Brian Dillon
Lindsay Todd
Graham Roscoe
Billy Bennett
James Young

Colin Martin

School at Wallasey Grammar School, played rugby and rowed. Collecting lots of pots for rowing in coxed fours and eights. Member of school first eight that qualified to row at Henley Royal Regatta. On to Liverpool University, studying Mechanical Engineering, joined University Air Squadron and learned to fly Chipmunks at her Majesty's expense. I did this for three years and was selected each year as a member of the squadron team to compete in the de Havilland Trophy (Formation flying, spot landing and aerobatics).
From uni to join RAF. More rugby and now squash (Squash was big in the RAF long before the rest of the world started to play). I learned to fly jets at RAF Leeming in the Jet Provost 4 (said to be similar in performance to a Spitfire). Awarded "wings" on JP4, then selected for Advanced training on the Folland Gnat at RAF Valley. A superb aeroplane, I loved flying it. I experienced so much in it: flying high enough to see the sky turn dark blue (around 55,000'), see the curvature of the earth, seeing the North Sea and the Irish sea at the same time. I flew supersonic, suffered a bird strike low flying down the Conway valley, on another occasion I landed with a burst tyre (lots of drama on the runway, fire tenders and rescue helo racing down runway with me, but luckily no fire and not much drama in the event). I think that the greatest fun was low flying down through Yorkshire, bypassing villages at 420 knots, at around 250 ft altitude (250' is the official lowest height for low flying in UK, but we were known to fly a "little" lower than that sometimes).




Formation aerobatics and air combat maneouvers were other favourites of mine. The Gnat was a joy to fly. It has been superceded by the Hawk now, similar performance but much more economical. From the Gnat, I was chosen to train as an instructor. Back to Jet Provosts, like driving a mini after having got used to a formula 1 racing car, but I really enjoyed instructing and I still do, even on models.
I took up aeromodelling as my son, Steve, started to be very interested in aviation. For many years, I was into control-line flying. There are not many of us around now! My main interests were stunt (aeros) and combat. Combat was done with flying wings, powered by .15 - .19 diesel engines, the models towed a paper streamer and the idea was to cut the opponent's streamer with your prop. Points were awarded for cuts and for time in the air. It was fast and furious with no quarter asked or given. I occasional entered stunt competitions but then, as now, it was just as the mood took me; I have never been a serious competitive animal. We used to do a lot of displays in those days, mostly around Wirral but sometimes further afield. I still have a C/L model that I fly at the May Fly-In as a lunchtime demo. Sometime around the late 80s, I got the yen for RC and built myself a powered glider with an Enya .09, no throttle and two channel radio. First flight was unpowered from a small hill in the local park to see whether I could steer it. I could! Next thing, off to a farmer's field in Storeton and threw it in the air. I had about 2 or 3 seconds to learn, but I managed to keep it in the air, keep it in sight and, best of all, land it when the fuel ran out. I realised that I needed a bit more structure in my flying, so I joined WRCFS and bought myself a trainer. I got my A in Nov 88 and my B in June 89. Later on, I wanted to put something back into this wonderful hobby so I started instructing. I became an Approved Instructor and an Examiner in 1997.I have had some wonderful models and some real dogs (plastic pig!). I have flown a huge variety of my own and other people's models (thanks guys!). I have made new friends and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I love the challenge of new models, new goals and particularly seeing students enjoying flying in their turn, moving on to new skills and then using their own skills to help others in their turn.
Colin Martin has volunteered to be the first member to contibute to this new section. If any other members wish to contribute, please send the info to Billy Bennett.
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