This year the Nationals fell on a weekend of calm sunny weather - if I could put the clock back I'd have done my Saturday evening trimming
outside on the playing field instead of in the hall and thus saved myself quite a bit of model damage. As a result of head-on crashes with the wall, I never got to fly either the Vought SBU or my
reserve model, the Kamikaze, in the C02/electric class on Sunday. At least the Curtiss P-6E was repairable so was patched up for another go the next morning.
After some frantic trimming and the application of more left rudder and right sidethrust, I was able to get three qualifying flights in,
which although not perfect, gave me something to work on for next year. The photo below shows the Voodoo 25 powered Vought SBU and
and the P-6E in their pristine state before the trip to Nottingham.
Below is a video of one of the P-6E flights taken by Robert Pajas. Watching it, I think it could do with a bit less power, and a touch more noseweight.
Reasonable landing though. Before you ask, I have no idea what is being said either! After all the trimming trauma, I was happy to end up 5th in class.
As usual I'm not going to summarise any class rules as they can all be found painstakingly detailed in the latest BMFA
rule book here, or have a look at some of my older
Nats reports for a brief summary.
This was the year Kit Scale really came of age, with double the number of entries compared to 2012 - 22 in all. Pistachio had the same number of entries,
but rubber, CO2/electric and peanut were all up as well. A grand total of 80 models were entered in all classes - 20 more than last time. We
had a healthy overseas contingent as well, with visitors from France, Greece and the Czech Republic.
This large number of entries put pressure on the organisers
and competitors to keep to the timetable, and it all went very smoothly - flyers were generally very good at watching for their slots and being ready to fly when called.
With so many models, there isn't room for photos of them all below, plus I managed to miss a few. Thus I've tried to show
photos of new models and ones I hadn't seen before, rather than ones you can see in previous Nats reports.
George Kandylakis is an outstanding modeller, and it was great that he had made the trip from Greece so we could see his masterpieces at close quarters.
This is his electric powered D.H.9, which is unusual in that it can be flown R/C or free flight with the controls locked. The detail on this model
is remarkable, and I'm afraid the photo really doesn't do it justice. Despite the extra weight of the R/C gear, the flight speed was not excessive, and
if only George had launched the model another foot further from the wall, the flight below could have been the winning one.
This marvellous Avro 7 for Open Rubber had only been finished just before George flew over, so was untrimmed. Again a wonderfully detailed model. The stunning engine was made by the 3D printing process using
a CAD model created by George and I've never seen a better one on a flying model.
Peter Smart can usually be relied on to bring along something special to the Nats, and this year he had three great crowd-pleasing models with him.
You've got to be brave to fly a 40 inch span Lancaster indoors! The model is powered by 4 Atomic Workshop Voodoo 25 motors using one of
Derek Knight's controllers. Construction is conventional balsa and tissue. The model was well trimmed to stay away from the walls, as
you can see in the video below and finished second in class, behind Graham Banham's Fairchild FC-1.
I do love rubber twins, and this one's a beauty. Peter's entry in Open Rubber was this impressive Junkers Ju 88 A4. Flights
got better during the day, and the addition of a bit more downthrust resulted in the fine effort below. The model finished third in class.
Peter's third model was this remarkable Gossamer Albatros - qualifying for Peanut scale on the 9 inch fuselage rule. Covering was Mylar, as per the full size.
This model scored the highest peanut flight score, with best flights of 82 and 83 seconds, but was marked down by the static judges so only finished 6th overall.
Robert Pajas and Martin Huk had brought a fine collection of models with them, traveling all the way from the Czech Republic by coach.
This is Robert's marvellous twin CO2 powered Saro Cloud flying boat. With both engines running from a central tank,
a throttle accessed through the upper hatch could be used to control the speed of either engine. This aided starting,
as after flick-starting one engine, it could be throttled back while the other one was started.
Robert was still working on the trim, but did manage one qualifying flight and a 5th place finish in class. Credit to Dave Crompton in the video below for an excellent catch,
preventing any damage to the model.
Martin Huk's entry in the class was this charming CO2 powered Skoda DA which finished just above the Saro in 4th place.
This was Robert Pajas's open rubber entry, an exquisite Avia built Fokker F.IXD.
