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Old May 11, 2010, 04:50 PM
Emperor of Speed!
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This shows a typical German electric racer of the period. The next photo shows the guts. The entire underwing area was filled with nicads! Brushless motors hadn't been invented. The throttle was a servo controlled relay. It had two speeds - on and off. The third photo shows the IFM Munchen's flying site used for the pylon race meeting. The club house was very grand and included a control tower, a wurst cafe and a fully stocked bar. The club had never had anyone over from Britain before and they presented me with two steins to put my beer into. I've still got them. Note the large number of spectators.
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Old May 13, 2010, 04:56 PM
Emperor of Speed!
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The F3D final in Munich saw a pretty tight race between Victor Cassutt, Manfred Pick and Thomas Lindemann. Victor won and with it he won the prestigious Deutschen Meisterschaft fur Pylon. Manfred was second and Thomas was third. After the race was over, Victor put on a spectacular aerobatic display with his model - all flown at full throttle of course until the fuel ran out. That generation of F3D had a big wing area and they were very capable of aerobatics. As he glided in for a perfect touchdown he had the misfortune to run into his flight box which his caller had forgotten to remove from the runway! That's why his model has a damaged wing in the photo of the finalists. These pictures are all in black and white because that's the only way that editors would accept them in those days.
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Old May 19, 2010, 04:02 PM
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More FAI pylon action from the Nats in 1981. In the first photo i appear to be replacing the silicone tubing on the tuned pipe. Model is a Mako with an
HP40. The other guy is my caller Jon Mock. During one of the heats I was just rounding the number one pylon when I heard the characteristic wheeee-whack and then a tinkle tinkle noise. It appeared to be about 10 feet behind us! "What the hell was that?" I asked Jon. "That was Tony Thomas hitting the runway" he replied as I rounded the base pylons. "What was the tinkling noise?". "That was his tuned pipe rolling down the runway". In the semis I had a monumental scrap with Alan Kettley who was one of the best pylon pilots around at the time. Taff Smith and Tony Racz had a midair almost immediately which left just us two. Have you ever been in a race with a more skilful pilot with a faster model but you're still determined to get in front? Well the red mist descended and I tried to stay in front at all costs which resulted in two cuts and a DQ.
Final photo shows trophy time. I think John Jones the then SMAE chairman is presenting the prizes. Pre BMFA.
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Old May 20, 2010, 05:43 PM
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This brings back memories. I used to attend these races as a youth with my dad back in the day.
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Old May 21, 2010, 06:02 PM
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1981 was the end of an era for F3D pylon racing. The specification had been loosely based on the American Formula two class. But the Americans weren't taking part. I have to say I don't blame them. When you could race very fast and relatively reliable Formula One why would you want to bother?
The C.I.A.M. in its wisdom decided to change the model specification to a more scale like class with the model size approximating to the American Formula One spec. The models had to be a recognisable replica of a full size racing aircraft. After giving it some thought my racing partner and I decided to design a 'Miss RJ' Mustang. To get the motor in and more importantly the tuned pipe we had to raise the wing an inch. Greg produced a beautiful prototype made from plywood. It was painted white and had the logo and stripe in orange exactly like the real thing. It flew beautifully. We then took it to the BMPRA AGM to have it approved because we didn't want to go to the trouble of making moulds and then have it excluded. The BMPRA committee huffed and puffed and excluded it because they said the raising the wing made it unrecognisable and it would never be accepted by an international body. So we designed and made the moulds for the ugly brute shown below. This was another 'Miss RJ' in which the tuned pipe came out of the side of the fuselage. This created a myriad of problems with squeezing the tank in, heat build up etc. It didn't fly very nicely either so initially I flew a couple of Cotswold Midget Mustangs instead that year.

The pictures show the finished model. Of course when we got to Italy that year virtually the entire Czech team and some Italians were flying midwing Mustangs but that's another story. Within a few years the scale requirement would be dropped completely.
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Old Jun 07, 2010, 04:16 PM
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In 1982 a commitee headed by Dave Tappin and Taff Smith organised an international meeting for the new F3D pylon class. Initially there weren't many options available. Most models were either rip-offs of Prather Little Toni or Violett Polecat kits or the newly introduced Cotswold Midget Mustang kit. As the American Formula One kits already fitted the new rules and were a known quantity this was a logical move. The then BMPRA committee were against this meeting and refused to take part. About 40 competitors chose to race.
They say you can hold a pylon race anywhere ONCE! The spot chosen was the magnificent setting of Harewood House outside Harrogate. The flying site was extremely tight for FAI models and the proximity of a large tree close to the number two pylon made for very fast tight flying. The British record was broken on several occasions. So tight in fact that the German competitors demanded a cross-wind runway. The site was a natural amphitheatre and ideal for spectators of which several hundreds turned up.
In a way I'm surprised that the estate agreed to it and Lady Harwood was less than pleased by the German team running engines at 7.00 on Sunday morning. She was even less pleased when one of the competitors lost control during the final. The model plunged into the aviary where it impaled an unsuspecting emu. The culprit reappeared with an OPS engine covered in blood and feathers. "Hasn't damaged the motor at all" he said. After that all model flying on the estate was suspended almost indefinitely.

