1929 R N Bullock, 36, GB

Attending the July 14, 1929 Wakefield International Cup Contest at Halton Aerodrome were two Americans who won as a Grand Prize all expenses paid trips to Europe by becoming the "USA Nationals" Indoor and Outdoor Champions in 1928. They were Joe Culver, of Oakland, California who won the Indoor Championships, and Don Bumham, of West Laffyette, Indiana who won the Outdoor Championships. They brought with them Wakefields, which were unique, in that these aeromodels were made entirely of "balsa wood".

Actually these were Cabin models which conformed to the USA Rules, but had been converted to the Wakefield Rules. These Wakefield's were very light, weighing less then three ounces, including the rubber motor. The airframes of these American Wakefields were covered with Japanese tissue, which was lightly doped with nitrate lacquer. The uniqueness of these American Wakefield's was in contrasting them to the typical Wakefield flown by Team GB, which were made of hardwood, steel wire, and were covered with silk cloth. The overall weight of these English Wakefields was over nine ounces! That the Americans failed to place in the 1929 Wakefield International Cup Contest is less important to history, than the knowledge they brought back with them to America: First: They learned of the importance of the Wakefield International Cup event as a truly prestigious international aeromodelling event. Second: They now had the knowledge of the type of aeromodel it would take to win the Wakefield International Cup Contest within the SMAE Wakefield Rules, and they could impart this knowledge to others. Third: They had made lifelong friends with other aeromodellers in Europe, and now shared a common interest with them in the Wakefield International Cup event. Fourth: They paved the path, followed to this day, by all of the American Wakefield aeromodellers that came after them. In 1930 two more American Indoor and Outdoor Champions took the path paved by Joe and Don. These Americans would return home for the first time in History with "The Cup"! In 1929 flying a low winged hardwood and steel wire Wakefield made and flown by R N Bullock who had been on the 1928 team GB, and had placed second, won the Wakefield International Cup. This was the first, and the last time a low winged, geared Wakefield would win " The Cup". R N Bullock's winning time, for the longest flight in the contest was 70.4 seconds.

wakefield-1929Ralph Bullock
wing 48x7.5 1219x190
stabilzer 20x6 508x152
fuselage 34 864
propellers 16 dia 406 dia
2 geared 14 strand motors, 400 turns


Aeromodeller, August 1982, Vintage Corner, Alex Imrie
M.A.N. Sept 1948, Wakefield in '48, John Mackinzie
1953 International Competition Handbook, Gerold Ritz

Music: "Sing'n in the Rain"; Literature: "All Quiet on the Western Front", Cine: "Blackmail"

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