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Author Topic: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010  (Read 12015 times)

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Offline Essex BOF

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Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« on: October 16, 2012, 14:23:44 PM »
Some of you may have seen in an out of date post that I was writing of my eperiences over some 60 years of model flying and people met along the way.

Well it is now available as a publiction, from me for those interested. Some 250 pages and photographs from the 50's  up to the present day

« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 08:01:10 AM by Essex BOF »


Offline Phil_G

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2012, 16:33:54 PM »
I've read some of Brians memoirs and found them very entertaining and well written.
I'm really glad Brian took the time and trouble to document life as a pioneer aeromodeller in the 50s, this really is a unique insight. Where from and how much Brian?
Cheers
Phil

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Offline Windy

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2012, 17:30:12 PM »
I'm interested too  :study:

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Offline Essex BOF

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2012, 09:59:57 AM »
Price is £15 plus £1.50 P&P. It is only available from me personally as I had to self publish it. More to read than 3 model mags with no adverts or foamies :D

Wiil be unavailable till Sunday week 29th October

Offline Phil_G

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 10:26:55 AM »
PM sent Brian  :af

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Online spillage

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2012, 18:33:58 PM »
Price is £15 plus £1.50 P&P. It is only available from me personally as I had to self publish it. More to read than 3 model mags with no adverts or foamies :D

Wiil be unavailable till Sunday week 29th October


Shown on amazon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Lifetime-Modelling-Brian-Austin/dp/0952944081/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350495169&sr=8-1

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Offline Terry Clarke

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2012, 19:24:55 PM »
I've ordered one through Amazon since I've been modelling since the mid-50s and it should be interesting. I do like foamies, though. My hands don't sweat as much while flying them.

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Offline Essex BOF

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 14:33:03 PM »
Shown on amazon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Lifetime-Modelling-Brian-Austin/dp/0952944081/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350495169&sr=8-1


Not sure how you can get it from Amazon, as they have not had any from me and I hold the only copies that I know of :o
Will be back this weekend to deal with persons who have contacted me, regarding purchase

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 16:36:20 PM »
Not sure how you can get it from Amazon, as they have not had any from me and I hold the only copies that I know of :o
Will be back this weekend to deal with persons who have contacted me, regarding purchase

it was listed on amazon - although was not shown for sale at time of my post

rgds

john


Offline Essex BOF

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2012, 20:50:28 PM »
If you pM me with address, will send details as how to aquire the book. Have now replied to those who have MP me.

Don't know how it found it's way onto Amazon

Offline Terry Clarke

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2012, 10:01:47 AM »
Done

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Offline Essex BOF

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2012, 12:23:02 PM »
From Arthur Ott, with a few bits of interest from the same period

Dear Brian,
 
As you know Jef bought me a copy of your book. Now I am not someone who normally reads much but once I started on your book I could not put it down.
 
It was of particular interest because I was born and lived in Leyton. I know the places you mentioned and experienced some of the same events.
On the day that the V2 fell near your school I was in the Playground of Capworth Street School. We heard the "Whoosh" and saw the Fireball rise into the air, then came the noise debris and smoke. At the time we were told it had hit your school. I take it that was not true.
 
I used to shop for modelling goods at Russel's at Bell Corner, mainly because I went to West Essex Tech and went to look in the window most lunchtimes.
I bought my Mills 1.3 Mk1 diesel at Bateman's in the High Street. You mentioned two other shops but I did not know them.
 
At one time my Mill's just would not start and I took it back to Bateman's. Mr. Bateman told me to take it to an address in Midland Road Leyton and say "Mr. Bateman told me to bring this to you". I knocked on the door and Eddie Keil came to the door. He said "I know you don't I ?". I said "yes sir I was a fetcher mite at Fairlop while you were testing the Slicker". He said "Bloody Slicker nearly killed me, gave me my first heart attack".
He then took me to an upstairs room in his house where he had an enormous old lathe. He had been lapping in dozens of Mills piston, cylinder and contra piston groups.
He stripped my Mills, washed one of the sets he had lapped and fitted them to my engine.. I was about 14 at the time and money was in short supply so I was getting very nervous about what it was going to cost. When I asked he said "That's all right lad enjoy your flying".Quite a relief I can tell you.
His house was almost opposite the Railway Station then.
 
