A description of the 56th Australian Model Aircraft National Championships racing over grass at Albury/Wodonga commencing in December 2002.

2002 Nats photosThe pictures on this page show the racing events conducted over grass at Alexandra Park.

1.  Pilots competing in the final of Junior 2.5cc Rat Race prove that there are still juniors flying in control line circles.  More are needed to replace the older flyers now reaching retirement age.

2.  The fast Bendix racer of John Hallowell and Keith Baddock suffered a blown glowplug in one heat then another one in the final.  Finished second.

3.  Finalists in the Vintage A teamrace from left to right were Stan Pilgrim/Peter Camps, John Hallowell/Keith Baddock, and Richard Justic/Andy Kerr.

4.  Mark McDermott flew this new Classic B Galaxie replica in practice, but reverted to his more familiar Rocket for the actual race.  Galaxie ciirculates at around 116 mph with plenty of range.

5.  Pilots at work in the final of Classic B teamrace from left to right were Graeme Wilson, John Hallowell in overtaking mode, and Richard Justic.

6.  Finalists in the Classic B teamrace complete with their battery carrying crew were from left to right Keith Baddock/John Hallowell, Mark Ellins/Graeme Wilson, and Richard Justic/Mark McDermott.


Junior 2.5cc Rat Race

Flown in the morning on New Year's Day in ideal weather conditions, three teams participated.  Each team was given two heats to gain experience.  Murray Wilson being the most experienced won the final, with two smaller boys doing their best to keep up.  All had the benefit of a senior acting as mechanic.

1st Murray Wilson, 212 laps
2nd Lachlan Hines, 155 laps
3rd Michael Gapps, 72 laps


Nine teams lined up to race in pleasant sunny conditions that were spoiled only by the noise of large unsilenced racing engines.

In the heats Mark McDermott's fast model was forced to withdraw after losing a tank valve.  John Hallowell/ Keith Baddock blew a plug in round one but proved their Nemesis was no slouch by returning the fastest heat time in round two.  Murray Wilson (a junior) flew for Mark Ellins and surprised onlookers by seeming at ease flying in his first Bendix event.  Both Fry/Taylor and Tony Bonello/Andrew Heath qualified for the final with fast times in the first round.

In the final the previous year's winners Bob Fry and Alasdair Taylor cleared out to a winning lead, assisted by a blown glowplug that slowed one of the Hallowell/Baddock pitstops and an extra unscheduled stop by Bonello/Heath.

For further commentary and pictures, see John Hallowell's report here.

1st Bob Fry/Alisdair Taylor, 6:54.31
2nd Keith Baddock/John Hallowell, 7:33.52
3rd Tony Bonello/Andrew Heath, 7:55.11

Vintage A Team Race

This was the first event to be flown at Alexandra Park on Thursday, and it attracted 12 entries.  Sunny skies, evenly matched equipment and good flying resulted in a very successful event.

A highlight of the heats was the Stan Pilgram/Peter Camps team setting the fastest time, as they had done at the previous Nats.  It was noticable that many of the small models had difficulty landing reliably on the grass even though it had been specially mowed by modellers prior to the event.  The shorter Mark 2 Voodoos especially were flipping upside down with some regularity.

The need for specially tuned motors to make a model competitive has not yet killed enthusiasm for this event.  Three different engine tuners were represented in the final: Stan Pilgrim and Andy Kerr who tune their own motors, and Robin Hiern who modified the Baddock/Hallowell motor incorporating some Tim Gillot bits.  Cost of a complete Tim Gillot motor is now said to be around US$400 if you can get one.

For further commentary and pictures, see John Hallowell's report here.

1st Keith Baddock/John Hallowell, 7:12.78
2nd Stan Pilgrim/Peter Camps, 7:33.0
3rd Richard Justic/Andy Kerr, 7:48.31

Classic B Team Race

This event followed Vintage A in perfect conditions with fewer entries (8) but a wider variety of models.  Contest director Fiona Wilson reported that amongst other things the planes "made lots of noise", so perhaps the time has come to consider adding noise restrictions to the rules for this class?

The Richard Justic/Mark McDermott team set the fastest time for the day in the very first heat, giving the rest of the field a difficult target to chase.  John Hallowell/Keith Baddock gave notice that they were trying hard by electing to use the most successful racer from their huge stable of planes, the Purple People Eater.

The final was a very close affair until nearly the very end, when Justic/McDermott ran out of fuel and required an unwanted pitstop with only two laps to go.

For further commentary and pictures, see John Hallowell's report here.

1st John Hallowell/Keith Baddock, 6:19.33 (3:14.44 heat)
2nd Graeme Wilson/Mark Ellins, 6:34.55 (3:19.66 heat)
3rd Richard Justic/Mark McDermott, 6:37.43 (3:06.94 heat)

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