MAAA Wingspan

28 WING SPAN NOVEMBER WING SPAN NOVEMBER For Wagga Model Aero Club Inc. (WMAC) the Military Scale Competition is considered their signature event - one they’ve been running annually for the past 45 years. Club secretary, Ian Dolby believes it’s the well-run but overall laid-back approach that has ensured it has continued to remain a popular aeromodelling fixture during this impressive time. “People like the relaxed atmosphere, particularly as there’s no pretention that perhaps a full-blown competition generates. However, they do like the concept of having rules and competing against one another,” he said. Ian says that over the decades, this event has helped to progressively build club growth, along with providing the finance to improve their facilities. “We haven’t ever applied for grants - it’s all been financed by the competition over the years. We’ve spent over $30K on a toilet and shower block, a generator and other amenities to improve the club for members.” Along with their trademark Military Scale Competition, which this year took place 26 – 28 April, (see pictures) WMAC also runs an annual scale rally, a smaller IMAC competition and, up until recently, hosted the Heli Heatwave. “Canberra used to have a WW1 event and the old school here decided to hold a WW2 event to compliment the Anzac Day weekend. Then, when the WW1 event was dropped (in Canberra) it was amalgamated and became the ‘WW1 and WW2 Military Scale event’ – which was a bit of a mouthful, so over the last couple of years we refer to it as the Military Scale Competition,” he continued. “The well-attended ceremony ties closely with ANZAC day and we host a ceremony on the Saturday morning to honour our veterans. In the last couple of years, we have involved the local air cadet squadron, who not only help us run the event but have a real presence over the weekend, assisting in the surveying and making it all very special.” Ian says WMAC, which was established in 1966, continues to encourage budding pilots to come and fly with them but admits to the challenges involved in making this happen. “The youngest member we have is around ten or eleven and we have a few more young ones coming through too. We face the same difficulties that most clubs have in attracting the younger pilots, but we continue to hold open days, where we’ve set up several club trainers and where we can encourage people to come along and have a fly – to see if we can gain that initial interest.” HOWWMAC HAS CAPITALISED ON ITS SIGNATURE EVENT TO HELP ENCOURAGE MEMBERSHIP CLUB STORY: WAGGA MODEL AERO CLUB