Oxfordshire model plane pilots hope they’ve done enough to secure Guinness World Record

The sky above a remote bridleway near East Hanney came alive with the sound of more than two dozen planes.

Squinting through the pounding clouds above the South Oxfordshire base of the North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching an impromptu air show featuring full-size planes. nature.

But these planes that come full circle and sniff out their wingtips were only a fraction of the size of their metal and canvas cousins.

It was an extremely rare sight for this bucolic corner of Oxfordshire.

Typically, no more than five or six model aircraft are flown at a time from the NBRMAS grass strip.

As of noon on Sunday, there were 27 planes in the air – along with 16 more “chuck gliders” of the type beloved by children around the world and two drones.

With 280 clubs across the country, North Berks flyers were participating in the Guinness World Record attempt to get the most model airplanes in the sky at one time.

The record bid was staged to mark the centenary of the British Model Flying Association. Founded in 1922, the organization represents model aircraft clubs and enthusiasts across the country.

The North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society takes part in the Guinness World Record attempt at its East Hanney airfield on Sunday May 15

The North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society takes part in the Guinness World Record attempt at its East Hanney airfield on Sunday May 15

The North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society takes part in the Guinness World Record attempt at its East Hanney airfield on Sunday May 15

The North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society takes part in the Guinness World Record attempt at its East Hanney airfield on Sunday May 15

The North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society takes part in the Guinness World Record attempt at its East Hanney airfield on Sunday May 15

John Bell was responsible for arranging the club’s contribution. Cool-headed Mr Bell, at the controls of a rainbow-coloured biplane with ‘DON’T PANIC’ written across one wing, told the Oxford Mail: ‘Normally we have a maximum five to six planes.

“Remove Chuck Gliders [from the calculation]today we had 27 planes in the air, five times more than we would normally have.

He has been at the club for six years. “It’s really social. We come here and maybe won’t fly for two hours because we chat and laugh. It’s just fun.

Pilot Chris Hunt, who has flown model airplanes for half a century, was in the field on Sunday with a 30-year-old Stars Delta model powered by a glow plug internal combustion engine that gives it a top speed of 70mph.

“We used to steal this at shows. It’s pretty much the last one left,” he said.

North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society takes part in the Guinness World Record attempt at their East Hanney airfield on Sunday May 15 Pictured: Chris Hunt

North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society takes part in the Guinness World Record attempt at their East Hanney airfield on Sunday May 15 Pictured: Chris Hunt

The North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society takes part in the Guinness World Record attempt at its East Hanney airfield on Sunday May 15

The North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society takes part in the Guinness World Record attempt at its East Hanney airfield on Sunday May 15

The North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society takes part in the Guinness World Record attempt at its East Hanney airfield on Sunday May 15

The North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society takes part in the Guinness World Record attempt at its East Hanney airfield on Sunday May 15

The pilots had prepared for a number of mid-air collisions. In this instance, however, the record flight was largely uneventful.

One plane reportedly got stuck in a tree, while another had to be rescued after its nose got stuck in the well-maintained grass airstrip.

A slight danger was perhaps not surprising. Conditions were far from ideal; a strong wind and showers that forced the pilots to retreat to the relative comfort of a lookout.

Rigorous checks by Guinness World Records bosses mean it could be several weeks before it is known whether the record attempt was successful or not.

To learn more about the North Berks Radio Model Aircraft Society, visit: nbrmas.bmfa.org.

This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as a forensic and crime reporter from Oxfordshire.

To contact him, email: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward

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