Between 19 and 26 July, some exceptional aircraft were hosted at Marmande Airfield in south west France, including an Antarès, a Fouga Magister, De Haviland and even a Caudron G IV. But don't be fooled by appearances, these planes are actually models, flying models which took part in the 23rd edition of this World Championship. This Antarès measures two metres (6ft. 61/2in.) in length with a 2.20 metre (7ft. 21/2in.) wingspan. Enough to impress the over 6,000 spectators on the last day.
Spectators: interviews in the video.
And it's actually not just a coincidence that we speak of flying models. The 80 competitors from 16 countries and three continents were judged by a jury who first analyzed the aircraft on static display, for everything concerning the scale, and colour etc., down to the slightest detail with respect to the original.
Marc Lévy - Fouga Magister pilot: interview in the video.
Requirements that explain why the construction of these aircraft, weighing less than 33 lbs. (15kg), takes nearly four years of work. And it doesn't stop there since competitors are then scored dynamically, during their programme of three flights.
Didier Pabois - Contest Director: interview in the video.
Each competitor studies the flight characteristics of the original model in their own way. This Australian's model is therefore a replica of his own Pitts' Special. Others use documentation as their base, or get information from pilots of the aircraft concerned. This is the case of the French Marc Lévy who consulted Jacques Krine, former Fouga Magister pilot and leader of the Patrouille de France, to find out everything about his 'plane. A winning strategy since Marc Levy, double vice-world champion, became, here in France, his home country, the new flying model aircraft World Champion with his Fouga Magister in the colours of the Patrouille de France.
The last championship, two years ago in Spain, was won by the Czech Republic. In this year's team standings, it was France who took the World Championship, ahead of Australia and Switzerland.