Home > Previous news

38th SE Area Indoor Meeting 2013

Over 200 people enjoyed a day of indoor free flight at the Crawley K2 Leisure Centre on sunday 3 February. Of those, 80 entered as flyers, the others as helpers and spectators.

One dramatic event was caught on video. Watch Pete Smart's Lancaster saved from destruction!

Next years event has been booked for the sunday 2 February 2014.

Results and pictures

[left]Colin Agate together with Don Coe were the scale judges. They must have been impressed by the standard of entry this year. Pete Smart's Lancaster in the foreground was the top model in the Open Scale competition.

[right]The meetings ran smoothly thanks to the people behind the desks. Pictured are John Dart, Peter Norman and MC Andy Campbell. Bob Cutter looks on (right)

SEBMFA Scale Day Report 2013

The picture shows Don Coe collecting the Towner Trophy from Stuart Willis at the Area Scale Day.

See full report and more photos courtesy of Keith Miller.

Colin Hammond 2013

I expect many of you will have heard the sad news that Colin Hammond passed away on the 25th April.

Colin was a true aero modeller through and through. Few people could not have been impressed by his prolific model building skills. He built three giant scale Lancasters which were true masterpieces and even though built quickly were all completed to the same high standard. Many of Colin's models have gone to all parts of the country to some of the top display pilots for show work and will be seen for years to come I hope. A true testament to his skills.

He will also be remembered for his commentating work for the BMFA Nationals Show Line and the Large Model Association at their shows around the country. I heard him referred to as "The Mouth of the South" with affection. We should not forget the Hastings Model Flying Club shows at Bulverhythe where, for many years, he kept us all informed in a very entertaining way. When they stopped he continued with the club fly-ins at their club site where he would have had a hand in the planning and arranging the event.

As a club committee member he would be sought out for help and advice and was often on the flight line teaching newcomers or flight testing someone's latest model.

He was also a Chief Examiner for the BMFA South East Area. There are lots of club examiners and flyers with A's and B's who will remember his patient and no pressure approach when carrying out a test.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to his wife, Rose, and his nearest and dearest.

For and on behalf of the SE Area BMFA committee,
Bob Hart (Achievement scheme co-ordinator)

SEBMFA Scale Day 2011 report

Keith Miller reports on the scale event at the Hastings MFG field held on 31 July.

Results and photos

Towner Trophy for Thermal Soaring 2011

Keith Miller reports on the Thermal Soaring at Leigh Park Farm held on 2 October.

This event, which is the oldest of its kind in the UK and possibly the World, is traditionally held in late September, but due to a clash with another BARCS thermal event it was this year held on October 2nd at the excellent Leigh Park Farm site of Tonbridge Radio Flyers. We are most grateful to this club and its members for giving up their Sundays flying so that we were able to run the competition.

For many years this annual event has been CD?d by Kevin Beale with computerised scoring by Keith Wright. Both these gentlemen have retired since last year's competition and the South East Area BMFA is most grateful to both for their valuable and dedicated work over the years.This year Simon Smith took over the duties of CD and the scoring was carried out manually by Keith Miller.

In another departure from tradition it was decided this year to organise it on a multi-launch basis in order to include the many electric glider flyers now part of the thermal soaring scene. Indeed, if we were to have only catered for ordinary glider flyers, it would not have been practical to run the event, as out of the 38 entries only 14 were flying pure gliders. The multi-launch system used is operated by ensuring that all the electric gliders are fitted with height limiters and the normal 10 minute slot time is augmented by an extra 30 seconds preparation time.

With this event always having been run at the end of the Summer and into Autumn, we have over the years experienced most types of weather. However, I don't think we have ever before experienced the mini-heatwave conditions which prevailed on October 2nd. Needless to say the flyers took full advantage with most of the slots being flown out, which with 4 rounds and a fly-off made it a fairly long day. The fly-off was mainly composed of electric flyers but it was nice to see that the final winner, well known Crawley club member Colin Paddon, was flying an ordinary glider, that?s if you call a top of the range "Shadow" all moulded model ordinary!