I used to live in Lily Road in Leyton and did so until 1960 when we moved to Benfleet. Wanstead Flats was one of my haunts after the war. I also made diesel powered hydroplanes which I ran on the smaller of the Hollow Ponds at Whipps Cross.
 
I sailed RC yachts with Brian Bardoe and Bill Ashdown. Paul Bardoe was just a boy then (about 10 I think) but years later he remembered me when I joined Anglia Club.
 
Thanks again for a good read
Regards

Offline Essex BOF

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2012, 10:53:20 AM »
Some pictures have just come to light, of the Anglia Clubs Gala day in 1974 at what was then a secret modellers paradise of Stow Maries airfield. Lots o f EK logictrol on the grass with 2 OS Cougars, Skyleader & only 1 might be 2  Futaba that I can see!! Oh and not a foamy in site. How times change.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 21:13:46 PM by Essex BOF »

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2012, 12:32:51 PM »
Thje technology has changed but look at the people sitting around and their ages.I guess a similar sight could be found today BUT it would be the same people only 38 years older. :-\

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2012, 12:54:38 PM »
Hey Brian

That looks like Bob Tatlow's Aeromaster at the back with Colin's Gangster 48 in front of it!

With the smatterings of Bean's around it could mean only one thing......................................

Bog Roll Time!! :o ;) :D

Nige.

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2012, 20:57:10 PM »
Hi Brian,
 I thoroughly enjoyed your book, it brought back a lot of wonderful memories of our model flying in those far off days.

Excellent book, highly recommended.

Steve.

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Offline Phil_G

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2012, 00:01:37 AM »
I resisted starting the book as I wanted to take it to read on hols - and what a read.
Although personally I dont know any of the characters, I recognised the names; and though I've never been to Wanstead Flats, the scenes and stories of the period were very familiar, and I found it very enjoyable. I did manage to put it down twice, finishing it on the third night!   A story well told, and of course highly recommended!
Thanks Brian  :af
Phil

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Offline Essex BOF

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2012, 21:53:35 PM »
From Tony Beckett

Brian
 
Thanks for the speedy delivery of your book (and the signature!) Extremely enjoyable, a wealth of information.
 
Turns out our paths may well have crossed earlier than withr/c soaring. My d.o.b is 2/7/1939.
 
I built a Debutante from the free Aeromodeller plan in December 1952 and flew it that Spring at Wanstead Flats. I could cycle there from where I lived. From the Flats I also had a Gnome glider fly away into the City of Londoncemetery, where my Mums ashes are now interred.
 
Regular Saturday visits to my Grandmothers in Walthamstow introduced me to the model shop in Walthamstow High street and also Russells at the Bell, Walthamstow. I was a member of the Chingford Club for a time and they would occasionally give me a lift to the team race meetings which they attended.
 
Hydroplanes, also with an ED Bee, at the Hollow Ponds rang a bell, then c/l flying near the entrance to Whips Cross outdoor swimming pool. Flying on the Walthamstow Marshes, a Vultan and a Stomper, both underpowered with a Mills 1.3
 
So, the first few chapters were a real blast from the past, thanks for that.
 
I stopped flying in about 1956 and didn't come back again until the early 1970's just in time for a "galloping ghost" powered glider, no more motors after than though.
 
Regards
 
Tony
 

Offline Essex BOF

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2013, 07:47:05 AM »
Hi Brian


My wife Pauline (on behalf of my son simon) got me a copy of your book for my birthday.


I have to say it's been a long while since I enjoyed a book so much.


The memories it rekindled were rather special & to hear names mentioned of so many people I remember from years ago just made me think how quickly time passes.


