1958 Criterium

Brussels, Belgium
Sep 4 1958 to Sep 9 1958

Ninth Criterium of Europe Etterbeek Belgium, 1958


This article is copied from the October, 1958 issue of Aeormodeller Volume XXIII Number 273

A second account with photos from Model Aviation is appended at the bottom of the page

Aeromodeller Report

The Ninth Criterium of Europe for controline models was truly a companion festival to the equally bewildering World's Fair in Brussels. Fifteen European countries were represented in the stunt, speed, and team race events, and although at times the pace of the four-day meeting overran the resources of the heavily burdened Belgian organisation, results and the lessons learned made it a memorable affair for the 112 competitors and innumerable officials who had been invited from each of the important governing bodies in Europe.

The meeting was scheduled to be a trial for the 1958 rule changes in speed and team race, and it was clearly demonstrated to the F.A.I. Models Commission members present that some strict administrative requirements must be introduced into the "Code Sportif" before the next meeting.

Rule changes have had no effect on performance, but have produced the desired results in handling, this being most evident in speed where every take-off was a success and no less than 14 models exceeded 120 m.p.h.!

We would have liked to afford equal praise to the team racers, but a more-than-liberal interpretation of appearance and fuselage cross-section requirements by the Italian and Belgian entrants clouds any assessment of their merits. All praise to Dick Edmonds who so well and truly trounced the opposition (Ray Gibbs piloting) with a model that conformed in every respect, and did not have to be whipped to be fastest in the circle, creating an all-time record of 10 kilometres in 4:58, but of that, more anon.

First day was taken up by reception, processing and practice. Apart from a remarkable test flight by the amiable Ivannikov at about 170 m.p.h., in which we witnessed the unusual characteristic of his low pulse-rate RAM-2 "coming in" for the speed run, and the use of delta shapes by the Czechs, there was little to be learned from what was on show.

Unlike previous years, when a smaller entry had permitted events to be interspersed, the need for 108 flights in stunt, and 114 in speed meant that two of the three competition days had to be conducted to a strict time schedule.

Great Britain was first out of the hat in the draw for precedence in the excellent circuits and by 9.30 when Gibbs went to the speed, and Eiffiaender to the stunt circles, it was already warm, though later the temperature was to soar to the nineties!

The Speed Event

The heat suited most of the speed entries and, although Gibbs came out of the pylon on his first attempt (the Carter Special running rich), it was not long before Zatocil with the only orthodox Czech model, was showing a neat 122 m.p.h. and Rossi the Italian even faster with 126 m.p.h.

Victory in speed was anticipated to be the prerogative of either the Czech M.V.V.S. Institute or the strong Super Tigre group, ably governed by the maestro of high r.p.m., Jaures Garofali of Bologna. Then came the shock for both parties, for Michael Vassiltchenko (U.S.S.R.) beat the Czech with 123-- and soon after came Toth of Hungary, using the new MOKI engine produced in the Hungarian Institute with his time of just under 130 m.p.h.

The picture now changed, for individual rather than team performance is more important. for Criterium points, and as the day progressed a new technique in contest tactics was born. Each competitor was permitted three attempts per flight, and to nullify an attempt the pilot had only to remove his wrist from the pylon. Thus the situation arose when an Italian or Czech flier would start his run, be timed by his manager for the first four laps--and, of the time was not fast enough at that stage, he was shouted at and left the pylon for two more chances!

Such a practice has its faults, not the least being the fact that the time schedule allowed for three flights per person; it also worked both ways, for Toth came out in the middle of a perfect 132 m.p.h. run when to onlooker gave the appropriate yell! Fortunately for him, it made no difference to the result.

In their efforts to surpass Toth's lead, several of the Italian, and Czechs seemed obliged to adopt questionable pylon tactic, past tolerance of the continental technique of having the handle 40 degrees to the lines was now stretched beyond even Belgian patience, and on the second day one each of the Italian and Czech Beams was disqualified on two counts. Not only was the handle of Koci (Czech) at an acute angle to the lines, bringing the line across the right shoulder, but Rossi of Italy actually used an outrigger on the handle, by such practice effectively shortening the official line length as a radius from pylon to model. The need for an indicator projecting from the handle, to visibly line-up the flier and his model was never more obvious.

