All posts by Maurice

John Hamilton Award






In recognition of John Hamilton’s contribution to the Home International and to the Club, on 27 November 2013 the Club held a presentation Dinner at which John was awarded an engraved decanter with the inscription “Awarded to John Hamilton for the Home International and for many years of service to the Club. 2013”. It is hoped that he will enjoy many glasses from it.


This was a well deserved recognition of many acts on behalf of the Members and many others who have enjoyed representing their Country at International level, and a long career in Modelling, particularly F2B Control Line Aerobatics.


His name first appears in Nitro, the Club Newsletter, in Dec 1970, at Sydenham with John Seacombe, then in Feb 1971, his first article, and in Jun/Jul 1971, his Mini Thunderbird Plan. In the Club, he was Secretary, Nitro Editor, F/F Sec, Treasurer, Display Organiser and Chairman, a total of 21 years of service to the Club in the past 41 years.




John, in tandem with Bill Draper, was the motive force which started this event, which has given pleasure and focus to so many fliers. It has seen Teams from England, Scotland and Wales and Ireland fly, with many appreciating the chance to represent their Country at this level. It has been a unique event and has an atmosphere all of its own. It was first flown 1986 in Blanchflower Park, reached 25 Years in 2010 in England, and is still going strong in 2013. Its longevity is a testament to the quality of the idea, its execution, and the strength of its appeal.


John’ Contest Record includes: Winner of the Irish Nationals (13 times consecutively), the Ulster Championships, the NI Area Control Line Cup, the British Nationals Vintage and Classic and 3rd in F2B, the Scottish Nationals, the CLAPA Championships, and representing Ireland at the European and World Championships on numerous occasions. He has been Team Leader and top scorer of the Irish Team in the Home International, highest placed individual on occasion, and on the winning Irish Team three times.


Maurice Doyle Chairman


If you would like to download the original file:Here it is


NDMRS 2013

North Down Model Railway Show

Once again we will be hosting a stand at this show over the weekend of 27th/28th April.

This years venue will be the new Bangor Leisure Centre.

Come along, pay us a visit, say Hi, have a chat and pick our brains on your Model Flying queries.

Thanks to all who manned the Stand at the NDMRS Exhibition last Saturday/Sunday, and of course set it up on Friday night and took it down on Sunday. Rodney, Peter and Eric were the mainstays.
North Down Model Club supported us with members to man the Stand and some very nice models, so thank you to them as well.
The Stand was a success, and the new venue at the Aurora Centre was a nice clean big hall. It appeared to have plenty of Railway layouts, and the attendance was probably boosted by the new venue, which is worth a visit.
The Area, i. e. Bob McIvor, Bill Scott, Rodney and others, have assembled the necessary hardware to provide a laptop, projector and Simulator, which was a major attraction and enjoyed by many, including fliers as well as visitors. Having something active throughout the Exhibition is a big attraction.
The BMFA Stand was also set up and had a prominent location. We sold a few Darts and Butterflies and Rodney flew his indoor models, now recognised in the Exhibition Programme as something to look out for.

Ulster Control Line Champs 2012


With this event already postponed from June, and a very bad Summer, the main priority was to have flyable conditions. Fortunately the forecast for Saturday was good, 12 mph and dry, but as this was the first such day following many windy ones, there was naturally some doubt. On Thursday night, which was set for the decision, the prediction was still that Saturday would be good, so we went ahead with fingers crossed.

This was the best Ulster for many years, the weather allowing us to have multiple rounds in both Classes, and fortunately the wind was the right side of flyable. It was coming over the trees at the Car Park, not a good direction, and coming through the gaps at either side at times. It slackened for the very end of F2B and for Classic, the day ending with some interesting practice flights and a chance for Mitchell to fly his Combat models.

After everyone had had a practice flight, F2B was under way at 11.50, with Mitchell Judging. As is traditional for Aerobatics, the flying kept to time, and as CD I much appreciated the basic discipline which everyone displays, and Rodney’s prompt tabulation of the score sheets. A second round was flown starting at 12.40, and we stopped for Lunch at 1.25. Most flights were up to standard, with a few missed manoeuvres, but fliers coped admirably with the turbulence and variable direction.

