1995 Jeremy Fitch, 42, USA

This year the Free Flight World Championships were scheduled to be held in Domsod, Hungary between the dates of July 22 and 24. Team USA flew to Frankfurt, Germany, on a Lufthansa 747 on July 19, then continued on by Lufthansa to Budapest, Hungary on July 20, nine time zones, and 16 hours later. The team members included Walt Ghio, team manager, Dan Tracy, Louis Joyner, and Jerry Fitch, with the exception of Walt an all new Team. The 1993 WC Alexander Andrjukov was there early to defend his title. Team Ukraine included Igor Vivchar, Eugeny Gorban, and Stepan Stefenchuk all WC veterans, whose F1Bs were now being distributed and purchased world wide. Tony Mathews of Canada was back at the World Championships to try again, and flying with him on Team Canada were Jerry McGlashen, and Cam Ackerley, also veterans. Ninety-six contestants, from thirty-five Nations were here to fly in The Wakefield Event, a record turnout: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bosnia Herzigovina, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, USA, and Yugoslavia.

Wednesday, July 24, was Wakefield day. Jerry Fitch told me that the weather was perfect, with clear, but hazy skies, and the wind drifting between 3-5 mph. The flying field is a flat plain, which is used for sheep grazing, therefore the grass is always trimmed down. The actual measurements are 3 miles long, by 1.75 miles wide, but it is crossed by drainage ditches, surrounded by corn, and sunflower fields, and trees which are about 60 feet high. Chase vehicles were a necessity, and two way radios were a blessing.

ROUNDS 1-7: F1C Power fly-offs held up any hopes for an early start, and the opening horn didn't sound until 9:00am, this had many contestants on edge to begin with. Michael Achterberg, had flown F1C on Tuesday, so he was on hand to help the USA Wakefield Team, and his Sierra Eagles clubmate Jerry Fitch in particular. Jerry had worked hard to prepare for this day. He went to Domsod to test fly on Saturday. He brought with him four F1B Wakefields, two were new, the others had been campaigned throughout the USA Team Trials; one of these was the Andrjukov AA-26, purchased on the field at the 1993 WC. The new F1Bs were designed, and developed over the past two years, working with Mike Achterberg, and Ken Oliver who made the composites. These new F1B had been thoroughly tested, and evaluated by Jerry, and his club-mates Michael Achterberg, and Erik Ryan . Here at Domsod, Jerry put in at least 100 test flights, using some of the 200 pull tested "FAI" TAN rubber motors he had prepared. Today when the horn sounded Jerry was ready. Walt Ghio manned the meteorological instruments for the USA Team. Jerry wound up, and waited to confer with Walt, ratcheting-in additional turns... The motor burst (!) in the fuselage! No problem. Jerry prepared his number two F1B. Ready again, he cranked in more turns through the ratchet stop, checked the adjustments, and heard Walt say "...if it were up to me, I'd go now", so Jerry launched, and got a 210 second maximum.

By the end of round 3, Jerry had his number 8 F1B back on line, and ready to fly. Rounds 1 through 7 were almost routine for Jerry, and for thirty-seven other contestants. Throughout the day, the weather conditions had been less of a factor than it had been on the other forty-one occasions recalled here.

ROUND 8: The 300 second fly-off round, 7:15pm. 37 contestants began to wind with the sound of the horn. Alexander Andrjukov with his usual proficiency wound-up his "FAI" rubber to about 410 turns, checked his adjustments, tweaking the set screw on the stabilizer hammer, and javelin launched his F1B. It was a perfect climb, reaching the usual 400 feet it always did, on the prop for 100 seconds at least. Then the transition into the glide pattern.... a stalling glide pattern! Alex cursed his luck out loud. He would not repeat his run for a third consecutive Cup today. His F1B was down in 293 seconds, 7 seconds short of the max, and out for two more years. Jerry Fitch was among the twenty contestants who maxed the round, Louis Joyner was not.

ROUND 9: The 420 second round, and the last round that could possibly be flown today. It was 8:00pm and it was growing dark, visibility was not good. Only nine contestants maxed the round, and Jerry Fitch was one of them. Jerry McGlashen was out along with twenty-five others. Tomorrow all the world would know who the 1995 Wakefield Champion would be, so try and sleep on that Dieter, Mario, Viktors, Radik, Mihaly, Anselmo, Igor, Andrei, and Jerry, sweet dreams...

ROUND 10: Thursday, July 25, dawned clear, and mild. By 7:00am when the horn startled everyone, to open the round, Walt Ghio was ready at the meteorological instruments. Jerry Fitch had prepared early this morning, and with the light from automobile headlights he put up four test flights to test the glide in JF-8. The clockwork timer had failed, and Randy Archer cleaned it so that Jerry could begin preparations to fly. As the cacophonous sound faded, Jerry Fitch began putting knots onto his "FAI" TAN II, the maximum turns, "...all or nothing at all." 450 TURNS ! The launch window was only fifteen minutes, no sense waiting. The launch line had been moved to a sloped bank area, making the footing unsure. The weather was clear skies, with winds aloft at 400 feet of 2-3 mph. Down the flight line all that could be heard was the profound sounds of clashing winder gears, as all nine survivors meshed in the turns.

Krebtov was off first! Followed by "The Favored" Vivchar, then Khuzeyev. Now Roshnoks was up! Followed by Siebenmann. Fitch held, and waited, ratcheting, ratcheting. Ghio spoke, as he studied the instruments, "...if it were..." Jerry launched "...me "At the DPR it snapped on the propeller, then it kept climbing through the torque, higher, higher, and higher. Straight up, no turns to 400 feet, than nose up to the right, as the last knots came out of the rubber motor.

Now the glide. Siebenmann was down first, with 390 seconds. Then Kunsterle with 405 seconds. Then Rosonoks 410 seconds. Then Khuzeyev 418 seconds. Then Varadi 423 seconds. Zeri 440 seconds. Vivchar 442 seconds. Khrebkov 446 seconds. Then Jerry Fitch of the United States of America 479 seconds, the 1995 Wakefield International Cup World Champion.

Place Name Country Round 1-7 Round 8 Round 9 Round l0
1 J Fitch USA 1290 300 420 479
2 A Krebtov RUS 1290 300 420 446
3 I Vivchar UKR 1290 300 420 442
4 A Zeri NED 1290 300 420 440
5 M Mihaly HUN 1290 300 420 423
6 R Khuzeyev RUS 1290 300 420 418
7 V Roshnoks LAT 1290 300 420 410
8 M Kunsterle ITA 1290 300 420 405
9 D Siebenmann SUI 1290 300 420 390
10 M Eriksson SWE 1290 300 412
Access full results
1995 Team Results for Penaud Cup
Place Country Abbreviation Total Team member places
1 Netherlands NED 3870 4 12 16
2 Hungary HUN 3870 5 18 22
3 Russia RUS 3825 2 6 49
4 Japan JPN 3813 30 32 55
5 Ukraine UKR 3803 3 36 50
6 USA USA 3781 1 25 65

Jerry wins the Cup for the United StatesJerry wins the Cup for the United States

Jerry FitchJerry Fitch's Wakefield JF-8

component inches mm
wing 66x4.5 1676x114
tail 15x3 381x76
fuselage 51 1295
propeller 23.5 dia 28 pitch 597 dia 711 pitch
rubber 1/8" FAI Tan II 400 turns


NFFS Aug/Sep 1995, WC Jerry Fitch and US Power Team
NFFS Oct 1995, WC Team Report
FFn April 1996
Scatter no.58, WC Domsod F1B

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