I joined the Anglia MFC when I was about 12 or 13 (some 44 years ago!) and I remember how impressed I was by both you & Dave Mason with your very aerobatic single channel models etc.


My aeromodelling pursuits were to take another direction - competition free flight (A2 gliders mainly) & control line (various team race exploits).


I still remember one of my first visits to Flambirds, when Dave Mason very patiently assisted me in trimming my KeilKraft Dolphin glider, until it performed beautifully.


I have always been in love with gliders and over the years have competitively flown free flight F1A (A2) & open class gliders, hand launched gliders (both indoors & outdoor) & even dabbled with radio control gliders.



I was fascinated to read of the development of your radio controlled gliders, I distinctly remember your Summer Wind model with it's distinctive swept forward wings,  but one of my favourites was your Trilogy 6.  I remember feeling very privileged (& not a little daunted) when you handed me your transmitter & let my fly it (somewhat nervously) for a while -  great memories.


I have a degenerative spinal condition which causes severe pain in my neck & mid back.  as with all things I can have periods of good days and not so good days.  The medication I take helps, but as I still have to work it's a balance of getting enough pain relief without impairing mental acuity.


This has meant that my aeromodelling activities have shifted towards the more sedate (no more pitting control line team racers etc.).  Building models has become more of a challenge as I can only spend a short time at the building board to avoid too much pain.



Last year I did something previously unthinkable & bought a ready to fly Multiplex "Easy Star" electric glider & had another go at R/C flying.  After the initial nervousness/trepidation (my depth perception and sense of orientation is not great) I ended up really enjoying myself.


I am now looking for a model to build myself, as good as the ready to fly models are you do not get the satisfaction of having created it yourself.


I was therefore interested to see that you can provide pdf plans for your "Trilogy 6E" & "Watts Up" electric gliders and I have also discovered that Traplet do a wood pack for  the "Watts Up"  so I guess your book has given me some much needed inspiration.


I would be very grateful if you could let me know how much the plans are & if there are any articles covering the construction process available.


Just to bring my ramblings to a close I must thank you again for producing such a great book and wish you a healthy New Year with lots of good flying weather.


Very best wishes


Mark Harper.


Offline Essex BOF

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2013, 13:41:35 PM »
If you get a chance to watch/record Fords Dagenham Dream on BBC2 at 10.50 pm toinight Sat 9th March, you will see Charlie Thompson on there who was one of my fellow modellers in the 50,s mentioned in my book. Charlie started at Briggs Motor bodies and went on to interior design styling dept, responsible for the interiors of the Cortina and Corsair cars                                   
 Also he was part of the original Spacemen Skiffle Group that became the Bruvvers of Joe Brown group later. The Spacemen featured Mick Reeves on Mandolin, Dave Platt on T Chest Base and Charlie Thompson on washboard.

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2013, 08:47:27 AM »
Hi Brian
    I enjoyed your book, mainly because we have obviously trod parallel paths these past 7 decades.
For example I noted your ATC camp at Swanton Morley. I was posted there for 10 years in the 70's ( I was a technician in the RAF for 24 years). More pertinently I was in charge of the Model Aircraft Club during my time there - what a fantastic place tob fly - all that grass - used to teach my 2 sons the art of model flying.
I was born March 2nd 1940 and was brought up (living in Doodlebug alley) near Maidstone in Kent. I joined the ATC (40F Squadron) when I was 13. At 16 I joined the RAF as an Apprentice (at Halton). This is where my aero modelling career took off and I clearly remember attending the 'Northern Heights Rally' held there in 1957 - fantastic day.

