Roger Wise describes here his youthful assault on the Victorian State Champs Class 2 Teamrace early in the nineteen sixties.

In 1960 at the ripe old age of 15 I decided team racing was going to be my thing and since class II was the most competitive and regarded as the formula 1, I got hold of an old OS 29 and bought the plans of a top plane called a Dalesman designed by Ken Long for the Eta 29. I was all set to start building when I saw a Crescendo. I wrote straight away to Ken Taylor explaining to him that I had an old OS 29 that had the thrust line above the mounts. Ken sent me the "blue" print with a note on the back explaining what I should do to correct for the difference. In the end I decided to buy a Max III. I followed Ken's plan faithfully except that I built the Chickenhopper tank from the Dalesman plan. The photo shows the plane as it is now, a little worse for wear at 42 years old, without a pilot and canopy.

My mate (Norm) and I lived in Sunshine at the time and we were members of the Western Suburbs Club that met at a park hall in Footscray. We set ourselves for the State championships and spent many hours tuning propellers, experimenting with fuels and practicing. In the end I could almost land the plan at Norm's feet for a refuel. The plane was very fast. I think there were 4 in the race. We were all trying to be on the opposite side of the drum to our planes, things were pretty hectic passing and staying in close. At one stage my plane was the only one in the air, and although there was a max height limit there was no low flying limit so while the other 3 were down to refuel I flew the Crescendo at about 2 foot above the ground for quite a few laps until I saw that everyone was getting pretty mad and Norm waved me up. I was in front with a few laps to go and had everyone covered, but for some reason my engine started to miss. I knew I had enough fuel so it must have been a blockage, anyway the plane started to porpoise at a relative high speed. The upshot was that I cut the tail off the guy running 2nd. He had just run out of fuel. My engine picked up to make it look like a perfect combat cut. I was promptly disqualified. I guess my low flying episode made the judge mad to start with. I was told later that the guy I chopped up was the judge's son, but I am not sure if this is true.

I packed everything up and never flew again. I am a bit rusty on most of the details of the final and sorry that I don't remember the name of any of the other competitors.

The picture at right shows the 2.5 Taipan diesel I started with in a Sabre trainer.   Click any picture at right for an enlarged view.

Roger Wise

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