Saturday 31 March 2012

NSFK Champion Model Fliers Badge

NSFK Champion Model Fliers Badge
Instituted 1939
Rarity – Very rare
Known Makerunmarked

This award was rendered annually for the best model flight. Little is known about this rare award except that the Aero Modellers Badge had existed since the Imperial period of German history but this award did not strictly reward the best flights. The NSFK built on this and the previous qualification badges and saw the benefit of creating an annual champion's award. The competitors wore for the duration of the competition a pressed oval tin badge that had a raised outer edge, which had, at the bottom in indented small Gothic script ‘NS – FLIEGERKORPS’. There was a further inner line that had at the top in impressed normal capitals, ‘NSFK’. The flying man emblem of the NSFK was superimposed across the badge and just below the swastika, a three-line panel. On to this are impressed the details of the competition and examples encountered have had ‘REICHSWETTBEWERB SEGELFLUGMODELLE WASSERKUPE 26. 29.5.1939’, and ‘RHÖN SEGELFLUG WETTBEWERB 23.7 - 6.8 – 1939’.

The first confirmed winner received his badge from the competition at Frankfurt am Maine 1939. As well as the badge, the recipient was also awarded an impressive gold-plated NSFK trophy that took the form of a three dimensional statue of the flying NSFK man. This is illustrated by one recipient who was a Luftwaffe man and former Hitler Youth member, who was awarded it for record-breaking model plane flight that lasted eleven minutes seven seconds.

As the awards varied for each year, I will describe the 1941 example and hope others will be brought my attention. The badge is finely made in nickel silver and measures 45mm by 24mm with a circular top and bottom. It has a fine raised outer line and a similar one indented by 4mm. Into the tramline produced round the upper circle, is the inscription in Gothic letters, ‘WASSERKUPE (RHÖN) JUNI 1941’, and round the lower segment, ‘REICHSWETTBEWERB FÜR SEGELFLUGMODELLE’. The tramline is in filled with royal blue opaque enamel. The recessed field is plain with a circle of finely detailed oak leaves indented by 2mm, which ran tip on stalk in an anti-clockwise direction. A separate piece is then placed across the body of the badge in the form of the flying man emblem of the NSFK. The wings measure 36mm and the height from his feet to the banner that runs circularly above his head, is 28mm. All the metal parts of the badge are silver-plated. The reverse is plain with a horizontal needle pin, hinge and hook. The badge was worn permanently on the left breast pocket of the uniform. The certificate and box, which accompanied the award, are unknown to the author.

 NSFK Champion Model Fliers Badge in wear by Spanish compeditors.

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