    I have done most of the various elements of our hobby, initailly free-flight A1 and A2 Gliders in particular- in fact I was in the RAF team during the 1966/67/68 nationals. 1970 saw me posted to the Persian Gulf and i was able to purchase a Skyleader SL4 R/C Set tax free. So from then on it was mainly R/C flying. For the past 23 years I've been in the Wimborne Model Aero Club - just north of Bournemouth - we have a fantastic flying field on the Cranborne Chase. Like you I have spent a great deal of my time teaching people which I find particularly rewarding - I also produce the Club's newsletter. I also fly slope soarers. In my garage and roof space I currently have 19 flyable and serviceable models - so obviously model maintenance task is high on my task list.
    Unlike you I haven't done any design work - with hindsight a pity. I am particularly envious of your involvement with Dave Platt - I recall attending the nationals, I think in 1968, when I saw Dave fly his T-28 Trojan - a gorgeous model. He was and still is an inspirational aero modeller. In the 80's I got involved in development flying of Unmanned Air Vehicles, in particular the air vehicle eventually produced for the British Army - the Pheonix . I flew the prototype using an old multiplex R/C set - the production ones ( over 200 of them) of course fly autonomously and were used, inter alai, in the first Iraqi war.
 
In conclusion, I enjoyed the book as it effectively took me through my own modelling lifetime. So well done Brian and thank you for the memories!
 
Best regards
 
Dave Ashenden

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2013, 09:24:51 AM »
And the splendid book gets a mention in the latest edition of Aeromodeller as well! (inside back page) :uk:
Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.  (Terry Pratchett)

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2013, 19:51:00 PM »
Hi Brian.


Just finished your book, once I got into it, I could not put it down.


How I wish my memory was as good as yours seems to be.


I remember those early days in the late mid/late 50’s over Wanstead flats, used to live there during the school holidays. I was probably one of those annoying kids with a bike that watched from the side lines. I can remember being in awe of the combat flyers (I could hear them from my house and would head off at the first sound of a motor.)


I remember trying to fly control line with a KK Champ under powered by a Mills .75 (which I still have), this is a discipline I have tried a few times since and failed miserably (with the emphasis on miserable (puking)


One memory that has stayed with me was the geodetic Wakefield rubber models, how did they pack so much rubber into them? I finally got this bug out of my system when I joined AMFC and met Bob Wells, models are still in the loft waiting their turn.


I can also remember being amazed at the size of a KK chief, 60” if I recall correctly, which compared to the Dolphin, I was flying, seemed immense. Another model I recall fondly, and have yet to build, was the Madcap, sure it will happen some day with radio assist.


I remember those early days of bang bang radio and the inevitable flyaways that occurred.


Such a coincidence that I lived so close to your school and that café on the corner of Harrow Road, My Dad was the transport manager at Nevills Bakery and we lived in a company house in Cobbold Road.


We moved to Enfield in 1959, along with finding girls, this ended my aero modelling until my son, on a journey around the M25 in 1983ish, asked  --  “ Dad, could you build me a model aeroplane ” – A KK Competitor kit was purchased and built, much better than I would have built in the 50’s, but still pretty poor by my standards now. Son lost interest ! – I didn’t.


I got re-acquainted with Derek Weeks whom I had worked with as a production engineer at Crompton. He introduced me to AMFC and gliders, persuading my to build a Fantasia, so started my rebirth into aero modelling, despite someone testing the fantasia’s free flight capabilities on its first flight. This was soon to be replaced with a Trilogy 100”, not sure which mark this was, but like all Trilogy’s it flew well, unfortunately it did not have the free flight capabilities of the Fantasia and crashed into the top of the tallest pine tree on the Leicester club field, something to do with me switching the TX off – oops. I seem to remember you took pity on me and gave me a copy of the then prototype Trilogy 6 which was built in double quick time, and is still with me today and, to date, my favorite model.
I was so pleased to be reminded of the characters that flew at Flambirds and I have now lost touch with, Vic Sinclair, Rodger Knights, Rob Pinder (I seem to remember that Rob smiled whatever the occasion, however Jenny was not to be crossed), Dennis Emmett, Bob Ward, Phil James etc. Others that come to mind are Ron Coombes, Eric Bigg, and many faces that I cannot recall the names of.


I was saddened to read of the death of Dave Mason, a thoroughly nice guy.


