Swindon modellers reach for the skies in 1:3 scale

By Barrie Hudson - 24 August 2022

Clubs & Activities
  • Derek Russell's recentlycompleted Spacewalker model aircraft has a 9ft wingspan

    Derek Russell's recentlycompleted Spacewalker model aircraft has a 9ft wingspan

The chairman of Swindon Model Aeroclub has revealed his latest completed project.

  • Spacewalker preparing for takeoff

    Spacewalker preparing for takeoff

Derek Russell began building his giant 1:3 scale model of an American 'Spacewalker' aircraft during the first lockdown in 2020.

He said: "The full size aircraft was designed in the mid 1980s and supplied in kit form to the popular home builders' market in the States.

"Its design was to depict the golden era of the 1930s sportster aircraft."

The model is also from America and took about two years to build. It is 6ft long with a 9ft wingspan and is powered by a 39cc petrol engine. The large wing is constructed in three sections for ease of transportation.

It had its maiden flight recently, and its builder describes it as a gentle giant.

Mr Russell said: "I chose to build the giant Spacewalker as I had been progressing into building bigger models over a number of years. Large models fly more like their full size counterparts and have a great ‘presence’ when airborne. I have now however had to buy a larger van to transport them!

"The model kit came with four large detailed plans so it provided for a challenging build which I thoroughly enjoyed."

Swindon Model Aeroclub has more than 50 members and shares the flying site at Sandhill airfield Shrivenham with the Vale of White Horse Gliding Club.

The hobby is open to all, and Mr Russell recommends that anybody considering taking it up speaks to a local club first, not least because clubs have plenty of experienced members happy to give advice. Going it alone can be costly in terms of crashes and runs the risk of inadvertently breaking the law.

Mr Russell said: "Clubs often have their own model trainer plane that can be flown with two transmitters. An experienced pilot will fly the model and at the flick of a switch let the student pilot fly the plane.

"If it goes wrong the experienced pilot flicks the switch and regains control.

"Within a club there is always secondhand models and radio equipment for sale as members upgrade equipment. This makes great savings against new equipment when starting out."

Further information can be found at SMAC2000.org.uk

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