2010 FAI Control Line World Championships

Gyula, Hungary
Jul 25 2010 to Jul 30 2010

2010 Control Line World Championships

F2A Speed Report by Alexander Valishev

The 2010 World Championships were hosted by Hungary, a country with rich traditions in control line speed. Hungarians dominated in F2A in the early 1980s, claiming the first three places at the 1982 and 1984 World Champs. This year also marked the 50th anniversary of the FAI Control Line World Championships, the first being held in Hungary’s capital, Budapest in 1960. Remarkably, the 2010 World Title in speed went to a Hungarian, Sandor Kalmar, who ended the 12-year winning streak of Luis Parramon of Spain. And with 53 competitors, 6 of them juniors, representing 20 countries the F2A category was as strong as half a century ago.

The competition venue was located at a local airport near the town of Gyula, some 3 hours of driving from Budapest. Stunt and Combat were flown off grass circles and Team Racing had the luxury of a purposely-built doughnut concrete track with a permanent safety net. The speed site was laid at an airplane parking lot constructed of concrete slabs, with temporary steel netting panels providing safety over 2/3 of the circumference. There were small gaps and differences in elevation between the slabs, which caused some of the models to bounce on landing. In addition to that, the field had a slope resulting in about 0.5m difference in flying height between two ends. This presented a difficulty to some pilots and raised questions about the accuracy of height judging. Luckily, the above-mentioned features did not have any effect on the performance of the U.S. team, and I would say the field was quite adequate overall. An advantage the speed site had over other disciplines was the access to a large hangar with tables and chairs, making work on the models between attempts more convenient. The hangar also provided ample protection from sun and rain, and I must say there was no lack of either during the time of the contest. Another commendable element of the venue was the concession stand, where a thirsty competitor could grab a pint of very good local beer for the price equivalent of 2 dollars.

The 2010 F2A USA team consisted of Carl Dodge, Bill Hughes, Alex Valishev and junior James Van Sant. Carl and Bill are both multi-time team members. My count yielded 12 and 8 appearances for the two of them, respectively. For James and myself this was our first World Champs, and we thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and meeting new friends. As Bill noted, there was much camaraderie between our team and other teams.

World Cup Event

The entire U.S. team came to Gyula 3 days before the official opening day (Sunday, July 25). This helped us to adjust to the European time, find luggage and model boxes lost by airlines, and get some practice. For Speed and Racing there was a World Cup event held at the World Champs site on Friday and Saturday. All four of the speed team members used this opportunity to sample the local conditions and practice in the European air. The Contest Director of the World Cup speed event was Jo Halman, who moved heaven and earth to get the field in order and train officials. Thanks to her efforts, the competition was run on schedule, allowing the 30 entrants to concentrate on their equipment performance. The weather was very hot both days, temperature at times reaching 32°C (90°F) with the humidity around 60%. The leaders though did not seem to have any trouble finding a setting for this weather: Sandor Kalmar (HUN), Peter Halman (GBR), Paul Eisner (GBR) and Alexander Osovik (UKR) turned speeds faster than 290 kph in the first round on Friday. Carl was not far behind at 289.6. Bill did 281.7, James got a very creditable 277.0 and I had a zero. In rounds 2 and 3, flown on Saturday, all leaders improved their speeds. Kalmar posted 298.2 to claim gold, Halman took silver at 295.5 and Osovik came third with 295.0. Adding to the pack above 290 were Ferenc Szvacsek (HUN), Carl at 292.3 (6th place) and myself at 291.9 (7th place). Bill did not improve his first round result, finishing 16th. James demonstrated stable performance in all three rounds, winning the Junior competition and placing 20th overall. It was not easy to make any projections based on the World Cup results considering that many people chose to fly their No. 2 models and engines (which is what all of the team USA did). The obvious fact was that the British team was as strong as ever, Hungary, Ukraine and the USA had a lot of potential.

Official Practice and Opening

The day of official practice, processing and opening ceremony, Sunday, July 25, brought everybody a surprise in the form of rain and much cooler weather. The U.S. team was scheduled to practice first at 8:30 in the morning when the temperature was 16°C (61°F) – quite a change from Saturday. We made good use of the 40 minutes allocated to us, turning speeds about what was expected. The time slot of the British team was right after us and we witnessed all three of their team members practicing at around 299 kph, quite impressive!