Most of the other I have stayed in touch with during my recent break from the sport, I continued as a member of EFG and flew indoor models (built ones, not the purchased lawn mowers that have ruined small indoor meets) . Mark Harper is still very involved, but due to his spinal problems, finds it difficult to fly anymore.
It was interesting (although sad) to read about the background to the breakup of AMFC, much of which started before I joined. Unfortunately so many clubs seem to suffer from these factions once the membership grows. I have belonged to a couple of Fly fishing clubs with memberships over 100, similar problem occurred. My current club, like EQFA is limited to around 20 members, no committee, and it runs like a dream.


I see Bill Morley most months at EFG, I knew about his connection with HJN, but was unaware of his involvement with the MERCO.


Having re-joined EQFA, it was interesting to read about the background of some of our members. I really enjoyed my day over Bartletts last week, like I had never been away.


Thanks for writing your story, I enjoyed it enormously.
 
I now have to decide what to build next, currently update my existing models to Lipos etc. Giving the beloved Trilogy 6 a new life with electric power (making that fuz as narrow as possible is coming home to roost, but a motor WILL BE shoe horned in).



Already got a Frog 45 on the board, but that will take second place to the Trilogy.


I was very interested in what you were saying about the fast wing 2m Watts Up, reading about it on the forums. Sounds as though it would be an ideal model to partner the Trilogy when the wind gets up, I also fancy a full house model. Am I right in my conclusion that the 2m Watts up and the Fast wing version are different models?  Is there a PDF file available of the fast wing version that I can peruse?. PleaseJ.
 
Regards Chris

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2013, 23:58:53 PM »
If like me you've always wondered what the infamous Wanstead Flats looks like, here's a video I found on yooch:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LMGTKC_P_M" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LMGTKC_P_M</a>

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2013, 17:09:32 PM »
Have just finished the book and what a brilliant read that was, so many memories re-ignited from the past 50 or so years. I think we must of had a parallel modelling existence.
I flew C/L living near to Heathrow and discovered the Feltham/Hayes club probably early 60's, became involved with team racing and in my spare time single channel radio, as a hobby, of course, education and a job got in the way.
Thank you for your efforts in producing a memorable read, thoroughly took me on a time trip, wonderful experience and many thanks!!!

Peter Jones

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2013, 19:08:26 PM »
If like me you've always wondered what the infamous Wanstead Flats looks like, here's a video I found on yooch:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LMGTKC_P_M" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LMGTKC_P_M</a>

It still evokes special memories to me, but last time I drove past it could not believe how such a small area looked so big when I flew their. Of course a lot has changed over the years, there were quite a few prefabs there right up to the 70s and all that modern building shown on the video was put up for the Olympics in 2012.
I know Steve Rose has a cine film of when th area was on fire in 1976 taken from a Barnstormer at the time.

BTW thanks for all the comments on the book, made it worthwhile writing it. Found a lot of stuff the other day that got left out :-X
« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 19:18:08 PM by Essex BOF »

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2013, 19:20:26 PM »
Good morning Brian,
I am sat in the sun in Mexico on me hollies, it took 10 hours from Manchester to get here yesterday, I had to bring your book with me as up until we left I had only managed to read  20 pages of the saga. I actually managed to finish it on the flight over, a thoroughly good read, I have to say that I was surprised at how many of the names I recognised and have flown with over the years. I am off to Slovakia with Pete Mitchell in August and off to France with Mike Proctor in July.
It is a saga that has many true reflections on the way clubs are run and evolve from a a genuine desire to enjoy a shared hobby to  a vehicle that is manipulated by the unscrupulous few to the detriment of all.
It is a reflection on human nature, and not always that good. Thoroughly enjoyed the read and identify with much of your comments.
Very best wishes for the new season, always enjoy your company till we meet again may everything keep going up!!!
Phil Brandreth
Sent from my iPad

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2013, 09:03:06 AM »
 Thoroughly enjoyed the book, a great read, is there a sequel in the offing?

Regards,

Brian Vance

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2013, 10:38:37 AM »
Thoroughly enjoyed the book, a great read, is there a sequel in the offing?

