News of Records
The 1997 Wakefield Cup contest, held in Sazena, Czech Republic, was won by Alex Andrjukov of the Ukraine, who has now become the first person to win the Wakefield Cup three times. This was no easy accomplishment for Alex, who made his first appearance in 1985 on the CCCP Team, when Rainer Hoffsass won the Wakefield Cup. A look back in history finds Alex on Team CCCP in 1987, when Bob White won the Cup. Alex did not finish in the top 10 at those contests, but in 1989, when Eugemusz Cofalik of Poland won the Cup, he had to battle Alex into the thirrd round of the fly-offs to win. Alex was second, 80 seconds behind Eugen. Alex has never been out of the world class competition for the Wakefield Cup since 1989. Alex was the European Wakefield Champion, two times. It is, after all Alex's Wakefield "AA-26" that has become the world's standard, in design, construction, and flight characteristics. This very Wakefield, "AA-26" was purchased after the 1993 World Championships Wakefield Cup contest by Jeremy Fitch. "AA-26" was used in Wakefield contests by Jerry, who qualified for Team USA flying this model. Jerry also used it as a test bed for the development of his own Wakefield design, with which he won the Wakefield Cup in 1995. This same Wakefield "AA-26" now resides in the ownership of Bill Saunders, of Silver Springs, MD, where it is being flown in local Wakefield contests. This is a very rare, and important Wakefield. I can only presume Mr Sanders knows this. I do not mean important in monetary value; "AA-26" is important intrinsically. Which brings me to the main topic of this foreword: the Wakefield International Cup Museum.
I have come to the place on the road in my studies of the Wakefield International Cup where I am convinced that there is intrinsic value in all of the artifacts that remain from past Wakefield Cup contests. My contact with past winners of the Wakefield Cup led me to think seriously about establishing a "Wakefield International Cup Museum", because so many past Wakefield Champions still have their winning Wakefields. For instance: Aarne Ellila's Winning 1949 Wakefield now resides in the Finnish National Museum. Aarne built this very Wakefield in 1939. A friend in Sweden gave me a photograph of Aarne at 16 years of age, holding this same model. The Finns do not have to tell the world that this is an important artifact. They hold it in the highest esteem in their own National Museum! Sune Stark has written to me that he still has his 1951 Wakefield Winner. Bob White still has "Twin Fins 22", which won the Wakefield Cup in 1987. Bob has already promised "Twin Fins 22" to the future "Wakefield International Cup Museum". It is my hope that Bob White has set the standard for contributions to the "International Wakefield Cup Museum". Ownership of such artifacts would remain with the contributor, who would be merely loaning the item to the trustees of the "Wakefield International Cup Museum
What artifacts would be accepted for display in the "Wakefield International Cup Museum" (WICM)?
Wakefield Models: The actual winning Wakefield, or a full-sized authentic replica of the winning Wakefield. I have begun to construct replicas of some of the early winners. We must have models that are made using the actual materials, and colors, with the authentic details of all of the components. For instance, if bamboo was used to shape the wing tips of the original model, the replica must also have bamboo tips.
Clothing and personal articles: The actual clothing worn by the Wakefield Champion, at the time that they won the Wakefield Cup. Shoes, shirts, pants, jackets, caps, glasses, rings, pins, patches, decals, stick-ons, diaries, note books, etc.
Photographs: Still Photographs, motion pictures, or video tapes of the actual Wakefield Cup contest, showing the Wakefield Champion (s) flying their Winning Wakefield, contest officials. Originals, or copies. We could also use current photos of any Wakefield Champion, SMAE, FAI, CIAM official, timer, or contest director.
Support equipment: Rubber winders, winding stands, rubber transfer rods, rubber transfer hooks, rubber stuffing sticks, hammers, thermisters, thermister stands, thermister poles, etc.
Written material: Letters written by any of the Wakefield Champions, Lord Wakefield of Hythe, or any SMAE official which discusses a significant Wakefield subject. Letters written by Robert Copland, F de P Green, A F Houlberg, Dr A P Thurston (Where are the original rules?). Letters from any FAI/CIAM official discussing the Wakefield Cup contest, or Wakefield Cup rules. Newsletters prepared for an actual Wakefield Cup contest. Flyers, posters, banners, or any announcement. Magazines about the Wakefield contest, Wakefield models, accessories, etc. These must be in the best possible condition.
Trophies: The original "Wakefield Gold Cup of 1911". This rare Wakefield trophy was last won in 1913 by Sir L H Slatter, Air Marshall RAF, could it still be in the possession of his heirs, or family, or a friend of his family? Can a search be made for this valuable artifact? Also there were miniature Wakefield Cup trophies awarded to the Wakefield Champions, any of these would make handsome displays. I know that Emmanuel Fillon, of France, still has his.
If any article is too valuable to be released by the present owner, photographs are acceptable. What is needed are displays, that will attract public interest. Many of the displays will be static, but video films should also be made of each of the winning Wakefield replicas, in flight if possible, to enhance visual interest for the museum viewer.
