Take a look at
the variety of models at the 1963 West Coast AMA Nationals and you will notice that
the overall types and outlines have not really changed all that significantly for
the different categories. Stunt, speed, scale, free flight, and other models, if
the pictures were in color, would look like what you might see at the 2013 Nats
in Muncie this years (OK, the helicopters were more crude). Only a discerning eye
could spot the true vintage from the photos. Up close, there is undoubtedly a lesser
degree of precision and detail on the models since competition always moves the
bar higher over time. If anything betrays the era, it is the haircuts and less slovenly
attire of the participants. I hate to point it out, but there's probably an average
weight difference of about 20-30 pounds less per entrant - and I'm not referring
to the models ;-)
West Coast Nationals
Blue Ribbon Air-Modeling
by Dick Everet
National Champs, and all Californians! From left: Tom Smyly,
15, Los Angeles, Junior (under 16 years) Champion; John Lenderman, 39, Santa Clara
insurance man, Open (over 21) and Grand Champion; Dennis Bronco, 17, Lakewood, Senior
Champion. Dennis was Junior Champ in 1961, is a letter man in basketball and baseball
at St. John Bosco High School, Class of '64 V.P. Lenderman served in USAF, is married,
has three sons, 14, 11 and 1 1/2 years old.
Ye Olde California Apothecary Shoppe or what it takes to fly
speed at the Nats. Entrants from Fremont, California.
Top honors in Senior C/Line Flying Scale were taken by Bob Welch,
Tracy, California Cessna Skymaster is 1" to foot from "Air Progress" plans; 38"
span; two Fox 15RC's.
Dallas' Dubby Jett: 1st in Sr. Speed 1/2A, A (ST 15), B (ST 29),
and C. Second in Proto Speed (Fox 29X). Mighty fast Texan!
Dr. Lee Taylor, Lakewood, Colorado; original Husky Pup III helicopter
with Cox 051 whirled off to first place in chopper event. Doc's a whizz with the
Bob Deshields, Van Nuys, California, shows his indoor microfilm-covered
stick-type endurance job to USN's Cmdr Paul Boyer of Naval Air Training Command.
Bob flew off with firsts in three Junior Indoor categories: Microfilm Stick, Cabin,
Top Combat Seniors from left, Jerry Pearce, Pico Rivera, California,
2nd, Johnson BB36, Voodoo; Danny Jones, Long Beach, California, 1st, Johnson Combat,
Egad; Art Jerome, Detroit, 3rd, Johnson Combat, Sneaker.
Stunt champs, from lt., Steve Harris, Fullerton, Cal., Sr., 56"
original, 60·oz, K&B 45; Bob Gialdini, Milwaukee, Open, 56" Sting Ray, 48-oz,
Merco 35; Gerry Cipra, Cleveland, Jr., Nobler, Fox 35.
First F/F Scale: C. O. Wright's 1908 Antoinette, 30", Atwood
049, Topeka, Kansas.
First R/C Scale: Max Hester, Des Moines, Iowa, P-63 King Cobra"
Fox 59, Orbit 12-channel.
Bill Wisniewski checks displacement; California swept speed.
Open Combat, from left, Howard Henry, Slaton Tex., 2nd Johnson
Combat Spl, Sneaker; Billy James, Ft. Smith, Arkansas, 3rd, mod'ed Big Iron, Fox
35X; Carl Berryman, Altus, Oklahoma, 1st, Big Iron, Johnson BB36.
In FAI F/F fly-off, standing, Craig Cusick (4th), Saturn III
(left); Al Vela (3rd), Lipstick. Front, left, Roger Simpson (2nd), JAI-FAI; Robert
Cherny (1st), Hi Society.
Oldest contestant, William Ellerman, Madison, Wisconsin, 3rd
with original copter, Fox 15.
R/C Pylon Speed winner, Zel Ritchie, Westminster, California,
Capan design, Space Control.
Former Nats' champ Frank Cummings with indoor cabin that set
Open Class AMA Team Race champs: Bernie Tautz (left), Jack Garcia;
ETA 150, mod Tigeress.
