Putting back into the hobby 

Competiton Flying & Promoting the Hobby

Aviation was the exciting big thing in my parents’ generation but flying has become pretty much passe for the general public today. The incredible reliability and power of the jet engine coupled with affordable airfares has seen to that. UAVs and space are where the exciting techno dollars are being spent now. Model aircraft inspiring careers in most aspects of aviation may well continue however as the trend for aeromodelling events and Special Interest Groups moving to country towns marches inexorably on, preaching to the converted marches with it. Fewer spectators means less newcomers.  Hobby shops bolstered club memberships by sending beginners. Where are the next aeromodellers going to come from?

Here’s a simple statistic. P&DARCS club in Melbourne is 60km from the CBD. The club does not see the need to conduct public displays and for the time being membership is being suported as other clubs lose their flying fields. The club has three very active teenage members. One comes from an aeromodelling family. The other two knew nothing of model aircraft until the 2015 Sandown F1 Air Race

Twenty five years since Sensational Adelaide 

The Adelaide Air Races was a big Capitol City event. Great event but located in Sth Australia its impact for the hobby business and aeromodelling as a whole was limited. Getting that potential to fly in Melbourne or Sydney is a concept that has evaded RCM News magazine for twenty five years. The Yarra Valley Air Races in 1997 took eleven grand on the gate. Cobram Air Races, centrally located right on the NSW- Vic border for Vic, NSW and SA competitors was also a two day competition. It began from a handshake deal with Club President Bryan Harper and put $17000 nett profit into club coffers in two years. Of all my efforts putting back in the hobby by promoting it that remains number 1. More satisfying than CD for the Kraft Masters International, doing the publicity for the 91 World Champs, selling sponsorship for the Sth Pacific Scale Masters. Culmination of all the above was Sandown F1 Air Race.  That event has been postponed until 2023

As we come out of COVID the availability of ARF airfarmes was ticked off the list when Six Seagull Nemesis kits arrived late December. Booking suitable flying fields was also ticked off the list in December. Now comes the third part of the equation. Making it worth both clubs’ while to have us. Melbourne is easy enough. As long as host club NFG remains happy with the previous arrangements the 2022 event at VMAA State Field Melbourne will remain the same. This event will not be publicised to the general public therefore seven rounds of racing plus a final for each category around one set of pylon lights is based on forty entries

Sydney is different. The host club has made its field and facilities available so the opportunity to become one of its four major events is there. It’s up to us to secure our tenure. Offering a fun yet serious retail competition flying experience is the number one priority for attracting new competitors. That starts with applying the simple set of rules equally. Prize money will help but the only way to guarantee that is to earn the money ourselves. The days of big support from the model trade are behind us. Sandown 2015 I organized four specialist hobby shops. One from each corner of the compass where potentials new to aeromodelling could go. That cannot happen now

Raising the hobby/sport profile has never been more important. Less people flying model aircraft means less people putting their hand up to run clubs. For Large Scale Ar Racing pylon marshalls are hard to find. Paying for Service Clubs is the easy answer. Technology and/or the honour system is another. Putting monies back into the Sydney event to see it grow is the only way I see to secure scale air racing's future.  The number of subjects and posts on RC groups is another pointer of change. Meaningless backslapping and likes help Facebook peddle that as meaningful circulation for its Advertising Rate Card but arm chair experts dominating forums have made finding useful information tenuous. The number of groups going private continues to grow as a result

deje vu

Things do change but the basics remain the same.  This has all been done before. Combining an airshow built around speed gives us the flexibility to keep the public entertained in between races. Inviting the public to a Speed Weekend in Sydney will quite easily pay our way to tie up a club field. Gate takings are split by putting money into club facilities and donating proceeds to charity being the usual practice. Speedweekend Sydney also offers SIGS the opportunity to demonstrate young flyers wringing out seriously hot aeroplanes in front of a large audience. An important reason RCM News did Sandown. Demonstrating to the public at large, regulators, State Associations and model aircraft fraternity that competition fliers could operate safley within the Aera Approval granted 3nm of Australia second busiest GA aerodrome was another   

Aerobatics

Aerobatics, racing and promoting the hobby has been a big part of my life ever since my father introduced new technology and won the F3a 1971 Stathalbyn Nationals. His own design  was fitted with retractable undercarriage. An Aussie first. One of Dad's many

Up until the 1990s demonstrating the F3a schedule was a highlight at model airshows. That mantle has now been taken by large scale aero machines. Looping and rolling is what most people aspire to after passing the MAAA Bronze WIngs flight test. RCM News digital library has a number of articles on the subject to get you started. Good advice from two experienced practitioners, Dave McFarlane's Model Sports NSW and Steve Richardson's RC Depot Qld are hightly recommended

   Stephen Green. AUS 5932 

(Stephen Green is Contest Director for LRSCA In and is a member of NFG, PDARCS and WyongMAC)

Dragon Fli - OS 60 Gold Head - Kraft gear - Multicon retractsI think this the Vics versus NSW at Wagga WaggaDadDorothy Green with the Ivan Kristensen design SaturnKAOS 60 built by Peter Bons Aero Flite Models Gemini2016 Fisher Paykel Inter Club F2 Challenge
RCM News

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Basic aeroplane trimming by Brian Green 

Art of Aerobatics PDF