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By: Paul Oliver
The second Saturday in August heralded the start of the 2002 Hastings Model Airshow, organised by the Hastings & District Model Flying Club and sponsored by Nexus, the event being held over the weekend. I have attended this event for a few years now. Having been a member of the club before moving out of the area, I like to attend the event as it gives me a chance to renew old acquaintances, and see a good model show.
The day dawned bright and sunny, with intermittent showers from patches of dark cloud, as I drove down to Hastings. I arrived to see that a number of people had already arrived, and that the weather was quite favourable, some had actually come down the previous day and camped overnight. The facilities for this are not bad as the event is held at the local recreation ground, with access to sports changing facilities and showers.
The first thing I did was to have a look round the trade stands at the show. Well there was Al's Models, Balsa Cabin, Two O Two Models, Model Power Supplies, Hunter Systems, Stuart Mackay Models, Streamline Sales, and Somoso, to name some of the traders in attendance.
The flight line was being run with it's usual efficiency, with safety as always being paramount. The variety of models was wide with sports, and scale models, i.c. and electric powered being well represented as usual. Tony Nijhuis had his large electric powered Lancaster complete with Bouncing Bomb at the show, and I have to say that the performance was pretty impressive. Ali Jnr flew his now famous gas turbine powered F15 in his usual show stopping style, along with a large scale Extra.
It was also nice to see some of the Hastings members flying at the show. Commentary for the show as usual was being supplied courtesy of Hastings club member Colin "Aviator" Hammond, who's voice is now familiar at many model shows around the country, and has done much to publicise the club.
One must not forget that there are other hobbies represented at the show. Model boating is organised by the Eastbourne Model Boat Club with sailing going on throughout the day on their portable boating pool. The models varied from conventional scale and non-scale models, to novelty types though I felt that there were not so many present this year on the Saturday.
Model cars were represented by a static display by the Hastings Model Stockcar Club at the show. The club race 1/8th scale i.c. powered cars on their purpose built track located at the end of the field where aircraft at the show were flying from.
I left the show at the end of the day weary, but contented. The flying was good, safe, from a superb venue with adequate facilities, and providing a good vantage point for the spectators, although I personally felt that this year's show - on the Saturday at least, was not as good as those of the past year. That said though this show does set a high standard, and it is very hard to consistently top the previous shows year on year. The model flying club have worked hard to provide a good show, and are well motivated. This is something that I am sure a number of clubs must be envious of, but as the saying goes "nothing in life is easy, you have to work for what you want" and this is exactly what this club has, and is doing. I look forward to next years show.
By: By Paul Oliver