From the Monday morning's opening indoor events at Santa Ana's blimp hangars
thru Sunday's final outdoor events at the Los Alamitos, Calif., Naval Association,
the 32nd National Model Airplane Championships saw records shattered every day.
The contest, held July 29 thru August 1 drew an advance registration of 114 Junior,
154 Senior, and 707 Open Class contestants from 34 states.
John Lenderman, 39, Santa Clara, California passed the early leaders early Sunday
morning to become Grand National Champion as well as Open Class (over 21) Champion.
Needing at least 9 minutes in C gas to win this honor, John passed this on his 2nd
max, then to put frosting on the cake - he maxed out to make a 4th flight. These
100 points were 43 more than he needed.
Dennis Bronco, 17, Lakewood, who had been Junior champion when in that age bracket,
topped all Seniors (16 to 21) to become the Senior National Champion.
Tom Smyly, 15, Los Angeles, topped a field of excellent junior flyers to be Junior
National Champion. This was indeed a great year for the California flyers.
Being real curious about what events John competed in, we asked him and got the
following information. He flew in A-1, A-2 Nordic where he placed second, Wakefield
for 1st with 25:36 - and a new National Record, Unlimited Rubber. For the gas events,
B & C gas, and for control line, Proto Speed and Stunt. John had been National's
stunt champion in 1952. This year's win was well thought out with some excellent
In John we have a true national champion, proficient in U-Control and Free Flight
- both gas and rubber. Contrary to some thinking that a champion doesn't win events,
here is one who not only won an event but set a new national record while capturing
a first place trophy. John is a member of the "900" Club of the Northern California
Free Flight Council.
John is an insurance salesman; he's been moved from town to town in California
by his company. In each community he joined or formed model clubs and has been an
active modeler for 31 years.
Los Alamitos Naval Air Station was opened to the modelers early Monday morning.
The huge workshop hangar was soon thriving. There were so many work benches that
they were never all used. Registration was fast and easy, all indoor entrants picked
up their envelopes at the Santa Ana Marine Air Base which opened real early for
lots of flying.
The huge balloon dock was crowded with contestants and helpers. Models of all
sizes and description filling the air. It was difficult early in the morning to
find space to throw a glider. As the time went on, the place thinned out, the open
winners not making any flights til late in the evening.
In the rubber powered indoor endurance events, the eventual winners just stood
around and watched til almost noon, when things thinned out some then started flying
their tissue jobs. It seemed that hardly any of the name flyers were doing any early
flying, certainly no serious attempts.
Warren Williams started the dock buzzing when he pulled out a twin cabin model
with contra rotating propellers. This model practically stopped all other flying.
Everyone just couldn't believe it, they had to see it for themselves.
When the flying started in earnest, it was soon evident that it was going to
take real high times, possibly record performances to win. Ed Stoll and Bill Atwood
had a ding-dong battle in paper stick with Bill finally on top with 23 :22 to Ed's
Along about 5 o'clock the big boys started breaking out their good mike stuff.
Bill Atwood set an early cabin mark of 23 plus, Lew Gitlow topped this with 23:41
only to have Frank Cummings turn in 24:35 ... which looked like a sure winner. Gitlow
then came back with a near record flight of 25:16. Then Joe Bilgri put in a flight
of 25:26. This looked like it til Frank Cummings put up his last flight at about
7:15 p.m. for a new record of 27:43. (Incidentally, all three of these high times
came with all the models in the air at the same time.) Joe Bilgri then came out
for his third flight but with enough winds for a 30 minute flight the wing just
wouldn't take the added strain. A new wing was put on the model and a new motor
was put in but, like the wing, it just wouldn't take the power. Splat.
Meanwhile, the big mike stick jobs were eating up the time. First, some flights
of 30 minutes plus were made, then it seemed like every watch had a 40 minute possibility.
Joe Bilgri "hung up" in the girders or roof on every flight ... Frank Cummings had
trouble hanging up ... then suddenly amid all these crumpled wings and tails, Dick
Kowalski put up a perfect flight which stayed in the exact center for 40:10! The
magic USA 40 Minute Circle now had two members since Tom Finch had set a national
record in the FAI elims. (The 40 minutes must be done in this country since indoor
modelers feel that Cardington in England is 5 to 10 minutes better than any building
in this country.)
