1959 Criterium

Brussels, Belgium
Aug 31 1959

From Aeromodeller December 1959 Volume XXIV Number 287

This extract deals with the speed portion of the competition only

Also read the Model Aviation account with some fuzzy pictures at the bottom



THE TENTH CRITERIUM marked a change in name and a sharp upswing in standards for this popular meeting at the Etterbeek circles, Brussels. Firstly it was to be called the Criterium of Aces, so widening the scope for more International entries, and though the original plan to get U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. participation misfired, as did the arrangement to fly at the Bruges abattoirs, a lone Australian entry in the person of Brian Horrocks, made the Aces title true.

First class organisation by the hardworking bunch of Belgian stalwarts, Albert Roussel (Chairman of the R A C E F.A.I. models commission) and his wife; Colonel Borgniet, George Lippens, M. Bienvenu, and Eric Gassee, was matched by an extraordinary high standard of flying in all classes, and it was not by a fluke that the host entry won both Team Race and Stunt individual honours decisively.

The Czechs disappointed in their absence by not making it a tricornered fight in speed, throwing the MVVS engines into the fray against MOKI's from Hungary and Italian Super Tigres as well as defending their stunt success of last year: but we under stand that Zdenek Husicka is very ill after a heart attack and the Prague organisation has more than suffered.

Surprising too, was the small participation of neighbor countries. France was nobly represented by the omnipresent Jarry Desloges and his unique engines in speed, without support in team race or stunt, and what of Holland, once the leader of our team race opposition in so many thrilling finals?

However, the meeting lacked nothing, for thirteen nations enjoyed that spirit of fascinated animosity so typical of this Criterium, and without which we would profit little in annual advance of control line standards.

All the administrative loopholes of previous years were well and truly buttoned up on this occasion. A strict 6-metre height marker system was erected to observe team race rregularities and of the disqualifications, no one could justifiably complain, except perhaps at the final exclusion of Sweden's Rosenlund -- of which more anon.

Speed saw the introduction of the new handle regulations (no projections forward of the grip), and Italians taught everyone a new technique in leaning out a motor to peak speed.

From our vantage point in the stunt jury box, wire caged and glassed in as befits those in need of protection! We viewed the events as detached and unbiassed (as ever!) observers should, though we must confess to boredom at the conclusion of the 64th stunt flight to the same schedule almost jaundicing our views on the merits of C/L aerobatics! There were times when the Union Jack needed hoisting a little higher by our 24 person contingent, the largest of any country there, but the simple truth is that we sent our best, and though the team did its very utmost to succeed, it returned the wiser for being well and truly beaten.

Representing Great Britain were Peter Wright as Manager, Baxter/Long, Yeldham/Stephen and King/Tyler in Team Race. Hall, Irvine and Stephens in speed, Day and Horrocks in Stunt. Brian Horrocks carried an Australian F.A.I. card, and could not represent G.B., but Ian Russell of Hayes, one of the many supporters nipped off, bought a Flite Streak kit, built it in an evening and qualified to increase our complement for Criterium points, a stout effort that did not go unobserved and which helped G.B. up the ladder in the Stunt results.


Had Amato Prati's soldered lead-out wires not given way early in the contest, the result might well have been an even more convincing Super Tigre victory. The Super Tigre tuners knew they had lost their better engine. and set to work making sure that the Rossi brothers placed high. They did so by running a motor and shearing the blades with a screwdriver!

It took a great effort by Rudi Beck to split the lads from Brescia, who make their own speed pans, spinners and glow plugs for commercial sale and to Ugo Rossi went the honour of 222 K.p.h. (138 m.p.h.) without a trace of whipping and this with a model to the specification once described as ludicrous and killing the class!

Turning up to 17000 on a 6 x 8, the experimental G-20V has a standard crankcase, but ports are rearranged with transfer opening practically simultaneously with exhaust. This is the key to complete removal of the baffle on a loop scavenged engine. Crankshaft porting is enormous and a surface jet in the short intake is pressure fed by a tapping on the reverse side of the shaft bearing, coupled to the tank. One engine had integral fins, others a standard alloy case. All had thick liners.

Toth of Hungary completed the leading foursome with another MOKI powered model, then came the "private entrants", Batllo (Super Tigre), Jasskelainen (MVVS) and Jarry Desloges with his own engines, were the only others to top 190 K.p.h. (117 m.p.h.).

It was notable that the overcast first day provided best results from every speed competitor and also that the full 3-man results by Finland and G. Britain placed them higher in team positions than the countries providing fast individual. Regularity paid off for all British reps, returned speeds. John Hall the best, though still 44 k.p.h. aft of the Italian leader. One technique seen for the first time is the Rossi lean out by yo-yoing the model and shortening the radius by pulling back rather than leading the lines.

Speed 2.5 c.c. (13 entrants)
Best flight of 3

Individual Results

Position Entrant Country Speed (mi/hr)
1 Rossi U Italy 222
2 Beck Hungary 214
3 Ressi, G. Italy 210
4 Toth Hungary 202
5 Batllo Spain 200
6 Jaaskelainen, K. Finland 194
7 Jarry-Desloges France 191
8 Hagberg Sweden 187
9 Deligne Belgium 187
10 Gorziza Germany 183
11 Martinelle Sweden 180
12 Frohlich Germany 179
13 Hall Gt. Britain 178
14 Savolainen Finland 173
15 Lenzen Germany 172
16 Jaaskelainen Finland 167
17 Magne France 167
18 Irvine Gt. Britain 164
19 Stephen Gt Britain 156
20 Jenatton Switzerland 143
21 Godsiabois Belgium 137

From Model Aircraft


ETTERBEEK, Brussels, was, after much dithering, selected as the venue for this year's meeting. It is one of three permanent C/L flying arenas in Belgium, and has two circles, covered pits and judges' box, and is strongly fenced with safety netting. The total size of the area is ample for a meeting of this type-provided no one wants to test fly-and with the contestants " confined " for two days, it allowed far more "mixing" than is possible at a F/F meeting, which contributed to the happy atmosphere which makes these contests such a success.

