2023 Electric Fly-In

BMAC Electric Fly-in, Sunday 10th September 2023.

The Electric day is generally our biggest event of the year and this time we attracted around 50 flyers, 18 of whom were guests from local clubs.  In all about 70 people attended during the day.  Over the preceding week weather watchers will have logged the improving weather conditions with forecasts of a heatwave, blue sky and 6-9 southeasterly winds.  It didn’t quite work out like that.  More like periods of cloud, drizzle and no wind.  However, we were able to get some good flying in and the sun and sticky heat did eventually arrive.

As usual we had some excellent planes on display covering all ages of aviation: bi-planes, WW2 warbirds to modern jets.  Their pilots provided some wonderful aerobatic flying, flying graceful scale manoeuvres with very low passes and intricate 3D routines.  If you looked up vertically you would also have seen gliders circling, but most people preferred to watch paint dry.

This was also the day we put on our Spitty streamer combat demonstration. We gathered two teams of 5 and 6, the red v yellow streamers, to battle it out.  The combat lasted 4 minutes with points being awarded for surviving with your streamer intact, and cutting a streamer. Points were deducted for not returning to fight another day.  One plane didn’t return, three streamers were cut, one by propeller, two by wings and one detached itself – poor maintenance.  The red team were victorious and were rewarded with a crate of beer.  I had no idea what would happen: nothing or carnage, but on reflection it all work very well.  The planes were brilliant, the pilots showed great skill in keeping the show in the right area and the spectators were able to watch a cloud of angry gnats towing 30-foot streamers bobbing and weaving.  It was very dynamic and there is potential here; we could offer our display to the Popham airshow?  The demonstration was filmed so we hope to get it put onto our website.

Spitty’s over Deane

Part of the club’s Spitty project was to build a Spitty, a simple foam cartoon Spitfire.  John Bristow, owner of Deluxe Materials generously offered a prize for the best built Spitty. Fifteen models were put on display and John awarded a 1st prize of £70 worth of material to Mike Roberts and a 2nd prize of £30 to Colin Low.  Both showed great skill in the build and artwork.

John and Mike

John and Colin

Spitty raffle winner Jim

In addition to the Spitty build competition we held a raffle which raised £160 towards to cost of the event.  Many thanks to Deb Hutchins for her persuasive selling skills to achieve this magnificent result.  Thanks also to those that provided the prizes.  Essential RC always help out,  Deluxe materials sponsored a built Spitty for the raffle, and several club members provided prizes: Roy Thompson, Mike Hutchins, Geof Norman, and Alan Haskel.  Members, please note the Spitty build has been written up describing the club project and includes a build log.  We will try to get it, with John’s help, into the BMFA or other modelling magazines and it will be put on our website.

It wouldn’t be an event without a BBQ so thanks to Bob and Peter who provided an essential service for people with large appetites. Thirds were available!  Many of our guests were surprised they didn’t have to pay. In addition to the meat feast, the duo also provided afternoon tea and some great cakes. The chocolate brownies were excellent.

Any event requires a lot of work behind the scenes to get it to run smoothly.  So, a final thanks to those club members who gave up their time to help with the preparation of the field carrying out strimming, cutting and tidying and, on the Saturday, erecting the marquee and safety fences.  On the day we had volunteers taking responsibility for carparking, the flight line, registration, and pilot briefings. Last thanks to Tony Lee for the photos.  Many other members took photos and video and when we receive them they will be posted on the website.

On reflection and from comments received it was a successful day. We kept up our spirits during the wetter periods (another Bratwurst?) and took advantage of the sunnier times to get some flying done.  The Spittys worked and I am sure will feature again, they are good fun to fly and are simple to build.

Thanks to all who attended.  If you didn’t, maybe next year?

Michael Oates