The Way we were - Pylon Nostalgia
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May 10, 2010
, 04:21 PM
Emperor of Speed!
West Country UK
Joined Jul 2006
In September '81 I was invited to a round of the German F3D championship by Achim Schaller. Achim was at that time a designer for Black and Decker and he often combined a work trip abroad with a pylon race. He was a regular competitor at The British National Championships and usually made the semis as well as racing in Italy and Czechoslovakia.
The race was held outside Munich next to a Nuclear reprocessing plant! I guess noise wasn't a problem because there wasn't anyone around. Like all German meetings it was very well organised. There were Quickie 500 and electric races in addition to F3D. The Germans had a rather novel way of looking at Quickie as their rules only required a standard .40 engine with the standard exhaust. To most of them this meant a standard OPS pylon engine with a tuned pipe! The result was that they were nearly as fast as the F3D models. At that time electric fight in Britain was in its infancy and mostly consisted of small underpowered aircraft powered by a Mabuchi 540 motor and eight nicad cells. In fact prior to the introduction of nicads electric flight was barely possible. The German electric racers had powerful motors and a brick containing 28 nicad cells. This made them quite fast. They were hand launched. The fuselage was a little longer than a Club 20 and had high aspect ratio wings. Compared to todays electric racers they would be slow but back then 110 seconds for the standard F3D course would have been un heard of.
The first photo is of Achim and his wife Suzy. The second shows a pylon at the event. Nice and visible to the pilots. The third shows a father and son team about to start their motor. The fourth shows a group of Q500 competitors. Is Quickie 500 the worlds most enduring class?
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