1957 Control Line World Championships

Mlada Boleslav, Czechoslovakia
Aug 20 1957

From the October, 1957 Issue of Aeromodeller

Volume XXII Number 261

A Report on the 1957 World Championships for 2.5 CC Control Line Speed

The first section is an editorial by the editor of Aeromodeller, Mr. C. S. Rushbrooke

World Championship Reflections

In this issue we give a full illustrated report of the 1957 World Championships held in Czechoslovakia, which embraced both A/2 Glider and 2-5 c.c. Speed specifications. It was the largest championship meeting yet held, with twenty nations actively competing, and was unique in that all of the Eastern European nations participated. The measure of their participation may be gauged from the fact that in the A/2 event a Yugoslav won the individual trophy, and the Russians the team award. In speed the Czechs won both individual and team honours, taking first, second, third and fifth places!

It has been our good fortune to witness all the World Championship events held to date, and we can safely say that the standard of flying has never been higher, all the more credit, therefore, to our Russian, Yugoslav and Czech friends for their hard won success.

Now that full Eastern European participation is an established fact and the World Championships at last fully representative of their title we can expect an even higher standard of flying in the years ahead. So let us examine these important events from the British viewpoint.

In A/2 Glider, Wakefield and Power we are confident that British flyers are equal to the best, our successes in recent years proving the point. There is, however, one aspect where our friends from the East score slightly, and this is their system of team training. Such a scheme may not be possible under our present system of team selection, but recent S.M.A.E. proposals that two team trials shall be held, one the previous year, and the other early in the year of the final contest, is a step in the right direction. We believe that serious consideration should be given to promoting at least individual training, or better still team training after the team has been selected. We have segregated speed as this particular class has its own peculiar problems.

Again our flyers are the equal of any the continent can produce, but the time has now come when the individual flyer with re-worked commercial engines has little chance of success against teams with state or factory sponsored motors.

The Gibbs-Carter team has alone carried the onerous task of producing a world-beating engine-model combination these past two years, but this is no longer sufficient. If Great Britain is to provide any serious challenge in international speed flying in the future then two courses are open. Either a commercial concern must sponsor special motors for the job, which admittedly would cost several hundreds of pounds, but which would be well worth it if the project was tackled successfully, or speed flyers themselves must form a special group or team backed by several engineers of Fred Carter's calibre. Only by these or similar methods would it be worthwhile participating in the highly competitive class of International 2.5 c.c. Speed.

Aeromodeller Report

The Speed Event

As our panoramic heading picture proves, the Czechs put in a lot of hard work in preparing their speed circles as they did in fact for the entire meeting. Strong steel mesh fences protected judges and spectators alike from any speed models with free flight inclinations. When we arrived at some unearthly hour on the Saturday morning, however, the beautifully prepared circles were covered in deep pools of water, a result of a heavy storm the night before.

We understood from capable Contest Director Ludvig Nemic that he had been called from his bed in the early hours when the scene was one of devastation. All the flags were blown down and the circles resembled boating lakes. A deal of hard work and judicious draining pits rapidly made an impression on the water, but even so the surface of the circles, which was hard packed foundry sand, was too soft to walls on. Even planks were sinking two inches so there was nothing for it but to postpone the start until after lunch.

Fortunately, a good strong sun worked wonders during the morning, thus saving a difficult situation.This was not the only setback suffered by our hosts, for we understood from jovial team manager Zdenek Husicka that he had been up all night working on Sladky's motor which developed piston ring trouble during test flying. They had in fact fitted a complete set of new rings amongst other things and were keeping their fingers crossed. In spite of this, had we been betting on the event, our money would still have been on the Czech team, each member being equipped with a special version of the M.V.V.S. Vltavan 2-5 c.c. 1957 motor built in the Technical Insitute at Brno.

Sladky had already reached 210 k.p.h. in practice and also at the Criterium in Brussels earlier in the year. Gibbs his nearest challenger being some 4 miles per hour slower. Not that there weren't several likely challengers on this occasion. The Hungarians Csizmarek and Krisma with Alag Y3 motors said to develop .28 B.H.P. at 16,000 revs had turned in speeds of 211 k.p.h. on their home ground and both Beck and Vitkovits (2nd last year) were reckoned to be fast with their B.R.V.M's developed by the latter in the Hungarian research Insitute in Budapest.

Vitkovic's motor has an aluminium rear rotary disc with a bronze bush, whilst Beck's motor uses a disc made from textile bakelite. Both motors feature twin ball races and use fuels containing from 30 to 40 per cent. nitrate according to atmospheric conditions.

