James May Steals My Thunder

I know the first rule of flight club is that you don’t talk about flight club, but I thought it was worth a quick mention despite that.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Well, that means you missed the 2012 Christmas edition of James May’s Toy Stories, entitled ‘Flight Club’. Following on from his 1:1 scale ‘Airfix’ Spitfire, he decided that he wanted to break an aviation record and aimed to break the longest flight of a toy aeroplane. (Here’s the episode on iPlayer.)

Brad Pitt dresses up as his idol

For those of you who have been following my balsa builds, this is an extreme example of exactly what I am trying to achieve. He has inspired me somewhat, and while I do my next couple of balsa builds, I am also going to start working my way through a very interesting-looking book, ‘Aircraft Workshop: Learn To Make Models That Fly’ by Kelvin Shacklock, which starts with a very simple balsa glider (much like those James May has at the beginning of ‘Flight Club’) and works its way up to a very large remote controlled Spitfire. Hopefully by working from the very simplest gliders up to the more complicated rubber-powered planes and beyond, I will understand better what I’m doing and why. And then I’ll be flinging gliders across the channel!

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