The location of the "Wakefield International Cup Museum" should be somewhere in England, because this is where the original idea to have this free flight international contest began. Lord Wakefield was the heir to the "Castrol Oil" corporation. The value of his inspiration is still present in the contest that bears his name. The sponsorship of the "Wakefield International Cup Museum" should be an asset to the Castrol Oil Corporation today. The actual size of this museum need not require more then a small floor area for display in an already established museum. Two people to whom I have written in England, have suggested different existing museums that would be appropriate for such a permanent display. Ian Amor suggested the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvinton, York, England. Ron Moulton suggests the Science Museum, South Kensington, London, England. Tom McCoy has mentioned the AMA museum in Muncie, Indiana, but they have never shown any interest in this book, even though I sent two copies of it to the museum staff. No! What is needed is an established museum, somewhere in England, which has an enthusiastic curator who is knowledgeable about the Wakefield Cup, and who is willing to go to the Castrol Oil Corporation to seek sponsorship of an endowment for a Wakefield Museum display. If the museum curator can get this, the "Wakefield International Cup Museum" will be a permanent reality. If sponsorship by Castrol Oil Corporation is not obtainable, then we will have to depend upon private donations.
The collection contained in "The International Wakefield Cup Museum" must of course be cataloged, and credit assigned to the individual loans, or donations. This catalog would be a photographic record of the artifacts contained in the museum. This makes the catalog a valuable record book of the Wakefield Champions, their models, and their clothing and accessories. The museum catalog would itself be valuable enough to warrant sale of the catalog for museum income. Another source of income for the museum could come from the sale of C Ds, videos, and posters of the Wakefield Champions, and/or the winning Wakefield models. T-shirts, and caps would also be a good source of income. The T-shirt design can come from the collection, and from special T-shirts made for the Wakefield contest at the World Championships. I will offer my book as a sales item to the museum. The point here is to plan how the "Wakefield International Cup Museum" will operate, as an independent endowment, using a gift shop, and a collections-sales catalog as a source of income. Another supplement for income would be the sales of the construction drawings of each of the Wakefield winning models. These drawings would be part of the museum collection. The drafting of these drawings would be authenticated, and signed by the living Wakefield Champions. I will also volunteer to help to make the original inked mylar drawings; there will be 43 inked mylar drawings. All of the effort for the museum will have to be voluntary, except for the job of the curator, who must be a professional. Of course the museum curator will be a member of an existing museum.
Part of the museums operations will be to install a "Wakefield Hall of Fame" into the display. The indoctrination will of course include all of the past Wakefield Champions. To open the "Wakefield Hall of Fame" there would be a list of names submitted to the museum Board of Directors for indoctrination. All of the living Wakefield Champions would be invited to participate in the first indoctrination, led by Gordon S Light. The first person indoctrinated would be of course Viscount Lord Wakefield of Hythe. His name would be the first of the indoctrinates, followed by F de P Green, Sir Sefton Branker, A F Houlberg, and Dr A P Thurston, of the SMAE, and then all of the Wakefield Champions, beginning with E W Twining in 1911.
The "Wakefield International Cup Museum" is not a dream. It is alive in all of us who love the Wakefield International Cup contest. What the museum can be is a continuing living display of what free flight aeromodelling is all about, to the world. It is what we as free flight aeromodellers are, what we believe is mentally exhilarating, real, and uplifting. If we can make this museum a reality, then all of our legend will be told.
I wish to thank all of you who have purchased this book, my patrons. I wish also to thank all of you who have contributed to the search for information to expand the knowledge about the "Wakefield International Cup". I do not want to forget anyone who has made a positive contribution to the content of this book, I cannot name you all, forgive me if I have not included you, but I must thank Helen Rushing, Bill Vanderbeek, John Brown, Bill Hannan, Tom McCoy, Sven-Olov Linden, Ian Amor, Ron Moulton, Albert A Judge, Alwyn Greenhaulgh, Mike Kemp, Martyn Pressnell, Denis Fairlie, Michael Woodhouse, Martyn Cowley, Gordon S Light, Emmanuel Fillon, Richard Korda, Aarne Ellila, Sune Stark, Joe Foster, Hugh O'Donnell, Lennart Petersson, George Reich, Thomas Koster, Mikko Sulkala, Lothar Doring, Bob White, Aleksanar Andrjukov, and Jeremy Fitch.
I would be pleased to hear from the following Wakefield Champions: Eliseo Scotto, G Samann, Bond Baker, F Dvorak, J Klima, P C Sun, K D Sik, Reiner Hofsass, and Eugeniusz Cofalik. Old letters or notes would be appreciated from: E W Twining, Sir L H Slatter, T H Hewell, R N Bullock, J H Ehrhardt, J W Kenworthy, J B Allman, Roy Chesterton, Robert Copland, Ted Evans, F de P Green, A F Houlberg, and Dr A P Thurston, or anyone who one day will be a "Wakefield International Cup Hall Of Fame" candidate.
