Jenny Naughton for permission to use
their flying field.
F3K gliders are small aircraft with a
wingspan of up to 1.5 metres and a
maximum weight of 600 grams. As the
name suggests the gliders are hand
launched by pilots before being radio
controlled in flight.
Competition is based on a selection
of flight tasks including completing
as many 30 second flights as possible
in a certain time or attempting to
reach a single flight time of up to three
minutes. In official competition there
must be a minimum of five rounds of
flying and points are awarded based on
times achieved for each task.
The RCGA Open was held on the Friday,
following a practice day on Thursday,
and was won by reigning World
Champion Alex Hewson with Joe Wurts
and Peter Williams taking second and
third respectively, making it a clean
sweep for New Zealand.
The Asia Pacific Open kicked off in
earnest on the Saturday with the early
preliminary rounds concluded on the
Sunday morning. The top ten pilots then
went on to complete in the fly offs on
the Sunday afternoon.
The weekend drew 100 spectators
who watched as competitors battled it
out for team and individual honours,
witnessing up close the thrilling
spectacle of F3K glider flying. It was
a very social event with tales of the
day’s competition shared over evening
meals at various eateries around the
The individual results had a familiar
look with New Zealand once more
taking top honours led by Alex Hewson
in first and Kevin Botherway and Peter
Williams taking second and third
respectively. New Zealand won the
team competition with Australia in
second and Singapore just beating
China for third.
The F3K Asia Pacific open is a relatively
new competition for this class of model
aircraft and was first held in China in
2014. It was the brainchild of glider
enthusiasts Thomas Lee from Hong
Kong and Jon Day from Australia who
wanted to promote the sport, offer
more international competition and
give pilots a chance to further develop
their skills in the year between World
Event co-founder Jon Day was delighted
that Australia was this year’s host.
“It was an honour to be able to host
this event and I sincerely hope that this
competition continues long into the
future with the same level of intimacy
and good sportsmanship,” said Jon.
The next Asia Pacific F3K Open is
billed for 2018 and with both New
Zealand and Singapore voicing an
interest in hosting it, it looks like
this event will continue to be a
mainstay of the F3K competitive
calendar for many years to come.
All images courtesy
David Hannah Photography
Jon Day, co-founder of the APO executes a perfect
Thomas Lee (Hong Kong), co-founder and
organiser of the inaugural APO.
Father and son team fromThailand
has a good practice session.
Cai Xuming launches right at the edge of the