|A Show Too Far Or Just The Tonic We Needed?|
First Visit Since 1998
'Flying Sites' in the form of your editor and colleague Paul Board (of FAI Pylon fame) made an early start from south Wales on the first day of the show (Sat. 2nd July) arriving at about 11.30am, rather later than anticipated, due to a forty-minute traffic jam. Thinking that the show must have attracted a lot of visitors we were surprised to find that most of the traffic was local!
However, once into the show we made our way to the main grandstand to find that only the main exhibition floor was in use and that the upper levels and basement were being refurbished. I know these things happen, but quite often in the past, one would find a number of the smaller manufacturers in these places!
Dark clouds had decided, by twelve o'clock, to dump their contents on the flying display pilots and spectators, so the exhibition hall became extremely busy. It was almost impossible to move at certain bottlenecks in the hall. This was especially so where exhibitors had cordoned off areas at the back of their stands, with netting and were allowing trial flights of their miniature indoor helicopters. Everyone wanted to have a go. I think modellers are having a love affair with the Piccolo miniature heli judging by the numbers already sold!
Since the Sandown Show the Stearman has had its maiden flight.Now all Flair have to do is burn the midnight oil to meet their dealine!
The kit will be of a built up construction (CNC and die cut parts) for 180 four strokes (Laser in prototype) and it comes with many extra fittings such as the dummy radial engine, fully sprung and damped undercarriage, flying wires, glass fibre forward fuselage mouldings plus various other fairings and mouldings. Flair hope to market the Stearman at around £299.
World Champ Performance
As TOC 2001 champ and both European and World F3A champion, Christophe enthralled the crowds with manoeuvres that just left us all guessing how he did it. I was standing no less than twenty feet away from Christophe and could not tell how he kept the 'Majestic' dancing around the sky! His fingers never stopped moving, as did the aircraft. Not once, bar landing did the model stay in one attitude for more than half a second. It was a great display of aerobatic control and dexterity that left the crowd gasping, and was for many, the highlight of the day's flying display.
So, after that amazing display I'd missed my lunchtime rendezvous. Grabbing a quick burger and chips I dived back into the main hall.
Plans In The Pipe Line
Wring It Out
So, by the end of the day, I'd spent a shed load of money on electrical gear, (I'm starting to gather together all the necessary paraphernalia to go electric). A Supa Nova charger, micro servos and I even bought twin 480 Partinavia from Slough Radio Control Model. So look out in the next few months for a kit review and find out how I get on!
Since the show, the uk.rec.models.radio-control.air Newsgroups has given Sandown 2001 a mixed reception. Some saying 'What an excellent show' to those that thought 'it was the worst ever'. It has been commented that the show was very packed due to the limited space, but that was I'm sure out of the hands of the organisers. We were assured however, that when the refurbishments are completed by 2003 the show would return to its usual format and date in mid May. Several messages left on our own 'Forum' have been very critical of the crowd control, and the accompanying safety aspects!
John Clark, assistant editor of RCM&E, did however, comment to me that he thought the traders were getting a good deal, and was pleased with the visitor numbers through the doors by the end of Saturday. All contributors to the Newsgroup were however in total admiration of the flying of Chistophe Paysant-Le Roux.
Value For Money?
Nearly every trader I spoke to however, said that they were in fact probably having the best day's business in 6 months!
So after the confinements of Foot & Mouth most of us had to get out and buy something and it seems it that had to be at the Sandown Model Show. I look forward to seeing all those Twin Jets, that were quickly disappearing to the car park, in the skies over Britain.
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