The contests were run concurrently over two days and the organisation coped smoothly with the entries, although there was the inevitable bickering over interpretation of the rules, but more of this later.

The British party, of team and supporters, was by far the largest present and, in fact, many were in " residence," and test flying, several days before the event. When the rest arrived on Friday it was realised that we were one stunt flyer short to field a full team. To repair this omission and to strengthen our chances of doing well in the team results Ian Russell, with some of our supporters, departed at 3 p.m. for Henri Stouffs' shop in Brussels. There he purchased a Flite Streak kit and started building, returning to the headquarters hotel in the evening with the model ready for processing !

Unfortunately, the object of this terrific effort was rather negative when the jury ruled that as Horrocks held an Australian F.A.I. licence he would have to fly for Australia instead of Great Britain. However, it was definitely well worthwhile as it did help our team placing and Russell far from disgraced himself in the event.

Although the contests were run concurrently it will be easier to deal with them individually, so let's start with the:


The Hungarians were hotly favoured in this event both for individual and team honours, although Prati had told us to watch the Rossi brothers. Be was not wrong. The second man to fly was U. Rossi and he turned in a time of 219 k.p.h.-a time that only he was able to better. Rossi, together with the rest of the Italian team, were using the latest Super Tigres, with metal tanks, and thinned down 6 x 8 Tornado propellers-did those motors rev !

Beck was the highest placed of the Hungarians, coming second with three beautifully consistent flights, and if it hadn't been for the fact that Azor returned no score the team results would have been very different-at least as far as Finland and ourselves were concerned. However, Prati also returned no score-a leadout came unsoldered when he was going very fast, and he could not get the motor in his reserve model to stay "in" for the necessary 10 laps -so if Azor and Prati had returned a time it would have been Hungary and Italy in top team place, although in what order I would not like to guess.


[2] and [5] winning Italian Entry.  [6] Hungary's Rudy Beck

After Prati had crashed, smashing motor as well as model, there was great activity in the Italian camp to prepare another engine Tigre. Designer Jaures Garofali checked over another motor, and then ran it in. This was the highlight of the meeting. He started the motor on a 6 x 8 Tornado, tuned it, then placed a screwdriver in the prop blades, shearing them and let the motor run on the hub only estimated revs, 28-30,000 !

An interesting delta

Johnny Hall was our top man flying the " British Racing Partnership " (Hall, Wright Butcher) Carter engined delta. This was one of the best made, and certainly the most constructionally original model at the meeting. It features aluminium wings hollow formed from thin sheet and secured by screws to a stub wing section which is integrally cast in the special pans. Thus should a wing become damaged it is merely unscrewed and replaced with a new one. Against this, of course, is the of weight - the model weighs 13.6 oz. instead of the usual 10-11 oz.

The engine, which is the first that Fred Carter has ever made completely from scratch using his own castings, is internally very similar his Nipper -a motor that was probably most powerful 2.5 ever made-and is fed from a metal tank " pressured " from the cruet. The model is completed with a Bondaglas top which acts merely as a fairing. An interesting " by-product " of the almost all metal cstruction of this model is cooling. With engine " blued " to the pan, this and the wings act as a radiator and difficulty has been rxperienced in getting the motor to run hot enough-even on very high quantities of nitro !

For his first attempt Hall had agreed with team manager Pete Wright to treat it as a test flight and not get a timed run. This, as it turned out, was a mistake because on the second attempt the motor richened up and cut as Johnny got in the pylon. For his second flight the motor was lean due, it was later discovered, to an air leak in the pressure line, and on the second attempt he just clipped the prop on take-off but none the less got in a time of 178 k.p.h. on half a blade !

With the remaining flight not until the following day it was decided to try a hotter fuel, but a long lean run on a test flight " cooked " the motor which meant much midnight oil spent cleaning it up. The first attempt for the last contest flight was, therefore, very much "hit and miss" but a few quick test flights at lunch time sorted out a good setting and all hopes were on the last attempt. It was not to be, however, for the weather turned colder (it was variable throughout the weekend) and the motor was again rich.

Although rather disappointing on its first outing, this model has possibly the greatest potential of any in this country, and in view of the final rush to get it ready (Peter Chinn drove down from Norfolk with some fuel the evening Before the team left) did well to fly at all.

Of the other British entries Ron Irvine was using the Carter/Super-Tigre built for the '56 Champs and, in addition to having trouble sorting his needle setting, fractured a metal motor mount during his second flight. It is a pity that his attempts earlier in the year to use a metal tank were unsuccessful as there is no doubt that the pen bladder type tank he had to use is most unreliable.

Pete Stevens was using a delta powered with a Russian motor which was going very well but halfway through his flight he lost control and bounced the model in.

Top private (as opposed to works or state sponsored) entry was, not unexpectedly, Battlo with his Super-Tigre powered delta and he was closely followed by K. Jaaskelainen using a 1958 type M.V.V.S.

The Czechs did not put in an appearance this year which is a pity as they may well have given the top men a real run for their money.