Why “Vintage Model Airplane”? Well, it says just enough about my hobby to attract googlers and other surfers. I might have refined it to just “Vintage Airplane” or “Model Airplane” wasting the time of surfers looking for something different. Then again I could have expanded it to include Free Flight and Rubber Powered but "Rubber Powered Free Flight Vintage Model Airplane” would be a difficult URL to type without error? Those who know me are aware I am currently identified by my love of rubber powered free flight vintage model airplanes and that says it all, although it did not start out that way. It began in the long, hot summer, of '76 when Elton John and Kiki Dee did not want to break each other’s hearts and I was on a family trip which took in the village of Cranfield.
As a C. of A. Apprentice, I had flown model aircraft there as a teenager in the late '50’s, but never seriously. I did visit two World Championships and various Southern Area Galas at that great venue. I knew it well. Here then, passing the magnificent airfield twenty years later, the perimeter gates were open and, verily, there were model aeroplanes again. And, Oh! The sweetness of the air! In our world, there are two abiding aromatic memories. They are the smells of burning DT fuse and ether laden diesel fuel. It makes no difference where you are, when you inhale these magical aromas; memories of days past come flooding back. My boy, Carl, eyes agog, said something like, “Cor Dad! We could do that”? He was right. Aeromodelling is like a drug. One may be able to abstain for a short time, but if reminded of its attractions, eventually we become hooked, again.
So with the passing of time I built a simple towline glider and on Good Friday of '77 fetched up at at Biggleswade Common with the untrimmed airplane, and soon it soared, so well in fact, that it flew almost to the next Parish. My first ever flyaway! After a successful retrieve I noticed another modeller flying a petrol engined vintage model who informed me that the Society of Antique Modellers (SAM) meet here regularly. I had no idea who they were or what this would mean for me personally or for my immediate and long term future. It was indeed a life changing encounter. Thus I met with and became a member of SAM and eventually SAM35 and SAM1066. I am proud to have been involved with the official formation of, and to have been the founder chairman of "The Society of Antique Modellers - Chapter 35" making countless worldwide friends as a result.
Initially, I built and flew many types of vintage model airplane, mostly powered by diesel engines and rubber motors. Subsequently, in '86, I became hooked by rubber powered models, particularly 4oz and 8oz Vintage Wakefields which are my model of choice. However I also fly Vintage Lightweights, Vintage Coupe d’Hiver, Large Vintage Rubber and Classic Rubber powered models. These were and are mostly flown competitively at venues such as Biggleswade, of course, the mecca of our early days, Chobham and Woodbury, RAF Halton, RAF’s Barkston and Cranwell for the FF Nationals but also Little Rissington, Odiham and Old Warden for Vintage Day and other regular meetings. RAF Henlow was my home field, sadly no longer available, but currently everyone's favourite venue is Middle Wallop where SAM1066 have established a new mecca for our fantastic hobby of Free Flight Vintage Model Airplanes. More "About Me" here:
For a sober story of degeneration in the face of enthusiasm read "The Medical Story So Far" here