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Taft, California, the United States of America, even in October, is a hot, dry, and very dusty place due to the wind, and or "dust devils". These atmospheric phenomenon will take the wings and tail off of any F1B, while stuffing the fuselage with dirt, the kind that grinds up rubber. Also aeromodels have a tendency to dry out, and lose weight in this environment, especially after 10 rounds of flying.
Apparently warnings were given during processing about this problem of aeromodel dehydration, but what could be done about it? The weather at Taft is tricky after late morning, your thermister will indicate the presence of thermal activity, and you may "buy" into it, and decide to launch, but what you launched into is a thermal shaped like a "broom stick", with the broom head already well beyond the spot where you launched from. Now you can only watch helplessly as your F1B comes gliding down in less than 180 seconds. With all this advice, contestants from (N), (QE), (VH), (C), (ZK), (B), (I), (F), (QY), (B), (J), (LV), (SE), (JIB), (PH), (D), (PP), (OH), (XA), (EC), (YV), (LN), and (4X) prepared for the best. Where was (P), (CCCP), (DDR), (HA), (SP), (OK), (L), (CU), and (YR)? Kim Dong Sik, the 1977 Wakefield World Champion of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, had attended the WC since 1973! Good ole boy politics?
ROUND 1-7: Sunday, October 7, was clear and warm at 8:30am in the morning at Taft, the home of the "Kitty Litter" Plant. Forty-one, of the sixty-three F1B contestants, got a close-up view of the Plant, as they chased their aeromodels, for their first round 180 second max. Then thirty-four in round two made it. 35 in Round 3, 45 in Round 4, 45 in Round 5, 37 in Round 6, 38 in Round 7. Now believe or not, there were only five left in the fly-off. There could have been seven, but G Cassi of Italy missed the fly-off by one second.
ROUND 8: At 3:45pm the temperature on the field was an even 90 degrees F, and as the horn sounded Paul Lagan of New Zealand was the first off. Then Pollard GB, trailed by Zachhalmel (Austria) and O'Grady (Canada). Ben Itzhak (Israel) launched next, while Van Leuven (Australia) burst his motor, and just got airborne as the round closed. Only four survive this round, Lagan and Pollard are out.
ROUND 9: The temperature had now fallen to 75F. At 4:15pm the round opened. Ben Itzhak began by bursting a motor while Van Leuven launched into good lift. Zachhalmel is away also, and he too climbed up, and centered into a thermal. O'Grady launched, but his hand got into the way of the propeller, and sheared off both blades. Was it an attempted flight? O'Grady quickly readied his back-up F1B. His lame F1B meanwhile clocked in 284 seconds in good lift. Ben-Itzhak is away now. The field judges call O'Grady's flight an attempt, and he is allowed to fly again. This time he is down in 237 seconds, O'Grady will be third today. THIRD? What about Zachhalmel?
ROUND 10: This round will start at 5:45pm, it will be a 360 second round. The air was not "hostile" as some referred to it, but six minutes is doing "hard time". Thinking they had picked good air, Van Leuven and Zachhalmel launch together. Down line Ben Itzhak, son of the desert, watched his thermal detector, and waited. Not yet, not yet, let it build. Above, the air which seemed so right for Van Leuven and Zachhalmel, now brought their F1Bs down, and landed them in the gray dust in 124 and 144 seconds. Ben Itzhak now launched his F1B. The world watched as "floater" circled above. One minute. Two. Three. Four. Five. SIX MINUTES! All of the fly-off aeromodels were immediately impounded by the contest officials for inspection. There is a problem. One of the F1B is one gram under the required 190 gram minimum! Dehydration? Hans Zachhalmel (Austria) is disqualified! All of his flights are scored as "ZERO"! Meanwhile Thomas Koster has now become the F1A, F1B, and F1C WC! A first in the World Championships ever!
|Place||Name||Country||Round 1-7||Round 8||Round 9||Round 10|
|1||I Ben Izhak||ISR||1260||240||300||360|
|2||P Van Leuven||AUS||1260||240||300||124|
|Access full results|
|1979 Team Results for Penaud Cup|
|Place||Country||Abbreviation||Total||Team member places|
NFFS 1979 FF WC Report
Aeromodeller, Jan 1980, 1979 FF WC
NFFS Sep/Oct 1979, WC 1979
Aeromodeller, Mar 1980, 1979 FF WC Technical Review
Music: "What a Fool Believes"; Literature: "Sophie.s Choice"; Cine: "Apocalypse Now"; John Wayne dead