The sessions will be from 11am to 5pm, with the last hour being reserved for lightweight duration models.
Competitions will run from 11am until 2.00pm, followed by 2.00pm until 4.00pm general flying, leaving the last hour for lightweights only.
If anyone has a view on the timing, let me know and we can discuss it.


The March meeting was reasonably well attended given that several of our members were not one hundred percent and that Dave Whitehouse was unable to attend due to the death of his father in the past few days. We send him our best wishes at this tricky time.
Again, we had a small financial loss on the meeting which we will hopefully recover later.

We had a good entry in the competition which was A6 Foam (eight entries in all). There were also a few new scale models around and two or three people trimming their capacitor powered model for the April comp. Dave Crompton brought along a lovely new SE5a which unfortunately will need the attention of the flight engineers before appearing again. Stephen Lewis was flying two new models which I didn't get the chance to inspect. At a distance one of them looked like an all white "Tempest".  John Burthom brought along his new Penny Plane. After a bit of a tricky start (due to being under powered and having the rail tilt in the wrong direction) it was flying up in the rafters by the end of the meeting. Being new to indoor duration, John is learning a lot very quckly. One quick tip.. wing posts need to be STIFF (not heavy.. just STIFF). if not, the flying surfaces flop all over the place , making the model unpredictable to trim. I have found that poorly fitting /floppy posts cause the vast majority f my problems in trimming! Taking time with them when building really pays off.

The A6 Foam competition
Although a nice and easy model to build, it was nice to see a really varied range of designs. Tim Milner's model in particular had some original design features. The competition was taken very seriously even though it is meant to be a "fun" class.

The Results

1st place - Dave Leach - 3:07 This is a really impressive flight. Well done Dave!
2nd place - Tim Milner - 2:20 This time would be good enough to win sometimes. A lovely model.
3rd place - Tom Crompton - 2:02 Tom has recently begun to appear in the top 3 on a regular basis.

The next competition is Penny Plane coupled with Capacitor Power Duration I have just realised that I didn't update the rules on the website from Hangar Rat Capacitor power. So just to clarify things

Model design - Penny plane/ Gyminie Cricket  or similar. Any covering
Max wingspan 18"
Min weight 16 gm
10 farad capacitor - MIN prop size 2.5" direct drive

Just a reminder that it is the BMFA NW Gala at the Velodrome next Saturday 7th March
This is a FREE FLIGHT meeting only with most free flight classes flying/competing from Legal Eagle/Bostonian/ Profile Scale, etc. duration (LPP, F1L, F1M and F1D) and scale (Kitscale- photo of full size aircraft and of Kit Plan required).
Registration is at 9am

Hope those of you who were "Hors de Combat" recover soon and that we will see you at the Velodrome and at Lowton in April.
TomTom, Dave & Tom C



John Barker Memorial Trophy


Hi Everyone,
We hope that you are having a good summer and managing the heat ok.

I thought that we should bring you up to date with the hall situation, as rumours will already be circulating.
Just a week ago Dave Whitehouse was told that we (and the BMFA group) will no longer be able to use the Rochdale hall. It had been taken over by new owners who have decided to let it on a permanent basis for roller skating/blading.  The timing could not be worse for NORWIND. Schools have just broken up for the summer, making it very difficult to start negotiations for a new venue in time for a September start. We are also having some difficulty in getting a refund of the £185 which we have paid in advance for the September meeting. I believe that the BMFA group are challenging the decision on the basis that there is a contract. If they succeed we may be able to do the same.
In order to ensure that we have a venue for September, Dave Whitehouse has worked flat out during this week and has managed to get the use of a school hall in Lowton , near Leigh, which we can have for at least the year. Dave says that it isn't as big as Rochdale, but is very similar to the Clayton Green hall. He deserves considerable credit for this and we hope that you will reward his efforts by continuing to support the group. Access is very easy from the M6 and the A580 East Lancs Road. I don't have full details yet of address, etc., but will update you as soon as possible. If you know of any members who are not "computerate", we'd be grateful if you could pass on the word. I will obviously be updating the website as I get more information.
I understand from Dave that we are likely to get the same times and dates that we would have had at Rochdale, so that is good.

Now for some better news, again involving Dave! He has managed to arrange four meetings at the Velodrome over the season. I don't have the dates yet, but I know that there will be three "fun" days and the usual NW Gala. I'll keep you in formed via email and the website. It helps if you check your mail regularly, as it is the quickest way for me to pass on information. I'm not on Facebook, so I can't contribute to a facebook group.

