1951 Sune Stark, 32, Sweden

With the changing Wakefield Rules the FAI/CIAM had put an end to the "Vintage Era". All that now remained of the original SMAE rules was the old ROG requirement, and even that would be gone by 1957 along with the influence of the SMAE to the Wakefield International Cup Event itself. The rules were changed by the FAI/CIAM in an effort they claimed would "...modernize the Wakefield event." But the SMAE rules committee was not in favor of these attempts to modernize The Event, and some acted in 1957 to "...recall the Cup" from the control of the FAI/CIAM, but this is another story.

Aeromodellers who prepared for the 1951 USA Wakefield Team Trials Selection were greeted by an astonishing variety of Wakefield design variations. From the West Coast, I believe, came some of the most astonishing variations to the 1951 Wakefield Rules changes that have ever occurred in the history of the Event. These new Wakefield emanated from one aeromodelling club: "The Oakland Cloud Dusters" of Northern California. Founded in 1935 this club numbered among its members : Manny Andrade, Joe Belgri, Hank Cole, Joe Foster, and Carl Rambo, who took the 1951 Wakefield Rules changes very seriously. Hank Cole, an aeronautical engineer by profession, and a most innovative Wakefield designer, up to this day, arrived at a simple conclusion to the 1951 rules "...given the new cross section area rule of a minimum area of 10.015 square inches, the length of the fuselage enclosing the rubber motor could be whatever length four ounces plus of rubber motor had to be, to provide a two minute motor run from an ROG take-off." Try sixty-six inches, the length of Cole's fuselage on the "Oh-so-long." The same Wakefield with which Hank Cole won the Mulvihill Trophy in 1951. The Mulvihill Event is of course for "stick" aeromodels. After the first contest where this Wakefield appeared, the idea spread like wild fires. Hank Cole also won the 1951 Wakefield event at The US Nationals but failed to make it onto the 1951 USA Wakefield Team. But Joe Foster and Manny Andrade made it, using this strange anomaly. The 1951 USA Wakefield Team included: Joe Foster, and Manny Andrade, of San Jose, Cal., Joseph Elgin, of Cleveland, Ohio, a member of the "Cleveland Balsa Butchers", A Hoffmeister, Dave Kneeland, and George Perryman, from Georgia who in November 1951 wrote a letter to the "Correspondence" column of the Aeromodeller pleading that The Wakefield International Cup be changed "...on more of a team basis... On this basis, your team (GB) would have won the last three contests..." The Aeromodeller editor reminded George "This is not so." Perryman, not one to be "visually" outdone this year, had a Wakefield with a fuselage containing two gear driven rubber motors 10 inches behind the gear set, with a polyhedral stabilizer, and a sub rudder, the wing had tip dihedral, viva la difference? Joe Foster and Manny Andrade flew Wakefields with fuselage lengths of 55 inches from nose to peg, for the stretched rubber motor.

There were only 51 contestants, down from last years 63, from ten nations at this years contest, including: Finland, Italy, Sweden, GB, USA, Holland, France, Belgium, Canada, and Australia. Where were Denmark, Germany, Monaco, Ireland, Switzerland, and (absent for the first time since 1936) New Zealand ? Team GB sent H Tubbs, F Holland, I Dowsett, R Woodhouse, Rockell, and F H Boxall. From Sweden came Sune Stark, who was on the Team starting in 1937 (when he was only 13 years old!) and placed twelfth last year, H Eliasson, B Borgesson, Arne Blomgren returning again having placed eleventh last year. Team Italy was back with: A Leardi who was third last year, S Lustrati who came seventh last year, E Sadorin who came ninth in '50, D Faiola whose Wakefield would be flown by L Kanneworff who placed sixth in '50, G Pelegi. Team Holland included J de Jong, de Vries, G Dijkstra, A Dijkstra, H de Kat, and J F Thomas whose Wakefield would be flown proxy by P W Seton who was fourth last year. Team France sent P Gilg, E Gerlaud, and B Pointel only. Team Finland was of course led by the 1949 and 1950 Wakefield International Cup Champion, here to defend his long reign Aame Ellila; with him were: P Huhinen, A Johanson, T Silmunen, M Tahkapaa, and Kivikataja. The venue, for the second time in a row, for the Wakefield contest was in "The Land of the Midnight Sun", Jamijarvi, Finland, because of Aarne Ellila's consecutive wins. Again to avoid thermals, flying would begin late in the evening, and continue until early the next morning.

