1931 Joseph Ehrhardt, 19, USA

This year for the first time in the short history of the Wakefield International Cup the venue would be located in a foreign country. This necessitated Great Britain to send their Wakefield team aeromodels to the United States of America in boxes, another first. The contest was scheduled for June 10, 1931, at Wright Field Dayton, Ohio. The "Great Depression" had yet to affect the fourth US Nationals, the NAA, and the AMLA were the joint sponsors of the big contest which was held the previous week.

The USA Wakefield Team was selected at the "Nationals", beginning the early Team selection tradition, used until the 1950's. This year Carl Carlson entered an 11 foot wing span petrol powered Wakefield weighing 9.5 pounds, allowed by the current SMAE Wakefield Rules. Carlson's petrol model unfortunately crashed just after it took off, ending the threat of petrol power domination, this year. The contest began at 9:00am, with the reigning Champion Joe Ehrhardt ready to fly with a new Wakefield. Again it was an all balsa wood Wakefield, but this time the entire plane weighed 1.25 ounces, including the 0.49 ounce rubber motor of 8 strands of 1/8". Joe Ehrhardt was also a "US Nationals Outdoor Champion!" As light as it was Ehrhardt's Wakefield had a 37 inch wingspan, with a fuselage length of 32 inches, and it was well adjusted for flight, using a right turn under power, and a left turn in the glide pattern. Ehrhardt, not one to hesitate, wound his "T-56" brown rubber motor to 1000 turns, outside of the fuselage on a steel wire device which was inserted into the fuselage to transfer the motor.

Ready at the board Joe set the ship for ROG and it was off! Needless to write his Wakefield climbed straight, fast and very high, for a perfect flight of 4 minutes and 24.8 seconds. Ehrhardt used the same propeller he had used on his 1930 Wakefield, but this time he equipped it with a freewheeling device, to improve the glide (a first). Joseph Ehrhardt was the 1931 Wakefield International Cup Champion, the first aeromodeller to win The Wakefield International Cup Event consecutively.  

Joe and President HooverJoe and President Hoover

component inches mm
wing 37 x 3+ 940 x 76+
stabilzer 18 x 2+ 457 x 51+
fuselage 32 813
propellers 17 dia 432 dia
rubber 18 strands 1/8" 1.25oz 3mm 35g


Joseph Ehrhardt-s WakefieldJoseph Ehrhardt-s Wakefield


American Boy, Sept 1931, Merrill Hamberg 1953
International Competition Handbook, Gerold Ritz

Music: "Mood Indigo"; Literature: "Good Earth", Cine: "City Lights"

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