John Hallowell's description of the Bendix race at the 2001 Australian Model Aircraft National Championships held at Albury/Wodonga.
Pictured at right is the Hallowell / Baddock 'Nemesis' Bendix racer with Nelson .36, as constructed by Keith Baddock.
Keith Baddock & John Hallowell were among the first to disturb the air with their howling Nelson and new all white Nemesis combination. After practicing at 14.8 for 7 back at Knox, this team expected their very streamlined and super quick racer to set the pace.
On the day though, Bob Fry & Alasdair Taylor had a shining weapon with their slippery Shoestring. They set a new Australian heat record with a rip snorting 3.22 on their first run. Top stuff! The big case Nelson and Supercool prop combination really worked a treat. Their flying, pitwork and systems set a very high standard for other teams to follow.
The very experienced dynamic duo of top aerobatics pilot Tony Bonello and Andrew Heath were always going to be a big influence on the composition of the top three. Their well sorted 'Sparrowhawk' had good speed and laps and qualified 3rd choice for the final.
Jim and Colin Ray had some bad luck, with their Dave Bailey built Ray Cote Shoestring with Super Tigre .34. A seemingly normal landing in practice saw the fuselage break just under the tailplane. Although it could have been patched and flown, Jim elected to fix it properly back home, giving Colin's right arm a well needed rest.
With the 'dark horse' Charlie Stone staying home, John Taylor was the wildcard in the pack with his very quick Tim Gillott tuned Super Tigre .34. And he had the highly experienced John Hunting flying for him. After qualifying for the final, disaster stuck quickly with a sharp 'crack' heard on the first pit stop. The model flew on, but at the second stop it nosed over and the fuselage broke in half. All this goes to prove that considerable reinforcing is required in profile fuzzs designed for racing! We knew that anyway, didn't we??
Was good to see the Nationals Control Line Champ Mark Ellins and Graeme Wilson having a crack at Bendix. They were using the Nelson .29 from their Class 2 racer. The motor started well, sounded spectacular, but didn't have quite enough outright speed to mix it with the finalists. A little experimentation with props, fuels, venturis and possibly head clearance will probably pay big dividends.
Of the others, Jim Stivey and Richard Bellis were consistent, as were Gavin Knight and Ray Harvey. However, on the day, they didn't have that extra 'something' ( a slice of luck?) to turn in an exceptional one stop time for the 80 lap dash.
Bob Fry and Alasdair Taylor really deserved their win. They have put in the development hours and reaped the rewards. They had a very quick model and would have beaten the existing final record set at Toowoomba by Hallowell / Baddock had it not been for a run in. Bonello / Heath were not far behind in second place, but nothing was going to stop the fast flying WA pair from notching up yet another Nats win in Bendix. When the question was asked... will the real Captain Bendix please stand up... Bob and Alasdair stood tall!
With Mark McDermott's monster motors set to broaden the challenge, next years Bendix competition at the Toowoomba Nats will surely be a ripper!
Results of Bendix at Albury Nats.
1. Fry / Taylor 3.22.55 (rec.) DNS 7.28.50 2. Bonello / Heath 3.43.03 DNF 43 8.07.60 3. Hunting / Taylor 4.05.06 3.40.07 DNF 124 4. Camps / Gapps 3.55.50 4.22.22 5. Hallowell / Baddock 3.58.91 4.02.75 6. Wilson / Ellins 4.01.18 4.26.84 7. Stivey / Bellis 4.15.75 4.29.03 8. Knight / Harvey 5.19.91 5.01.22 9. Justic / Owen DNF 21 DNS 10. Ray / Ray DNS DNS 11. Hunting / Hunting DNS DNS
John Hallowell VH 1984
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