The last Round of F2B started at 2.00, and by ten to three it was all over bar Rodney’€™s final tabulation. Chris seemed to be flying very consistently and came through in a strong second place, with Stoo third, Kevin fourth (a few uncharacteristic problems) and Ivan fifth, with second and third, and fourth and fifth places closely fought. John Hamilton took copious notes on how flights could be improved, and was soon deep in discussion with fliers, with some of his suggestions being put into practice immediately!

Those not flying in Classic were asked to Judge, but Mitchell joined them, which allows another useful exercise, as the less experienced Judges will be able to compare their scores with Mitchell’€™s, to everyone’s benefit. The Judges were therefore Stoo, Mitchell and Chris. Classic had a very modern twist, as Ivan has powered his Crusader with an electric power train, very successfully. The model flies very quietly, which can only help the Judge’s impression on the flight, and at a very uniform speed, again helping the manoeuvres.

Maurice’s U2 demonstrated a very traditional problem with IC motors on his first flight, the motor hardening off and cutting early. Kevin’€™s Fox 35 in his Ares had a very intermittent beat to it, leading to Mitchell suggesting that it must have a plug lead off! In the end, the status quo was restored, with Kevin second and Ivan third. The results were available at about 4.30, and John Black, despite a family crisis, was on hand to present them. It was very gratifying to have such a good turnout, many successful flights, and a calm evening to allow some chat and flying before everyone set off for home.

Thanks are due to Mitchell for being Lead Judge, to the Classic Judges, to Rodney for Tabulating so quickly and efficiently, and to all our visitors for travelling so far. The degree of co-ordination and co-operation demonstrated by Aerobatics fliers is remarkable, and means that the timekeeping and running compares very favourably with indoor events which have much more predictable conditions.

Stoo is not long back from winning the Oliver Combat at the British Nats, so congratulations to him. We were recollecting his win in Combat at the Criterium des Aces in Belgium in 1963, a long time ago. Mitchell flew his Combat models, and Ivan invited others to fly his Crusader, a unique experience. It pulls like a traction engine, and is very heavy on the controls. The propeller is a 12 x 6, very big for the size of model, and runs clockwise, which makes for interesting comparison with our normal anti-clockwise rotation. The precession torque definitely makes it fly tighter in outside manoeuvres, and sluggish in insides. There is therefore room for further development, but considering that this is Ivan’s first try at electric power, there is every indication that it has a lot to offer for Aerobatics.

I will be sending the Scores to everybody for information and scrutiny.

Maurice Doyle


Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Best 2




Mitchell  Shaw

Maurice Doyle 






Chris Gilbert 






Stoo Holland






Kevin Barry






Ivan Bolton













Stoo   Holland

Mitchell   Shaw

Chris   Gilbert






Maurice   Doyle






Kevin   Barry 






Ivan  Bolton








This was our first experience of this excellent flying site, which exceeded any expectations. It had short grass like a bowling green, containers for food, shelter and storage of models and grass cutting machinery, and wonder of wonders, a flush toilet! The site has a very attractive outlook over a valley and quite adequate space for full length lines.

The weather was not so certain, with the threat of rain ever present, but it remained nearly calm, so be thankful for small mercies. After practice, one round of F2B was flown, with the rain starting, and there were showers for about an hour, but it held off for the rest of the afternoon. The cloud formations were very heavy and dark, but the rain below them fortunately seemed just far enough away to allow an excellent flying day.

The entry was the best for a long time, seven in F2B and four in Classic, and John Molloy, Ralph McCarthy and Richard O’Brien Judged F2B. They needed a break for lunch, amply supplied by Cork, the host Club, and the F2B fliers who were not flying Classic stepped in to Judge this class, a very efficient arrangement which allowed three flight of F2B and two of Classic to be flown. Richard O’€™Brien as CD masterminded this, but all concerned with the Judging are to be thanked for their efforts. It was the best Irish Nationals, in terms of amount and quality of flying, for a long time, possibly ever.

As anticipated in last year’s Report, Adam Tarran has made great strides in his flying with John Hamilton’€™s Happy Hour, as has Peter Bradshaw with another HH, so they came out first and third in F2B. John unfortunately had family health problems, and was unable to be present, but first and third with your old models is not bad! Maurice Doyle was second in F2B, and Kevin (close behind Peter), Stoo, Chris and Ivan following along. Ivan is recently returned to Control Line, and was a Team Race flier, so his performance in his first events showed continuous improvement.

