BMFA Indoor Scale Nationals, 1st May 2011

The Indoor Nats always seems to come round too quickly and catch me by surprise, so that the model I was planning to finish weeks in advance is in fact finished the day before. That is exactly what happened with my Curtiss Shrike this year. The photo below was taken on Saturday morning before the competition. Some of the paint is still wet.

I just seem incapable of realistically assessing the time needed to complete a model for a deadline and it drives my wife Ros nuts. As she says, "how long have you known you known the date of the event?" the answer of course is about 12 months, but this doesn't seem to help. So it was off to Nottingham on Saturday afternoon with the Shrike, Kamikaze and Gloucestershire Gannet peanut (no surprise that the Blackburn Blackburn never got finished in time).

The trimming time in the hall after setting up was very useful, as always, and the Shrike started to look hopeful from a hand launch. I even managed not to break it. The Saturday evening is also a good chance to socialise away from the pressures of competition and chatting about models over a nice curry has become a traditional and pleasurable way to end the day.

I'm not going to summarise any class rules as they can all be found lovingly detailed on the BMFA website here, or have a look at some of my older Nats reports for a brief summary.

Entries were pretty healthy is all classes, even without many overseas flyers this year. Pleasingly the class with the biggest entry was kit scale. As I have mentioned in previous years, the class was brought in to encourage newcomers to come along and have a go, without having to worry much about documentation and outline accuracy - all you need is the kit plan and a photo of the colour scheme you have chosen. I think we had four people enter for the first time this year, which was great. I know from conversations I had, that at least two of them are very keen to enter again next year and are also considering building models for the open events - just what the class was designed for. I have to say that the standard of flying in kit scale this year was outstanding, so I'm including more photos and videos from this class than in previous years and I hope you enjoy them.

My own flying was the usual emotional rollercoaster. The Kamikaze put in two good flights once I had worked out where to launch it from and in which direction to point it, and finished fourth in class. It seems to be a quirk of electric models that just after you let go, they turn left before the rudder has any authority, so you have to point the thing at the wall about 45 degrees to the right of the direction you would like the take-off run.

The Gannet scored only 41 seconds total for its two best flights in peanut scale, but still managed to finish fifth in class due to a good static placing.

And the Shrike? Well it did manage one decent qualifying flight, unfortunately after the event had finished. I really wish I had thought of adding a small lifting tab to the left wing trailing edge BEFORE the final official flight attempt instead of after it. Oh well - at least I now know it does fly, and I got it home in one piece.

So, let's start with the kit scale class.

This is Graham Banham's class winning Herr Piper Tri-Pacer, powered by an Atomic Workshop Voodoo 15 motor and Zombie controller

Ken Bates entered this Veron Tru-Flite Comper Swift which flew extremely well, achieving the best flight score by a rubber powered model and finishing second in class.

Laurence Marks could not repeat his first place of last year with his Thomas Designs Piper Vagabond, but still finished a creditable third. The rather precipitous landing on the only flight I caught on video was due to the turns running out a little too early.

Peter Fardell was a new face at the Nats, entering the event for the first time with this Auster Arrow from the Keil Kraft flying scale range. An excellent flight score and a good static mark resulted in fourth place overall. I strongly suspect Peter will be back again next year.

Another first timer was Andrew Darby, who built this Veron Jodel Bebe in about two weeks after some serious "persuading" by certain members of the Small Flying Arts forum. I think it is safe to say that Andrew has no regrets, as he got the second highest static mark and finished fifth in class. Both Peter and Andrew were trimming their models for the first time in the hall the night before the competition, which makes their placings all the more impressive.

This Keil Kraft Fairey Junior by Dave Whitehouse was electric powered, using a controller I hadn't seen before. It was started by pointing a TV remote control at the model, and pushing the apropriate button. It flew extremely well, as you can see below.

Aeronca Champion built from the Veron Tru-Flite design by John Churchill.

Dan Mellor flew this Hipps J-3 Kitten, the only CO2 powered model entered in the class. Model was built from the Peck Polymers kit and the motor was a Gasparin GM 120.

Graham Banham proved this year that it is possible to win one of the open classes with a high wing cabin monoplane - the aircraft in question being the Fairchild FC-1. A scale structure and immaculate finish (silver is so unforgiving) gave a decent static mark and the model flew superbly, getting the highest flight score of the day. It's a shame the one flight I got on video resulting in a non-landing, but it was a good catch by Graham, as you can see below.

Richard Crossley finished second in class with his Flying Flea

Peter Smart's twin electric Heinkel He 111 put in one excellent flight - see below - to claim third in class

The following flight however ended in disaster as during the flight one of the engine covers flew off during the flight, moving the C of G slightly back and caused the increased climb rate up into the roof structure. The model has since been repaired, and Peter is keen to try it outdoors.

It is alwats a treat to see something new from Derek Knight's workbench, and he turned up this year with this beautiful D.H.60 in Swedish Air Force markings. Derek couldn't get the trim sorted well enough to get a qualifying flight, but I'm sure it is only a matter of time before he has another winner on his hands.

The only CO2 powered entry in the class was this charming Sorrell Hiperlight by Chris Strachan

This is Divs Masters electric powered Sopwith Triplane which finished fifth in class.

The open rubber class was won again by Richard Crossley with his Brewster Bermuda with Peter Smart finishing second with his Pitts Special.

Third place went to Reg Boor with this fine flying Bernard 191 "Oiseau Canari"

A new model in Open Rubber this year was Dave Crompton's Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk - a great looking model which unfortunately, like my Shrike, failed to register a qualifying flight.

Tim Horne had his Misty 1 F.1 Racer flying nicely this year finishing eighth in class.

Top static score in the rubber class went to Divs Masters' museum quality SE5A.