The Italians were another threat to any question of Czech dominance. Prati and Berselli had the new Super Tigre G20V which is a complete re-design of earlier versions of this famous motor. The crankcase is stouter, the cylinder walls are much thicker to prevent distortion, and a roller race big end bearing is incorporated. It has a new cylinder head and Fox 29 type front rotary induction, which we remember Senor Garofoli was experimenting with last year at Florence.

The other half of the Italian team featuring Cellini and Grandesso were using hotted up versions of the Barbini B40 with 6 x 8 and 6 x 9 Tornado props running at 17,000 rpm.

The Russians were a somewhat unknown quantity to us as we are not familiar with their engines. Vasilchenko their world record holder was using a 1956 type Czech M.V.V.S.; Gadjevski a Russian V.I.D.-20; Matalenko an engine of his own design, and Kuznecov a K.A.F.19. They apparently have difficulty in getting supplies of Nitro and were using around 25 per cent. with methanol and castor oil. Props were 6 x 8 ins., Matalenko going up as high as 10 inches pitch. Most of the other teams were using Super Tigres or variants thereof, with the odd Torp 15 and O.S.15 to be seen amongst the Swedes.

Our own "Gadget" Gibbs had his well used "Little Nipper" Carter Special, and Pete Wright a standard version of the 1957 Vltavan, which was by no means at its peak, and a Barbini.

Vasilchenko and Cellini were the first to enter the twin circles, both of them failing to complete runs which was not an encouraging start. Poor Cellini in fact had nothing bur trouble with his fast Barbini, which simply would not complete a run, presumably due to tank or fuel feed trouble. Sladky followed shortly afterwards, standing in the middle of the circle leaving things to the expert two-man starting team who serviced all Czech team models with great speed and skill.

A burst of applause from the crowd for their local boy, denoted a speed of 205 k.p.h., which stood as best for the round, equalled only by Krisma of Hungary, with the other Czech team members but a few kilometres slower. Of the 32 entrants only 18 recorded times in the first round, there being a pitiful procession of false starts, short runs, even people who had props come off in the air.

Pete Wright was amongst those who failed to return a speed and then the greatest tragedy of all from the British viewpoint occurred when the top blew clean off Gibbs' Carter Special after a run of only five laps. Both the cylinder liner and the crankcase were fractured right through, and it would seem that fatigue was the most probable cause. Certainly this mishap finished any hopes of a British win, as "Gadget's" reserve model powered by an ancient Super Tigre was so slow that the timekeepers ignored it on a subsequent run.

The speed boys, by the way, were allowed 4 hours per round, which contrasted greatly with the glider arrangements. Two rounds were run on the Saturday and a further round on the Sunday morning.

Sladky on his second round flight added another 6 kilometres, with again great acclamation from the crowd. Then team mate Zatocil made a run 9 kilometres faster than previous best, the pair of them recording 211 k.p.h., which was the winning speed at Florence the previous year. Pastyrik a youngster new to Czech speed teams, then put in a rousing 208 h.p.k., bringing him close on the heels of his compatriots.

Pete Wright finally made a full run for a modest 165 k.p.h., and Krisma the Hungarian who lay fourth, boobed his chances on his second round and scored a duck.

This then was the position at the end of the day with a final round to look forward to on the morrow. We returned to the Hotel Vence, which also served as the local night spot, to drown our sorrows in local brews, and found an impromptu dance band made up of aeromodellers of different nationality led by Kurt Czepa of Austria, who had taken over the local band's instruments.

Sunday morning promptly at 8.00 a.m. we were out in the circles once again, the scream of racing motors doing much for our heads in view of activities the night before. We were, however, sufficiently awake to go out with Sladky, and took the opportunity of examining the excellent speed pylons constructed specially for the event. The Yoke ran on ball races and was adjustable for height, with a neat rubber hand grip to complete the job. This morning there was a real crowd, due to the air display scheduled for the afternoon, and they just about lifted the hangar roofs as Sladky revolved around the pylon, controlling perfectly a model travelling at 216 k.p.h.

His two man starting team were so fast that on each flight they only hit the prop once, and it is only 5.25 inches in diameter, the model being airborne less than three seconds later!

Zatocil promptly made a determined try coming up to 214 k.p.h., whilst Pastyrik's second round flight stood for third position as he failed to get away in this round. Smekal was obviously at his limit and did in fact drop a kilometre, but Grandesso with his Barbini put in a cracking run of 204 k.p.h. Prati who was also flying proxy for Berselli, just failed to make the 200 k.p.h. mark, but no doubt he and the Super Tigre man Garofoli will strain a few more kilometres out of the new G20 V yet.

And so the Czechs walked away with both team and individual honours, which were well and truly deserved. It is significant that the speeds from their new motors increased with every round which indicates that they can go faster yet. A great tribute to the State factory that produces them and a great challenge to the rest of the world's engine designers.

