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North Down Model Railway Exhibition 2018


Belfast Model Flying Club – Indoor Flying Displays 2018

Location – North Down & Model Railway Show – Bangor Grammar School, 84 Gransha Rd, Bangor BT19 7QU

Dates:- Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd April

Displays – @35 minute displays – 5 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday

Indoor Flying demonstrations of

Free-flight/Rubber powered, Control Line and Radio Controlled Planes, Helicopters & Quads

Now in our third successive year providing indoor flying displays at the NDMRS show, BMFC will be flying @30 different types of indoor aircraft during our displays. Incorporating into our displays – multiple Airgates, Carrier & Helipad Landings, balloon bursting, we will also have a pilot’s eye view of multiple aircraft in flight viewable by the spectators on a large flat panel TV. Mark the show date in your calendar so you don’t miss it!

Come along and make sure you bring the kids young and old for a great day’s demonstration of Indoor Flying – you’ll not be disappointed.

Indoor Flying 2017/18

Belfast Model Flying Club -Indoor Flying sessions recommencing 


We are flying at two indoor locations this season, details as below:- 

Ashfield Girls School – Holywood Road, Belfast BT4 2LY 

Date: Saturday 9th September 2017 – then 2nd Saturday of every month thereafter to April 2018. 

Time: 14:00 – 17:00 

St Brides Hall – Derryvolgie Avenue, Belfast BT9 6FP 

Date: Thursday 28th September – then 4th Thursday of each month thereafter to April 2018. 

Time: 19:30 – 21:30 

Some examples of aircraft type flown at our indoor flying sessions:-  

Vapors, Ares, Mini E-flite Aircraft, 3D Planes, Helicopters and Multi-rotors. 

If you wish to view/experience indoor radio control flying, please come along to any of our sessions and have a chat with us, you’ll be made welcome. No appointment necessary. 

There is no charge for spectators, however a fee is payable on the afternoon/evening for those visitors who wish to fly when attending our sessions. 

If you intend to fly with us you will be required to provide proof of insurance.  

If you have any queries on the above, BMFC club contacts are listed below:- 

Maurice Doyle Tel/Mobile 028 9042 411307917794554 

Maurice JessTelephone 02891874194 

Rodney O’Neill Telephone 02891872380 

North Down Model Exhibition 2017

Belfast Model Flying Club – Indoor Flying Displays 2017


Location – North Down & Model Railway Show – Bangor Grammar School, 84 Gransha Rd, Bangor BT19 7QU

Dates:- Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd April

Displays – @30 minute displays – 5 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday

Indoor Flying demonstrations of

Freeflight/Rubber powered, Control Line and Radio Controlled Planes/Helicopters


Building on the success of last year’s BMFC displays at the NDMRS show, we will be further enhancing the show content with additions of multiple Airgates, Carrier & Helipad Landings alongside Balloon popping displays. This promises to be one of our best shows to date, so don’t miss it!

Come along and view our displays and visit our stand for a great day’s demonstration of Indoor Flying

Indoor Free Flight

The following is a resume of a presentation given by Rodney O’Neill to the Ulster Aviation Society.

Printed by kind permission of the Ulster Aviation Society

Our speaker at the April meeting was an engineer who has taken part in air tests on the Shorts Belfast, worked as a BBC maintenance technician at the Lisnagarvey Transmitter and toured many exotic parts of the world, providing technical back-up and educational support for the former Shorts Missile Division.  But Rodney O’Neill didn’t come to talk about any of that, interesting as it would have been; he came to tell us about Indoor Duration Model Aircraft.

