Wakefield International Cup

1937 Emmanuel Fillon, 20, France

This year the Wakefield Rules were again changed by the SMAE, first: the total minimum weight would now be 8 ounces, including the rubber motor; the total wing area would be from 190 to 210 square inches; power will be by rubber power only; flight time will be the average of three flights, flight time is unlimited. These changes were made, by the SMAE late in the flying season of 1936. In an Aeromodeller article published in 1986 Mike Kemp writes "It appears that not even the SMAE have a complete set of the (Wakefield) rules from 1928 to 1950." The Wakefield Rules are of course the fundamental basis for the design of the species "WAKEFIELD" and are the basic raison d'etré, for the event in the first place! In this book I have attempted to summarize these rules by year, but I have experienced some frustration in exactly fixing the actual dates of the changes. The "Rules", of course, have always affected the performance of species Wakefield, and therefore any change in the rules has a ripple effect in the flight performance characteristics. Often changes were made to the rules that were not only questionable, but given the authority of the governing body, these changes became irrefutable. The changes to the original rules brought to a close what I have classified as the "Antique Era", and ushered in a new design concept I classify as the "Vintage Era". This was a Wakefield some authors have classified as the "Classic Wakefield", a species half rubber motor, half airframe, a period analyzed by Martyn Pressnell in his Aeromodeller article "Yesterdays Wakefields". Developed to its fullest potential these "pre-1951" Wakefields could easily out perform any gasoline powered aeromodel, both in the power climb, and the glide, a phenomena that may have led to the revisions of the rules by CIAM, which limited the weight of the rubber motor to 80 grams in 1954, and deleted the classic ROG rule in 1957.

The 1937 Wakefield Cup Contest was held in Great Britain, at Fairey's Aerodrome, on Sunday August 1, 1937. This time the Wakefield Contest was truly an international event. To Fairey's this year there were Wakefield teams from Great Britain, France, Canada, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States of America. In every way this was the first "Wakefield International Cup Contest". The only records I have been able to locate were provided by Emmanuel Fillon, in 1987, and one page of results in the September 1937 Aeromodeller. This is the same Emmanuel Fillon who in fact was declared the 1937 Wakefield Cup Champion. Emmnuel was 20 years of age, and he was the first Frenchman, and the last, to be declared the Wakefield Cup Champion. Fillon's Wakefield design is still clouded with controversy. In December 1937 Aeromodeller published the drawings of the: "WINNER OF THE 'WAKEFIELD' CUP 1937" The Aeromodeller editors also made a point of underlining the title block with the statement: "THIS MODEL WAS DESIGNED BY MONSIEUR A VINCRE". Now I don't mean to imply that the controversy began with this publication, it did not. Undoubtedly Monsieur Vincre was not without allies at the Modele Air Club de France, in the person of none other than President Monsieur F Cartier, who slipped the drawings over to the anxious Aeromodeller editorial staff. Next came "The Retraction" by Aeromodeller, in February, 1938, on page 110, which I shall be pleased to reprint here in its entirety:

THE WAKEFIELD WINNER. "And now we have to sort out a "bit of a tangle." Monsieur Emmanuel Fillon of France won the Wakefield Cup in 1937. That we all know. Well, some while back, (December 1937 to be exact - author) Mons. Cartier, President of Modele Air Club de France, kindly offered us permission to publish drawings of Mons. Vincre's model, which won the Coup de France, 1937, and which was described as being "ALMOST IDENTICAL" with Mons. E Fillon's Model. (Actually Aeromodeller said Fillon's Wakefield was "AN EXACTLY SIMILAR MACHINE" - author). It now appears that in certain quarters the impression has been gained that Mons. E Fillon developed his model from Mons. Vincre's. This of course is definitely not the case, Mons. Fillon has asked us to state that his model was entirely designed and constructed by himself, and that it was placed second in the "Equip de France" (which equals our English eliminating trials), at which competition Mons. Vincre was not a competitor. In our September issue we published a small sketch of Mons. Fillon's model, and on comparison with the drawing given in the December issue, it will at once be seen that whilst the models are of a similar shape their sizes are different, as also certain details. We regret having unwittingly added to the confusion by stating, in the notice on our drawing in the December issue, that the models were identical ("EXACTLY SIMILAR" author) for which we offer our apologies to Mons. Fillon, who was the winner of the Wakefield Cup Competition of 1937. But hold! Hold very tight, Mons. Fillon! We are coming after it this summer!

44 entries
Place Name Country Average time
1 E Fillon France 253.2
2 R N Bullock (1929 WC) GB 194.5
3 R T Howse GB 193.4
4 R Chabot France 157.6
5 R Clasens Belgium 156.8
6 B Anderson Sweden 155.7
7 M McKinney Belguim 155.0
8 S Stark (1951 WC) Sweden 151.8
9 K Schmidtberg Germany 147.6
10 A Dague USA 145.1
11 D Bodle USA 136.1
12 O Lindh Sweden 132.7
13 A Lippman Germany 122.1
14 Ducrot France 117.3
15 J Leadbetter GB 114.0
16 A Palmgren Sweden 109.0
17 E E Olsen Norway 102.1
18 H Fish USA 85.5
19 Robert France 82.6
20 A Van Mersch Belgium 82.2
21 S Wentzel Sweden 81.1
22 F Zaic USA 78.7


component inches mm
wing 37x5 940x127
tail 25.5x4.3 648x109
fuselage 38 965
propeller 18 dia 457 dia
rubber 28 strands 1/8"


1937 Cinquantenaire Wakefield 1987, E Fillon
Aeromodeller, June 1986, Yesterday's Wakefields, Martyn Pressnell 
Aeromodeller, March 1976, Those early days, Magpie 
Aeromodeller, Dec 1937, Wakefield Winner, A Vincre 
M.A.N. Sept 1948, p.16, Wakefield in '48, John L MacKenzie

Music: "Whistle while you work"; Literature: "Of Mice and Men", Cine: "Snow White"; Art:"Guernica"