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Three-Thousand Model Aircraft Commemorate BMFA Centennial

British Model Flying Association Celebrates Rich History

In a coordinated, nationwide effort, Member groups of the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) simultaneously launched a total of 3109 model aircraft over England’s green and pleasant land. 

The May, 2022 event celebrated the British Model Flying Association‘s one-hundredth year, and represented the efforts and skills of an impressive, 263 BMFA affiliated clubs.

Event organizers, in addition to commemorating the BMFA‘s centennial, sought to showcase and encourage participation in model-aircraft building. In its time, BMFA has produced promotional materials and products to support events staged by over 800 affiliated clubs.

BMFA Records Officer Simon Vaitkevicius said of the endeavor: "I would like to thank everyone who participated and the clubs who hosted the attempt. It has been a fantastic event and has exceeded my expectations for participation and enthusiasm for all involved.”

The history of the BMFA can be traced back to 1922 and a London tea-room in which members of the London Aero Models Association decided to extend the organization's reach to accommodate model aircraft enthusiasts across the whole of England. It was F.J. Camm—brother of Sydney, who designed the Hawker Hurricane—and colleagues who renamed the London-based association the Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers. The name was subsequently changed to the British Model Flying Association (BMFA).

Despite wartime shortages of balsa wood, engine parts and even paper on which to print the newsletters, society membership rose from twenty club-members in 1935, to five-hundred clubs by 1945.

In 1957 the Duke of Edinburgh became the society’s patron, and the following year the SMAE organized the World Championships for Wakefield F1B (rubber-band powered aircraft) and Free Flight Power F1C (Aircraft with Piston engines).

In 1962, 13-nations competed in the RC Aerobatics World Championships and six Indoor World Championships took place over the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Today—notwithstanding increasingly complex technological and regulatory environments—model-aircraft flight is enjoyed by 840 BMFA affiliated clubs comprising 36,000-members.



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