Model Airplane News|
Model Airplane News Cover for December, 1959
1959 Nordic Glider Championship
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The cover introduces an article by Gerald Ritz about the victory of the United states team in the 1959 Nordic Glider International Contest. As the name implies, the contest is only about gliders and carries the same prestige as the Wakefield for rubber powered models. (see our look at the June, 1949 issue of MAN.) The American team was:
The article is worth reading as it covers training, repairs and competition
Today, the Nordic (again like the Wakefield) has been integrated into the FAI. Nordic gliders are Gliders have no onboard motive power. The only energy inputs are the launch, and rising air encountered during the flight. During launch many gliders withstand 30G or more, far more than any manned aircraft is stressed to and towed launch speeds of sometimes over 50 mph which energy is then converted in altitude; In 1959, Nordic gliders were made of ever so fragile balsa (a point dramatically made by Ritz's misadventures with Pan Am's baggage handlers). In 2010, gliders were made with composite materials such as carbon (graphite), fiberglass, and Kevlar.
The FAI glider class is F1A, also known as A/2 or Nordic glider. The model must have a lift area (wing and stabilizer) of between of about 500 sq.in, and a minimum weight of about 15 ounces. Launch is by hand tow, using a cable that is about 150 feet long.
Other glider classes are:
Scoring is based on the total flight time for three flights. To keep the contest within reasonable time duration, flights are limited to maximum times. The rule is enforced by a "dethermalizer" in the glider, generally a burning fuse that trips a spring moving the elevator into "down" position..
This is a pleasant and well written article that may be read by clicking on the photos below.
The U.S. wins the 1959 Nordic Competition
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You may consult our discussion of the July, 1969 cover to see the plans for one of these very large models.
Click to go back and select another cover.
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