However, it was a losing battle for both parties. Rudi Beck scored the lead with 130 m.p.h. just before the first round ended and Hungary was in an unassailable position. The MOKI engine owes little to any other particular type, having the downdraught intake of the Czech M.V.V.S. to its rear disc valve, Dooling-like bulbous transfer, and early McCoy piston contour. It operate, very happily off the chicken-hopper feed tank and has that healthy crackle which distinguishes "faster" from fast motors.

In the Super Tigre stable motors were leaving airframes and being run-up beyond 20,000 on the quick run-in Garofali test bench. Pressurised, unvented tanks were connected to the main bearing via the little stub in the casting which is now a standard Super Tigre feature, and it would appear that the pen-bladder tank is now a thing of the past. All the top 14 used either chicken hopper or pressure feed from metal tanks.

Speed continued into the second day, after the warning had been issued to offending teams that deliberate "false attempts" were not going to be allowed, and in cooler weather a number of the leaders were able to improve on their speeds. Toth recording 1342 m.p.h. and Beck 132.9 with their brown Bakelite enameled conventional models. On their heels came the Czech deltas of Koci, Pastyrik and Sladky (the latter with flat-plate solid metal wings) and then a bevy of four Italians, split by Russia's Vassiltcheko, clearly the cknowledged expert among a strong U.S.S.R. contingent using a Czech M.V.V.S. engine. In fifteenth place, vieing with aid adversaries Gorgocena and Battlo for leadership of the "private, enterprise" section of the entry, Ray Gibbs had his share of problems, and only made one good run at 117 m.p.h. Nevertheless his position placed G.B, in a fortunate fifth place behind Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Italy and Spain for Criterium points (Russia, not competing in Team Race, withdrew from the Criterium).

As a final and certainly most impressive flight of the day, little., Ivannikov, who had waited patiently for such an opportunity for several hours, used the stunt circle to illuminate the gathering dusk with an awe-inspiring jet flight, the official time of 12 sec. making the speed no less than 300 k.p.h. or 186.41 m.p.h. At this time of day it was impossible to see the model since the jet pipe-glow dulled as the speed increased, but visibility was more than enhanced by a pattern of bright exhaust flames (almost like the shock diamonds of an Hydrogen Peroxide rocket) and on this basis the time will go forward as a record claim.

Results - F2A Speed - Individual
36 entries, 11 countries

Individual Classification FLIGHT (km/h)
Place NAME COUNTRY kmh Engine
1 Toth Hungary 216 Moki
2. Beck Hungary 214 MOKI
3. Koci Czechoslovakia ...209 MVVS 58
4. Pastyrik Czechoslovakia 206 MVVS 58
5. Sladky Czechoslovakia ...205. M.V.V.S.58
6. Rossi, Italy ..204... SuperTigre G20
7. Pezzi Italy 203 Super
8. Vassiltchenko U.S.S.R. 203 .M.V.V.S
9. Prati Italy 202 SuperTigre G20V
10. Rossi, U Italy 198 SuperTigre G20V
11. Zatocil Czechoslovakia 197 MVVS58
12. Krizma Hungary 197 O/D
13. Gogorcena Spain 194 Super
14. Battlo Spain 193 Super
15. Gibbs Great Britain 189 Carter
16. Fernandez Spain 185 Super Tigre G20
17. Natalenko U.S.S.R. 187 O/D
18. Azor Hungary 185 B.R.W.M.
19. Rosenlund Sweden 182 Super Tigre G20V
20. Grouchine U.S.S.R. 180 O/D
21. Bjork Sweden 180 Super Tigre G20
22. Deligne Belgium 177 Super Tigre G20
23. Gorziza Spain 176 Barbini
24. Kouznetov U.S.S.R. 175 O/D
25. Page Great Britain.. 173.9 MVVS.
26. Hall Great Britain. 173 Oliver Tiger
27. Savolainen Finland 170 Super Tigre G20
28. Vale. Finland 169 Super Tigre G20
29. Jaaskelainen Finland 164 Super Tigre
30. Bengt Martinelli Sweden 163 Vlatvan
31. Fawer Switzerland 163 Barbini
32. Frolich Germany 162  
33. Eifaender Great Britain 146 PAW 2.49
34. Godsiabois Belgium 139 PAW 2.49
35. Vogelaar Holland 138 Oliver Tiger
36. Deville Belgium 128 Super Tigre

