Burlington Radio Control Modelers
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Burlington Radio Control Modelers celebrate 50 years of flights
June 3, 2024
The Burlington Radio Control Modelers are celebrating 50 years in the skies above the city this year.
Chris Arnold/BurlingtonToday
Written by: Chris Arnold
May 30, 2024 11:00 AM
Reprinted with permission from BurlingtonToday.com.
Click here for the original article.

Skies are clear for another successful year of operation for this 50-year-old club

When Charlie Chomos was in the first grade, going to school in a one room schoolhouse where the teacher taught eight grades at once, he saw a classmate assemble a rubber band powered model airplane.

Seeing that first flight stuck with him, as a founding member of the Burlington Radio Control Modelers, and eventually buying his own airplane – a 1969 Champion Citabria. Now five decades from the radio control club’s founding, Chomos continues to fly scale models, and they are anything but toy planes.

“One aircraft I built in 1975 is a Piper Super Cup,” Chomos said. “It’s a quarter scale, so one quarter the size of the real aircraft. It has a nine foot wingspan.”

Chomos was among five or six founding members of the club, which has now grown to around 120 members. The club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year; it just so happens to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The majority of members are flying electric planes, a definite upgrade from rubber band powered models, and some are using kerosene to operate machines that can rival full sized aircraft in terms of speed.

“I’ve seen a model of a Concord that was maybe 15 feet long, and weighed around 150 pounds,” Burlington Radio Control Modelers president Geoff Norman said. “It was powered by four jet turbines, burning kerosene just like the Concord did. It flew at about 200 kilometers per hour.”

Norman himself mostly sticks to Second World War models, building Spitfires with six-foot wingspans.

Using models allows potential pilots to pull maneuvers that would be dangerous in real life, Norman said.

“It’s quite an incredible hobby, to see the evolution from when I was starting – of course everything has evolved thanks to the electronics,” Norman said. “The receiver that receives the impulses from the transmitter is around the size of your thumb, and it contains magnetometers and accelerometers so you can have various modes of flying.”

Norman also touched on the rubber band powered planes that were common when he was a kid, and how the change to being able to individually control the rudder on the back, set pitch limiters to aid with turning, and having lighter materials instead of balsam wood has changed the way the planes operate.

As the technology and amount of members in the club has expanded, so have the responsibilities. The club maintains two small – 300- and 400-foot long – runways on five acres of land that need to be mowed.

Rules and regulations have also changed, thanks in part to the introduction and popularity of drones. Registrations and tests are required, depending on the size of the plane. However, radio controlled planes do not need to be an expensive hobby to get off the ground.

“You can buy a Mitchell Bomber or a Spitfire that comes out of the box ready to go with two electric motors, rudders, elevators, the whole package for a couple hundred dollars,” Norman said.

Anyone interested in getting their wings is encouraged to reach out to the club. New members are joining at 87-years-old, and the group is always looking for new members.

“Nowadays you can’t really start on your own, because it’s dangerous,” Chomos said. “Club rules are different now too. We have more safety than we ever had back in the day. We have people that are in their 60s or 70s just learning to fly RC, and they do quite well. But it’s the younger people that pick it up the quickest because they’re used to computers and games. Their mindset is different.”

The celebration for the club’s 50th anniversary kicked off last year, as members held a fly-in, showing off their latest aircraft builds to one another. Members will hold a similar event this summer, though official plans are still up in the air.

Lancaster Flight Raffle
May 6, 2024
Winter Projects
April 22, 2024
I am writing this article in April ‘24 and have just finished my 23/24 winter projects.

I began my search for a winter project in August ‘23 by asking Brian Harrington if he was willing to sell his Avanti Sports Jet. He said “No!”. However, after months of pestering him, he said “yes” because he was going to purchase the new Avanti Version 2.

I began with my usual process - parts replacement, repair and reinforcing damaged areas, then preparing the surfaces for painting. I decided to paint the model in the Canadian Snow Bird colour scheme, similar to my T-33, with decals from Callie Graphics. I think the Snow Bird scheme looks good on the Avanti and should be sky friendly.

Just before Christmas, Barry Parkinson announced he might sell his Avanti and buy the new Avanti Sports Jet Version 2. I was interested. So now I have another winter project and a third Avanti. It’s my opinion - if you paint the same model with a different paint scheme, it looks like a different model.

I knew Chris Klepsch had painted a BAE Hawk in a Swiss Airforce colour scheme; so after a long chat, we decided the Avanti would look “HAWK LIKE” with the Swiss colours. It would be a more challenging paint job for me. I ordered the decals from Callie, then began my usual repairs and structural reinforcement. During the surface prep, I noticed the foam on the upper wing surface, above the landing gear boxes, was soft and cracked (possibly due to hundreds of Barry’s landings). I reinforced this area with a piece of fiberglass cloth then finished with lots of spackling compound filler and sanding.

I started the hardest part of the paint scheme first — “eyeballing” the fuselage paint line between the red and white then duplicating it on the other side. It was very labour intensive — align the masking tape - measure - lift the masking tape - measure - lift the tape again - measure again, many, many times before the paint brush hits the surface.

I think the Avanti Swiss Hawk paint scheme suits the model. Each model took about 10 weeks to complete and, as is my custom, each model hints to my age. Eric Klepsch will be my test pilot for both models this summer.