It stopped raining by the time of the opening ceremony and the weather was calm and cloudy.  The teams lined up in front of the airport building, a local government official said a brief speech, the FAI Jury was introduced, and the World Championships were declared open! The entertainment part of the program was an aerobatic performance by a Hungarian pilot in a Yak-52. In the end, the prizes were awarded to the winners of the World Cup competition. We were very proud to see USA’s James Van Sant receiving the first place award in the F2A Junior category.

First Round

According to the draw for Round 1, which was to be held on Monday, Carl was scheduled to fly at 9:20. So we showed up at the field early only to learn that the round has been moved to Tuesday due to the organizers’ failing to provide fuel and set up some of the components of the field gear. The Contest Director, Goran Olsson, could do nothing but declare open practice, which was also used to train the officials.

With the organization fixed, the first round started on Tuesday morning with low, cloudy sky but comfortable temperature of 20°C (68°F). The schedule was quite tight because of the large number of entries with only a 5 min. interval between the competitor time slots. The group of officials from Poland, under the guidance of Goran Olsson from Sweden, performed their job well, and the entire contest went with minimal amount of delays.

First up was Jean-Marc Aube (FRA), who’s run sounded well for two laps but then the motor went over. But the second flight by Peter Halman (GBR) turned some heads: a very clean sounding run yielded the speed of 300.6 kph!

At 9:25 Carl Dodge entered the circle. After the model was released, he did not like the engine sound and shut it off without coming out of the dolly. A quick needle adjustment followed, we restarted the engine and off he went to record 295.7 on his first attempt! This was Carl's personal best on the longer 17.69m (58 ft) lines.

After that, the round proceeded quite well with many fliers posting times in the mid-280 range. The two notable zeros were by Francis Capo (FRA) and Jari Valo (FIN) – both of them were doing ~295 for a few laps but didn’t finish their runs. The reigning World Champion, Luis Parramon, posted 296.5. Soon after him, everybody’s attention was attracted to Sandor Kalmar’s attempt. He did not disappoint the spectators, delivering what later proved to be the fastest speed of the contest, 302.1 kph.

Jean Magne of France, the 80 years old (!!!) left-handed flier, posted a very creditable 290.2. Unfortunately, the safety thong on his handle snagged the pylon fork and the model crashed when he was coming out of the pylon. This was especially pitiful, as it was absolutely not his fault and we know he is capable of a much better performance. After the lunch break Britain’s Ken Morrissey made a perfect flight a mere 0.1 kph slower than his team mate Peter. Ken was flying the new model Irvine Halman Special motor, which is in a very early development stage but apparently has a lot of potential. My first attempt was unsuccessful, the engine just refusing to come fully on pipe so I called a re-flight. The third British team member, Paul Eisner, made a nicely sounding flight at 296.9 only to learn he was disqualified for high flying. The FAI jury allowed the protest that followed and the entire British team was now on the board with a virtually unbeatable score.

Disaster struck Bill in his first attempt – the head retaining thread on the crankcase of his No. 1 motor became loose, making it impossible to seal the combustion chamber. Bill had to opt for a re-fly, as did James.

The re-flights started at 3 pm. Not many competitors took advantage of the second attempt but everything went well for the U.S. team. After a propeller change my motor woke up and pleased us with an easy sounding 294.5, promising room for improvement. Bill extracted 279.4 from his backup model, and James recorded 263.8 – not as fast as we wanted but the important thing was that we all scored in the first round. The Profi man Alex Osovik also found his setting for a solid 292.6.

Second Round

Due to rain on Wednesday the second round was flown on Thursday, July 29. However, we made good use of the free day. Once we described the problem with Bill’s motor to the Hungarian team they were eager to help us fix it. Together we came to the local model airplane club in Gyula, and they drilled and tapped new threads on the crankcase. A fine example of true friendship and sportsmanship!

With the good weather (25-27°C or 80°F, and 50% humidity), the second round promised to be a fast one. Indeed, early in the morning Jari Valo jumped into the 4th place with a respectable 298.7. Right after him everybody gathered to watch Parramon’s flight but he failed to improve his first round score. Kalmar slowed down just slightly to 301.5, as did Morrissey at 297.4. I persuaded my engine to accept a larger prop and with still a little rich setting improved to 296.1. Unfortunately, a similar move by Carl did not pay off and he returned a zero in this round. Eisner found a few extra RPM for a 297.2.

