MAAA Wingspan - Quarterly Magazine

11 FEBRUARY WING SPAN MAAALogo. “The trend of aeromodelling now seems to be ARF (almost ready to fly) models. I used to have big arguments with one of the ARF importers and distributors. His argument was that ARFs would bring lots of people into the hobby and my argument was it’ll take just as many straight out again.” “If you go down the ARF route and decide that’s all you’re going to build, then you’re not going to go very far. You can start off with them to get used to the flying, but then my advice would be to either find a kit or a plan in which to build – these range from beginners to very advanced and produce a scale model yourself.” Noel says he had no specific abilities when he began scale modelling all those decades ago, however he believes that persistence and a willingness to learn are key to succeeding at the hobby. “I simply enjoyed it and pushed myself. All the new skills you learn- the welding, the CAD work, the 3D printing- you just pick those up along the way but you have to be willing to learn them,” he said. “These days I design all my models from scratch and I do a lot of drawing work. I’m always surprised by people who don’t know what an angle is and don’t know any of the trigonometric functions. I couldn’t live without using them.” Inadvertently crashing your creation comes with the territory of scale modelling but you can learn to reduce the possibility of demolition. “Unfortunately, if you fly you’re going to crash and everyone crashes at some stage. You can minimise the frequency but you can’t eliminate it,” said Noel. Noel has also enjoyed world championship competitions and has travelled to such locations as France, Romania, Switzerland, Spain, the Netherlands, the US and Canada. “My wife is really supportive of me when these events come up. She enjoys it. You make friends, as you see the same people every couple of years and have fun catching up with them,” he said. “I used to sit back in wonder that this pile of materials that I bought is now flying up there like a real airplane. To me it’s just magic.”