One by one, the top western flyers made a run at Dick's time. Paul "Bud" Romak
coming the closest with 39:40, Lew Gitlow 37:28, Carl Redlin 35:02, but all fell
There seems to be one basic problem with these very light record models and that
is their light structure. Most seem to take the normal forces of forward flight
but if one hits on obstruction and/or tail slides downward, things start happening,
tips, tails and etc. fold. They just aren't stressed for anything other than normal
Meanwhile, at the other end of the Santa Ana hangar the guys with the one long
arm were having a field day from a floor literally filled with modelers launching
gliders. But as the day went on, the crowd grew thinner. Bob Deshields of Van Nuys
posted a real good 1:10 to easily top the Junior field; William Vanderbeek whose
1:022 was second. Bob Beecroft of San Diego was the best Senior with 1:11.5, beating
Bill Blanchard's 1:07. In open, the pre-contest favorite, Lee Hines, again waited
til late in the evening, until 8 p.m., to post his winning 1:17.6. Curtis Stevens
made his last try at about 8:45, his best was 1:13 for second. Reid Simpson of the
Air Force team was third with 1:08.9.
On Tuesday the outdoor events were spread out over the entire Los Alamitos N.A.S.
field. Each morning we'd get up real early after the usual wee small hours' bull
session and make it to the free flight gas events soon after flying started. No
matter how early it was, it seemed like some one was always going after his 3rd
max by the time we arrived! Outdoor air at Los Al seemed to be real good by 7 a.m.,
so good that max's were the order of the day.
Ray Van De Walker flew his Stardusters to the most amazing "record" we have ever
witnessed. He maxed out in 1/2A, A and B, only to goof the fourth flight in each
event! We know of no one else who has ever maxed out in all these let alone flub
every 4th flight. Sure was nice to see him on C day still smiling and trying. Some
[From outdoor gas events let's take a trip across runways to the non-gas battle.
This normally took up most of each morning. From this to the R/C events held upwind
from the free flights. After a stay at R/C we spent the rest of each day at U-control.
When Ukie shut down came a trip back to R/C for Pylon speed flying. Friday and Saturday
afternoons had been set aside for trips to the indoor FAI elims but this schedule
got upset when the field was closed and all flying stopped as the Blue Angels and
other full-scale aircraft landed. So indoors on Friday was passed up when it became
obvious that C speed was going to be a ding-dong battle. Saturday tho we made it
to Santa Ana.]
It was obvious early Tuesday morning that it would require some real good free
flighting with high 4th flights to win anything at this 32nd Nats. Tom Smyly went
from his winning B gas Junior on to win his championship. Gary Hover of Visalia
won Senior B gas with 24:40. In Open Woody Gregory flew his Starduster to 1st place
with a fine 28:25. Vic Cunningham and his Mexi-Boy were second with 25:40; 3rd,
4th and 5th went to Dick Neugebauer, Art McNamee and Merrill Combs all of whom bettered
Over in A-1, Manny Andrade posted an early 5 max's and waited around til Frank
Steinle of Mt. View put in his 5 max's, then Manny beat Frank in the flyoff, 20:30
to 19:04. Both times very fine for A-1. Bob Beecroft won his second 1st place trophy
by topping all Seniors with 5 max's for a 15 minute total. In Junior Don Elliott
was best with a 13:13 total.
Back to the U-Control events and some real fast flying - so fast that you needed
new national records to win in the Junior and Senior events. Stephen Mueller of
Phoenix posted 134.98-mph to win Junior; Dubby Jett of Seagoville, Texas, won Senior
In Open A Speed Bill Wisniewski accomplished the first of his unprecedented wins
by posting 143.94-mph. (Bill flew in 3 official events and one impromptu FAI affair,
winning them all!) Henry Mullin of Albuquerque was second with 137.37, followed
by John Newton with 135.28. Walter Menges, Jim Nightingale and Eldon McRae flew
as the "Zoom Team" and nosed out Don Jehlik by virtue of a faster 2nd flight.