Ted Pritlove

Flying Season Is Almost Upon Us
April 14, 2024
A brief winter was followed by a briefer spring and more winter. However this week it looks like spring has taken hold, and we await the arrival of the flying season. We’re gearing up, lawn mowers are ready to go and a schedule for grass cutting is up and running thanks to Ken Sisler and Bill Ayre. So it won’t be long now.

As you get the planes ready for flying, keep in mind that we have to comply with Transport Canada regulations. You can find the BRCM Operating Manual via the 'Links' item in the website's menus.

(But you will need to be registered on the website and login to see it.
Press the 'login' button to start the process.)

I particularly draw your attention to SECTION 3 - TC/TSB, which describes what you have to do to comply. In particular, remember to register any new models with TC, and to maintain a flying log.

Upcoming Events

March General Meeting
April 14, 2024
At the March General Meeting, we had a variety of activities.

Wayne Bransfield thanked the club for the Lifetime Achievement Award he received.

We then moved to a celebration of the 100 th Anniversary of the RCAF by viewing an abbreviated version of the video “Reunion of Giants”, a documentary of the video of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster to the UK in 2015, where it flew formation with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster, as well Hurricanes, Spitfires and a Vulcan.

We then had a brief show and tell of Ian Brown’s RCAF Avro Yale and Geoff Norman’s RCAF Beaver.

Pub Night
April 14, 2024

The second pub night will be held at the Royal Coachman, 1 Dundas St. E, Waterdown on April 18 from 7:30 to 9:30.

The club will buy the nibblies... you buy your beer.

Guaranteed good time for all!

April General Meeting
March 3, 2024
April General Meeting

This will be on Thursday, April 25, at St. Matthew. Our special program is a return visit from Colin Tyrell (his last was in February 2020), describing his re-construction of a 1-1 scale Harvard powered by a 600 hp. Pratt and Whitney radial engine. Fifteen years in the remaking, and it will fly this summer. (If memory serves, he said that 4 years ago too.)

Thanks to Ian Brown for putting this together.

Hope to see you there.

Special Interest Group ?
February 23, 2024
It seems that since Chirstmas, a special interest group has taken over the shed on Friday afternoons. Steampunk appears to be back in vogue. A number of members have invested their hard earned dollars into steam engines. Miniature steam engines that is.

And it appears that at least one member (Ron) has created a time machine like device.

If it indeed works... we'll get a report on it... soon.
Perhaps a month ago.

The Time Lord
And his travelling companions

And just to prove that it may actually work. Here are some pictures I captured while working on our online cameras back in January - Fulko Hew

The wormhole is opening
The invading creature materializing
FrSky X20-S Transmitter
February 20, 2024
An FrSky X20-S transmitter is available.

Please contact Frank Pilih for complete details.

Annual General Meeting - 2024
February 12, 2024
Happy Belated New Year:

While it’s only Feb. 9 when I write this, it sure feels like spring. Apparently Toronto is on track to topple a 200 year old high temperature record. If it wasn’t for the 60 km. winds, I’ll bet the parking lot at Bayview would be full.

Now to the business at hand.

On Thursday Feb. 22, we will be having the Annual General Meeting, at St. Matthew on the Plain Church, 128 Plains Rd. E., from 7:30 to 9:00. The main agenda item will be election of officers for the 2024 calendar year. Almost all of the Board have agreed to stay on, although some have asked for a different position.


The 2024 Candidates:

President Geoff Norman
Past President Mike Block
Vice President Dwayne Baldwin
Secretary Nicholas Jacobs
Treasurer Mike Block

These are the only 'designated' officers in the club. However, the by-laws state that there will be 13 officers. We have identified areas of responsibility for many of these other positions. I have also listed people for each position, most of whom were on the Board last year and are prepared to stay on another year:

Membership Steve Waterfall
Wings Don Irvine
Safety Alex Hutchinson
Transport Canada Liaison Doug Matthews
Field Maintenance (equipment) Bill Ayre
Info Technology Fulko Hew
Program Ian Brown
At large Eric Klepsch
At large T.B.D.

If you would like to take on any of the positions (whether or not there is an incumbent), please let me know before the meeting, or put your hand up when it’s discussed at the meeting. If there are more than one candidate for a position, we will put it to a vote.

Who Votes:

According to the by-laws, only paid–up members who have renewed for 2024 can vote. If you have not already applied for a 2024 membership, you can renew membership any time up to and including the meeting.

How To Renew:

I have sent notices before, but to remind you, either:

(If you are writing a check, please write the organization name EXACTLY as above. The bank is very particular.)


Keep in mind that our liability insurance applies only to paid-up members!
If you do not have a current (2024) membership, you do NOT have insurance to fly!



We will also have a brief business meeting.


Many of you know Wayne Bransfield. He is an outstanding builder (one of several in the Club) who has built many Giant-Scale aircraft: Lancaster, Halifax, Sunderland. All multi-engine with wingspans well over ten feet.

Wayne has downloaded a digital version of many movies of his building and flying exploits and has given copies to us. We have put some together and will be showing a short (1/2 hour or so) movie. We are delighted that he will attend.

That’s it for now. See you on Feb. 22.