2015 Indoor Duration Nationals.

This event was held in the fantastic Brabazon hangar at Filton, Bristol over the weekend of 12th to 14th September 2015 - the air conditions were excellent over the whole of Saturday and Sunday but heavy rain on the Monday, with resulting turbulent air conditions, prevented any great improvements on times.

Surprisingly entries were a little down on previous events but a very competitive and enjoyable time was had by all.

With his usual consistent performance in several classes Bob Bailey came out on top as our National Overall Champion, full results for all classes may be found by following this link Indoor Nationals Results 2015.

F1D Team Trials for the 2016 World Championships.

These will also be held in the Brabazon hangar which gives us a great opportunity to fly our models on 1/3 motors to simulate the height available at Slanic. Dates are our usual Wednesdays:- 14th October, 11th November, 9th December 2015.

Best 2 from 3 days scores to count or 1 from 2 should an event be cancelled due to weather etc.

F1D Team Trials Round 1 - 21st October 2015, Brabazon hangar.

After a few beautiful days the weather took a turn very much for the worse the night before the 1st Trials and a heavy rainstorm and wind made for chilly and very humid conditions in the hangar. Flying F1D was therefore tricky with attaining maximum altitude even more important than normal.

The A standard was set at 8.15 and the B standard set at 7.45 using 1/3 motors. After allowing for the weight of the knot and O ring, this gives a maximum allowance of 0.15g for the motor plus O ring.

There were around 6 flying F1D, of which 4 put in a full set of 6 flights; the best two flights determining each contestant’s place.


1 Mark Benns 9.05 + 9.34 18.39 100%

2 Hans Staartjes 8.49 + 8.44 17.33 94.1%

3 Tony Hebb 7.34 + 8.15 15.49 84.8%

4 Martin Judge 5.41 + 6.05 11.46 63.1%

Results are given as a percentage of the leading score (Mark’s) to determine overall placings over the better 2 of 3 Trials.

F1D Team Trials Round 2 - 11th November 2015, Brabazon hangar.

Considering that it was mid November, the weather was reasonably benign, having kept somewhat unseasonably warm but wet over the previous few days. Although humid (75 – 80%), the air was reasonably calm with only gentle drift. Since it was Remembrance Day, all flyers observed the 2 minute silence at 11.00 am and I believe we were all thankful to have done so.

The A and B standards were left at 8.15 and 7.45 using 1/3 motors as before. After allowing for the weight of the knot and O ring, this gives a maximum allowance of 0.15g for the motor plus O ring.

Tony Hebb was unable to attend this time due to other commitments as had been the case for Geoff Lefever for the 1st Trials.

As always, attaining maximum altitude was essential for good flight times. Several flyers who had hoped for better things suffered various problems which prevented them from entering a set of flights and hope for better fortune next time. Sometimes it’s ‘one of those days’. I know the scenario only too well!

3 competitors entered a full set of flights and as before, Mark set a superb standard with his model almost reaching the lights at 65’ plus.


1 Mark Benns 10.02 + 10.08 20.10 100%

2 Hans Staartjes 8.32 + 8.43 17.15 85.5%

3 Geoff Lefever 7.25 + 7.21 14.46 73.2%

Positions after 2 Trials:-

1 Mark Benns 200%

2 Hans Staartjes 179.6%

3 Tony Hebb 84.8%


As for the November meeting we were spared violent wind and rain, enabling everyone to make it safely to the hangar. The conditions were chilly (about 11 deg C), similar to that in those to be expected in the mine which will be the venue for next year’s World Championships. After some early drift, the air settled during the day and was not too turbulent. However, the air movement provided a stringent test of the models’ stability.

The very fast spiral climbs were most impressive to see and Mark achieved what seemed hardly possible in that his model hung up on a gantry on the last flight. Normally inaccessible to a balloon, this problem was solved by strapping a section of roach pole to the side of the balloon, thereby enabling the model to be poked out. The model was safely retrieved with damage that was minimal, considering the circumstances.

Once again, Mark set a superb standard with his model making maximum use of the altitude available. Hans managed a dramatic improvement in flight times using a new prop. This has a boron reinforced outline and a short spar compared with the conventional structure which has a full diameter spar. The resulting improvement proved to be just enough to give him 2nd place overall.
Results of the 3rd Trials.