Mike Hadland achieved a remarkable feat this year by not only getting the top static mark in peanut scale, but also the top flying score as well. So much for having to compromise flying performance for scale detail! Mike builds very light, as is evident in the slow flying speed in the video below.

Chris Strachan's 6th place peanut scale Lippisch Storch dwarfing Richard Crossley's foam Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, which finished 2nd in class

John Valiant had a new foam model entered in peanut this year - a Yak 7 UTI which flew nicely with a best flight of 41 seconds.

I somehow managed not to photograph any of the top three placed models in pistachio scale, which was won by Divs Masters and his SE5A, with Nick Peppiatt second and Gert Brendel third. However, here is a photo of the sixth placed model, a very nice foam replica of the Aviamilano F.14 Nibbio (no I'd never heard of it either!) by Gary Flack.

This is Reg Boor's pistachio scale Bristol Brownie which finished fifth.

Russ Lister brought along a brand new pistachio scale Fiat CR 32 which looked great, but unfortunately was proving tricky to trim.

In the upstairs room being used to judge the open rubber class, there was a display of some of Peter Iliffe's amazing models, including this free flight 1/24 scale Albatros D.V.

This beautiful Fokker D.VII is radio controlled, and Peter gave a couple of demonstration flights during pauses in the competition flying.

This Morane Saulnier A1 is also radio controlled, and as superbly finished as all Peter's models are.



Name Model Type Best Flying Score Static Score Total Position
Graham Banham Fairchild FC-1 1777 1463 3240 1
Richard Crossley Fying Flea 1641 1538 3179 2
Peter Smart Heinkel He 111 1763.3 1332 3095.3 3
Mike Stuart Mitsubishi Karigane 1 1744 1336 3080 4
Divs Masters Sopwith Triplane 1306 1544 2850 5
Chris Strachan Sorrell Hiperlite 1319 880 2199 6
Vibes Masters Lacey M.10 1080 1021.5 2101.5 7
Dave Hanks Wittman Chief Oshkosh 888 1073 1961 8
Derek Knight De Havilland D.H.60T - 1587 1587 9


Name Model Type Best Flying Score Static Score Total Position
Richard Crossley Brewster Bermuda 1544 1556 3100 1
Peter Smart Pits Special 1639 1174 2813 2
Reg Boor Bernard 191GR 1466 1224 2690 3
Graham Banham Comper Swift prototype 1634 1048 2682 4
Chris Stachan Gee Bee X Sportster 1503 1168 2671 5
Laurence Marks Piper Vagabond 1681.5 966 2647.5 6
Divs Masters SE5A 936 1655 2591 7
Tim Horne Misty 1 F.1 Racer 1222 1294 2516 8
Derek Knight Fairchild 24 1442.5 442 1884.5 9
Peter Boys Waco YKS-7 - 1398 1398 10
Mike Stuart Curtiss A-12 Shrike - 1364 1364 11
Dave Crompton Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk - 1292 1292 12

Kit Scale

Name Model Type Best two flight scores Static Score Total Position
Graham Banham Piper Tri-Pacer (Herr) 211 77 288 1
Ken Bates Comper Swift (Veron) 197 75 272 2
Laurence Marks Piper Vagabond (Thomas Designs) 171.5 76 247.5 3
Peter Fardell Auster Arrow (Keil Kraft) 171 70 241 4
Andrew Darby Jodel Bebe (Veron) 147 83 230 5
Dave Whitehouse Fairey Junior (Keil Kraft) 170 54 224 6
John Churchill Aeronca Champion (Veron) 149.5 74 223.5 7
Ian Melville Citabria (Dumas) 164 59 223 8
Derek Knight Fairchild 24 (Guillows) 149 70 219 9
Bryan Stichbury Andreasson BA-4 (Peck) 159 54 213 10
Tony Rushby D.H.Leopard Moth 133 53 186 11
Dan Mellor Hips J-3 Kitten (Micro X) 104 78 182 12
Dave Crompton Piper Super Cruiser (Keil Kraft) 73 84 157 13
Vibes Masters Cessna 180 (Herr) 85 60 145 14
Bryan Lea Cessna Bird Dog (Guillows) - 71 71 15


Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Mike Hadland Bucker Jungmann 137 1 127 1 2 1
Richard Crossley Junkers Ju 87D Stuka 135 2 108 4 6 2
Nick Peppiatt Blackburn Bluebird 72 6 116 3 9 3
Chris Chapman Hawker Fury 93 4 102 6 10 4
Mike Stuart Gloustershire Gannet 41 8 108 4 12 5
Peter Boys Waco UMF-5 8 12 125 2 14 6
Chris Strachan Lippisch Storch 100 3 78 11 14 7
John Valiant YAK 7 UTI 82 5 86 10 15 8
Dave Crompton Evans VP-1 Volksplane 37 9 93 8 17 9
John Bowerman Bristol Scout C 15 11 96 7 18 10
Reg Boor Miles M.18 26 10 91 9 19 11
Bryan Stichbury Piper clipped wing Cub 51 7 67 12 19 12


Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Divs Masters SE5A 50 5 74 1 6 1
Nick Peppiatt Lippisch Storch 125 1 48 6 7 2
Gert Brendell Eastbourne Monoplane 48 6 60 3 9 3
Peter Smart Pitts Special 37 8 62 2 10 4
Reg Boor Bristol Brownie 41 7 60 3 10 5
Gary Flack Aviamilano NIBBIO 56 4 48 6 10 6
Bryan Stichbury Andreasson BA-4B 61 3 42 8 11 7
Dave Whitehouse De Havilland D.H.37 80 2 30 9 11 8
Russ Lister Fiat C.R.32 4 9 58 5 14 9

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