Lisburn 05

He is one of four people from Northern Ireland who take part in this pastime, one of the others being his partner, Dorothy, who was also present.  Both have to build their models from scratch as there is no ready source for the finished article.  They have to be built to very precise standards and, even more importantly, they have to be very light in weight. This means, for example, applying glue down the side of a very fine piece of wire, having already thinned it with acetone so that just enough runs into the joint to bond it, while the excess evaporates!  It means weighing thin sheets of balsa wood to find the lightest, then cutting that on a tiny band saw into ten strips a few millimetres square, subjecting each to a stiffness test, to find, not infrequently, that none is stiff enough for the motor stick and having to repeat the process until a suitable one is found.  So that we could understand all of this, he gave us a quick run through Young’s Modulus!  The wing frames are thinner than a matchstick and the ribs thinner again.  Then the whole wing is covered with the thinnest transparent mylar film imaginable.  Power source?  Believe it or not, elastic bands, again not just any old elastic bands but the rubber bands that are used in the windings of golf balls.  Again, Rodney set out the formula for obtaining the best bands for longest duration. He even produced graphs showing turns against torque, the aim being to wind the band just enough to give the most even discharge of power.  He even attaches them with little home-made rubber O-rings, as these provide another few turns which can add three or four seconds to the duration of a flight.  The propeller blades (variable pitch mechanisms are commercially available) are also hand-made and his wooden jig was passed round.  All of this results in the flimsiest models you will ever set eyes on but the rub is that they weigh in at a few grams, with the lightest being less than half, yes, half a gram.  This is hard to get one’s head around but is brought home by the fact that adding the elastic band to the lightest one more than doubles its weight!  So powered, they can remain airborne for up to nearly 0 minutes.  I’m sure everyone present who examined the models on display were very impressed by the craftsmanship and ingenuity that is so obviously present in them.


Rodney and Dorothy have competed in the open international competitions in Valencia, Belgrade and Moscow (Idaho, USA) where they put in some very creditable performances. Coincidentally, Dorothy was British national champion in 008 and Rodney in 007 and 008.  Rodney’s presentation was fascinating, given with an enthusiasm that was contagious.  I think the current batch of aeronautical engineers present were quite taken at how something could be so lightly built and yet stay aloft.  I have watched the models fly and find it very relaxing to see the propeller slowly turn as the model leisurely circles a few feet overhead, a bit like watching a butterfly flutter around the garden.



SATURDAY       11 JUNE 2016                11.00 AM    







 A decision on whether it is flyable will be taken on Thursday night as usual.

For the first time for many years, the Ulster Championships was run on the intended date in June, and it was flown in excellent weather. There was so little wind that the windsock was seen to turn 180 degrees in a matter of seconds! It was dull at first, and a slight skiff of rain at the start of the second round, but it was nearly all dry and finished in very pleasant sunshine.

Peter Bradshaw sent the notice of the event off to BMFA News, but then booked a Holiday over the date! The rest of the usual suspects were here, and it was good to see everyone after a long winter. A start was made at 11.10, and with the numbers slightly down, it was possible to fly three rounds of F2B before a break for Lunch, around 2 O’clock. Classic was then run off over two rounds, leaving the event tidied up early and allowing time for some catching up on recent developments.

The Judging was shared between Mitchell Shaw for F2B, and Chris Gilbert for Classic, so our thanks to both of them, and to Ken Smeltzer, who tabulated and printed out the results commendably quickly.

In deference to the CLAPA ruling that Classic models are not permitted Electric power, Ivan flew his Shark with a 4 stroke, prompting questions from the uninitiated “What’s in that?”. Stu and Ivan flew Electric F2B models to good effect.

Mitchell as Judge was impressed by the general improvement in flying, noting that most maneuvers were good shapes, so practice must be paying off. There was a tie for 3rd place in F2B, so close was the scoring.

Kevin had his new electric model from Barry Robinson, with traditional Northwind colour scheme. It needed some adjustments and was not flown, but should give him a very competitive model when it is sorted.

As CD, I must again thank everyone for coming from long distances, and it was good to see that we had an excellent day for flying and everyone had the best chance to perform. The general standard of flying was reflected in the excellent timekeeping, the event staying below the traditional 10 minutes per flight throughout the day. The always makes it easier to manage things, and everyone is to congratulated on the excellence of their presentation and starting.

