FAI team racing as it was before 1970, when models were beautiful, inexpensive, and flew over grass at speeds most people can cope with.

A move toward re-creating this kind of racing commenced in Australia late in 2008.  The idea had been simmering in the minds of racing enthusiasts for years, and was eventually spurred on by developments in Britain where the Barton club promoted their version of the event under the name of Classic 15, and discovered a cheap and reliable current racing engine of suitable performance.

Classic FAI models   1.  Alan Shing and Peter Tilley are remembered today as a NSW team that was at the forefront of Australian FAI teamracing for years, flying their functional but attractive design, called Past.  This was before FAI racing models evolved into a flying wing configuration, before pressurized refuelling systems became the norm, before retractable landing gear became widespread, before greatly more powerful and expensive engines were required to win, and before it became acceptable to just go out and buy complete planes if you wanted to go racing.


3.  This is a larger than lifesize picture of the Fora Junior, the engine rumoured in 2008 to be the only engine that will be allowed in future by the British Barton club for its Classic 15 teamracing.  Testing during 2008 had shown the Fora to be the equal of the best Oliver Tigers and copies.

The Fora Junior is a Russian made engine, said to be intended for teaching young Russians to fly combat.  According to Barton club members, the engine performs straight out of the box.  It is a particularly light engine at 140gm and can produce a tail-heavy model if installed in a design intended for an earlier, heavier engine.

4.  Is this Australia's first Classic FAI teamracer?  Built by Steve Walton in 1980 for the Albany nationals, it was originally powered by a Nelson but is now fitted with a Supertiger G20.  Called 'Timepiece', in Nov 2008 it was being restored with a new paint job on the fuselage so that Steve and Trevor Letchford can campaign it as a Classic.


5.  Andrew Nugent looks well pleased with his new Picus after test flights flown on Sunday 8th February, 2009.   Picus is an Italian design originally powered by SuperTigre, but is fitted with an Oliver Tiger in Andrew's version.  Andrew became the first in Victoria to have a Classic FAI racer upon completion of this project.

Seen in the background is the CLAMF Tarmac circle at Frankston, where testing took place.  With Melbourne in the grip of one of its common summer dry spells, the appeal of the more pleasant environment grass usually provides for flying over has temporarily vanished, leaving little more than dust bowls in some places.


6.  Pictured here at Frankston, Victoria, is the group involved in Australia's first Classic FAI race of the modern era, flown on March 15th, 2009.  Andrew Nugent and Mark Ellins won the race with their Picus, powered by an Andy Kerr tuned Oliver Tiger, a few seconds ahead of Ken Hunting and Bryce Young using a Super Tigre.  John Hallowell and Nobby Baker were fastest in the heats with an R250 in John's new Tigress, but did not finish the final after their old monowheel lost its tyre.

Whatever lead West Australians may have had in promoting this class of racing in 2008 now seems to have been lost.

7.  Believed to be the first Classic FAI racer in Queensand is Yellowish, built by your website creator, David Kidd.  Powered by a Fora Junior and equipped with a Rothwell fuel shutoff, the model is designed to operate over grass, as Australian racers were well into the nineteen seventies.  More pictures of this model and several other Australian Classic FAI models can be seen on our readers pictures pages. Use the index pages to find them all.

In October/November 2008 a group of racing enthusiasts including residents of West Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland corresponded by email to produce a set of draft rules that would enable Australian Classic FAI to be started.  These rules were published in December 2008 with the intent of improving them through discussion with a wider audience.  Unfortunately, that discussion did not proceed smoothly and so far has failed to gain the agreement of all interested parties.  Significantly, that has not prevented racing from getting started in Victoria, using Victorians' preferred version of the rules, in March 2009.