Regards,

Brian Vance

When the book was proof read(there are still some errors even though the guy who did it said it would be worth it ::)) there were some 50 pages cut and since then have other material that could be used. Who knows in 10 years time!!!

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2013, 19:26:23 PM »
Hi Brian,
 
I have read your book cover to cover, and it was rather fascinating. What an industrious lot you were !
 
The majority of your modelling all pre-ARTF,and before the digital age which has made flying model aircraft
flying so much easier with transmitters enabling proportional controls, with exponential, mixes , and the like.
 
Designing, building, and devoloping your own aircraft, and engines too. Where did you find the time ?
 
I was interested to see that you, and your friends flew from High Easter. I lived there from 1988 to 1997, until divorce !
Shortly after moving there I saw a bloke walking along with a model glider, a proper balsa/tissue creation, and I asked him where he flew from. He pointed vaguely towards the end of the village, but was not very forthcoming, so I never did link up with anyone who might have flown there. I did locate the strip with the Chipmunk but never encountered anyone who knew anything about it,and I was not into R/C back then.
 
Before the move to High Easter I had been full-size flying from Gatwick with Air UK, but they sold their routes from there to British Airways, so we all got shunted up to Stansted, after a stint at Southampton. At various times we were threatened with redundancy, so I thought I might develop something to do with modelling as a possible earner if the worst came to the worst. ( It never did ).
 
Many of the Skyleader, and Keil Kraft scale kits gave me much entertainment if not much airborne success in my younger years. I remember being quite taken aback when I fitted a well balanced 3-blade prop to a rubber powered KK FW-190, and it would actually ROG. It was mainly scale Jetex which took my attention, but the Jetex 50 was never really man enough for the job. My best flights were with an all sheet profile Veron Panther, though the KK Fiat 80 Jet Trainer could maintain height.( Photo below ). I wrecked it when I put in a Jetmaster unit, whereby not understanding thrust-lines, it looped to a final crunch !
 
At Gatwick I had an idea to make " Flying Airfix " models. Catapult gliders, more or less profile but with the noseweight contained within the fuselage for cosmetic reasons. I chose either 1/72nd, or 1/48th scale, as there were various companies around where one could get decals to suit.
They certainly taught me a lot about trimming, as they were fired off at high speed with a catapult launch, but had to convert that into a reasonable glide.
 
I made , and tried many of the fighter jets of the day, and found it very absorbing in how the different wing shapes flew. A friend of a friend who was in the modelling trade was urging me to produce them commercially, but I did not really have a clue how to set about it, and with a young family, and a full time job, I never did get around to making the effort. I had mentally put it aside for retirement, but I am too busy with R/C, and a grown up family now !
 
Some photos from yester-year below : 
 The Yak 15 above was powered by a Rapier rocket motor, much less fiddly than Jetex. It flew well.
 
Cheers,
 
Clive
 
 
 

 

 

 


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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2013, 09:04:09 AM »
Hi Brian,

Just finished your lovely book in a haze of nostalgia. So many lovely memories of trying to fly models in the 40s/50s. My problem was a KK Ace, which refused to fly till a friend pointed out that I had built the right hand wing with the ribs back to front – basically, it had the aerodynamics of a helicopter!

Your book is a very true reflection of you, I can almost hear you recounting some of the passages, and you come across as a kind man with a lot of time for your friends. Difficult too, when you’re writing about a ‘slice’ of your life where to draw the line on bringing in other aspects of your life – but I think you got the balance just about right.

Sorry to read you felt let down by the Chelmsford committee that horrid night when that pest staged a coup on most of the committee places so he wouldn’t be grounded. I can assure you most of us on the committee had gone round the members gathering support for you. But the pest and his cohorts had gone round first saying we, as a committee, never went up to the flying field, and knew nothing about the conditions there (which was a lie, as you know). Seemingly, he persuaded enough of the members to vote for him (as you say, by one!) but no-one on the committee wanted you to go, and, of course, voted for you.

