Aeromodelling 1959 Style

phantom mite

One of the earliest pictures I possess of my involvement with model aircraft was taken somewhere around 1958 as far as I can tell. It features my schoolfriend of the time Graham. The model was a control line KeilKraft Phantom Mite, (don't recall it was a Phantom) powered by a Davis Charlton Spitfire 1cc diesel.

KK Phantom

The flying field was the old grass field Braunstone Aerodrome, on the outskirts of Leicester in the UK. After the second world war it was turned into playing fields, Not many of those nice fields about these days, unfortunately.

These were the days when a lot of time was spent lusting after model kits and engines that were way out of my pocket money range, in the plethora of model and hobby shops that existed during this period. To go out on a Saturday and return with half a sheet of balsa wood and a tube of balsa cement was major achievement.

eaglebma Many happy days of school summer holidays were spent cycling to a suitable bit of grass and launching something into the air, or round in a circle, and inevitably repairing it. The sweet smell of cellulose dope and the aroma of diesel fuel exhaust, sometimes mixed with the smell of new mown grass, forever picking dried balsa cement off my fingers with teeth while building the latest project; it was all part of the wonderful game.

This well thumbed and grubby book on the right, written by Ray Malamstrom, a prodigious model publication writer, was my inspiration and aspiration at an early age. The service it did was to open my eyes to all the possibilities that aeromodelling held, with the sheer depth of all the various branches of the hobby.

As I mentioned in the introduction this is something that is sadly lacking today with the virus like spread R/C . The various disciplines are still there, but if no one hears about them, or has the possibility of seeing them in action, what does the future hold I wonder?