The Basingstoke MAC electric-only fly-in came about when Brian Standing and myself attended the Winchester electric fly-in five years ago. We were impressed with how electric flying had progressed and especially with the performance of Pete Nicholson’s warbirds. It was at this point that I wanted to show my fellow club members what could be achieved with e-power. I convinced our committee to hold an electric only fly-in and as they say ‘the rest is history’.
Our club members have really taken to flying electric powered models, partly due to these annual events. I would now estimate that around 70-80% of all models are now electric powered, with most members owning at least one e-powered model, there are quite a few ‘electric only’ flyers too.
The 4th annual BMAC E-vent took place on Sunday 14th of September 2008. Thick fog and a heavy dew covered the field when the helpers arrived at 8am but on cue, the sun came out 10am when the flying commenced after a short pilot briefing. We were once again blessed with glorious weather with light easterly winds blowing right down the strip and sunny intervals all day (I Must remember to put the sun screen on next year!).
The flight line was heaving by 9:30am with models filling nearly the whole length of the 180m strip and several deep. Visitors came from near and far, with one flyer coming all the way from Newcastle, a five hour drive! We even had an overseas visitor (Okay it was the IOW). There were a total of 60 pilots booked in and 201 models were counted at one point in the day with more arriving after that.
There were so many models of note in attendance. A few that caught my eye were; Cyril Carr with his Vulcan and Space Shuttle which delighted the crowd and was voted the ‘peoples choice’ of the E-vent. The 3 ‘V’ bombers from Terry Mitchell, the Fairey Long Range Monoplane from Dave Chinnery and the Halifax from Alan Gorham(originally built by John Ranson) were awarded CD’s choice in the show. Then there was the large sound-equipped Lancaster from Tony Nijhuis, which unfortunately had a problem when the front turret came off in flight and went through the left inboard motor, causing the motor mount to fracture. Tony did a fine job of bringing the wounded bird back home for a safe landing with the motor just hanging on by its wires. Bob Mahoney was there with his large red Aeronca C3 and there was a large Lysander from Richard Vale and a very large Tiger Moth although I didn’t get the owners name.
Several EDF’s of note flew and these included two Grumman F6F Panthers from Brian Jones and Mark Dixon, Neil Jarvis’ DH Vampire, Shane Harding’s Sea Vixen, Alan Simmons' Supermarine Swift and a Phase 3 F-16 by Richard Christopher featuring vectored thrust which made it do things that an aircraft just shouldn’t do - very well flown it was too.
Ian Watson from FlightPower put on a couple of very impressive demonstrations flying the very large Krill Models Funtana which was on 12S batteries and around 8KW, not forgetting his Logo 600 helicopter. Ian is as good at rotary wing as he is with fixed wing.
This year also saw the return by popular demand of the FunJet and Twinstar sessions. The first FunJet session saw 16 in the air - thank goodness for 2.4GHz. It’s a thrilling sight for the spectators and an even more adrenalin pumping experience for the pilots. There was only one fatality when one pilot ended up flying somebody else’s plane… oops! Well I guess it just had to happen with so many in the air at once. The guys from WLM even had a twin FunJet – two FunJets spliced together to give 2 fuselages, 2 motors and 3 fins!
For lots more pictures of these and other aircraft please click here to go to the BMAC gallery.
The prize giving and raffle were at 4pm and the last flight was at 7pm with the gates locked at 8:15pm. I believe a good day was had by all who attended.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the BMAC club members who helped out in preparing the field beforehand and those who also helped on the day. Without these people the event could not have been as successful as it was. Thank you all.
George Worley. BMAC Committee member and event organiser
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