Nat 2008 R/C Vintage report.

The 2008 Nationals were held in Balclutha, South Island and Christchurch Model Aero club had a good representation in most diciplines,  bringing home a fair share of silverware.

Photo's and write up of the Vintage events by Allan Knox.

(R/C vintage was made up of 4 events, Precision and Duration, Texaco A and 1/2A Texaco)

          Duration and Precision

The fight line for Precision and Duration: From front to back –Allan’s Cumulus and Lancer (inverted on the ground), Les’s Bombshell, Barry’s Simplex, John’s magnificent New Ruler, Bernard’s Playboy Cabin (not flown due wind).

As usual, these popular events were well supported and keenly contested. There was still a strong breeze from the North at 5.30 PM as we got started. The powerful modern four strokes in John Ensoll’s New Ruler and Lancer, and Allan Knox’s Cumulus, were making easy meat of the 4 minute Duration flight task and they were soon spiraling down at the end of each flight to come inside the 6 minute maximum allowable flight time.

John started with his new and immaculate Lancer 72 but folded its landing gear on an arrival so it was out with the trusty ‘Ruler. Landings are always a challenge in Vintage with wind and turbulence an added factor. Everyone missing at least one landing bonus except Bernard Scott using his Rambler but he dropped some flight time so no fly-off was needed to sort the winner. Age bonus comes into play here with the win going to Allan’s 1937 Shereshaw Cumulus by just one bonus point from John’s lancer 72. Barry Lenox was doing a great job with his Simplex and nailed his landings very well. Les King had a lovely old Buzzard Bombshell but it was very under powered with an open rocker Saito 30 (I think). It would be very competitive with a big 4 stroke. Top marks for trying Les, I’m sure it will go better next time with more grunt.

Grand Dad (John Ensoll) with yet another beautifully built Lancer, OS52FS Surpass power.

( photo's by Mark Venter )

Precision requires a landing at precisely 3 minutes flight time but age bonus allows a Max to be scored within a window of age bonus x 2 seconds. The one minute climb time allowed makes this an easy event for most models. Getting a landing on the spot within the time window is the challenge. 

Allan Knox with his Lancer 45 with OS20FS used for Precision and Tex A and 1/2A Skipper 

Most flew their duration models except Allan and Bernard who used lighter and handier models.  Again there was the challenge of getting rid of the excess speed on touchdown after having excess height from the 1 minute engine run. At the end, everyone except Allan had missed at least one landing and some were outside the time window so no fly-off was needed to settle the winner.

Flying wrapped up at about 9.00 PM in calm conditions with good light thanks to those long southern evenings. Everyone enjoyed the action.


          Texaco 1/2A and A.

These events were flown in North Westerly conditions on the morning of the 2nd under scattered high cloud. There was a strong breeze but even the light little 1/2As could manage OK. As always, getting the little Cox 049s to run reliably and to use all their fuel was the challenge.

Gary Burrows (Atomizer) and Allan Knox (Skipper) managed this pretty well but both dropped some time on the 8 minute max then landed short too on occasions.

Gary Burrows launches his Atomizer.  ( photo by Mark Venter )

Barry with the Saito Powered Simplex and his wayward 1/2A Tex Rambler.

Barry Lennox was having lots of fun keeping his 1/2A Rambler in sight and over the field but with lots of advice from everyone he got it down OK and was able to retrieve it from downwind. Rescheduling of venue due to field conflicts meant that both Paul Lagan and Bernard Scott had to squeeze their flights in with some compromise, particularly as the wind was freshening. A pity really as both are keen competitors and past winners. 

Paul flew an ideal model, the Lanzo RC1, it has a large 16 point bonus for its early 1934 build date. It is nicely proportioned and uses a Clark Y-ish section with good speed range. This was his TexA model powered by a very efficient small diesel. It seemed to be a little inconsistent though but has all the potential to be a real winner.


Paul Lagan and Tex A RC1

Bernard Scott’s 1/2A Playboy and Su.

Bernard, ably assisted by his partner Su, flew his trusty Playboy for 1/2A. It has been a frequent winner at the Nats but not this year as conditions and the little Cox conspired against him. His Simplex with its ultra reliable OS20FS went much better and he turned in perfect scores with around 9.5 minutes engine runs. Allan and John also maxed having finally figured out how to nail the spot.

John’s Simplex with its normally reliable PAW15BBRC looked like a sure thing for the fly-off as it is reputed to run for an amazing 20 minutes. Not this time though and it quit at about 10 minutes with the model down low so John was soon on the ground.

Allan opted to go high as his OS20FS is only good for about 8 to 9 minutes in the neat little Lancer 45 (60 inch span) and he hoped for a long thermal assisted decent. This was how it worked out and he landed at 21 minutes for the win.  

50 years ago at the Weedons NATS   (scan  from Don Watson)

The wind Freshened at the end of the session but it had been a very challenging and enjoyable contest with a lot of stick time for those who flew both classes. Stiff necks were the order of the day.


John Ensoll with his very efficient PAW15BBRC  powered 60 inch Texaco A Simplex

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