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BMFA South East Area Crawley Indoor Meeting

This years meeting is the 27th year that the Crawley Club have hosted the South East Area BMFA Indoor Free Flight Meeting at Crawley Leisure Centre. This is a good venue with a high ceiling which seems to allow for some long and high flights.

The various classes being held this year were Hand Launch Gliders, Peanut and Open Scale, EZB, Living Room Stick.

For my son and I the most important thing is just taking part and having fun. After setting up and having a few trimming flights with our own models it was time to have a look round and as always we found that the standard of models on show was high. What is so nice at these meetings is that most people are only too pleased to talk about their models and share ideas.

There was certainly plenty of different materials being used from carbon fibre, balsa, foam (both 2 mm and blue carved) through to dried grass, yes grass! The grass was being used by one guy to make leading edges on foam wings, which helped to give the larger glider wings some strength. Why grass I asked and the answer was quite simple, strength and lightness he said and after looking at these dried grass stems he was so right.

Walking further around the hall I noticed some other scale models made from 2 mm foam. These were mostly World War 1 types and included such types as a B.E.12 fighter, Martinsyde Elephant and SE5a types.

Static scale judging was under way by mid morning and this gave me the opportunity to photograph some more models. The models on show were entered into Peanut Scale and Open Scale and the standard as usual was very high as can be seen in the photos. In Open Scale there was a Bristol Freighter, built by Terry Adams, with two props driven by one rubber motor. I had seen this fly earlier that morning and its performance was good with a nice steady climbing circle followed by a smooth touch down. It was carved out of blue foam and the gearing for the props were made out of servos gears, then the drive forward to the props being taken by thin wire, very clever.

Models carved also from blue foam included Cedric dela Nougeredeís two Mustangs, one a P51d the other a P51c.

My name is Cedric dela Nougerede and I am a member of the Guild of Aviation Artists and Secretary of the Crawley & Distric Model Aircraft Club; CADMAC. The club website is:- I live in Horsham.

Peanut Scale P51D & B models, 13" wingspan.

The Mustangs were carved from blue foam " Floormate 200 " which is available from Sheffield Insulation ( they do have a website ). The nearest site to me is the one at Tonbridge, Kent, and I believe it is still possible to purchase single sheets of 4 feet x 2 feet by 1 inch thick for around £5.

The methods used to make the model are those used by David Deadman, Peter Smart and Richard Crossley. They were fully described in some early copies of Aviation Modeller International and Aero Modeller, (I could possibly find the references if you would like to have them), but in actual fact it was Peter Frosdick who started them off on the blue foam trail.

My P51D Mustang airframe weighs 11 gms. and the prop assembly 3gms. The P51B (or Mustang 111) weighs 6 gms. and the prop 3 gms. They both use a single loop if 1/8" Tan 11 rubber, about 18" long. This is a straight length of 3 ft. and weighs about 3 gms. I was using about 1000 turns.

As the 'B' is so much lighter than the 'D' model, I could possibly use a thinner motor and put on more turns to give better duration. It should be possible to get over the 1 minute, but I have not got there yet.

Other models to catch my eye were Mike Hadlendís BU131 Bucker Jungmman and Gipsy Moth which was fitted with floats.

Both of which are built to a very high standard.

A Sopwith Triplane and SE5a built and flown by Divs Masters were also impressive. Infact all models entered in the competition were of excellent standard.

Unfortunately I did not stay until the end and so didnít see the final results. All in all I think it was a great day out and one at which I certainly learnt a lot.