The Beginning of my love for aviation

Having been asked by my Daughters to compile a history of the family, I started thinking about my life and what I had done with it and realised just how long I had been involved with model aircraft. Having given it a lot of thought, I decided to write this article, hoping it will be of interest to some of our members. Before I commence, let me make it quite clear, I had nothing to do with Wright Brothers, nether was I a pilot in the Luftwaffe. That comment is for the benefit of, you know who.

My entry into the modelling fraternity was in June 1939 at the tender age of 10 years and as clueless as they come, regarding model aircraft and most other things.

With my Birthday money I purchased a Keil Craft kit, (at least I think it was Keil Craft) of the Blackburn Skua, a Fleet Air Arm dive bomber, rubber powered. If my memory serves correctly, I paid the princely sum of 1shilling & 6 pence for the kit, (7.5 pence for those of you who do not know what I am talking about).which was about 20ins wing span. To cut a long story short, it never did fly. The first and last flight was very scale like, a very steep dive, just like the real one, except it never pulled out, so becoming the first, of many crashes over the ensuing years. This was the beginning of my learning curve first of many mistakes I was to make during my modelling career. I soon learnt not to try to build and fly scale models until I knew what I was doing. In fact it was many, many years before I attempted another scale model and then it was the first of my scale sailplanes, designed and built about 16 years ago.

My second model was a Frogg (not sure about the spelling) ready to fly sports model (who said it’s a new concept) Just wind the rubber up and let it go, it really did fly, giving me many hours of enjoyment and encouraged me to continue with the hobby. If my memory serves me correctly, I obtained the Frogg model by collecting tokens from the breakfast cereal packets, didn’t half eat a lot of cornflakes.