FOR THE WAKEFIELD MUSEUM: Despite all of the efforts of many friends, I have failed to obtain a reply from the following Wakefield Champions: 1955 G Samann, 1958 B Baker, 1959 F Dvorak, 1963 and 1973 J Loffler, 1969 A Oschatz, 1971 J Klima, 1975 P C Sun, 1977 K D Sik, 1985 R Hofsass, 1989 E Cofalik. Even old letters would be a major input for this history. Copies of old correspondence from the following Wakefield Champions, who I know have long since died, would be a blessing: 1911 E W Twining, 1913 Sir L H Slatter, 1928 T H Newell, 1929 R N Bullock, 1930-3 1 J H Ehrhardt, 1933 J W Kenworthy, 1934 J B Allman, 1948 R Chesterton. Any contribution will be honored: photographs, motion pictures, video tapes, memorablia, models, tools & equipment, banners, clothing, pins, anything of Historical interest, will be classified, and credited to the donor, and retained or returned by the Wakefield Museum curator. C.D.R.
By Ian Kaynes CIAM reviewed the result of the 1953 Wakefield Cup event. It confirmed the original decision to engrave only Joe Foster's name on the Cup. The following is the report to CIAM: There has been a request asking for the recorded results of the 1953 Wakefield competition to be reconsidered to engrave the Cup to show equal winner status for the three competitors who tied after the first 3 flights of the competition. In response to my research comments have been received from Hugh O’Donnell and from John O’Donnell (Hugh’s brother and also a competitor in the event).
This was the first competition for which 3 competitors all achieved the 5 minute maximum time on each of the 3 official flights. There is some ambiguity in the rules as shown from the originals provided by Hugh O’Donnell (reproduced in the attachment file), which state that - with emphasis which I have added:
(a) rule 10 states that “…. If two or more competitors make the same score the final placing shall be established by a fourth flight which will be timed to the end. The fourth flight must take place within one hour of the last contest flight and the competitors must depart within three minutes of each other.”
(b) rule 16 states that “The winning nation for the Wakefield Cup shall be that which has in its team the individual competitor attaining the highest total flight time for the three rounds.”
Thus rule 10 supports a modern flyoff to determine the final placing of competitors, while rule 16 uses a rather different approach to determine which nation holds the cup. It would seem that the formal conclusion from the rules would be that
(1) the individual winner was Joe Foster following the fourth flight under the consideration of rule 10.
(2) the three nations USA, Great Britain and Argentina were joint holders of the Wakefield Cup.
It was reported by Charles Rushing in his history of the Wakefield Cup that the jury had made a statement on the nations jointly holding the Wakefield Cup, but no official jury report is available.
The request concerns the names engraved on the Cup. However, the names engraved on the cup are primarily the individual flyers rather than just the nations. If the engraved winners showed just the nations winning the Cup under the terms of rule 16 then it could be justifiable to include Great Britain and Argentina as well as USA. However, the engravings include the individual names and these thus have some reference to rule 10. It is thus concluded that it would be inappropriate to add the 1953 second and third place individuals to the trophy.
At the end of the last chapter it was recorded that Australia had been awarded the 2001 World Championships. However, those plans came apart and in early 2000 the CIAM had accepted the USA offer to host these championships. For seventeen of the intervening months everything progressed towards another Californian free flight festival, then the world events of September 11 drew a shadow over this expectation. The AMA and SCAT Club determined to continue the championships and on October 8th they were rewarded with the arrival of most of the expected competitors. China and Croatia teams did not come and some individual competitors chose not to attend, but the only clear casualty of the security clampdown was that the Bosnian team were not granted visas to enter the USA. Years ago there had been an FAI rule that if a team was prevented from entering the country then the championships were void, but the FAI General Section now just requires that the organisers make every reasonable effort to ensure admission into the country. The AMA and SCAT did everything possible to obtain admission for the Bosnians but unfortunately failed.
Twenty nine countries were represented and the number of competitors in each class was almost identical with those in Israel in 1999, which itself had been about 20% down on the preceding world champs in Europe.
The Canada Cup World Cup event had been held at Lost Hills just before the champs began and, as usual for an event at such a time, there was a very large entry. It gave competitors a good chance to get used to competition on the field.
For the World Champs most competitors were accommodated in motels at Lost Hills and Buttonwillow, with the high demand forcing the price up from the typical level. A small packed lunch was provided on the field, there was the opening barbecue and final banquet, but no other food was provided and meals had to be purchased in the local restaurants - for a rather higher price than the $20 per day which had been estimated to CIAM.
Processing took place in a large tent on the field, starting on Monday, which was the nominal arrival day, and continuing on Tuesday. It was done so efficiently that it was completed well before the end of the second day, with very little waiting time for each team. "Processing" this year involves checking that the four models of each competitor have the required markings (national abbreviation, competitor licence number and individual model identification numbers/letters) and putting stickers on the models to signify that they have been registered. The models, motors and towlines are no longer weighed or measured at this stage, but the official equipment was available for anyone to check models for themselves.
The opening ceremony was in Wasco, about 20 miles from Lost Hills, on Tuesday afternoon followed by a barbecue and team managers meeting. One specific rule explained at the meeting was the rule adopted by CIAM from 2002 but added as a special condition on this champs: the rule classing a flight as an attempt if under 20 seconds only applied if the model did not DT. The field rules included keeping spectators and motor bikes from the starting line. The bikes could be used for retrieving but it was forbidden to ride in circles to generate lift under models - compliance was periodically checked by downwind observers on bikes. Any flapping had to be on foot.