1 Mark Benns 9.47 + 9.32 19.19 100%

2 Tony Hebb 9.23 + 9.21 18.44 97.0%

3 Hans Staartjes 9.25 + 9.12 18.37 96.4%

Overall results are given for each competitor’s score as a percentage of the best score for that day. This system allows for variation in conditions between one day and another. The best two scores added together gives each competitors overall place.

1st Trials 2nd Trials 3rd Trials Total

1 Mark Benns 100 100 100 200

2 Hans Staartjes 94.1 85.5 96.4 190.5

3 Tony Hebb 84.8 - 97.0 181.8

4 Geoff Lefever 73.2 - - 73.2

5 Martin Judge 63.1 - - 63.1

Congratulations to our strong team of Mark, Tony and Hans for excellent performances and we wish them every success at the World Champs next April.

2015 F1D European Championships – Slanic Prahova, 30th March to 1st April.

The Team Manager for this event is the widely experienced Derek Richards.

The team comprises Mark Benns, Tony Hebb and Hans Staartjes. Hans progressed through the recent F1D mentoring scheme and qualified at the Team trials in November 2014 - not bad for his first year flying!

This year due to difficulties with the lift winding gear the Championships were to be held in the lower mine – Unirea - which had not been previously used as a competitive venue. In addition we had the 2015 New Rules to contend with which had increased the model weight to 1.4 grams and reduced the rubber motor size to 400 milligrams. Reports had filtered through of very long flights being accomplished which we could not really understand from our previous experience in the mine with reduced power output due to the chilly (11 degrees) conditions. We would soon find out......

Unlike the previous year the weather “up top” was cold and dismal though in the mine, as promised, conditions were cool but pretty well ideal.

The British team arrived with 3 days for preparation and though the days were shorter than we had hoped for we all managed to prepare our models without too many mishaps.

Unfortunately we could immediately see that the top flyers from Romania and Hungary had hit upon using smaller propellers with thinner rubber which allowed their models to climb much higher than ours – hence the longer durations. The available height is about 165’, I didn’t see anyone scrubbing the narrow ceiling though, it was prudent to stay below the catwalks at around 160’. But of course getting to even this height was quite a challenge!

My own model performed well throughout but never quite got the necessary height, this was certainly in part due to its’ reluctance to launch on high torque.

Mark had a couple of motorsticks fail which essentially took out his best models, hence was always trying to re-establish trim on his reserve models. Great pity as he could launch on high torque and the models had a steep climb.

Hans had a couple of things break but kept at it with essential repairs and ended with a good result, much learned I’m sure he will admit. His model had a great climb together with a nice let down.

2014 Indoor Nationals.

A report covering this event may be found here and a spreadsheet of the results here.

Rule change for Indoor Nationals and other duration events.

Although it has been our practise for some years now, due to changes in the BMFA rulebook, the ITC felt it best to instigate the following rule amendment covering all domestic indoor duration events.


The current BMFA Rulebook refers to the FAI Sporting Code (SC) Section 4 Volume F1for timing of flights. In Section 3.4.9, the SC stipulates that all flights shall be timed by 2 timekeepers with electronic stopwatches recording to 1/100 sec.

For most domestic Indoor contests, the number of contestants is quite small so that it is, in practice, very difficult to comply with this requirement.

The Contest Director is therefore permitted, at his/her discretion, to waive the requirement for 2 timekeepers and allow official flights to be timed by one timekeeper other than the contestant.

April 13th 2014.

Just received news that the proposed F1D rule changes have been ratified and will take effect from January 1st 2015.

Basically they are that minimum model weight is increased to 1.4grams and maximum rubber weight is reduced to 0.4 grams.

The Team Trials for the 2015 European Championships (Hosted by Romania in Slanic) will be held in Autumn 2014. We shall fly them under the New Rules using partial motors. Please see here for a full explanation of the rules governing these events.

Two new ITC initiatives for 2014.

The new IHLG Global Postal competition starts this Saturday, full details may be found here and copies of flight time cards for you to use here.