The 2 round fly-off results
Colin Paddon Open Glider
Phil Ramsey Open Electric
Alan Twine Open Electric
Derek Collings Open Electric
Keith Fisher Open Electric
Jason Burns Open Electric

Keith Miller

Tonbridge FF Indoor Meeting 2009

This event, held on 22 November was organised for the South East Area by Stuart Taylor and his local Tonbridge Gassers & Rubber Fanciers Group.
Report & results from Keith Miller.

Crawley K2 FF Indoor Meeting 2009

The SEBMFA Crawley Free Flight Indoor Meeting took place at Crawley K2 Leisure Centre on Sunday 1 February.
The meeting was well supported by competition and fun flyers alike.

video image You can see a short video of the 2009 Crawley Indoor Meeting on YouTube

Results and pictures from 2009 Crawley Indoor Meeting

Epsom Downs Club Formed

From January 1st 2006 model flyers using Epsom Downs racecourse will be required to join the Epsom Downs Model Aircraft Club and have BMFA insurance.
The club website EDMAC has the details.

Cloud Tramp Mass Launch 2007

Cloud Tramp Mass Launch 2007On Sat 4 August around 35 Cloud Tramps were launched on Epsom Downs as part of a world-wide simultaneous launch, synchronized for 5pm GMT.

Enlarge picture from Stuart Taylor
Group photo & list of flyers
See Cloud Tramp Home Page for international count of flyers.



Sunday 5 August 2007

Handley Page 0/400

Results and more pics

This event was originally scheduled for July 1st but due to extremely bad weather had to be postponed. We then had an offer from the Bickley club to run the event in conjunction with their own Scale Day at their field on August 5th, which we accepted with grateful thanks.

This time the weather gods smiled on us and it was hot sunshine all day with an outstanding turn-out of very high class scale models which were able to be shown off to good effect at the excellent flying site, embellished with the very effective pyrotechnics display put on by the host club to accompany some of the WW2 models.

As usual, the BMFA side of the event was dealt with by the pilots themselves voting for what they considered were the best models. Unfortunately, due to our helicopter experts being away on the Continent, we had been unable to drum up much support from the chopper fraternity and there was only one flyer in this category.


Crawley K2 FF Indoor Meeting 2007

Nick Peppiatt's gunner detailThe 32nd SEBMFA / Crawley Indoor meeting held on 4 February was a great success, with attendance and contest entries well up on last year. The reputation of K2 seems to have spread.
Picture shows the winning Open Scale model, superbly detailed Douglas Devastator, by Richard Crossley.

Results and pics



SEBMFA Towner Trophy 2006

This annual thermal soaring event was held on September 24 at Leigh Park Farm, home to the Tonbridge Radio Flyers, and forms part of the BARCS League. An entry of over 30 flyers enjoyed good conditions and saw Colin Lucas emerge as the winner.


Sunday 2 July 2006

DH9a in the pits area

A DH9a in the pits area

This event, will again be held at the excellent Bickley MFC site near Sutton-at-Hone in Kent, by kind permission of the Bickley Club. Flying will commence at 10 AM.
As before, we like to keep the meeting on an informal fly-in basis, so 'B' certificates are not required, although proof of insurance cover will be necessary.
There is an entry fee of £3 per model and judging will be carried out by the flyers themselves as to the best models. Prizes to third place each for fixed wing and helicopters, with the fixed wing winner receiving the Towner Memorial Trophy and the best helicopter the Len Mount Scale Helicopter Trophy, both to be held for a year.
Please note that only odd numbered frequencies can be used at this site.
There will be refreshments available and camping is also available, providing prior notice is given. Toilets will be situated on site.
For further information contact Keith Miller on 01892 534974
Report of this meeting

SEBMFA SCALE DAY 2 October 2005

See report from Keith Miller

Towner Trophy Thermal Soaring 25 Sept 2005

See report from Keith Miller

Cloud Tramp Mass Launch 2005

Cloud Tramp mass launch Epsom

On Sat 6 August a record 63 Cloud Tramps were launched as part of a world-wide simultaneous launch, synchronized for 5pm GMT.

