It was the outgoing President Sydney Lenssen who broached the proposition to me, to take on the post of President, although I think it will be difficult to fill his shoes especially in regards to his reports over the years, in the many aspects of our hobby. I think I speak for all of us, when I say that his reports on the F3J and FAI aspects of thermal soaring, under the’ Uncle Sydney’ columns, have always been interesting and informative.
Although not being a member of BARCS when it was formed in 1972, I believe, having joined in 1974, I knew most of the early cadre of flyers who initiated its formation. There was a move to establish a group of like-minded flyers, to promote RC gliding in all forms, as it was felt that the SMAE did not provide a section that supported their interests at that time.
It was to prove successful in as much that the SMAE, adopted the majority of the competition classes and rules into their rule book.
It is an established fact, that numbers engaged in model flying of all persuasions, are falling. The age of model flyers is in the retired group mainly nowadays, so numbers flying are dwindling, due to mortality as well as loss of interest and moving on to bigger things. Only today I heard that one of the younger flyers I taught some years ago, Peter Barnes is now Vice President of Airbus America. Sydney Lenssen did compile a detailed analysis of how this is happening across Europe, in the various RC glider classes. Although some flyers do move over to electric launched classes, even they are just about maintaining numbers.
The committee, is aiming to achieve closer liaisons with the BMFA, with the growth of electric gliding, bringing the classes flown by the two groups, very close together in the rules used, making this a possibility.
On a final note, the weather this year has been exceptional for the summer months, rivalling 1976. It was strange that some contests, were still lost when the weather, turned sour on the days allocated to them. Let us hope that 2019, will be even half as good as 2018 was.
I would like to take this initial piece, to wish all BARCS members a very Happy Christmas and New Year, on behalf of the committee and myself
Brian Austin, BARCS President
Chairman’s Christmas message
Wise words from Brian. The first half of 2018 was a worrying time for all model flyers (especially the soaring glider community) as the proposed 400 foot height limit hung over us like a dark cloud. What was not widely known was that BMFA staff were working very hard behind the scenes to convince the CAA and EASA that the blanket limit was unrealistic and unnecessary. An exemption was granted for model aircraft and an amendment made to the Air Navigation Order. During a BARCS committee visit to Chacksfield House it was explained how the exemption was granted and that work in this area of regulation has been ongoing for many years and continues. The second purpose of the visit was to discuss closer ties between BARCS and the Silent Flight Technical Committee as Brian touched on in his message.
March 2019 may (or may not!) bring the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, what effect this will have on moulded model prices is unclear at the moment. Hopefully it will have no effect at all on the ease of crossing the Channel either way, Interglide (F5J) was particularly popular with French pilots this year, they used the event as their team selection competition.
Improvements at the National Flying Centre (NFC) continue, mostly to the camping area and domestic facilities, Radioglide 2019 is planned to be held at the centre again, the third time the event (and AGM) will be held there, how time flies!
I wish you all the best for 2019 whether you will be standing on a cliff in a howling gale, on a hill in a gentle zephyr or sharing a farmer’s field with 200 sheep as I do! Cheers, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Gary Binnie, BARCS Chairman