Bert with the Sprinter prior to its unplanned journey.
A Kent based model flyer is celebrating the return of a model for which he’d long since given up hope.
Bert Prail last saw his 1.75m span Reichard Sprinter disappearing into the blue yonder last summer – a consequence he attributed to flying too high and the extraordinarily strong thermal activity that had provided so much enjoyment up to that point.
Despite extensive searches, Bert had assumed the model had been picked up and taken home by a opportunist, until news of its recovery reached him last week.
The return of the model can be attributed to the name and address panel that Bert leaves on all his models. Expecting to drive perhaps 10-20 miles to recover the wreckage, he soon realised he’d need a big petrol tank when the caller revealed his location as the village of Loof, near the city of Yakutsk, Siberia.
The model’s tail can just be seen in this photo taken by the fishing party.
That the model was found by locals on a remote fishing trip is remarkable enough, that it was largely intact is more remarkable still. Bert and the model have now been reunited and with a little encouragement the servos, motor and ESC have all been found to be fully functional.
Having chatted to the recovery party, Bert thinks the model’s survival is down to its strong design allied to the layer of cushioning snow that would have covered the Siberian plains at the time of its unplanned arrival. The Sprinter’s long journey has been attributed to the strong thermal activity lifting the model which was then carried across continental Europe on the jet stream.
It’s a journey may well be one of the longest made by a hobbyist’s R/C model aeroplane although the achievement is likely to remain unverified by official sources.
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