Classic saw Maurice Doyle first, Kevin second, Stoo third and Ivan fourth. There were no crashes, no damage, and few flights were other than complete and well flow. Our thanks to the Judges and the Cork Club for their hospitality and facilities, to all the fliers for their preparation and participation, and here’€™s to the next time. Control Line Aerobatics is flourishing and in good state.

Maurice Doyle

Flight 1 2 3 Total Best 2 Placing
Adam Taran 2632 2977 3055 6032 1
Maurice Doyle 2862 2878 3018 5896 2
Peter Bradshaw 2572 2702 2881 5583 3
Kevin Barry 2726 2853 2716 5579 4
Stoo Holland 2267 2621 2786 5407 5
Chris Gilbert 2409 2458 2340 4867 6
Ivan Bolton 1728 1991 2312 4303 7
Maurice Doyle 2941 2842 5783 1
Kevin Barry 2412 2787 5201 2
Stoo Holland 2215 2400 4615 3
Ivan Bolton 1765 1984 3749 4

Tom’€™s Silver Jubilee Celebration

MACI Aer Rianta Power Trophy 1951

Many MACI (Model Aeronautics Council of Ireland) members will have seen the magnificent Aer Rianta Power Trophy (recently being awarded for the Irish Nationals Radio Control Scale), which is a replica DC3, about 18 inches span, steel, on a massive plinth with the winners’ names on rows of plaques around it. Tom McClelland of Belfast MFC has the best memory of it of anyone, as he was the first to win it, when he won the Free Flight Power at Baldonnell Aerodrome in 1951. Sixty years on, he recalls that it was awarded at the MACI AGM by the Chairman of Aer Rianta (the Education arm of Aer Lingus, the Irish National Airline) , and moreover, he was awarded a replica, photo above, which he still has. He has made a magnificent gesture by presenting the replica to Belfast MFC to hold in perpetuity, a very much appreciated momento of a very special day for the Club.

The inscription on the replica is €œ’Aer Rianta Power Trophy, T McClelland, Belfast MFC, 11th Irish Nationals, 1951’€. This means that the first Irish Nationals was held in 1940, and in those early years, the presentations were made by the Taoiseach, Eamon DeValera, showing the recognition of Model Flying in those days. From 1945 to 1950, the SMAE (Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers) sent teams from England to fly in the Irish Nationals, and they naturally provided most of the winners in the Free Flight Power and Wakefield (Rubber powered) events, names like Bill Dean, Ron Warring and Norman Marcus. Tom was therefore possibly the first to win this top event from this side of the water.

At the AGM Tom met Jimmy Tangney, who was in the US Navy, and had come top in the Team Trials for the British Wakefield Team, but could not fly as he was American. Des Woods, who is mentioned later, said the English fliers came over “Because they had never seen a steak in their lives!”.

Tom recalls many details of the event and flying at that time. His winning model was a Banshee, an American design by Leon Shulman, still available as a plan for Vintage enthusiasts, and powered by an Elfin 1.8, a very powerful motor at that time. He also built and flew a Slicker 42, powered by a Mills 1.3, and other Kiel Kraft designs, the Bandit by Bill Dean, the Competitor and Ajax. He remembers flying at Baldonnell, and also at Weston Aerodrome, and several sites around Belfast. One was near the Railway Station at Finaghy, and also the flying site at Hannastown, high up on moorland behind Divis Mountain. It is still there, now owned by the National Trust, who are inviting the public to come and enjoy the wide open space.

Fliers from Dublin he recalls were Des Woods, Doc Charles, Billy Brazier, who had a Model Shop, and Johnny Carroll. Local names were a Father and Son called Croft, who flew Comets at Malone Aerodrome, now a Housing Estate, JJ Hanley, CWA Scott, who had a Flying Circus in the Thirties, and a pilot called Macintosh, who was naturally called “All Weather Mac”. Other names are Frank McDonnell, who flew a KK Outlaw, Sammy Young, who flew a Comet powered by an Ohlsson 61, Wally McCormick, who had a Low CLA design published in Aeromodeller, Howard Menary, Bill Tinnion, Bunny Boyce, John Rankin, Robert Gardiner and Wilbur Little, who owned ATO Model Crafts in Belfast. ATO was All Types Of, and Wilbur found balsa from Carling Floats  and succeeded in making a series of ATO kits in the time just after the War when everything was scarce.

