Since the year dot!
The Cheshire Falcons have been flying from the strip at Raby Hall Farm for nearly 4 decades. During that time members have experimented with a range of model types including helicopters and autogiros. Although jet models have been demonstrated here they are not best suited to a mown grass strip. Nowadays the main interest is in fixed wing aeroplanes powered by glo-fuel , petrol or electric.
The earliest model engines were twisted rubber bands!
Castor oil has probably always been the basic lubricant for tiny engines but now even that is changing with much more specialised mixes and synthetic lubricants.
At first small two stroke diesel engines were popular using ether in their fuel together with other exotic chemicals such as amyl nitrate . These were most often run without silencers and models would 'howl' around the skies alarming the wildlife and disturbing the neighbours.
Then glow plug engines slowly took over, using methanol as fuel. Engine design and alloy improvements across the years have meant that the basic engines are now relatively cheap, more reliable, and far quieter than they once were.
Another area of development has been the introduction of miniature four stroke glo engines and more efficient electric motors powered by lighter, higher capacity, batteries of completely new design, enabling performance on a par with glo - motors.
Petrol engines have until recent years been too heavy for installing in models, and the use of spark ignition has always been challenging in a model also fitted with delicate electronic radio control equipment. In the age of the Transistor all that has changed and petrol power is now approaching the same level of popularity as the other forms of model motor.
You could build it yourself from a kit or from scratch
In the early days the modelmaker had to buy his wood, his balsa to the plan
apply lots of PVA adhesive, let it dry, straight & true and then cover his beauty with tissue, silk or nylon painted with dope.
Now Asian factories can produce ARTF ( Almost Ready to Fly) models at nominal cost, and these are often made from 'crashproof plastic foam' so the fear of crashing and ruining 12 months of labour, sweat & tears can be much reduced.
You can see how the very nature of the hobby has changed.
but we still have our 'highs' and 'lows'.
Sometimes, all you need to get your broken model back in the air
is a large roll of Duct Tape! but occasionally, in frustation,
you may even be tempted to complete the demolition.
Frequencies & Channels. Friends may be close but some things must not be shared.
The frequencies used to transmit radio signals have also changed over time. For a long time 27 Megaherz was used but problems arose in the '70's with the rising popularity of 'Citizens Band' (CB) radio often used from cars and lorries. This clashed with the modelling frequencies and the risk of crashes and consequent third party damage suddenly became more acute.
In the mid '80's a dedicated frequency of 35MHz was allocated to model control in this country this soon became accepted practice. Whatever frequency was in use it has always been necessary to organise a method of control on the flying field to ensure that no two fliers could use the same channel. Recently a new frequency has been allocated to model control on the 2.4 Gigaherz band with sophisticated electronic design of units that prevent a clash of frequency use. The days of the 'peg-board' may well be numbered now that clever electronics can ensure the security of the radio control link with your model.
Dont upset the neighbours
No longer are model planes allowed to Howl across the skies so we test every new model, and every remodelled model, to check the noise levels of their engines at full revs, permitting a maximum of around 80db, in line with BMFA recommendations.
Remember taking your driving test?
well learning to Fly RC from scratch is almost as difficult!
The club has welcomed modelmakers across the years, and have not shied away from teaching even the most obtuse pupils of all ages the difficult art of flying an RC model competently and safely, to the stage where he/she can experience for him/herself the sheer exhilaration of being in complete control.
We believe that one of the main reasons The Falcons have thrived for so many years is because of their friendly welcome, patient encouragement and the expert tuition offered to newcomers wishing to develop their modelling & flying skills. Need it be said that not everyone has a natural aptitude, and the discipline of painstaking preparation usually has to be learned.
But learn to Fly safe
Readers outside the aeromodelling fraternity may well raise an eyebrow at the emphasis we put on safety procedures.
Perhaps it is worth mentioning that a simple model being 'fettled', at full throttle will have a propeller spinning well in excess of 10,000revs per minute, clothing and fingers need to be kept well clear.
For the same reasonwe dont wear neckties!
Painstaking preparation before each flight is needed, to try and ensure that the failure of any component in flight will result in nothing more spectacular than a gentle, controlled glide to earth. This is the ideal, of course, and we smile through gritted teeth when occasionally we trudge home with a bin bag of Balsa Bits!
We usually have a short membership waiting list, but dont let that put you off!
Ours is a friendly family of a club limited to a membership of only 24, to some extent this is dictated by the fact that we share a meadow with a valuable herd of Dairy Fresians who often seem to take great interest in our activities!
By agreement we do not permit more than 4 fliers to be in the air at any one time, and though we are well insured, safety rules are clearly defined to minimise the possbility of damage to persons, property or to animals.
Come fly with us! suggest you bring your wellies!
We can on occasion welcome visitors, assuming they are experienced and insured, but we do not have the facilities or the numbers to organise fly-ins or hands on school experience days.
We do however welcome junior members ( under the age of 18) but they must be be accompanied at the strip by a responsible adult.
Our Ethos! ( We do have one!)
Our main aim as a club is to enable our members to enjoy their chosen hobby and to ensure that we take all reasonable measures to allow this to happen in a safe and responsible way.
Officers of the Committee
Officers may be contacted on any issue by simply using the e-mail button on our Index page.
Alternatively, please leave a message in our Guest Book for all to see, your IP/e-mail address will not be disclosed ( no spam) and your message will be edited only if you are really rude!