While all this was going on qualifications for Stunt and Combat eliminations
were underway. At R/C Les McBrayer was directing 140 or more radio qualifications
flights each day. Lots of activity out on that field.
Wednesday was typical, an overcast comfortable morning, a clear comfortable afternoon
and a cool evening. Half-A day was termed by one flyer as being "instant garbage"
time. Needless to say, this day produced the most flyers. It seemed like everyone
registered in the meet entered 1/2A. In the Open class, one had to better 20 minutes
to even place. Mark Carman of Santa Ana totaled 26:04 to win, Toshi Matsuda 24:45
for second. Senior Champion Dennis Bronco, did 20:12 to narrowly nose out Joe Heflin's
20:06 to win. Karl Allmendinger won Junior with 25:26. This day saw Mike Taibi -
Sal's son - winning 3rd place in his first Nats.
Doctor D. Lee Taylor of Lakewood, Colorado, won his second Helicopter Nats in
a row but was closely pressed by Glenn Lee of McFarland, Wisconsin. Taylor had 131.28
points, Lee had 125.
John Lenderman put in an early 5 max's in Wakefield, then had to wait while Reid
Simpson ran off his 5th max to force a fly-off. At the 4 o'clock moment-of-truth
John got off to a fine max while Reid, who had neglected to make up a new motor,
floundered around with a decidedly tired hunk of rubber to a 1:07 sixth flight.
No one else posted max's. Gytis Tamulaitus won Junior with 12:23; Ronnie Young did
10:35 to narrowly nose out Steve Houlihan's 10:04 for a Senior win.
In Junior B Speed Stephen Mueller bettered Dannv Wakerley of Napa - 147.24 to
144.40. Dubby Jett continued his Senior winning ways with 146.40, Jim Ketterer of
Milwaukee was pushing Dubby at 144.52.
In Open you had to top 150-mph to place. Bill "Wis" won; others - Bob Carpenter
was 2nd; John Newton, 3rd; Ernie Miller, 4th; and Laird Jackson, the only out-of-stater,
5th. Speeds were 159.23, 153.26, 153.26, 151.07 and 150.57 respectively and, I'd
Thursday morning after practically an all-night session kibitzing on the cutting
of indoor rubber (to the last .001 inch) we got out to Class A at 8:50 to find that
lots of flyers already had 3 max's and were making their 4th flights. 1/2A's with
.051 mounted seemed to outnumber the "strictly A-built" models. Some flyers flew
FAI jobs with good results. Except in the Junior class, which Randy Hill (Stan's
son) won with 14:40, if one didn't max out he was lost in the shuffle. Senior Dave
Parker won with 22:15; Paul Hatzl was 2nd with 21:25. In Open - what was then the
highest time of the meet - 31:12 won for Eugene Bartel of Albany, Ore.; Ralph Prey
was next with 30:30, Stephen Geraghty, 24:15, Virgil Coker, Phoenix, 22:37; and
Toshi Matsuda, 22:09.
Contrary to all other free flight events, it didn't take max's to win Nordic
A/2. Not one contestant made the 5 max's tho Sam Belcher of San Francisco came very
close with 14:58. Craig Cusick ran afoul of bad luck. He had 5 max's but one timer
lost track of his model on one flight and so Craig had to do it all over again only
this time to land on a barracks roof and be blown off, badly smashing the model.
His SCAT club-mates helped him for 45 feverish minutes to put the matchsticks back
together. Without a test flight he managed to tow off as the contest ended, only
to have his model fall off the tow line and stall in.
John Lenderman had a 14:33 total for second in Open. In Junior Gytis Tamulaitis
won his second 1st place trophy with 13:05; Hal Osborne was next. Larry Van Nest
won in Senior; with Larry Loucka, Cleveland, 2nd.
In Junior Proto Speed Danny Wakerley and Stephen Mueller traded places, Danny's
119.32 nosing out Steve's 177.45 for first. Dubby Jett suffered his first defeat
when John Shannon of Shreveport, La., got his Proto off to a 127.79 Mile. Dubby's
125.65 was still good for second.
