Ulster Control Line Champs 2013

Once again we will be hosting this event at our flying site at Tommy Paton park on Saturday 15th June.

Come along and see some spectcular Control Line stunt flying and if you are a member of the BMFA and an experienced control line flyer why not enter.

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.

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

Container/Hanger/Flying Site Accommodation

IMG_0577Nearly 3 years ago it was suggested to us that we should have some accommodation at our flying site at Tommy Paton Park, something to protect our poor ageing bodies during periods of inclement weather and Oh Yes to protect our models also.

After much chat and “should we or should we not” discussion there came a time 2 years ago when we decided yes we should. Yellow pages and the Internet were trolled, suppliers visited and a suitable building sourced, no stopping us now . WRONG.

Just as we had got our ball rolling Belfast City Council were commissioning an audit of containers on Council owned property.

Again major discussion ensued ‘€œWhat do you want??’ ‘This is what you can have, is it suitable??’ ‘€œBut our needs are this!!’ €’œWell that’s not what we will accept, it must fall into this criteria.’

The ball was being well and truly bounced and the building we had sourced was no longer available , great sadness.

And so as one year rolled into the next, discussion, site meetings, plans drawn etc etc etc, the ball wasn’€™t bouncing quite so high.  Suddenly the ball started rolling again, again Yellow Pages and the Internet were investigated and suppliers contacted and visited and lo and behold a suitable building was sourced and it fitted everyone’€™s criteria and everyone was happy, Oh joy our site hut was on its way. But then the ball slowed down and was barely moving.

Father Christmas came and went, 2013 arrived and all was quiet in the woods.

IMG_0578Thursday 7th February arrived as most days do in Northern Ireland, grey and overcast with heavy rain forecast.

At 0850 Maurice received a phone call. The building will be delivered to your site in about 45 minutes

IMG_0579ARGH.. lots of notice! NOPE..  Get yourself sorted, contact other members, get to the site to open it and upon arrival there waiting for us was the trailer with our Hanger sitting quietly waiting for us.

The attached pictures tell the tale of its delivery and IMG_0580positioning at our flying site and we are all trying to be the same Dwarf€“ Happy.

Who said BMFC was on its last legs ! ONWARDS AND UPWARDS.

Eric Millar



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