Tom remembers that about 1950 the Belfast Club ran an Exhibition in the Wellington Hall in the YMCA, Wellington Place, Belfast, and it was a well supported and successful enterprise. Claude Austin, (later to be lost in a yachting accident) of Austin’s of Derry (a major Department Store, still prospering in Londonderry today) was flying Control Line models, causing quite a stink in the confines of the hall. Norman Osborne, a great F/F modeller of the era, still going today, and in contact through Howard Stephenson, was flying microfilm free flight indoor models and was not happy with the air disturbance caused by the C/L activity.

Tom is now flying with Ulster Model Aircraft Club at Nutt’s Corner and enjoying more sedate models than the screaming Banshee. He is a very modest and unassuming man, but enjoyed casting his mind back to the events of 60 years ago. Belfast Model Flying Club is very honoured to be presented with this valuable record of an event of note in the Club’s history.

Maurice Doyle




Ulster Control Line Champs 2011

Tommy Patton Park, Belfast – 18TH June.

For once the weather forecast was good for our competition, with generally favourable flying conditions to last most of the day.

With six entered in F2B this was the same as last year, Kevin Barry travelling from Cork with Chris Gilbert and Stu Holland coming from Dublin.

Mitchell Shaw was our judge in both F2B and Classic.

With the weather being so favourable F2B got started as soon as everyone had their practise flight.

The competition was very close after the first round, with John and Maurice posting scores within two points of each other. The fight for third was equally close with Kevin, Stu and Peter all within nine and half points of each other.

Unfortunately Chris’s model came to grief when it hit a large bush just outside the flying circle, this finished his involvement in the competition.

The second round started with John posting the highest score of the day , clinching first place in the competition, with Maurice consolidating second place.

Kevin improved his score to take third with Stu in fourth and Peter fifth.

Classic was a single round competition, again flown in good conditions.

Maurice taking the honours, with Kevin in second place and Stu third.

Our thanks for all coming along, especially those who travelled so far to make the day worthwhile, and the judge for his essential contribution.

F2B Results.     Flight 1  Flight 2  Total      Placing

John Hamilton. 970.5     1011      1981.5  1

Maurice Doyle  972.5       959       1931.5   2

Kevin Barry         907.5      957.5    1865      3

Stu Holland         901.5       901.5    1803     4

Peter Bradshaw 911         830.5     1741.5 5

Classic Results.

Maurice Doyle    922.5  1

Kevin Barry           883      2

Stu Holland           798.5  3

Peter Bradshaw



For once the weather forecast was good for our competition, warm, sunny but with a possibility of a bit of a breeze. Unfortunately it started breezy and got increasingly stronger as the day went on.

Our entry for F2B was the best for sometime, with Kevin Barry travelling from Cork and Chris Gilbert bringing along Adam Taran from Dublin, this was Adams first visit.

Mitchell Shaw judged the F2B competition, with Ralph McCarthy judging the Classic competition.

F2B was the first competition flown, with a fair breeze affecting everyone’€™s flight to some extent. Chris being caught out on his first flight hitting the ground, breaking the prop and causing other slight damage. This finished his involvement in the competition.

John and Maurice both posted good scores, with Kevin and Adam scoring well, Adam showing as a bit of a dark horse with a very competent flight.

The second round started with the wind blowing quite a bit stronger, John’s, Maurice’s and Kevin’s scores holding up well in such conditions.

The Classic competition was between Maurice flying his U2 and Kevin’s flying his Ares. Maurice mastering the conditions with apparent ease.

Our thanks to all for coming along, especially those who travelled so far to make the day worthwhile.

Peter Bradshaw.