Wednesday was the first competition day for F1A gliders. 41 competitors made it to the five minute flyoff round that evening, reduced to 39 gathered trying for seven minutes in much cooler conditions. Just Per Findahl and Maarten van Dijk maxed to go into a two-man flyoff at 7.15 the following morning. Findahl took the title - the first winner from Sweden of the glider Swedish Cup - and Wakefield could start. Only 6 of the 73 competitors failed the round 1 max of 3.30.
Round two also had gentle air which made the max easy, but after that the rougher air of the day brewed up. During round three the casualties included Gorban, Siltz, Morrell from the home team, and Ben Itzhak (1979 world champion at Taft).
Igor Silberg, who took third place in the 1969 Champs when flying for USSR, now flies for Germany and had an interesting long run model. This had maxed comfortably in the first three rounds but managed only 154 seconds in round four. The prop had folded at 130 sec at a very low height - giving less than half a minute glide - in the manner of low powered models in bad air. The long thin motor stretched the full length of the fuselage to the tailplane trailing edge and the time was mounted at the front of the fuselage to balance the weight of the rear fuselage and motor. A refreshing contrast to the conventional Ukrainian models and it would have been interesting to see it really compared in a flyoff.
Round 5, after the lunch break was the hardest round so far. This reduced the number of full scores from 52 to 42. By round 6 it was quite cloudy, but still warm and thermally and most of the entry went away in a few large bumps.
At the start of the final round Slovenia, Sweden, UK, and Yugoslavia teams had full scores. Walt Ghio missed the lift and spoilt his full score. Chrebtov (Russia) was the only other person to suffer this fate in round 7 and 38 flyers went forward to the flyoff.
At the 5pm time of the first flyoff there was a steady breeze and it looked as though 5 minutes would be nearing the limits of visibility with haze in front of the mountains. There was no rush to fly quickly, but when they did go there was little doubt about it and 24 of the 38 maxed. This included all three of the Yugoslav team, who started a premature celebration of a team victory - but for teams tied on the seven round total the team places are decided by the minimum sum of the final places of the individual team members and this could not yet be determined.
The air had cooled and the drift reduced by the 6.15pm start time for the second round. This seven minute round was to be more difficult. While quite a few flyers cleared six minutes only seven reached the max. Kolic and Eimar were amongst this elite, but the team prize was now determined to go to Sweden - the two other Yugoslav flyers were so low down the list that, whatever the final places in the top seven, Sweden had a margin of at least one place better than Yugoslavia. The others in the flyoff were Blake Jensen for the host country, Horak for Canada, Richard Blackam from Australia (fellow Aussie Terry Bond having dropped only 17 seconds in the second flyoff) and the two Ukrainians Stefanchuk (on the national team) and Kulakovsky defending his championship title.
Next day the final showdown began at 7.10am in the usual Lost Hills quiet morning air. One and a half minutes after the start Kolic was first to be ready to launch and a few seconds later he did so. A couple of minutes later Eimar and Horak flew while the others did not hurry to launch. Blackam, Kulakovsky and Jensen flew late in the round and Stefanchuk, having had motor problems, was left on the line when the end of the round was sounded. The last people to launch looked to have the best air with Kulakovsky's high aspect ratio model no. 32 apparently holding up best on the glide. The models were watched down by the timekeepers but the spectators couldn't really tell except that the defending champion had been most impressive. The times confirmed this with Oleg retaining his title by a margin of over 100 seconds above the closely placed second and third. Local pride was upheld by Blake Jensen's silver medal and Australia were pretty pleased with Richard's third, particularly when backed up by Terry Bond also in the top ten.
The banquet was at Stockdale Country Club in Bakersfield, an hour away by the coaches provided for the participants from Lost Hills and Buttonwillow. Some national anthems were not played fully - or at all in the case of Sweden, with the Wakefield team eventually rendering an impressive vocal version.
Thus ended a champs which had given another opportunity to meet friends - competing, timing and helping. It will be remembered for superb field organisation and weather, and also for the different national atmosphere which made international friendship somewhat stronger.
In 1997 the national delegates to the CIAM Plenary meeting had voted overwhelming in favour holding the 1999 World Champs in Israel, with more than double the number of votes given to the other two contenders Romania and USA. After the decision, there were doubts cast on two grounds: the political situation and the flying conditions - a hot and sandy desert in August. There was no change and so from August 25th to 31st the free flight world centred on Israel. Everyone was accommodated at the Shulamit Garden hotel, situated on the coast at Ashkelon and having reasonable rooms and very good food. There was, however, a drive of almost an hour to reach the flying site near Be'er-Sheba, especially noticeable in the morning with flying usually starting very soon after the 6am sunrise.
The World Champs was combined with the Junior European champs and was preceded by the Negev Open World Cup event, with F1A flown on Monday August 23rd and F1B and F1C on Tuesday 24th. This event gave a good introduction to the site and also practice for the organisation. It was another clean sweep for the Ukrainians, with the respective top spots taken by Stamov, Kulakovsky, and Verbitsky.
