MAAA Wingspan

8 WING SPAN AUGUST “My mother told me I was sticking clothes pegs together as a five-year-old and running around the yard following aircraft that were flying in the sky. I certainly had a passion for aircraft frommy very early days,” says Ron Cavanagh. An avid scale modeller, Ron says that he first got into aeromodelling during his time as an airforce cadet in 1955, when he was learning to fly at Taieri Airfield in New Zealand. “I used to make chuck gliders, fly them out on the tarmac in between flights and gradually it increased from there,” he says. “In the very early days, radio control really interested me. However, I wanted to fly scale models of aircraft as I felt there wasn’t much point in flying anything other than a model that looked like a replica of an aeroplane.” Ron says that he’s always been a natural designer at heart and never really enjoyed building from kits. “Drawing a line down a piece of paper, then lofting the aircraft to the various dimensions has always been my process as a modeller throughout my 65 years,” he continues. “While I admire some of the more complicated ARFs on the market, to me modelling is about putting them together yourself, perfecting them and flying them.” Over the years Ron has perfected seven Spitfires and is currently completing his eighth- a one quarter scale Spitfire mark 9, which he says he has been working on over the past four years. “I guess that’s one aircraft that I would’ve liked to have had a go at flying myself,” he says. “I was a pilot many years ago and I tended to fly [model] aircraft that I either could fly or would like to have flown.” Ron says that he is particularly interested in recreating aircraft that has a significant part in aviation history. Though he acknowledges that it takes an average of two years to intricately construct a scale model, it’s the interest of creating something from scratch and then the joy of finally flying it that he finds rewarding about the hobby. Naturally, he’s also seen a fair bit of change during his aeromodelling life. “I’ve seen it go from scratch building, where you design the aircraft by drawing the plans up and building it from there, to the early basic ARF, which heritage story: ron cavanagh’s life in flight WITH A FASCINATION FOR FLIGHT THAT SPANS 65 YEARS, RON CAVANAGH TALKS ABOUT HOW HE WENT FROM PILOTING A TIGER MOTH AS AN AIRFORCE CADET TO PERFECTING A SCALE MODEL REPLICA OF THE AIRCRAFT