Sports & Scale R/C Aircraft
How It All Began

In early Spring 1983, I was given the airframe for a Funfighter Bf109. I wondered if I could make it a 2 channel glider, but the local model shop advised I'd be better with a trainer to learn on.

The Messerschmitt was put to one side, and I left the model shop with a trainer kit, engine, and a lead on a set of second hand 5 channel radio, a Futaba 5LK set.

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Hunter 29 - May 1983

The Hunter 29 was a Leicester Model Centre kit; a traditional balsa/ply three channel trainer. The traditional built up construction was the best, and almost only option back then. In 1983, the nearest thing to 'Almost Ready To Fly' was a veneered foam wing and heavy polyester fibreglass fuselage. These models usually ended up heavy and less than ideal as a trainer.

It served me well for 18 months, and I was able to fly it inside out and do things with it, it was never designed to do. It finally met its end when it was shot down by another modeller switching on using the same channel as me. 

The wreckage photo to the right was actually a black and white image that has been coloured. The engine and radio survived to go into my next model.

52 inch span
3 channel trainer
OS .35 Max engine

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Graduator 54 - August 1984

Low Wing Aileron Trainer, Monarch kit
54 inch span
4 channel trainer
OS .35 Max engine

The first image is a coloured and adjusted version of a later incarnation of the airframe, as I never got a photo of it when first built. Used for aerial photography using a Halina 15 shot film, disc camera, seen here.

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Tyro Major - 1984

Dad's trainer, David Boddington Models kit
54 inch span
3 channel
OS .28 Heli, Merco .29, HP .40

Modified later to 4 channel for sports flying  and was also used for aerial photography using a Halina 15 shot film, disc camera. In the snow scene, I'm one of the figures in the bottom left of the image. In the other image, I'm next to my dad who is wearing a red hat.

It was covered in doped nylon and was pretty bullet proof, surviving an elevator servo failure which caused it to bunt into the ground, hitting wings level and inverted. I do not remember what happened to the airframe.

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Team Special - 1984

Aerobatic biplane, Pat French Models kit 
60 inch span
4 channel aerobatic
HB .61 engine

I never had a photo of the complete model. I had one picture of the kit box, and two photos of the airframe after two separate crashes, both black and white images. The first was as a result of an untraced radio fault. The model was rebuilt, and some time later crashed through switch failure. It pitched into a high speed vertical dive, crashing into frozen ground, destroying the airframe, engine and radio.

The complete image is a another Team Special model, with a lot of photoshopping to put it into the scheme seen on my aircraft, to show how it once looked when complete. 

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Baron 20 - 1985

Basic Helicopter, Kalt kit 
48 inch rotor diameter
5 channel
OS .28 Heli engine

This poor quality image is the only one I have of the Baron 20, or Baronette. It is seen at the OMEX show, the Oxclose Models Exhibition. It was eventually sold.

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Ridge Racer - April 1985

Slope Soarer, Soar Ahead Sailplanes kit
72 inch span
Originally 3 channel
Modified for aero-towing with tow release and split rudder/brakes

Model was sold some time later.

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Avoncraft Colt - 1985

Slope/Thermal Soarer
72 inch span
2 channel
An ABS fuselage and veneered foam wing. I have no photos of the Colt, but the picture to the right shows an Avoncraft Cub, a similar design to the Colt. The ABS fuselage eventually cracked beyond repair, and the wing was damaged, but the wing went on to be reused in a future model.

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Millibar - March 1986

Sports aerobatic monoplane,  Dave Day Plan
52 inch span
4 channel
HP.40  engine

Crashed soon after purchase when radio went dead.  Radio issue remained untraced. I only have this one small picture of it flying. It was finished in a 1941 Fw190 colour scheme..

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Mini Team Special - May 1986

3/4 sized conversion of the original Team Special design
45 inch span
4 channel aerobatic
HP .40 engine

It had self cut foam wings and a traditional built up fuselage, tissue and dope covered.

It was also fitted with camera briefly for aerial photography.
The figure in blue beside the runway is me

The aircraft was refurbished several years later and was fitted with an Irvine .61 engine. It was then sold and its fate is unknown.

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Impala - 1987

Sports slope/thermal glider modified for aero-towing
66 inch span ( later 72 inch aileron & airbrake wing as seen here )
5 channel glider
including airbrakes and tow release

The model started out as a 2 channel slope or thermal soarer. I added a tow release mechanism in the nose, and for some time aero-towed the model sucessfully. After a wing fold, the model was rebuilt with a new longer wing which had ailerons and airbrakes.