Maurice Doyle

Results                       Ulster Championships                    

      Judge Mitchell Shaw        
       Round 1 2 3            
F2B         Best 2          
Maurice Doyle 986.0 1046.0 1067.5 2113.5 1        
Stoo Holland     E 949.5 988.0 1042.0 2030.0 2        
Kevin Barry 940.5 947.5 982.5 1930.0 3        
Ivan Bolton          E 913.0 985.5 944.5 1930.0 3        
Chris Gilbert 895.0 869.0 927.5 1822.5 5        
      Judge Chris Gilbert        
Classic       Best          
Maurice Doyle 1042.0 941.0   1042.0 1        
Stoo Holland 992.0 940.0   992.0 2        
Ivan Bolton 833.0 838.5   838.5 3        
Kevin Barry 230.0 578.5   578.5 4        



NDMRS 2016

Once again we will be hosting a stand at the North Down Model Railway Exhibition at Bangor Grammar School on 16th and 17th April 2016.

In association with Bangor Electric Flying Club we will be displaying a range of model flying at various times during the Exhibition.

We will also be hosting a static stand in association with the Northern Ireland Association of Aeromodellers.

Come along and pay us a visit to possibly relive your younger life as a  flying modeller

Web Site Woes

The site administrator suffered a denial of service attack this essentially deleted the site.

I am happy to say that after a lot of extremely hard work we are now back and will be updating the site regularly.

Happy days and Happy flying:)

Windy Weather, time to fix the Web

Gents, I’ve been updating the website, as far as I can tell, at the moment we are at pre-crash stage. In staying with the times, I also used the default wordpress theme. I did include an option to change the looks/colors, feel free to experiment! As always, if you want me to add things that you need, just shout.

I did find a handful of unused pictures in the media library, If you can find a good place for them?  There are a few articles that could use a picture to jazz it up a bit.

This theme should also work for all you mobile-phone people, after all, it’s been designed for it!

Btw: did you see the new NI-Forum?

Have fun,

Webmaster,  16 Feb 2014

Article for Quiet and Electric Flight International magazine


Hi John, we at the Belfast Model Flying Club fly indoors on a regular basis at 3 venues.

The Belfast Club has been on the go since 1945 and was initially a free flight and control line flying club. Today our base is still in Control Line flying but we also embrace the pleasure of calm conditions and heat at our indoor sessions.
On the second saturday of the month between September and April we can be found in the gym at our local school, Ashfield Girls School merrily flying a wide range of models. We fly in 15 min slots, roughly the length of 1 battery, Vapors, Heli’€™s, large 3D, small 3D. Our record for Vapors in the air at one time is 13, so keeping a close eye on your model was quite a challenge, and yes we did have a few members jiggling their sticks while following the wrong Vapor, however accidents were very few.
In the Heli session, I fly a Blade CP Pro 2 and like yourself acknowledge my limits with the heli kept in a reasonably close hover in front of me, I find this challenging enough. Other members fly a range of mini helis including a Lama, mCPs, mCPX etc.
The Large 3D section has a couple of members show off their abilities flying Click size models.
The small 3D brings out Cubs, 4site, Trojans, Extra 300.
We also fly on the 4th Monday of the month between September and April at Bloomfield Methodist Church Hall. Being a church hall and relatively small it really only lends itself to Vapors and Heli’s, however the flying gets in the way of the cup of tea, biscuit, chat and banter.
On a Wednesday morning a few members fly at a local small leisure centre but this session is entirely restricted to indoor free flight. While the hall is small with a reasonably low ceiling height the pilots have learned with practise to overcome the restrictions and have successful flying sessions,
All in all a quite busy yearly flying season.
Eric Millar
Web Manager
Belfast Model Flying Club

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.