But the big relief came when Bill produced a very confident run with his newly fixed motor for the personal best of 293.5. The U.S. now was in the 7th, 8th and 9th places! However, this was not the end of the game as fast results kept coming. Jean-Mark Aube posted a 292.2, Capo joined with 293.3 and now the entire French team was above 290. In the re-flies, Osovik equaled Capo’s score of 293.3.

In the junior competition Artur Mis of Poland took a lead with 284.5, followed by Denis Shliakhov (UKR) with 278.1 and a Swedish lady Therese Stjarnesund, who posted 273.5 in the first round. These also ended up as the final top three. The second girl in the competition, Aurelie Aube (FRA), scored 247.7 to a well deserved round of applause. Our James Van Sant had a slow run due to a lean needle setting.

Round Three

Since there was no practice day between rounds 2 and 3, many fliers stayed late on Thursday, trying to tune their equipment. These efforts paid off for some even though the weather on the day of round three was not fast. The air warmed up to 31°C (88°F) and the wind was noticeably strong. The first up was Dmitry Kunitsa (RUS) who had zeros in the first two rounds. He took a safe approach this time and posted the speed of 278.9 kph. Many fliers opted for a second attempt, including Bill and myself. Notable exceptions were Halman and Kalmar with 299.3 and 299.1, correspondingly, on their first attempt. Carl’s result was a slow 289.6 and James pulled out of the pylon not getting a score.

In the re-flies, I was unable to improve the second round result slowing down to 294.4, Bill’s speed was 289.8 and the only thing left to us was to turn into spectators. Other competitors continued on and one of them, Osovik, finally demonstrated his true form squeezing between Carl and me with the speed of 295.9 kph. The two Hungarians, Szvacsek and Elekes, also flew at the very end but could not materialize their potential.

So Sandor Kalmar took gold with the best speed of 302.1 kph, Peter Halman earned silver with 300.6 and Ken Morrissey had bronze at 300.5. The U.S. team individual placing was Alex Valishev 7th, Carl Dodge 9th and Bill Hughes 10th. James Van Sant became 5th in the junior category and 44th overall. In the team competition, Great Britain won for the seventh consecutive time, the United States finished second (best team performance since 1976), and France finished third.

Notes on Equipment

Airplanes used by all contestants were very similar in overall design and there is not much to discuss here. I would only emphasize the tendency to streamline the model contours, especially around the pipe. A fine example of this approach is Carl’s latest model (Figure 3).

All propellers were single-bladed, molded of carbon fiber and epoxy. A notable innovation in this department is Jari Valo’s propeller made with the use of a CNC machined mold. Per Jari, there is very little finishing involved, and the propeller is very consistent and performs well in a wide range of air conditions.

Finally, a few words about engines. Of the top ten competitors, 5 used Profi’s (or at least Profi crankcases, as in the case of Kalmar and Parramon), 4 ran the Irvine Halman Special, and Jari Valo was the sole user of the Kostin CK. I did not keep the score, but Profi was arguably the most popular power plant among the rest of fliers. Two of the French team members used Irvines, and there were a couple of CK’s and perhaps other makes. All modern motors seem to be competitive and the key to success, in my opinion, is consistency. Apparently, the top three have mastered it – their fastest runs were attained on the first attempt with minimal or no practice. On the other hand, many fliers went fast in test sessions but could not repeat their best performance in competition.

The U.S. team used a variety of motors: Carl flew a slightly modified 2005 Profi with the standard aluminum pipe, Bill ran a 2008 Profi with some modifications and a nickel pipe, James had 2007 Profi’s and I was the black sheep fielding the 2009 Irvine Halman Special. Bill and Carl manufacture their own carbon fiber propellers of Carl’s design. I finish propellers molded by Al Kelly.

Acknowledgments

The atmosphere at the World Championships had a spirit of true friendship, so first of all we would like to thank all fellow competitors for creating this feeling of a holiday.

For the three senior U.S. team members, the trip to Hungary culminated with a one and a half day trip to Budapest, organized by Ferenc Szvacsek and Csaba Jando. Thanks to their hospitality, we were able to see the beauty of Hungary’s capital from the inside.

We are indebted to Sandor Kalmar, Ferenc Szvacsek and the members of Gyula model airplane club for their help in repairing Bill’s engine.

We would like to thank members of the American speed community for their support of the 2010 F2A team. We are especially grateful to Buz Johnson for his efforts on organization of the raffles and his donation of the Team cards – they were very helpful.

