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Published on Jan 14, 2011
Just about every RC aircraft is featured on my 40 minute marathon movie, filmed during a heatwave June weekend at North Weald - it's blustery to start with on Bring and Buy Hill, but the rest is hurricane free!
One of the fastest moving and rapidly developing areas in aeromodelling is the discipline of indoor models and park flyers.
Extremely lightweight and manoeuverable, these machines can be flown in very small and restricted spaces but require very different skills and techniques from your ordinary .40 size model!
Neatly demonstrating this rapidly expanding discipline, the next attraction on the show site -- just past the Blue Badge parking area -- is the indoor flying marquee, kindly run by Century UK with demonstrations of flying and construction that are a show in their own right!
From micro-helicopters to miniature Airbus 380's and fighter jets, this is a whole new discipline to enthral and fascinate you.
Far from calm and serene was the main flight line! Running a back-to-back model airshow from 10.00am to 5.30pm, it was really difficult deciding which -- if any -- flying slots to sacrifice to see the rest of the show!
The flying display was vastly superior this year -- partly due to the calibre of the pilots who flew with supreme skill but also because the slots had been put together with fewer pilots in each slot and larger, more impressive aircraft.
Every slot was worth seeing and it is really difficult to pick out any specific ones for mention.
The awesome flying pair of Red Arrows Hawks, flown by Steve and Matt Bishop were incredible to watch as they performed highly accurate (and close!) opposition manoeuvres with smoke just like the real thing.
The gas turbine powered Fox gliders of Colin Strauss and Nick Moss were unbelievably manoeuverable at 20 feet wingspan, Steve Carr's beautifully flown Extra wowed everyone, Tony Nijhuis' electric B-50 bomber, Ali Machinchi and Mike McConville flying close aerobatics with the 30% Extra and Hangar 9 'Beast', the £8,000 Grouper Epic Victory bravely flown by Ali Machinchi and Steve Bishop.....the list is endless and includes every single model and pilot that flew throughout the weekend.
The scheduling was flawless thanks to Dave and Sheila in the control tent and Les Eagle and his team on the Flight Line, the facts kept flowing, courtesy of Dave 'Silvertongue' Bishop, the weather smiled and everyone just had a wonderful time.
Also having a wonderful time -- although somewhat bemused by the assembled masses -- were American Championship pilots Mike McConville, John Redman and Eric Johnson, all brought to the show by Horizon Hobby UK who were exhibiting at Wings & Wheels.
All three said they were amazed by the size of the show and the numbers of spectators attending -- they said that shows in the U.S. did not attract anything like these crowds and were very impressed by the standards of flying, building and modelling knowledge that surrounded them all weekend.
It is a shame that such moments must pass but pass they do and, all too soon, it was time to wend our way home with a memory card full of the most amazing pictures, a head full of excellent memories and a boot full of modelling paraphernalia that must somehow be smuggled through the house and into the workshop without certain people asking too many awkward questions!
Wings & Wheels was undoubtedly an epic show and it is difficult to see how the Organisers could improve on things very much.
However, improve on it they have promised to do since 25th and 26th June 2011 sees the 25th Anniversary of this excellent show.
A quarter of a Century is no mean feat for a model airshow and there is no doubt that 2010 witnessed an excellent example of this event's long and distinguished pedigree.