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International Meets: Rubber Power Wakefield F.A.I. Free Flight "Gas"
1955 Air Trails Annual Edition Hobbies for Young Men

Annual Edition 1955 Air Trails
Annual Edition 1955 Air Trails Cover - Airplanes and RocketsTable of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

Are you an aeromodeler and does your name happen to be Carl Hermes, Rolf Hagen, Robert Dunham, or Donald MacKenzie? Were also you contesting in the free flight realm during the mid 1950s? If so, you might find yourself among these photos taken during the 1954 international championships held at the Suffolk County Air Force Base, sponsored by now defunct Convair aircraft company. All those young men are old timers now, as are the models they were flying. Maybe one of these fellows is your father or grandfather. Print out the photo and send it to him if you want to see a grown man cry. Take a close look at the last photo and you will spy none other than Lt. General Jimmy Doolittle taking part in the awards ceremony.

Here is coverage of the 1954 World Model Air Olympics.

International Meets: Rubber Power Wakefield F.A.I. Free Flight "Gas"

Suffolk Co., N. Y., Air Force Base was location of Wakefield & F.A.I. Championships - Airplanes and Rockets

How's this for a beautiful free flight site? Suffolk Co., N. Y., Air Force Base was location of Wakefield & F.A.I. Championships.

Aeromodeling's 2 top events combined last season to produce Model Olympics of the Air. Sponsor: Convair. Host: USAF

Swedish entry by Rolf Hagen - Airplanes and Rockets

Swedish entry by Rolf Hagen in gas event flown by Mr. Hakansson to 9th place with 10:01 total.

Don Wilson, New Zealand - Airplanes and Rockets

Ed Naudzius, Detroit, proxy-flies Wakefield by Don Wilson, New Zealand (15th).

The United States won three out of four major events to take top honors in the first World Model Olympics staged last season at Suffolk County Air Force Base on Long Island, N.Y. The lone foreign victory was scored by Australia when Alan King of Victoria defeated entries from 8 other nations to win the historic Wakefield Cup for rubber-powered model planes.

Alan King, flying for Australia - Airplanes and Rockets

The winner! Alan King, flying for Australia, scored five perfect 3-minute flights to capture Lord Wakefield trophy. 

Eduardo Benavidez of Argentinian - Airplanes and Rockets

Entry by Upson of Great Britain in F.A.I. readied by Call and Parmenter, U.S. (14th). 

Americans won team titles in the Wakefield and also in the F.A.I (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) engine-powered contest, and a member of the U.S. team, Carl R. Wheeley of Washington, D.C., took the individual championship in free flight.

The famous Franjo Kluz Cup, emblematic of the world supremacy for engine-powered endurance models, was awarded to the U.S. power team. This trophy was donated by the Aero Club of Yugoslavia. The F.N.A. Cup, donated by the Aero Club of France, went to the American Wakefield team. Twelve nations were represented at the Model Air Olympics with more than 50 individual contestants on hand from all six continents. The competition was sponsored by Convair Division of General Dynamics Corp; the U.S. Air Force served as official host.

Fabi Mursep, Argentina - Airplanes and Rockets

Fabi Mursep, Argentina (8th) in Wakefield.

Upson of Great Britain in F.A.I. - Airplanes and Rockets

Eduardo Benavidez of Argentinian team placed 21 st with II :20 total time.

Cesar Altamirano of Argentina - Airplanes and Rockets

Cesar Altamirano of Argentina with Wakefield entry. His team placed 5th in Wakefield event, 2nd in gas contest.


American Entrants Capture Both Top-Team Trophies - Airplanes and RocketsAmerican Entrants Capture Both Top-Team Trophies

Winning United States team enjoys complimentary remarks offered by Air Force Colonel Jack Bradley as the Air Defense wing commander presents the F.N.A. team trophy at the Awards Dinner. This highly coveted group prize is given for the rubber-powered Wakefield event. Team members who amassed a total of 2,404 points were (from left) Robert DeBatty of Oaklawn, Ill. (738 pts.); Robert Dunham of Tulsa, Okla. (835); Warren Gillespie, Jr., of Hampton, Va. (771); and Richard Baxter of LaMesa, Calif. (798). At left side of table is the well-known cup donated by the late Lord Wakefield of Hythe; at the right can be seen the fabulous Franjo Kluz trophy which is awarded to the top performing group in F.A.I. power flying. This team prize also went to the U.S.A. for the 2,204 point total racked up by gas modelers Carl Wheeley, Dave Kneeland, John Tatone and Ray Lagermeier.

Carl Hermes of U.S. - Airplanes and Rockets

Top proxy performer in '54 Wakefield was Carl Hermes of U.S. who flew Charles Jackson's model to 2nd for Great Britain.

Argentina team member Oscar Lastra - Airplanes and Rockets

Argentina team member Oscar Lastra checks out his conventional, clean free flight. He used single wheel and sub-rudder skids.

Canada's Donald MacKenzie - Airplanes and Rockets

Canada's Donald MacKenzie assumes a prayerful, hands-off stance as he launches his rubber-powered entry. Don's total: 675 seconds.

proxy flyer by name of Hermes - Airplanes and Rockets

Take one good model. ship it across the Atlantic Ocean, give it to a proxy flyer by name of Hermes and here's the result!

1954 Wakefield Results - Airplanes and Rockets

1954 Wakefield results

1954 FAI Gas Results - Airplanes and Rockets

1954 FAI Results

Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle, USAF - Airplanes and Rockets

Among the celebrities from left): Thomas Lanphier. Jr., president National Aeronautic Assoc. (and V.P. of Convair, the Model Olympics sponsor): Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle, USAF (Ret.); Queen of the Meet, Joan Nelson with Frank Lashek's F-92 Dyna-Jet control scale (from last year's AT Annual): and Keith Storey, president, A.M.A.


U.S.A.'s Ray Lagermeier - Airplanes and Rockets

After getting off to a bad start and missing out completely on his first two tries, U.S.A.'s Ray Lagermeier madeĀ· 3 perfect flights.

Timers put the clock on an official flight - Airplanes and Rockets

Familiar sight around the world of aeromodeling: Timers put the clock on an official flight as contestants watch at rear.

Australia's lone entrant in the Lord Wakefield competition, Alan King - Airplanes and Rockets

Here's the Story: A King and a Queen

Australia's lone entrant in the Lord Wakefield competition, Alan King (center) is crowned "king" of all international rubber powered model flying with the awarding of the famous old blue ribbon cup. Five perfect flights of 3 minutes each brought him the prized trophy. Standing at left is Keith H. Storey of Pasadena, Calif., president of the Academy of Model Aeronautics and a famous control line speed and team race flyer. Representing women in aviation as "Miss Air Olympics" was Joan Nelson of Sea Cliff, L. I., an airlines stewardess. Scene of presentation was the Henry Perkins Hotel, Riverhead, L I., following the conclusion of the two-day Convair-sponsored Model Air Olympics. King, aged 26, was three times Australian National Champ, is an industrial chemist. With a 5th place in the F.A.I. Gas event he very nearly became the first individual to score a double win.

Manuel Andrade of U.S.A. - Airplanes and Rockets

Manuel Andrade of U.S.A., proxy for Allan Lim Joan, Australia, gets Wakefield model off to fine flight. Joon-Andrade placed 3rd.

Dick Quermann of U.S.A. - Airplanes and Rockets

Dick Quermann of U.S.A. with Great Britain model built by William Rockell. This Rockell-Quermann proxy team ended in 11th place.




Posted March 23, 2014

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Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

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