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 Rachel and I stayed in the Ancaster B&B together with the Pike family and Rene & Peter Jackson.

Unfortunately the Ermine pub next door was closed so, on the Friday evening, we and the Pike family partook of a Chinese meal in the Railway pub down the road.

This turned out to be somewhat of a disaster of my making, I ordered the meal for the Pikes and ourselves and neglected to say we were eating in. The result being that when the meal arrived it was boxed and bagged as a takeaway. We were unable to get plates and all we had were little plastic forks to eat with. We each took a page from Rory Pike’s A3 drawing book and dished out some rice etc. on those. As you may imagine the paper did not last long so we supplemented with dish lids. All in all a real mess, when we left it looked like a bomb had hit the table and I’m certain that there was a good meal for two left splattered about.

Thereafter we ate in the Plough Inn in the village of Wilsford, the owner of which is an ex landlord from a pub we used to frequent regularly in our home town of Rugby. So much for our solution to the requirements of the inner man.

Day one:

 1st flight in BMFA Rubber, out with good old ‘0-3’, wind it up, sniff the air and put it in lift. I actually did it and, with the model way up, I was patting myself on the back for a job well done as we waited for the DT. We waited and waited and waited, after 6mins-40secs ‘0-3’ was clocked off as it disappeared from the binoculars high in sky.

2nd flight with ‘0-4’ not up to requirements, I had not noticed the tight climb turn on the test flight and the comp flight failed to gain sufficient height nor find any lift so I was down the pan again, one of the few. It’s embarrassing to see your black ink flight time in a sea of red maxes on the score board.

3rd flight, just to complete the card, was OK after a side-thrust adjustment.

After a brief fruitless search for ‘0-3’ in the country lanes we gave it best, ate our evening meal in the Plough and retired back to our digs.

A point of note, I had soldered mating attachments on my Spencer Willis torque meters and was using them to get some idea of the readings for motors, problem was that when motors were fully wound the nervous tension of handling the blast tube extraction and prop assembly hook-up made one forget to record the readings. Still first stage is over, I am using them and perhaps next time I might remember to observe readings and write them down

  I rest comfortably, admiring Martin Pike’s latest scale model whilst he beavered away on his Spitfire.

Day 2:

was vintage for me and, as it was quite windy, I did not want to risk my wakefields so I opted for token flights with my old, now very heavy, ‘Hep-Cat’. Usual performance, one max and a couple of duffers, if I don’t find lift its 1½ minutes or so.

Day 3:

a much better flying day all around. I reeled off 3 of the short maxes in Classic with my ‘Last Resort’ then spent time with Martin’s children as they dipped their toes in the competition water for the first time.

The amount of assistance 4 year old Catlin required to launch ‘Dusty’, the semi-scale crop-duster, was considerable and, although she could release the propeller effectively, the release of the aircraft required more than a little help from Dad. Over on the right we see Catlin standing by ready for winding as Dad sorts out the propeller assembly used on ‘Dusty’.

6 year old Rory fared much better and, although living dangerously, he managed to get the model away. In fact he progressed to using an ‘Ajax’ for his third flight.

I decided not to bother with Mini-vintage and, as there was the prospect of no fly-offs as on day two due to farmer intervention, we decided to pack up reasonably early to give plenty of time for a shower and change of clothing before going to the Plough for our evening meal. We then heard that there would be unlimited fly-offs but knowing the large number of qualifiers in Classic I chickened out and decided not to wait to compete.

Taken all round it was a good Nationals but I really did miss the evenings in the Hanger which was not available to us this year. I had even brought a couple of chuckies especially for it.

                                                                                                          BMFA NATIONALS 2009


My Nationals  -  by John Andrews

I've always written a piece on my efforts at the Nationals, so here goes.

Day 1 - Open rubber, dropped the first flight, maxed with second string model and spent time trolling around a rape field on recovery, no third flight.

Day 2 - Vintage, two duff flights with Gipsy, aerobatics from the launch on the third, flew into the ground and blew up, finished with Hep-Cat still no max.

Day 3 - Mini-vintage, three text book flights with the Hep-Cat but I had left my lift spotting glasses at home and all flights were short of requirements.

Short report, failed big time.

John Wingate, my flying companion of the meeting, also failed to reach the flyoff in Mini Vintage but he looked good. Left he is seen launching his normally reliable Cherokee with wife Kath on the Watch and binoculars.

Never mind, we all had a jolly good chin wag, got well sunburned and can now only look forward to next year.





Picture 1

web-master John Andrews, winds his 'Jaguar' Wakefield, aided by Peter Martin

Picture 2

I then attach the propeller .  

Picture 3

I finally wait, sniffing the air looking for the thermal that carried the model high for a first flight maximum

Unfortunately this was the only successfull flight, the second got launched side wind and flew into the ground breaking all parts of the model with the exception of only the fin.  The bright side of my efforts was in the regaining of the 'Jaguar Trophy' as my single maximum beat Peter Tomlinson, the only other contestant to record a score.


