It's happening in Australia too for model planes of all kinds, as our pictures show:
1. At a mid-2008 race day at St. Ives this Sabre Trainer was one of several taking part in the Sabre Trainer race. This one is owned and built by Ric Bonomo and powered by a Taipan 2.5cc diesel. At an earlier veterans gathering at Muswellbrook, a dozen such models were in attendance.
2. No need to phone the government's terrorism hotline... Ray Fairall pictured here is not making a Molotov cocktail, but merely mixing fuel for the Sabre Trainer race. The ingredient he is adding here is jetA1 (kerosine). It's important that the measuring is done accurately to achieve consistant results when you are wanting to use the fuel for racing.
3. This is Ray Fairall's model, constructed like a vintage teamracer with spruce leading and trailing edges, an internal tip weight and vacuum bagged 0.75-Ounce epoxy fibreglass on the wing and tailplane. All this is an attempt to make it more durable than the ones Ray built and flew during the late 1950's, which all had a very short life Ray built this Sabre Trainer in anticipation of a "Gordon Burford day" scheduled for 2007 by the Ku-Ring-Gai Model Flying Club of Sydney.
4. As pretty as any Goodyear model you are likely to see, the Sabre Trainers at St. Ives contributed to what was described as a "great day of racing". This Sabre trainer is owned and built by Bob Frankel. He is using the first engine he owned as a boy, a Sabre 2.5cc diesel..
5. Sabre Trainer owned and built by Walter Bolliger, who kindly supplied the Sabre Trainer photos for this page . The engine is a PAW 2.49DS diesel. The canopy is from the bottom of a softdrink bottle. Plans for the Sabre Trainer (and 500 other models) can be obtained via our plans pages.
6. The latest of many past attempts to return Goodyear racing to the beginners class it was originally designed to be was being promoted in NSW for 2008: diesel Goodyear! Pictured here at St. Ives is Tom Linwood, the young man who is going to the World Champs in 2008 to fly in combat. Tom was piloting the diesel Goodyear owned and pitted by Roy Summersby, who is seen congratulating him here.
7. From Victoria comes this picture of Robin Hiern's "Perky", a 1947 American Class A speed design that is being promoted by the Frankston club in 2008 for a "fun and entry level speed event". Originally designed for .19 size spark ignition engines but more often powered by .15 engines today, Robin's model had a Frog 2.49bb diesel for power when this picture was taken. Postal competitions are often held for the Perkys scattered around the world, and a unique feature of them is that the one closest to the average speed becomes the winner.
8. Gold Dust is Harry Bailey's faithful replica of the 1958 Australian class 2 teamracer. Vintage events for racers like this (and older) are held occasionally in NSW, whilst in other states an event with different rules known as Classic B has become more popular. Races for Classic B and Vintage A are now regularly conducted at Australian Nationals, and both have become very competitive events. By the end of 2008, Classic FAI teamracing was being promoted in Australia.
9. Vintage and Classic Aerobatics competitions have long been conducted in Australia, providing good reason to keep building and flying the favourite stunters of yesteryear. The one pictured here is Warren Leadbeatter's Top Flite Green Box Nobler, as flown by Warren into second place at the 2007 Hunter Valley Championships.
10. Vintage combat has been flown widely in Australia for years, even at Nationals where entries in Vintage usually outnumber those in F2D and Open classes. Pictured here is part of a vintage combat competition at Frankston, Victoria, with Keith Baddock busy in the foreground.
Does the evident popularity of old designs and competitions indicate that developments in the premier competition classes have spoiled their original appeal?