1951 International at Knokke

Knokke, Belgium
Jul 28 1951 to Jul 30 1951

From Aeromodeller October, 1951 Volume XIV, number 189

WORLD SPEED CHAMPIONSHIPS AT KNOKKE 28-30 JULY, 1951

THAT six out of seven trophies were carried home by British team members from the highly successful Third European Control Line Championships, and First World Speed Championship held at Knokke, is sufficient indication that on this occasion our aeromodelling was right on top of its form. When we add that two speed class records were substantially broken, while a third was also well passed (though alas the model failed to pass the re-scrutiny by the processers) it can be appreciated that this meeting did indeed merit its title of European and World Championships.

As usual, the triple townships of Knokke, Le Zoute and Albert Plage had really gone out of their way toy make competitors welcome and to ensure the best possible flying conditions. A glance at our illustration of the flying circle will indicate a small circular stump on the extreme right - this is the remains of a lamp-post, which with another, not visible, was removed by the local authorities to enable safe, trouble-free flying for the 10 cc speed models. This is typical of the towns' efforts to make the meeting the deserved success that it was.

Once again Monsieur Victor Boin, in his dual roles of President of the local Sports Development Committee, and of the Royal Belgian Aero Club Managerial Committee, had organised everything just so, and arranged a splendid selection of prizes, which. followed the typical Belgian. silverworkers' style in five large cups, and a even larger one for the Championship. The jet even was rewarded with a silver oyster butterdish, symbolic of the seaside nature of the venue.

Five countries entered teams, embracing Belgium France, Holland, Switzerland and Great Britain. Enteries had also been promised from. Sweden and Italy, but last minute hitches prevented their participation. Most of the old familiar faces were in evidence, including Arnold Degen from. Switzerland this year without his elegant moustache - Dr. Millet, the jolly French speed king, and his fellow worker, Monsieur Labarde. Other included young Laniot, the French stunt expert and his rival, Malfait. Speedster Meuwli and his amusing teammate Peclet were also in evidence, though this year the Swiss were dogged by misfortune and finished bottom of the list.

Our own British team, selected. on contest merit, more than justified its presence. Under the management of Eddie Cosh, fresh from his Finnish adventures, eve had k1an Hewitt (South Birmingham) and Ken Marsh ('Vest Essex) for stunt, Peter Wright (St. Albans) and Billinton (Brixton) for the three speed classes with Dunn and Claydon (East London) to provide jet entertainment.

Unlike the previous year, when it was possible to house the entire entry under one hotel roof, this year - on account of the crowded holiday season - it was necessary to split visitors into three separate establishments, which may have reduced some of the high j inks but did dot prevent a very pleasant get-together on the final evening at the Villa Butterfly, where Marsh's musical strength if not his virtuosity, was well received by an uncritical audience.

The contest opened on the Saturday evening with an outdoor Concours d'Elegance on the seafront, followed processing. Here, judged by M. Victor Boin, Alex Houlberg and M. H. Gillman, Secretary-General of the FAI Peter Wright proved a surprise winner in the Speed section from the " favourite ", Dr. Millet, with ogle his beautifully finished all wood models; while Alan Hewitt's superb " Ambassador " was well ahead in the stunt section.

Our own team therefore started Sunday's flying programme with an initial lead of 20 points, plus the excellent boost engendered in everyone's morale. The day was inclined to showers, but warm, and soon proved ideal weather combination for speed, as most models were giving a little more than their usual best.

It was on this day that all the highest speeds were put up, with Hewitt making a fine show in the 2-5 c.c. class at 159.292 k.p.h. - a speed which he for some time refused to credit, being about 8 m.p.h. better than he d ever done before with the model. (The 2.43 c.c. engine, by the way, was one of " Gig " Eiffiaender's home-built creations straight from his stunter lent for the good of the cause.)

In the 5 c.c. class Wright put up a record for himself at 202-247 k.p.h., well ahead of his nearest rival, again Kreulen of Holland at 1875 k.p.h. Only in the 10 c.c. class did British efforts fail, and here no times were clocked for them, as they failed, to provide the necessary laps. Meuwli of Switzerland here took the honours at 219.512 k.p.h. from Labarde at 209.302 kph. and Cordier of Belgium at 200 k.p.h.

Stunt found Alan Hewitt in the lead, with 1,634 points from, Marsh with 1,474 and Vallez of Belgium at 1,325. Hewitt was outstanding, though foreign competition is getting keener, and some individual figures were superior. No one, however, seems capable of a good square loop, though Hewitt interpreted the rules as requiring four consecutives, and duly obliged.

Though, not counting in the championship, a number of jet flights were made by Dunn and Claydon, much to the joy of the crowd. One fire was swiftly extinguished and the damaged model repaired to fly again the following day.

On Monday, the British team were leading by 90 points from Belgium, with Holland, France and Switzerland following in that order. The day was fine and sunny, but an unkind wind made stunting more of a problem, and some of the trickier speed models definitely hazardous,

This second day's flying served to confirm Hewitt as European Stunt Champion, though Marsh lost his second place to Vallez of Belgium. Laniot was the best Frenchman at seventh place. Some very complete prangs enlivened the entertainment, even Hewitt wiping off the tail of his Ambassador when putting on a special show for a visiting V.I.P.. (who -was not even looking!).

In fact, this second day must be regarded as something of a Black Monday for competitors generally ; for several lovely speed models bit the dust for good and all, and flyers generally were well satisfied to have produced a timeable run. Billinton was able to clock a good run at 208.9 k.p.h. in the 10 c.c., which on being halved for average placed him No. 8 in the final placing, and helped ensure the ultimate British victory.

All flights being concluded, there was time for a general " spit and polish " before attending the Prize Giving at the Town Hall. Eddie Cosh found the attractions of sea bathing and local beauty nearly too much for him and had to be dragged from his supper to attend in time, but suitably enough, Alex Houlberg accepted the major trophy on behalf of the team. Following the presentation we were gratified by a spontaneous ovation from other countries present a form, of approval for the winners that we do not remember to have heard before.

Altogether it was a grand meeting, excellently organised both as to accommodation and site, and all concerned must be congratulated on putting over a Third European and World Championship so well.


2.5 CC Class Results

Place Entrant Nation Speed km/h
1 HewittGreat Britain 150.75
2 Wright Great Britain 142.579
3 Claydon Great Britain 141.812
4 Kreulen Holland 139.097
5 Billinton Great Britain 131.074
6 Janssens Belgium 106.875
7 Cordier Belgium 105.109