The West Bridgford School

Flying Club - National Champions

Success at 'Model Flying National Championships' means Mr Green retires on a high.

After months of designing and building planes, the team consisting of Luke Pike, Ivan Pang, Eddie Trigg and Luca MacGregor went to the BMFA Buckminster National Model Flying Centre, with at least the knowledge that, this year, all the aircraft flew. The big question was; were our aircraft competitive?

This year there were three categories that the team could enter; The Egg Lift, The Kit Lift and The Distance Challenge.

Egg lift was mainly the responsibility of Eddie and Luke who made the “Versa” flying wing and the 3D printed fairing to carry an egg, without breaking, round a course in the shortest possible time.

Kit Lift was Luca and Ivan’s main model and it was a regular trainer model kit, which had to be built and modified to carry tennis balls.

The Payload Distance model was a custom design and build by Luke and Luca with input from the rest of the team and Mr. Green, who had been dragged out of retirement to take part.

Day one came and the five minute presentations on each model took place, where team members gave a synopsis of their model in front of a panel of sponsors and model engineers as judges, while each model passed its scrutineering stage for safety. I am pleased to say that the students all did well and answered the judges’ questions well.

The flight phase was next, starting with the egg. Vital seconds were lost on the first flight as the wrong model was selected on the transmitter, but eventually we got our first flight under our belt and an egg safely arrived in front of the judges. The next two flights went without a hitch with the time reducing every flight. We were in with a chance. The Kit model was next, but it had become apparent that we were the only team in that category and had won without a flight However, we did fly and managed a total of five tennis balls in the time available. Payload was our last flight and we managed only nine laps. We had already seen a competitor manage 13 so we had an issue.

Day two. Two flights to complete in the Payload Distance Challenge and off we went - a total of 10 laps; good but not enough. Mr. Green put the model on the scales and said "lose 200g". Eddie and Luke set to work with craft tools. Soon a pile of dust and plastic bits lay on the bench and a model that was 200 g less was re-covered by Luca, our covering expert. Just in time we arrived at the runway, the model took off and it was immediately clear the slim down had worked. Less power was needed meaning a longer flight and more laps, but was it enough? Thirteen laps later we knew we had equalled the best lap distance. The other elements of the competition were the presentation and the 2D plan of the model drawn by Luke. They were better than our opponents and we had won at the last minute.

Final results   

  • The Egg Lift  -  2nd place
  • The Kit Lift  -   1st place
  • The Distance Challenge  -  1st place