Fly Free - Free Flight Models Airplanes: January 2011

A goodarticle writtenbyMr.MartinDillyseveralyearsago

Martin Dilly Fellow BMFA, British Team Manager.

Not many people fly free-flight today. It's clearly not the expense. Look at the cost of a year's golf, or some of the stereo equipment with which people adorn their houses, personalized car number plates, kid's mountain bike or trainers (used for posing on the way to school, not for athletics) wheel drive mock-jeeps, smoking or many peoples' drinking habits. Could it instead be that what is simply not fashionable?

One means by which something becomes fashionable is that it is heavily promoted and made visible and thus desirable (to some, at least!). But we make hardly any attempt to make free-flight accessible. We go off to some abandoned airfield (public excluded) or military training area miles from normal human activity because of the performance of the aircraft we use demands the space. The news-stand magazines have little to inspire people to progress to flying contest free-flight (perhaps because we do not take the time to write it) or even to learn the techniques of building the models. What information there is to you via various subscription-only newsletters (FFN, Vol Libre, NFFS Digest), - in other words you have to be in it to find it. If anyone asks where to find out more, there is not a single book on free-flight to which I refer them, certainly in the UK. Model shops stock almost nothing of free-flight relevance, and their owners will tell enquirers that it no longer exists; instead we depend on the cottage industries, - FliteHook, Viktor Stamov, M & K. Media coverage is effectively zero. Within the BMFA Council free-flight is poorly represented, so its needs are often ignored. In short we are virtually invisible.

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