Video Review - The Cream of Europe's Model Aircraft & Pilots!

Top Gun Germany 2001 From Air Video Fred
By Peter Dennis - Flying Sites Editor

Nordheim's Flying SiteThe latest offering from the Dublin based Air Video Fred (AVF) is a 100 minute video of last year's Top Gun Germany 2001 event.

Fred Harno and his team travelled to the Nordheim Model Flying Club to witness some of Europe's best model aircraft. Nordheim is situated in the Roehn region, about an hour north east of Frankfurt, near the famous German gliding centre of Wasserkuppe. At the start of this video Fred gives us a brief view of the gliding site and the fascinating museum there. It looks well worth a visit if you're in the area!

Moving onto the main showground and all I can say is that the Nordheim Club must have one of the best flying sites I have ever seen. Set in the rolling German countryside, they have their own tarmac strip with ample well-mown grass all around. Beyond the runway, the ground slips away into a dip. This made for some interesting flying, as we shall see later. Further away L39 Albatrosagain, is a small forest, but, as many of you will know, depth perception can be a funny thing, as one pilot found out. With a gentle breeze, glorious sunshine and cotton wool cumulus clouds, one could be forgiven for thinking you had died and gone to heaven!

After the formalities of registration and frequency control the flying gets going with Ulli Richter's Super Constellation. The four-engined Constellation has a span of 4.5 metres and weighed 19.5 kg, but it soon covered the blue sky with the first flight of the day.

Aircraft of all types where on show at Nordheim. From a very large Fokker Dr1 to the latest turbine powered modern jets. Aircraft of the future were also displayed, with some concept designs like the Gulfstream Sukhoi experimental business jet, that are only currently on the drawing board in their full size guise.

KlemmThe 6 metre span Klemm 35 has got to be the biggest electric model I've every seen! Two Ultra electric motors and no less than 28 3000mAh Nicad batteries power the Klemm! It was flown very slowly and gracefully by pilot F. Schmid.

There were many examples of turbine-powered aircraft, from the diminutive Starfighter to passenger liners such as the Airbus 330 and even a twin turbined Concorde, complete with drooping nose!

The dip in the ground I mentioned earlier came into it's own with the aerobatic pilots. Along with the prop hanging of the Extras and the Zlins, several pilots found that they could knife edge lower and lower into the dip until they disappeared out of sight for a couple of seconds. Most disorientating.

Lucky Escape!There where a couple of mishaps with models tripping themselves up when landing speeds had not been reduced. One model even disappeared into the long grass at the end of the runway. But the best candidate for 'Getting Out Of Jail Free' must have been the flight of the turbine powered L39 Albatross of Stefan Voelker. Remember those trees I mentioned and the problems of depth perception? It can even happen to a World Champion. After a low and very fast pass down the runway Stefan pulled a hard left turn in what he must thought was in front of the distant forest. I can only image his thoughts as all of a sudden the aircraft was flashing past, behind the tree line! He kept his nerve though and had the presents of mind to roll level and pull out! It couldn't have helped his laundry bill though!

Prop HangingAVF have once again captured the atmosphere of this great event. The camerawork is excellent and all relevant information and details are captioned to inform the viewer of what's going on. There is plenty of detail with close up shots of the aircraft in the pits area, many uncowled, so we can see just what makes them tick.

Several of the aircraft and pilots appeared in the La Ferte Alais video, but this is to be expected when the cream of European modelling gather at such events. All the interesting moments are replayed in slow motion, from collapsing undercarriages to the death defying forest escape! Fred and his team have caught it all on camera. For the model enthusiast, this video is well worth the Euro 20.29 (approx £13 UK) asking price.

We can only marvel at the models and the skills of these pilots and wish we had a flying site like the Nordheim club. Perhaps I should emigrate to Germany!

Please mention 'Flying Sites' when contacting Air Video Fred.



Video Cover

Info Panel
Available from:
33 Dornden Park
Co. Dublin
Running Time
Code: V1010
(Other formats available)
Euro 20.29