Free flight models - " model aircraft not under the control of the modeller once they have been launched " " model aircraft relying on the ability of the owner to trim the model for successful flight"
Free flight models - by their very nature - require large areas of accessible land for successful flying and retrieval. Of recent years many such flying sites have been lost or made infrequently available. The BMFA organises competitions for freeflight and arranges venues ( normally M.O.D. sites ). However , for those not so competitively minded , it is becoming necessary to look for local flying sites. These are normally relatively small and so the types of F/F models being flown tend to be smaller and less geared towards maximum flight times. Some owners are now installing RC - not to control the whole flight but just to assist in keeping the model within the bounds of the site. De-thermalisers are also fitted to bring the model down after a preset time.Most engine powered models also have restricted motor run times to prevent fly-a-ways.
Free flight models come in several guises. There are gliders , scale models ,duration models ,'sports' models and 'fun' models. The powered models amongst these can utilise many different types of propulsion - rubber motors , diesel , glow or petrol engines, electric motors , Jetex or disposable 'rocket' motors or CO2 motors. Below are a mix of such models and their owners !
Some more photos from Martin Ambrose's collection
Part of trophy table at MW. Huge attendances in the 1990's - including from Europe and USA.
Martin's MP Jet powered 'Bowden Midget'. Rather erratic flyer!
Martin's 'Sweet Pea P20' from a Spencer Willis kit. An excellent flyer.
Start of a perfect flying day at MW - very rarely that calm!
Spark ignition powered cabin model at Middle Wallop.
SBMAC at Middle Wallop.John Barton winds his model.
John Down with his PAW 80 powered 'Kerswap'.
Another 'A' frame pusher event about to get underway.
John Down at Colerne with his 'Airflow Baby' ( Mills 1.3 powered)
Jack Clampitt winds his George Wools designed 'Upstart'
Gordon May test glides his Nord glider - an excellent performer.
John Down at Colerne with his 'Alert' ( powered by O&R 23 spark ignition motor)
Competitors at Middle Wallop winding their models.
"A" frame mass launch at Middle Wallop.Jack Clampitt second from right.
Ready for the countdown to launch.
Airborne ! Last model to land wins.