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.
International Meets: Rubber Power Wakefield F.A.I. Free Flight "Gas"
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.
Swedish entry by Rolf Hagen in gas event flown by Mr. Hakansson to 9th place with
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.
The winner! Alan King, flying for Australia, scored five perfect :3-minute flights
to capture Lord Wakefield trophy.
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.
Ed Naudzius, Detroit, proxy-flies Wakefield by Don Wilson, New Zealand (15th).
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.
Eduardo Benavidez of Argentinian team placed 21 st with II :20 total time.
Entry by Upson of Great Britain in F.A.I. readied by Call and Parmenter, U.S. (14th).
Fabi Mursep, Argentina (8th) in Wakefield.
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
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.
Top proxy performer in '54 Wakefield was Carl Hermes of U.S. who flew Charles Jackson's
model to 2nd for Great Britain.
After getting off to a bad start and missing out completely on his first two tries,
U.S.A.'s Ray Lagermeier made· 3 perfect flights.
Familiar sight around the world of aeromodeling: Timers put the clock on an official
flight as contestants watch at rear.
Argentina team member Oscar Lastra checks out his conventional, clean free flight.
He used single wheel and sub-rudder skids.
Canada's Donald MacKenzie assumes a prayerful, hands-off stance as he launches his
rubber-powered entry. Don's total: 675 seconds.
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!
Here's the Storey:
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.
1954 Wakefield results
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. with Great Britain model built by William Rockell. This Rockell-Quermann
proxy team ended in 11th place.
1954 FAI Results
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.
Posted March 23, 2014