Picture shows flyers posing for the 'official' photograph on the Epsom Downs Racecourse

For more info Cloud Tramp Home Page

Area Power Success

The 4th FF Area meeting on 12 June at Ashdown Forest saw a great performance by the East Grinstead Power Team, winning the national BMFA event. There was a "big" entry in F1H glider with the winning flight made with ten minutes to before the close of the contest at 6pm. Pete Cameron finished 2nd in the national F1H rankings.

Results 4th Area Ashdown

FF NATS Report 2005

Find out how the Area's Free Flighters did at this years NATS


It is with great regret that it has been necessary for us to cancel the above event which was due to take place on Sunday June 5 at the North Downs Club site near Charing in Kent.
At very short notice the local council has placed a prohibition order on Sunday I/C power flying at this field which will prevent us from operating.
We are endeavouring to arrange for an alternative venue at which we can run this event later this year and will arrange publicity as soon as details have been finalised.
Any inconvenience caused by the extremely short notice of cancellation is very much regretted.

RAFA Shield Update

Results and report of the 2nd Area FF Meeting at Ashdown Forest on 3 April.
Maidstone Club flyers had a particularly good day in the national competition. Trevor Grey won the Weston Cup for Wakefield and Mike Cook came second in Open Glider, both reaching the fly-off.

The Child Protection Roadshow
Wednesday 27 April 2005

The South East Area BMFA is hosting a visit of The Child Protection Roadshow, to be held at the Angel Leisure Centre in Tonbridge, Kent on Wednesday 27 April, commencing at 8pm.

Many of the top brass from the BMFA Head Office in Leicester will be attending, including Chairman Robin Gowler FSMAE. There will be a general question and answer session at the end and it will be an opportunity to air any problems or grievances you may be experiencing, either with Child Protection or other general BMFA matters.

It is hoped that your club will be able to send a representative to this meeting and it will be appreciated if you confirm this to Keith Miller by phone on 01892 534974 as soon as possible, so that we can get some idea of attendance figures. Anyone other than Club reps are welcome to attend also.

Petrol expenses for Club reps are refundable.

Map for Angel Leisure Centre, Angel Lane, TN9 1SF

SEBMFA Crawley Indoor Meeting 2005

This was held on sunday 6 Feb, run by Crawley DMAC and was a great success. It was special in being the 30th annual meeting and the last one to be held at the Crawley Leisure Centre on Haslett Avenue.

Bob Cutter, SEBMFA Chairman, has written a full report on the Crawley Indoor Meeting.

Thanks to John Dart for providing the organisation and the competition results

A new Leisure Centre, called K2, is currently being built at Ashdown Drive in Tilgate. This is close to the M23, so will have easier access. The new centre will be two badmington courts larger than the present centre, with a similar ceiling height (30 foot). However it will be more expensive to hire.

A highlight of this years meeting were the flights of Peter Smart's Me 323 Gigant. It is programmed to start the six electric engines, increase power to take off, then moderate power for the cruise, then reduce power for a powered landing. Quite amazing!

Visit Mike's flying scale model pages for pictures and information on this and other scale models.
The avionics can be obtained from Atomic Workshop

Area Success at Coupe Europa 2004

Neil Allen with Coupe

Neil Allen, the SE Area Comp Sec topped the F1G contest at Middle Wallop on 5 Dec 2004. Seen here waiting for the right moment to fly.

Model Aircraft Auction 2004

Auctioneer motive

Bromley Soaring Club is holding the auction on Tuesday 23 November 2004 at Old Beccehamian Rugby Club, Sparrows Hill, West Wickham, Kent. The Auctioneer is Bunny Newman and the sale starts at 8pm sharp! Items accepted for the sale from 7pm. 10% commission charged to vendor. There is ample parking and a bar.

