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    Chris Moynihan

    By grj, in BARCS,

    It is with great sadness that we report the passing, on Tuesday 6th February, of the former BARCS President and BMFA Chairman Chris Moynihan at the age of 72, following a long battle with cancer.
    I stood alongside Chris for many years in his roles on the BARCS Committee as Secretary, Chairman and President of the organisation. He was a man of great integrity, drive and ambition, always pushing to improve the lot of aeromodelling in the UK. He fought hard to form close alliance between BARCS and the BMFA sacrificing his position as BARCS Chairman to re-election on a platform of affiliating BARCS to the BMFA. In more recent times he has been a strong advocate for the BMFA  National Flying Centre, bringing his ambition to fruition, as the Chairman of BMFA, with the opening of Buckminster Lodge last year. He also bought his negotiation skills to the table in discussions with aviation bodies including the CAA.

    Many will remember competing against Chris in Open Competition, where his dogged determination to win would be ably demonstrated. In particular he was well remembered in fly off situations, on occasion campaigning what might best be described as ‘behind the edge’ technology, in large floaty ‘free flight’ style models and beating more sophisticated designs. I remember him talking at a Thames Valley Silent Flyers meeting about tips on lift detection and spoke somewhat tongue in cheek, of allowing his neck hair to grow, so that he might feel the change in wind direction that indicted lift in the flat calm of a late afternoon fly off. He was winner of many competitions at national level particularly in Open and 100s classes, taking Midland League, Radioglide and Victor Ludorum awards on several occasions and was awarded a Fellow of BARCS in honour of his services to the organisation.
    Although primarily known for his thermal soaring prowess, his love of aviation ran deep in both modelling and full size. He was a member at the Shuttleworth Museum often attending their summer evening flying displays. As BMFA Chairman he attended many flying events and was enthusiastic about all aspects of the hobby, particularly fascinated by the skills of the free flight scale modeller and the ingenuity of the ‘heavy lift’ student challenge. He enjoyed all forms of slope soaring, organising trips to North Wales for TVSF where he would fly everything from Phase 5, 60” slope racers and quarter scale gliders through to a pioneering PSS SE5a. He also enjoyed Sunday flying of electric aerobatic and oldtimer models at his local club field, followed by some lively debate with the pub crowd on a Sunday lunchtime
    Chris was a Manchester lad who had great affection for the Red side of his home town. Having worked for many years in human resources, Chris’s career saw him move around the globe and in particular South America. A geography graduate, Chris had rekindled his interests in recent years and studied Geology, participating in field trips on coastal walks and welsh mountain scrambles to indulge his passion.
    Chris is survived by his wife Anne-Marie, two Children Paul and Amy plus grandchildren.
    His funeral will take place on Monday 19th February at St Joseph's Church Gerrands Cross SL9 8RY, followed by a service at Chilterns Crematorium, Amersham and a reception to follow, details will be confirmed at a later date. If you would like more information on this, please contact me directly grjinflight@yahoo.com
    Rest in peace Chris. Your friends will remember you.
    Graham James

    Interglide F5J 2018 - Entry Open

    By Austin, in Interglide,

    Entry is now open for Interglide 2018. The event will take place over the weekend 23rd - 24th June at the same location as last year. Full details together with online and postal entry is available on the Interglide website. Entry has been open two days and already there are 9 pilots from France entered.  
    Report from the 2017 event can be seen here https://www.interglide.co.uk/2017-results


  • Our picks

    • At this time of angst in the Coronavirus Pandemic, many of us are feeling bored and without many opportunities to fly our models, and that means more time on our hands. So here is a chance to catch up Uncle Sydney’ Gossip Columns, running over the years from 1998 through to 2019.

      Before starting let me thank Jojo Grini who has maintained a web diary of all my reports in Norway and sent it round the world. Thanks also the Austin Guerrier who helped me to reach websites in UK and USA and other continents. And other F3J pilots told me that they enjoyed my Gossips.

      To read, type the following address: www.f3x.no/f3j/gossip/index.htm. Be warmed it takes a long time to read it in full.

      Sydney Lenssen
      • 0 replies
    • by Sydney Lenssen, July 2018

      Brian Austin has been co-opted by the BARCS Executive Committee as the new President of BARCS. His three year term of office will be confirmed by the membership at the AGM 2019. I am confident that this announcement will be welcomed by all BARCS members. Many, if not all, members know Brian from his long record of achievements and activities in the silent flight field. He is especially known for his friendly cheerful manner, always at hand to help fellow modellers.

      Four years ago, Brian was awarded BARCS’ Eppler Trophy, in my opinion, the association’s the most prestigious award with a long list of distinguished aeromodellers such as Eppler himself.

      Graham James, BARCS President at that time, wrote the following citation: In the early years of BARCS, awarding was often a relatively straightforward decision as new construction methods, materials, wing sections, control methods and launch and landing requirements demanded continuous model development. Today, many of us have moved onto moulded ready builds and the skills of the true modeller are largely being lost.

