Event Report 

The National Electric Flight Rally reached its 27th year in 2015, and tried a new location; the NAAS field just south of Tharwa on the edge of Canberra that covers a huge area in a picturesque valley. The central venue attracted fliers from South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Thirty fliers registered and over 40 people attended the annual dinner.

The NAAS club did a magnificent job of catering. On the last evening they served a spit roast. Legs of lamb cooked in a collection of Weber BBQs were served with roast vegetables, peas and gravy, on the field as a sit-down meal – almost surreal! The lamb roast was followed by upside down pineapple cake, also cooked in the BBQs and served hot.

The NEFR has typically been a jamboree of electric flight events – some more serious and some just for fun. In recent years the rally has been mostly electric glider and electric old timer tasks, with an electric scramble, electric foamy pylon and electric scale added in.


The electric glider events are planned at three levels – Radian glider for fun and for the less experienced, F5J for those interested in thermal glider competition, and Limited Electric Glider for those with high powered gliders aiming at maximum flight time from minimum motor run.


N3Radian glider

saw 27 people register for the event. In most rounds up to 24 Radian gliders were all launched at once and 13 rounds were completed over the weekend without one midair. 6 year-old Owen Solanov flew his own Radian in every heat and was presented with a special award for the youngest flier.



25 fliers registered for F5J and five rounds were flown over 2.5 days. Two classes were flown; open F5J and under 2.5m wingspan. This has become the premier and most popular electric gliding event.


Limited Electric Glider is waning in popularity but gained 10 entrants; those who still have high-powered gliders to compete in a limited motor run event. It was a quick and hotly contested event.




Foamy Pylon Racing is a blast, racing foam models with pusher motors around two pylons. The event is designed by Bob Hickman to be easy to run. The course is about 120 meters long.  4-minute heats are flown with the requirement “fly fast and turn left”. Seven aircraft entered this year’s racing and completed every round. 



Electric scale is a low key event to encourage the participation of modelers who would never enter a traditional Scale competition. Documentation is not required, though keener participants usually provide some.  Half of the total points are awarded during static judging and the other half for flying.  ARFs are encouraged, but with extra points allocated for owner-built models and for complexity. Scale is always a colourful event and 2015 was no exception.




Electric Scramble is a seriously “fun” event. The aim is to accumulate as much flying time as possible during a 45-minute working period, doing flights of no more than 2-minutes. Battery changes are permitted.  The model must takeoff from the same point for each flight and must land and come to a complete stop before taking off again.


Electric Old Timer is one of the flying codes well represented at the 2015 National Electric Flight Rally in Australia. Nearly a dozen EOT fliers assembled in Canberra to contest a range of events, including Texaco, 1/2A Texaco, Duration, Height-limited EOT and Nostalgia.  You can see in the results pages that we had a different winner in each event and 8 of the 11 entrants managed a place in at least one event, an excellent result.   The use of an open format, when pilots flew two rounds of a designated event at times of their own choosing within a half hour window, allowed us to complete rounds quickly when rain delayed proceedings. It meant that when individual pilots had model problems the impact on the program was kept to a minimum.  Overall it was a fantastic event, enjoyed by all who attended.




There was time during the 2.5 day program for some free flying and demonstration flights.




Bring along any electric model to the NEFR in 2016 and enjoy flying with friends!


For a full report of all the events, see the July, August and September editions of the British magazine “Quiet and Electric Flight International”.


More pictures here.



Radian glider

  1. Bob Hickman             240 
  2. Kirk Winters                205
  3. Alan Mayhew            202
  4. Rob Watson              184
  5. Gary Andrews           166
  6. Terry Scolari               165
  7. Ross Godfrey           150
  8. Wayne Digance        147
  9. Norman blom             142
  10. Mal Pring                    137
  11. Charles Powell          137
  12. David Lucas               129
  13. Vernon Rodrigues     127
  14. John Armarego          107
  15. Bob Wilson               92
  16. Brian Lockett              90
  17. Kier Malpas                89
  18. Chris Y W                  88
  19. Ray Murray                79
  20. Geoffrey Malone       73
  21. Ralph Dephoff           70
  22. Max Haysom             64
  23. Owen Solanov          51
  24. Byam Wight              38



Limited Electric

  1. Brett Solanov  3993.7 points
  2. Bob Hickman   3984.2 points
  3. Michael Beatty   3965.5 points
  4. Brian Lockett   3947 points
  5. Bob Wilson   1101 points;
  6. Gary Andrews 3946.9 points
  7. Phil Stevenson 3897.1 points
  8. Al Dally   3884.1 points
  9. Mal Pring    3837.1 points
  10. Byam Wyatt   2869.7 points

Foamy Pylon Racing.

