RAFMAA 1950-1953
In The News 51-53
RAFMAA 1954-55
In The News 54-55
RAFMAA 1956-60
RAFMAA 1971-81
Round The Pole

Slope Dudes

        Neil and I have been associated with the RAF Model Aircraft Association (RAFMAA) for over 30 years; indeed, we were both full member of the association from the early 80's before retiring from the services. During this time we have held various positions on the committee and competed quite successfully in most of the varied competitions throughout. We are proud to be part of a exclusive group of people, past and present, that have been awarded Honorary membership of the Association. We still continue to be part of the RAFMAA community and attend the many events. It is only fitting that we share some of the history of the Model Aircraft Association and insight into the enthusiasm and modelling expertise of the people that have helped shape the organisation over the years. The people that we have come to admire and hold in high regard, and some very good friends we have made during our time within the association. We hope you enjoy looking into the extraordinary and exciting history of the Royal Air Force Model Aircraft Association.

Colin Waite

PS, the The archived photos are best viewed with MS Internet Explorer

The History of Royal Air Force Model Aircraft Association



The sport of model flying is administered in the UK by the British Model Flying Association (BMFA), which is the working title adopted in 1987 by the Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers Ltd (SMAE). The SMAEDoug McHard itself had been in existence since 1922 when it was first recognised by the Royal Aero Club, although its origins can be traced back to the Kite and Model Aircraft Association of 1909. Many British aviation pioneers were members of the SMAE, including Sir Frank Whittle, Sir Thomas Sopwith and Sir Alliot Verdon Roe. The BMFA is the body delegated by the Royal Aero Club to administer all aspects of model flying in Great Britain and has equivalent standing to other aviation organizations.

Throughout the formative years of model aircraft flying in the UK, members of the RAF were at the forefront of model development, and a close relationship evolved with the SMAE. In October 1949 the RAF officially recognised model flying as a sport and the Royal Air Force Model Aircraft Association (RAFMAA) was formed with the primary aim ‘To stimulate the interest of Service personnel in the science and art of flying’. Model flying was until the late 90's, an official Noel BarkerRAF sport but was reduced to a recognised sport after reorganisation changes and budgetary cuts to the MOD services. Since its formation, its aims form part of the Charter of the Association. The special relationship with the BMFA continues to this day. The current President of the BMFA is Sir Michael Alcock, an ex President of the RAFMAA. The headquarters of the BMFA, Chacksfield House, is actually named after a previous BMFA President and Ex RAFMAA Member, the late Air Vice Marshal Sir Bernard Chacksfield; and to date, many of the BMFA executives are ex-RAFMAA members. The RAFMAA holds Area status (Area 14) within the BMFA.




The RAFMAA is administered by an Executive Committee, which normally comprises 14 members. The Chairman is usually a wing commander and the Committee is presided over by a President, normally of air rank. All other Committee posts are filled by volunteers and are open to all ranks. The primary roles of the Committee are to manage the finances and membership of the Association, to organize inter Station competitions and select RAF teams for participation in National and International competitions. At Station level, the sport is managed by an Officer I/C Model Aircraft on each Station where there is an active club. Although the majority of members are happy to participate in the sport only as a recreation, the Association encourages competitive activity at all levels. Inter Station competitions are held in 6 generic flying disciplines: Radio Control (R/C) Thermal Soaring, R/C Slope Soaring, R/C Power, Free Flight, Control Line (C/L) and Indoor Flying. Within these disciplines are a total of 34 different classes; these are spread over 7 inter Station events each competition year, culminating in the Main Annual Championships and prize-giving, at which the AGM is also held, to minimize administrative costs. Independent judges for most classes are provided by the BMFA, many of whom are of international renown. During the last competition year, no fewer than 22 different Stations took part, with 50% of the overall membership attending at least one event. This represents the highest number actually competing for 10 years, despite a reduction in Association membership in line with the overall draw-down in Service manpower.

At National and International level the RAFMAA continues to be well respected. In recent years, we have had National Champions in several disciplines including Indoor Scale, Free Flight, C/L Team Racing and Combat. RAF team members have also placed regularly in the top 10 in R/C Aerobatics, C/L, Slope and Thermal Soaring at National events. Internationally, in recent years members have flown for Great Britain in the European Championships and one was selected to manage the British R/C Scale team at the World Championships. In addition, several members have flown as individuals at non-Championship international Control Line, Indoor Scale and F/F events, gaining top 3 placings.


There are more RAFMAA archive photos to come, but please be patient.

If you visit the links 1950 to 1981 and you have information regarding the photos, I would like to hear from you.



colin   @slope-dudes .co.uk


NOTE: The images are best viewed with MS Internet Explorer


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Last updated 19-01-18