Account from Model Aviation

The International Championships held at Etterbeck, Brussels, from September 4th to 9th, proved a great success and was attended by 104 competitors from 14 different countries who provided some 150 total entries.

The special C/L arena, inaugurated by the Federation de la Petite Aviation Belge last year, had been further improved and is a monumental work for which our old friend George Lippens is almost entirely responsible. It is undoubtedly the best permanent C/L site existing in the world today, consisting of two first class circuits with adequate competitors' pens, permanent, elevated judges' box, permanent line check inscribed in concrete blocks, and first class P.A. equipment.

With the large entry received a tight schedule was envisaged, but the organisers did not reckon with the customary wiles of the contest aeromodeller, and it soon became evident that the speed event was dragging behind schedule. This was occasioned by the practice adopted by a number of team managers of timing their entries from the edge of the circuit for four or five laps and, if they considered the speed achieved insufficient, shouting to the pilot to take his hand out of the fork thus converting the flight to an attempt, with the opportunity of a second go. The jury had to take steps at the end of the first round to stop this practice and also to stop blatant examples of whipping by disqualification.

The speed event proved a stern struggle between Hungary and Czechoslovakia, with Hungary winning first and second places-Toth achieving 216 k.p.h., and Beck 214 k.p.h.: the next three places were filled by the Czechs, followed by two Italians and the Russian, Vassilchenko, who performed very consistently.

Our own hope, Ray Gibbs, was distinctly out of luck and was bursting his fuel containers with heartbreaking regularity. While pen bladder fuel containers may be excellent from an actual speed point of view, they are a distinct drawback from the contest angle when one is working to a time limit. In Gibbs's case, he had so little time to spare that a burst bladder put him out of the round, with the result that he only registered one flight in the whole contest, at 189 k.p.h. to finish 15th. Page and Hall were in similar difficulties and finished in 25th and 26th places.

There was only one actual contestant in the jet speed class, although there were several entries. Here, the Russian Champion, Ivannikov, gave a most consistent and impressive performance increasing his speed on each attempt from 266 k.p.h. to 276 k.p.h. It is of interest to note that in the evening after the spectators had left, he made an attempt on the speed record using thinner lines than those stipulated for contest purposes and achieved the record speed of 301 k.p.h.

The model, a pulse jet of normal conception, has its metal wings attached direct to the tail pipe and the head is formed into an annular fuel tank. It has, therefore, the cleanest construction so far achieved. Taking all things into consideration, and having particular regard to the general high standard of performance, the British team did well to gain the success which it did.

The contest terminated with the presentation of the main awards in the Town Hall by the Burgomaster's Deputy, followed by a visit to the Brussels World Exhibition, where additional prizes were presented at a dinner given by Sabena in the restaurant attached to the heliport terminal.

This over, all competitors and officials marched in a body to the "Joyous Belgium” enclosure where they were met by a brass band which played them into the "Grand Place," much to the amusement of the other visitors. A feature of this procession was a Panhard car of early 1900 vintage which served as a chariot for the ladies of the party.

As all the buildings in the "Grand Place" are cafes complete with their own dance bands and small dance floors, it does not require much imagination to realise that a good time was had by all.

Zatocil and Koci from Czechoslovakia with a delta wing design

Winner Toth of Hungary, helped by Rudi Beck, second place

Vasilichenko from Russia