Free Flight

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After line control, free flight became the next challenge. Inspired and assisted by a friend of the family who was most knowledgeable, I succeeded in building my first free flight model - a Davies Charlton “Ballerina” that was powered by a Davies Charlton “Super Merlin” 0.8cc compression ignition engine. Too much coloured dope led to a rearward balance point and a unstable flight that ended up against power lines. Even in South Africa it was difficult to find a suitable flying site! In Europe, years later, the problem would remain.

Eleven years on I found myself on the heather of Loenermark near Arnhem with somewhat better models. Much had happened in the in the mean time and I had had little opportunity to build and fly. My parents accompanied me for the ride and appeared not to mind my lack of progress in life. The Ebenezer triplane below was built from memory and not much of a success..

The Veron Cardinal, on the other hand, performed well at Loenermark in 1977 and is still in my possession. It has since flown at Old Warden in the UK , at Spaarnwoude near Amsterdam and near Anloo (province of Drenthe) in 2013.

Below are pictures taken in the early Eighties when the Cardinal sported iron-on “monokote” covering for a short period of time. This type of covering did not appeal to me for various reasons and has since been replaced by doped tissue.