In Open Proto Glenn Lee of McFarland, Wis., got off a very fast 132.33 to easily
top the pack and show the West Coast speed boys how to go fast-fast-fast. The Barr-Norsikian
Speed Team was next with 124.95; Joe White took 3rd at 123.58. Then John Newton
put his Torp 29 in Roger Theobald's Proto and on a record try Roger posted 134 -
plus for a splendid Proto record. Western flyers expect this can be topped since
the acceleration on this flight was a bit on the slow side.
Friday - FAI power day was one event we were anticipating. For this the SCAT
Club was ready to go all out. By 8:45 Bob Cherny from the Northern Calif. Free Flight
Council, Roger Simpson of the USAF team (and Reid's twin brother), and Al Vela had
already put in their 5 max's; shortly thereafter Craig Cusick scored his. We had
expected more, but Bob Van Nest managed only 2:53 on one flight so ended up in 5th
place. Cherny put up flight after perfect flight for a new record of 25:46 and 1st
place; Roger totaled 21:52 for 2nd; Vela, 3rd; and Cusick, 4th.
In Junior FAI Derek Van Dyke, Phoenix was first; Kit Taft, Barney's son, Salt
Lake City, 2nd; and Kent Nogy, John's son, 3rd.
In Senior FAI Ed Carroll of Davis won with 14:08; Jim Bradley, Orlando, Fla.,
2nd; and Bill Blanchard, 3rd.
Outdoor hand launched gliders filled the air like huge swarms of mosquitos, hundreds
of them at a time. Most flyers flew their old indoor jobs which proved to be superior
to the heavier standard outdoor types. Another overcast day, but lots of lift. Kenny
Happersett came close to 3 max's with his 14:15 far out-stripping Dick Neugebauer's
2nd placetime of 10:15. Stephen Geraghty, San Jose, was a close 3rd with 10:09.
Faust R. Parker, Jr., Fort Worth, set a new record in winning Senior with a 12:33
total. Mike Arak of Miami was 2nd with 10:03; Blaine Miller, Orlando, 3rd, 9:50.
Bill Salisbury of Salt Lake won Junior OHLG with a fine 9:54; Kent Nogy 2nd with
9:17; and Eric Albinson, 3rd,9:02.
Over in C speed the guys were really moving. Some early fast times were put in.
Doug Ward and Jerry Bradshaw worked as a team with a home-built engine to take an
early lead with 168.31. Along about 1:30 the contest was shut down to allow a dress
rehearsal the forthcoming Saturday and Sunday show by the Blue Angels et al. This
bugged most flyers since they had to clear even the pit areas and were not allowed
to work on their models. When one Shore Patrol boy stated that the full scale practice
air show would not start til the area was cleared, one modeler was heard to mutter,
"Good, if that's all it takes, we'll stay and fly!" Well, anyway - after the
show-boating was over - it was back to model flying.
Bill Wisniewski had two flights left but the needle valve on the 2nd go-round
was too short. Bill's 3rd was just right - Jim Nightingale got that needle right
after what seemed like an eternity on the ground hunting for the set - and the flight
was perfect - a smooth run throughout for a contest winning 171.03. All eyes were
now on Cliff Telford who had not yet attempted a flight. Cliff had a tight engine
so he had been off out of the way running the mill to loosen it up. Late in the
afternoon he pull-tested and took a flight. Every watch in the pit area was on this
one, for she was sure going. This was 167 plus, so the local guys know they had
to sweat this baby out. Cliff tried, managed 169.74 for second. Ward and Bradshaw
hung on for was 3rd; Don Yearout came in 4th at 168.16; Henry Mullin next
This was by far the fastest flying ever at a Nats, Shortly after the contest
closed the Ward-Bradshaw team went for a record try and made it with a 174 plus
flight. Then two days later, at 12:25 on Sunday, they pull tested and put their
same bird in the air for one flight of 1/2 mile in 10.09 seconds for a mark of 178.32
In C Speed Junior Steve Mueller continued his winning ways, posting 156.46 for
1st; Richard Crabbe's 150.57 was 2nd; Danny Wakerley, 3rd, 145.46. Dubby Jett again
topped Senior with 155.11; then John Shannon, Shreveport, 154.44; and Jerry Imboden,
The Stunt finals were also flown on Friday. Gerry Cipra of Cleveland easily bested
the Juniors with his 397 points; next came Jim Murray, Odessa, Texas, 371; and Bob
In Senior Ukie Aerobatics Steve Harris beat the favored Bart Klapinski in a heated
duel, 402 to 400 points. Ed Elasick, Garfield, N.J., was 3rd with 381.