The model featured a central rubber motor and freewheeling outer props. It registered the third best static
score in the class, beaten only by Andre Petit (whose Southern Martlett can be seen behind the Fokker)
and George Kandylakis. It finished 7th overall.
Martin Huk's open rubber model was this nice Siemens Schuckert E.1.
Martin won the pistachio class with this Bowers Fly Baby biplane - top scored in static, and came second in flying - a fine achievement.
Robert's peanut scale entry was this Aero A-35. A high wing monoplane doesn't win you a huge amount of static marks, however well made the model,
but an excellent two flight total of 123 seconds helped to place the model 3rd in class.
Chris Blanch won the Open Rubber class against stiff opposition with this Grumman Hellcat,
based on the Bill Hannan design from the old "Flying Scale Models of WW2" book put out by Model Builder Magazine in the 1970's.
The flight below was a fraction of a second below the required 15 second qualifying time, but the next one (which I didn't film) was a similar pattern, and over 15 seconds.
The straight take-off run is just what the judges love - not easy to do though!
Chris also entered this pretty Saiman 200 in peanut scale.
and this Piper Pawnee in pistachio scale which finished 5th in class.
Peter Fardell had a new open rubber model this year - a nice self-designed Farman 190. It flew well and would have finished higher up the rankings if it had not
been for a glitch in the documentation causing the loss of some static marks.
Tim Milner brought along this new and very well detailed Udet Flamingo, also for the open rubber class. Unfortunately trimming woes prevented a qualifying flight.
Well deserved winner of the closely fought kit scale class was Dan Mellor with this Aerographics SE5A. The model was not painted but covered in silver tissue
- a tricky task from what I understand, but worth the effort because the model avoided the penalty points for a painted finish. The Chilean Air Force
scheme made an interesting change from the usual RAF camouflage. Power was provided by a Brown B100 CO2 motor, and the model flew impeccably, as you can see in the video below.
Second in kit scale was this very neat Veron Cessna Skylane by Andrew Darby. I loved the slow flying speed - a result of keeping the weight down of course. See the video below.
John Churchill took third place with this Keil Kraft Cessna 140 - another fine flyer as you can see below.
A group from my local club at Hungerford decided to enter kit scale this year, and made a weekend of it by coming up on the Saturday afternoon. Most
successful was Laurie Kirby, who finished fourth with this neatly made Veron Comper Swift, which featured ink-jet printed tissue. Phil Smiths designs do seem to make
good subjects for kit scale - one of Laurie's excellent flights is shown below
I was delighted to see Jon Whitmore had used the plan from my Frog site to build a Frog Deluxe scale Chipmunk for the kit scale event.
He had made a wonderful job of it too and the finish, all tissue, was immaculate - those maple leaves in the roundels were even cut individually from tissue!
Top static score was well deserved, and it flew nicely as well
Sixth in kit scale was Ray Goodenough, another from the Hungerford club, with this Micro X Pilatus PC-6 Porter.
Finish was ink jet printed tissue and it was a fine, stable flyer.
A few other modellers followed Dan Mellor's example and
had a go at a kit scale biplane, including Bill Dennis who built this neat Veron Nieuport 27
and Gareth Paterson who entered a peanut sized Currie Wot from the old Andrew Moorhouse design.
I just haven't got space to show all the kit scale models, but I couldn't finish without a shot of Russ Lister's
lovely Sopwith Triplane built from the DPC Models kit - a model that would have graced the open rubber class.
It joint top scored in static, but because a take-off couldn't be achieved on the day, all the qualifying
fights had to be hand launched, losing the take-off points.
To finish, here are a few more peanut models that caught my eye:
Derek Knight has not to my knowledge entered the peanut class before, but he did this year with this immaculately
finished Isaacs Fury which finished second in static judging, and fifth overall.
Peter Boys brought along another beautifully detailed peanut Waco - this time an AGC-8.
Just look at all that lining!
David Prior had a new peanut with him - this attractive STITS Playboy - a good static score was achieved, but
trimming was still a work in progress.
Jacques Cartigny made the trip over from France again and entered this peanut scale Peyrett.
A two flight total of 126 seconds was the third best flight score on the day. His pistachio Spitfire
can be seen on the right. One of the excellent flights is shown below.