The delighted web-master receives the magnificent 'Jaguar Trophy' from 1066 chairman John Thompson


My BMFA Nationals 2012

The wife Rachel and I travelled to Barkston Heath on the Friday afternoon and after booking in at our accommodation and a bite to eat at the Railway Hotel in Ancaster, we visited the campsite on the airfield to meet up with our Timperley clubmates Kath and John Wingate. Following some frantic tent erection we retired to the hanger bar for a chat and some liquid refreshment. Inside the hanger were RAF Display aircraft, Two Red Arrow’s Hawks and a Euro-fighter mock-up I’m not sure what was in the wine I drank but on leaving I barely reached the door when I realised I was legless. Unusually, as it turned out, it was not my normal affliction but my right knee had given up the ghost. I hobbled back to the digs and dived into bed hoping for recovery before the next morning. Saturday, up with the lark, full English breakfast including black pudding, and limped off to the airfield for my first comp, BMFA Rubber. My regular followers will know that I often make mistakes, well I started the Nationals this year with an absolute beauty. I assembled a model for my first flight, inserting a 50gm motor into 0-3’s fuselage then attached the rear section including tailplane, checked the DT operation, then into the model box for the wing. This is where I went wrong, unknowingly I strapped 0-4’s wing onto the 0-3 fuselage and wound for the flight. I launched the hybrid model and 2-49 later the model dropped out of sight over the compound. One max in the bag, however we could not find the model, which was odd as other models in the compound had recorded times around the three minute mark. 0-4 & 0-3, the wings and tails are supposed to be identical in size but decor is different and they’re marked. It takes an extremely competent idiot to mix them up.
I decided to continue with my second model 0-4 and this was when I realised that I had mixed up my components. I puts the old brainbox into gear and concludes that “if a hybrid worked once it should work again” (wrong) so I
assembled my 0-4/0-3 bits and wound for flight number two. This combination did not work, the model flew in flat tight circles and failed to
gain sufficient height so John Boy had dipped out again and one model (0-3/0-4) was still out in the boondocks somewhere. I rested for the rest of the day, giving my dicky knee a chance to recover a little and in the evening our group feasted on Chinese food at the Railway Hotel again.
Sunday was a washout for us, although quite a few flyers obviously more hardy than ourselves were out there doing their business. We paid a quick visit to the hanger for the swap meet then departed to take in the Newark Air Museum, a really good collection of aircraft and well worth a visit.

 The Timperley Gang

 The gang met up again in the evening and we went for a little ride, looking for a seemingly mythical chip shop that John Wingate has visited in the past. We did not find it last year and this year was no different. We gave up and pulled into a hotel car park in Sleaford to make enquiries about the chippy but hunger prevailed and we stayed and ate in the hotel restaurant.
Monday saw us bright and early on the field in better flying conditions and I made an early mess of Classic Rubber with my ‘Last Resort’. I released the model too square into wind and it looped straight over the top and vertically into the ground. On retrieval I was amazed to find no damage, the over long grass had cushioned the aircraft’s arrival. Second mistake, immediate re-launch, third mistake launched too far out of wind and a couple of hair raising flat turns before climbing away in indifferent air. Did not make requirements. Just to prove that I was not totally incompetent I had a second flight which, of course, was a text book climb to good altitude and DT on
button. Any fool can do it second time.
I started mini vintage with my old ‘Hep-Cat’ and a perfect first flight, DT’d high-up dropping down behind the campsite hanger. Flushed with success we decided to partake of a burger before we drove around to recover and this proved to be an error as the second flight failed to climb properly and the glide appeared badly under-elevated and failed to max. I conclude that the drizzle and wet grass
affected the trim somehow.

That was me finished for the 2012 Nationals.
Things then brightened up, I was sitting on the tailgate of the car packing up my models when a Brownhills indoor flyer Russell Lister appeared saying “John have you lost a model?”. “Yes” I replied and Russell said that he knew where it was. He had been out looking for models and recognised my colour scheme on a model sticking up in a rape field way behind where we had been searching on the Saturday when we lost it. Rachel went off with Russell to effect recovery as I was still limping with my knee. Time passed and I thought I’d better go and see what was going on. I drove to where I knew the model was and I climbed up the bank behind the compound and
looked out over the rape field to see two heads bobbing about in the dense crop, one holding my model aloft. Eventually they appeared complete with undamaged model but water filled from two nights out in the rain. They too were both soaking wet from the waist down having had to work their way up and down the tractor paths to reach the aircraft, I owe Russell a bottle of wine for his efforts, I could
not have fought my way through that rape.


Russel Lister with my hybrid 0-3/0-4 having retrieved it from two nights in the rape field 

A few days in the conservatory at home has dried it out fine.The SAM35 Wakefield event saw two of our group competing in 8oz on Saturday. Reg Biddlecombe, a previous winner, lost his No1 ‘Contestor’ with a four minutes plus flight out over the rape and it was not recovered. His No2 ‘Contestor’ failed to perform, it has never equalled the performance of the original. John Wingate however, with his reliable ‘Itsme’ managed to win the event, after being somewhat delayed due to the model being returned to control whilst he was still out looking for it. He was desperately short of time when he found out where the model was. It’s no use putting mobile phone numbers on models if no one is going to use them. Contest Directors please note.

For a pictorial version see Clarion page.