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PMFC Free Flight Championship and Bernie Nichols Trophy 2018

Reports on the Tuesday 10th April meeting.

Weather very calm, good turnout. The new electric classes are most promising. I have divided the electric scores into two classes, as they are likely to diverge in future years. "Victor Ludorum" is a purely honorary title given to the flyer who beats the largest number of competitors during the event. (I should mention that Bert leads "P20 Cabin" hence the asterisk.)

It was decided that future comps will begin 30 minutes earlier to allow for the greater activity due to the addition on the electric events. It's also worth mentioning that Ferry 500 models can be entered in the "Open" class but must fly as a separate entry, ie no "doubling up."

John Ashmole

At work this morning but a few words on the opening competition. No doubt John Ashmole will provide the full results and Mick Page photographs, so this is just personal impressions.

I arrived on the field at about 15.45 to find a flight line in place and a good number of members test flying. Weather was cloudy and cool but no rain and light wind ( 6-8 mph)

The competition started promptly at 16.00 with John Ashmole making the starting announcement. Max for the day was set at 45sec.

I have not built my own E20 yet. however there were a good number on the field. The models remind me of mini open power models of the 1950s. Trimming flights looked good and there were some decent flights of the 35 second mark. It looked to me that an 8 second motor run looked a bit on the short side however with light winds the models were not being pushed to the limits of the field. This was until Jonathan starting testing his lightweight model ( I think 57 grms all up). Wow with just 8 seconds the model made tremendous height and with a flat glide 60 seconds was attainable. I think a few members were thinking how to shed some weight from their models. At the results round up at the end of the day Jonathan said a few words to say he was pleased with the opening competition support and with more models to come the competition will become a lasting tribute to Ian M.

I always like to attempt to fly in all of the competitions. I flew catapult glider first with modest results which Chris kindly timed for me.  Jonathan W. flew his outstanding catapult model with tremendous vertical rotating climb and perfect transistion to glide. I timed for Jon and he maxed out with flights of over 60 seconds. His model will take some beating.

I then flew my Frog Diana in bungee glider. The model went up the line well and made three good line releases for modest times as the model became very wet from landing in long wet grass.

There were plenty of much better flights than my own and the air impoved as the afternoon went on. John Ashmole flew late with clearing skys and pale sunshine. His model gets higher off the line than anyone else and with a fine glide trim he remains the man to beat.

Cloud Tramp had plenty of entries. I had brought the late Stan Spencers model to fly with the ususal Lever 10 strand motor. Stan's model did not like that motor and shed a wing on the first flight. Despite cyano attempts the model had to be retired following a final wing break with the bits left plunging to the ground. I watched Mick Page prepare his CT with great care and careful winding. He went on to make four maxes ( only three required) until he was reminded he was going to make a final unrequired 5th flight. Mick looks good for the NZ Challenge later in the month. It is my view that we require a couple of members to make perfect scores and then go on to make a sixth flight to beat the NZ team this year. I think there was a flyoff for third place and I cannot remember who won this. The John Ashmole results will reveal all.

P20 had a number of entries. We were missing top man Peter Adams, however his main rival Mick Page was competing. After some trimming problems I managed three maxes. However, the model became very wet and the front of the fuselage became a slurry mix of wet balsa. It turned out Mick had maxed out as well and we were invited to fly off. Initially I decided not to fly but with a torrent of voices wanting a flyoff reluctantly I gave in. The slurry fuselage managed a poor 31 seconds and after a few moments of Mick's model sliding vertically backwards after lauch his model recovered to win with ease. At this point approx 18.45 the sky was clear however the wind had picked up to approx 10mph.

Peter Gibbons always manages to fly and help at the same time. He was tutoring young Josh all afternoon with the winding and lauching of a small cabin rubber model. Josh was making a good fist of it with some fine flights. It would be good if he could be persuaded to fly P30 at the Nats in the junior competition. I reckon he would be a potential top three winner.

Bert Whitehead brought his really cute E20 model complete with two wheeled undercarriage. I reckon two wheel models should be considered for a 5second bonus as they look so attractively vintage. Bert reckons all models should feature two wheels. He could be right, but perhaps not from an ultimate performance point of view.

It was good to see Tony Johnson on the field. His right arm injury has improved but he reckons it has now stopped making further progress. It certainly did not stop him launching models and there was always somebody available to retrive.

Dave Rumball provided all our bungee requirements ( how long have you been doing this Dave?) I think he also made third place in glider.

The afternoon was accompanied by constant light hearted banter which is such a feature of all PMFC meetings whether flying at Ferry or at any of the Area Competitions. Long may this continue. John Ashmole mentioned at close of play this was the best supported opening competition and he was thanked for his results recording  and organising role. So we all look forward to the next meeting when battle will commence again.

With Thanks to All who attended,

Brian Lever