F1A glider was flown on the first championship day and, since the usual weather continued to be hot, windy and thermally until sunset, it had been decided to plan the competition without evening flyoffs and go straight to an early morning 10 minute round. While this was very sensible given the weather at the site, it did mean a sudden death single flight event with too many participants to be able to follow the overall picture. It also meant a nervous wait for the flyers.
Thus it came about that the F1A flyoff was flown at 6.15 on Wakefield morning.
In the same steady morning drift Darius Stezalski from Poland was the winner with almost five and a half minutes, followed by Pieter de Boer and Namio Takahashi who had tied on 303 sec. Almost all the flights had been seen to the ground. The F1A flyoff was followed by the flyoff of the European Junior Championships F1B (the Euro Junior were being flown concurrently with the world championships, with different classes on each day. Nine Juniors came to the flyoff from the 16 flyers. The winner was Ivan Kolic of Yugoslavia with a competent flight of his Ukrainian model which was seen to the ground in 407 sec.
After all this hectic activity all was ready to start Wakefield at 6.50. The weather pattern repeated itself exactly today, with the difference for the flying that the start had been 35 minutes later after the flyoffs. The first round 3.30 max is a formality in good conditions and 70 out of 74 duly maxed. A similar number followed in round 2, then it started to get more difficult with several dead patches and deceptive partial bubbles that did not break away until flapped vigorously. The other effect of the heat was on the rubber. The latest batches of FAI were judged to behave better at lower temperatures and several people were doing this in the old style of cool boxes for the rubber or damp towel over the model, quite a turn-around from heaters!
The drama came in round 5. On pole 1 (the "upwind end of the line) was defending champion Alex Andrjukov flying on his own pole, normally next to the pole of his country of residence USA but for this round the US team was at the opposite end of the line and Alex was alone. On the next pole British flyer Russell Peers had a close shave, clocked to the ground at 180 exactly. Alex had wound a few minutes into the round and waited and waited in his exposed upwind position. 30 minutes into the round he wound a fresh motor, along the way breaking at least one motor in a model. While George Batiuk, US manager, was working on the broken motor model Alex still waited and waited. With five minutes to go he broke the motor while putting on extra hand turns. Meanwhile Beales at the British pole found lift for a big max, but Alex was making a hectic dash to his pits, fitting a new motor and wind it. Then the motor broke and the shock took the fin off the model. He then had to fight to remove a broken motor from one of the other models, load a new motor, and, with one minute to go, to start winding again. He launched immediately, moments before the hooter, in what seemed like the wind after a thermal. But it wasn't. The climb confirmed that he had not got up to full turns and was not aided by the air. After folding the model was coming down steadily. It glided in 14 seconds short to spell the end of his title defence.
Round 6 was statistically easier than dramatic round 5, then round 7 was harder again with the wind increasing further. The flyoff which was resolved to have 43 flyers. These included full team scores for four nations: Bosnia Herzegovina, China, Italy and USA.
Next morning we again had two flyoffs, no junior event but the F1A second place tie to resolve as well as Wakefield. It was decided to do the small F1A flyoff first and thus have more light for the main timekeeper challenge.
All was ready for a 6.35 start but the powerful public address system, which had seemed so good previously, was not quite enough to reach the far end of the very long line. In the confusion two flyers made abortive flights before the round had started.
There seemed to be two groups of models which held up well, but identification and real comparison was difficult with so many flyers. Most models were seen almost to the ground, but there were some problems with the wide circles the spindly small cross-section F1Bs taking them out of view prematurely against hazy backgrounds. Bob Piserchio was one to suffer this, both the US team and the helpers loosing it in the air on its very wide turn. The model I watched in detail looked to be as good as any that I could see and it's official time around 7 1/2 was a good reflection of its time to a very low altitude. I saw little evidence to support a couple of claims of models being clocked off very early and making over eight minutes to the ground.
The winner was the in-form Oleg Kulakovsky just two seconds short of eight minutes and followed directly by Bror Eimar one second behind. Anselmo Zeri was third, half a minute down from the top two, at last a medal position after fourth in 93 and 95.
The prize-giving was held at the Shulamit Garden Hotel in the garden beside the swimming pool. Drinks and snacks were served at the entrance and while people then settled at their tables a composition of video clips of the Champs were presented. There were then brief closing speeches, the prize-giving, and the FAI flag was symbolically handed to the Australian team as hosts for 2001. The conclusion of a memorable and very well run Championships. The only fault that could be found was the dust, but even that was not as bad as expected for most of the champs.
Sazena, Czechoslovakia August 18 to 24, 1997 had been selected by the FAI/CIAM for the World Championships. This had been the same flying site that was used for the 1967 WC where 17 rounds had been flown to determine the results of the power championships. Preceding the main events, on August 15 to 17, the Czechs were also hosting the open International World Cup on the same flying field as the World Championships. The most notable news is the number of contestants that were entered: there were 181 in F1A, 107 in F1B, and 40 in F1C!