Whilst we had no expectation that the proposed rule changes would be adopted when making the proposal below it has to be said that there has never been a better time to join the ranks of F1D flyers, the increase in minimum weight will make them considerably easier to build, resulting in stiffer models. Whether or not they will be easier to fly remains to be seen......in addition the acceptance of Romania as hosts for the next Euroepean and World Champs almost certainly means that for these competitions fixed pitch props will be required.

The ITC wishes to launch a programme to recruit and develop new F1D flyers as follows:-

The GB F1D team (Mark Benns, Derek Richards and Tony Hebb) has just returned from a great World Championships in Romania. It was a close run thing and we stood a good chance of a medal right up to the end.
The successes of our International F1D Teams over the last 10 years is as a result of healthy national and local participation and a heavy reliance upon a backbone of experienced fliers. It is therefore inevitable for many reasons such as families, health and retirement that from time to time a new injection of competitive fliers is essential to support the former successes.
Therefore the Indoor Duration Technical Committee, in a positive step, has decided to introduce an initiative to recruit new blood into the F1D competitive scene.
This initiative will seek to support individuals who wish to compete at an International level.
We will offer a range of support and incentives such as:
- one to one mentoring
- assistance with obtaining indoor materials
- a small scholarship fund will be made available after the first 6 months to aid in training and excellence.
- Invitations to the F1D training and excellence days where experienced F1D flyers will work with you to achieve a team qualifying time. (Of course team trials will still be held and you will be expected to fly primarily unaided).

This offer is by no means limited to those who already fly F1D, though you will probably be flying other duration type of models - with guidance you can readily build an F1D! (Especially to 1.4gm!!)

The ITC will ensure that for team trials and International competitions that you have sufficient top quality rubber available to compete effectively.

For your part you must be prepared to work with your allocated mentor to achieve a satisfactory standard of building and flying until you are ready to work alone. Initially you will need to commit to building at least 2 FID models, ideally with Treger VP hubs.

You will be expected to travel to Team Training and Excellence days and make every effort to regularly attend local and National F1D events in order to hone your individual flying skills.

There will be a selection process but our intention is to include everyone that we can accommodate onto the programme.

We realise that to get to the top in F1D is a long hard road - even the new World Champion, Kang, took 5 years - the competition is demanding and fun, team camaraderie is very high and we want to keep it that way.

If you are interested in pursuing this offer please contact Tony Hebb on pro65.itc@gmail.com.

Go on - you're worth it!!

Tony Hebb ITC PRO

2014 F1D World Championships, Slanic, Romania.

A full report of this exciting competition can be found here.

2014 Indoor Nationals.

I can now confirm that this event will once again be held at the Boulby Dome over 3 days June 20th to the 22nd. There will be a gala dinner for those interested on Saturday evening.

The F1D class will be flown on 1/3 motors and the 35cm Challenge on 1/2 motors - all other classes will be flown on FULL motors. Please click here to read the explanation of the rules regarding partial motor flying.

In recognition that the 35cm Challenge and Gymminnie Cricket classes are aimed at beginners they will no longer be included in the results for the National Overall Champion (NOC) – however this does not preclude anyone from entering the actual Nationals events.

Gymminnie Cricket Clubman event.

In recognition that this little model is flown by more people at a Club entry level than perhaps any other the ITC has decided to run a UK wide postal competition. This will be for the current GC specification – 3gm. minimum weight, full motor - unlimited rubber, wing, tailplane and motor stick/boom dimensions and layout as per the original plan but an own made prop. is permitted. You can also put the wing and tail on adjustable posts. The competition will again culminate at the Nationals 2014. Your best 2 flights over the competition period will count and height adjustment will be to the usual formula. I’ll need flight times countersigned and ceiling height of your venue.

ITC 2013 and new 2014 Challenge.

Thanks to a sterling performance at the Nationals Clive King is this year’s winner – well done Clive – we’ll let you have the trophy just as soon as we’ve located Ken and retrieved it!!
In 2nd place was Merv Harris and 3rd John Andrews.
The new Challenge year has started, exactly the same model /postal competition specification as for this year with one exception – the competition will culminate at the 2014 Nationals. We had some good flights submitted this year, Clive’s win was by no means a walk over. So build a model and get some good flights going then come to the Nationals and go for it!!
Any suggestions for the next 2014/15 Challenge?

