Model plane world titles in Bundaberg

The Australian F3D team prepare themselves for competition at the 2011 F3D RC Air Racing World Championships.
The Australian F3D team prepare themselves for competition at the 2011 F3D RC Air Racing World Championships. Max Fleet

IT has been hailed as the “Formula 1 of plane racing” and over the next four days, fleets of model aircraft will take to the skies, reaching lightning speeds of 360kmh.

The Bundaberg Aeromodellers Club is hosting the 2011 F3D RC Air Racing World Championships, with competitors flocking to the rum city from countries including Brazil, France and the Netherlands.

Australian Miniature Pylon Racing Association president Chris Watt said there were about 50 pilots from 17 different countries who had come to compete.

“Competitors complete 10 laps of the triangle course, which is in excess of 4km flown,” he said.

“Three competitors fly at a time with the planes doing up to 360kmh in what can only be described as a blinding flash.”

Mr Watt said the current world record time stood at 56.66 seconds.

“It can come down to as little as 0.1 of a second,” he said.

The president said holding the championships in Bundaberg for the second time in 10 years was a coup for the community.

“In Bundaberg this week, we’ve got 200 guests from overseas bringing lots of dollars to spend,” Mr Watt said.

Dynamic Dutch duo and current world reigning champions Robbert Van Den Bosch and Peter Van Doesburg have come to defend their title – and they’re not willing to give it away just yet.

“We just fly very well – we have a very good understanding as a team and we have perfect materials,” Mr Van Den Bosch said.

“All of our facets are spot on.”

But it won’t stop the Aussie team, led by team manager Mick Dallman, from having a shot at the title.

“We’re in with a good chance – we had a few mishaps but we have our back up equipment,” he said.

“We’re lucky it’s in our own country.”

The team is confident of a win but admits it would be “very hard fought”.

“In practice, no one was showing how well the other was doing,” he said.

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