Wakefield International Cup

1934 J B Allman, 32, GB

Prior to the end of the 1933 flying season the SMAE did some serious fiddling with the Wakefield Cup Rules. First they deleted the "Any Type of Power Rule", restricting power to "Rubber Power Only", then they restricted the wing area to be between "190 & 200 sq. inches", then they placed a limit on total weight including rubber motors to be "4 Ounces Minimum", and finally they made the flight time to be the "Average of Three Flights". So much for the threat of petrol powered, and outdoor-indoor aeromodels!

The 1934 Wakefield Cup Contest was scheduled for Sunday, June 24, and from America came boxed aeromodels from Team USA to be flown by the Proxy Team Members at the contest. The USA Team Members were Gordon S Light, of NY University, the "Unofficial 1932 Wakefield Cup Champion", who came in third in 1933, Walter Getsla of Chicago, Illinois, the stalwart of the Illinois Model Airplane Club. Walter sent a cleanly designed mid-winged gear driven Wakefield. Getsla's Wakefield was featured in the 1934 re-enactment in SAM 35 Year Book No. 3 "And So To Warwick". Alwyn Greenhalgh and Mike Hetherington made copies of Walter's Wakefield, and Getsla was there to relive the day. In fact to this day Walter Getsla is remembered by the Oakland Cloud Dusters, to which he served as the Treasurer for many years, and to whom is placed a perpetual Wakefield Trophy, in his memory. The third Team Member was Frank Zaic, of NY, NY, who sent a beautiful sheathed streamlined Wakefield; the other members of Team USA were: A Howell; A H Duflon; and L M Adams. "Fetchermite" Horace Claymore, engaged to retrieve "Grasshopper" for J B Allman could hardly wait for that day, in fact I paraphrased him:

"At last, the day of the 1934 Wakefield Contest arrived! Allman asked me to be at Warwick Common by 9:00am. There was no wind, but a fine drizzle persisted all day, sometimes heavier, sometimes a little lighter, but always there... The Tote Building... was the only cover that most of us had between flights. During the eliminators, the "Grasshopper" broke its port wing right across about half way along, and consternation abounded. Allman set about repairing. I remember speaking to him about the weather. Allman replied "The weather, Horace, is perfect for us ..." "Grasshopper" ....(had a geared) three minute power run! Yet...

FIRST FLIGHT: 8.5 seconds....!

SECOND FLIGHT: Slight stall... 163 seconds

THIRD FLIGHT: Allman ...became a little tense. The moment of drama I mentioned earlier was now approaching... Allman told me... "I am putting on absolute maximum turns, the rubber can break!" As I held the model, and Allman piled on the turns, I became aware that ... the whole world was watching us ... we were at the take off board ... and Allman placed "Grasshopper" on the board ... and than picked it up and moved the wing forward! He than placed the model back on the board and looked at the starters. I could not believe what I was seeing! "DON'T LET GO", I called to Allman ... he paused, picked the model up ... and turned to me . ..not saying a word. "YOU MOVED THE WING FORWARD" I said. "BUT THE MODEL WAS STALLING" ..."you should have moved it (the wing) back." Allman ... slid it back again ... then he replaced the "Grasshopper" on the board, looked at the timekeepers, and she was off! ..."Grasshopper"... set to fly in very large circles of about 250 to 300 yards diameter ...cruised up to 70 feet and recorded 164 seconds. The Cup was ours!"

Frank Zaic was third this time, Walter Getsla was tenth, and Gordon S Light's Wakefield was crashed on the field. In all fairness, the Proxy Team has the most difficult of tasks, and the shortest amount of time to practice with their charges. If they can win even a tenth place they are doing quite well under difficult circumstances.

Place Name Country Round l Round 2 Round 3 Total (sec)
1 J B Allman GB 8.5 163.0 164.0 111.67
2 R T Howse GB 123.0 124.0 23.5 90.30
3 F Zaic USA 63.0 65.0 127.5 85.20
4 A H Liggitt GB 88.2 66.5 76.0 76.90
5 P Fillingham GB 68.0 71.5 71.0 70.20
6 R A White GB 51.6 66.5 65.9 61.30
7 T H Ives GB 90.2 66.5 8.0 54.90
8 A. Howell USA 46.5 60.0 54.0 53.50
9 A H Duflon USA 65.4 48.0 7.0 40.10
10 W Getsla USA 116.0 0.0 0.0 38.70
11 Geney France 25.5 20.0 50.0 31.80
12 L M Adams USA 34.5 6.5 32.0 24.30
13 Desnoes France 7.0 6.0 0.0 4.30
14 Guillemard France SCRATCHED
15 G S Light (1932 WC) USA CRASHED

component inches mm
wing 46x4.5 1168x114
tail 19.5x4 495x102
fuselage 25 635
propeller 12 dia 305 dia


SAM35 Year Book No.3, Horace Claymore "Fetchermite"
Aeromodeller, June 1984, The 1934 Wakefield Contest, Alwyn Greenhalgh 
Aeromodeller, July 1984, Grasshopper, Alwyn Greenhalgh 
Aeromodeller, October 1984, Vintage Corner, Alex Imrie 
M.A.N. Sept 1948, Wakefield in '48, John MacKenzie 
1953 International Competition Handbook, Gerold Ritz

Music: "Anything Goes"; Literature: "Tropic of Cancer", Cine: "Of Human Bondage"