As it happened, I was ‘informed’ some time later that I had been ousted from the newsletter and website position by a “special meeting” of the new committee (to which I wasn’t invited). Blessing in disguise really, as I didn’t particularly like most of them, and it enabled me to get on with my Degree.

Water under the bridge now but I’m glad that crowd have left. I’m glad you are still well. Are you still flying up at Bartletts? I buy the occasional moulded glider or helicopter which I fly over the local recreation ground. I have BMFA insurance, but most of them are so light they wouldn’t hurt a fly. My grandson ends up with most of them.

Look forward to meeting up with you in the future, and well done on completing the book. Sorry it’s taken so long but, as you might recall, I review books for the Guardian and London Review, so these boring books had to come first. But I really did enjoy yours.

Many thanks

Jim

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2013, 09:12:42 AM »
Helo Brian,
         Thanks for your E-mail of several weeks ago. I recall all of
the people you mentioned except for Alan Dawson. The section of your
book you sent me was very interesting and brought back many memories.
It appears that you and I were living in close proximity in our very
early years. I was born in Hackney Salvation Army hospital in Oct 1941
and came back to my first home in Francis Road Leyton close to the
police station. I went to Newport Road school in 1946 where I spent my
first two years before my family was rehoused in Boscombe Avenue just
off James Lane. I then attended Canterberry Road school. I built a few
KK rubber powered models when I was 9 or 10 and tried to fly them in
Abbotts park with only little success. When I was 11 and had started at
the Leyton High School one of my friends had a brother who flew a
control line model right next to the Whipps Cross open air swimming
pool. I got interested at went over there at every opportunity. I saved
my pocket money and bought an Allbon Spitfire 1cc diesel which I put in
a KK Phantom Mite, on which I learnt to fly. I graduated to more
manoeuvrable C/L models and discovered the Wanstead Flats and the
Wanstead AC, which I joined with several friends in around 1953. I was
an active member until 1960 when I went to college. I was also club
secretary for one or two years. I never took up aeromodelling again
until 1997, a couple of years before I retired.
 
         I flew most types of models in the Wanstead club both FF and
C/L. I started competing in class A TR (later FAI) when I bought my
Oliver Tiger. Unfortunately I was not wealthy enough to have it tuned
by Ron Checksfield unlike my friend Colin Sanger who went on to come
third in A class TR in the 1958 Nationals (see copy of report from
August 1958 Aeromodeller). I used to get to many of the London Area
club contests either by push bike or more usually on the back of Dave
Howells motor bike (Dave was my TR pilot). On very rare occasions I got
a lift in a car, I think it belonged to Bert (Graham?). I remember
going to Sidcup, Godalming, Dartford, Enfield, Dagenham, High Wycombe
and Radlett. I also used to compete in the combat contests flying a OD
model powered by a Webra Mk 1. I never won any contests but I scooped
the prize at the Dagenham contest when rain stopped play before the
semi-finals and I won the raffle (see attached copy from Aeromodeller
of June 1959). I found a report on your win in the combat class at the
Wanstead July 1958 comp in the Nov Aeromodeller (see copy attached).
The top photo of the attachment I found by chance in the Aviation
Modeller of May 98. I am the one on the far right, I do not remember it
being taken.
 
         I remember helping out Dave Platt once when, being a tall lad,
I waded out to an island in the lake along Aldersbrook Road to recover
a small FF cabin model of Dave's that had flown away. Dave was
developing the model for possible production by Eddie Kiel and in
reward I was given the Allbon Merlin engine by Dave. You said you could
not place me from the 50s but asked if I was nicknamed 'Pongo'. I found
a report in the April 1959 Aeromodeller that referred to club contest
wins by both 'Pongo' Smith and by Len Soanes, so I definately was not
Pongo! (see attachment)
 
         Me and a couple of friends will be 'observers' at the
forthcoming Power Nationals next Sunday, assuming the weather is
suitable. We like a look at the C/L as well as some of the R/C classes.
What I notice in todays model flying scene in my clubs is the complete
lack of flying competitions unlike our early years in the Wanstead
club. The attachment includes a photo I found of the Wanstead club
members ready to board their transport to the 1959 Nats. I am front row
second from the right in the glasses!
 
