All about the racing classes of control line competition model aircraft in Australia, known as Rat Racing, Goodyear and Bendix.

Rat Racing

2.5 Rat RaceDeveloped to provide a simpler form of racing than teamracing, the design of rat racers was unrestricted, fuel capacities unlimited, and whipping allowed by the pilots.  Truly an easy way to join in the fun !  Teamracing purists were less than impressed by rat racing when it first appeared, regarding it as just an event for people unable to cope with the challenges of team racing.  But as Andrew Kennedy once correctly observed, the trophy for winning rat is the same size as the one for FAI teamracing.


1.  An early style Rat racer.

2.  Alan Lumsden's 2002/3 Nats winner, a modern 2.5cc diesel powered Rat racer.

Early rat racers were about as basic as a combat model (in fact often were combat models), but in the 2.5cc class at least a superior cowled engined, teamracer-like model evolved.  An interesting battle developed in this class to decide whether glowplug engines could be beaten by diesels.  The best of the glowplug engines were faster, but suffered from a variant of Murphy's Law, which held that the more powerful a glowplug engine, the more certain was its glowplug to be dead when required for restarting !  Diesel engines won many races and still do.

Ability to help models along by whipping adds to the fun, and demands considerable physical stamina from pilots if they are to maintain their efforts for the full length of a 20 minute race.


GoodyearGoodyear is a racing variant that demands a model having all the grace of a beginner's trainer, with a profile fuselage being compulsory.  It provides an alternative pursuit for those looking for something easier than the original racing classes.  Fuel economy is not important in this class as tank size is not restricted, a situation favouring racing glow plug engines.


1.  Norm Bainbridge, pitman for the Bainbridge/Bainbridge NSW racing team from late 1970's to early 90's, pictured with his Goodyear racer.

2.  Garry Turna in action releasing his very quick Goodyear model after a restart at a pitstop.

3.  John Hallowell and Mark McDermott teamed up in Goodyear at the Albury Nationals of 2002, flying their Mr. D model into second place. Power is supplied by a Gillott tuned Rossi.



BendixBendix Racing is an event unique to Australia  It is regularly flown at Nationals and State Championships.  The models are based on the full sized racing aeroplanes that competed in the Bendix - Thompson, Goodyear and Continental Trophy Races.  Our racers are semi scale profile replicas with one metre wingspans.

Popular models include the Shoestring, Sparrowhawk, Nemesis, Cosmic Wind, Buster, P.40 Flying Tiger, Dago Red, Mustang, Owl Racer, Ol' Blue and Mace Shark.  They fly on sixty foot heavyweight lines, pull hard on the handle and are powered by 6cc racing engines like the Nelson and Super Tigre.  The motors are open exhaust so they sound loud and powerful and race three in a circle at speeds up to 180 - 190 kph.  As the rules limit the models to a 40cc tank, the big motors are usually constrained by a smaller venturi to achieve the necessary 40 plus laps for a one stop 80 lap heat.  Unlike unrestricted Open Rat racing, this helps keeps speed at a sensible level.


Developed 2000, revised 2005 by David Kidd.  Your Webmaster is Ron Chernich.