Because the event was so large the AA went to the trouble of making special road signs. The second photo shows Greg Ashton doing what most pylon racers do. Sorting out a prop. He and I were the first to make carbon fibre pylon props in Britain and we went to the trouble of making aluminium moulds. He still has them. The third photo is of 'Taff' Smith and his caller with a Violett Polecat. Motor is a K&B 40 RIRE. The fourth photo is of Lynn Bristow with his two Tonis both with OPS engines. The fifth photo is of a group of competitors posing in a group photo. At back L-R Giles Jackson, Taff Smith. Middle row L-R Marcus Griggs, Bill Rutherford, Eric Miller, Don Beaumont. Front row L-R I think is Walter Brenner, Lothar Steinbiss, Manfred Pick and Guy Brouquieres.
The sixth photo is Back row L-R Mick Burrell, Bernie O'Connor?, Alan Laurie, Paul Bowman, Paul Careless. Kneeling L-R Ray Herbert?, Thomas Lindemann, Lothar Messer?, Lynn Bristow, Tony Racz.
Paul Bowman was training to be a RAF fast jet pilot on Hawks at the time and missed Saturdays races due to service commitments. He raced right through the night, doubled up whenever anyone retired and qualified for the semis. By dint of some neat fast flying Manfred Pick won the final from Victor Cassutt, Ernst Waltschek, and Marcus Griggs. Alan Kettley set a new British record of 1.22 or about 20 seconds slower than they now fly.
The final image is of the front of the events program. I estimate over a thousand spectators came during the weekend and this gave them an idea of what it was all about.
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Old Jun 07, 2010, 04:30 PM
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Great thread. Keep the Old pictures coming.

The third picture looks like it could be a Miss Dara.

DK
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Old Jun 08, 2010, 12:00 PM
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You might well be right. Next up lots of Formula One from the States. I hope others will feel free to add to this thread. It wasn't supposed to be a personal monologue.
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Old Jun 08, 2010, 12:09 PM
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Bill Rutherford who we saw in one of the photos in the last post was a well known Californian racer who came to Britain for 3-4 years. He was an airline pilot flying DC-8s for a US airline and he naturally gravitated from Formula One to F3D. His caller was his daughter and when she returned to the states she carried on pylon racing and eventually married another racer. Can't remember your name Miss Rutherford!

Underneath is a picture of one of 'Taff' Smith's current rides - a Mk 14 Spitfire. The red rudder to the left may be from his P51. These are real aircraft not models!
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Old Jun 08, 2010, 11:19 PM
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DK,
I know you have some pics, kee them coming! I will ask my dad for a few.
Tim Lime
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Old Jun 09, 2010, 01:01 PM
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Tim,

Pictures... Most of our old pictures got destroyed in a basement flood back in the 90's. I have very few left, I will try to dig up what I have.

Miss Rutherford?? May be Nancy?? She did race with us in the states back in the late 80's early 90's.

DK
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Old Jun 09, 2010, 03:00 PM
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I think it was Nancy Rutherford. She was a good looking girl in a sun kissed Californian way. One of the great things about the racers of the eighties and nineties was how nicely they were finished (models not girls!). I hope we can emulate that with EF-1
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Old Jun 12, 2010, 06:02 PM
Emperor of Speed!
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Few pictures of Formula One racing now. When I got to the States I couldn't believe how obtainable pylon racing goods were. In Britain at that time you had to prise them away from the very few shops that stocked them or use your contacts abroad. Kits were made in a garage if the guy felt like it and you might wait months if he wasn't in the mood or took a dislike to you probably because you kept pestering him. Achim Schaller supplied my Deumo tachometer. My Rev-Up props also came from Germany via Manfred Pick who collected them from the States when he flew there as an airline pilot. Small wonder we started making our own. Different ball game in California at the time. I just walked into my LHS in Mountain View and picked up a Prather Little Toni and a Denight Special and a STX40 and a Prather pitch guage off the shelf!
Most of these pictures are the work of John Headley a semi professional photographer and keen racer from Vancouver. At that time a small group of Canadians used to cross into Washington State and race in the Seattle area. The races were well attended by folks from Oregon and California as well.
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