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Model Gliders & the Law

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Josh Palmer24/03/2017 13:37:31
1 forum posts


As part of a engineering masters project at university, we have built a model glider (wing span of 1.2m). It has rudder, tail and aileron control surfaces which are operated by remote control and powered by a battery - however, it is not powered (there is no thrust). We launch it from a height and can then control it as it glides.

I was wondering what the law regarding this type of model was? Is it the same as drones/powered model aircraft or is it less stringent?



Nick Cripps24/03/2017 14:11:53
45 forum posts
17 photos

Hi Josh,

Your best source of information is the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) website. Details of the laws regarding operation of model aircraft can be found here:


Note that there is no distinction between powered and non-powered models.

You should also consider having 3rd party insurance to protect you in the event of an accident. Again, the BMFA can help here.

Welcome to this fascinating hobby, I hope you and your fellow students enjoy learning about all it has to offer.

Edited By Nick Cripps on 24/03/2017 14:13:42

Mike Etheridge 124/03/2017 14:41:10
1538 forum posts
429 photos


Depending on the glider's construction it might be worth trying it out at slope soaring ?. You do not mention where you are based but if you did find a suitable slope with the wind in the right direction then there may be some regular 'slopers' who will give you some instruction.

Look on the website 'Slopehunter' and if you do make a trip then take some warm 'thermal' or similar clothing including gloves and a hat Look also on the 'Goodwind' slope soaring website..

Mike Etheridge 124/03/2017 15:13:40
1538 forum posts
429 photos

This was quite a good video from the Goodwind chaps, I was there on the day in 2009

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