The glider was fitted with a camera in the nose and took this picture of its tow plane during the aero-tow ( inset ). Fate unknown.

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Evans Volksplane - June 1987

1/7 scale scratch built, first scale model
42 inch span
4 channel
OS .20 FP engine

Featured an all moving tailplane and fin, but suffered from tail stall on landing until tailplane lower surface turbulators were fitted. Fate unknown.

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Flat Iron - October 1987

A scale model! approximately 3/1 scale
17 inch span
30 inch long
3 channel
OS .20 FP engine

  Seen in characteristic nose high attitude. It would hover in the slightest wind at 80 degrees nose high, and could land like that. Finally worn out from foam fatigue.

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Double Exposure - April 1988

Scratch built, twin camera plane
96 inch span
6 channel, including camera bay doors and camera trigger
2 x Irvine .61 engine

Aircraft featured two pilot control, and was built as part of an A level design project.

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Fw190D - July 1988

1/10 Scale, Cambria Fun Fighter ( original Cambria kit )
42 inch span
4 channel
OS .28 Heli engine ( then Enya .30 engine )

The Fw190D was an original Cambria kit, from the time before the company was sold the the kits revamped. It was given to me in a poor state, covered in black and white solar film, in a non-scale scheme.

After stripping and some repairs, it was painted in a Fw190A style scheme with paints that I had to hand, hence the rather bold blue. It was fitted with flaps to aid the hand launch take off in calm conditions, as the model wasn't as light as it should have been.

It was lost to a head on mid-air collision with a Gangster 75. The piano wire landing gear leg from the Gangster hit my engine where the carburetor joined the crankcase. This destroyed the engine and reduced the fuselage to pieces around 8 inches long. The wing survived in two pieces.

Almost all the parts were recovered from the field, and it was rebuilt, switching to a new Enya 30 engine. The new winter colour scheme was based on that of the Ju52 from the film "Where Eagles Dare". Its ultimate fate is unknown.

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Sierra Sportster - March 1989

Sports aerobatic biplane, plan by Clive Smalley
36 inch span
4 channel aerobatic
OS .28 Heli engine ( until that was destroyed in the Fw190, then Enya .30 )

Badly damaged in mid-air with another similar sized biplane. Was rebuilt.

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Drain Pipe - C 1989

Sports monoplane built from scraps
36 inch span
2 channel aerobatic
OS .20 FP engine

This model was built using the damaged wing from the Colt glider and a section of 2 inch plastic drain pipe. Wooden blocks were screwed into the drain pipe to allow the engine mount and tail plane to be attached, and two 1/8 ply plates were screwed to the sides to form a flat face for the wing to sit on. The tail and fin were from 1/16 birch plywood, braced with wire.

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Spitfire Mk1a - Sept 1989

1/10 Scale, Cambria Fun Fighter ( original kit )
42 inch span
4 channel
OS .20 FP engine

Refurbished into new US scheme.

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Messerschmitt Bf109J - 1989

1/10 Scale, Cambria Fun Fighter ( original kit )
42 inch span
5 channel ( inc Flaps )
Enya .30 engine

The freebie model that started it all. It was quite bent, resulting in needing a movable rudder to trim the aircraft, and flaps to aid washout at the hand launch.

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Greenfield Tourer - June 1989

Sports model with scale 'Homebuild' character
72 inch span
5 channel ( including flaps )
Irvine .61 engine

At some point, it was fitted with a 4 oz fuel tank along side the original 16 oz tank, gizing a total of 20 ounces of fuel. With this quantity of fuel, and low power settings, I was able to manage a flight of 1 hr 20 minutes. Damaged on a low inverted pass when the engine cut. It was rebuilt with a new foam wing.

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Graduator 54 - May 1989

Originally a low wing trainer
54 inch span
4 channel trainer
OS .35 Max engine

Seen here five years after its low wing trainer days, it was modified for inverted landings with a Irvine 61. The sun set flight was the last flight by a model at the original Chester-le-Street Flying Club field, it being ploughed up a few minutes after my landing.

