Sean Mendis and Derek Morrison met Member of Parliament Barry Gardiner in early September to make a case for the club extending the restricted flying times in the summer months for electric powered flight. After the Council had sent representative to observe flying earlier, it was duly noted that the sound of traffic was more audibly than any electric powered model aircraft.
It was suggested the drones should be placed in the same category as I.C aircraft as it is difficult to influence historical prejudices once formed in the minds of residents. They are particularly sensitive to drones and the potential invasion of privacy that these could bring. Placing Drones in the I.C category will help t alleviate the issues we have with conventional electric airplanes and helicopters.
There is recorded knowledge of Model Flying in Northwick Park since the mid-1950s, and well before that full-size primary gliders were flown there too (see “Horizons: The history of the Air Cadets by HR Kidd)[i].
In the fifties, flying was largely based around control-line models, and you can read about it in Peter Scott’s reminiscences in the link provided below. Peter and George Copeman were early members of the Model Flying club and pictures of them at the Nationals appear in the Aero Modeller magazine of September 1960 (see Fig 1 below). Club meetings were at the nearby Byron Court Primary School. Peter was also attracted to gliders and when a very young Sean Bannister appeared at the field one day, it was Peter who introduced him to the sport. Sean was incredibly inventive and competitive and went on to design his own gliders, and subsequently became world champion in RC gliding with his beautiful Algebra, which is still available as an RCME plan (see fig 2). He has had innumerabl...
I was in my early teens when I first went flying in Northwick Park. That was in the late 1950's. The club at that time was almost entirely control line. We flew on a strip of land in the centre of the park that was behind a row of trees and shrubs separating us from the main field that had houses on the far south side in Norval Road. Even then there were complaints about noise. Justified probably. The north side of the strip was a wire fence that enclosed the site for the hospital, not yet built of course. I wish I could remember more of the names of the people who flew. I remember George Copeman who flew combat using Oliver Tiger motors that he tuned, and Pete Tribe also flew there, though he was a member of the Northwood club. George also specialised in control-line speed though obviously could not fly off the grass at the park.
George on left, Pete on right at the Nationals (from Aeromodeller September 1960)
I tried to get members interested in free flight but with limited success....
We had planned this trip for a while now with little success due to a variety of reasons; lack of time, bad weather, a nasty outbreak of swine flu and matrimonial quibbles. Well, quibbles is a euphemism really, just like saying the Holocaust was due to a minor gas leak.
July the 5th was a beautiful Sunday and everything coalesced to make it happen. Michael arrived at 11am in his beautiful '67 Karman Ghia, resplendent in its recent bare metal re-spray in pearl white.
I had gone to Halfords to buy a quart of oil and also to check out a young Ishmaeli girl at the sales counter who was particularly un-phased by the sledge-hammer wit and charm that I was busily doling out. Still, it saved me from a night out, five pints of Stella and a dollop of Chlamydia!
When I arrived back at the den, Sean and Michael were pottering around the garage prepping up the HP 49. This was a rotary valve model engine that had recently undergone the equivalent of an engine rebuild. Originally manufactured in...
I was sitting down doing nothing at home when it suddenly occured to me I could go flying. I checked the weather, no wind, I checked with the Mrs, she's having her hair done, on her head not her back this time. I checked my timetable. Amazing nothing on and I had the new bixler to maiden.
As usual my stuff is everywhere; stashed in corners under beds, on top of the wardrobe etc. Finally I was ready. I thought I would pop over and see Mayoor on the way to the field. I scrounged a coffee and when I arrived he was messing around his desk looking for things, as usual, I did mention that he could clear his desk but he said he knows where everything is ??.
I told him the Bixler or Tampon 2 as its called was ready for its maiden; he grabbed the plane and runs his keen eye on the set up. He then started to move this and adjust that and then he ripped into me about not paying attnetion to setting up the plan properly,...
Where to start? Well with the loss of the tampon, my most recent model, I suppose. I draged myself sobbing to Mayoor and his fine shop and after great words of comfort from Mayoor (that's a lie he laughed) we discussed my predicament needing a hand launch glider and I was ushered towards a box high up on the wall. The words on the box shone out to me. I wiped the dribble from my shirt as money changed hands.I offered a wave from my van window as I disappeared with a smoke of dust in my trail.
I arrived back crashing through the front door, kicking the dog aside with a beaming smile on my face.
"Don't crash this one!" My Wife said.
I unpacked beast in a frenzy likened to that of a child opening a Christmas present. Soon transfers were flying and my shirt was dribble soaked!
'Oh my!' I thought to myself as I realised it had a V tail wing.
'What the hell!! How does this work? How do I even wire it?'
The other day I was fighting back the tears of laughter that adrenalin springs to mind. We really are a unique bunch; standing at the sky as our pride and joy bumbles around, our heads, thumbs and fingers waggling frantically at our transmitters." Well thats what it is like for me anyway, fighting this planes through all kinds of manoeuvres and wandering if you can land it."
But then the gust appears, normally in my pants, when you have to land the beast. I quickly calculate the direction and get the perfect landing. In my case if nothing falls off or breaks off during the three bounces, wing tip stike and nose over then its' a landing.
There is always the fear of who noticed your landing; proudly you walk back to the guys, chest pumped out with a swagger of the hips and you continue with the conversational banter. Then Mayoor takes his helicopter up and you realise that you were just lucky.
The other pilots then take to the air; performing stunts and knife edges, loops and rol...
Looking out of the window, I see that not a leaf is moving? Could this be RIGHT? I check the weather; Yes it's right, so while crashing around in the kitchen, bedroom, spare room and under the stairs, I yell at the wife,
"What did you do with my flying bag?".
"Ohh that one I put it in the cupboard by the gas meter." she replied.
"WHAT!!! It's got my lipos in that bag!!! Babe why did you put it in the there?"
"I got fed up with seeing it under the dining room table."
With sweat dripping from my brow, I calmed down and checked everything.
"Yes, I'm finally ready" I thought.
I stuffed it all in the van and made for the field. During the journey a driver decided he didn't see my huge red van and pulled out in front of me. This sent my things in the back flying, but after I saw him waiving at me with fingers missing on his hand I carried on my journey to the field without mentioning anything. On arrival; upon opening the side door of the van it was apparent...