Here are the rules:

Draft rules for Australian Classic FAI Team Race

The aim of Australian Classic FAI team race is to re-create FAI team racing as it was before 1970, when in the eyes of many people, models were more beautiful, less expensive, and flew over grass at speeds most people can cope with. Current FAI team race F2C rules therefore apply except as follows:

4.3.2 - A team racing site may have a short grass or hard surface. Where the surface is grass, the circles marked on the ground may be simplified by making them all the same colour, and by eliminating the broken line "safety circle" at 19.1m.


The choice of models designed before 1970 is encouraged, and such designs may be modified provided all other provisions of these rules are met. "Own design" and designs never before published are allowed. Asymmetry in the plan view is limited to a maximum of 15mm. V tails shallow or steep angled are permitted. "Pod and boom" and flying wing designs are not permitted: for the purposes of these rules, "pod and boom" is defined as a fuselage shape in which the cross section at the location of the wing trailing edge has maximum dimensions of less than 75mm X 25mm.

Construction materials for models are unrestricted, except for the following which are not allowed: components such as wings or fuselage moulded from carbon fibre, all-metal wings.
Aluminium or Magnesium pans are allowed.

Models need to be designed and constructed in such a manner as to be in the spirit of the rules.


(a) There is no restriction on exhaust outlets.

Engines are limited to the following: Oliver Tiger (any model up to Mk4, original or copy ), Fora Junior, ST G20 diesel, ST20/15RV Diesel, MVVS (any model), ETA 15, TAIPAN up to series 13 Diesel. Other engines may be approved upon request.

Modifications allowed to engines are limited to the following:

1) Modifications the owner can perform himself with hand-tools.
2) "Blueprinting" within original factory specifications.
3) Rejuvenating worn engines within original factory specifications.
4) Fitment of a spinner or spinner-nut

(c) Total maximum weight is 600g

(g) Maximum fuel permitted: 10 cc

(l) Landing gear must not be retractable. Mono wheel is permitted.

(n) Pressurized refuelling systems other than a hand held squeeze bottle are not permitted.

(o) An effective engine-stopping device is recommended but is not compulsory. Promotors of individual races may choose to disallow the use of engine-stopping devices for pitstops, and to apply a time penalty for their use, provided reasonable advance notice is given to all competitors of this decision.

(y) Internal connection of control lines is permitted.

(z) Propellers are limited to commercially available nylon or GRP propellers. Propellers may be reduced in diameter or area over the outer half of each blade, but must not be thinned. Graupner or APC 7"x6" are suggested as a good starting point. Carbon fibre or glass fibre props are prohibited.


(b) - Minimum diameter of control lines is 0.3mm with no minus tolerance allowed, for either stranded or solid line construction. Stranded lines are recommended as being more durable.

The use of line groupers attached to the wing tip are not permitted.

The round, diecast control handle/reels commonly used in Australia before 1970 are permitted.

4.3.7 (a) One to three timekeepers are assigned to each team.

4.3.7 (f) Pilots may employ a more relaxed flying style by positioning their controlling hand forward of the vertical line between the middle of the chest and the top of the forehead.

4.3.9 - At each warning the chief judge (or, if there is no chief judge, the Contest Director) shall notify the mechanic of the team concerned.

4.3.9 (k) A team shall be eliminated from a race if the mechanic steps into the flight circle with both feet. The mechanic may reach into the flight circle to retrieve a model provided at least one of his feet remain outside the flight circle.

4.3.11 - International Team Classification is not applicable to this event.

4.3.12 - The number of timekeepers appointed may be reduced to one per team. The number of judges may be reduced to one, or the duties of judges be transferred to the Contest Director (called a Circle Marshall in FAI rules) depending on availability of suitable race officials.

See our plans pages for designs suitable for Australian Classic FAI team racing.

And for a look at Lance Smith's wonderful website dealing with Classic FAI as it exists in Victoria, click here.  Lots of information is included explaining where to get engines and accessories.


Developed November 2008, updated June 2009 by David Kidd.  Your Webmaster is Ron Chernich.