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Graduator 54 / Stonker - C 1990

Sports Twin
54 inch span
4 channel aerobatic
2 x OS .20FP engines

The Graduator was going to be converted to a Stuka like airframe to go with my Fun Fighter Spitfire. The conversion work began, but the plug was pulled on the project when the Spitfire was lost. Instead, the airframe was converted to a twin over a couple of weeks, using two OS .20PF engines. The fuel soaked airframe was eventually scrapped.

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Sierra Sportster - March 1990

Sports Aerobatic biplane
36 inch span
4 channel aerobatic
Enya .30 engine

Damaged following centre wing pylon failure, rebuilt again. Fate unknown.

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Super Fli - 1990

Scale aerobatic monoplane
36 inch span
4 channel aerobatic
Enya .30 engine

A tricky little monster, bought second hand, way too heavy, but entertaining and challenging. I think it was sold.

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Greenfield Tourer - June 1990

Sports model with scale 'Homebuild' character
72 inch span
5 channel ( including larger flaps than original )
Irvine .61 engine

Fate unknown.

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Strike - 1990

Sports 'Tailed Delta'
30 inch span
3 channel ( aileron, elevator and throttle )
OS.20 FP engine

I only have one tiny picture, so have made a graphic of the approximate shape of the twin fin tailed delta. Fate unknown.

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Attila - 1990

Sports scale Flair kit
42 inch span
4 channel
OS.20 FP engine

Rebuilt following a mid-air. Fate unknown.

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Evergreen Wotnot - Sept 1990

Sports model with scale 'Homebuild' character
90 inch span
5 channel trainer
Zenoah 38cc engine

The Wotnot was my first large petrol powered model. It was built to get used to flying large models and to learn the operation of petrol engines. It survived a flat spin undamaged, had the fin and rudder enlarged and was later seriously damaged in a mid air collision which tore the wing off.

The wing survived with minor wing tip damage, but the fuselage was destroyed back to behind the wing. It was rebuilt and flew on for several years. It was borrowed by a friend to run in four Zenoah 45cc engines and later sold.

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Fokker EV - Sept 1991

1/4 Scale scratch built WW1 fighter
7 feet span
4 channel
Zenoah 38cc engine

The Fokker EV was mostly built by a club mate, but never finished. It was originally built to be powered by a geared Webra .61 engine. When John realised he was never going to get around to finish it, I was given the model to complete.

The radio was installed, a tricky proceedure as the scale cockpit and operating control column and rudder pedals meant there was little room for a receiver and servos. The aircraft would be powered by my Zenoah 38cc petrol engine with a large 22x8 Smart propeller. 

Due to the rolled plywood wing, it was quite top heavy on the ground, which made take off and landings tricky, especially on uneven ground or in cross winds, but once in the air, it was very stable and flew very well. 

It flew until my P-47D was ready and needed the Zenoah engine. Later in 1999, is was loaned to a friend and later was destroyed in a crash while in his care.

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Spitfire MkVb - 1992

1/10 Scale, Cambria Fun Fighter ( original kit )
42 inch span
4 channel
Enya .30 engine

Refurbished from the RAF scheme. 
Destroyed shortly after take off through switch failure ( PCB separation )

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Bf109J - 1992

1/10 Scale, Cambria Fun Fighter ( original kit )
42 inch span
5 channel ( inc Flaps )
Enya .30 engine

Refurbished from its 1989 Memphis Belle scheme. Fate unknown.

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Boeing B-17G Fortress - July 1993

B-17G "Hang The Expense"

1/10 Scale, scratch built WW2 bomber
10 feet 4.5 inch span
7 channel
4 x Saito .45 FS engines

First multi-engined scale model. Now on loan and permanent display at the

100th Bomb Group Museum, Thorpe Abbotts, Near Diss, Norfolk, UK

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UC-64A Norseman - September 1993

1/6 Scale, scratch built look-a-like
6 feet 9 inch span, enlarged later
7 channel ( inc flaps, flare/parachute container drop, and camera  )
Zenoah 22cc engine

The Norseman was planned as a large slow trainer for my dad, but I couldn't find any drawings at the time I wanted to build the aircraft. All I had was a small photo to work from, and as a result, the aircraft was more of a look-a-like than a scale model. It crashed following battery failure during a cold winter flying session receiving minor damage. It was then rebuilt with a change to the tail shape and extend the wings, giving a more realistic appearance, and was finished in a silver scheme.

