1905 Wright Flyer Enters Scale Competition

If anybody had a photo from that event they could let me add to this article, please forward. Thanks Keith for a fun story!

Hi Dave,
I just got back from the big judged scale meet (Central Ohio Scale) in Westerville. They had a great turnout, something like 47 pilots in 6 judged classes. I entered my Yak UT-1 in Designer Scale and got a third place. The first and second place were last year’s NATS winner and the Runner-Up, so not too bad for my first scale meet in about 15 years…
They had a “Fun Scale” class for beginners and experts, minimal static judging, but regular flight judging. I entered the Wright in Fun Scale Expert just for fun. The concept of doing “precision maneuvers” with the Wright in quite a bit of turbulence gave everyone a good dose of Comic Relief. It was like herding a cat around the sky. Surprisingly, I didn’t place last, as I got great marks for Flight Realism and the multi-motor option.
Early Sunday morning it was dead calm and ***very*** foggy. I flew a flight low and slow to the enjoyment of the spectators and contestants while waiting for the ceiling to lift so that the contest flights could resume. I recharged and waited my turn for the first sunday round. When it came time to fly, it was still very calm, and I had high hopes for a really good flight score. However, when I took off the plane pulled REALLY hard to the right, and full left trim on aileron and rudder and half left stick on aileron and rudder were required to barely fly straight. I struggled mightily to do the required maneuvers, and garnished about the same scores as saturday due to the awkward appearance to the flight and turns. Oh well.
I looked it over after a scary, but safe landing. The high humidity and wet grass had made all the joints on the parallelograms lock up solid. Even with the stain on the wood and the candle wax I rubbed on all the mating surfaces. Once it fully dried out in the sun, everything worked great later in the afternoon. Controls were back to normal, but of course, the winds had come up and the flight scores stayed the same as saturday. Can’t win… 🙂
But it got a LOT of attention, and many favorable comments. At the end of the first flight on saturday, it got a large round of applause and cheering from everyone. I think more photos were taken of it than any other plane at the meet. Hope one of them ends up in the contest write-up for the mags.

Take care,

Keith

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