Brisbane Free Flight Society: 2000

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Dateline: Coominya Field, November 11, 2000

BFFS members will have read all about the Queensland State Scale Champs for 2000, held at the "new" field November 19. Here, courtesy of staff photographer #9988 and his non-digital photoapparat, are the pictures to go with the results, reproduced from Bill Thomas' account. The number accompanying the pictures is the placing. Look up the table below to see how the score was derived. Me, I think Van's Airtrainer should have won, but every pilot has a soft spot for the airplane they learnt to fly in. Worthy of note, and absent from the newsletter account, is how Van, in a field with NO trees, managed to crash into the only other vertical obstruction in sight: the score board!

Result Competitor Model Static Flying Total Notes
1 Brian Taylor Piper Grasshopper 88 34 122 Electric!
2 Pieter deVisser Luton Minor 93 19 112 Rubber
3 Malcolm Campbell Fike E (uggh!) 65 40 105 Cyotee ugly rubber
4 Vic Stuart Comper Swift 80 24 104 -
5 Mark Armour Westland Wizard 73 22 94 -
6 John Lewis Farman Moustique 55 23 78 Two ways vintage
7 Bill Tohmas Porterfield Collegiate 88 - - -
8 Van Richards-Smith AESL CT4 Airtrainer 70 - - Highly modified kit
9 Heather Thomas Avro 560 55 - - Electric








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Naturally, as a purist and pedant, I must point out that Van's model is not a "Victa Airtrainer", as stated in the newsletter. The Airtrainer was developed by New Zealand company Aero Engines Service Limited (AESL) from the Victa "Aircruiser" prototype after they had purchased all rights, designs, tooling and inventory from Victa Aircraft, a division of the Victa Motor Mower company which had ceased trading when the then far-sighted Liberal Australian Government failed to protect them from unfair trade practice. AESL then sold the aircraft back to Australia as the replacement for the Air Force's aging Winjeel primary trainer. Smart guys, those kiwis. And a footnote of the "stable door" variety: An Australian company, Millicer Aircraft Industries purchased everything back again after the market dried up and is manufacturing Airtourers and Aircruisers in Oz again, although I notice their web site has stopped responding..


Dateline: Wivenhoe, October 22, 2000

The club Olde Tyme Glider event turned into an all Serraph festival. Here, front to back, are Malcolm Campbell's, John Lewis's (yes, him again) and Van Richards-Smith's. Peter deViser had a Serraph derivative, but decided (wisely) not to put it up in the strength 9 gale. The event max was lowered to 2 minutes in order to try to keep the model east of the river. A wise decision seeing how Van's Serraph came down IN the river after a 2:10 flight! Results? Malcolm first, Van second - after deliberately launching into bad air as someone told him he only needed a minute to win (sorry, Van ).

Have we have Los Terribellos, the Wakefield duo, serenading the masses, whether they want to be, or not! Returning from a long retrieve, we see the likely lads with decidedly vintage wakies, both fitted with decidedly modern trackers! The occasion was the BFFS "nothing moves bar the DT" Wakefield event. Look at the VH numbers on those models - looks like the models are not the only old timers present in these shots (my number dating to the early 60's is 8422!)

Here we see the results of Queensland State Championships flyoff for F1G (Coupe d'Hevere sp?). The event was run on Sunday, September 19, 2000 and attracted 16 entries. It was hard fought. Yours truly managed to drop the third round, maxing the other four and got a 6th for my trouble. My trusty DIG 150 had a timer failure on the first flight giving a 10 minute spectacle, and a long, long retrieve that only managed to return most of the model! Never did find 3/4 of the wing. Could never have done it without a Wilson tracker - but then, if the model had no tracker, I might not have bothered looking! So, out with the trusty, old, delapidated Garter Knight for the next four rounds. Its 3 maxes are more a tribute to conditions than the model and flyer. Sorry the names don't appear on this shot. Dunno what happened; maybe I was getting tired. Results were John Lewis first, Brian Taylor second, Peter deViser third (more on Peter's disapointment later).

In an attempt to reduce fatigue on us old geezers, the comp director decided that the winner would be decided with a single fly-off, all elligible contenders launching together on a count-down. The moment for the launch was chosen by a panel of experts who had demonstrated a total lack of ability to pick "lift"! Last model down wins. All are launching into the same "air" at the same time, so obviously the best and luckiest should emerge victorious (bloody Lewis again... that's two model I've sacrificed to his benefit this year... note he even maxed in air picked by no-hopers!).

This pic shows the actual launch into the hazy blue sky of this wide brown land. Lewis is in the center; Brian Taylor on the right and Peter deVisser's DIG 150 is just disappearing out of the frame on the left. As a concept, I like it, though it does have a drawback as Peter discovered. For some reason, about five seconds after this shot was taken, his DIG 150 went in after doing a 180 degree wingover. No damage though and normally, this would constitute an "attempt", but as the rule required all to fly in the same air, Peter could not call attempt and re-fly. That's a pitty, but I guess the intent of the sudden death fly-off is the modeller who has the best trimmed model, the best technique and the most luck is the winner. Congratulations to CD Allan Thomas for a well run event.

Also flown was a club Open Rubber event. Van Richards-Smith entered his coupe, as did some others, though there was the the odd high-tech Wakefield and old tyme model as well. Don't know whose this is, or even what it is for that matter, but it sure is nice. As an indication of conditions, Van's Coupe DT'd after 90 seconds in the first round, leaving him 90 seconds short of a max. No trouble... it took more than 90 seconds from him to come down umder DT! In fact more than one model went OOS under DT during the comp. Quite a day.

After 15 years of trying, John Lewis finally manages to score a first in the State A1 titles. Now, being a quiet, modest, genuinely helpfull kind of dude, John took the time to make sure everybody was informed of this vital piece of data - some of us several times! Fortunately, most of us could point out that our own names were already on the trophy. My own modest contribution to John's success is shown in the next pic...

Only 8 seconds separated John and I going into the fifth and final round. Knowing how much John really wanted to get his name on that trophy (and seeing mine is already on it :), I decided, as we launched together in a game of nerves, the only honerable thing to do was tow the wings off my Druid. Well, maybe not really, but at least he had to work for it!

Here's Julie with hubby Peter's lovely little Ebenezer done up like a Army Air Corps trainer. Just as well Peter's got long legs and runs fast. TeeDee 020's run a long time with a full tank, don't they Peter? This design (Aeromodeller, 1955) is from fellow Motor Boy, Bert Streigler who these days is a Texas cattle rancher.

If Van Richards-Smith looks pleased with his new Veron Sky Rod here, you should have seen him 10 minutes later when it flew perfectly, first time out, right off the building board! Powered by an ME Herron, it was completed only the day before the contest from plans. Rumor has it, Van's broom is now 2 foot shorter.

And rounding out things seen at the Y2K Qld A1 state champs are a couple of Big Bill's scale jobs. Model in the foreground has a novel DT system, though jetisoning the prop may be frowned on is some nit-picking sothern states. The one in the background looks like a Kiel Kraft Luscomb. Didn't catch what the one in front is, but with a rudder like that, it's got to be a Fairy(?).





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