The flying field certainly got a good trampling down prior to Wakefield day in the World Championships which was set for Friday August 22. The field itself is farm land which was cut to provide a clear area in the north-south direction. Lying on the west side is a housing estate. This is where Randy Archer realized a case of severe deja vu in the seventh round of the F1C Power Championships when his plane glided down into a two story house in the housing estate. Randy was clocked down, and out of the Championships at 171 seconds. This is the second World Championships in a row that Randy has had to face pure bad luck. So many things happen to defy even the best of the best during these championships.
There were four Wakefield World Champions registered to fly in this years World Championships: Itzhak Ben Itzhak from Israel (1979) whose country was tentatively selected for the 1999 WC; Eugeniusz Cofalik, Poland (1989); Alexander Andrjukov (CCCP 1991, Ukraine 1993), and the reining 1995 Wakefield World Champion Jeremy Fitch of the USA.
Team GB came without Dave Hipperson because he gave up his place on the Team to Bob Cheesley. Dave felt that his while his Wakefield earned him a place on the team, it was not competitive enough to compete in the WC, and he would be letting his country down.
There were 97 Wakefield competitors ready to do their best for: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bosnia Herzigovina, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, USA, and Yugoslavia.
Friday, the 22nd of August began with a slight ground mist, it was calm, with a drift of 2 mph maximum, from the east-south-east. The sky was clear, with a light scattering of cumulus clouds. A perfect day within which to fly a Wakefield International Cup World Championships!
ROUND 1-7: This would start with a 210 second First round, beginning at 07:00, 87 contestants made it into the second round. From the looks of the weather those who did not make it, may as well pack up their flight bags, and spend the rest of the day shagging their teammates Wakefields. For all intents it looked as if picking good air was no problem, but 16 dropped the second round! Round 3 also shook up the competition, because 22 dropped the round, including two Wakefield ex-champions: Itzhak Ben Izthak and Jeremy Fitch. Jeremy was flying a new Wakefield, which (he told me later) had been flying well under severe testing conditions; but this model had developed strange characteristics, that occurred in the climb under power. It tended to turn left, under power. In the third round of this contest, it climbed out in the burst, but afterwards, again, slanted left, and then fell off into a corrective stall, and regained itself for only an 80 second flight! Jeremy's crown fell off as well. He would not repeat his 1995 victory this day. By the end of seven rounds there were 41 contestants remaining with perfect rounds, including the two remaining Wakefield Champions: Eugeniusz Cofalik and Alexander Andjukov.
ROUND 8: The 300 second fly-off round. The weather was still perfect, with a light drift to the ESE, and the scattered cumulus. The round opened at 17:45 with a 10 minute launch window. Twenty six managed to make the 300 seconds. This included one Wakefield Champion. Eugeniusz Cofalik had come down in only 42 seconds, and would be just a spectator now.
ROUND 9: The 420 second fly-off round began at 18:30. Alex Andrujkov launched at precisely three minutes after the horn blew to open the round, along with a "covey" of other Wakefields. These all made the 420 seconds. Twelve were left.
ROUND 10: The 540 second round. At one minute after the horn sounded to open the round Alex was wound, and ready to launch. This time the "covey" were caught still in the preparation stage. Alex was flying the clone of "AA 26", the "short" version of his 1993 winning Wakefield with a 62.6 inch span. The same Wakefield that was used as the basis for the 1995 winner. He was using 26 strands of FAI Tan Rubber, which had been alchemied in the spring, into which he poured 525 knots. Alex's Wakefield climbed under power for 53 seconds, and just simply got higher then anyone else's. Still using the open glide pattern we saw at Lost Hills in 1993, he was the last one down in 464 seconds. Alexander Andrjukov would become the first person in history to win the Wakefield International Trophy three times!
Aeromodeller, Jan 1997
Music: "Funki Porcini - Love Pussycats and Carwrecks"; Literature: "Lefty"; Cine: "Jerry Maguire"
This year the Free Flight World Championships were scheduled to be held in Domsod, Hungary between the dates of July 22 and 24. Team USA flew to Frankfurt, Germany, on a Lufthansa 747 on July 19, then continued on by Lufthansa to Budapest, Hungary on July 20, nine time zones, and 16 hours later. The team members included Walt Ghio, team manager, Dan Tracy, Louis Joyner, and Jerry Fitch, with the exception of Walt an all new Team. The 1993 WC Alexander Andrjukov was there early to defend his title. Team Ukraine included Igor Vivchar, Eugeny Gorban, and Stepan Stefenchuk all WC veterans, whose F1Bs were now being distributed and purchased world wide. Tony Mathews of Canada was back at the World Championships to try again, and flying with him on Team Canada were Jerry McGlashen, and Cam Ackerley, also veterans. Ninety-six contestants, from thirty-five Nations were here to fly in The Wakefield Event, a record turnout: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bosnia Herzigovina, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, USA, and Yugoslavia.
Wednesday, July 24, was Wakefield day. Jerry Fitch told me that the weather was perfect, with clear, but hazy skies, and the wind drifting between 3-5 mph. The flying field is a flat plain, which is used for sheep grazing, therefore the grass is always trimmed down. The actual measurements are 3 miles long, by 1.75 miles wide, but it is crossed by drainage ditches, surrounded by corn, and sunflower fields, and trees which are about 60 feet high. Chase vehicles were a necessity, and two way radios were a blessing.