F2B Results     Flight 1     Flight 2     Total     Placing

Maurice Doyle     863         879             1742      1

Peter Bradshaw 826          532             1358      4

John Hamilton    833.5     888             1721.5   2

Kevin Barry           709.5     788.5         1456       3

Chris Gilbert         74           —–             74             6

Adam Taran          713.5      —–            713.5      5



Maurice Doyle    933     1

Kevin Barry          683      2



With Chris Gilbert away, and John Hamilton not able to be present, the entry for 2009 was limited to a select few. Stoo Holland, Kevin Barry and Maurice Doyle made the journey, now slightly longer from the North side as the access is down a long lane parallel to the new Motorway, but this is still an excellent site, and the Motorway will speed travel next time. The near part of the site had been fully mown, giving a full Control Line circle with ample space for lines and models. The R/C Scale Nationals were flown simultaneously on the far runway, and our thanks are due to the Portlaois Club for the use of their fine site, their warm welcome and to John Molloy for carrying out the Judging so willingly.

When everyone arrived, the weather was as near perfect as can be, with a gentle Westerly breeze and blue sky. The Scale had started on Saturday, and they had to postpone the start until the mist cleared, but there was no need to hurry on such a lovely day. It clouded over later, but stayed very good for flying to the end, with just enough wind to set the direction.

After practice flights, Kevin, fresh from becoming Portuguese Aerobatics Champ at Julio Isidro’s event there, started the ball rolling and produced a good flight with his Trivial Pursuit with a Super Tigre 60. Maurice was next and made his best score in this round flying his Aguila with another Super Tigre 60. Stoo was unable to get off successfully and recorded a zero, his Brodak 40 not performing in the profile Cardinal.

After a break, when Stoo successfully sorted out his motor, the second round was flown in the same order, with lower scores for Kevin and Maurice but a good flight by Stoo helped compensate for his first round problems. Maurice landed slightly too fast, and seemed down safely, but the spats suddenly caught on the grass clippings and the u/c folded neatly below the wing.

Kevin and Maurice had brought Classic models, and with the F2B run off fairly quickly, and John willing to Judge, they set out to run this off. Maurice had a flight with his U2 with a Super Tigre 46, but Kevin’s Fox 35 in his very pretty Tucker Special would not perform, despite a good practice flight, so the event was stillborn.

Not the best Nats for attendance, but it was a very good boost for morale to have such an excellent flying day after such a dismal, windy Summer. Once again the combination of Port Laois and September seemed to produce the right conditions. We would just like to see more entries maybe next year?.

Maurice Doyle


Results  F2B






Maurice Doyle





Kevin Barry





Stoo Holland





Len Johnston


Len and Mini Titan at Patton Park
Len and Mini Titan at Patton Park

Len Johnston – 21st August 2009

It is with the greatest sadness we report the passing of our good friend and committed modeller Len Johnston.   Len suffered a short but devastating illness.

Len was a great character and friend to all who knew him. His enthusiasm was infectious and his support to other modellers unsurpassed.   Len was a great inspiration to young and old alike and extolled the virtues of electric over i/c.   He was to be found at our flying site with his Mini Titan and at our indoor meetings with lots of little models.  He was always there  with help and advise, and had a great depth of knowledge in electrics and model engineering.  His wisdom and enthusiasm will be greatly missed.

Our condolences are extended to his family.



For the twenty fourth time, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales were all represented at this unique event and were warmly welcomed by Belfast MFC as hosts. The Belfast City Council sponsored the event with a Reception on Friday evening, and for this facilitated the use of the local Sydenham Bowling Club hall, behind the site, as the City Hall is being renovated and is not available. The local Councillor, Jim Rogers, who has a particular interest in Sport, made everyone welcome, and came along to see the flying on Saturday. The site at Tommy Patton Park is also provided by the Council and has tarmac and grass circles which are very much used and appreciated by the Belfast Club. Kevin Barry, who flew in the Irish Team, is also President of the Model Aeronautics Council of Ireland, who contributed to the finances of the event.

Saturday morning saw the event under way. The English Team was Bill Draper, Barry Robinson and Eddie Sharp, with Dave Roberts, Ray Lloyd and John Allcock for Wales. Ian Galt and Peter Miller represented Scotland, and the Irish team was Peter Bradshaw, Maurice Doyle and Kevin Barry. The English Judge was John Bonner, the Welsh Judge Dave Copeland, and Mitchell Shaw and John Black from the local Club completed the Judging panel. All the fliers and the organisers are indebted to these four, who gave their time and endured very inclement conditions to allow the event to proceed.