Dave, Tom Crompton and myself met a couple of week ago and have finalised the competition schedule for the season. The format is much the same, but some new models, including a first attempt at a capacitor powered duration model built to Penny Plane specs, tissue covered. Tom has done a trial and the design is influenced by the need to prevent the models outflying the hall. I will put all of the rules for the comps in a mail and website very soon. You will have no difficulty in building the model to weight with model shop wood! No Boxy Bipe this season, but at popular request A6 Foam is in!
The Penny Plane "expert" class will stay the same at four minutes and we will adjust it if the new hall makes any difference.

We have decided to award the John Barker Memorial Trophy to the flier whose performance with the "Osprey" improves the most over their best previous time. This rewards effort and makes it harder for the "Experts" to win every time. Adding 10 seconds at the top end is much harder than adding forty seconds as you develop the model and your skills!
While I'm on the subject of John Barker, we decided that it would be nice to send a copy of the trophy to John's daughter Gill. The family were thrilled and I attach her reply below:

Dear Tom
The postman has today delivered an exciting parcel - the trophy that you sent!
Words can hardly express how happy I am to receive this super trophy.  It seems to sum up so completely Dadís passion over his last few years to create the Osprey class.   It is a wonderful trophy and will have pride of place on my mantelpiece.
Many thanks again for your kindness in thinking of our family and generously sending the copy trophy.

Kind Regards

Gill Jennison

Keep an eye on you email inbox and the website for further details.
Tom, Tom & Dave

We hope to see you all in September.

Stephen Lewis has set up a Facebook group called "The Free Flight Model Aero Club". Feeel free to join if you are interested.

TRIBUTE TO JOHN O'DONNELL (14.8.1932 - 18.4.2017)   (J O'D is seen 3rd from the right above early 2017)  Perhaps THE greatest free flight aeromodeller from the UK ever.
A full tribute to John can be found here
Hi everyone,
I recently received this mail from Dave Whitehouse who co-ordinates all our hall bookings.
As you see, it opens up yet more uncertainty about our use of school halls. This is not just about Lowton as SLS are the agents who manage community bookings for the whole of the local region.
It doesn't mean that we will not be able to book in future but that we will have to wait to see what system emerges from the Adminstrators. It does mean that we are unlikely to restart before Christmas at least.
The Velodrome is a separate system and Dave is going to make some initial contact to feel out what the near future may hold.
This probably the point at which the group is in most danger due to members becoming fatalistic about the outcome. We will do all we can ensure that the group can meet again. At the moment, we are more concerned with keeping everyone safe than the hall issues. Dave is a pretty persistent person and eventually we will find something.
We will keep you informed of developments.
Hope you are all keeping well and safe.
Tom Dave & Tom

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: SLS Bookings <>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2020 at 21:18
Subject: SLS @ Lowton C of E High School has sent you a message
To:  <>

Dear David Whitehouse

The message below has been received in your Inbox:
The Covid-19 lockdown restrictions introduced in March had an immediate impact on SLS. We lost access to the facilities at our partner schools, academies and colleges used by you and thousands of other community groups we work with.
Overnight we lost our ability to generate income - an impossible position for any business. We responded in the best way we could which was to take advantage of the furlough scheme to protect over 1,100 jobs which we have created over eight years and hoped that things would quickly return to normal.
It soon became apparent that the pandemic and the restrictions imposed by the government, particularly in relation to the use of sport and community facilities, would not be resolved quickly.
The government introduced the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which was designed to help companies like us, and after several applications to access the funds we were unable to find a lender to support us.
With the furlough scheme ending in the coming months, and the unsuccessful CBILS applications, we needed to consider SLSís future.
During the last few months we tried every route to find a way through. Without a timescale for when the business may be able to restart, we have had to reach the hardest decision which is to place SLS into administration and close the business.
We accept at times recently our communication as a company may not have been as forthcoming as it could have been but this position was based on the legal and commercial advice we have been taking during this difficult time.
We want to say a huge and heartfelt thank you for everything you have done for SLS, our schools and your local community.
In the last eight years, our belief is there has been a positive impact in every community we have worked in. As a team we have been able to give over 11,000 community groups like yours access to facilities to do the things they love and thatís something we will always be proud of.
Last year, 25 million people visited our schools thanks to community groups like yours and since 2012 SLS and you have helped school and colleges throughout the England generate more than £20m in additional funds thanks to your support and passion for your activity.
In the coming days, the administrators Fortis Insolvency will be in contact with more details about your next steps.
Without Covid-19 and the pandemic things would have been hugely different, thank you again and we wish you every success in the future.
Kind regards, Scott and Paul.

SLS  Team