Enquires phone Gordon Loomes 020 8402 2454


The South East Area AGM was held on Sunday 9 November 2004, but the position of Area Delegate was unfilled. The post involves attending the BMFA Council Meetings (at Leicester) to represent the SE Area and then reporting back to the SE committee. This does mean some traveling, but expenses are generous.

Contact info@sebmfa.org.uk

SEBMFA Scale Day 2004

This took place on 1 August thanks to the North Downs MFC who stepped in to host the event at their flying site near Charing in Kent.

16 planes entered the competition which was won by a Piper L4 Grasshopper (military Cub) built by Stephen Archer.

A full report is in the August SEADOG.

Flying Models exhibition at the Horsham Museum 2004

CADMAC together with the Horsham & District Radio Control Club have been asked by the Curator of the Horsham Museum to provide models for an Exhibition of Aeromodelling. This opened on Thursday 15 July and runs until 28 August.

Check out the Horsham Museum's Press Release

SE Area BMFA Scale Day 2004
1 August starts 10am

This will be held at the North Downs MFC site near Charing in Kent.

Admission is free - competition entry fee is £3 per model. Scale RC models only please. Evidence of insurance cover will be required and BMFA noise limitations will be strictly enforced. The Towner Trophy awaits the winner, plus trophies down to third place. Judging will be by participating pilots.

There will be toilets and a BBQ on site.

For further info contact Keith Miller on 01892 534974

Notice from the BMFA
Tragic Death at FF Nationals 2004

It is with great sadness that we inform you of a tragic accident that occurred at the Free Flight Nationals on Sunday 30th May.

Peter Harris from Kidderminster, who was a very well known and respected member of the Free Flight community, was cycling across the airfield during a very sudden and violent thunderstorm when he was struck by lightning. First-aid was administered at the scene and an ambulance crew arrived within minutes to take Peter to hospital in Grantham. Sadly, Peter died of his injuries.

All flying activities were suspended for the remainder of the day. The competition resumed on Monday 31st May (it is thought that this is what Peter would have wanted) following a service on the airfield led by Rev (Sqn Ldr)Stephen J Radley from RAF Cranwell.

I am sure that the thoughts of every BMFA member will be with the family and friends of Peter at this very sad time.

Dave Phipps BMFA General Manager Peter's funeral is on the 10th June. If anyone wants full details of the funeral arrangements they should ring: Roger Baggot 01562 66219 or Stafford Screen 013843 96535 Those wishing to attend should advise by the 7th June.

Odiham Spring Gala 2004
Sunday 23 May

This year the event was blessed with perfect model flying weather; sunny and warm with a slight breeze. Entry to the drome was swift, as the usual escort convoy was not used. There was a couple of holds for RAF helicopter take-offs during the day, but most people had time to finish their flights.

Go to Odiham Results for the full scores.

Thanks go to Mike Kemp of SAM35 for organising this most successful day.

SEBMFA Crawley Indoor Meeting 2004

In its 29th year, this meeting once again provided a good mixture of sport and contest flying. However a sizable proportion came to chat, see old friends and take in the modelling scene.

A new event was the Hangar Rat ROG Mass Launch. This was some spectacle, as the slow flying, mulit-coloured rubber models gracefully wound their way to the ceiling.

A good crowd gathered at the end of the day to see the prize-giving and the raffle.

John Oulds was the Area Champion, with a second place in Living Room Stick and a third place in Hand Launch Glider.

Thanks go to FliteHook, FibreTech and 'Rockets and Things' for donating the raffle prizes.

Indoor Results

Cloud Tramp Mass Launch 2003

Cloud Tramp Mass Launch

A record 47 flyers took part in the annual simultaneous worldwide launch of Cloud Tramps at Epsom Downs on Saturday 9 August. Thanks to Corrine Knight for the great picture.

