Model aircraft

DH Vampire

I’ve been making model aircraft since I was about 7 when my Dad made me a Keil Kraft rubber powered model. In those days, buying a kit of parts – mainly balsa sheet with the parts printed on it for the builder to cut out – was quite a luxury. Most models were build from plans.

As time went on, ready-made models became available. Their quality was generally very poor – models would be too heavy, too fragile and poor flyers. Now, models can be bought built to a standard and with high tech materials way above what a normal home builder can do. Their cost is usually reasonable too, often less than the cost of buying individual parts by a scratch builder.

As with all things modern, the number of rules we have to comply with has increased to what seem like ridiculous levels to people like me who have made models for many decades. However, that’s life now. So if you contemplate trying model aircraft, I strongly recommend that you –

  • Visit the British Model Flying Association website and get some background knowledge on legal requirements. These govern where you can fly and what you can fly (rules differ with the model weight). The BMFA offers much advice, and provides 3rd party insurance to members in case things go wrong and someone comes trying to sue you for damage you have caused with your model aircraft.
  • Use that website to find a local model flying club Most clubs welcome newcomers and will give you some taster sessions, then if you want to go ahead they will help you make good choices in the type of equipment to buy.

So having said that, here are some photographs and comments on models I have had and found particularly interesting. If you are interested in aircraft, models are a fascinating and challenging hobby. I have made many model aircraft over 60 years of continuous modelling, which are now flying (maybe 30 in my “hangar”), sold (maybe another 30 or so), or worn out or crashed and then scrapped (many hundreds!)

If you click any photo in the gallery, an enlarged version will be shown, sometimes with a description and history of the model.