Millennium Dome Scale Meeting - October 5th 2003

This event may well prove to be unique, as due to the European indoor championships being moved to the Millennium Dome at short notice, Charlie Newman saw the chance to organise a BMFA scale competition in there at the same time. The fact that we were able to fly alongside the incredibly fragile indoor models that were drifting overhead for most of the day speaks volumes about the enormous dimensions of this amazing building. Once the competitions got underway, it felt rather like doing outdoor flying indoors, if you see what I mean.

In this photo you can see the scale flyers’ tables around the central circular area. To give a sense of scale, the building at the far side is three stories high, and was the location of the only toilets open on the day. It took longer than you thought to walk all the way over there!

Outside the central area there were additional open areas (with nice smooth floors), which did not look very big until you walked into them, and realised that each of these was much bigger than the sports halls we normally fly in (even Nottingham University, where the indoor scale Nationals is held). Some people used these for their Peanut flights.

Happily there was a good turn out for the event, and nearly all the top competitors were there. I brought along (with some trepidation) my newly finished, and unflown, Curtiss Sparrowhawk to enter in the open rubber class. Also the old Jungmeister in the peanut class. The Sparrowhawk proved much easier to trim than I had expected, and by time the last round of the class arrived, it was performing quite nicely. I was thrilled to bits to get fourth place overall on its first outing.

Here are a couple of action shots

The Jungmeister survived a few crashes to finish 6th in peanut. Given that we had such a vast space to fly in, a surprising number of models still managed to find things to bump into!

Here you can see Charlie Newman's immaculate Rubber Powered Comper Swift. On its best flight it performed an extremely wide circuit around most of the Dome, fortunately not collecting any indoor duration models on the way! The model finished in 5th place in class.

Behind you can see Richard Crossley's rubber powered Lockheed L-188 Electra. It was great to see this model in action again. It flew very well, and with the help of its multi-engine bonus took a well deserved first place.

Another of Richard's exquisite foam creations was this peanut scale Aichi Val. All up weight was around 12 grams and the best flight on the day was 52 seconds (though it has done over a minute). It finished 4th in class. The custom made documentation book is nearly as impressive as the model!

Mike Hadland had his lovely Waco SRE flying very nicely in the open rubber class and finished third.

Many of the CO2 flyers suffered from poor performance and icing due to the cold temperatures and moisture in the air. Although it was sunny outside, the only warm patches inside were by the windows in direct sunlight. At least one competitor resorted to charging his tank early, and leaving the model sitting in a sunny spot until called to make his flight.

Peter Smart had no problems at all with his Gasparin GM 300 powered Kalinin K-5 though, which flew for over a minute and got very high indeed.

Another of Peter's CO2 models performing well, though not entered in the competition, was this diminutive all-foam Sopwith Schneider.

Peter's new rubber powered peanut Grumman Tigercat was not behaving quite as well as the Sopwith, and ended the day in several pieces. Hopefully it will be repaired and back in action before too long.

The second Comper Swift entered in the open rubber class was this neat example, built from the Aerographics kit by Gordon Hannah. It flew extremely well, finishing 7th in class.

Another of Gordon's models was this smart Wittmann Bonzo, entered in the peanut class.

As well as his Hurlbert Hurricane, Chris Strachan was also flying this peanut Dixon Special, as raced in the Goodyear Trophy event at Cleveland in 1948. The complex scheme was beautifully painted.

Jacques Cartigney travelled over from France to take part in the event, and entered this attractive Heinkel 64 in the peanut class, finishing 7th.

Peter Iliffe won the CO2/Electric class with his superb Albatros D.V, but was also making some trimming flights with his new Gasparin GM 120 powered DFW B1. Judging by the initial hops, it should fly well, but needed a bit more power than was available on the day.

The detail on this model is fantastic, as you can see on this close-up shot, taken at Peterborough the month before (with better lighting for photography than in the Dome).



Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Mike Hadland Bucker Jungmann 120 3 115 3 6 1
Andre Petit Republic P47 130 2 114 4 6 2
Chris Strachan Hurlbert Hurricane 149 1 67 8 9 3
Richard Crossley Aichi Val 91 8 116 2 10 4
Divs Masters SE5A 83 10 131 1 11 5
Mike Stuart Bucker Jungmeister 95 7 103 5 12 6
Jaques Cartigny Heinkel He 64 100 6 94 6 12 7
Vibes Masters Lacey M.10 105 5 75 7 12 8
Gert Brendel Reynard 108 4 60 9 13 9
Gordon Hannah Wittmann Bonzo 88 9 60 9 18 10


Name Model Type Best two flights (sec) Flying place Static score Static place Total Overall place
Gert Brendel Evans Volksplane 37 1 46 2 3 1
Divs Masters SE5a - - 82 1 - 2
Gordon Hannah Caudron monoplane - - 36 3 - 3


Name Model Type Best flying Score Static score Total Position
Richard Crossley Lockheed L-188 Electra 1225.8 993 2218.8 1
Divs Masters Sopwith Triplane 1015 1065.5 2080.5 2
Mike Hadland Waco SRE 1073.5 1003 2076.5 3
Mike Stuart Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk 1004 1028 2032 4
Charlie Newman Comper Swift 972 1034 2006 5
Andre Petit Republic P-47 989 813 1802 6
Gordon Hannah Comper Swift 1088 688 1776 7
Chris Strachan Facetmobile 912 701 1613 8
Lindsey Smith Cosmic Wind 1054 484 1538 9
Vibes Masters Lacey M.10 1006.5 448 1454.5 10
Peter Smart Piper Cheyanne 825 625 1450 11
Jaques Cartigny Breguet 695 816.7 526 1342.7 12


Name Model Type Best flying Score Static score Total Position
Peter Iliffe Albatros D.V 1037 1022 2059 1
Stephen Glass Douglas Skyray 1221.5 795 2016.5 2
Divs Masters SE5a 1035 925 1960 3
Peter Smart Kalinin 1135 680 1815 4
David Vaughan Supermarine Walrus 1031.5 654 1685.5 5
Charlie Newman RWD 13 515 1131.5 1646.5 6
Lindsey Smith Mauboussin 642 475 1117 7
Derek Knight Bristol M1B 0 882 882 8

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