enter 2 models in each of these classes if they so desired. I took advantage of this more relaxed format to enter a different model in the open rubber class, not the usual Jungmeister, but my 25 inch span Davis D-1W. This goes well outside, but had never been flown indoors before. The hinged rudder proved its usefulness, and it was relatively simple to add a bit more left turn to get it flying comfortably round in the hall. In peanut I entered my brand new Corben Super Ace, finished at 12.30 am the night before (not the best way to approach a competition!)

Chris Strachan brought his Telco CO2 powered Bristol Prior monoplane out of retirement (the model is about 10 years old). It flew exceedingly well, and was the deserving winner of the open electric/CO2 class. Most flights were at low level, but one got way up towards the roof, fortunately not quite hitting anything.

Chris also won the open rubber class with his peanut scale Hurlburt Hurricane racer, built from the Dave Livesay plan. The model may be small, but is a very realistic flyer, and executes textbook take-offs and landings.

This peanut scale Wee Bee 1 ultalight was another entry by Chris. Excellent flying performance, but a poor static mark lead to only a mid table placing. Main reason is probably the very oversized tailplane, which makes a large dent in the marks for outline accuracy.

Mike Hadland had a new model flying in the open rubber class, this beautiful 22" span Waco SRE. It still had some detailing to be added, and Mike was using the event to give it some test flights. Not only that, but it flew well enough to take third place in the open rubber class! I expect it to be in contention for top place honours at the Nationals in April.

Nice to see a new face on the indoor competition scene (well, new to me anyway). Simon Rogers brought along a nice collection of models, including this 16" span Bristol Brownie entered in the open rubber class. The model is built from a Pseudo Dimer plan, and flew well.

Another of Simon's models was this delightful C02 powered Fokker Spinne. This model flew well enough to secure third place in the open C02/Electric class.

Steven Glass is moving into rubber powered scale now (as he says, the day can seem a little long when you only enter one class!) and brought along his new Barracuda for test flights.

Construction is foam but note the use of conventional balsa/tissue construction for the fabric covered areas of the original, such as elevators and ailerons. One clever touch was to attach a small lead weight at the centre of gravity to represent the weight of the paint, yet to be applied.

Test flights looked very promising, and I look forward to seeing it fully finished at the Nationals.

Hopefully you are not fed up of flying shots of Steven's electric ducted fan Skyray yet, so here are a couple more. I just love it! The model flew very well, eventually finishing second in class.

It is always a pleasure to see Divs Masters' models in action, and he had something entered in every class. The photo above shows the CO2 powered SE5A in flight, and below you can see the rubber powered Sopwith Triplane.

Merv Harris entered this Voisin Hydroplane in the peanut scale class. Best flight from a hand launch was 50 seconds (no wheels for an ROG!), and combined with an excellent static mark, this was good enough for second place ocerall.



Position Name Model Type Static Position Flying Position Total
1 Mike Hadland Stampe SV.4 1 3 4
2 Merv Harris Voisin Hydroplane 4 4 8
3 Divs Masters SE5A 3 6 9
4 Simon Rogers Voisin 14 BIS 7 2 9


Position Name Model Type Static Position Flying Position Total
1 Divs Masters SE5A 1 3 4
2 Mike Hadland D.H.82 Tiger Moth 2 2 4
3 Merv Harris Fike Model E 3 4 6


Position Name Model Type Flying Score (best two flights)
1 Chris Strachan Hurlburt Hurricane 2267
2 Vibes Masters Lacey M.10 1929
3 Mike Hadland Waco SRE 1904.5
4 Mike Stuart Davis D1W 1887


Position Name Model Type Flying Score (best two flights)
1 Chris Strachan Bristol Prier Monoplane 2085.5
2 Steven Glass Douglas Skyray 2055
3 Simon Rogers Fokker Spinne 1882
4 Divs Masters SE5A 1876

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