      One person, Brian Austin, continues to lead the field in home design and build models. Responsible over the years for many familiar Open and 100s designs, his name is now better known in electric circles not only for his planes but also as a driving force behind competition rule progression. Names like Trilogy, Alacrity and more recently the Watts series of electric gliders, of which Watts New is the latest incarnation, will be familiar to us all. For many years, he has also been the responsible for running a very successful series of competitions in Essex.

      Although tempted by shiny plastic models too, he continues to fashion exquisitely beautiful soarers, built to standards that most of us can only
      aspire. They take the latest look and feel of moulded machines, but are built in more traditional ways. Brian pilots competition winning models.
        • Thanks
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      • 0 replies
    • Can F3J survive the treatment meant to save it
      What are the new rules?

      Two weeks ago the RC Soaring Technical Meeting in Lausanne took the bull by the horns and introduced new rules aimed at saving F3J glider contests from sliding off the world and continental championship schedules - the death of what for many soaring pilots is the most popular of silent flight competitions.

      Joe Wurts, the first F3J World Champion in 1998 at Upton-upon Severn, UK. Twenty years later with the latest F3J WC about to take place in Romania, many soarers are fearing that this could be the last.


      From next year pilots can use electric winches - either/or hand held winches - for launching their models. The models must have a maximum surface area of 150 dm2 and a minimum loading of at least 20 gm/dm2. There will be no dropped round in fly-offs, and no reflights for mid-air collisions after 60 seconds into the slot.

      CIAM, the world ruling body for this class is hoping that its new rules will halt the massive fall in numbers of F3J pilots wishing to compete, sixty per cent over the past five years and still falling, and restore its popularity.

      But among many F3J pilots, the bull is still shaking its horns. There has been an extraordinary shock reaction: hundreds of pilots from all over the world have reacted on social media, protesting, angry and forecasting the end of this class. Many pilots are concerned, ranging from previous finalists and champions to your typical enthusiast who enjoys travelling across country and continental boundaries to participate in their friendly sport. Only a few can see the logic and reasoning and are prepared to wait and see how the changes work in practice. More than a few want CIAM to think again!

      • 12 replies
    • Rule changes to halt terminal decline
      Uncle Sydney’ Gossip column returns

      FAI’s Aeromodelling Commission meets next month, 27/28 April 2018 in Lausanne, Switzerland. For F3J pilots the main topic on the agenda is how to halt the decline in silent flight contests. What does CIAM want to change?  What chance for these changes to save terminal decline?

      Winches to be allowed.

      If this proposal goes through the “launch of the model aircraft will be by hand held towline or winch.” Ever since 1998 when the first F3J world championships were held at Upton on Severn, pressure has been on CIAM to bring in winch launching. At numerous team managers’ meetings held by Jury President Bartovsky during World and European championships, arguments for and against have raged. Many countries do not have enough people to give one or two man tows, so they run their qualifying comps to local rules using electric winches. I guess more than half of countries do this. When they turn up at FAI championships, their pulleys and hand winches are brought out. In the UK perhaps we had one or two practice sessions at home before leaving.

      Certainly there is a difference between a regulation F3B winch and a two man tows. The best pilots still gain the most height either way. The big difference is what you need to carry on your travels, especially by airline. Winches and batteries are bulky and heavy. So far all votes have been to stick with hand towing.

      In CIAM agendas, any rule amendment is followed by its reasoning. 

      The winch proposal stems from Slovakia and they say: “The majority of pilots are older persons who are no longer physically capable of towing models. ( Uncle’s note: I have not seen anyone on crutches yet!) .....

      • 32 replies
    • by Sydney Lenssen, BARCS President and Gary Binnie, BARCS Chairman

      We and the BARCS executive committee wish all members, and indeed everyone who enjoys model flying and thermal soaring, a very happy Christmas, and also a very special year ahead in 2018. May all your achievements, higher scores and hopes be realised.

      Year 2017 has been a mixed year, probably for everybody. The biggest triumph by far has been the successful opening of BMFA’s National Flying Centre at Buckminster. BARCS can be very proud that it was the first group of aeromodellers to utilise the facilities on offer by organising a successful Radioglide 2017 at the end of May. 

      There is still a long way to go until BMFA realises all its ambitious plans for the NFC. Very sensibly, they are taking a careful financial route. Many members will not have even seen the site so far. Don’t hesitate. Many other members are in the band of volunteers, regularly making the Centre bigger and better. Offer to help if you can!

      One of the prime movers to establish the National Flying Centre is Chris Moynihan as chairman of the BMFA and also a member of the BARCS executive committee. Many years ago, it was Chris who tackled the difficult job of persuading BARCS to grow closer to the BMFA. He then went on to become chairman of the BMFA with his dedicated drive and skill at bringing together proponents and opponents. Very sadly, due to health problems, Chris has stepped down from both the BMFA chairman role and the BARCS committee. We shall all miss his wise counselling. 

      All the very best - and plenty of thermals - for 2018!

      Sydney Lenssen, BARCS President
      • 0 replies

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