  1. Brett Solanov
  2. Brian Lockett
  3. Bob Hickman

Electric scale

  • 1 - Byam Wight  - Grumman F4f Panther
  • 2 - Brian Lockett  - Canover PC-140
  • 3 - Phil Stevenson  - Bleriot monoplane

Electric Scramble

  • 1 - Bob Hickman   43.38min
  • 2 - Rob Watson     43.25min
  • 3 - Terry Scolary   41.53min
  • 4 - Phil Stevenson 40.26min
  • 5 - David Lucas     35.93min
  • 6 - Ralph Dephoff  33.98min
  • 7 - Mal Pring         21.45min
  • 8 - Byam Wyatt     20.23min


HEIGHT LIMITED OLD TIMER (Maximum Possible Points 1260)

  • 1 - Phil Stevenson – 1186 points;
  • 2 - Mal Pring – 1125 points;
  • 3 - Bob Wilson – 1101 points;
  • 4 - Rob Watson - 1013 points;
  • 5 - Alan Mayhew – 1005 points;
  • 6 - Mike Colston – 838 points;
  • 7 - Mel Gillot – 808 points; and
  • 8 - Gary Andrews – 800 points.

1/2A TEXACO (Decided by a Fly-off)

  • 1- Bob Wilson;
  • 2- Phil Stevenson;
  • 3- Mal Pring;
  • 4-Terry Scolari;
  • 5- Alan Mayhew;
  • 6- Mike Colston.


TEXACO (Decided by a Fly-off)

  • 1- Mal Pring;
  • 2- Rob Watson;
  • 3- Peter Pine;
  • 4- Phil Stevenson;
  • 5- Bob Wilson;
  • 6- Alan Mayhew;
  • 7- Gary Andrews;
  • 8- Mel Gillot; and
  • 9- Mike Colston.

DURATION  (Decided by a Fly-off)

  • 1- Gary Andrews;
  • 2- Alan Mayhew;
  • 3- Terry Scolari;
  • 4- Bob Wilson; and
  • 5- Phil Stevenson.

Being relative new to electric flying, and having previously only flown in the Radian event at NEFR, I decided this year to enter F5J as well as the scramble. Someone has to come last I thought.

This NEFR was being held at the National Aeromodelling & Aviator Society's Willy Emmett field on the Naas Road, ACT. Wow I thought, must be a decent place to have the road named after the flying club. Wrong, just a clever acronym and club name for a great field located in the head waters of the Naas Creek which was settled back in the middle 1800's.

The field was great. Set in between two hills with the field being clear of trees and other obstacles (like rocks), which have been banished by enthusiastic club members over time. There were grazing sheep, but it appears they must have been trained to avoid model aircraft.

The weather was initially kind, and even when it rained later, it wasn't enough to dampen the dedication of the assembled flyers and events were held pretty much according to their scheduled time.

I enjoyed the scramble. Great event for a new flyer as it forces you to concentrate on elapsed time, piloting your model to be in a good place ready for landing. Also wonderful exercise for the wife who had to chase the model on those occasions the pilot didn't quite get the model "back to base". Didn't win the event, but didn't come last either, and had heaps of fun.

Radian is always a great event. 25 odd radians all going up in a mass launch is a sight to see. The challenge was to find the thermals, but everyone was facing the same challenge. It was great to see the sense of achievement from other relatively new pilots when they did a spot on five-minute flight. Didn't win the event, but didn't come last either, and had heaps of fun.

F5J was the event that worried me. Could not see me getting anywhere near the flight duration required. I'd had the odd practice at home, but hadn't really thought much about spot landings, or how to approach them. Never mind, as I said, someone had to come last. So, psychologically prepared, out I went and flew. It was great! Everyone faced the same elements together. It was great flying around and picking the odd thermal. Spot landing was a challenge, and certainly let me down, but before the next NEFR I'll go practice those. Really enjoyed my first attempt at F5J. Didn't win the event, but didn't come last either, and had heaps of fun.

The NAAS club did a superb job of catering, and according to my wife (who is a self confessed food snob) the Sunday night roast lamb dinner was the best meal of our whole trip! I think that's pretty good endorsement of the NAAS cooks.

Rumour has it that NAAS could well be next year's hosts. I would certainly like that. The field is at a top location in the Nation's Capital, and it's easy to extend your holiday around Easter to give you time to take yourself, and family, to see the highlights of the ACT. If you're new to flying, don't be put off. EVERYONE has fun and enjoys the flying, why not join them and mark the date in your diary now.

David Lucas