Centennial of Flight 2003: Australian Aeromodellers Tribute

Australian Aeromodellers 'Hangar of Fame'

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Updated December 27, 2002

Mrs. Leigh Morgan (neé Simpson)

Australian National Wakefield Champion 2002, The first and only woman to win the competition since it was inaugurated in 1935

"I started flying F1B, four or five years ago, because I had been launching for my husband Vin for some time, and enjoyed being out in the paddocks. I also felt in this time that I had learnt quite a bit about thermals and how to 'pick air'. I thought that I would need to fly a different class to Vin, so we could help each other, and F1C did not interest me at all - too noisy and messy, so F1B was really my only choice."

[The World Championship free-flight 'F1B' or 'Wakefield' class was named after Lord Wakefield of Hythe who donated the trophy in 1927. The F1B class refers to rubber-driven model aircraft with the following characteristics : Surface area : 17 - 19 dm2; Minimum weight : 190 grammes; Maximum loading : 50 g/dm2; Max mass of the motor : 40 g.]


'Winding a winning flight'
Leigh Morgan, F1B Nationals Wakefield Champion

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'nearly there'
Leigh Morgan, F1B Nationals Wakefield Champion

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Leigh Morgan's F1B (detail)

"I started to get places, that is seconds and thirds, in the AFFS Championships, and the Australian Nationals in 1997-8, and this year, I managed to win the Nationals. I now have a couple of P30's and a Catapult Glider, which are fun to fly. I probably did things the wrong way round, starting with F1B, then going on to the simpler classes, but I seem to have coped alright doing things this way around."

"I have certainly grown up in an aviation atmosphere. My uncle, Leigh Simpson was a pilot in the first World War, and had a passion for flying all his life. He had a lot of contact with his cousins the Duigans, and took up full size gliding quite late in his life. His nephew Bill Simpson was involved in starting the gliding club in Benalla."


Leigh Morgan's F1B - Launch
Leigh Morgan, F1B Nationals Wakefield Champion

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Leigh Morgan's F1B - Launch (detail)

"I have 3 F1B's, two made up of bits and pieces Vin and I collected at overseas competitions. A lot of the Ukaine flyers make parts, and planes, and sell them at these competitions. So my first two planes are hybrid. My third plane we built from an Alex Andriukov kit.

It still needs some trimming, so I have not flown it in a competition yet. It has a variable pitch prop, which should give it the potential to perform better than my other two, but at the present moment it does not. The strong winds we have had over the weekends this year have made it difficult to get out and do some trimming."

"My father, Dr George Simpson was interested in flying, but more because he could see its use in the 'Flying Doctor Service', (which was his passion). He travelled through the inland with John Flynn doing a feasibility study on the possibility of setting up an aerial ambulance, and actually demonstrated to the sceptics, that it was possible."

"When he and Flynn were in Cloncurry there was a medical call, for a miner who had broken his leg. My father hired a plane and collected him and brought him back to the hospital in Cloncurry. He was safely in hospital in a matter of hours, not days of being bounced along on poor roads, and he made a good recovery, which was not always the case with similar injuries, at that time."

Read more about Dr George Simpson, John Flynn and the Flying Doctor Service


Time out with the 'little guys' - A 'Hangar Rat'


Wakefield Tribute, March 1941

Smeed, V. Aeromodelling : The First 50 Years

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More about Alexander Andriukov


Alex Andriukov

Alexander Andriukov Wake

Maverick Flier Scales New Heights As He Rocks the Model-Plane World

Alexander Andriukov at Mjosa_2002


Alexander Andriukov at Mjosa_2002

photo : Johan Åkerman

and I couldn't resist putting in this last one of an F1B in full flight [Ed.]


Johan Åkerman's F1B at Mjosa_2002

photo : Johan Åkerman

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