1960 CL SPEED WORLD CHAMPS
Martin Radcliff e was kind enough to send an email on the
article by Adrian Duncan about the controversial results of
the 1960 CL Speed contest:
“I’d been meaning to send you further info on Bull
Wisniewski’s problems at the 1960 World Champs in the
January 2018 issue of Aeromodeller. Hope I’m not too late
with this but time seems to fl y by.
It had recently been the subject of a post on the F2A
Facebook page, the following is a distillation of what I
I wasn’t there in 1960 (too young!) but I was a near
neighbour of British speed fl ier the late Kevin Lindsey in the
late 1960s and he was there. He timed Bill’s fl ight at 163mph
over the fi rst few laps.
It’s worth bearing in mind they were fl ying on a single
.35mm monoline wire (2-liners were on two .25mm wires).
When Pech of Czechoslovakia set the world record at
152mph after the comp he fl ew on a single .25mm wire(!).
Today F2A is on two .4mm wires and the lines are almost
6 feet longer, and the models are approaching 190mph on
Tetra-nitromethane was very powerful. Kevin told me
the Americans’ piston crowns were being dented in. It was
rightly banned. From Wikipedia: “Absorption of as little as
2.5 mg/kg can cause methemoglobinemia, lung edema,
and damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. It
is reasonably expected to be a human carcinogen”. People
died from using it.
I don’t think the FAI would have even known about the
existence of tetra in 1960 and the FAI wouldn’t have known
how dangerous tetra was at that time. I seem to remember it
wasn’t until after the World Champs that it came out that the
Americans had been using tetra. The Americans had plainly
not done much test fl ying with it as it was hammering the
I don’t think Ugo Rossi ever fl ew again for Italy. By 1962
he had switched to monoline and despite being the Italian
record holder and National Champion he wasn’t picked for
the Italian World Champs team in Kiev. This was possibly
because he was using a 15 of his own making based on a
G20 case but otherwise an entirely Rossi creation which he
was marketing as a ‘G20 Super Tigre Rossi Modifi ed’. This
would have upset Garofoli who despatched an Italian team
to Kiev under the name ‘Super Tigre Squadre’. There was a
lot of ‘politics’ in the model aircraft world in those days.
It wasn’t the end of people complaining about
Wisniewski’s innovations: when he turned up at the 1966
World Champs with tuned pipes for the fi rst time, and did
160mph on straight fuel, some tried to have him disqualifi ed
on the grounds that the exhaust was acting as a rocket
motor providing thrust and pushing the model forward!
To Bill’s credit he convened a presentation to everyone
divulging all his development work on pipes at the end of the
World Champs. After the World Champs the Russians sent in
a proposal to the FAI banning pipes.
The Americans weren’t the only people there in 1966 with
tuned pipes. Kevin Lindsay had been working on pipes as
well and had a MVVS rear exhaust with one (see attached
photo) and George Copeman had a G20 model with one, but
they didn’t work as well as Wisniewski’s.”
I put Martin’s thoughts to Adrian Duncan who wrote the
“Good comments by Martin! People tend to forget about
Kevin Lindsey, who was actually working on tuned pipes at
the same time as Wisniewski, albeit with a little less success.
I think that Kevin set a British 2.5 cc speed record in early
1966 (prior to that year’s World Championship meet won by
Wisniewski). Kevin himself believed (rightly or wrongly) that
this was the fi rst model aircraft competition ever won using
a tuned pipe. Whether or not one of the Americans preceded
him in the USA is not clear.
Kevin went on to design the E.D. Power Pipes which were
marketed by E.D. in the 1970’s. The Super Hunter and Super
Otter marine engines were designed for use with those
pipes. Problem was that when the pipe came “in”, the eff ect
on the required compression setting was quite marked since
the pipe had the eff ect of raising the eff ective compression
ratio somewhat. Pipes tended to work far better with glow-
Anyway, good comments.”
Kevin Lindsey’s Stuppi speed model of 1966 with tuned pipe. Bill Wisniewski was an innovative thinker
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