Top Scale Flyers Compete For Masters

Cotswold Scale Masters 2001

Harvard & ZeroSunday 8th of July was at least dry, after a week of torrential downpours and thunderstorms. However, the wind was gusting between 10 and 15 mph as Duncan Hutson, Contest Director for the day, called together the eleven entrants for pilots briefing.

Due to the disappointing number of entries, Duncan had to abandon plans to run a Designer Scale competition in parallel with the main event. The main event was, Duncan informed us, to be run on BMFA guidelines with 1/3rd of the points awarded for static judging will the other 2/3rds going on the flying marks.

Flyers had to complete the compulsory manoeuvres of take off, straight & level flight, a figure of eight and an approach & landing, the descending circle manoeuvre having been dropped. To complete their flights pilots had to also fly five optional manoeuvres.

John Thomas & Miles SparrowhawkFirst Up!
First up was John Thomas of Swansea. John usually flies a ¼ scale Tiger Moth from the Duncan Hutson Models stable. But on leaving home and seeing the conditions John opted to bring along his Miles Sparrowhawk. This aircraft, he felt, would better handle the conditions of the day.

The model is ¼ scale with a wingspan of 84". Built from a Phillip Kent plan, the Laser 150 powered model is covered in 1/64th ply then finally covered with tissue to give the all metal skinned effect of the 1935 King's Cup competitor on which this model is based.

The Sparrowhawk is only in it's second year of competition having had only fifteen to twenty flights to date. John was a little disappointed with his static score, the judges felt that there wasn't enough colour/paint detail on his model.

Martin Fardell's Douglas 0-38Great Authority
Martin Fardell was next to fly. A stalwart of many scale events, Martin is currently flying a Douglas 0-38. The original Douglas 0-38 was derived from the 0-2 that won the important Air Service Observation Plane competition of 1924. The 0-38 was powered by a Pratt & Whitney Hornet engine and served right up to the outbreak of the Second World War. Martin's model is built to 1:4.8 scale, and has a wingspan of 100" The aircraft flew around the sky with great authority and in a most realistic way, powered by Laser 150. The only trouble Martin encountered was when he tried to reproduce a 'Lazy 8' as one of his optional manoeuvres. The Douglas not quiet having enough air speed to get through the downwind section of the manoeuvre. However, the model did gain Martin one of the top flying marks for the day.

Vought OS 2U KingfisherJeff Hartnoll, also from Swansea had brought along his Vought OS 2U Kingfisher. Powered by a Laser 300V and built to 1/5th scale, this model is still only in it's second year of competition, having debuted at last year's 'Nationals'. Built from a Brian Taylor plan, Jeff scaled it up by 50%. He also produced the fibre glass cowlings and covered the model with tissue. Finally he painted the Kingfisher with Humbrol enamels. Although only producing an average score in the static judging circle, Jeff put in two excellent flights that would, by the end of the day gain him second place. Jeff and fellow Swansea compatriot John Thomas, were encouraging and helping each other all day. A reflection on the friendly atmosphere at scale events!

Auster J1 Autocrat in Static JudgingFirst Event
Competing in his very first scale event Richard Hawke entered no less than two scale models! The first was a highly detailed Auster J1 Autocrat.

Built to Richard's own design, the 1/5th scale Autocrat weighed in at 8lbs and is powered by a Laser 80, using Futaba radio gear. The judges felt that the model was finished to a very high standard and this was reflected in the static marks awarded for the Autocrat.

Richard's second model was of the prototype Spitfire. The prototype fighter, serial number K5054, was completed at Supermarine's Woolston works in Southhampton, at the end of February 1936. It made it's maiden flight from nearby Eastleigh Aerodrome in the hands of 'Mutt' Summers early on the morning of Prototype Spitfire K5054March 5th, watched by designer R.J. Mitchell and a number of company directors and staff. The prototype underwent Service trials at Martlesham Heath during April, and early the following month it was officially named the Spitfire.

Again an own design by Richard, his Spitfire has a wingspan of 74", and is built to 1/6 scale. Richard uses Skyleader radio for this model and it weighs 14lbs, powered by a Laser 100. Richard was burning the midnight oil the night before, preparing the wide bladed scale prop ready for static judging. And very effective it looked too.

Richard again scored good static marks with the Spitfire, but due to the windy conditions, opted to fly each model only once. This decision meant that Richard would loose any second round flight points, all of which made up the final score. In spite of this Richard scored well in his debut competition. Look out for Richard at future events.

