On Saturday I accompanied Downunda to an event at the ‘Sun Coast Model Flyers’ model aeroplane club at their flying field not far from Cotton Tree at Coolum. Downunda has been flying model planes for a long time now and is a member of the club, although today he wasn’t flying any of his models.
Today was a special “Warbirds” day held in conjunction with the ‘Southern Cross Air Force’ club and involving other flyers from far and wide. The idea behind the “Warbirds” events is that all planes must be models or replicas of military aircraft.
When we first arrived a model jet plane was just coming in to land. It looked and sounded fantastic! After-all, it was a real jet, just smaller. Downunda was a bit disappointed that there weren’t many jets flying on the day as in previous years there had been several.
We had a slow wander around the ‘pits’ area to have a good look at the huge variety of model planes there. Many of the models were considerably larger than I had thought they would be and the attention to detail on some of them was quite incredible. Apart from having fully kitted out pilots and cockpits, many planes displayed ‘correct’ rivets, decals, etc.
The larger planes generally had petrol engines and looked and sounded extremely authentic. There was one plane disassembled in a trailer which apparently had a 22 ft wingspan!
The planes represented a number of different air forces, including the Australian, British, American, Canadian, German, and others. There was a 4 engined model with RAAF insignia which we would have loved to have seen actually flying, but unfortunately it didn’t take off while we were there.
The Red Baron in his triplane was there, but I didn’t see Snoopy!
Unfortunately we couldn’t stay all day and were only able to see a relatively small proportion of all the planes actually take off, fly and land.
There was only one serious incident requiring recovery while we were there, and that plane didn’t look as though it would be flying any more that day at least. We did see some occasional flips on landing but generally there was little or no damage.
In closing, I might just mention that from a newcomer’s perspective the flying field itself is quite something. There is a designated area where the ‘pilots’ stand while flying their planes and very obvious safety controls are in place. Pit crew have covered areas under which they can work on their planes and there are larger covered areas for shelter. There are toilet facilities and even a canteen. Several visitors were obviously staying in caravans on-site as well.
Thanks Downunda for a great introduction to the world of flying model aeroplanes!
Click on the thumbnails to see full size images!