ROUND 1: The Contest began again, as last year, at 7:30pm. The wind layer was calm up to 100 feet and turbulent above that, drifting at about 4 to 5 mph, thermal activity was nil-to-light. Aarne Ellila the Wakefield Champion came to Jamijarvi a week early to test fly his new Wakefield, which is detailed in Frank Zaic's MAYB 1950-1951. This was another of his by now familiar variants dating back to 1939, twelve years ago, yet very competitive still. On his first flight Aarne's Wakefield looped off of the take-off board, for attempt number one. Aarne tried again, then again, then again, this time using his "old 1950 Wakefield", for a flight of 130.0 seconds, not an auspicious start for the Champion, who was always so consistent in the past. The first round ended with J de Jong in the lead with 258.1 seconds, H Tubbs 252.7 seconds, Gilq 236, S Stark 226.2, M Andrade 226.0, S Lustrati 226.0, RWoodhouse 224.0, M Ferber 223.5, F Holland 221.2, B Pointel 218.0, I Dowsett 215.9.

ROUND 2: Started at 9:00pm with continuing calm winds to about 100 feet, and turbulent humid air above. Aarne Ellila was the first contestant to fly, again using his new Wakefield, he ROG launched for a flight of 6.9 seconds! His machine looped into the ground, bounced, and began climbing! It did 180.0 seconds unofficially! So much for all that consistency talk. Tubbs stayed in the lead with a fine flight of 236.9 seconds, followed by de Jong, Stark, Lustrati, Deschepper, Hoffmeister, Leardi, Holland, Cassola, and Andrade. The last round was set for 5:00am, but a rain front was predicted, so the round was rescheduled to open at 3:00am. A quick nap was possible. Like the Klacken of doom, after what seemed only a brief instance of sleep, the indefatigable Contest Director, Hagelstan, sounded the horn to open the round, to the surprise of all 51 contestants! When did Hagelstan sleep? 

ch17drbROUND 3: It was exactly 3:00am and Deschapper ROG launched first this time. Aarne Ellila chose to retire. He was a great Champion. He came back again in 1952, and almost won the Cup again! Now the predicted weather front arrived, with winds gusting to 20 mph! Those long fuselage Wakefields from the USA didn't have a chance. The long moment arms, so wonderful in calm air, stalled seriously in winds above 5 mph. Despite this Manny Andrade turned in a 208.3 second flight, good for seventh place. Henry Tubbs now ran into some problems, the winder hook disengaged, but Ted Evans caught it! Ted's fingers were damaged, but he saved Henry's fuselage. Tubbs got off well, but was OOS in only 186.6 seconds, he came second today. Stark had a 246.5 second flight, but Lustrati could win it all with a 251 second flight! It was not to be, Lustrati was OOS in 209.1 seconds, to come in third. Team Italy would be close, again. The winner? Sune Stark. Round one, 4th, Round two,4th, Round three, 2nd, perfectly consistent! 

Place Name Country Round l Round 2 Round 3 total time
1 S Stark SWE 226.2 232.5 246.5 705.2
2 H Tubbs GB 252.7 236.9 186.6 676.2
3 S Lustrati ITA 226.0 229.1 209.1 664.2
4 J de Jong NED 258.1 206.0 189.8 653.9
5 A Hofmeister USA 201.0 223.6 204.8 629.4
6 C De Vries NED 194.8 170.3 256.5 621.6
7 M Andrade USA 226.0 180.5 208.3 614.8
8 P Deschepper BEL 202.2 243.4 164.0 609.6
9 F Holland GB 221.2 190.0 187.4 598.6
10 F Cassola ITA 172.0 236.0 190.2 598.2
Access full results
component inches mm
wing 41.75x5.63 1060x143
tail 19x3.88 483x99
fuselage 41 1041
propeller 19.25 dia 26 pitch 489 dia 660 pitch
rubber 4.5oz two motors geared


Model Aircraft, Sept 1951, 1951 Wakefield Trophy contest, E F H Cosh
Aeromodeller Annual 1951
Aeromodeller, Nov 1951, Correspondence: "Make Wakefield a Team Event", G Perryman
M.A.N. Oct 1951, How Sweden won the Wakefield, Ron Warring
M.A.N. July 1952, The World's Top Rubber Job, Sune Stark
1938 Model Aeronautics Year Book, Swedish Wakefield, Frank Zaic

Music: "The King and I"; Literature: "From Here to Eternity", Cine: "A Streetcar Named Desire"

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