No words can express my personal gratitude to Al Kelly. He influenced everything I learned in F2A over the past 5 years.

Figure 1. World Champions, past and present: Peter Halman, Carl Dodge, Luis Parramon, Patrick Constant, Sandor Kalmar.

Figure 2. The 2010 USA F2A Team: Alex Valishev, Carl Dodge, Bill Hughes, James Van Sant (junior).

Figure 3. Carl Dodge’s 2010 model.

Figure 4. Ferenc Szvacsek (Hungary) with his model. Note the streamlined pipe.

 

Figure 5. Sandor Kalmar (Hungary, left) and Jean Magne (France, right).

 

Figure 6. Team USA pitting for each other. Photo courtesy of Melissa Valade.

 

Figure 7. James Van Sant (left) and Carl Dodge (right) in the pylon. Photo courtesy of Melissa Valade.

F2A INDIVIDUAL CLASSIFICATION - 2010 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, GYULA, HUNGARY                
NATION FAI LICENCE NUMBER COMPETITOR NUMBER COMPETITOR NAME ROUND 1 (kph) ROUND 2 (kph) ROUND 3 (kph) BEST PLACED
HUN 0 594 A54 KALMAR, Sandor 302,1 301,5 299,1 302,1 1
GBR 0 50198 A29 HALMAN, Peter 300,6 0 299,3 300,6 2
GBR 0 02525 A30 MORRISSEY, Ken 300,5 297,4 0 300,5 3
FIN 1654 A09 VALO, Jari 0 298,7 0 298,7 4
GBR 0 57093 A28 EISNER, Paul 296,9 297,2 272,5 297,2 5
ESP 312 A22 PARRAMON, Luis WCh 08 296,5 279 0 296,5 6
USA 816156 A06 VALISHEV, Alexander 294,5 296,1 294,4 296,1 7
UKR 215 A32 OSOVYK, Alex 292,6 293,3 295,9 295,9 8
USA 6109 A04 DODGE, Carl 295,7 0 289,6 295,7 9
USA 53326 A05 HUGHES, William 279,4 293,5 289,8 293,5 10
FRA 5014 A48 CAPO, Francis 0 293,3 290,1 293,3 11
FRA 592 A49 AUBE, Jean-Marc 0 292,2 291,4 292,2 12
FRA 57 A47 MAGNE, Jean 290,2 280,2 0 290,2 13
SWE 2364 A43 GUSTAFSSON, Jan 279,5 289,8 0 289,8 14
UKR 117 A34 BELIKOV, Valeriy 289,1 0 283,1 289,1 15
SWE 228 A42 SAMUELSSON, Bengt-Olof 0 288,6 0,0 288,6 16
ITA 19218 A25 GROSSI, Luca 0 285,9 288,2 288,2 17
DEN 822 A17 LYHNE-HANSEN,Niels 270,4 280,7 287,6 287,6 18
POL 3704 A51 PRAUS, Pawel 287,6 284,3 284,8 287,6 19
SWE 8208 A41 STJARNESUND, Per 287,3 284,8 285,6 287,3 20
NED 25319 A45 METKEMEIJER, Rob 284,2 286,2 0 286,2 21
RUS 0 1783 A20 GAVRIK, Vadim 286,2 280,8 283,2 286,2 22
HUN 0 135 A56 ELEKES, Imre 285,4 0 272,5 285,4 23
POL 6639 A53 MIS, Artur Jun 148,3 284,5 0 284,5 24
UKR 133 A33 GORDIENKO, Oleksandr 283,4 280,8 0 283,4 25
AUT 610021 35434 A38 POPOV, Ivo 0 0 282,3 282,3 26
ITA 5417 A26 PIRAZZOLI, Ivo 282,3 280,5 0 282,3 27
HUN 1941 A55 SZVACSEK, Ferenc 0 277,4 281,6 281,6 28
ITA 3572 A27 TOMELLERI, Sergio 0 271,6 280,2 280,2 29
AUS 2888 A39 KERR, Anthony 279,7 260,8 280,0 280,0 30
FIN 4235 A10 SAIKKONEN, Antti 279,8 260,5 275,9 279,8 31
AUT 720069 0099 A37 MARKSTEINER, Maximilian 255,7 271,2 279,3 279,3 32
RUS 0 1520 A18 KUNITSA, Dmitry 0 0 278,9 278,9 33
UKR 565 A35 SHLIAKHOV, Dennis Jun 0 278,1 268,9 278,1 34
SWE 59867 A44 STJARNESUND, Therese Jun 273,5 268,3 269,9 273,5 35
