Where it all started

My Dad had and has an absolute passion for aircraft … this shot was before I was born but my earliest memory was flying gliders and rubber powered free flight on the N Yorkshire Moors

It was about 30 mins drive from our home in Stockton so we spent most weekends it seemed running over the moorland chasing wayward free flight models of various sizes.

My main job in the early days was to hold the Wakefield rubber powered models and get castor oil all over your ‘nose hand as you stopped the multi thread rubber rubbing against the nose sides as the winds went on and on … holding the lead counter balanced half calved prop as you connected the 16Swg drive up ..

We then moved into the Jetex era … great fun .. pellets of explosive and fine starter thread and the 2 and eventually 3 section load barrel .. with the small heat sink so your little balsa and tissue model didn’t become a fireball ..

Then radio finally arrived … initially escapement driven with bang bang rudder and throttle … so sporadic flight movement..

Then actually proportional.. well I saved up for bang bang throttle and proportional rudder.. a massive step forward and actually felt pretty much in control ..although 3 position throttle or fixed throttle and 3 position elevator made for interesting flight path !

Eventually, after my first pay packet, bought a 6 channel Futaba radio control which made life miles easier … although testing my first 4 channel aircraft I managed to knock the throttle on test taxiing and off it zoomed … I leapt forward to catch the wing only to have it swing around and cut my wrist … just missing the vein ..

Most of my model flying was gliders on the amazing Black Hambleton on the North Yorkshire moors.

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