Perky Speed
December 2008

Perky 6I first became aware of the concept of Perky Racing in an email sent to me by Graham Collins in Canada. Whilst not a unique exercise in trying to make an easy entry not too competitive vintage speed event, the Weather-Man concept is a similar idea in the UK. However it differs from the Weatherman classes, in that it is restricted to size of engine. 

It also has one intriguing aspect to it, the scoring; this is calculated as the closest speed to the average of all the flights. Sounds like gobbledygook, but read the rules and it makes sense.

As should be immediately obvious, this means the fastest will not be the winner; something that gives everyone that enters a chance. 

There have been several postal events for Perky Speed, which is a great idea. The number of flights mentioned in the rules also strongly suggests this is a take all day and tinker event (which let's face it, is what most of us do anyway) and is another attractive feature.

Designed by Matt Kania, the Perky was kitted by Megow of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA in 1946. It was originally a control line Class A speed plane with a span of 18" and 64 sq. in area.

Perky Plan

These are the rules I have managed to find on the Net. 

It would be interesting if someone could come up with a European model class with similar rules.


* Engine size .14 to .1525 cu. in. glow or diesel, or .19 size ignition

* 2 x .015 stranded line control and line length shall be such that the distance from model's centre line to centre line of handle is a minimum of 52'-6" lines. The entrant must follow the guidelines of their governing model body as to line diameter for this size of model if different from .012".

* Suction feed fuel system only - no pressure tanks.

* No tuned pipes

* Two x 1-1/2" wheels as per plan

* 1-1/2" to 1-3/4" spinner mandatory

* Perky model built as plan outline. Construction modification allowed.

* one mile (16 laps) standing start timed from model's release.

* submit as many flight times as you wish, only the last one submitted will be considered your official time for the standings

* Overall winner will be the one who's flight time is closest to the average of all official entry times. In the case of a tie, the closest but not exceeding the average will be the winner.

* As it is a speed event there will be bragging rights for the fastest times, glow, diesel and ignition.


Speeds seem to range between the upper 80, and lower 50 mph, with exceptional ones well above that range, which may give some idea of the what to expect.

A problem for trying to run such an event at the average British club site would be the fact that the engines would have to be silenced. That alone would cause problems for myself attempting such venture; it makes practice a bit difficult. As I know from first hand experience, setting an engine up with a muffler on then taking it off, is no  recipe for predictability, it can play havoc with fuel consumption for a start. So ones carefully crafted, just fits, and does 16 laps tank, could suddenly become a 10 lap frustration on the day. The only way I can see round this is to have a silencer rule that applies to everyone, at least here.

If this has wetted your appetite, there is more information here and even a kit

Courtesy of Graham Collins,
for your delectation, a few examples of Perky models

Bill Smith
Bill Hughes  (OPS powered)
Bob Arata
Burt Brokaw  (OS Max)
Carl Dodge  (Taipan Gold Head)
Official first Perky to exceed 100mph
Carl Dodge (McCoy)
Tim Pansic
Tom Wilk