HarvardNo Response
Immense disappointment befell Brian Wood and his Harvard. After experiencing undercarriage problems during his morning flight, Brian under took some remedial work including taking the wing off during the lunchtime break. During the take off phase of his second round flight Brian had no aileron response and the model crashed in to grass at the edge of the runway. Competitors and judges speculated that Brian may have reversed or even not reconnected the ailerons during his repairs. A great pity as the Harvard was lying third after static judging.

Richard Crapp & WacoHow The Cuban 8 Was Invented
One of the larger models on show was the Waco built by Richard Crapp. Built to ¼ scale Richard's model has a span of 103". The Laser 300V powered Waco was based on a plan from SIG's retired Chief Designer Claude McColough. Richard had an interesting tale to tell about one of the Waco's more famous pilots, Colonel Len Povey.

During the year of 1936, Len Povey was performing aerobatics at the "All American Show" at Miami, Florida and by accident invented a new revolutionary and exciting manoeuvre.

WacoPovey was going to make as an extra manoeuvre three aileron rolls in the top of a loop. Realising that in the top of the loop he had 140 mph, too much speed to perform the loops he decided to continue the loop and immediately a half roll and repeated the manoeuvre in other to make a flat "8". Upon landing, James Doolitle (later a General of great fame on account of the Tokyo Raid) who was one of the judges questioned Povey. Asked if that was his extra manoeuvre, to which Povey replied, that it was. When asked about the name of such manoeuvre, Povey casually replied "a Cuban 8". This manoeuvre became one of the most important manoeuvres of co-ordination for future pilots.

Richard's model gained second place in the static judging and during its two flights handled the gusty conditions with easy. With his second flight score improving on his first, Richard was unlucky to be pipped into third place.

ZeroThe Real Thing
Flying into a very creditable 6th place overall, was Chris Harrison's Mitsubishi Zero. Scoring well, the Zero was placed 4th by the static judges. The model with a span of 96" looked every each the real thing as Chris brought it in for a low pass (straight & level). Built from a Graham Hughes plan, the Super Tigre 3000 powered model is controlled by Futaba radio gear and at 1/5 scale, weighs 20lbs.

The Star Of The Show
The star of the show was, not suprisingly, Brian Taylor's Boeing PT17 Stearman. This model debuted at the Woodvale show last year, winning that event and a few weeks later it was winning again, this time at the 'Nationals'.

Engine Detail - PT17 StearmanBrian's model has a wingspan of 76" and comes in at a fraction under 1/5th scale. The scale was determined by the size of Dubro wheels that were available! The Stearman weighs in at 15 1/2 lbs. and is powered by a Laser 150 four stroke engine turning a 16 x 8 APC prop. The detail and level of workmanship is something to behold! The model is of a balsa and ply construction featuring working main undercarriage oleos, GRP front cowlings and an immaculately modelled dummy engine.

Brian did however, have a 'moment' during his second round flight, when one of his optional manoeuvres, a reversal, went wrong. Brian decided to try and roll in the opposite direction his normal way! The Stearman still took top marks in both flying rounds as well as top marks in the static judging ring.

Take Off - Brian Taylor's StearmanSo, when the points had been ably calculated, by Duncan's wife, the results were announced. The end of a friendly days' flying and some of the best models in the UK on show made the Cotswold Scale Masters a great day out.

Now, lets try and get the 'Flying Sites' Tiger Moth up to standard and next year… well maybe!


Cotswold Scale Masters - Results
Pos. Name Model Static Flight 1 Flight 2 Total
1st Brian Taylor Boeing Stearman PT17 539.25 515 509.50 1563.75
2nd Jeff Hartnoll Vought OS2U Kingfisher 476 474 496.50 1446.50
3rd Richard Crapp Waco 514.75 460 454 1428.75
4th Martin Fardell Douglas 0-38 496 423.50 508.50 1428
5th Colin Moss Beech Staggerwing D175 472 434.50 475 1381.50
6th Chris Harrison Mitsubishi Zero 498.50 410.50 467.50 1376.50
7th Alan King P51D Mustang 483.25 483 410 1376.25
8th John Thomas Miles Sparrowhawk 451.75 422.50 411.50 1285.75
9th Brian Wood Harvard 505.25 424 - 929.25
10th Richard Hawke Spitfire Mk 1 472.75 431.25 - 904
11th Richard Hawke Auster J1 Autocrat 486.75 345.50 - 832.25


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Written & Photographed by
Peter Dennis
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