Slick Win For Glen Dell - June 2006

Slick Win For Glen Dell - by Dave Hartman.

Not only did Glen Dell walk away with the national crown in the South African Aerobatic Championships in East London last month, but he also confirmed his earlier privately voiced prediction that the South African-designed and built Slick 360 which he flew in the event, would come out tops.

Publicly, when asked before the event how he thought the aircraft would shape, Dell was conservative with his reply by saying simply : “Let’s wait and see what the Judges have to say.”

Now the Judges have spoken, dispelling any doubts about the aircraft’s performance in the right hands.

Observers are already predicting that the days of the Zlins and Yaks could well be numbered and that the Slick 360 will stamp its authority on future aerobatic contests both at home and abroad (see flight test in World Airnews, May 2004).

Despite the aircraft’s success at the East London event, its manufacturer, AeroCam, of Centurion near Pretoria is still considering further development with several changes planned which could further improve the aircraft’s already sparkling performance. Some of these planned changes include increasing the size of the ailerons for improved roll rate : replacing the present braced fabric covered tail plane with an all-composite structure and making the aircraft lighter by strengthening the composite fuselage that will enable the removal of the present internal steel tube bracing frame.

Also in the pipeline is the provision of a slightly larger canopy to improve visibility above and behind the pilot. Once these modifications have been made, the aircraft will be introduced to the international aerobatic scene. There are also plans to develop a two-seat version in the near future.

But a lot of the credit for the Slick 360’s incredible debut must go to Glen Dell who scored a near runaway victory in the Advanced Class of the championships, logging a credible 81.79% overall, leaving Helmut Ludwig to occupy second slot in his Zlin with 76.69% and Ian billing, from Zimbabwe, also flying a Zlin, to finish third with 74.82%.

Mark Oostingh, flying an Extra 300L finished fourth with 73.05%, Mark Hensman was fifth in his Yak 55 with 72.37% and Cocky Beneke, also flying a Yak 55, came in sixth with 63.61 %.

Their respective performances in these championships, linked to earlier efforts, saw Dell, Ludwig and Beneke selected to represent South Africa in the forthcoming Advanced World Aerobatic Championships to be held in Sweden next month. They will be accompanied by John Gaillard, Chairman of the Sports Aerobatic Club of SA and chief judge at the national championships, who will act as chief international judge in Sweden. Quintin Hawthorne and Trish Ludwig will assist him in the judging department.

The East London Nationals, hosted by the Border Aviation Club and described as the best for 20 years, also saw Chris Twyford, flying a Pitts Special in the Intermediate Class, score a sound victory over Stan Oliver who was flying a Yak 55. Respective scores were 79.4 and 70.26 percent.

In the Sportsman’s Class, Laszlo Liskay logged a 74.34%, finishing total to win from Findlay Smith who scored 70.95% flying a Yak 55.

So successful was the handling of the championship event by the Border Aviation Club, that the Sport Aerobatic Club of SA has decided to hold the event in East London again in 2006.

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