Probus meeting hears about model aeroplanes

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Ellon Probus Club’s recent meeting heard president Norman Davidson regretfully announce that, despite a valiant effort, the Ellon team only managed fourth place in the annual inter-club area quiz.

The winning team this year was Banff - Ellon congratulates them. Norman then introduced the speaker Jim Ruxton.

Jim, a retired civil engineer, explained how from childhood he‘d had a fascination with aircraft and how a vision problem had kept him out of the RAF. He turned to making and flying model aeroplanes.

To the average person this may sound like big men playing with boy’s toys but, as Jim explained, it is a highly technical hobby requiring patience, dedication, lots of time, a fair bit of cash, good handling skills and an acceptance that your plane will crash regularly.

Models were once commonly made of balsa wood, as simple throw gliders or propeller powered using a wind-up elastic band. Today models come in all shapes, sizes and are constructed of diverse materials including wood, plastic and expanded plastic foams.

Most are powered using an internal combustion engine, battery or electric motor, others may be powered using a gas turbine as in regular jet engines. Flight is controlled using transmitters to operate ailerons, elevators and rudder similar as to regular aircraft. The use of a tether line, when planes flew round and round in a circle, is seldom used nowadays.

There, however, remains a body of enthusiasts who continue to fly gliders but here again flight tends to be radio controlled as in the powered models.

The vote of thanks was moved by Ken McDade. The next meeting is on June 11 when David Kindley will talk on the Fortress of the North (a postal history).