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P-47D Thunderbolt - May 1994

P-47 "Republic's Cavalry"

1/6 Scale, scratch built WW2 fighter
6 feet 9 inch span
7 channel ( inc bomb drop )
Zenoah 38cc engine

The model was refurbished two years later into a new scheme.

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Click here for further details of the P-47D Thunderbolt

P-51D Mustang - Sept 1994

1/10 Scale, Cambrian Fun Fighter ( new kit )
42 inch span
4 channel
OS .25 FP engine

This aircraft came from the new range of kits when Cambria was bought out and became Cambrian. The model was later converted to a PSS glider for a while before being sold and returning to power.

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Boeing B-17G Fortress - Aug 1995

1/6 Scale, scratch built WW2 bomber
17 feet 3.5 inch span
8 channel
4 x 3W-40cc engines

First finished in silver for the test flight, then detailed and re-sprayed to olive drab finish.

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Click here for further details of the B-17 Fortress

Hand Launch Thermal/Slope Glider - Dec 1995

Sports thermal/soaring glider
58 inch span
3/4 channel glider

Bought second hand, this glider was designed as a hand or tow-line launched thermal glider. Originally rudder/elevator only, a new lower dihedral wing was built with ailerons. At one point, it had a semi-symmetrical aileron/airbrake wing for strong winds ( orange and blue wing ).

It is still airworthy today.

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P-47D Thunderbolt - May 1996

P-47 "Republic's Cavalry"

1/6 Scale, scratch built WW2 fighter
6 feet 9 inch span
7 channel ( inc bomb drop )
Zenoah 38cc engine

This is the original P-47 with minor respray into 353rd Fighter Group markings. It crashed later in 1996, as a result of a fracture in the elevator servos signal wire, a short distance from the receiver. It was rebuilt into a silver 5th ERS scheme.

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Click here for further details of the P-47D Thunderbolt

dH-82a Tiger Moth - June 1996

1/6 Scale, Refurbished David Boddington Kit
4ft feet 10 inch span
4 channel
Saito .45FS engine

It was eventually given to a friend. He refurbished the model into the colours of the example at the Shuttleworth Collection and it is still airworthy today.

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F-86 Sabre - Apr 1997

PSS Glider
33 inch span
4 channel ( Inc flaps )
No engine

The model was later sold and the owner converted it to power. It has yet to make a successful powered flight. Fate unknown.

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UC-64A Norseman - May 1997

1/6 Sports scale, scratch built WW2 liaison aircraft
7 feet 6 inch span
6 channel ( inc flaperons and flare/parachute container drop  )
Zenoah 22cc engine

Rebuilt and modified from the original model.

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P-47D Thunderbolt - May 1997

1/6 Scale, scratch built WW2 fighter
6 feet 9 inch span
6 channel
3W-40cc engine

This is the original P-47 rebuilt into 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron colours. It was sold, and crashed into a fence post in 1999, by a pilot lacking experience on the type, caught out by the torque swing. The bits returned for rebuild.

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Click here for further details of the P-47D Thunderbolt

Thrice - June 1997

Scratch built, sports aerobatic monoplane
42 inch span
4 channel glider
Speed 550 motor

Built in a week as an all weather hack. Fate unknown.

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Electric Glider - Sept 1997

Sports electric/soaring glider
58 inch span
3 channel glider
Speed 550 motor

The model remains in storage.

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 Wizard - Jan 1998

Lynne's First Plane

Sports aerobatic monoplane, Galaxy kit
44 inch span
4 channel aerobatic
OS 20 FP engine

Lynne did around 80% of the building on this model and about 60% of the covering. It is still airworthy today.

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UC-64A Norseman - May 1998

1/6 Sports scale, scratch built WW2 liasion aircraft
7 feet 6 inch span
6 channel ( inc flaperons and flare/parachute container drop  )
Zenoah 22cc engine

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Hammerhead - Mar 1999

Sports aerobatic monoplane
62 inch span
4 channel aerobatic
Irvine 72 engine

Sold.

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P-47N Thunderbolt - Apr 1999

1/6 Scale, scratch built WW2 fighter
Scratch Built
6 feet 11 inch span
7 channel ( inc bomb drop )
3W-40cc engine

It is still airworthy today.

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Click here for further details of the P-47N Thunderbolt

 P-38J Lightning - 1999

1/6 Scale, scratch built WW2 fighter
8 feet 6 inch span
6 channel 
2 x Zenoah 38cc engines

I bought this P-38 as a crash damaged wreck, and got quite well on with the rebuild when the original owner decided to buy it back.