         As an amusing end to my ramblings, I must tell that last year
I decided to refurbish a C/L model of 30inch span I designed and built
in about 1957 which I had kept in my various lofts since I packed up
flying in 1960. It reguired stripping, reglueing, recovering and
repainting. It was powered by my AM10 which was still in running order
but the fuel tank had corroded so it had to be replaced. Having done
all this I set about demonstrating my skills at C/L flying at my club
where I have never seen another C/L model. We eventually got the engine
running satisfactorilly and I took up the handle and the model was
released. After very few laps I began to regret this decision as I
became rather giddy. The tank was full and the model flew for around 70
laps with me desperately try to remain in the upright position and not
wanting to crash the model. When it eventually landed I collapsed to
the ground and had to lie there for several minutes to recover. I
repeated the excersise a few weeks later with the same inevitable
result. Thank goodness for R/C.
 
        I hope these recollections may have jogged a few memories.
 
 
 
Regards
 
 
 
      Len Soanes
 

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2013, 09:24:45 AM »
There are only  3 copies left as of now so if you want one better get in now as I do not have any plans for a reprint


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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2013, 11:05:55 AM »
I've lost my copy, pretty sure I lent it to somebody but can't remember. If I did, could the borrower please give me a shout, ta!
Cheers
Phil

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2018, 17:04:02 PM »
A or clips of cine film has been put on You Tube by Fred Carters relatives of early control line days at Fairlop etc Mostly of Gadjet Gibbs bit of Dave Platt Ron Checksfield Merco designer . Nice to wallow in nostalgia

https://webmail.talktalk.co.uk/cp/ps/Mail/ExternalURLProxy?d=talktalk.net&u=b_austin&url=https://www.youtube.com/watch::cp::2915::cp::v::cp::61::cp::3da0uz3rlrk&urlHash=1.1979715355599844E-179

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2018, 17:37:21 PM »
For some reason the image is a black cat in a coal cellar with me for all the Fred Carter videos. Everything else on Youtube plays OK. Strange, I am using Chrome - I'll try Internet Explorer later.

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2018, 10:15:25 AM »
For some reason the image is a black cat in a coal cellar with me for all the Fred Carter videos. Everything else on Youtube plays OK. Strange, I am using Chrome - I'll try Internet Explorer later.

Try this link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3da0uz3rlrk

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2018, 09:06:33 AM »
I did manage to find one on Amazon, to replace my "loaned out" copy, just started reading through again and smiling already.  The frequent little offshoots are fascinating, like the two model-flying brothers who became Joe Brown's 'Bruvvers' skiffle group!
Its actually a signed copy Brian, "to Peter" ?
Cheers
Phil

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2018, 10:26:54 AM »
For some reason the image is a black cat in a coal cellar with me for all the Fred Carter videos. Everything else on Youtube plays OK. Strange, I am using Chrome - I'll try Internet Explorer later.

The problem turned out to be an issue with Chrome on some hardware (thanks Google). It works fine if I turn off "use hardware acceleration when available". I can now view these most interesting bits of modelling history.

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #39 on: November 01, 2018, 07:26:00 AM »
I remember the days, before all this radio stuff, fag in mouth threading control wires , going nowhere round and round, freezing cold Barkston heath
Fond memories

Tony
The man that never made a mistake
Never made anything

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Re: Memories of Model Flying 50-2010
« Reply #40 on: November 01, 2018, 10:45:10 AM »
I remember the days, before all this radio stuff, fag in mouth threading control wires , going nowhere round and round, freezing cold Barkston heath
Fond memories

Tony
I remember the days when I could actually run after a freeflight model. Or a CL model after the lines snapped  ???
flying's easy - it's getting it back down in one piece that's the hard part


 

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