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Sunday September 28th was the day of Newton Aycliffe Model Flying Club’s
annual competition for the Eric Davy Trophy.
Eric, a past member, was a keen builder particularly of scale models, and the trophy was inaugurated in his memory some 33 years ago.
The competition rules are quite simple – the model must have been built by the entrant, from scratch, from a plan, or from a kit. No ARTF’s are allowed.
The model must be flown by the entrant (although help in taking off and landing is allowed) and to qualify it must at least complete one circuit.
All club members are allocated one vote each, and they can vote for the best looking model (static), the best attention to detail, the best performing model, the most novel model, or any combination of these.
This year saw six members competing for the trophy which is actually a piston from a Rolls Royce Merlin engine recovered from a Fairey Battle found in Iceland. 
 
 
After static judging the competitors drew lots for the order of flight.
 Allan Wilson was first with his scale Super Star. This was the
model’s first flight and it screwed viciously to the left on take off
and cart wheeled, damaging the Tail plane.

Kevan Eldrett was next with his De Walt special. Again, a first flight,
 and although it took off easily it suffered severe aileron flutter
followed by a catastrophic failure of the wing. It ended up in bits
 on the far side of the field. Technically though, it had completed a
circuit before crashing 
 Alan Willmer showed how to do it with his neat little Lazy Bee which
 flew effortlessly in typical Lazy Bee fashion. He also brought along
a set of floats just in case the field hadn’t dried out!

Eric Warren fired up his own design twin which sounded great but an
engine cut and forced a premature landing. Second time around it
performed properly, and Eric brought it in for a landing just short of the
patch.

John Cooke was next with his electric powered Fieseler Storch. Another maiden flight - it shot into the air gyrating wildly and cartwheeled into
the ground. Too much rudder throw. A second attempt with reduced rates
was no better. Some lead on the nose and virtually no rudder movement
got it into the air but it couldn’t manage a circuit as the fuselage was
damaged and the struts torn off.
 
 

Steve Brown had arrived late, after the photographs of models
and entrants had been taken. His Great Planes Lockheed Lightning
looked a winner – if it would fly! With engines sounding nicely in
synch it trundled across the patch, and into the grass at the other
end. A second attempt had everyone willing it too rise, and it did.
 Up into the sky for a couple of circuits looking and sounding great.
Landing was no problem, and was accompanied a round of
applause.

A few tense moments while the voting slips were filled in, collected
up, and counted.
The winner by a clear majority, Steve Brown.
The Chairman, Kevan Longley presented the trophy, and everyone
settled in for a flying session to take advantage of the lovely autumn
afternoon.