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 P-47M Thunderbolt - June 2000

1/6 Scale, scratch built WW2 fighter
6 feet 9 inch span
6 channel 
Zenoah 45cc engine

This is the original P-47 following another crash when an inexperienced pilot hit a fence with it. The model was again rebuilt and sold, flown, damaged, sold again to a friend of mine, who started a restoration and then sold on the parts.

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Click here for further details of the P-47M Thunderbolt

 Fokker E111 - Oct 2000

1/8 Scale
Scratch Built
44 inch span
4 channel ( inc wing warping )
OS 20FP engine

This aircraft was flown many time before being sold on Ebay.

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  Boeing B-17G Fortress - Oct 2000

Resprayed as B-17G-BO1 "Hang The Expense", in authentic 100th Bomb Group colour scheme following successful test flights

1/6 Scale, scratch built WW2 bomber
17 feet 3.5 inch span
8 channel
4 x 3W-40cc engines

Crashed and damaged as a result of suppression failure of the landing gear motors. It was rebuilt, flying again in October 2000. In early 2012, the B-17 was finally de-commissioned.

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Click here for further details of the B-17 Fortress, crash and rebuild

A-35B Vengeance - May 2001

A-35B "Vult E Coyote"

1/6 Scale, scratch built WW2 dive bomber
8 feet span
7 channel ( inc Bi-fold Bomb Doors )
Zenoah 38cc, then 3W-40cc engine

The aircraft was 'Shot down' in October 2001, diving vertically into a concrete runway. The aircraft was rebuilt with a 3W-40cc engine, as the ZG38 was totally destoryed. It suffered a forced landing following battery failure and is currently under restoration.

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Click here for further details of the A-35B Vengeance

  Mini P-47N Thunderbolt - June 2001

1/11 Scale, scratch built WW2 fighter aircraft
45 inch span
5 channel ( inc retracts  )
Enya .30 engine

The pictures to the right show the P-47 not far from completion, just needing the canopy finishing and attaching and the engine/radio installing.

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  Wotsit - 2001

Sports aerobatic monoplane
54 inch span
4 channel
Irvine .61 engine

Scratch built low wing monoplane. I have no photos of this aircraft which was effectively just a box fuselage with a foam wing, very much along the lines of the Thrice, but bigger. This photoshopped image of the Thrice gives an impression of the all white finished plane.

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  Northrop N9Ma - 2001

Scale experimental flying wing
10 feet span
5 channel
2x geared Irvine .61 engine

Part complete and currently in storage.

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  UC-64A Norseman - June 2001

1/6 Sports scale, scratch built WW2 liaison aircraft
7 feet 6 inch span
6 channel ( inc flaperons and flare/parachute container drop  )
Zenoah 38cc engine ( upgraded from ZG22cc )

It was resprayed in 2001 for the starring role in a documentary about the loss of Glenn Miller. It is in storage.

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Lakelander - 2001

Sports aerobatic floatplane
56 inch span
4 channel aerobatic
Saito .45FS engine

It is still airworthy and currently in storage.

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  Weyfarer - July 2001

Sports aerobatic biplane
36 inch span
4 channel aerobatic
OS .25 FP engine

It is still airworthy and currently in storage.

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PBY6a Catalina - Nov 2002

1/23 Scale, HVP Modell Kit
54 inch span
4 channel
2 x Speed 480 motors

It is still airworthy and currently in storage.

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Spacewalker - Nov 2002

Sports aerobatic monoplane, Seagull models kit
64 inch span
4 channel aerobatic
Saito 45 FS engine

This was Lynne's second model, an ARTF which had to be recovered into Cadbury's Colours for her. It is still airworthy and currently in storage.

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P-47N Thunderbolt - Apr 2008

P-47N "Woody's War"

1/6 Scale, scratch built WW2 fighter
6 feet 11 inch span
7 channel ( inc bomb drop )
3W-40cc engine

It is still airworthy and currently in storage.

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Click here for further details of the P-47N Thunderbolt

Slope Soarer - Aug 23rd 2009

54 inch span
3 channel Aerobatic Slope Soarer

This glider can be packed away fairly flat for easy transport when taking it on holiday. The wing is flat and one piece, but both tailplanes are removable, leaving a thin fuselage with nothing to break off. It is still airworthy and currently in storage.

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