1953 Wakefield Fly-off

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    Norm Furutani

    1953 Wakefield Fly-Off Re-enactment

    Cranfield, England, 1953. Three flyers had achieved the maximum flight times of three five minute flights in their quest for the revered Wakefield Trophy. Eliseo Scotto of Argentina, Joe Foster of the USA, and 14-year old Hugh O’Donnell of Great Britain had all “maxed out”, though that phrase was not yet in the free flight lexicon.

    The organizers debated, then declared three co-winners, the honors to be shared equally between the three contestants. Someone wondered who would actually take the Trophy? It was decided to have one more flight to decide this. The Fly-Off was born!

    At this year’s Isaacson Winter Classic contest that occasion will be remembered with a re-enactment of the historic contest. Scotto’s “X5” will be flown by Juan Livotto, Foster’s “Power/Weight” by Hal Cover, and O’Donnell’s “Maxie” by Bernie Crowe in a reprise of the First Fly-Off. This will take place at 3:15 Saturday, immediately before the F1B fly-offs. The event will be conducted in the spirit of friendly, nostalgic camaraderie. Yeah, right!

    -Bernie Crowe

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