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.
It was only the end of last year that our committee’s chairman Robin Sleight died. He was also Secretary of the BMFA. Gary Binnie volunteered to step in as interim chair, only to be voted in as permanent leader at the next meeting. All committee members work hard for BARCS and silent flight matters, but the chairman’s role is by far the most important. We have also had a change of treasurer and Peter Allen has taken on that role. He has been secretary for many years as well as main organiser of the F3J activities and national team member for Great Britain. To replace him and his secretarial duties, we give a heartfelt welcome to Nick Jackson.
A change to come shortly will be the president’s position as his term of service ends. But more important is that your committee could do with one or two extra members, and we would ask everyone to consider if they would be willing and able to join the committee. You will not get any bouquets, but it is important for the future of silent flight models in the UK and continuing enjoyment of a range of competitive events. The load needs to be spread, and most important of all, we need younger members with fresh ideas and energies. Come on, take the plunge, just let us know you could be tempted.
Another sad mark of 2017 was the end of the F3J national league and for the first time there was no GBR team at the European Championships. GBR will not be represented at the 2018 F3J World Championships in Romania. The only consolation is that F5J events are thriving and growing in popularity.
There must be lots of pilots who now have F3J models wrapped up as spares in their store cupboards. If you would be pleased to join another BARCS F3J competition for fun, please let us know and we’ll try to set it up.
All the very best - and plenty of thermals - for 2018!
Sydney Lenssen, BARCS President
I would like to thank Sydney for his kind words in this message and very wise words given to me and the committee at other times. I would also like to thank all the competition directors, without them nothing would happen.
The National Flying Centre is a fantastic resource which is improving all the time as facilities are added. Being able to book the venue in advance has removed the difficulties we sometimes encountered in the past over field availability. Radioglide (including the BARCS AGM) will be held at Buckminster again and I am sure that the Silent Flight Nationals will also be held there in August as they were this year.
Hamilton Farm airstrip in Kent is another fine location, the 2017 Interglide Eurotour competition switched to F5J and saw many visitors from the continent and flyers from the South-East taking part, we are planning to hold the event there again in 2018, all being well.
On the subject of stored F3J models they can also be used for BARCS Open class competitions, there was not quite enough of us to have a viable competition at Radioglide this year, fingers crossed for 2018. 100S continues with a small band of dedicated pilots.
All the best for 2018 whether you will be standing on a cliff in a howling gale or sharing a farmer’s field with 200 sheep as I do! Cheers and Merry Christmas.
Gary Binnie, BARCS Chairman