ROUNDS 1-7: F1C Power fly-offs held up any hopes for an early start, and the opening horn didn't sound until 9:00am, this had many contestants on edge to begin with. Michael Achterberg, had flown F1C on Tuesday, so he was on hand to help the USA Wakefield Team, and his Sierra Eagles clubmate Jerry Fitch in particular. Jerry had worked hard to prepare for this day. He went to Domsod to test fly on Saturday. He brought with him four F1B Wakefields, two were new, the others had been campaigned throughout the USA Team Trials; one of these was the Andrjukov AA-26, purchased on the field at the 1993 WC. The new F1Bs were designed, and developed over the past two years, working with Mike Achterberg, and Ken Oliver who made the composites. These new F1B had been thoroughly tested, and evaluated by Jerry, and his club-mates Michael Achterberg, and Erik Ryan . Here at Domsod, Jerry put in at least 100 test flights, using some of the 200 pull tested "FAI" TAN rubber motors he had prepared. Today when the horn sounded Jerry was ready. Walt Ghio manned the meteorological instruments for the USA Team. Jerry wound up, and waited to confer with Walt, ratcheting-in additional turns... The motor burst (!) in the fuselage! No problem. Jerry prepared his number two F1B. Ready again, he cranked in more turns through the ratchet stop, checked the adjustments, and heard Walt say "...if it were up to me, I'd go now", so Jerry launched, and got a 210 second maximum.
By the end of round 3, Jerry had his number 8 F1B back on line, and ready to fly. Rounds 1 through 7 were almost routine for Jerry, and for thirty-seven other contestants. Throughout the day, the weather conditions had been less of a factor than it had been on the other forty-one occasions recalled here.
ROUND 8: The 300 second fly-off round, 7:15pm. 37 contestants began to wind with the sound of the horn. Alexander Andrjukov with his usual proficiency wound-up his "FAI" rubber to about 410 turns, checked his adjustments, tweaking the set screw on the stabilizer hammer, and javelin launched his F1B. It was a perfect climb, reaching the usual 400 feet it always did, on the prop for 100 seconds at least. Then the transition into the glide pattern.... a stalling glide pattern! Alex cursed his luck out loud. He would not repeat his run for a third consecutive Cup today. His F1B was down in 293 seconds, 7 seconds short of the max, and out for two more years. Jerry Fitch was among the twenty contestants who maxed the round, Louis Joyner was not.
ROUND 9: The 420 second round, and the last round that could possibly be flown today. It was 8:00pm and it was growing dark, visibility was not good. Only nine contestants maxed the round, and Jerry Fitch was one of them. Jerry McGlashen was out along with twenty-five others. Tomorrow all the world would know who the 1995 Wakefield Champion would be, so try and sleep on that Dieter, Mario, Viktors, Radik, Mihaly, Anselmo, Igor, Andrei, and Jerry, sweet dreams...
ROUND 10: Thursday, July 25, dawned clear, and mild. By 7:00am when the horn startled everyone, to open the round, Walt Ghio was ready at the meteorological instruments. Jerry Fitch had prepared early this morning, and with the light from automobile headlights he put up four test flights to test the glide in JF-8. The clockwork timer had failed, and Randy Archer cleaned it so that Jerry could begin preparations to fly. As the cacophonous sound faded, Jerry Fitch began putting knots onto his "FAI" TAN II, the maximum turns, "...all or nothing at all." 450 TURNS ! The launch window was only fifteen minutes, no sense waiting. The launch line had been moved to a sloped bank area, making the footing unsure. The weather was clear skies, with winds aloft at 400 feet of 2-3 mph. Down the flight line all that could be heard was the profound sounds of clashing winder gears, as all nine survivors meshed in the turns.
Krebtov was off first! Followed by "The Favored" Vivchar, then Khuzeyev. Now Roshnoks was up! Followed by Siebenmann. Fitch held, and waited, ratcheting, ratcheting. Ghio spoke, as he studied the instruments, "...if it were..." Jerry launched "...me "At the DPR it snapped on the propeller, then it kept climbing through the torque, higher, higher, and higher. Straight up, no turns to 400 feet, than nose up to the right, as the last knots came out of the rubber motor.
Now the glide. Siebenmann was down first, with 390 seconds. Then Kunsterle with 405 seconds. Then Rosonoks 410 seconds. Then Khuzeyev 418 seconds. Then Varadi 423 seconds. Zeri 440 seconds. Vivchar 442 seconds. Khrebkov 446 seconds. Then Jerry Fitch of the United States of America 479 seconds, the 1995 Wakefield International Cup World Champion.
