Those who know me will immediately recognise the embossed image of one of my favourite aircraft - the Christen Eagle. I will attempt to include a colour picture of my model, which gained some favourable comments among our community when it first appeared.
Introduction to the local scene
Aeromodelling activities in Malta have been going on for quite a long time. I remember very clearly back in the fifties I used to go and watch control line models in a field some three miles from where I used to live. At that time when no radio control existed, there was already an established group of enthusiasts who met on a regular basis and flew their models, which varied from crazy combat wings to near scale replicas of four-engined aircraft. I think they called themselves the Sliema Flying Club. I used to be fascinated by a particular fellow who used to come up with a large black Rover saloon and unload his models - he kept unloading and unloading until about twelve to fifteen models were lined up near the control line circle! He then used to fly all of them, taking only a minute or two to unhook his lines from one model to another. It looked so easy! He is still a very active modeller today, presently constructing a large Spitfire.
Control line flying did not exactly appeal to me (I got immediately dizzy) so I just watched. At home I used to build small rubber powered models and I even ventured into the jetage by purchasing one of those miniature solid fuel "jet engine". Very marginal success, and frequent instances of a complete burnout!
I entered the rc era in the late fifties, when single channel radio was still the order of the day, complete with ground based transmitters, and gas filled valves in the receiver. Engines were the diesel type and relatively very low in power. Although control was marginal (sequential rudder and eventually high/low throttle settings) we flew quite a lot, crashed quite a lot, and lost quite a number of models.
And then the first proportionals appeared - Futaba, Graupner, Remcon, Fleet etc. From then on it was heaven - the demand for better engines appeared and their capacity increased - glow engines became the order of the day - reliability increased. The result was a whole new world which today produces perfect scale models, self starting engines, programmable radio equipment and what have you - you can do anything - shoot rockets? - take photographs? - retract your wheels? see the scene from your model? - drop bombs? - leave a smoke trail? - just name it - we can do it!
And for more details about some of these possibilities, click here.
What do you think of this picture?
Is it the real one? Click here for the answer!
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