The 2nd F1D Team Trial event scheduled for the 12th January has been cancelled as no new competitors have come forward.
The team is therefore now confirmed as Mark Benns, Derek Richards and Tony Hebb. Team manager Allan Weighell.

F1D Team Trial results. Round 1 Werrington Leisure Centre, Peterborough 20th October.

1st Tony Hebb 8.43, 8.57, 9.01, Total 26.41 100%
2nd Mark Benns 8.41, 8.48, 8.41, Total 26.10 98.06%
3rd Derek Richards 8.06, 8.12, 7.37, Total 23.55 89.63%

You can find a brief report here.

Some upcoming dates for events:-

European Championships 2013.

For a full report of this event click here.

Indoor Nationals 2013.

These were held over 3 days Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd June inclusive at the Boulby Dome, thanks once more to Cleveland Potash for their support.

We all had a great time - missed a few of our friends who were en route to the Kibbie Dome, Idaho meeting - the weather was kind on the Friday and Saturday but reverted to type on Sunday, overall though much warmer than our previous meetings.

There is a full report from the 2013 Indoor Duration National Championships here.

Congratulations to Clive King for a magnificent 7th National Overall Champion win - says he can retire now but I don't believe him!!


If you are interested in the recent trip to the Kibbie Dome in Idaho then there is an account of our experiences here.


BMFA NW Gala meeting - click here for a report from the event and here for some photos.

European F1D Championships - Belgrade 12th - 18th August - It may be hot but it's all we've got!!

Mark Benns has been appointed Team Manager for this event. The team comprises Mark Benns, Derek Richards and Tony Hebb

Second F1D Team trials 24th February.

The second F1D Euro. Champs team trials were held at Werrington Sports Centre in Peterborough on Sunday 24th February, full results are available click here.

Though it was bitterly cold outside the hall was at a very comfortable 22 degrees which did seem to result in some bumpy air at times. Apart from the trial's entrants we had a good turn out of other flyers, including 3 who made the long trip from Manchester, which made for a good day all round. Most of the lightweight duration classes were being flown.
Mark Benns lead the way again followed by Tony Hebb and Derek Richards.

First F1D Team trials 29th January.
The first of 3 team trials were held at Werrington Sports Centre. The weather outside was cold and blustery, indoors it was a pleasant 21 degrees though there were a few downdraughts up at roof level and significant drift requiring steering on most flights.
Everyone posted quite consistent 1/4 motor flight times with Mark Benns coming through with a couple of great 9min + flights at the end to take first place followed by Tony Hebb and Derek Richards.

Just as a matter of interest the recent discussion surrounding the Builder of the Model rule was discussed and the committee supports the view that purchased VP hubs fall within the meaning of "small components" and are therefore permissible. Furthermore we would clarify that it is acceptable steering protocol to use a pole to the boom aft of the wing, any attempt to alter the attitude of the model remains illegal.

The ITC wish to send competitive teams to International events. To this end our prime objective is to send 3 man teams who have demonstrated a capability to compete at this level. However we also recognise that we need to develop individuals for future competitions and therefore in exceptional circumstances where a 3 man team is not available we may decide to recommend sending a 1 or 2 man team at senior or junior level.

In view of the potential shortage of team members for the 2013 European Champs. in Belgrade, the ITC has introduced two qualifying target times as follows for F1D flown on 1/4 motors :-
A standard: Seniors 8min30, Juniors 7min30
B standard: Seniors 7min45, Juniors 6 min.
Achieving the A standard enables the ITC to award a team place to the competitor without the requirement for a full team of 3. Reason - The competitor has a realistic chance of achieving a podium place.
Achieving the B standard enables, but does not oblige, the ITC to select the competitor for a team place as a member of a team of 3.
All team places are subject to final ratification by the ITC and the BMFA council.


2012 - Click on the links to access the reports.

Indoor Nationals report Times

Dorcol and World Championships reports

The 2012 Legal Eagle Challenge trophy was won by Ken Bates, well done Ken, with an adjusted flight time of 4:09, closely followed by Nick Peppiatt on 3:33 and Bryan Stichbury on 2:14 in 3rd place. Thanks for all the entries guys.