In Open Stunt Bob Gialdini and Bill Werwage outstripped all others. Bob's 405
beat Bill's 397 for 1st. Ed Southwick posted 365; Clair Sieverling, Phoenix, had
Friday also saw the Combat finals scheduled. Carl "Big Iron" Berryman of Altus,
Okla., showed once again that he is the cream of the Open Class by beating Howard
Henry of Slaton, Texas, in the finals. Billy James of Fort Smith, Ark., was 3rd.
Senior Danny Jones topped Jerry Pearce in their finals; Art Jerome of Detroit was
3rd. In Junior, Marty Klimaitis and Les Bramblett put on a real battle with Marty
winning. Jim Murray of Odessa was 3rd.
Saturday morning after another wee small hours' session with Bob Champine and
Bill Bigge, who were busy all night rebuilding FAI indoor models, we found the Free
Flight ROW models breaking records with lots of max's.
Dennis Matsuda won Junior with a new record of 12:47; Larry Simpson of San Diego
was 2nd with 12:07; Wayne Verrell, Bakersfield, 3rd at 10:55. Jerry Niven set a
record in winning the senior class with 15-min flat. Sandy Norton was 2nd with 13:29;
Bob Beecroft, 3rd, with 13:10. Bill Bell, Delray Beach, Fla., won Open with a record
23:43; Curtis Stevens was 2nd with 20:30; Bill Thompson, San Diego, 3rd, 20:16.
Unlimited Rubber was another must-max event. Manny Andrade won Open with an excellent
30:45; this was record. Andy Peterson, an old "Thermal Thumber", now from Marietta,
Ga., was next with 24:35, Charles Sotich, Chicago, 3rd 22:53. Tom Smyly proved what
champs are made of by setting a new mark and winning Junior with 24:20, Gytis Tamulatis
was 2nd with 13:45, Dave Maystrand 3rd with 12:00. Senior went to Steve Clark of
Walnut Creek with 10:47. Ronnie Young did 8:50 and Mrs. Shaye Diebolt, Orlando,
Fla., scored 7:50.
Half-A Speed found those two fast juniors, Steve Mueller and Danny Wakerley,
once again fighting it out, with Steve topping Danny - 94.40 to 90.87. Billy Armstead
of Dallas, was 3rd with 86.50.
In Senior Dubby Jett had some anxious moments but ended up on top by .53 mph
topping John Shannon's 97.26 with a 97.79. Jim Ketterer, Milwaukee placed 3rd with
97.15 - a real close contest.
In the Open circle Warren Kurth suffered a rare defeat when Don Yearout posted
105.72 to Kurth's 105.16. Lee Ward was next with 104.98.
Junior and Senior Control Line Scale was flown off Saturday. In Junior Don Thomson,
San Jose, nosed out Rick Stice, Arcana - 223.5 points to 214. Mark Kuhlmann, Columbus,
Ohio, was 3rd. In Senior Bob Welch, Tracy, topped all with his 304.5 points. Johnson
Quarles, L.A., placed second (266.5) and Tom Moore, San Francisco, 3rd (211.5).
Open Class Carrier Landing became a real battle with Frank Miles beating Earl
Carpenter - 448 to 444.5! Gene Cooper, Glendale, Ariz., was 3rd with 425. In Senior
Jay Heffelfinger, Chicago, beat Rusty Fried, Phoenix, 442 to 416; Tony Naccarato
was 3rd with 402 points.
