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.


Hi Everyone,
Here is the roundup from the February 2019 meeting.

John Barker
It sometimes falls to me to be the bearer of very sad news and I find this to be especially sad. Tim Milner informed me that John Barker died within the last week at the age of 91. As you will know, John has been very frail for a while, but that hasn't stopped him from coming to NORWIND and competing. We can only have great respect and admiration for the way he persisted despite the use of a motorised wheelchair and increasing arthritis. Some of us have known John over many years. I first met him when I joined the original NORWIND group in Wigan over 30 years ago. John has contributed a lot to Aeromodelling. Apart from being a fierce competitor in the outdoor freeflight scene for many decades, John designed the famous Aeromodeller glider plan "Lulu", which has introduced hundreds of beginners to the joys of freeflight modelling. Right up to the present time, he was always an innovator. My current competitive "Legal Eagle" is from John's "Bar Fly" design which is on the website. Last Year he was the originator of a new BMFA contest class which is called "Osprey". Whatever John's modelling achievements, he was just a really nice man. When the group was facing a cash flow issue, John quietly came up to me and said that I should let him know if we were in trouble and he would help out. I know, from his daughter and Tim that coming to fly with us has been a great thing to look forward to for John. It is also to Tim's credit that he has offered the support needed for John to continue. I have attached a photo of John with his "Bar Fly" in happier days..

Here is the usual roundup from the March meeting:

My day started early with an email from Tim Milner, informing me that he would not be attending as he had become a grandfather on Sunday! I mailed him back saying "Congrats Grandpappy!". All the members sent their best wishes to you and all involved Tim! Just make sure that the infant is aquainted with balsa wood as soon as possible! ;-)

A follow up from John Barker's funeral: Tim, Reg and myself attended what was a really nice tribute to John. John's daughter Gill was really pleased that we had been able to go. It became clear that although the family obviously knew of his interest in aeromodelling, they didn't fully appreciate just how good he was and what his standing was in the modelling fraternity. So it was really nice to be able to share that with them. Since the funeral, I have been contacted by a modeller called Sergio Montes, who is writing an appreciation to John in an international modelling publication. I have put him in touch with Gill for more information.

On Sunday, we had the pleasure of meeting a new member (Steve Lewis) who is returning to scale after a very long break. Steve is also a photographer of considerable talent, so you might like to ask him for his website address to see some very nice landscapes.
Dave Yates informed me that Dave Leach is having a really bad time with back problems and is waiting for surgery. We've also missed Dave at the Bolton club which meets twice a month. I've mailed him directly wishing him well from all of us.

I'm making progress with my electric power SE5a.. This is a miracle as I'm useless with anything that weighs over 4 grams and requires voltage of some kind!


As I have said previously, anyone who made this apparition and got it to fly, deserves an accolade!   I couldn't bring myself to raise a balsa knife to add yet another one to the world..
Having said that, there were lots of approaches to flying it, from a long, slow climb to a ceiling banging F1C type climb. Several members insisted on landing their models on the very large dia ducting which surrounds the hall. This just about the most difficult place from which to retrieve a model. Some good retrieval skills shown!


In the end 7 members strode boldly and competitively where no aircraft has gone before and some good times ensued:

1st - Neil Stewart - 1:26
(massive ceiling clattering after rocket like climb)
2nd - Tom Crompton - 1:11
(I timed this flight and can vouch for it)
Dave Whitehouse - 1:01 (which I also timed.... no collusion here. I'm ruthless at rounding DOWN).

Barry Williams should also get a special mention. Although not on the podium, Barry isn't a regular duration competitor and tamed the beast, He would improve very quickly under the needs of competition.

The next competition is Limited Penny Plane
(.75g rubber + .75g ballast) There will be 2 classes as usual. The Clubman class is for members who have not yet achieved 4 min flights at NORWIND. They will be allowed to "ceiling clatter". All others will have their flight rendered void if they touch the roof beams.

Dave Whitehouse asks me to remind members of the BMFA NW Gala at the Velodrome  16th March 2019 from 9am to 5pm,
and will be a similar format to previous, catering for duration models, and scale flying.
The continuation of this meeting relies on reasonable attendance. The Velodrome "Fun Flys" are subsidised  by radio flyers, but the duration only Gala is unique, certainly in the NW and it would be a shame to see it die.
Dave has finalised the rules re flying slots and rubber allocation, etc (See the Velodrome Meetings page). There are difficult choices to get the most classes in such a short day. We can't cover the costs of a longer day.

Looking forward to seeing you soon


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

I received the following details from Gill, John Barker's daughter:

I have seen your recent email with a round-up of the February NORWIND meeting, and I was touched by your kind words about my Dad. I know how much he enjoyed the monthly trips to Rochdale to see friends old and new and to participate in the hobby he loved.  Dad enjoyed aero modelling throughout his whole life; it gave him the intellectual challenge of designing models, the satisfaction of building them, and the camaraderie of flying them with like-minded modellers.
John passed away  on 31st January.  He had become very frail and his body just wore out, although his mind was sharp to the end.  He died  very peacefully in his own home with his family around him.
Johnís funeral was held in Shipley, Yorkshire on Tuesday 19th February..

PS:  Tim Milner, Reg Boor and myself attended John's funeral. It was a celebration of his life and we were astonished about just how much he had packed in, with so many interests. I think Gill and the family hadn't really understood just how good John was and how much he was respected by his aeromodelling friends. It was nice to be able to share that with them.