Worldwide the total was a record 354, for more pics and full details go to the Cloud Tramp website

The 2004 Mass Launch is on Sat 7 August

FF Southern Gala 2003
Friday 5 September

This meeting was held on farmland at Marlborough Downs, instead of the usual venue of RAF Rissington.

The morning was breezy, but there was enough room to fly a 3 minute max, which shows that this site is suitable for the high performance classes. As all the crops had been cut, you could walk a direct line to retrieive your model, which was usually clearly visible on the stubble.

Two SE Area flyers did particularly well. Alex Cameron of the Crawley Club won Open Glider with the only full house and Neil Allen of the East Grinstead Club topped the fly-off scores in Mini Vintage.

Scale Day Report
13 July 2003

From Bob Cutter, SE Area Chairman

Albatross RC scale model

The Area Scale Day was once again held at the Hastings' Club Field by kind permission of their Committee. For those who have not been to this field - you are really missing something! It is flat, with no trees in the flying area and very clear approaches at both ends. There is a river at the left hand end of the strip with anti-flood banks, but this is far enough away to cause no obstruction. The nearest house is about 3/4 mile away - and belongs to the farmer who sold them the land!

The Club had erected a gazebo to protect Dusty (Keith Miller) and I from the full sun, which shone all day, and from the on-shore wind, which blew all day! Straight across the strip! They had also arranged for the Ladies to set up their catering facilities with bacon rolls, sausages and burgers together with a very good supply of tea, coffee and hot chocolate and some excellent cakes - I was a very happy bunny all day!

Entries were very much down on recent years. Unfortunately due to an oversight and a misunderstanding we did not get the advertising out, this we realised at the last minute and sent a notice to all the Clubs in the Area and phoned all those who we new usually attended many of whom said they would be there - but weren't.

Seventeen models were entered for the event, several others were on the flightline. Most flew during the day despite the severe crosswind situation which precluded the Fortress and the Dakota attempting flight - these had been promised to appear in a very short time at a display (with another half a dozen Fortresses or so) so the risk of damage was too great with too short a time to affect any necessary repairs!

Judging was by the usual method of all the pilots having one vote each for what they considered the best aircraft to have flown on the day. This resulted in the winner being Rick Stevens' YAK II, by quite a large margin, followed by Colin Agate's HENSCHELL 126 with Dave Pullinger's BUCKER STUDENT coming third. The Student had probably flown the most during the day, each flight being well worth watching and each with excellent "hotlandings". The Prizes were presented by Mrs Pam Urquart who is Daughter of H.J.Towner in whose memory event organised.

Altogether an enjoyable day in the company of a very hospitable and friendly Club, I do hope that they will let us back next year and we will get the advertising sorted out to get entries by the hundred!!!

Epsom Downs

Epsom Downs been a favourite flying venue for over fifty years, and remains just as it was then. There are informal get-togethers on the first wednesday of the month, for details, contact info@sebmfa.org.uk
The Epsom Comet newspaper has been reporting the efforts of the BMFA and the Epsom Conservators to make model flying on the Downs as safe as possible.

See New Guidelines

4th Free Flight Area Meeting Ashdown June 15 2003

Terry Knight

Conditions were ideal except for the occassional 'Dust Devil'. Nationally, Nationally, F1H glider had a good entry of 43 flyers, with 6 reaching the fly-off. Terry Knight of the Crawley Club, reached the fly-off, and placed 4th in the overall results. Seen here preparing his Little Hinney.

Neil Allen continues his success with his Open model, but was beaten by one second in the fly-off.


Free Flight NATS May 2003

Neil Allen launches Open Power model

Despite a weekend of 20mph winds, flyers from the SE had great success. Neil Allen (Area FF Comp Sec) won Open Power, see picture left, Pete Cameron, Chairman of the Crawley MAC, topped the Vintage Glider and Brindley Taylor of the East Grinstead Club, won the Junior Windrush Glider Comp. Well done to everyone who took part.