Saturday afternoon we traveled over to Santa Ana to take in the finals of the
FAI indoor team selection. If you couldn't total over 80 minutes for two flights
- you were but nowhere. Winning time for the previous Monday's indoor events would
have made you an also-ran. Ernie Kopecky had the highest time, 43:42 for a new record,
but could not get in a second 40-minute flight. Bill Atwood posted 43:17 and 42:06
for 85:23 and 1st; Ed Stoll did 41:11 and 41:21 for 82:32 and second; Frank Cummings
racked up 43:28 and 37:56 for 81:24 and 3rd place. We have a strong team!
Sunday, the last day of the 32nd Nats, was the day for the C-birds, the most
gracious of free flight gassies. The longest flights of the contest were made this
day. Allen Ross, Phoenix, totaled 43:22 for a record and a Junior 1st; Dennis Matsuda
was 2nd with 21:35; Jim Carlsan, 3rd, 14:52.
Al Kramer had the highest time in the contest with his 53:50 record - shattering
win in Senior. Dennis Bronco was 2nd with 28:40; Ronnie Young, 3rd, 28:15.
In Open Bud Romak, Moraga, flew his huge 128 inch span Mac 60 powered job to
a 29:11 win. Tom Smith, Santa Clara, was 2nd with 28:22; Kenny Mathews, 3rd, 27:15.
Free Flight "Rocket" events didn't draw many entries but still your times had
to be good to win. Paul Osborne took Junior with 5:36; Dennis Matsuda was 2nd with
4:24; Mike Taft, Salt Lake City, 3rd, 3:35. Senior was won by Leonard Bedford, Seattle
with 8:20, far outstripping Sheridan Asklund's 2nd place 4:22; Faust Parker, 3rd,
In Open Ray Hansen set a new mark in winning, 1 :00; Dr. Don Chapton in 2nd place
was pressing Ray with 12:47; Ed Eliot, Laimto, was 3rd with 12 :00.
Open Control Line Flying Scale was flown off Sunday morning with Don Yearout,
Pleasanton, nosing out Linton Keith, San Jose - 330 to 328.5. John Tatone was 3rd
with 316. Phil Garrard had some engine control trouble with his DC-6 but thrilled
the crowd with his huge bird.
The noisy birds, the control line Jets, were doing just that - making noise.
Rudy Thomas, San Jose, became top man in Open with his 165.07-mph; next came Jim
Summersett, San Antonio, 160:22; Bob Thames, Fremont, 159.51; and Jerry Thomas,
Tacoma, 159.23. Jerry's asymmetrical one-sided model was really different and showed
Chris Sackett from Vancouver, B.C., topped all Junior-Senior Jet Speed flyers
with 133.68; then came Bob Slaybaugh, Longmont, Colo., 133.18; and Bob Ohlenger,
Babson Park, Fla., 132.79.
Team Racing was hotly contested even tho the winners in each division were clearly
ahead at the finish. Jack Garcia and Bernie Tautz won the AMA race with a fast 7:36.2.
The BNST boys were second with 8:04, then Jim Kelso and Charles Whitney with 8:09.5.
In FAI Team Racing Don Jehlik and Herb Stockton had all the others on edge with
their 50-lap 100-mph-plus runs during the week, but they. were walloped by faster
pit stops by the competition and ended up 3rd in the finals. BNST, the Barr-Norsikian
Speed Team, took FAI with a smart 4:55 - real fast pit stops did this. Bill Harris,
Laurel, Md. and Paul Burke of Alexandria, Va., were second with 5:13; Stockton-Jehlik
3rd with 6:17.4.
The Club Championship was won by the Smog Cutters, a local club, with 4,379 points,
far outstripping the San Valeers #1 team's 2,781.1. For National Teams the USAF
team came along strong on Sunday to nose out the Scarf team 4,371.9 to 4,236.3.
R/C was a week-long event. During the elims flying moved at a rapid pace; 103
flights were put in Monday, more than 140 during each of the other days. Flying
was slowed up some due to the lack of adequate equipment to check the frequency
of the proportional rigs. The counter would report only the lowest frequency presented
so when the proportional rigs had their modulation on, it saw only the lowest frequency.
This caused them to be black flagged and they were not allowed to fly when other
birds were in the air. Since there were a lot of these proportional outfits in the
finals, it really delayed things.
