|1. Find someone that is passionate about flying and has the skill and knowledge to build his own aircraft.|
2. Coax him onto your squadron as a civilian instructor
3. Have the cadets build their own aircraft under instruction from your newly appointed instructor.
4. Find a field (preferably one belonging to a club), and chocks away.
That's how it was for 1145 (Dunfermline) Squadron. Colin Nicol is the father of one of our cadets and is a member of the Kinross Remote Control Flying Club. He offered his services to come to the Squadron to teach the cadets how to make and fly Remote Control Aircraft. His offer was duly accepted and thanks to him and the members of the Kinross Remote Control Flying Club, the cadets are now in the process of building their first aircraft, hopefully the first of many.
On Colin's first visit to the Squadron, he arrived with two aircraft that he had built himself and gave a talk to cadets in order to generate an interest in the project. Needless to say, there were a number of cadets that wanted to change projects, but unfortunately, Colin can only teach and keep his eyes on 6 cadets at a time.
During the building phase, Colin takes 2 cadets on a Saturday morning to the Balado activity centre at Kinross where the members of the club meet and fly a wide range of different models. Whilst on site, the cadets get a chance to fly a model with Colin standing beside them using a buddy system. In this manner, should the cadet get into difficulty, Colin can take over control and return the model safely to the ground.
Hopefully, by the time the cadets finish building their first model, they will have built up a little experience and confidence when it comes to the initial test flights.
Whilst flying model aircraft is a very enjoyable hobby, it also serves the cadets in other ways. Before Colin lets the cadets near the building stage, he likes to know that they have an understanding of one or two subjects that are already taught as a part of the Cadets training syllabus, ie Principles of Flight, Propulsion and Airframes.
For some Cadets, these subjects do not present a problem, but there are those that require additional training in order to pass their exams. Building model aircraft is an excellent way to teach these subjects and supplies the cadets with training aids that are functional, educational and fun. Another way in which this project helps the cadets is the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.
For those cadets looking for something different to do for their skills, I personally couldn't think of anything better to do than building and flying your own model aircraft.
Like Mr. Nicol, I could talk about Model Aircraft such as those pictured all day, but you need to visit a club such as the one at Kinross, in order to find out for yourself the thrill of the hobby. Speak to any of the members, and listen to the enthusiasm as they tell you about the models. I couldn't finish this article without thanking all of the members of the Kinross Remote Control Flying Club for their support, especially Mr. Nicol without whom the project would never have got underway.
Kinross Remote Control Flying Club
Sponsors to 1145 (Dunfermline) Squadron
Members of The Scottish Aeromodellers Association