Results - F2A Speed - Individual
32 entries, 9 countries

Individual Classification FLIGHT (km/h)
Place NAME COUNTRY R 1 R 2 R 3
1 J. Sladky Czechoslovakia 205 211 216
2 M. Zatocil Czechoslovakia 202 211 214
3 F. Pastyrik Czechoslovakia 194 208 0
4 G. Krizsma Hungary 205 0 203
5 V. Smejkal Czechoslovakia 204 204 203
6 Renzo Grandesso Italy 0 197 204
7 M. Vitkovits Hungary 0 184 200
8 A. Prati Italy 192 198 197
9 P. Berselli (A. Prati) Italy 189 197 180
10 M. Vasilchenko Russia 194 185 191
11 R. Beck Hungary 189 0 0
12 J. Czizmarek Hungary 0 182 186
13 A. Kuznecov Russia 159 184 184
14 H. Gorziza W. Germany 0 163 180
15 B. Hagberg Sweden 163 171 179
16 O. K. Gajevski Russia 0 163 173
17 H. Stouffs Belgium 0 165 171
18 P. Deligne Belgium 0 160 171
19 L. Bovin Sweden 0 0 169
20 J. Frolich W. Germany 0 169 169
21 V. Natalenko Russia 165 162 156
22 L. Wright Great Britain 0 165 160
23 S. Tinev Bulgaria 151 160 0
24 B. Martinelle Sweden 147 0 151
25 I. Vasilev Bulgaria 0 0 141
26 K. Raskov Bulgaria 0 0 134
27 L. Boncev Bulgaria 0 0 0
28 A. Cellini Italy 0 0 0
29 R. Gibbs Great Britain 0 0 0
30 R. Hagel Sweden 0 0 0
31 E. Hamalainen Finland 0 0 0
32 K. Jaaskelainen Finland 0 0 0

The Final Seene by "Bushy"

CONTRARY TO BRITISH practice, the prize-giving did not take place at a closing dinner, but was staged in spectacular style before a huge audience, gathered to witness an ambitious air display which closed the official programme.

Teams lined up behind their national flags, and, to the applause of the crowd, marched in single file up the aerodrome to a tribune, in front of which stood a prizewinners' dais in true Olympics style. Here, following speeches by local dignitaries and the Secretary of the F.A.I., team and individual awards took place, a special cheer greeting the victorious Czech team which had swept the board in the Speed event. Some magnificent specimens of engraved glassware were received by the class winners, together with floral bouquets, and our admitted scepticism had to give way to a feeling of admiration for the way in which the meeting was drawn to a climax. Though strange to British eyes, the spectacle of the long line of track-suited competitors passing before the huge assembly, with brightly coloured flags waving in the stiff breeze, created a strong impression of the international importance of the occasion.

Following the closing speech, competitors joined the assembled crowd and sat back to enjoy a display put on by the members of the Czech aero clubs.. This took us back some years to the halcyon days of barnstorming air shows, and was a distinct and pleasant change from the usual high-speed beat-ups that have become so common nowadays. The operative word for the programme was "variety", starting off with a spectacular exhibition of aerobatics by a sailplane pilot, red smoke rockets at each wing tip marking every turn and manoeuvre..

Parachute dropping formed a major part of the programme, ranging from mass drops by thirty to forty members of both sexes, to a highly skilful-and heart-stopping high level drop by the two Czech world record holders. Holding smoke rockets, these fellows baled out from different aircraft at some 15,000 feet, and performed amazing antics whilst in free fall, including guiding themselves around each other, and holding hands for part of their descent. Our hearts were in our mouths as the chutes were released at the last possible moment and a gentle touch-down ended their fall. Phew!

A high speed beat-up by a Mig 15 seemed rather tame after this, and a display of crazy stunt flying by Vilem Krysta, winner of the Lockyer Trophy earlier this year, amply demonstrated the high quality of Czech flying men (and women). Three young girls aged 16, 19 and 24, gave a polished display of formation aerobatics that only suffered in comparison with the spectacular flying of older men; and the sight of nine Bucker Jungmeisters looping nose-to-tail around a descending parachutist prevented any tendency to doze in the hot sun. (The British team manager did manage a short nap, but delighted the crowd with his jack-in-the-box antics when the Mig suddenly flashed past at extremely low level)

Finally, a long line of modellers of all ages filed on to the field and indulged in mass launching of all types of models, many of which flew extremely well.

Highly interesting was a display of radio-controlled flying by Jan Hajic (see August, 1957, AEROMODELLER), who varied loops with bunts and all in all gave a very convincing exhibition of the value of elevator control.

And so closed a World Championships which were interesting in the extreme, and apart from the rigours of the journey and "border incidents", one to be remembered with pleasure. Full marks go to the Czech authorities for making their first Championships such a success, and above all, the welcome spirit of friendliness that permeated everything they did.