A world-class Avro

A world-class Avro

Nelson, Jerry

When modeling aces from 25 countries gathered in Interlaken, Switzerland, for the 2000 World Scale Championships, Swiss aviator Andreas Luthi nearly swept the competition. Overtaking his rivals in the F4C (RC scale) competition and the F4 (giant-scale) open event, he established himself as one of the few competitors who could dominate this world-class competition.

For 2000, dozens of accomplished modelers arrived in Switzerland with a gamut of models that represented nearly all of aviation historyfrom a 1910 Avro to a modern McDonnell Douglas F-15. Most of the pilots had to qualify in a national competition in their own countries; for instance, the pilots of the American team qualified at a special event just before the AMA 1999 Nationals held in Muncie, IN. In all, 59 pilots from 25 countries entered the competition, while another 20 aircraft took part in the open giantscale event.

Each score in the F4C comprised flight performance, realism and the plane’s accuracy to original outline. For the overall score, the judges averaged the scores of the best two of three flights and combined this number with a pilot’s static score.

For the competition, Andreas used his replica of an original vintage Avro Triplane, complete with cable rigging and a painstakingly detailed engine. The model also has spruce longerons reinforced with inlaid carbon fiber for strength and is powered by a Laser 1.50 4-stroke engine. All told, the 113scale aircraft took him five years to build. Andreas first flew the plane at the 1998 World Scale Championships in South Africa, in which he placed second overall and, having come so close to the gold, he was picked as the favorite for the 2000 event. In Switzerland, he placed second in the static judging; however, the flight scores proved that this aircraft’s performance matched its persona. With little or no wind sweeping through the mountain valley, Andreas was able to demonstrate the Avro’s realistically slow and steady flying style. He delivered a strong flight performance that-despite a second best and impressive static score-would ultimately weight his overall score enough to pull him ahead of the runner-up and into the winners’ circle.

Also taking part in the open, giant-scale event, Andreas flew a very detailed 1/4-scale Bucker Jungmeister. He took first place with such maneuvers as 4-point rolls and low-level knife-edge flight. His realistic use of throttle also added to his flight scores. Andreas clearly is a force to contend with in any aerobatic competition.

The next world championship will be held in Canada in 2002, and it’s rumored that Andreas plans to build a WW II warbird. If he can pilot that plane the way he has flown his Bucker, that field of modelers will have their work cut out for them.


Model: Avro

Type: 1/4-scale triplane

Length: 92 in.

Wingspan: 95.2 in.

Weight: 17.6 lb.

Engine used: 25cc Laser 4-stroke

Prop used: 18×6

Radio used: Graupner/JR MC-24

Copyright Air Age Publishing Apr 2001

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