NFFS Aug/Sep 1995, WC Jerry Fitch and US Power Team
Lost Hills are just that, when the winds blows and the dust rolls, the Hills are Lost. Chase a Wakefield across the field, to the west, through swale and gully, turn back after it DTs, and you too may be lost! Seven miles square of Free Flight Heaven! Into this environment of snakes, tarantulas, and scorpions, came 230 contestants from 37 Nations. Because a motorcycle is so essential to the retrieval of aeromodels, many simpatico aeromodellers who were not flying volunteered not only their motorcycles, but often themselves to chase down Wakefields for all contestants. This World Championship was a volunteer effort that was coordinated by the Southern California Aero Club (SCAT), AMA, and NFFS. Full credit must be given to these organizations for conceiving, and organizing this demanding, and often overwhelming Free Fight event.
The reigning Wakefield World Champion Alexander Andrjukov was there to defend his title, but this year for the Ukraine, the CCCP no longer existed. Flying for team Ukraine was a past veteran, attending his fourth WC, Evgeny Gorban, with him was Vivchar, and Blachevich. Team Russia included Burdov, Khreb, and Feodorov. All of these contestants when they were not flying their F1Bs spent time in the sales tent selling parts, and accessories to the throng (mostly Americans) who were more than eager to part with dollars. The buying frenzy often included whole, ready to fly F1Bs, thus was born the phrase "..go'n Russian", in the parlance of the Wakefield community.
Tony Mathews was back with team Canada, he was second to Andrjukov in 1991, with him was Douglas Rowsell, and Cameron Ackerly. The Canadian team were fielding very interesting F1Bs that can only be described as simple high tech aeromodels. Team USA was led by George Xenakis, attending his fifth WC since 1967, something of a record, with him was Chris Matsuno a veteran in his first WC, and Fred Pearce. Friday, October 8 was Wakefield day.
ROUND 1-7: The pre-fly-off rounds, did not get under way as was scheduled at 7:55am. The FlA fly-off superseded the start. This day began as most do in Lost Hills: hot, calm, clear, and very dry. This would be a 210 second round, and with the delay hooking onto a stray thermal should have been easy, but twenty-six contestants missed the max, and for sure were out of this contest. The rest of the rounds were all for 180 second maximum, and normally this is when all kinds of stuff happens, mostly concerning thermal detection. The thermals at Lost Hills are often described as "broom stick" shaped, smaller at the bottom. The presence of thermals are detected by all manners of instruments, and devices, some electronic, others soap bubbles, or weedy cattails. None of this stuff when applied to thermal detection can be described as absolute, it all requires guess work. When a "broom stick" goes by it can make all of these detection devices go off, giving what may be a deceiving "positive" reading. Many times a massive launch occurs at Lost Hills when this phenomenon occurs, and what is thought of as lift, is in fact the opposite, down air. Many "experts", or people who should know better dropped a round or two because they misread their instruments. This included the 1989 WC Eugeniusz Cofalik. Twenty-six contestants did make it into the fly-offs, including the 1991 WC Alexander Andrjukov, and so was his shadow Tony Mathews.
ROUND 8: The 300 second fly-off, opened at 7:30pm, and four contestants dropped this round including Chris Matsuno, but Fred Pearce was still in the fly-offs representing team USA. Round 9 would be started tomorrow morning. Alexander test-stretched "FAI" rubber long into the night.
ROUND 9: This would be a 600 second round, beginning at 7:10am. As the horn sounded to open the round all twenty-two contestants got ready to fly. It was overcast, and a slight drift came in from the west, from the Pacific Ocean. The air was buoyant, and the sun was beaming through the breaks in the cloud layer. I watched as Fred Pearce launched, and then I ran to the west end of the line, just in time to watch Andrjukov preparing to launch. His F1B was on the winding stand, the fuselage was wrapped in an electric warming blanket. He began to wind-up his best "FAI" rubber motor, finishing at 450 turns. Off the stand he ratcheted-in about 20 more turns, and removed the warming blanket. Deliberately placing his Wakefield overhead, he now ran forward a few steps, and launched it straight up with a hard javelin throw. At about twenty feet the DPR snapped in, and the propeller thrust took the aeromodel straight up, with no turn, to 400 feet, where it continued to cruise, nose up for 110 seconds on the prop. Now at 500 feet it transitioned into the glide pattern, circling to the right in at least 700 foot circles. Andrjukov's Wakefield continued on, as all the others clocked in well below the 600 second max. Still it continued to glide in the buoyant morning air. Then it was over, a cheer came up all around the field. The time? 535 seconds! Almost nine minutes. Alexander Andrjukov had won the Wakefield Cup for the Ukraine. Repeating as a two time winner, next to such Champions as Joe Ehrhardt 1930 and '31, Gordon S Light 1932 and '35.
A new transaction took place on the field, Alexander sold his winning F1B, AA-26, to Jerry Fitch for an undisclosed sum of money. Meanwhile the feeding frenzy increased as anything Ukrainian doubled in value at the now expanded sales tent near the processing center. Everything they owned including the clothing on their backs was: FOR SALE. FOR GREEN BACKS: parts, whole FlBs, hats, pants, shirts, underware, you want it?
In the June/July 1996 Digest appeared the following ad:
The one "they" don't want you to have. Get it in time for the finals. The education you'll get from this model is worth the price, even if you never fly it. $1500. Jerry Fitch (916) 391 5516.
NFFS Nov 1993, Power and Wakefield