Results Certified by the FAI Jury 31-July-10                
      Mr Bohumil VOTYPKA, Member Mr Lyubomir DONCHEV, Member Mrs Jo Halman, President          
F2A INDIVIDUAL CLASSIFICATION - 2010 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, GYULA, HUNGARY cont/2                
NATION FAI LICENCE NUMBER COMPETITOR NUMBER COMPETITOR NAME ROUND 1 (kph) ROUND 2 (kph) ROUND 3 (kph) BEST PLACED
RUS 0 1205 A21 NAGIEV, Emil Jun 266,9 272,8 271,0 272,8 36
GER 2806 A01 BIRNSTEIN, René 0 272,5 0,0 272,5 37
GER 2453 A03 SCHMITZ, Norbert 0 272,1 0,0 272,1 38
BRA 1835 A13 SILVEIRA, Marcio 0 0 271,8 271,8 39
BUL 0 0156 A40 STEFANOV, Stefan 253 0 269,9 269,9 40
RUS 0 2008 A19 FEDEROV, Nikita 265,6 268,0 265,5 268,0 41
AUT 720069 0002 A36 MARKSTEINER, Franz 0 258,1 266,4 266,4 42
BRA 2707 A11 MEI, Luiz 0 259,1 265,6 265,6 43
USA 13924 A07 VAN SANT, James Jun 263,8 245,6 0,0 263,8 44
BRA 1401 A12 DANNA, Mario 0 0 254,4 254,4 45
FRA 1000 A50 AUBE, Aurélie Jun 0 247,7 0,0 247,7 46
GER 3469 A02 BIRNSTEIN, Wolfgang 244,0 222,5 237,0 244,0 47
POL 6559 A52 HOLECZEK, Robert 170,1 0,0 0,0 170,1 48
FIN 4235 A08 LAHTINEN, Matti 0 0 0,0 0,0 -
KAZ 600 A24 OXENENKO, Alexey 0 0 0,0 0,0 -
NED 29232 A46 GIJSBERTSEN, Bert 0 0 0,0 0,0 -
NZL 10/AM15 A31 BELL, William 0 0 0,0 0,0 -
F2A Individual Junior Classification - 2010 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, GYULA, HUNGARY                
NATION FAI Licence COMPETITOR NUMBER SURNAME ROUND 1 (kph) ROUND 2 (kph) ROUND 3 (kph) BEST PLACED
POL 6639 A53 MIS, Artur Jun 148,3 284,5 0,0 284,5 1
UKR 565 A35 SHLIAKHOV, Dennis Jun 0 278,1 268,9 278,1 2
SWE 59867 A44 STJARNESUND, Therese Jun 273,5 268,3 269,9 273,5 3
RUS 0 1205 A21 NAGIEV, Emil Jun 266,9 272,8 271,0 272,8 4
USA 13924 A07 VAN SANT, James Jun 263,8 245,6 0,0 263,8 5
FRA 1000 A50 AUBE, Aurélie Jun 0 247,7 0,0 247,7 6
Results Certified by the FAI Jury 31-July-10                
      Mr Bohumil VOTYPKA, Member Mr Lyubomir DONCHEV, Member Mrs Jo Halman, President          
F2A TEAM CLASSIFICATION - 2010 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, GYULA, HUNGARY                
      NATION TEAM BEST TOTAL PLACED      
      GBR 898,3 1      
      USA 885,3 2      
      FRA 875,7 3      
      HUN 869,1 4      
      UKR 868,4 5      
      SWE 865,7 6      
      ITA 850,7 7      
      RUS 833,1 8      
      AUT 828,0 9      
      BRA 791,8 10      
      GER 788,6 11      
      POL 742,2 12      
      FIN 578,5 13      
      ESP 296,5 14      
      DEN 287,6 15      
      NED 286,2 16      
      AUS 280,0 17      
      BUL 269,9 18      
      KAZ 0 -      
      NZL 0 -      
Results Certified by the FAI Jury 31-July-10                
      Mr Bohumil VOTYPKA, Member Mr Lyubomir DONCHEV, Member Mrs Jo Halman, President