The new Digicons, the Krafts, the Orbits, the Sampeys, and the DB's all made
a good showing and as we see it reed rigs are on their way out. Pylon in particular
showed up the terrific advantage of proportional. Taking nothing away from the reed
experts ... lack of training time in proportional was the only reason why the reeds
even managed to get in the finals. Our prediction: propo will dominate even the
Class I and II events in the future.
John Schroder, Walt's son, won Junior-Senior Class I with 80.5 points; Steve
Carter, Glen's son, was second with 76.5; Doug Hertzog, 3rd, with 46.75. In Open
Bernard Williams, Kalamazoo, easily outstripped other competitors with 129.5; Harrison
Morgan was 2nd, 97.5; and Tom Williams, 3rd, 85.
In Class II, Ralph Jackson, Endicott, N. Y., placed highest with 157.75; Paul
Black, 2nd, 144.25; and Dr. Don Crow, 3rd, 129.25.
Class III saw a 4th run redraw for flights due to lack of time to complete the
round. Some guys who were first up found themselves last, some gained one number,
some lost one number, but most smiled thru it all. James Kirkland flew his Sampey
equipped "Beach Comber" to first with 193 points. Zel Ritchie's Space Control-Orbit
original was second, 185.25. Others: Darryl Usher, 3rd, 185; Maxey Hester, 4th,
183.25; and Bill Williams, 5th, 182.
In Pylon Racing Zel Ritchie piloted a delta original with Space Control-Orbit
gear to a very fast 1:10.40 win using a Cox 15. Bill Williams was 2nd with 1:13.55;
then Keith Storey, 1:13.85; Cliff Weirick, 1:14.60; and Glenn Carter, 1:14.90.
In R/C scale Max Hester flew a true scale Aircobra, plans by Claude McCullough,
to a 10,422.8 point total and first place. Bud Atkinson was 2nd with 9,164.8;. Granger
Williams, who earlier in the week smashed his model, rebuilt it for 3rd and 7,123.3.
Some of the more interesting highlights of this 32nd Nats ... The bevy of Stardusters
in Free Flight gas. ... The domination of the Cox TD's in 1/2 A and A, the Torp
29's and 35's in B & C Free Flight and in B Speed with Proto coming up ... Carl
Goldberg making it his 32nd Nats in a row, demonstrating his new Twin engine multi
R/C which is a fine flyer even on one engine ... The complete domination of speed
by 4 contestants: Steve Mueller's four 1sts and a 2nd in junior speed; Danny Wakerley's
one 1st, three 2nds and a 3rd; Dubby Jett's four 1sts, a 2nd and a 5th; and Bill
Wisnewski's four 1sts including a special FAI event!
Sometimes it seemed to be more of a contest seemingly set up for the Nats Committee
and air shows ... some day they'll have to again put on the Nats for the contestants.
Doug Ward and Jerry Bradshaw's home-built .62: they made everything but the glow
plug and this engine still has not peaked out with its 9 inch dia 16 inch pitch
prop. Noted: K & B speed fuel lovingly called "Bill's greasy kid's stuff" while
powering its winning way ... Many freeloaders trying to get their engines repaired
for free and being turned down ... Dick Kowalski hanging up everything including
a balloon at the FAI trials ... Joe Bilgri smashing everything in indoor stick ...
The barometric pressure theory in speed - as the pressure goes up, so does the speed.
Memories: Chuck Boyer's 3-engined R/C folding its wing on those outside loops
- ugh! Those 56 entrys in Open 1/2 A Speed, but only 17 successful fliers, Bruce
Paton's geared indoor cabin model. The speed flyer whose pants got hung in the adjust
bolt of the pylon and ripped off ... he completed the flight in underpants alone.
Two Nordic kits out of specs, the Inchworm under size, the Lil Dip over. Those sweet
flying Mexi Boys in B & C gas. The sons of the old timers making such a good
show. C.O. Wright's win over Dan Lutz in scale by one tenth a point.
As an explanation for the lack of some home towns - we didn't include the so-called
local fliers' towns, just out-of-the-local-area towns, but those in outer California
See you next year at Dallas?
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Posted March 13, 2014