How many RC model glider pilots tried this form of aeromodelling for the first time with a Halton Special (or Apex)? Hundreds, perhaps thousands, certainly I was one of them. For that reason I shall always be an admirer of Dick Edmonds.
As his EMP advert spells out, this model comes completely ready-made to a very high standard, all that is required is the addition and installation of your two-function R/C unit for rudder and elevator. Ideal for someone who does not have the time for construction. That was me! And off I went with a bungee to a local field, all alone, and taught myself to fly, even caught my first thermal. Far easier than free-flight A2s. What a thrill.
A long time ago. When the time came for contest flying, I got to know Dick along with many friends and followed the growth of Edmonds Model Products - the Algebra series of 2.5, 3Mk 11 and 4 metre soarers. Dick was always among the leaders and eager to share his experiences.
Ten years or more later, when Open competitions had given way to F3J contests, and this class had become recognised by the FAI worldwide. To win a place in the British team you had to fly in several if not all the contests in the league, six or more events, widespread across the country, even in Europe.
At its peak nearly 100 pilots were involved.
Around the year 2,000, the league was organised by Team Norf & Sarf, Colin Lucas, Phil Jackson and Bob Dickenson. Colin produced a regular newsletter BMFA F3J NEWS with all the results and I contributed Uncle Sydney’s Gossip Column.
Early in 2001, Dick also wrote an article: “I was prompted to write this after reading Uncle Sydney’s Gossip column. First I would like to say how much I enjoy Sydney’s contributions to F3J News, he certainly has the ability to sniff out interesting goings on in the soaring world.”
There’s nothing a writer enjoys more than praise. And if that comes from the maestro Dick Edmonds, nothing gets better!