The weather forecast was to be wet and windy on Saturday am, but to clear and calm somewhat after lunch. Sunday was to be similar to Saturday pm. Unfortunately, the first part was accurate, but the improvement was not sustained. The first Round was flown in marginal conditions, but the turbulent wind was a problem. The light rain ceased. After the Lunch break, the wind became more unpredictable, and the second Round was abandoned when some fliers had difficulties. The site has trees about 6m high on three sides, with some gaps between, and the wind direction was causing turbulence over the trees and through the gaps. It was hoped that by the start of the third  Round the forecast reduction in wind speed would make flying more predictable, and so it proved, but not by as much as we had hoped.

Flying in his first Home International, John Allcock was a victim of circumstances in the third round when a stray dog somehow got through the fence (newly mended by the Council) and into the circle. After a short time, it was persuaded out of the way, and John resumed his schedule. As an experienced Team Racing flier, John has applies his knowledge of engines to achieving the perfect Aerobatics run. His four stroke ran very sweetly throughout the event, and he was very willing to share his expertise with other fliers. Most fliers used tried and tested models and motors, since success in Aerobatics is aided by reliability, and nearly all schedules were completed inside the seven minutes.

 The most popular motor was probably Super Tigre, with Bill Draper, Peter Bradshaw and Ian Galt using ST51s, and Kevin Barry and Maurice Doyle ST60s. Peter Miller used an Enya, which used to be Bill Draper’s choice, Barry Robinson and Eddie Sharp used Retros with tuned pipes, and Ray Lloyd a Rustler Merco. The models were even more diverse, showing that there is no fixed formula to win in Aerobatics. Bill Draper had his Super Hawk, no 35, Barry Robinson a Dago Red, Eddie Sharp a Super Staris, Dave Roberts a Cobra in National colours, Ray Lloyd his Pendle Witch, John Allcock a Cappicat, Ian Galt a Joelle(?), Peter Millar an enlarged Spectre, Peter Bradshaw a new Blue Pearl, Kevin Barry a Trivial Pursuit variant, and Maurice Doyle his Aguila.

 From the start, the English team set the pace, closely followed by Wales, and they were even more closely followed by Ireland. In the third round, many fliers showed remarkable consistency in their scores, as did the team totals. The team totals for each round were within about 90 points of each other, with the exception of the Scots, who raised their score by nearly 500 points in the third round, thanks to the mysterious A N Other. Ireland raised their score slightly, but not enough to catch Wales. The relative positions therefore remained the same, so the order was England first, Wales second, Ireland third and Scotland fourth.

Two rounds were therefore safely on the board as everyone set off to Bangor on Saturday evening for a well earned meal in agreeable surroundings. The evening was very settled and the indications were good for Sunday. Unfortunately, the morning was fine but at least as windy as on Saturday, and the fourth Round was abandoned after some major problems were caused by the swirling wind.

It was again hoped that the wind would slacken, but it was still stretching the windsock literally to breaking point when it was decided to abandon the fifth Round. The event was decided on the two Rounds flown on Saturday, a big disappointment for everyone, but dictated by circumstances outside our control.

The prizegiving was held in the hall at nearby Blanchflower Park, again courtesy of the Council, and the location of our previous flying site (before it was submerged below a dual carriageway! You should see what that did to the (relatively) flat circle!). This event started here in 1986, so this was its twenty fourth year, and John Hamilton, who started it off, was present to see the event continue and prosper. The Belfast Club were very pleased to see the strong support, and appreciate the effort made by all present. To the visitors in particular for travelling to the event, to arrange accommodation, organise the Reception and meals, run the competition, Judge and tabulate the results, Thank You to everyone. After some welcome refreshment, the Cool Products Cup was once again presented to England, so congratulations to them, with Wales second (for the first time?), Ireland third and Scotland fourth.

This Report will be published in Aviation Modeller International, which will likely have more Photos

Maurice Doyle

Photographs Kevin Barry (most) and Maurice Doyle




Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4




















TOTAL 22154.6


















TOTAL   21035.0


















TOTAL 20970.1


















TOTAL   19540.8

England 22154.6


Wales 21035.0


Ireland 20970.1


Scotland 19540.8


The Belfast Model Flying Club wish to thank all competitors travelling from far and near for making this a memorable weekend.